SMEs across Kent and Essex sign up to get involved in the Lower Thames Crossing


11 Jan 2021

Lower Thames Crossing works on site

The Lower Thames Crossing is calling on local businesses in Kent and Essex to get involved in the most ambitious roads project for a generation.

We have created a Small Medium Enterprise (SME) directory, a database of local businesses and their specialisms. This database will be given to the main works contractors, so they have ready access to local firms – giving them the best possible chance to work on this transformative project.

Since the directory was launched in late December over 60 businesses, ranging from printers and builders to security firms and training providers, have already entered their details. It’s our target to have hundreds of businesses registered to help ensure as much of the work needed to build the Crossing goes to local firms.

The Crossing is the most ambitious roads project for a generation and will improve journeys by almost doubling road capacity between Kent and Essex. With 14.3 miles of new road and two 2.6-mile-long tunnels below the river Thames, the scheme will improve journeys and unlock economic growth by creating a new connection between the economies of Kent and Essex, and the regions ports, distribution hubs and manufacturing centres.

Since the directory was launched, over 60 businesses have already entered their details

Matt Palmer, Executive Director for the Lower Thames Crossing said: “The Lower Thames Crossing is the most ambitious road project in nearly 35 years. At a time of huge uncertainty for the UK economy, this scheme will create tens of thousands of jobs in the local area and create many opportunities for smaller businesses.

“We need businesses large and small to build the scheme, but we know the challenges of getting a foot in the door on projects of this scale, so we want to remove the barriers between businesses and our main contractors.”

Deborah Turner, Area Leader for the Federation of Small Businesses said: “Small businesses in Kent, London and Essex have told us they are keen to access procurement opportunities within this major project, so we are delighted that the Highways England team have listened and have created this SME Directory.

“Our research shows that for every £1 spent with a small business, 63p remains within the local economy. We urge small businesses to register as soon as they can.”

You can enter your details onto our SME Directory here.