HS2 bosses target Scottish suppliers for next phase of vast rail project

Scottish firms are being encouraged to bid for millions of pounds worth of upcoming contracts supporting the delivery of HS2, the controversial high-speed rail project.

The scheme’s backers said the number of businesses in Scotland that have so far registered an interest in becoming a potential supplier is “significantly lower” than in other parts of the UK.

As things stand, the multi-billion-pound HS2 route will connect London and destinations in the north of England, though Scotland could play a role in any future extension.

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Potential contracts with HS2 are not limited to track and trains, with businesses providing catering services, design work, logistics and electronic components among those being targeted.

HS2 is one of the largest infrastructure projects seen in the UK for decades. Picture: Siemens/PA Wire

HS2 Ltd has already awarded some £18 billion worth of contracts, with a significant proportion of this value expected to flow out to the wider supply chain. By the end of 2022, it is estimated this figure will reach around £25bn.

More than 2,000 businesses have already won work on the project, with UK-based businesses making up 98 per cent of the contracts.

Robin Lapish, HS2 Ltd’s supply chain manager, said: “Scotland has a huge talent pool and leads the way in sectors including technology and engineering, creative industries, renewables and low carbon.

“There are countless opportunities for local businesses to be winning work into the next decade and beyond. A contract with HS2 could turbocharge growth and help sustain and create new jobs as businesses strive to bounce back from the pandemic.”

David Leven, head of economic opportunities at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland has a real wealth of expertise in engineering, technology and renewables, as well as a rich history in the rail industry.

“HS2 is a huge infrastructure project and, as we move into post-Covid economic recovery, there is a huge opportunity for businesses in Scotland to be involved in a venture which could provide work for decades and will have a legacy for generations.

“Being involved in HS2 has the potential to expose contractors to new global markets emerging through the move to more sustainable railways.”

HS2 Ltd and its construction partners use the competefor.com model to help match demand with supply.

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