Consultancy firm Wardell Armstrong says business is booming after winning a host of new contracts to work on Britain’s newest railway.
The company secured its first deal supporting the first two phases of HS2 – from London to the West Midlands and Crewe – in 2018, but it has since secured a further £6 million worth of work, including two new contract awards this year.
It is one of more than 2,000 companies which have won work on the huge infrastructure project.
The firm has also been able to increase its workforce across all 13 of its offices to 461, 122 of which are based at its Stoke-on-Trent head office, at Festival Park.
The regular pipeline of work also helped to safeguard jobs which could have potentially been at risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Caroline Mellor, technical director and head of planning and environment in Stoke-on-Trent, leads the company’s environmental and ecology works on the HS2 programme.
She said: “Whilst many businesses have struggled over the past 12 months, we’ve been incredibly lucky. The first national lockdown did temporarily impact workflow in wider areas of the business, but the sheer scale of our HS2 contracts meant we were able to redistribute work and keep our staff in employment.
“Our continued success also drove the decision to invest in creating a new commercial contracts team. Every department across the businesses has grown in size because of our work on HS2 and we’re continuing to create more new jobs for local people.
“Our business ethos is very much about building from the bottom up and investing in our people. Lots of our staff have been with us for years and have secured promotions along the way, which we’re all really proud of.”
Wardell Armstrong was first established as a mining and minerals company in 1837.
Over the years it has diversified into a multidisciplinary environmental, engineering and mining consultancy.
In the 1990s, it expanded its portfolio to include specialisms in ground engineering and the environment, which ultimately helped it to secure its first HS2 contract two decades later.
The company estimates that more than 100 people across the business are currently working on HS2, with staff in its ecology, archaeology, hydrogeology, health and safety, engineering and bid teams all supporting the delivery of the new railway.
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David Poole, HS2 Ltd’s procurement and commercial director said: “This is a great example of how HS2 is supporting the UK’s economic growth as we strive to build back better from the pandemic.
“Wardell Armstrong’s repeated success in winning work on HS2 has kept local people in employment and is leading to the creation of even more highly-skilled jobs in the local area.
“I encourage more businesses in Staffordshire to register their interest in becoming a potential HS2 supplier, so that local communities continue to benefit from the job creation and security HS2 is driving.”
For more information about joining HS2’s supply chain visit hs2.org.uk/building-hs2/supply-chain/