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Businesses helped to get on track for HS2 bids

The Hub News Team | 19.4.18

A programme to help regional businesses to tap into potential contracts for HS2 and other public sector contracts is being rolled out after a successful pilot scheme.

Get on Track was launched by the West Midlands Manufacturing Club (WMMC), part of the University of Wolverhampton's Business Solutions Centre, to help companies improve the way they bid for tenders.

The scheme aims to help businesses capitalise on the bid and tender opportunities arising from HS2 and other public procurement.

It gives SMEs a clearer understanding of the opportunities available, improving their knowledge of the tendering process; from how to access live tenders through to the documentation and evidence required and helps transform their tender writing skills to increase success rates.

The programme consists of three, one-day classroom based workshops, live webinars & dedicated 1-2-1 telephone support and will be delivered by rail tender experts, Thornton & Lowe whose rail supply chain clients enjoy a success rate in the sector in excess of 75 per cent.

It successfully piloted late last year with 13 businesses taking part in the programme and now a series of new dates have been added for businesses to sign up to.

Programme 2 courses will be held on June 13, 14 and 20 and programme 3 on July 6, 12, and 16. A further programme will be run in October 17, 18 and 24 2018 and all will be staged at the Wolverhampton Business Solutions Centre at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park.

Rebecca Macdonald, Business Development Manager for the WMMC, said "Located at the heart of the planned HS2 network, the spotlight will inevitably be on manufacturers from the region to take their share of the available spend but we recognise some may not be at ease with formal tender processes.

"The common misconception is that HS2 is only open to major players. 'Get On Track' has been specifically designed to make the opportunity more accessible to Midlands SMEs; equipping them with the know-how and more importantly the confidence to tap into the wealth of opportunities HS2 can present for them too.

"The course helps overcome many common barriers SMEs face to winning contracts like lack of knowledge about the process or feeling it is onerous or overly bureaucratic.

"The feedback we had from the companies on the pilot scheme was brilliant and some of those have since gone on to win public sector contracts directly as a result of the help they received."

Emma Chetwynd Jarvis, Electrical Connections Manager at Rock Power Connections attended the pilot programme. She said: "It provided a great insight into preparing tenders to take our next bids from good to great. They were really useful sessions to get us geared up for the opportunities in the rail sector. I'd definitely recommend attending."

Peter Grant, Business Development at Hitherbest Ltd said: "It provided a unique opportunity with many possibilities. WMMC should be commended for taking the initiative to be the catalyst for action on behalf of SMEs showing them the way to be active rather than re-active."

The course provides two places per company, , with at least one of those delegates being the employee who will be or is responsible for tendering within the business required to attend all three sessions on.

If delegates book now they can qualify for a 15 per cent early booking discount meaning the course will cost £2,448 including VAT.

For more information on the Get on Track scheme or to express an interest in attending visit LINK, email wmmc@businesssolutionscentres.co.uk or ring 01902 323973.

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