National Highways is set to spend £1 in every £3 with local businesses to build the Lower Thames Crossing.
A new database of more than 500 firms has been created by National Highways to help local businesses win their share of work on the tunnel project..
The Lower Thames Crossing is the most ambitious road project in over 35 years. If given the green light it will almost double road capacity across the Thames east of London, reduce congestion at the Dartford Crossing, and play a role in the region’s economic recovery by supporting tens of thousands of jobs.
To help local businesses take advantage, the Lower Thames Crossing SME Directory has been created. More than 500 businesses ranging from caterers to accountants and builders have signed up, reports Kent Online.
The first edition of the database has now been issued to the shortlisted bidders for the main roads and tunnel contracts. The database still remains open for new entries and will be updated regularly.
Matt Palmer, executive director for the Lower Thames Crossing, said: “The Lower Thames Crossing is the most ambitious road project in a generation, and we need a huge range of people and suppliers to help us deliver it. We want to give local companies the very best possible chance to get involved.
“The SME Directory is just one way we are doing this. It showcases just how much talent and expertise there is on our doorstep, which, along with National Highways target of awarding at least £1 in every £3 of the project’s procurement spend with SMEs, will help support the regional economy as it recovers from the pandemic.
“The directory also has the potential to reduce the project’s carbon footprint with goods and services sourced locally cutting distances travelled.”
Tim Aker, development manager for the Kent and Medway Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “The Lower Thames Crossing SME directory is a fantastic initiative to bring SMEs into the project supply chain.ADVERTISING
“Utilising local SMEs brings added value, with local knowledge an obvious bonus. Tendering out to local firms also reduces emissions and ensures that funding stays in the local communities. It’s a win-win situation.”
National Highways is also offering local businesses free training and access to resources from the Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS), so they can prepare to bid on work on the Lower Thames Crossing or any other major infrastructure project.
Businesses can register their interest in working on the project, access training and sign up to the SME Directory on the Lower Thames Crossing website.
This week, National Highways is also speaking directly to potential suppliers to lay out its expectations for all levels of the supply chain to drive down their carbon footprint.Most wine drinkers in the UK don’t know these 5 simple Dos and Don’tsNAKED WINES | SPONSOREDU.K Doctor: “It’s Like It Vacuums Out Your Digestive Problems”GUT SOLUTION | SPONSORED
National Highways is currently analysing over 3,000 responses received during the latest consultation on the Lower Thames Crossing carried out earlier in 2021 and is preparing a new application for a Development Consent Order.
Construction is expected to start in 2024 and take around six years, with a target opening date between 2029 and 2030.