HS2 highlights the opportunities for more UK content on great British infrastructure projects

18th December 2020

HS2 is the state-of-the-art, high-speed rail line, which is not only vital for the UK’s low carbon transport future, improving connectivity, and levelling up but it’s equally critical for the provision of both immediate and long-term opportunities for the UK construction industry.

British manufacturing is among the best in the world and we are already making waves in world class innovation and global reach. HS2 is an opportunity for us to build on this through the £12 billion worth of supply chain contracts, made up of 400,000 opportunities, which are to be let over the next 18 months.

The benefits of HS2 are clear. As well as significantly improving connectivity between the North and Midlands and creating better transport links between our biggest cities, HS2 will provide us with much-needed rail capacity, helping to relieve overcrowding on commuter trains and motorways connecting around 30 million people, and re-balancing the economy.

We are incredibly proud to have been involved with this prestigious project at the start of its development. The manufacture and delivery of twenty-four huge steel girders, that were to form part of the first bridges to be built on the site of HS2’s new Interchange station in Solihull were one of the high points of 2020 for Cleveland Bridge UK.

This is British engineering innovation at its best – the assembly of high-quality components, built in safe factory environments, and delivered to site when needed, means less impact on the local community, fewer vehicle movements, and greater construction efficiency for the project.

It is vital suppliers get involved and play a part in the successful delivery of this, the UK’s largest infrastructure project. We have the infrastructure, the skills, the facilities, and the capabilities in our highly experienced workforce, we now have the opportunity to shape our futures through creating more jobs and opportunities for people.

However, it is essential to keep the work in the UK, meaning that our economy benefits from money being paid for local services, local contractors, and local manufacturing and in turn local people, who are then more likely to spend most of their income in Britain providing a multiplier effect to the economy.

Businesses and employees in every region of the UK are already helping to build HS2, and in excess of 9,000 jobs are now supported by the programme, with 98% of more than 2,000 contracts going to UK registered businesses so let us keep it that way.

These contracts represent a huge boost for British businesses seeking security and growth amidst the economic uncertainty arising from the Coronavirus pandemic.
HS2 will be continuing to bring more and more companies onto the project, creating thousands of jobs across Britain and helping drive the country’s economic recovery in these uncertain times.

It is encouraging to see HS2 Ltd proactively engaging with the regions’ supply chains, which is an approach that needs to be backed by government to ensure that HS2 and other infrastructure projects target benefits for the British economy through engagement of UK businesses employing UK workforces.

We look forward to continued involvement with this project, a proud British manufacturer and hope we are joined by many more members of this country’s capable and experienced supply chain.

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