The major project to expand Nottingham's tram network is already set to pump over £11million into the local economy.
Tramlink Nottingham, the consortium which has been awarded the 22 year concession to both operate the network and build two further tram lines serving Clifton and Chilwell, says the project is now creating an increasing number of business opportunities for local companies through a variety of sub-contracts.
Tramlink's Chief Executive, Phil Hewitt, explained: "We were only awarded the concession late in December but our design and construction partner, the Taylor Woodrow Alstom Joint Venture, has managed to let a number of contracts worth around £8million to firms in the city and neighbouring area.
"As a consortium overall, the value of the local contracts awarded so far is over £11million. Coupled with the job opportunities which have already been created - with more to follow -this has to be good news at a time when the economic climate remains challenging.
"In awarding the contract, Nottingham City Council set out a very clear objective that the project should bring benefits to local businesses and people and we're determined to play our part."
Mr Hewitt added: "A recent 'Meet the Buyer' event organised by the Nottinghamshire Construction Forum was oversubscribed with around 200 businesses attending. This is precisely the type of engagement we are looking to have with the local business community - the more firms are aware of the work that is available, the more they can bid to be involved."
Jointly hosted by the Forum, New College Nottingham, Tramlink, Taylor Woodrow Alstom, the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce and the Nottingham Independent Business Association the event was designed to brief regional construction companies on forthcoming opportunities.
Chaired by NCF Chairman Mervyn Brown, speakers included AmarjitBasi, CEO and Principal of NCN, Roger Harrison, Chairman of Tramlink, Richard Hogg of Taylor Woodrow, Michael Anderson of Alstom and Chris Grocock of Nottingham City Council.
Mr Brown said: "I'm delighted with the interest in the meeting. The turnout was fantastic, which is excellent news. This is such a real opportunity for SMEs in the area to engage with the most significant contract that has happened here for a very long time and I am pleased that the NCF has been able to be part of that engagement process."
Martin Carroll, Project Director for Taylor Woodrow Alstom added: "We are committed to using local suppliers and creating local jobs wherever possible and as the construction project begins to pick up pace in the months ahead further opportunities will undoubtedly be created."
Cllr Jane Urquhart, Nottingham City Council's portfolio holder for Planning and Transportation, says: "That's why we were so keen to get this project going; to generate jobs for local people and to support local businesses. We're only five months into the construction process and already the local economy is benefiting. This is very good news indeed."