Working with HS2 – Birmingham Event

Business Growth Programme – HS2 Supply Chain Development Programme

Attendees learned that the HS2 project represents the single biggest infrastructure programme in the UK. Although publicised, in the media, as all about faster trains and shorter journey times, HS2 is more about increasing capacity to transport more people by freeing up seats on existing lines.

Whilst HS2 has and will only be letting large contracts to consortia of major contractor organisations, their procurement procedures are designed to maximise local content by requiring first tier consortia to buy from local supply chains. MEBC members were advised to register with the procurement portal used by HS2. This will alert you to opportunities to bid for tier-2 to tier-5 supply packages for anything from widgets to build the trains, stations and lines to sandwiches to feed the builders or bouquets of flowers for construction or rail staff on Valentines Day. Every business can supply something.

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) also recommended registering with but pointed out that there is a reciprocal registration opportunity with HMVCity – also a procurement portal. The LEPs, across the country, have support mechanisms for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them get ready for supplying into the HS2 project, including training for and help with procurement.

Birmingham City Council presented their Business Growth Programme (BGP) grants; especially the HS2 element that can give SMEs grants of up to £167,000, which could be as much as 60% of the cost of a project to make your company ready to supply HS2. Other grants in the BGP programme were also presented, including: the Green Bridge fund for SMEs wanting to develop green products or services or improve their own environmental performance by, for example, buying new, more energy efficient machinery; the Business Innovation Grant that could pay up to £20,000 towards the costs of product or service innovation and the Business Development Programme that can pay up to £20,000 towards the relocation or fit out of business premises.

The City Council also presented information about the Property Investment Programme grants that can help to fund new buildings, extensions or major building refurbishment works to improve your business.

The University of Wolverhampton presented a paid-for service that supports business in developing their procurement skills.

Armed with this information, Midlands SMEs are in pole position to win a share of the £55Bn HS2 development.

Attendees can download copies of the presentations here


It is estimated that 60% of HS2 procurement opportunities will be available to Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). The HS2 team wants local business to supply both the development and operational phases of the programme.

HS2 will require services for

  • capital construction – design, construction (including civils, engineering products, electronics, materials and power supply) and a range of materials
  • new rolling stock and track
  • the operation and maintenance of the new railway and its trains, including services such as station maintenance, lighting, catering, health and safety, waste management, fire prevention, IT & comms, security and business services – all the things that keep people working during construction and operation.


Also hear about available grants and business support available for business growth. Grants can help to pay for machinery, marketing support, accreditation, business systems improvements – all the things that could help you win part of the £56 bn HS2 investment.

Speakers include

Kate Allen, HS2 Supply Chain Manager

Rob Slater, HS2 Supply Chain Analyst

Suresh Patel, Project Manager, HS2 Supply Chain Programme

Matt Fletcher, Tamworth Borough Council

Matthew Jenkins, Business Growth Enabler, RBS

Case studies from businesses already involved

Who Should Attend: business including architects, builders, building services companies, manufacturers, engineering and energy companies, FM suppliers, caterers, accountants, security and service business, business intermediaries and support agencies

Date: 26 October 2017

Venue: RBS, West Midlands Corporate Banking Centre

5th Floor, 2 St Phillips Place


West Midlands

B3 2RB