• Safer Highways

Big names line-up for £2.7bn Birmingham roads deal



Big name contractors and consultants are eyeing-up the troubled Birmingham Highways PFI job. An open day next week organised by Birmingham City Council will see firms including Arup, Arcadis, Balfour Beatty, Carnell, Colas, Kier and Tarmac discover more information about the £2.7bn deal.

Prospective bidders will go through a competitive and transparent tendering process which is due to begin in February.

The process will take nine months to provide bidders with sufficient time to undertake due diligence and maximise an equal opportunity for all interested firms.

Birmingham originally signed a 25-year, £2.7bn highways management and maintenance contract back in 2010 with Amey.

But the contractor became embroiled in a lengthy performance dispute with the council which ended in March 2020 with Amey paying £215m to terminate its involvement in the PFI deal.

Kier stepped in as interim contractor while the council and Birmingham Highways Limited – the special purpose vehicle owned by Equitix and PIP Infrastructure Investments – have been working to restructure the contract.

The new contract will cover the remaining 12 years of the initial agreement, from April 2023 to June 2035.

Kevin Hicks, Assistant Director, Highways and Infrastructure, Birmingham City Council said: “Extensive work has been put in over the last two years by all of the project parties and with the close support of the DfT in order to establish a workable and deliverable contract framework. “Many lessons have been learned from the first 10 years of the project and with the insight we have gained from the industry through previous engagement exercises believe that we have an attractive prospect for the market. As a result, we are extremely encouraged and excited by the interest this huge opportunity is generating within the industry.” CEO of Birmingham Highways Limited, Natasha Rouse said: “We are confident that we can create a level playing field for all interested parties, and look forward to presenting our contract to the industry at the Supplier Day in January”.

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