The Sleeper's Blog

31.05.19

Midland Metro Alliance on local supply chain opportunity

Ahead of TransCityRail Midlands 2019, Alejendaro Moreno, Director of the Midland Metro Alliance (the first light rail alliance in the UK) shares an insight into the recent £1.35bn programme of tram extensions.

What are the key aspects of your role?

My role is to ensure all nine partners are able to bring their particular expertise to the programme. Our mission is to build the best- integrated transport system for the future. We want to leave a legacy of using local suppliers, and upskilling local people to enable them to work on the projects.

Can you tell us about the Midland Metro Alliance's £1.5bn programme of tram extensions?

The current extensions are in many different stages, from development to delivery. This year the first extension will go into commissioning ready for passenger service.  We are building a short extension out in Wolverhampton and connecting Birmingham City Centre to the west of the city out to vibrant Broad Street. 

Later this year, we'll begin preparatory work on the highly anticipated Wednesbury to Brierley Hill extension, which will connect these urban centres with a direct and reliable tram link to Birmingham and Wolverhampton. We want to ensure local people benefit from this unpresented development now and in the future. One of the ways we do this, is to use local suppliers.

How integral is the Midland Metro Alliance to the Midlands Engine?

Our work, and local first initiative, is already having an impact in the region. Suppliers we are working with have highlighted how they're taking on more staff- which has a great impact on the local economy. Furthermore, the Midland Metro Alliance has been extremely pivotal in launching skills and education programmes. Our tramway construction apprenticeship, which is the first of its kind, will help the region become a hub of knowledge and experience in urban light rail delivery.

And lastly can you tell us how events like TransCityRail are vital to the industry?

It is essential to share best practice. TransCityRail gives us the opportunity to learn from others, and shout about what we're up to. The inclusion of light rail projects is especially exciting and, with the completion of our first extension project planned for later this year, there's no better time for the Midland Metro Alliance to be involved.

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