Welcome to the latest edition of the Friday Feed!


£44bn worth of contracts are up for grabs in Network Rail’s Control Period 7 (CP7), with £1.6bn earmarked for tackling climate change. CP7, which runs from 2023 – 2023 may not be managed by Network Rail for the whole five years however, as Network Rail is due to be absorbed by Great British Railways during this period, despite what numerous reports in the national media have said.

Digging their way out of it – The sinkhole materialised on 13 May in a field above a completed section of the twin-bore Chiltern tunnel near Amersham.

In more HS2 news, the city council has given the green light for BBV to build Birmingham’s Bellingham Bridge. The bridge named after Birmingham-born footballer Jude Bellingham will carry HS2 high-speed trains into the city’s Curzon Street Station

Rail Minister Hugh Merriman has announced a £72m package to upgrade railway services in Manchester. The funding will deliver a third platform at Salford Crescent station, track improvement work across north Manchester and extra entry and exit points to platforms at Manchester Victoria Station.


Get quashed! With the legal appeal from Transport Action Network now rejected, Skanska’s £950M A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet scheme is due to start construction this year. Between £268m and £860m may be up for grabs as Transport Scotland is set to confirm the preferred scheme to remedy a landslip-prone section of the A83 road in the coming weeks.

Ferrovial reveals £30m loss last year after big provisions for forecast losses on the £2bn Silvertown Tunnel project in East London. Ferrovial said the expected losses were driven by inflation in materials and labour markets against the constraint of a fixed price contract.


Southern Water is looking to splash the cash, as they hunt new partners for their new £6.4bn AMP8 framework. The three lots comprise of water non-infrastructure services worth £1.9bn, the second lot is for wastewater non-infrastructure services and is worth £2.8bn, while the third is for water and wastewater infrastructure services and is worth £1.5bn.

Super news for the super sewer, as the secondary lining milestone has been reached on the £4.5bn Tideway tunnel. In more satisfying sewage news in Staffordshire, Severn Trent has laid out plans for a world-first carbon-neutral wastewater plant, after securing £10m from Ofwat’s innovation competition.


Balfour beats off competition to win a £42m contract to build East Sussex’s new 400kV substation at Little Horsted. The two-year design and build contract includes the new substation, as well as two new terminal towers which will support electrical conductors transmitting high-voltage electricity to the Little Horsted Substation Grid Supply Point. Up in the highlands, SSE Renewables has secured approval for the extension of their Achany Wind Farm, which will consist of 18 turbines.

Finally, new kid on the block. GHECO, a new joint venture between Carlton Power and Schroders Greencoat, is set to accelerate green hydrogen developments aiming for a UK portfolio of 500MW by 2030.


The News


HS2 plans to repair Buckinghamshire sinkhole Construction News

HS2 Ltd is forming a plan to repair the ground in a Buckinghamshire field after a sinkhole appeared. The sinkhole materialised on 13 May in a field above a completed section of the twin-bore Chiltern tunnel near Amersham in Buckinghamshire.


Network Rail sets out its £44bn CP7 plans that focus on passengers and freight New Civil Engineer

Increased investment in tackling the impact of climate change, improving train performance and making the UK’s railways “greener” are promised by Network Rail under its plans for Control Period 7 (CP7), which will run from 2024 to 2029.


12 week closure of Chiltern rail line planned for Victorian culvert repair and HS2 work New Civil Engineer

Network Rail will be closing the Chiltern branch line in Buckinghamshire so its engineers can conduct permanent repairs to a Victoria drainage culvert.


DfT confirms go-ahead for Great British Railways despite speculation on axeingNew Civil Engineer

The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed to NCE that Great British Railways (GBR) is going ahead despite numerous reports in the national media suggesting otherwise.


HS2 gets green light for “exciting” Birmingham viaductConstruction News

Birmingham City Council has approved plans for a 150-metre section of viaduct to carry HS2 high-speed trains into the city’s Curzon Street Station.


