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East Midlands Chamber News

Region on track to maximise HS2 opportunities


More than 70 East Midlands businesses are on track to take advantage of the country’s biggest investment in national railways since the Victorian era.


They were among those attending an HS2 Supply Chain event in Coalville, Leicestershire, organised by award-winning East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire).


The Chamber is working with HS2 Ltd, the company tasked with building the new railway, to ensure that businesses in the East Midlands can win contracts and opportunities to work on the project.


Construction of HS2 Phase One between Birmingham and London is well underway. More than 2,000 businesses and over 7,000 people have worked on the project to date. Hundreds of East Midlands businesses have already won work, and opportunities for local firms to get involved will increase as the project progresses.


Businesses of all sizes can win contracts through the HS2 supply chain and not just those traditionally aligned to the rail industry. Opportunities exist for those involved in archaeology, design, planning and security to name but a few.


When construction peaks, HS2 will need an estimated 30,000 people to design and build the full network, which will extend northwards to Manchester and Leeds.


The East Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy predicts 74,000 jobs and a £4bn boost to the region’s economy by 2043.


The East Midlands Hub station, at Toton, will support over 1,500 new jobs and a further 150 skilled positions will be created at the infrastructure maintenance depot planned for Staveley, near Chesterfield.


The Prime Minister recently reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to building Phase Two of HS2 and, following the allocation of £2m from Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, the East Midlands Development Corporation (EMDC) has been created to maximise the opportunities around Toton. The Chamber sits on the EMDC.


Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at the Chamber, which recently won Disability Confident Leader status and is the current British Chambers of Commerce Chamber of the Year, said: “We were very happy with the number of firms that attended the event to learn how to get involved in HS2’s supply chain for the project.


“HS2 will be transformational for our region. The opportunities are tremendous, and you don’t have to be one of the big companies to be part of it.


“We’ve hosted several of these events to make sure local companies know what the opportunities are and how to get involved.”


David Poole, HS2 Ltd Procurement and Supply Chain Director said: “We work closely with East Midlands Chamber and welcomed the opportunity to present at this event.


“We have an order book that is waiting to be filled by companies of all sizes to help build the country’s new railway. HS2 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to rebalance Britain and we look forward to working with more companies in the region as work progresses.”


East Midlands business that want to find out more about HS2 supply chain opportunities can visit www.hs2.org.uk/supply-chain.