Large format digital printing business PressOn, based in Chatham, is one of 35 businesses in Kent that have already won work supporting the construction of Britain’s new high speed railway. Since working on the project, PressOn has been able to invest £250,000 in new state-of-the-art machinery, and is set to take on more staff in January as a result of the contract.
Visiting the company’s factory in Chatham, HS2 CEO Mark Thurston said:
“The HS2 project is a once in a lifetime opportunity for firms to get involved and help deliver Britain’s new high speed railway. PressOn is a great example of a business already on board that is really benefiting from the investment happening now, being able to sustain jobs and invest in equipment, increasing their capacity and enabling them to grow.
“There will be thousands of opportunities on offer, and now is the time for businesses in the region to get involved. We’re looking for everything from engineering to catering services, designers to ecologists, and concrete to electronic components. It is not just about track and trains.”
PressOn creates the large-scale graphics for HS2’s hoardings along the Phase One route from London to the West Midlands, including at the site of the new Curzon Street Station in Birmingham, and at Euston station and University College London.
The company is one of 2000 across the UK that is already working on HS2, and providing some of the 7,000 job roles that are already being supported by the project.
Managing Director of PressOn Ltd, Andy Wilson said:
“Large infrastructure projects like HS2 are vital for our business, allowing us to stay at the forefront of our industry. In recent years we have benefited from contracts with Crossrail and Tideway, and now our more recent contract with HS2 means we can sustain further investment in our business which will in turn sustains jobs for local people helping us deliver our growth plans for the future.”
The size of the HS2 project means that there will be thousands of opportunities within the HS2 supply chain, across many business sectors, requiring a wide range of capabilities, over a number of years that will be suitable for suppliers of all types and sizes. It is expected that every 10 direct tier one major works contracts will result in over 10,000 indirect supply chain opportunities.
Chief Executive Officer of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Jo James said:
“HS2 is a long-term national programme opening doors for companies across all regions of the UK, and it’s fantastic to see businesses in Kent already benefiting. We’ve already seen the benefits of HS1 in this region, creating better connectivity for people and businesses, and HS2 will open up more connections to the Midlands and North. I would encourage businesses in Kent to look at the contracts on offer with HS2 and gear up to make the most of the project’s supply chain opportunities.”
Earlier this year, HS2 Ltd launched its Skills, Education and Employment Strategy, setting out interventions that will ensure that the UK has not only the skills to deliver the HS2 project, but to become a world leader in high speed rail. At peak construction, 30,000 jobs will be supported by the project, and 2,000 apprentices will be on offer.
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