Highways England is looking to engage with companies of all sizes who might be interested in working on the Lower Thames Crossing project. We need to engage with the market at this stage of the project to ensure all interested suppliers are well prepared ahead of the procurement phase, when tenderers are invited to submit a bid.
The types of services we will need
What’s happening now?
Over the coming months, questionnaires and procurement information will be sent out via the Bravo portal (see below) to those who have registered interest in working on the project. We will also host a webinar in the future to allow potential suppliers to hear from the project team and ask questions.
Can I get involved even if I’m a small or local business?
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a key role in developing the national economy by generating employment opportunities, accelerating innovation, broadening skill-sets and enhancing productivity. We want to ensure SMEs and local businesses play a key part in the project’s supply chain, and this is also in line with the Government’s aspiration of ensuring 33% of all procurement spend is with SMEs by the end of this Parliament (2021/2022).
When the Lower Thames Crossing publishes invitations to tender, the first stages of the procurement process will be focussed on Tier 1 entities. A Tier 1 is a large multidiscipline organisation that has the capability to manage and deliver big projects or packages of work. Opportunities will follow at a later stage for SMEs to bid for work on the project through the Tier 1 entities.
However, it is important that SMEs (and companies of all sizes) get involved now and register their interest on Bravo so they can:
- Stay updated on the progress of the project, and receive information at the same time as everyone else who has registered interest
- Get ready for when tenders go out, as some SMEs may be in dialogue with Tier 1 entities at this time
- Provide their insight and opinions into the market engagement process, as it’s useful to hear information from some of the contractors who will actually be undertaking the works
We are developing a range of tools, guidance and workshops to support SMEs and local businesses that may be seeking opportunities to work as part of the Lower Thames Crossing supply chain. Our aim for this work is to develop local business and SME capabilities and skills to bid for work on the Lower Thames Crossing and other future infrastructure contracts. Updates on opportunities to get involved will be posted through Bravo, Twitter, and the Lower Thames Crossing website in the future.
Supply Chain School
One way we are supporting local businesses, particularly SMEs, is through our partnership with. the Supply Chain School.
The Supply Chain School can help upskill your business, putting you in the best position to tender for work on the project – skills that will assist in other areas as well. This will help your business grow and leaves a legacy of a more capable, dynamic and sustainable supply chain. It also helps us keep more of the investment from the project within the local economy.
You can register your business for the school and take modules on topics that will provide a firm basis for working on a major piece of infrastructure. We will also offer workshops, run periodically with a focus on supply chain gaps and areas that may require particular attention (tendering; certification to get onto projects etc).
Register for the Supply Chain School and start developing your business’ capabilities at Supply Chain Sustainability School.
We ran two introductory events – one in Essex and one in Kent – to introduce local businesses to the school and to learn where support may be most needed. We are using what we learnt at these to shape what we focus on in future workshops.
Slides and videos from the events are available below.
How do I register my interest to work on the Lower Thames Crossing?
Follow the steps below to register:
- Visit highways.bravosolution.co.uk and click ‘Register‘ (on the far right)
- Enter your business details, take note of the username you choose, and click ‘Save’ when complete
- Once you reach a page titled Categories, you can leave the site and you will receive an email with your password
- Log into highways.bravosolution.co.uk with your new username and password
- Click on ‘ITTs Open to All Suppliers’ (Invitations to Tender) and select the ITT you want to express interest in, or you can select ITT 4336 – General Information
- You will be able to read documents and information in your area of interest
- Click the ‘Express Interest’ button to register your interest
- This will move the ITT into the ‘My ITTs’ page where you can also access ‘Buyer Attachments’ in the ITT Details box
If you have any technical issues or questions about using the Bravo portal, please contact Bravo on:
- Phone: 0800 069 8630
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below, view highlights from our recent events and hear from companies who talk to us about the importance of working with Highways England and how this has improved their businesses.