HS2 Gains Royal Assent

Europe’s largest mega-project has taken a major step forward. Britain's new railway has successfully completed over three years of parliamentary scrutiny to receive Royal Assent and construction of Phase One began in Spring 2017.  

HS2 Phase One is a £27bn railway project connecting London to Birmingham via new, dedicated high speed lines. The new 220km high speed route incorporates circa 50km of bored tunnels, 20km of viaduct, four new stations, two new depots, 150km of cuttings, embankments, bridges and retaining structures together with all the associated track, signalling, telecommunication and power systems.

G&T was appointed back in 2012 as part of the Development Partner, to provide the cost and risk services to HS2 Phase One.  Our role has subsequently expanded, through secondment arrangements, to include procurement advice, strategic value management, project controls and support to other facets of the project.

Gardiner & Theobald - HS2

© Grimshaw
To deliver HS2 is a massive long-term project, one that offers a huge opportunity for British businesses to bid for and win billions of pounds worth of contracts.

John Mead, G&T Partner

As part of this G&T has provided supply chain management services on HS2 for over three years. They have supported the delivery of a market engagement programme at an earlier stage in the programme lifecycle than any other UK capital programme on an unprecedented scale.

Commenting on HS2’s approach to market engagement John Mead, G&T Partner, said:

“At G&T we’re delighted to have worked with HS2 Ltd in delivering Supply Chain Management over the past three years leading up to Royal Assent.  To deliver HS2 is a massive long-term project, one that offers a huge opportunity for British businesses to bid for and win billions of pounds worth of contracts.  Our experienced team of Supply Chain Managers have successfully worked on previous large UK infrastructure programmes such as the Olympics and Crossrail.  We’ve applied our expertise to ensure HS2 Ltd build on lessons learned from other programmes and deliver a world-class supply chain management service.  We look forward to continuing to work with HS2 Ltd during the contract delivery phase as its extensive supply chain is mobilised!”

Supplier Engagement – Facts and Figures

The supply chain team engaged extensively with businesses of all sizes from a wide range of sectors across the UK, to put them in the best position to compete for the opportunities offered by HS2.

In total, the team has:

  • Directly engaged with over 5,000 businesses
  • Indirectly engaged with over 10,000 suppliers via established business networks and trade associations
  • Communicated with suppliers from 24 different countries

Key engagement activities have included delivering market soundings and market engagement events across multiple platforms.

Market Soundings

The team has successfully engaged industry in advance of all Phase One and Phase Two major procurements to date (e.g. for Main Works Civils, Stations, Railway Systems, Rolling Stock etc.) ensuring strong appetite and competition while removing any surprises.

Overall over 30 topics have been market tested over the last three years. This has involved a combination of market sounding questionnaires, workshops and one to one meetings with potential suppliers. In total over £15bn procurements have been market tested to inform procurement plans.

Market Engagement Events

Last year the HS2 supply chain team toured the length and breadth of the UK to deliver the HS2 Supply Chain Regional Roadshow 2016. In total 1,500 businesses attended (65% from small and medium sized organisations), building on the work of previous events to engage with the supply chain and outline how to access and prepare for HS2 business opportunities.

The feedback received from these events has been consistently positive, with 80% of the attendees at our recent roadshow intending to start preparing to bid for work on HS2.

By the end of 2016 the team had held or participated in around 100 face to face engagement events with potential businesses in our supply chain.  

We’ve applied our expertise to ensure HS2 Ltd build on lessons learned from other programmes and deliver a world-class supply chain management service.

John Mead, G&T Partner

What happens next for the supply chain team?

During the contract delivery phase, as HS2’s tier 1 contractor’s supply chain is procured and mobilised to deliver the works and services for the contract in question, the focus of the supply chain team will shift.  A major part of the team’s role will involve identifying the critical packages of work to be procured by tier 1s and agreeing those elements for ongoing testing and monitoring.  This will enable the team to model capacity risks and identify opportunities at an aggregated programme-wide level.

The data gathered for risk and opportunity monitoring purposes will also enable HS2 to gain visibility of its supply chain’s diversity in terms of where organisations are based, the services they provide, their size (i.e. large, medium or small) and so on.  The team will facilitate ‘Meet the Contractor’ Events to encourage engagement between tier 1 contractors and targeted diverse suppliers at tier 2, 3 and below. They will also monitor the usage of www.CompeteFor.com by the supply chain, in order to open up supply chain opportunities.

Finally, the supply chain team is in the process of implementing a supply chain engagement plan for the National College for High Speed Rail, which will open in September 2017 in Birmingham and Doncaster.  The college will provide the higher technical skills required to build HS2 and upgrade the transport network.  It is being designed and built with the rail industry and its supply chain who are setting the standards and shaping the curriculum.  When the college opens, industry will continue to be intimately involved so that graduates have the knowledge, skills and abilities that are in demand.

Want to find out more about HS2? Read our project case study

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