The UK’s HS2 high-speed rail project has not only reached a record employment of over 30,000 across but has also brought substantial economic benefits to Northern Ireland.
The latest data, published in the Construction Enquirer, reveals that Northern Ireland’s contribution to the project amounts to £140 million in tier two contracts, a significant figure in the £11.5 billion UK-wide investment.
The overall workforce for HS2, which grew by 455 from July to September 2023, now stands at 30,204, the highest to date. This growth is part of HS2’s broader commitment to fostering employment and skills development.
Natalie Penrose, HS2’s Head of Legacy, emphasised this commitment saying: “We made a cast iron commitment to ensuring HS2’s construction would support thousands of young people, and the unemployed, into meaningful careers. Three years into our heavy civils works, we’ve achieved just that.”
In addition to job creation, over 3,200 UK firms, including those from Northern Ireland, are now part of HS2’s supply chain, supplying goods, services, and materials.
This involvement underlines the project’s role in stimulating business across the UK, with contracts expected to continue for at least another five years.
This investment in Northern Ireland and the broader UK regions reflects HS2’s significant impact on the national economy, extending beyond the construction industry to tech, digital, and rail sectors.
With around £23 billion already spent on the project, HS2 continues to be a major catalyst for economic growth and employment across the United Kingdom.