Press release

HS2 to create jobs and boost skills as companies shortlisted for major engineering contracts

HS2 Ltd today announced significant progress on the design and development of HS2 including the shortlisting of companies in the race to win a package of work which will contribute to the creation of up to 14,600 jobs and apprenticeships across the UK.

HS2 Engineering

Through these major contracts, and the National College for High Speed Rail at Birmingham and Doncaster, HS2 is creating high quality careers and giving young people the skills and experience needed to seize these opportunities.

Today’s announcements include a shortlist of 9 bidders for between £7.1 and £11.8 billion worth of civil engineering work between London and Crewe, the start of formal tendering for up to £900 million worth of enabling works and the start of the procurement process to grow several million trees to plant alongside the line.

Civil engineering contracts covering the 140 miles from London to Birmingham are expected to be signed in 2017 with the start of work on site one year later.

The following bidders have been shortlisted for at least one package each:

  • Align Joint Venture (Bouygues, VolkerFitzpatrick, Sir Robert McAlpine)
  • ASL (Acciona Infraestructuras, John Sisk & Son, Lagan)
  • BBV (Balfour Beatty, VINCI BeMo)
  • Catalyst (Bechtel)
  • CEK (Carillion, Eiffage, Kier)
  • Fusion (Morgan Sindall, BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman)
  • LFM (Laing O’Rourke, FCC Construccion, J. Murphy and Sons Limited
  • Momentum Infrastructure (Dragados, HOCHTIEF, GallifordTry)
  • SCS (Skanska, Costain, STRABAG)

Firms that deliver the best results in terms of value and efficiency will be eligible to bid for work on an additional 40 miles between Birmingham and Crewe, due to open in 2027.

The HS2 Bill is due to return to the Commons today, Wednesday 23 March, for the latest vote in the legislative process, before the Bill moves on to the Lords. Royal Assent is expected at the end of the year, with the start of construction in 2017.

HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Simon Kirby said:

Today’s announcements are a major milestone for the project. Over the next 10 years HS2 will help create tens of thousands of job opportunities, build specialist skills and expertise across the country and create at least 2,000 new apprenticeships.

Collaboration will be at the heart of everything we do. Together with our suppliers, we will create these opportunities while continuing to push for the best value and long term efficiency that will be essential to delivering this transformational project on time and on budget.

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said:

HS2 is an exceptional opportunity for businesses, creating thousands of jobs during construction and helping to rebalance our economy long before trains start running in 2026.

This major moment in the procurement process takes us a step further to getting spades in the ground next year, so construction can begin on this vital railway.

Today also saw the start of procurement for nearly 2 million native trees for advance planting and up to 5 million more to be bought in the next 10 years to blend the route into the surrounding landscape.

The contracts are expected to be signed in the autumn, providing time for trees to be grown and ready for planting throughout the construction period.

HS2 Ltd also confirmed that it has invited 7 joint ventures to formally tender for enabling work, preparing sites for the start of construction and carrying out essential pre-construction activity such as utilities diversions and archaeological surveys.

In a further milestone for the wider project, HS2 Ltd also published details of engineering design work worth up to £500 million for developing the detailed plans for Phase Two, including Crewe to Manchester and Birmingham to Leeds, ahead of a formal route decision on Phase Two, expected in the autumn.

Applicants are expected to be shortlisted in the summer with the successful bidders appointed once the route has been announced.

Additional work covering stations and railway systems will follow over the course of the next year. In total the first phase of the project is forecast to create 14,600 construction jobs and quality apprenticeships for our young people, the majority of which will be in civil engineering.

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Published 23 March 2016