Businesses across the UK are being invited to the first supply chain conference held by HS2 at the ICC in Birmingham.

The event is set to take place on November 5th and will discuss the opportunities available during the construction phase of the proposed HS2 network. Officials stated that there are £10 billion of contracts to help deliver this new railway and the event will explain how companies can get involved in this major project.

HS2 Ltd will be hosting the conference which is open to large and small businesses. Birmingham is set to be the first of a series of events which will provide important information on how companies can compete for and win the infrastructure contracts used in HS2 in the near future. Officials chose Birmingham for the inaugural conference due to the central role it plays in the railway network.

Beth West, HS2 Ltd commercial director, said: "To deliver this nationally important project on time and below budget, we need to work closely with suppliers early on, to ensure that sufficient planning is in place before the start of the formal procurement process.

"This will also benefit business, by giving them a head start to make the investments they require in recruitment, training and education to support the innovative ways of working we need to deliver HS2."

The project will see the creation of new high speed rail links between London and the north of England. It is aimed at slashing journey times and increasing passenger capacity as well as alleviating pressure off the current network. The initial route will see Birmingham and London connected before adding the likes of Leeds, via Sheffield, and Manchester at a later date.

Once completed a normal journey between London and Birmingham will drop from the current 84 minutes to just 49 minutes. A typical commute between Manchester Piccadilly and the capital will also be slashed from just over two hours to 68 minutes.

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