Small and medium-sized businesses from across the West Midlands were given the chance to find out how they can supply goods and services to the ambitious metro extension programme embarked upon by Transport for West Midlands on behalf of the West Midland Combined Authority at an event in Wolverhampton.
Dozens of regional firms attended the Midland Metro Alliance’s second annual supplier event, held on Tuesday 15 May at Grand Central in Wolverhampton, and learned about the benefits of the programme, which will see the Metro network triple in size by 2026, providing high quality, safe and dependable Metro travel across much of the region. The Midland Metro Alliance aims to get around 80 per cent of its suppliers from the Midlands and has already sourced 78 per cent locally.
Around 200 delegates attended the event where the focus was on the progress of the Metro extensions to date, including the early completion in December last year of the Bilston Road Track Replacement Project in Wolverhampton; innovative smartphone technology soon to be available to help upskill suppliers; and how the Midland Metro Alliance is supporting local young people to gain skills and employment through an award-winning education initiative. Paul Mountford, Head of Planning and Regeneration at Dudley Council, also shared details of other regeneration projects planned for the area, in addition to the Metro extension.
The day provided an opportunity for suppliers to meet staff face- to-face and visit stands with innovations from other suppliers in the industry. The Midland Metro Alliance also utilised the opportunity to thank suppliers who have gone the extra mile to support the programme, with awards handed out to suppliers by Alejandro Moreno, director of the Midland Metro Alliance. Receiving awards on the day were:
• Above and Beyond: Graham Swallow on behalf of Trelleborg Group
• Contribution to Site Sustainability: Mike Rees on behalf of Keyline Civils and Drainage
• Consistently Good Service: Mathew Marks on behalf of Lee Brothers
• Fast Response: Neil Nightingale on behalf of Speedy
Paula Gray, Head of Procurement for Midland Metro Alliance, said: “We are committed to supporting local businesses and ensuring that we are utilising the expertise, knowledge and skills right here on our doorstep by building long-term relationships. We place a high value on our local suppliers and it is a privilege to be able to bring business and employment to them allowing us to give something back to the region that we are working in. We consider ourselves fortunate to be working in a region with such a wealth of expertise in the areas of manufacturing, engineering and services.”
More information on the work of the Midland Metro Alliance and how to join its supply chain can be found by visiting http://metroalliance.co.uk/supply-chain/