October 29, 2019 @ 11:28 by Richard Dawson
Many North East businesses are on track to win take advantage of opportunities to be involved with the design and building of HS2 – the biggest investment in the national railways since the Victorian era.
More than 80 local businesses are thought to be involved with the scheme and many attend an HS2 Supply Chain event organised by Supply Chain North East and the North East LEP.
Supply Chain North East is working with HS2 Ltd to ensure that business in the region can win contracts and opportunities to work on the project.
Phase one of construction will see a high-speed line built between Birmingham and London and is already well underway.
When the full network is built, it is hoped that there will be brand-new high-speed rail connections northwards to Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh and beyond.
Phase one of HS2 currently supports 9000 jobs across Britain, with UK-based companies forming 99 per cent of the supply chain.
Hundreds of Northern businesses have already won work, and it is hoped that opportunities for local firms to get involved will only increase as the project progresses.
Businesses of all sizes can win contracts through the HS2 supply chain. It’s not just for those traditionally aligned to the rail industry.
Together, it is thought that HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail will enable faster and more frequent journeys across the North.
Alan Whittaker, programme manager of Supply Chain North East, said: “We were delighted to welcome HS2 supply chain team to the region to learn more about opportunities.
“Over 20 businesses in the North East have already delivered work to help build HS2, including SMEs. The event allowed companies to understand project time frames, how to engage with HS2 and tips on procurement.
“Also, in attendance was a local based SME which is supplying to HS2, a Senior Policy Advisor for rail from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and two local businesses which are supplying products and services to the rail sector in general.”