The Edge

We stay ahead with industry news to help shape your bid strategy and create competitive tenders tailored to your needs.

January 5, 2024

3,000 SMEs Thrive in Network Rail's £1.3 Billion Initiative

3,000 SMEs Thrive in Network Rail's £1.3 Billion Initiative

New figures reveal that over 3,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have reaped the benefits of £1.3 billion worth of business from Network Rail. With SMEs constituting a record 75 percent of Network Rail's supplier base, the railway infrastructure giant's commitment to supporting local businesses is evident. This surge in opportunities for SMEs follows Network Rail's strategic SME action plan initiated in November 2019, signaling a positive shift in the landscape of business opportunities.

Network Rail's Proactive SME Action Plan

The surge in SME participation is a direct outcome of Network Rail's proactive SME action plan launched in November 2019. The plan was designed to simplify processes, making it more accessible for small to medium-sized organisations to engage in business with Network Rail. By increasing the number of tendering opportunities, Network Rail aimed to create a more inclusive and diverse supplier base.

Record-Breaking SME Participation

In the last financial year (2022/23), Network Rail's commitment to fostering SME growth reached new heights. Out of the 4,130 suppliers directly contracted by Network Rail, a remarkable 3,107 suppliers, constituting 75 percent, were SMEs. This record-breaking level of SME participation demonstrates the success of Network Rail's strategic initiatives in creating an environment conducive to small business growth.

Local Impact and Economic Stimulus

The positive impact of Network Rail's initiative extends beyond the impressive numbers. The injection of £1.3 billion into SMEs not only fuels their growth but also stimulates local economies. By empowering local businesses, Network Rail contributes to job creation, skills development, and community resilience, fostering a more sustainable and inclusive economic landscape.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Network Rail's dedication to supporting SMEs underscores its commitment to diversity and inclusion within its supply chain. By actively engaging with a diverse array of suppliers, Network Rail not only strengthens the resilience of its operations but also contributes to the broader socioeconomic development of the regions it serves.


The success of Network Rail's initiative in supporting over 3,000 SMEs through £1.3 billion worth of business demonstrates the positive outcomes achievable when large entities prioritise local engagement. As Network Rail continues to champion diversity and inclusion in its supplier base, the ripple effect on local economies and communities is poised to create a lasting impact. This transformative approach sets a precedent for other industries to explore ways to empower and uplift small businesses, contributing to a more resilient and vibrant economic landscape.

Elevate your bids

We're dedicated on staying ahead with the latest news and market trends, using insights to shape your bidding strategy. Choose us for your next bid, where our comprehensive services include bid strategy, bid management, and design. With a remarkable 96% success rate in 2023, we're here to guide you seamlessly along the path to success.

Our results in 2023

Success in Numbers

Success Rate
Repeat Business

Get in Touch

Find out how we can remove the burden of writing tender responses.

webid consult office picture