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Crossrail supply chain event brings together suppliers with principal contractors

By Nick Mann

Around 150 business representatives from the East London Business Place’s (ELBP) Fit for Legacy project, Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) and the Construction Products Association (CPA) gathered today in the East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf to hear how they could win work on the £14.8bn Crossrail project.

Delegates at Crossrail’s second annual ‘Meet the Contractor’ event heard from a number of speakers, including Crossrail Chief Executive, Andrew Wolstenholme, about the project, the types of contracts that will arise over the years ahead and what they need to do to maximise their chances of winning work on Crossrail.

Throughout the day over 200 targeted ‘one to one’ appointments between Crossrail’s principal contractors and suppliers of all sizes, took place. The appointments were pre-scheduled to match contractors with relevant suppliers offering the products and services that will be in demand over the coming year. During the appointments, suppliers had the opportunity to explain to the contractors what they do and to explore the possibility of working together on the Crossrail project.

In addition, a CompeteFor clinic was available, which allowed suppliers to sign up or update their profile or to attend a ten minute CompeteFor overview presentation.

The event is part of broader efforts being made by Crossrail to ensure that businesses from right around the UK make the most of the opportunities that the project presents. Crossrail intends to hold a series of regional events to raise awareness off the project among businesses outside of London and the South East, starting with a visit to Northern Ireland at the end of May.

Crossrail has awarded direct, tier 1 contracts with a value of £6.5bn. However, tens of thousands of business opportunities will arise over the years ahead as the project’s main contractors still need to buy a wide range of goods, works and services from companies of all sizes. 

More than three in five businesses currently winning work throughout Crossrail’s supply chain are based outside London and over half are small and medium sized businesses. Throughout the project and its supply chain it is estimated that enough work will be generated to support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs right around the UK.

Martin Rowark, Director of Procurement at Crossrail, said: “These events are a bit like match making for businesses. On the one hand you have our principal contractors who will be letting billions of pounds worth of contracts, on the other you have firms looking to get work on the project. Our hope is that suppliers at the event will go on to win work on Crossrail and will cement long lasting relationships with some of the big construction companies on the project.

“Crossrail would like to thank Canary Wharf Group plc for donating the venue and the East London Business Place, through its Fit for Legacy programme, for its help and support in sourcing and matching SME suppliers and organising and putting on the event.”

Gay Harrington, Fit for Legacy Director at the East London Business Place, said: “East London Business Place, through its Fit for Legacy programme, was delighted to work with Crossrail to identify SME sub-contractors and suppliers to be introduced to main contractors at the event.  Events like this create real opportunities to maximise the undoubted economic benefit from huge projects like Crossrail.  The tangible commercial benefits for companies winning contracts provide a more robust financial platform upon which to build sustainable SME growth and associated local employment opportunities.”


About Crossrail:

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn.

The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118 km (73 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.

About East London Business Place (ELBP) and Fit for Legacy (FfL):

ELBP, modelled on Canary Wharf Group’s Local Business Liaison initiative, delivers the FFL programme, which aims to support a diverse range of SMEs to take advantage of new market opportunities presented by the programme of regeneration in London, through providing the practical advice and support needed to enable businesses to build the capacity to win contracts within the larger supply chains of those carrying out the regeneration programmes.  FfL, a partnership of private and public sector organisations including Newham College of Further Education, is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under ERDF Priority 2, Theme 2, which is ‘widening access to procurement and supply chain opportunities’.