Construction firm goes bats over new HS2 contract

A Black Country construction firm has secured an unusual contract as part of the development of the initial stage of the £56bn HS2 high speed railway.

The £400,000 contract will see Oldbury-based Currall Lewis & Martin Construction construct a new multi-use bat house.

The contract has been awarded by LM, the joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and J. Murphy & Sons. LM is HS2 Ltd’s enabling works contractor for the northern section of the new line between London and Birmingham.

As part of the preparations for the new railway, HS2 is creating a series of wildlife habitats along the linear route to offer suitable accommodation for all indigenous wildlife, including endangered species such as bats.

CLM, which specialises in civil engineering, bridge building and conservation projects, is the first company to win a lucrative contract through the Black Country LEP HVM City business procurement tool.

The company, with support from the Black Country Growth Hub via Sandwell Council’s Business Growth Team, identified the contract opportunity through the HVM City online portal. This allows companies to register tender opportunities and firms to bid for the contract.

Ron Pinfield, managing director of CLM said: “We’ve always found Sandwell Council’s supply chain initiatives have given us great impetus. Their efforts in creating an opportunity gateway to alert suppliers to prospective business through the HVM City Procurement Portal (for) major projects such as HS2 has proved to be invaluable to small firms like ours.”

Pivotal to CLM’s success was the opportunity to meet with buyers and engage with design decision-makers directly.

Andy Cox, Black Country LEP board member said: “It is fantastic to see Black Country companies such as CLM leading the way in seizing the business opportunities available through projects like HS2.

“CLM has been able to make the most of the HVM City online portal demonstrating that our business procurement tool not only works but is enabling businesses in our area to maximise inward investment opportunities.”

The HVM City platform, which is directly aligned with the HS2 Procurement Portal, is designed to support inward investment opportunities, drive supply chain development and integrate and support the delivery of major contracts from start to finish.