HS2 supply chain summit outlines contract opportunities

An online supply chain summit on Wednesday 14 October will help local businesses find out more about the thousands of contracts up for grabs during construction of the high speed rail line between Birmingham and London.

The event, which will be hosted by the West Midlands mayor, Andy Street, will give key information about an estimated 400,000 contract opportunities across a wide variety of products, services and sectors, including engineering, catering, ecology, design, logistics, construction and electronics. The summit is aimed specifically at SMEs in the local region, helping them find out about what contracts are on offer and how to access them.

Steve Hollis, chair of the West Midlands HS2 Growth Delivery Board, will chair the event. As well as the mayor, he’ll be joined by HS2 CEO Mark Thurston, HS2’s supply chain manager Robert Slater, and representatives from West Midlands firms that have already secured contracts on the project. These include Sandwell’s Forkers, a West Bromwich company that will be working to support environmental mitigation work.

Andy Street said: “HS2 is already bringing economic growth to the region and providing jobs for local people right across the whole of the West Midlands. With many more contracts up for grabs, that’s why this summit is so important. Those contracts will give local people opportunities to secure the high-skilled jobs that come with the project.”

It is also hoped that HS2 will play an important role in post-COVID economic recovery. They mayor added: “Before lockdown the West Midlands was the fastest growing economy in the UK outside London, and the huge investment being brought by HS2 offers a chance for us to recover even stronger – especially if our many creative and innovative businesses can make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Mark Thurston said: “HS2 is the most important economic regeneration project in Britain for decades. We are already seeing the benefits that building HS2 is bringing to the Midlands. With work already well underway at over 250 active sites, we have announced around £18bn worth of contracts and by the end of 2022 that will be around £25bn. I’d encourage local businesses to find out more and get on board.”

For full details and to register, visit the event website. Don’t delay – registration closes on Monday 12 October.