UK-based Rope and Sling Specialists (RSS) has opened a depot in Birmingham to serve the wider Midlands market.

It is the company’s 10th location in the UK, including its Gemmak Engineering fabrication shop, and will be led by manager Paul Smith.

The facility is strategically located in Minworth, Sutton Coldfield, near to phase one worksites for HS2, which will see a new, high-speed railway line constructed from London to the West Midlands, where it will re-join the existing West Coast Mainline.

Steve Hutin, managing director at RSS, said: “I have known Paul for over 20 years; he brings vast experience in business and knowledge on our products. Demand in the region is through the roof and we need to accommodate that with the right expertise and product close to the point of use, which is our modus operandi throughout the country.”

Smith noted that with HS2, it should generate demand for RSS’ equipment over a 10-year period. “In addition to RFID [radio-frequency identification]-chipped shackles, hooks, slings, and harnesses, we will deliver periodic LOLER [Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998] inspections and other services,” he said.

On the growth of RSS, Hutin said that the company hopes to open a further three depots over the next two years.