Manchester-based civil engineering consultants P.P O’Connor Group has joined the list of firms supporting construction of UK’s new railway, High Speed Two (HS2).

More than 2,000 firms have secured work on Europe’s largest engineering project so far.

P.P O’Connor Group is one of the 11 firms to have worked on the site, which will become the first new intercity terminus station built in the country since the 19th century.

The company was earlier tasked by HS2’s enabling works contractor for the West Midlands, the LMJV (Laing O’Rourke and J Murphy & Sons), with regard to providing support to the huge programme of works presently underway in order to prepare for building the HS2 Curzon Street Station.

P.P O’Connor Group specialises in bulk earthworks, remediation, complex demolition, deconstruction and recycling, and was hired for the safe and long-term removal of the highly aggressive species of plant, called as Japanese Knotweed.

The banks of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, which run next to the new station site, were infested with this plant that can grow through even concrete if left on its own.

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The scale of infestation required the team to lower as well as dismantle sections of the existing wall along the canal banks.

P.P O’Connor Group project manager Darren Fowles said: “We are delighted to be supporting the construction of this once-in-a-lifetime project and it’s great that Manchester firms are winning work on this first phase of the project.

“We hope the work we have delivered will stand us in good stead to secure more contract opportunities, particularly as HS2 extends to the Midlands and the North.”

During Phase One of HS2, nearly 400,000 supply chain contract opportunities for UK businesses are expected to arise.

HS2 procurement and commercial director David Poole said: “Businesses right across the UK are winning work on HS2 and this is helping to sustain and support new jobs at a crucial time.

“HS2 is playing a pivotal role in Britain’s economic recovery and I’m delighted to see that companies in the North of England are securing contracts on this first phase of the project.”

LM JV (Laing O’Rourke and J. Murphy & Sons) is supervising other works, which include diversions of utilities that will secure the space for Birmingham’s tram extension.

Renovation of Grade 1 listed Old Curzon Street Station is set to commence, representing the next phase of work around the new high speed terminus.

In 2021, HS2 will also declare the Curzon Street Station delivery contract award.