New report on HS2 benefits for SMEs launches as Bill passes House of Commons

The benefits of HS2 for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been set out in a new report from High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL.)

The report, ‘High Speed Rail – Grasping the Opportunity’ was launched at an event at Parliament on 22 March, attended by industry leaders. It comes as the HS2 Bill passed its final reading in the House of Commons.

The report is based on four consultations with SMEs, hosted by Alstom in Manchester, Bombardier in Derby, Hitachi in Ashford and Siemens in Northampton.

It says that the main benefits of HS2 for SMEs include making it easier to recruit employees and opportunities for procurement contracts with Tier 1 suppliers, such as HSRIL members.

In the report’s introduction, HSRIL directors Jim Steer, Mike Napier, Philip Hoare, Henrik Anderberg and Ailie Macadam, say: “High Speed 2 is one of the biggest opportunities for Britain in decades. As well as providing the country with a new world class north-south transport link, the project provides opportunities for thousands of businesses, big and small, all over the UK.”

HSRIL have pledged to organise a national conference in Birmingham this summer to discuss the skills challenge, help ensure the potential future pipeline of infrastructure projects is understood, set an example in skills contracts, review procurement and prequalification processes to achieve a higher degree of consistency and commonality, remove barriers to SME involvement and hold more SME engagement events.

Nigel Eagers wrote on behalf of HSRIL for the most recent edition of RTM about skills strategies for rail.

(Image c. HSRIL. L-R transport minister Robert Goodwill MP, shadow transport secretary Lilian Greenwood MP, Labour peer Lord Snape and HSRIL's Nadia Savage.)


Lionel Judd   01/04/2016 at 11:23

Naturally the companies potentially involved think HS2 is a great idea but at what cost to the taxpayer and others affected. Less than 15% of the population use railways and even less will use HS2. The cost will exceed £100 billion by the time HS2 is finished and the technologies of communication will have left twentieth century technology behind.

David   02/04/2016 at 12:25

Lionel. So are you suggesting that we shut down the railways, because less than 100% of the population travels on them? Video conference calls have existed for decades, I don't see demand for rail transport slowing down. Also, the costings for HS2 are inclusive of a significant margin for overrun, the final budget is not going to exceed this.

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