According to new figures released today from HS2 Ltd, 422 West Midlands companies have received a share of over £1.7bn in contract awards over the past 6 years, demonstrating the value of HS2 for the overall survival and growth of construction business throughout the region.
The ongoing ripple effects of the continued investment into the high-speed rail service has been transformative for the small and medium sized enterprises that are based locally, as they have shared up to 78% contract awards.
Throughout 2022 the value of HS2 awarded contracts awarded are estimated to be £816m, almost twice the value of economic uplift delivered in the West Midlands by the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, estimated at £453.7m.
Mark Thurston CEO at HS2 Ltd said:
“As soon as work started on Britain’s flagship infrastructure project, businesses in the West Midlands realised the enormity of HS2’s potential.
“Contracts worth millions helped to keep factories in production and thousands of jobs safe as the country fought the pandemic, and right now we’re supporting those feeling the cost-of-living pinch.
“As today’s report shows, HS2’s transformational journey is already making an impact and the West Midlands is onboard and reaping the benefits.”
Incorporating local businesses into the HS2 supply chain framework helps to provide key upskilling opportunities in a variety of different fields. Over 8,800 people are supporting HS2’s construction in the area, supplying jobs for 729 local residents who were previously out of work. A further 399 people have also completed or are currently studying for an apprenticeship.
With the help of HS2’s construction partner, Balfour Beatty VINCI, over 81,000 hours of training have been provided to create a 7,000-strong highly skilled workforce, capable of fulfilling a wide range of roles, whether they be on -site or office-based.
The HS2 project has over 350 sites between London and the West Midlands, with construction well underway to prepare for two brand new stations - Birmingham Curzon Street and Interchange – accompanied by the Washwood Heath Depot - the maintenance facility and control centre for the whole HS2 network.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:
“From the very outset of what is a landmark infrastructure project for the UK, I’ve believed in the transformative impact HS2 can bring about for our region.
“Whether it’s thousands of jobs for local people, improved prospects for our local businesses right the way through the supply chain or indeed enhanced connectivity for decades to come, HS2 is a game changer.
“We must steer a course through any temporary turbulence - inevitable from time to time given cost and political pressures - which is why I’m glad to see the Government redouble its commitment to a scheme which will deliver for the people of the West Midlands and indeed for the UK as a whole.”
Mark Pickard, Managing Director of Altrad RMD Kwikform, an Aldridge-based firm that has secured work with HS2, said:
“Our team is on site at Curzon Street, helping to build the network of viaducts that will bring high speed trains into Birmingham City centre. Over the years we’ve worked on major projects all over the world, but to be involved in a project of this scale, so local to us, is really special.
“Like most businesses, we’ve been impacted by the pandemic, and there’s still a great deal of uncertainty in the construction industry generally. HS2 has allowed us to bounce back to the levels of revenue, stability and success we experienced before COVID-19 hit. We’re now able to invest back into the business, purchase new machinery, recruit more people from the local community and train and develop our staff. The size and scale of HS2 gives us reason to be really optimistic, we can plan ahead now for 5-10 years knowing the work is there for us.”
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