UK businesses in Crewe to play their part in HS2 construction

A business event hosted in partnership with the local member of parliament has attracted interest from more than forty companies around Crewe. The event was set up for interested parties, seeking engagement with the HS2 construction programme. The event was held at the football stadium in the town, Crewe Alexandra’s Mornflake Stadium.

The event gave businesses of all sizes the opportunity to understand more about how the HS2 project to build a high speed railway between London and Birmingham could collaborate with local businesses for the current and future pipeline of contract opportunities.

Delivering work on the first phase

The company set up to deliver the multi-billion pound project, HS2 Limited, is trying to involve as many local businesses as possible in the construction of the line. Despite recent scaling back of the project, including shelving a direct link to the West Coast Main Line at a junction just north of Crewe, there are still opportunities for businesses to become involved, according to the HS2 company and the UK government.

Kieran Mullan MP (left) with HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson at Crewe Station

“It was great to see the enthusiasm displayed at the event and I am keen to see businesses in Crewe benefit from HS2”, said the local member of parliament Crewe and Nantwich MP, Dr Kieran Mullan.“Hearing the success stories from companies delivering work on the first phase of the project is extremely encouraging. I’m grateful to HS2 for working with me to host this event so that our local businesses are in the best possible position to benefit.”

Support jobs and opening opportunities

With plans already in place to extend the HS2 network to Crewe, and the bill to extend the railway between Crewe and Manchester currently going through the UK Parliament, Crewe will, according to HS2, be at the heart of Britain’s new high speed network. “The town is already among three in the Midlands and the North set to benefit from contract awards supporting the manufacture and maintenance of HS2’s fleet of 54 high speed trains, which will be the fastest in Europe and among the world’s most energy efficient”, said the company.

Crewe’s Alstom factory secured the contact to make the trains’ bogies, bringing the manufacture of these components back to the UK for the first time in over 15 years. HS2 say that alone will support jobs and opening opportunities for more local businesses across the supply chain.

Roundtable session

“Getting job-ready for the thousands of upcoming HS2 contract opportunities is vital, and this event was designed to help businesses in Crewe understand exactly how to do that”, said Matt Hadlington, Senior Business Engagement Manager at HS2. “Over 2,500 UK business are already engaged in our supply chain, but we want to see more companies in Crewe stepping forward to take advantage of the opportunities on their doorstep.”

HS2 is now working with business interests in the region to host a roundtable session with HS2’s civil engineering construction partners. This will allow greater insight into “tier two” and “tier three” contract opportunities that HS2 will be creating in the months and years ahead.

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Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is UK correspondent for RailTech.com and Railfreight.com

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