Network Rail announces supplier engagement event on 31 May for delivery of works in ScotlandNew Civil Engineer

Network Rail will hold a supplier engagement event on 31 May for works on its Scotland routes as part of Control Period 7 (CP7), with the contracts notice set to be published in late June.


Rail minister announces £72m upgrade package for rail services in ManchesterNew Civil Engineer

Rail minister Huw Merriman has announced a £72m upgrade package for Salford Crescent and Manchester Victoria stations and the railways in north Manchester.



Balfour wins £42m Little Horsted substation contract Construction Enquirer

Balfour Beatty has secured a £42m contract from National Grid to construct the Little Horsted Substation Grid Supply Point in East Sussex.


Balfour Beatty’s £42M National Grid deal will clear the way for South Downs National Park pylon removalNew Civil Engineer

A total of 72 electricity pylons, including 10 within the South Downs National Park, will be removed in the long term following National Grid’s appointed of Balfour Beatty to deliver a £42M upgrade in East Sussex. 


Highlands wind farm expansion gains approvalReNews

The Scottish Government has approved an application by SSE Renewables to build an extension to Achany Wind Farm, near Rosehall in the Scottish Highlands. The farm will consist of 18 turbines.


UKPN launches distribution system operatorReNews

UK Power Networks (UKPN) has launched the nation’s first independent distribution system operator (DSO), which will have a remit of ensuring networks are net zero ready.


UK solar farms can be wildlife havensReNews

The first results of a national survey of wildlife on solar farms has found they are home to many declining species- with most seen on those specifically managed for conservation.



VolkerStevin seals deal to start Sunderland footbridge – Construction Enquirer

VolkerStevin has agreed terms to deliver Sunderland’s £31m ‘smart pedestrian and cycle bridge’ project crossing the Wear.


‘Clueless’ National Highways could be ordered to remove infill from another 100-year-old bridge – New Civil Engineer

National Highways could be ordered to remove over 1,000t of infill from beneath an historic bridge in Norfolk if its retrospective planning application for the work is denied.


Court quashes legal threat to Skanska’s £950M A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet scheme – New Civil Engineer

National Highways has pledged to start construction of a £950M Cambridgeshire dual carriageway project this year after a legal challenge to the work was halted last week.


Announcement on scheme for Scotland’s landslide-prone A83 expected within weeks New Civil Engineer

Transport Scotland is set to confirm the preferred scheme to remedy a landslip-prone section of the A83 road in the western Scottish Highlands “in the coming weeks”.


National Highways marks International Day for Biological Diversity by setting out road-greening strategy New Civil Engineer

National Highways has set out a range of measures under consideration as part of its newly published environmental sustainability strategy, which it is highlighting on the United Nations’ International Day for Biological Diversity, which aims to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.


DfT has not quantified cost and time savings to justify delaying major road projects – New Civil Engineer

The Department for Transport (DfT) has not yet calculated the cost and time savings to back up the decision to delay major road schemes including Lower Thames Crossing by several years.


Skanska gets start date for delayed £507m A428 dualling jobConstruction Enquirer

National Highways has given contractor Skanska a start date for the delayed A428 Black Cat dualling job after legal proceedings against the scheme came to an end.


Ferrovial Construction UK plunges to £30m lossConstruction Enquirer

Ferrovial Construction UK suffered a £30m loss last year after big provisions for forecast losses on the £2bn Silvertown Tunnel project in East London.



Barratt chair to step down early amid ‘disruptive’ allegations – Construction News

Barratt, the UK’s biggest housebuilder, has said its chair John Allan will step down earlier than planned to avoid misconduct allegations against him – which he denies – becoming “disruptive” to the firm.


T&T strengthens UK team with new MDsConstruction Enquirer

Turner & Townsend has strengthened its senior team across the UK, with a trio of promotions to support future growth and ambitions.


Wates regional MD joins McLaughlin & HarveyConstruction Enquirer

McLaughlin & Harvey has recruited John Carlin as a Regional Director as its looks to expand across central England.



