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Further proof of HS2’s boost to businesses

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HS2 has provided yet more proof that it has a powerful effect on boosting the fortunes of SME businesses based close to its sites as well as further afield.

We have seen HS2 create opportunities for companies like Bolton-based Booth Industries, which was able to build a new manufacturing facility thanks to work it was doing for the tunnels in the new network.

Another example is Aston-based Auctus Management Group (AMG), which signed a contract with HS2 construction partner Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV) to train new recruits.

And when two industry titans formed Hitachi/Alstom Joint Venture (JV) and won the £2 billion contract to build Britain’s next generation of high speed trains, they pledged to do so at their factories in Derby and County Durham in a major deal set to support 2,500 jobs across the UK.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and we can add one more name to the roster of businesses benefitting from the project.

Family business Draper Civil Engineering has reported its highest ever growth, thanks to a series of back-to-back contract wins from HS2’s construction partners.

The company, run by brothers Liam and Dale, started supporting the construction of HS2 four years ago. They were awarded a contract to help the archaeologists who carried out Birmingham’s most complex excavation programme, which led to the discovery of the world’s oldest roundhouse, more than 6,500 skeletons and important historical artefacts that shed new light on the city’s history.

Draper’s workmanship quickly became known for its quality, and this led to repeat contract awards, allowing the firm to expand its workforce and create more jobs for local people. Consequently, the brothers now employ around 100 people from the local area and continue to play a crucial role in the civils works at Curzon Street where HS2’s new flagship terminus station will be built.

Chief commercial officer at HS2, Ruth Todd, said: “Small businesses have a vital role to play in HS2’s construction and as the team at Draper’s have shown, when you join our supply chain the opportunity to win more work and expand your business is real.

“Over 2,500 UK business are now working with us, and we’re proud that SME’s, like Draper’s, account for of over two thirds of that figure.”

The Draper brothers have now secured their first contract on HS2’s second phase, linking the West Midlands and Crewe, where they will be carrying out further archaeological exploratory works. The company is fast becoming known for its expertise in the area and has started to win new work, on other projects, thanks to the networks they are building though HS2’s supply chain. 

Director at Draper Civil Engineering, Liam Draper, said: “The pipeline of work that HS2 and its construction partners are creating has really accelerated our business over the last two years, and to achieve that during the pandemic really is extraordinary.

“HS2 is one of the biggest projects of our generation. We thought playing a part in it once was a huge achievement, but the fact we’re still here four years later is brilliant for us and our expanding workforce.”

An interview with the Draper brothers is also available on HS2’s YouTube Channel:

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