When Beth West, chief buyer behind the HS2 rail project, told Supply Management magazine that the level of discussion with the market and experts from major infrastructure projects were unprecedented, it was clear that early preparation, involving professionals at the highest level, are intrinsic to getting the procurement strategy right.

With construction on phase one expected to commence in 2017, West said that the organisation intends to launch its procurement strategy in the summer.

It is thought the strategy will involve dividing the construction work into 16 to 20 “packages”, covering areas such as track and rolling stock.

Commenting on the HS2 project and the procurement approach, Wayne Brophy, managing director of Cast UK, said: “I think this is great news for the whole economy and industry, not just procurement. It will not only create tens of thousands of jobs but will give other cities economic advantages rather than solely relying on London to lead the recovery.

“Putting a robust procurement strategy in place is sensible and will mitigate any issues with the project further down the line.”