HS2 launches regional Supply Chain Roadshows 2016

HS2 talks business to boost the tradesHS2 Ltd, the company responsible for the construction of Britain’s new high speed rail network, has announced dates and locations for its regional Supply Chain Roadshows 2016.

Starting in May, HS2 Ltd will visit 11 regions across Britain to meet businesses large and small, to explain the types of work packages that will be available and to advise firms on how to get in the best position to bid for billions of pounds worth of contracts with HS2.

Beth West, HS2 Ltd Commercial Director, said: “Building on the success of last year’s events, attended by around 250 companies, I am delighted to announce this year’s HS2 Supply Chain Roadshows, where we hope to speak to as many businesses as possible from all over Britain.

Building HS2 is a massive long-term project, one that offers a huge opportunity for British businesses to bid for billions of pounds worth of contracts.

To construct HS2 and bring it to life will require a vast range of skills and expertise.

Put simply, HS2 is an investment in our infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs and drive regional regeneration.”

25,000 new businesses supported by Start Up Loans

25,000 new businesses supported by Start Up LoansThe government’s Start Up Loan scheme has hit another milestone as the 25,000th business loan is approved, taking the total amount lent to new firms to nearly £130 million.

The scheme provides financial support and mentoring to entrepreneurs looking to set up their own business.

According to the Start Up Loan Company, more than 32,000 new jobs have been generated as a result of the scheme since it was launched in 2012.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and supporting them to get off the ground and create jobs and opportunities for hardworking people is a key part of our long-term economic plan.

That’s what our Start Up Loans are all about – it’s great news that 25,000 loans have now been issued, giving people who want to work hard and get on the tools and confidence to turn their entrepreneurial vision into a reality.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The Start Up Loans scheme is enabling thousands of entrepreneurs across the country to realise their ambition and set up their own business.

Helping businesses to access the funds they need to grow is key to our recovery and through schemes like Start Up Loans the government is supporting serious volumes of lending to small and medium sized businesses.”

James Caan CBE, chairman of the Start Up Loans Company, said: “The creation of 25,000 new businesses is a significant achievement and everyone involved – the government, the Start Up Loans Company, and the loan recipients themselves, should be immensely proud.”

Businesses take action in support of flood victims

PM welcomes action from businesses in support of flood victimsBusinesses across the country have joined forces to work with government to support people and communities affected by the floods and severe weather.      

Working with the Government as part of a national effort to deal with the floods, leading businesses across the country are today setting out how they will be supporting people and communities that have been affected by the floods and severe weather.

Power companies

80,000 homes have lost power, and anyone who has been without power for 24-48 hours or more is entitled to mandatory compensation from the energy network companies.

Ofgem has already announced increases to the level of compensation and reduced the time to qualify for it. As part of the review of Christmas blackouts the government is also looking at the compensation process.

Network operators have already restored power to over 414,000 customers since the storms hit on Wednesday, with 68,000 restored overnight thanks to engineers working round the clock.

Aggreko are deploying additional power generators to flooded areas especially care homes and hospitals. So far, Aggreko has already mobilised and dispatched 53 generators with a combined capacity of 8.5 MVA.

In the longer term, Aggreko is readying dehumidification and heating equipment to restore public and private buildings.

And nPower has confirmed it is waiving standing charges for any homes left without power or gas.

Volunteering

Many companies are organising volunteering from within their workforces, for example Thales and Airbus, and Task Hub have launched floodvolunteers.co.uk

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Dealing with these floods will be a long haul, and it will require a stepped-up national effort with the whole country pulling together.

“The government is taking action across the board to deal with the clear-up, and we have been working with businesses to see what they can do to help those people affected.

“I welcome the support that they are offering and the role they are playing in helping to get parts of the country get back on their feet.”

New affordable housing scheme to get Britain building

New affordable housing scheme to get Britain buildingHousing Minister Kris Hopkins has today announced a housing scheme that will see the building of 165,000 new affordable homes and boost the economy.

The ambitious scheme will achieve the fastest rate of affordable housebuilding for 20 years, supporting thousands of construction jobs and sustaining British businesses.

The building programme will also provide a boost to thousands of small businesses that supply building materials to developers, from timber traders to tile makers.

Starting today housing associations, councils, and housebuilders will be invited to bid for government funding that, when combined with private investment, will deliver a £23 billion programme between 2015 and 2018.

New jobs and more trade for small businesses

Every home built under the scheme will support a person’s job. That means 165,000 job opportunities over 3 years in every part of the country, many for young people.

Almost a million independent firms are involved in the construction industry, accounting for 20% of all small and medium-sized companies, and businesses that supply building products have an annual turnover of more than £50 billion, which contributes 4.5% to the UK’s Gross Domestic Product.

Mr Hopkins said housebuilding was at its highest level since 2007, and construction orders were increasing at the fastest rate for 10 years, but it was now vital that councils provided more land for new homes, and the surge of housebuilding continues to grow.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: “Housebuilding is an essential part of this government’s long-term economic plan. That’s why we have designed an ambitious new scheme to build affordable homes at the fastest rate for 20 years.

“Our programme will support 165,000 jobs in construction, sustain thousands of small businesses and provide homes where future generations can live and raise families of their own.”