Scottish businesses encouraged to take a greater share of HS2 contracts 

22/11/2023
HS2 wants to see more Scottish businesses winning work on the project

THOUSANDS of Scottish businesses are failing to capitalise on the potential for growth as they haven’t registered to bid for work on HS2.

Since 2016, £11.5bn worth of contracts have been awarded by HS2’s phase one construction partners, but the amount awarded to Scottish firms lags behind every other UK region.

To date, just 56 companies have secured a share of tier two contracts worth £137m, while businesses in the West Midlands, South East and East of England have each netted over £1bn worth of work.

New contracts, worth millions, will be released next year, creating new opportunities for companies in the tech, digital, rail and low carbon sectors, as HS2’s programme of railway systems works spring into life. From 2024 onwards, this will spearhead new contract opportunities to supply track, power, overhead catenary, telecoms, signalling, mechanical and electrical fit-out.

HS2 is urging more Scottish firms to take action now, and register their details on its supplier platform, CompeteFor, so they can capitalise when contracts open to tender.

Robin Lapish, Supply Chain Lead at HS2, said:

“2024 will be a significant year in HS2’s construction, as we begin the transition from civils to rail, whilst simultaneously starting to fit out the new superhub station in West London and build two new stations in Birmingham.

 “There’s a five-year pipeline of work ahead, which offers enormous potential for those looking to expand their order books. HS2 publishes details of all its current and future contract opportunities, so there’s plenty of time for businesses to start getting HS2-ready.”

71% of the Scottish firms supplying goods and materials to HS2 are SMEs – companies with 250 or fewer employees. Perthshire-based Zappshelter, which provides bespoke storage solutions and undercover work spaces, seized the chance to install its products at HS2 construction sites across the West Midlands.  

Craig Michel, Managing Director, ZappShelter, said:

HS2 is arguably the best example in living memory of a national infrastructure project that has delivered meaningful engagement with countless SMEs across the country, providing them with real, tangible benefits. 

“As a family business, we’re exceptionally proud of our contribution to this project over the past few years. We’ve been involved in the initial stages of each site, assisting contractors with setting up site compounds, storage areas, workshops and training facilities across the HS2 network. 

“Being awarded projects on HS2 has enabled us to make significant improvements in our business, including upskilling our existing workforce via training programmes, employing more people from our local community, investing in new equipment and systems, and agreeing supply contracts with numerous other UK SMEs. For many SMEs HS2 will forever be remembered as the project that put them firmly on the map and defined their future.”

For more information about joining HS2’s supply chain visit hs2.org.uk/supply-chain

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