Major organisations representing water utilities, energy and food production have been announced as buyers for the EMCON Meet the Buyer programme.

Delivered by UMi, the EMCON Meet The Buyer programme will run alongside EMCON on September 14 at Rainton Arena Houghton-le-Spring. It will connect suppliers with major buyers from North East England and beyond, via pre-arranged appointments.

JN Bentley Ltd, Made For Trade, Northumbrian Water, Recocoa Ltd and SSE have all been registered as buyers on the programme.

EMCON, which is now in its 15th year, is EMN’s flagship event. It was established to showcase engineering and manufacturing companies, capabilities and opportunities in North East England and beyond.

The Meet The Buyer session will give engineering and manufacturing businesses the opportunity to talk to buyers face to face about products and services.

In turn, buyers who register for the programme can strengthen their supply chains, discover new expertise and talent, and learn more about the solutions offered by North East England’s engineering and manufacturing community.

JN Bentley Ltd, part of global management, engineering and development consultancy Mott MacDonald, delivered close to £300 million worth of work in 2022, with turnover set to rise to £400 million by the end of 2023 – delivered by JN Bentley and its two design and build businesses: Mott MacDonald Bentley (MMB) and JBA Bentley (JBAB).

Billingham-based Made For Trade is the UK’s largest manufacturer of aluminium roof Lanterns and bi-folding doors. It operates from three purpose-built fabrication units in more than a quarter of a million square feet, employing more than 200 people.

Northumbrian Water provides water and sewerage services in North East England, and supplies water services in South East England (trading as Essex and Suffolk Water). It also provides technical and consultancy services focussing on water and environmental issues.

Based in Hexham, Recocoa Ltd has developed a range of Botanical Medical food products targeting heart disease, which it manufactures in Northumberland.

SSE is a leading generator of renewable electricity and one of the largest electricity network companies in the UK. It develops, owns and operate low carbon infrastructure to support the zero-carbon transition. This includes onshore and offshore wind, hydro power, electricity transmission and distribution grids, and gas-fired generation, alongside providing energy products and services for businesses.

Registered suppliers will be provided with details of buyers’ requirements and needs ahead of EMCON, to enable them to make informed decisions when booking appointments.

UMi has delivered Meet the Buyer events across the UK and these events have a proven track record of generating new business for attending SMEs. One of its annual Meet the Buyer events, which UMi delivers for a major airport group in the UK, has generated as much as £28 million of contract wins in the last 10 years, allowing local businesses to reap the benefits of major projects taking place in their region.

Meet the Buyer at EMCON is being sponsored by partners Westray Recruitment Group, which helps companies hire across the professional, technical, engineering, industrial, manufacturing and business support sectors, and Salford Professional Development, a subsidiary of the University of Salford, which delivers in-house, virtual and bespoke accredited and non-accredited training to clients across both the public and private sectors.

Ailsa Anderson, Director of Development at EMN, said: “We’re thrilled to be holding a Meet the Buyer programme at EMCON and to have JN Bentley Ltd, Made For Trade, Northumbrian Water, Recocoa Ltd and SSE on board as buyers.

“Meet the Buyer will enhance the EMCON experience even further and provide a valuable platform through which suppliers and buyers can meet, have those all-important conversations, and discuss challenges and solutions.

“It’s more important than ever to localise your supply chain and reduce travel-led carbon emissions so we’re pleased to support this by highlighting the excellent engineering and manufacturing skills and capabilities that buyers have on their doorstep in North East England!”

Paul Clark, Head of Commercial Services at UMi, added: “We are really excited to bring a Meet the Buyer element to EMCON 2023, and we are certain that local SMEs will make the most of the opportunities on offer to them.”

EMCON is supported by a range of sponsors, including Gold Sponsors Manchester Metrology, B2B Injection Moulding Ltd and Business Durham, Silver Sponsors RTC, SMS Tech, Decerna, Made Smarter, CMYK and Torishima, Bronze Sponsors Polymer Compounders and Cirrus Environmental Solutions Ltd, and Lunch Sponsor Masfix.

Appointments for the EMCON Meet The Buyer programme will run from 9am to 4pm on September 14 at Rainton Arena. If you’d like to register as a supplier or buyer for the EMCON Meet the Buyer programme, visit