Category: Uncategorised


The Tender Process for HS2


The HS2 procurement process is likely to be much more significant than previously thought. There is now the opportunity for a ‘2 in 1’ offer. The winner of the West Coast Mainline Contract will also be offered the chance to operate HS2. This is a significant step that shows a clear plan from the procurement authorities to promote collaboration on the two lines.

The front-runners for HS2 are Virgin (joint venture with Stagecoach, UK), FirstGroup (UK), SNCF (France), Abellio (Holland) and Arriva (Germany).

After the first stage of the bid, the companies above will need to consider the following:

Companies will need to establish what makes their offer unique and, particularly in the current climate, value for money. They need to carefully consider things like customer satisfaction and data reporting. HS2 is a new project and so the Government will have strict reporting conditions.

They also need to consider the infrastructure technology to be used; carefully weighted and researched responses will be critical to any successful response. The level of research in this type of tender is monumental, as is the quality. A good tender response should have a robust reference to data and independent research from official sources.

The third consideration for the process will be to focus on the specification outcomes. Bidders need to offer meaningful examples in order to showcase their service. All Front runners are experienced companies in rail service delivery and so understand the importance of good bid writing.

If you would like to find out more information about how to get involved with HS2 or form part of its supply chain, feel free to get in touch with us to find out more. E:

The HS2 Official Supplier guide can be found here: HS2 Supplier Guide

The HS2 Official Procurement Portal can be found here: Procurement Portal


Lessons from Eden – what to do if you don’t get the funding?

I was reading an article in the Times recently, ‘Eden Project grew out of a lie’. The story is a tale of the common woe that many charities, voluntary and community organisations, as well as schools, colleges and training providers often face… Not being able to secure funding to make a big impact on their local community.
Sir Tim Smit overcame this in an audacious manner. Upon finding out that the millennium commission (distributor for Big Lottery Funding) had rejected the funding application for the now internationally acclaimed Eden Project, Sir Tim called a press conference with multiple media outlets to thank the Millennium Commission for giving the funding.
The press praised the Millennium Commission for awarding the funding to the Eden Project, describing it as insightful grant giving. Eden went on to receive £56m of public funds in order to complete the project.
The lesson here isn’t to necessarily go for broke and call a press conference if your project doesn’t receive funding but there are some practical tips that do help.
Top Tips
  1. First of all don’t panic, there are lots of funding packages out of there. Especially post Brexit we have seen an increase in the number of opportunities available for VCVS organisations to apply for
  2. Review your application, or have a third party review for you, to critically review the application against the feedback provided.
  3. Review your own project and see if it is possible to break up into project stages. This may enable you to apply for smaller pots of funding to achieve the same end goal.


If you would like advice on how we can help with finding funding, bid writing, funding applications or critical reviews then please get in touch.

What is the new apprenticeship register, RoATP?

We are expecting the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) to open in the next few weeks. Timescales are likely to be tight with just a 4-week window for applications. The window will be open every three months. If providers miss the first window, this means that they will be unable to access apprenticeship funding for a prolonged period.

Whilst there will be some similarities between the Register of Training Organisations and the new RoATP, there will inevitably be additional requirements that will be more complex. It is fair to say that not a great deal is known at this stage, but RoATP may require education providers to provide:

  • detail on their management arrangements;
  • employer engagement methods;
  • delivery model; and
  • staff qualification details.

Given the importance of government funding to many providers, we recommend getting in touch to discuss RoATP and your organisation’s suitability.

We have extensive experience of working with providers to support them in developing relationships and working with the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and Education Funding Agency (EFA) and therefore if you would like to find out more information then feel free to get in touch.