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Welsh SMEs to Benefit from Transport Infrastructure Investment

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This article was submitted by Transport for Wales

Businesses of all sizes from all over Wales have been gathering at events in North and South Wales to hear how they can directly benefit from major investments in transport infrastructure in Wales including the South Wales and North East Wales Metro.

The first event, held at the University of South Wales in Pontypridd, saw participants explore how we can work better together to maximise the benefit of every penny that’s invested in public transport infrastructure.

Transport for Wales is developing a framework of suppliers to work with us not only to improve transport connectivity but also to provide wider benefits for Welsh communities.  Our desire is to develop a long-term plan that’s focused on sustainable transport infrastructure enhancements right across the length and breadth of Wales, beginning with the South Wales Metro.

With a longer-term pipeline, suppliers will be able to plan more effectively.  This gives them the best opportunity to exceed the sustainability targets set by us, including carbon reduction, training and skills development, shared apprenticeship schemes, SME development and other community benefits.

These events are designed to provide information to potential suppliers, to seek their feedback on our plans and to provide an opportunity for businesses of all sizes to work together and provide innovative solutions for rail in Wales.

Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates, said:

“As we begin this procurement exercise for our Infrastructure Delivery Partners, collaboration again underpins what we’re doing to ensure that the benefits of procurement are maximised for you and for our communities. Together we can learn and enhance the capabilities that are required to build the infrastructure Wales needs to prosper.

“We’re investing huge amount of financial resource in upgrading, enhancing and modernising our transport infrastructure. We truly are building as never before, and the next few years will give you an opportunity to maximise the benefits of our investment.”

Participants were encouraged to network and identify opportunities for collaboration, particularly with and between local small-to-medium sized businesses (SMEs) and not for profit organisations.  We are especially keen to ensure that these organisations have the best opportunity to bid to become part of the supply chain so that local workers and disadvantaged groups can benefit from the £1bn investment being made.

Geoff Ogden, interim Managing Director at Transport for Wales said

“Work on procuring an Operator and Development Partner (ODP) for the next Wales and Borders Rail Service and Metro is progressing well and we’ve now received 3 high quality bids. We’re now looking for a number of suppliers to work on an alliancing basis with the ODP and ourselves to deliver the South Wales Metro.

“Through this event, we aim to facilitate businesses of all sizes to network and come together to bid for a place on the framework in one of potentially four lots. The intention is to award multiple work packages lasting a number of years within each Lot with one or more suppliers appointed depending upon volume of anticipated works. This will give successful suppliers a long-term workload to encourage investment.”

The contract documents will be issued later in January. Businesses wanting to know more or bid for work should register their details on www.sell2wales.gov.wales.  More information about Transport for Wales and our work is available on our website www.tfw.gov.wales or follow us on Twitter (@transport_wales).