More than 200 people took part in a packed event outlining opportunities to collaborate on sustainable transport infrastructure delivery.
The event, held at the University of South Wales in Pontypridd, saw participants explore how we can work better together to maximise the benefit of every penny that’s invested in public transport infrastructure.
Transport for Wales is developing a framework of suppliers to work with us not only to improve transport connectivity but also to provide wider benefits for Welsh communities. Our desire is to develop a long-term plan that’s focused on sustainable transport infrastructure enhancements right across the length and breadth of Wales, beginning with the South Wales Metro.
With a longer-term pipeline, suppliers will be able to plan more effectively. This gives them the best opportunity to exceed the sustainability targets set by us, including carbon reduction, training and skills development, shared apprenticeship schemes, SME development and other community benefits.
This was the first of a series of events designed to provide information to potential suppliers, to seek their feedback on our plans and to provide an opportunity for businesses of all sizes to work together and provide innovative solutions for rail in Wales.
Participants were addressed by Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates, who said:
“As we begin this procurement exercise for our Infrastructure Delivery Partners, collaboration again underpins what we’re doing to ensure that the benefits of procurement are maximised for you and for our communities. Together we can learn and enhance the capabilities that are required to build the infrastructure Wales needs to prosper.
“We’re investing a huge amount of financial resource in upgrading, enhancing and modernising our transport infrastructure. We truly are building as never before, and the next few years will give you an opportunity to maximise the benefits of our investment.”
Participants were encouraged to network and identify opportunities for collaboration, particularly with and between local small-to-medium sized businesses (SMEs) and non-profit organisations. We are especially keen to ensure that these organisations have the best opportunity to bid to become part of the framework so that local workers and disadvantaged groups can benefit from the £1bn investment being made.
Participants welcomed the approach to the framework which, many participants reported, reflected the goals of their own organisations.