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Somerset companies urged to seize HS2 contract opportunities

Businesses in Somerset are being encouraged to bid for millions of pounds worth of upcoming contracts supporting the delivery of Britain’s new railway, HS2.

The number businesses in the county who have so far registered an interest in becoming a potential HS2 supplier is significantly lower than in other parts of the country, which could mean that local businesses risk missing out.   

Potential contracts with HS2 are not just about track and trains. HS2’s construction partners are seeking to engage businesses across a broad range of sectors from catering services, designers and ecologists to logistics and electronic components.

Robin Lapish, HS2 Ltd’s Supply Chain Manager said:

“Somerset has mobilised a sizeable supply chain in support of the Hinkley Point C nuclear project – we want to tap into some of that expertise in engineering, logistics and business services to support our contractors and 15,000-strong workforce.

“There are countless opportunities for South West-based businesses to be winning work into the next decade and beyond. A contract with HS2 could turbocharge growth and help sustain and create new jobs as businesses strive to bounce back from the pandemic.”

With construction of the first phase of HS2 between Birmingham and London progressing at pace and the railway’s journey further North now confirmed, following the green light from government to extend to Crewe, HS2’s construction partners are reaching out to tier two and three providers to bid for upcoming subcontract opportunities.

HS2 Ltd has already awarded around £18bn worth of contracts, with a significant proportion of this value expected to flow out to the wider supply chain.  By the end of 2022, it’s estimated this figure will reach around £25bn. Over 2,000 businesses have already won work on the project, with UK-based businesses making up 98% of contracts.

As Britain strives to build back better, businesses of all sizes are encouraged to get ‘HS2 ready’ and seize the opportunity to play a part in revolutionising our railways.

Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said:

“We welcome any opportunities for our many talented Somerset businesses to win work on major infrastructure projects and would encourage them to at least start the conversation to find out more about supporting the HS2 project.

“We know from experience that projects don’t have to be on a company’s doorstep for them to win contracts and HS2 provides an opportunity to secure long-term work and stability for firms which may well have had a fairly challenging last 12 months.”

Getting ‘HS2 ready’ couldn’t be easier. HS2 Ltd and its construction partners use the CompeteFor model to help match demand with supply.  All subcontract opportunities are advertised on the portal, and businesses who set up a company profile can receive tailored alerts to opportunities that match their trade.

Robin added:

“It takes minutes to set up a company profile on the CompeteFor platform and that simple step could be vital to a business securing its future.  Just three companies in Somerset have won work on HS2 so far and we really want to see that figure grow.”

For more information about joining HS2’s supply chain visit hs2.org.uk/building-hs2/supply-chain/


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