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Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden 6:30am - 10am
4 March 2013, 06:00
The multi billion pound Crossrail project connecting Berkshire and Essex will support around 55,000 full-time jobs, according to new figures.
Contracts worth £5.5 billion have already been awarded, with 43% given to businesses outside London and the South East.
Three out of five firms in the supply chain are small to medium sized enterprises. Total funding for the 73-mile rail route from Maidenhead to East London, due to open in 2018, is £14.8 billion, with most contracts in the supply chain yet to be awarded.
Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail chief executive said: "Crossrail will not just benefit London and the South East - the project's economic benefits are being felt well beyond the confines of the M25.
"Firms right across the UK are winning business on the back of Europe's largest construction project. Work is set to peak over the next two years, so it's vital that businesses continue to seize the opportunities that Crossrail has to offer.''
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Crossrail is the type of project that will help the UK build a stronger economy by improving our infrastructure and creating jobs across the country.
"With over £5.5 billion of contracts awarded and 75,000 business opportunities throughout the supply chain, this is now the time for the UK's small and medium companies to capitalise.''
Over 1,700 businesses have secured work connected to the project so far.
It comes a week after we found out the billion pound cost of trains for the new route will be met by the tax payer. The Government says waiting for private finance for the project could delay it beyond 2018.