It has been revealed by the HS2, the new high speed railway line that the UK-based firms tier 2 contracts are almost €9 billion.
The numbers show that more than 2000 small and medium enterprises that are based within the 12 UK regions have gone on to benefit from the HS2 mega project, which is expected to be in the works for another 20 years.
The UK government recently went on to announce a 2-year pause on some of the elements of the project because of rising costs amid the economic challenges that the country is grappling with. However, the majority of HS2 elements have been given the green light, and thereby, thousands of firms are being kept afloat due to the largest high-speed rail project across Europe.
As per the latest numbers, the awards to SMEs presently stand at €4 billion, amounting to a 45% share when it comes to the tier 2 contracts. More than €1.1 billion of these contracts have been given to microbusinesses that employ 1 to 10 people. A further €765 million has been allocated to small businesses that house 11 to 49 employees.
The development manager at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Karen Woolley, opined that it is indeed encouraging to see how much HS2 is spending with SMEs, which itself puts forth the much-required levelling of the playing field that the FSB has been asking for. Karen adds that at a time when the trading conditions happen to be the most challenging, smaller firms getting the opportunity to contract with a project as significant as HS2 provides that much-anticipated boost to the economic productivity of the company while at the same time securing jobs and also providing stability.
On March 9 this year, the UK government confirmed that all the phases of HS2 between Manchester and London Euston would proceed, with priority being given to the first functional phase of HS2 that lies between Birmingham Curzon Street and Old Oak Common.
According to the rail minister, Huw Merriman, the advantages of HS2 are going to be felt for generations as it will go on to create more capacity for the UK rail network and at the same time provide a sustainable option for travelling while also making sure in the entire process to boost the skilled construction workforce.