HS2 Event Highlights Huge Opportunities For Local Businesses

Huge Infrastructure Project Wants To Engage With More SMEs

Businesses of all sizes from across South Yorkshire were urged to get involved in the supply chains for HS2 Ltd and Network Rail at an event organised by the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Irwin Mitchell.

The event on 3 October was attended by over 60 representatives from the South Yorkshire business community and was aimed at ensuring local organisations are aware and understand how to take advantage of the opportunities that exist with both HS2 and Network Rail.

Robin Lapish, Supply Chain Manager at HS2 Ltd, and Sarah Reid from Network Rail were the guest speakers with Peter Kennan, the Chair of their Transport Forum, chairing the debate.

Andrew Tucker, CEO at Irwin Mitchell, introduced the event and highlighted the importance of the rail infrastructure for supporting regional economic growth. He said:

“Alongside initiatives such as the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine, HS2 is something Irwin Mitchell is very supportive of.

“Although there is currently a review into HS2, a high speed North South rail link clearly has the potential to make a huge difference to Sheffield and the wider region – particularly when it is combined with the much needed improvements to East to West train services.”

Robin Lapish, Supply Chain Manager at HS2 Ltd, said:

“HS2 has the potential to join up Britain so that the whole country can thrive.  The size of the project means  there are some significant opportunities for local businesses, large or small, across a whole range of sectors.

“Whether the contracts are for large scale engineering projects, or consultancy work, logistics, waste disposal and cleaning services, I would urge businesses to engage with the process and write HS2 into their business plans.

“I would also recommend organisations keep a close eye on our website for details about our contracts and when tendering, show clearly how they can contribute to our values and strategic goals.”

Robin added: “There are a lot of smaller companies in the region that have already won work and size should not be an obstacle when tendering for HS2 contracts. There are examples of SMEs partnering with others in order to win work and we certainly welcome more of this in the future.”

Peter Kennan, the Chair of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce’s Transport Forum, said:

“This was a great event which I hope all attendees found useful. All speakers delivered very valuable presentations and the follow up debate highlighted the level of interest for engaging with the HS2 and Network Rail supply chains that exists within the local business community.”