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North-East firms urged to chase Crossrail contracts
BUSINESSES in the North-East are being urged to seize the opportunities that Europe’s biggest construction project has to offer.
Crossrail, the new rail line that will link Berkshire with Essex via 21km tunnels under London, has awarded direct, tier 1 contracts with a value of over £5.5bn. Throughout the project and its supply chain it is claimed that enough work will be generated to support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs.
The project has already supported employment and businesses in the North-East as firms have picked up contracts connected to the project. However, the majority of contracts throughout the supply chain are yet to be awarded.
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.
Figures published by Crossrail show that 43 per cent of businesses winning work connected to the project are based outside of London and the southeast and 58 per cent are small and medium sized businesses.
North East businesses that have already benefitted include:
• Mammoet, a specialist heavy lift contractor based in Newcastle with depots in Teesside, supplied heavy telescopic mobile cranes and specialist jacking, skidding and transportation equipment to assemble and transport huge tunnelling machines.
• Cleveland Bridge, based in Darlington, has won a number of contracts, supplying three Crossrail sites with almost 2,500 tonnes of steel. Steel from the company has been used in the construction of new ticket halls at Bond Street and a number of bridges as part of the new station at Canary Wharf. The Crossrail project has been a vital part of Cleveland Bridge’s turnover in the last two to three years, ensuring that the company has been able to maintain its workforce levels.
• Advanced Engineering Solutions Limited, based in Cramlington in Northumberland, inspects underground pipeline sections to see whether they need remedial work where Crossrail’s tunnelling machines are in operation nearby.
“Work on Crossrail is set to peak over the next two years, so it’s vital that businesses in the region seize the opportunities that Europe’s largest construction project has to offer. We want to make sure that firms of all sizes from right across the UK know about the business openings that will arise," James Ramsbotham, North East Chambers of Commerce Chief Executive, said: “It is of vital importance that North-East firms take advantage of the opportunities presented by these large scale infrastructure projects and I am delighted to see that many have profited from the Crossrail project.”