Businesses across the Midlands are being invited to tender for £12bn worth of HS2 contracts at a four-day event that started today.
HS2 Ltd – the company behind Britain’s new high speed railway – is staging a virtual event to showcase many of the £12bn worth of contract opportunities available as part of the project.
The event will give businesses, across hundreds of sectors, an insight into how they can become part of HS2’s supply chain, which already includes over 2,000 businesses.
Over the four-day programme, delegates will hear about the estimated 400,000 supply chain opportunities that will emerge over the next 18 months, and how they can get ‘HS2 ready’.
The event is being delivered in partnership with HS2’s four main works construction partners and two stations contractors who, between them, will unlock thousands of individual work packages which range in size and value between £5,000 and £200m.
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Mark Thurston, HS2 Ltd’s CEO said: “The Government has said that construction must continue during the lockdown, and for HS2 that means continuing to bring more and more companies onto the project, creating thousands of jobs across Britain.
“This event will unlock billions of pounds worth of new contract opportunities on HS2, providing thousands of businesses and their employees with guaranteed incomes, and helping the country’s economic recovery in these uncertain times.”
Organisers say the potential contracts represent a huge boost for British businesses seeking security and growth amidst the economic uncertainty arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
HS2 has so far awarded 98 per cent of its current contracts to UK-based businesses; 70 per cent of which have gone to SMEs – and it aims to continue that trend through direct engagement with suppliers and local business during the Meet the Contractor event.
The £12bn boost reflects the scale of progress to date in delivering HS2’s Phase One programme between London and Birmingham, as work on the tunnels, viaducts and station foundations along the 140-mile route gathers pace.
In the West Midlands, 316 companies have delivered work on HS2 so far and over 350 more have registered to attend this week’s event.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Major infrastructure projects are critical to the West Midlands’ economic recovery from the pandemic, as by guaranteeing work in the construction sector you both protect and create local jobs. Clearly HS2 is the king of all these projects, and it is mission critical local businesses make the most of the opportunity presented.
“I’m delighted that local firms of all sizes have signed up to see what contracts and opportunities are on offer, and that they do their best to seize them with both hands.”