The government has awarded £6.6 billion worth of building contracts for Phase I of HS2.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced the various joint ventures that have been awarded the contracts, which will result in a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham.
The level of investment will be hugely beneficial to the economy, according to the government, with the project expected to support 16,000 jobs in the next six years.
HS2, which will carry more than 300,000 people each day, will also bring about the creation of 2,000 apprenticeships and for British businesses, the project is significant because 7,000 supply chain opportunities will be created – 60% of which will go to SMEs.
But larger companies will also see the benefits of this particular investment which covers civil engineering works such as construction of bridges, tunnels, embankments and viaducts.
The short list for this phase – the biggest HS2 contracts to date – were set out in March 2016 and Stage 1 of the contracts has been announced to a number of joint ventures that will deliver design and construction preparation.
Those who have won contracts include Skanska, Balfour Beatty, Kier and Carillion – a business that is enduring a difficult time, documented in last week’s financial figures released by the company.
Stage 2 will involve the full construction phase and will start in 2019.
Chris Grayling said HS2 is vital for the economy.
He said: “This is a hugely important step in the construction of Britain’s new railway and underlines this government’s determination to deliver an economy that works for all.
“HS2 will deliver vital links between some of our country’s biggest cities, helping to drive economic growth and productivity in the north and midlands.
“As well as providing desperately needed new seats and better connecting our major cities, HS2 will help rebalance our economy.
“We will now get on with building the railway while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect.”
Mr Grayling will also confirm the routes of HS2’s Manchester and Leeds branches later today.