Businesses attend meeting on how they can be part of contracts for USAF Lakenheath

National and local companies were at a packed meeting to see how they can be part of multi-million contracts for USAF Lakenheath and growth in West Suffolk.

Hundreds of millions of dollars is being invested in the Lakenheath area as part of the USAF programme to base the F35 Fighter and its supporting personnel in the UK. This has opened up opportunities for UK and especially local contractors to provide services.

The free to attend “Get Ready for Growth” event on Monday was aimed at bringing together major national and multi-national construction contractors with local businesses. Attendees at the Newmarket Racecourse learned about upcoming opportunities and how to become part of future supply chains.

There was also opportunities for local enterprises to find out how to utilise resource currently available for skills, recruitment and capital investment for growing businesses. This was so companies could be supported in effectively capitalise on the opportunities.

West Suffolk Councils have teamed up with West Suffolk College, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Job Centre Plus, Suffolk County Council and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to link up regional businesses and major construction contractors to promote opportunities, answer questions and identify future ways of working and networks to benefit our local communities.

Leading national and multinational companies Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try and Wates are three of the major firms that have been shortlisted to the preferred bidder stage for the RAF Lakenheath project. All three spoke to businesses around their vision for effective procurement in the area, and how businesses can become part of their supply chain.

James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, said: “We wanted to help local businesses seize this golden opportunity to benefit from this major investment in RAF Lakenheath and hear of other projects they could become involved in. We had a full house of companies attending the popular event, which is part of our council’s aim to support businesses, jobs and prosperity in the area while attracting investment. We know we have some of the best businesses in the country and this free event should help many go onto the next level. I would like to thank all those involved who made this possible.

“West Suffolk is host to several major construction projects being planned or delivered now, including the major build up work taking place at RAF Lakenheath to accommodate new F35s. Supporting local businesses and encouraging investment is at the heart of what our councils do. The USAF is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the base and we want to make sure that local firms are able to be in the best position to benefit from it and be part of this development.”

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