Big names win places on £1.5bn social housing retrofit framework Construction News

A five-strong coalition of UK housing associations has appointed more than 100 firms to a £1.48bn framework to retrofit homes for energy efficiency.


London office refurbs jump to near 20-year high Construction News

London has seen the highest number of office refurbishment starts in nearly 20 years as employers look to attract staff back to premises post-Covid, a new survey has revealed. 


Helical to start £100m London office refurb job – Construction Enquirer

Helical has contracted Mace to build the 100 New Bridge Street project, which will now get underway in November with Keltbray carrying out demolition.


Record number of firms win £600m MMC framework Construction Enquirer

Thirty-two firms have bagged a spot on a £600m modern methods of construction framework for new home building.


Over 800 schools granted £450m for refurbsConstruction Enquirer

In total 859 academies, sixth-form colleges and voluntary aided schools will receive a share of the  £456m Condition Improvement Fund to refurbish and repair dilapidated school buildings.


Edinburgh makes £2bn agreement for resi developmentProperty Week

The City of Edinburgh Council has signed an agreement with developer West Town Edinburgh to bring forward a £2bn residential development in the city.


London’s Camden Council advances £470m King’s Cross schemeConstruction Enquirer

London’s Camden Council is advancing plans for a £470m mixed-use scheme near Kings Cross to provide 350 homes and 200,000 sqft of commercial space.


Scottish South West Hub names new partnersConstruction Enquirer

Public sector development partner hub South West Scotland has rejigged its construction partnership agreements with Tier 1 partners.


Fusion 21 picks 61 suppliers for £305m frameworkConstruction News

Wates Property Services, Vinci Construction UK and the Eric Wright Group are among more than 60 companies to have secured places on a £305m public sector framework. The contractors have been selected to join Fusion21’s four year refurbishment, construction, new-build and modular buildings framework.


Green construction/Net zero

New partnership to take UK green hydrogen production forwardInfrastructure Intelligence

Green hydrogen production in the UK is set to take off, following the announcement of a new partnership between Carlton Power, the UK independent energy infrastructure development company, and Schroders Greencoat LLP (“Schroders Greencoat”), the specialist investment manager dedicated to the renewable energy infrastructure sector. 


BREEAM set to reward buildings using less peak-period energyConstruction News

Buildings that are designed to use less energy during peak periods could be incentivised under a proposed update to BREEAM standards.



Secondary lining milestone reached on £4.5bn Tideway super sewer tunnelNew Civil Engineer

Another construction milestone on London’s Tideway super sewer project has been achieved as secondary lining of the Greenwich Connection Tunnel reaches Earl Pumping Station.


Severn Trent sets out plans for world’s first carbon neutral wastewater treatment as a ‘blueprint’ for the future  New Civil Engineer

Staffordshire is set to become home to the world’s first carbon neutral wastewater treatment plant after securing £10M through Ofwat’s £40M innovation competition announced last week.


Southern Water starts searches for £6.2bn AMP8 framework partners New Civil Engineer

Southern Water is looking to appoint firms to three different framework lots worth a total of £6.2bn under its asset management plan 8 (AMP8) investment programme.


Corporate Construction News

Watkin Jones optimistic despite profit slump Construction News

Adjusted pre-tax profit slumped by 97.4 per cent, falling year-on-year from £11.4m to £300,000.


Project pros in construction see salaries rise 10%Construction Enquirer

The average base salary for project professionals in construction has risen by 10% in the last two years to become one of the highest paid sectors in the UK.


Union wants HSW to investigate suicidesThe Construction Index

The Unite union is calling for the remit of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to be extended to mental health in the workplace as well as just physical health and safety.


Five hospitals at risk of collapse added to the new build programmeConstruction Enquirer

The Government has added five hospital projects to its £20bn building programme due to the risk of structural collapse because of weak concrete.


For more information, please contact Caroline Romback, Director –  caroline.romback@copperconsultancy.com