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SMEs to benefit from spin-off work

Troubled Carillion secures share of HS2 contracts

HS2: aims to transform northern England


Troubled construction company Carillion has secured a share of £6.6 billion in contracts for the first phase of the HS2 high speed rail line.

SMEs across the UK are expected to secure the bulk of 7,000 spin-off contracts.

Carillion, now run in the interim by former Weir and Stagecoach CEO Keith Cochrane, forms part of the CEK consortium with Eiffage and Kier. Other winners include Costain and Balfour Beatty.

The government revealed the companies which will build tunnels, bridges and embankments on the first stretch of the line which links London with Birmingham and the West Coast Main Line near Lichfield.

The final routes of the Manchester and Leeds branches of HS2 are due to be announced later.

All the packages have been let as two-part design and build contracts, to “encourage innovation and flexibility” in delivery and collaboration across the supply chain and with HS2 Ltd.

HS2 is expected to provide 16,000 jobs and 7,000 contract opportunities in the supply chain, of which about 60% are expected to go to SMEs.

Trains will carry more than 300,000 people a day – freeing up thousands of seats and creating extra local services.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “As well as providing desperately needed new seats and better connecting our major cities, HS2 will help rebalance our economy.”

Opponents say the project will be damaging to the environment, is too expensive and may prove to be a white elephant by the time the first trains run in 2026. Critics say the time saved will be of only marginal benefit in a digital age.

The decision over its route through the North of England has been delayed for several years due to a series of disagreements, the most controversial of which has been which route it should take through Sheffield. It will man demolishing a newly built housing estate in nearby Mexborough.

Mr Grayling said communities affected by the railway would receive “appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect”.

He denied reports that the cost would soar from £55.7 billion to £100bn.

Joe Rukin, of the Stop HS2 campaign, said: “It is time to ditch this gigantic white elephant before it is too late.”

Major construction work is due to start next year.

TUC Deputy General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “This is a shot in the arm for Brexit Britain. It will provide thousands of decent jobs, billions in investment, and help close the north-south divide.

“HS2 is a real opportunity for British steel to shine. The next phase of HS2 should bring jobs and investment to the parts of Britain that need them most

“Government must play its part, working with unions and suppliers to ensure that HS2 and other key infrastructure projects deliver the maximum benefit to the UK.”

The joint ventures are as follows:

  • Area South
    • S1: Euston Tunnels and Approaches – SCS JV (Skanska Construction UKLtd, Costain Ltd, STRABAG AG)
    • S2: Northolt Tunnels – SCS JV (Skanska Construction UK Ltd, Costain Ltd, STRABAG AG)
  • Area Central
    • C1: Chiltern Tunnels and Colne Valley Viaduct – Align JV (Bouygues Travaux Publics, VolkerFitzpatrick, Sir Robert McAlpine)
    • C2: North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley – CEK JV (Carillion Construction Ltd, Eiffage Genie Civil SA, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd)
    • C3: Brackley to South Portal of Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel – CEK JV (Carillion Construction Ltd, Eiffage Genie Civil SA, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd)
  • Area North
    • N1: Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction and Birmingham Spur – BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, VINCI Construction UK Ltd, VINCI Construction Terrassement)
    • N2: Delta Junction to WCML Tie-In – BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, VINCI Construction UK Ltd, VINCI Construction Terrassement)

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