The winners of the major construction contracts for Britain’s new HS2 railway have been announced, with the government claiming the £6.6 billion in deals will support 16,000 jobs across the country.
The infrastructure investment covers the main civil engineering work on the first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham – including construction of tunnels, bridges, embankments and viaducts.
UK companies Carillion, Costain and Balfour Beatty are among the consortia who will undertake the world.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling announced the decision to award contracts today, which will mean the new high speed link reaching Birmingham by 2026.
Grayling said: “This is a hugely important step in the construction of Britain’s new railway and underlines this government’s determination to deliver an economy that works for all.
“HS2 will deliver vital links between some of our country’s biggest cities, helping to drive economic growth and productivity in the north and midlands.
“As well as providing desperately needed new seats and better connecting our major cities, HS2 will help rebalance our economy.”
Around 60 per cent of the 7,000 supply chain contract opportunities are likely to go to small and medium sized businesses.
HS2 could carry more than 300,000 people a day.
However, critics argue the £56 billion price tag is too high, while there have also been questions over potential demand for the new services.
In total, construction of the full HS2 route to the north-west and Yorkshire will create up to 25,000 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships, claimed the government.
David Higgins, chairman of HS2, said: “This is a huge day for the HS2 project and for the country.
“HS2 was always designed to be much more than just a high speed railway and today we can see the opportunities it brings right around the country - spreading prosperity, acting as a catalyst for investment and rebalancing our economy ten years before the railway even opens.
“Business now has the surety to invest with confidence to build a legacy for Britain.”
The winning bidders to build the first phase of the route are:
- Euston Tunnels and Approaches – SCS JV (Skanska Construction UK, Costain, and Strabag)
- Northolt Tunnels – SCS JV (Skanska Construction UK, Costain, and Strabag)
- Chiltern Tunnels and Colne Valley Viaduct – Align JV (Bouygues Travaux Publics, VolkerFitzpatrick, and Sir Robert McAlpine)
- North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley – CEK JV (Carillion Construction, Eiffage Genie Civil, and Kier Infrastructure & Overseas)
- Brackley to South Portal of Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel – CEK JV (Carillion Construction, Eiffage Genie Civil, and Kier Infrastructure & Overseas)
- Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction and Birmingham Spur – BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group, Vinci Construction Grands Projets, Vinci Construction UK, and Vinci Construction Terrassement)
- Delta Junction to WCML Tie-In – BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group, Vinci Construction Grands Projets, Vinci Construction UK, VINCI Construction Terrassement)
Preparatory works are already underway, with main construction work starting in 2018/19 following a period of detailed design work.