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HS2 and your business

HS2 is a great opportunity for local businesses of all types and sizes.

Get on board with HS2

The services, supplies and amenities provided by local businesses will be needed over a number of years to help us to deliver HS2 successfully. We will need more than you might think.

Icons showing different types of business that might be involved with HS2
HS2 will need a lot of different businesses to help deliver the railway.
Workers on site wearing PPE.
How we build the railway

We are HS2 Ltd, and we’re the company responsible for delivering Britain’s new railway. To help us do this we have broken up the work we need to do into multiple contracts, across several large construction companies.

We will always be the company responsible for making sure things are done correctly, but our contractors will deliver most of the work on the ground.

This means that your opportunity to get your local business onboard will most likely come through one of our construction partners.

A list of who they are and where they work:

Our contractors are already using businesses of all types to deliver the railway, and these opportunities will keep coming throughout the life of the Project.

2,000 business have provided work for HS2

Over 1,000 are local to the new railway

70% are Small or Medium Enterprises

There are three main ways in which local businesses can get involved in these opportunities:

Formal long-term contracts

These are generally for higher value, longer term services and supplies.

It involves a more formal process to provide our contractors with the certainty they need around some key services and will also allow them to put specific requirements into those contracts to make sure things work in the right way.

These opportunities will be advertised through our procurement portal, Competefor.

Things that require contracts could include onsite catering services, waste management and site security.

A local business that has already delivered work on the Project through a long-term contract is Total Reclaims Demolition.

OnBoard local case study

Total Reclaims Demolition helped prepare the way for the new Washwood Heath maintenance depot at the former Network Rail yard in Birmingham for our enabling works contractors LM JV. The work they did for HS2 meant they were able to hire more people, and helped them improve their fleet management, this was something they needed to do to meet the requirements HS2 places on its contractors as part of the tender process.

Purchase orders or hire

These tend to be lower value or non-programme critical supplies or services that don’t need to go through the formal tender process.

The requirements could be regular, ad hoc or one off and our contractors will choose which business they use to do this in much the same way as you would, so it is important that you do what you can to make sure we know what you can do.

Examples of services include event catering, accommodation, local transport, photographers, electricians and laundry services

Jericho Wood Recycling are an example of a local business that got onboard through this route.

OnBoard local case study

Jericho Wood Recycling collect waste wood from one of our subcontractors. The wood they collect, which would otherwise be thrown away, is reused and recycled, much of it within the local community. They have also collected and recycled waste hoardings from our fencing contractor.


Worker choice

The people working on HS2 will need to use local services. Whether it’s eating out, travel or accommodation, getting a haircut, sorting out a sore tooth, or entertainment – they’ll need the help of local businesses.

Trinity Assets are a business near to one of our construction compounds, who are already benefitting from an increase in business.

OnBoard local case study

Trinity Asset Management are an accommodation business, housing around 30 to 40 workers associated to the project.

A a result, they have grown their business and also have a local supply chain which provide cleaning and shopping services for our workers, helping to create further opportunities for businesses in the area.

What to do next

Here are some top tips to help get your business ‘HS2 ready’ and make the most of any potential opportunities.

Put yourself on the map

Let us know more about what you can offer us by registering with us.

Register here

When you register we will:

  • Put you on our onboard local map which is shared with contractors and subcontractors working on the project
  • Include your business in listings of local services noticeboards on our sites
  • Reference you in any induction or welcome materials that our workers get given
  • Keep you up to date on any HS2 local business events in your area
  • Share other useful information as it becomes available

Sign up to CompeteFor

If you are interested in more formal contracts, you can register with CompeteFor who our contractors use to publish any supply chain opportunities as they arise. CompeteFor acts as a brokerage service, matching buyers and potential suppliers.

Signing up to CompeteFor and uploading your profile is free and will allow you to see what subcontracts our contractors are looking for.

Sign up to CompeteFor

Whilst the contracts advertised may not be something for your business directly, it will enable you to see what further subcontractors will be coming to work in your area and consider what additional services they may need.

Keep up to date

We have a series of local websites to keep you updated about the upcoming work in your area. You can sign up to receive email updates about our activity.

Sign up for email alerts

This will help you to know when workers may be in your area and what supplies, services and amenities they may need.

Understand us and our contractors

It’s not just what we are building that it is important, it is also about how we do things. Especially if you are interested in a formal contract.

Make sure you understand and demonstrate our principles, values and strategic goals. During procurement we will evaluate any potential suppliers and service providers against these.

If you are more interested in providing our workers with a service, it doesn’t hurt to learn a little bit more about what their employers think is important!

Learn more about our goals and values

Talk to us at HS2 business events and attend our online webinars

HS2 and our partners hold business events in areas along the line of the new railway.

There will be opportunities to talk directly with the contractors and the business engagement team and learn more about HS2s progress, upcoming opportunities, and what you need to do to get involved.

To make sure you are aware of any events happening in your area register with us or speak to your local business organisation such as the Chamber of Commerce or Local Enterprise Partnership.

Use free online resources

HS2 is part of a group of construction companies that work with a third party to provide a free virtual learning environment that helps suppliers and sub-contractors develop their sustainability knowledge and competence.

You can complete training, e-learning modules and certifications to help your business learn more about some of the things that are important to HS2.

Visit the Supply Chain Sustainability school to find out more.

Speak to your local business organisation

We work closely with business organisations (e.g. Local Enterprise Partnerships and their associated growth hubs and British Chambers of Commerce) to help publicise events, raise awareness of opportunities and tell you about any support there is available to help you.

Consider getting in contact with your local business group, as depending on their specific offer they can provide:

  • Diagnostic tools and support to help you understand what you need to do to get your business HS2 ready;
  • general business development support;
  • help in accessing new HS2 opportunities;
  • funding support and grants; and
  • workshops, training and guidance on requirements and standards, such as health and safety policies.

We have listed some of the business organisations based along the line of the new railway in an online document.