Midlands Engine


WMCA on HS2 and supply chain opportunities

In the latest Q&A series ahead of TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with Laura Shoaf, Managing Director for TfWM (the transport arm of the WMCA), for her insight on delivering the combined authority’s transport strategy.  We find out what HS2 means for the region and future opportunities for the supply chain.

Can you explain the overall goal for transport across the Midlands?

The goal is to deliver local leadership for local rail services and to work collaboratively with the rail industry to deliver a transformation in rail services across the region. Our priority is improving connectivity for the benefit of people’s lives, the economy and the region.

What is the long-term plan?  

We need to call on a reputable, reliable and experienced supply chain to deliver on the key projects. WMRE and TfWM is undertaking a supplier sourcing exercise for contractors to design and build our new stations. TfWM will procure design and build contractors for seven redeveloped or new stations –Moseley, Kings Heath, Hazelwell, Willenhall, Darlaston, University and Perry Barr.

Many of the provisions we procure for our new stations are complex capital expenditure matters that require specialist knowledge and skill set to deliver, however, by way of supporting the local economy, we ensure that all our procurement opportunities are made accessible for SMEs and/ or local suppliers to participate.

What does HS2 means for the region?

HS2 is very exciting, bringing extra capacity and connectivity to the region. WMRE’s and TfWM’s priority focus is firmly seizing the opportunity to maximise connectivity to our local and regional rail network. The HS2 Connectivity Fund is providing funding for a number of our new stations, which are fundamental in providing access to the railway for local communities and stimulating local economic activity.

And lastly, what is the future for the Midlands…

Where do we start?! WMRE and TfWM are fully geared up to deliver an unprecedented level of investment in new rail services and stations. By 2022, we will have reopened three stations on the Camp Hill Line, two stations on the Walsall to Wolverhampton line and rebuilt flagship stations for Perry Barr and University. We are also working with Midlands Connect to see if there are any early wins from the Rail Midlands Hub work.

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