Planes, blades and automobiles: Festival cranks up for biggest show ever

Posted on 24 Mar 2014

HS2 has joined Jaguar Land Rover, Airbus and other prime contractors to address hundreds of SMEs at the UK’s biggest ‘meet-the-buyer’ festival for companies involved in special materials, metal forming and engineering.

A senior director from rail consortium HS2 will join executives from prime contractors in the aerospace, automotive, renewable energy and oil & gas sectors to explain supplier opportunities at the Global Manufacturing Festival on June 25 at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing.

Part of the International Festival of Business 2014 and now in its fifth year, the Festival will feature Mike Wright from Jaguar Land Rover, Colin Sirret from Airbus, HS2 and Bruce Heppenstall, site leader for Wellstream Flexibles at GE Oil & Gas, who will outline their companies’ UK operations and provide routes to access their supplier lists.

Following the announcement on Tuesday (25th) that Siemens is to finally invest £160 million in a wind turbine factory in Hull, it is hoped that a senior level speaker from Siemens Energy will also join the conference line up.

Headed by a senior government minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Festival’s conference is supported by a 150-stand exhibition to provide ample networking opportunities. The show’s organisers are expecting more than 1,200 visitors this year – 1,000 people registered in 2013.

Executive director of Jaguar Land Rover Mike Wright will present findings of the eponymous Wright Review, a study on the capability of British companies to supply big companies based in the UK, like JLR and Nissan, with components. It will cover what the UK automotive industry needs from suppliers now and in the future, focusing on low carbon engineering.

Colin Sirett, head of research and technology at Airbus UK, said: “At the Festival [we will explain]… how future demand is directing Airbus product development and what mechanisms are available to support the whole industry.”

HS2 will field either incoming chief executive Simon Kirby or a senior board director to explain HS2’s specific supplier needs, and how firms can best access the company’s procurement process. Heads of corporate procurement at HS2 Beth West and Richard Mould will attend the exhibition to answer questions directly.

The Festival is one of several key supply chain events that HS2 will attend in 2014 as it communicates the commercial opportunities of the +£42bn rail contract throughout the regions.

Representatives from GE Oil & Gas and the renewables energy sector – expected to my biomass power plants – will be confirmed shortly.

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The Global Manufacturing Festival is the biggest supply chain event for companies involved in special materials, metal forming and precision engineering in the UK. Free to attend and now in its fifth year, it has a strong record of connecting SMEs with global OEMs based in the UK. Go to for more information.
Visit for details on the International Festival of Business 2014.