HS2 Forum Blog

A blog by Lee White

Chair of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce HS2 Forum

HS2, although not stopping in the county, will have an impact on our existing rail services. As a forum we are campaigning for the maintenance of, and improvements to the railway links to Stoke and Stafford so that Staffordshire is not disadvantaged by HS2. We certainly do not want to see any downgrading to services to London, Birmingham, and Manchester in capacity, speed, and frequency. This includes much needed improvements to the Derby to Crewe service which runs via Stoke-on-Trent.

We also want to see efficient delivery of the construction phase which utilises regional suppliers and causes minimum disruption to existing transport networks, businesses, and Staffordshire residents.

In March of this year members of the HS2 Community Engagement Team gave a presentation to the Chambers’ Council about engaging with local businesses to support the development of HS2.

Work is already well underway on phase 1 from London to Lichfield, and Staffordshire based businesses can benefit from a good proportion of around 400,000 supply chain opportunities.

It is great news that over 80 Staffordshire businesses, including several Chamber members, are already involved with HS2, which has a policy of ensuring that more than half of the suppliers are local to the route and over two thirds of all suppliers are SMEs.

Opportunities are available in the following sectors: accommodation; food and catering; creative; transport and logistics; employee services; site services and trade and construction.

There are various ways in which you can find out about opportunities including visiting the national public contracts website www.competefor.com/hs2 You can also register your business on the HS2 map at www.hs2.org.uk/local-business

There will be further seminars and other events run by HS2 in partnership with the Chambers and other organisations which we will publicise through all the Chamber’s channels as they arise.

I hope this gives a flavour of the HS2 Forum and its objectives. If you would like to know more, and if you would consider joining us to support our endeavours, please email Declan Riddell: declan.riddell@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

If you want to talk about any business issues, you can call the Chambers switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email: info@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

To join the Forum discussion click here Hot Topics — Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce

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