Event to show how Scottish businesses can bid for £10bn HS2 contracts

HS2 is the biggest infrastructure project to be built in Britain for decades and is a vital part of the UK government’s long term economic plan.

It presents an excellent opportunity for Scottish businesses large and small to compete for over £10bn worth of contracts on offer. A conference being held in Edinburgh on 5 November will tell them how.

Scotland’s engineering base is well placed to benefit from the construction phase of the project when it begins in 2017. Over 160 firms working in a range of sectors from across the country have now signed up to attend the event, in order to find out more about getting HS2 ready, including companies from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness. The speakers on the day will set out the size, scale and type of work that is on offer throughout the supply chain.

The event will provide specific, technical information on how companies can compete for the contracts, not just in design and construction, but on a wide array of supporting activities such as signalling and telecommunications.

The conference will be held on:

Thursday 5 November 2015
09.45 – 14.00
Edinburgh International Conference Centre, the Exchange,
150 Morrison Street, Edinburgh,
EH3 8EE
Speakers include:

HS2 Ltd chief executive, Simon Kirby, said: "Britain’s high speed rail network is a major, long-term project offering a huge opportunity for Scottish companies to develop the necessary staff and skills base that will position them to bid for the billions of pounds worth of contracts available throughout the supply chain during construction.

"To deliver a project of HS2’s scale and complexity requires the right companies with the right skills. I’m extremely pleased that so many firms across Scotland have signed up to find out more about how they can benefit from this huge UK infrastructure investment."

UK Transport Minister for HS2 Robert Goodwill, said: "The UK government’s ground-breaking HS2 programme provides a fantastic opportunity for businesses across the UK, including those here in Scotland. It will create some of the largest value contracts in UK construction history, creating job opportunities throughout the supply chain.

"With billions of pounds worth of contracts on the table, we hope Scottish businesses will take full advantage of this event, which will set out how firms can compete for work on this vital infrastructure project."

Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities, said: "I have always maintained that we must extend the high speed rail network further and faster to Scotland in order to deliver significant economic benefits by boosting growth and providing more and better opportunities.

"Not only are the effective transport connections that a high speed rail network entails vital in ensuring that our businesses are able to compete and grow, but Scotland’s world class supply chain businesses can also play a key role in delivering this project, building skills, capability and jobs for the next generation.

"The Scottish Government is committed to see a high speed rail network built to serve Scotland and, as evidenced by recent large infrastructure projects such as the re-opening of the Borders Railway – the longest stretch of new railway line build in the UK in over 100 years - I am confident that Scotland has the skills and expertise to deliver a project of this scale."

Bryan Buchan, CEO of Scottish Engineering, the support group for the engineering industry in Scotland who is attending the conference, said: "Scotland’s strong engineering base, particularly the specialist metal machining sector, puts a large number of Scottish companies in a position to contribute to the supply chain for HS2. Two major players in Scotland, Progress Rail and Network Engineering (part of Babcock International), for example already have specific expertise in railway construction and servicing. The precision machine houses that support the oil and gas industry can also bring the expertise needed to deliver this major engineering project."

Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, added: "This is a large scale project with the potential for large scale opportunities for Scotland’s strong engineering base. I would encourage companies’ right across our country to get involved in this event and learn more about the opportunities they could benefit from in the years ahead."

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