On 15 April 2020 the Government provided the construction sector with certainty by confirming ‘Notice to Proceed’ for the first phase of High Speed 2. This marks formal approval for main construction works to begin on the route between London and Birmingham.
An estimated 400,000 supply chain contract opportunities for UK businesses will be created during phase one of HS2, supporting thousands of jobs on site and many more around the country. It is estimated that around 95% of those contract opportunities will be won by UK based businesses and around two thirds of those will be small and medium sized businesses.
To support UK suppliers since 2013, HS2 Ltd has undertaken an unprecedented level of supplier engagement. This has been achieved through publishing a contract opportunities table on its website, targeted ‘meet the contractor’ events as well as regular engagement with UK businesses, industry and supply chain groups including Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Chambers of Commerce and Trade Associations. To date, this approach has ensured that over 98% of contracts on the HS2 programme have been awarded to UK based organisations, over 70% of which are Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). HS2 Ltd has mandated the use of the subcontracts opportunity portal CompeteFor in its Tier1 contracts to ensure visibility of subcontract opportunities arising from the HS2 programme.