After a comprehensive tender process, which saw six major companies bid, the Trust has awarded its National Engineering & Construction Contract (NECC) to Kier MG Ltd. The contract will see around £25m of construction works take place each year, helping to ensure that the nation's historic waterways are safe and enjoyable for the millions of people that visit each year either by boat or on foot.
The contract equates to approximately 100 major construction projects and over 200 minor repair projects annually including:
- Channel lining, trench sheeting, and piling;
- Culvert cleaning, lining, inspection and repair;
- Towpath surfacing;
- Repairs to historic locks, bridges and aqueduct repairs, including grouting;
- Safety related reservoir works
- Mechanical & Electrical works;
- Repairs to weirs on both canals and rivers;
- Restoration schemes (which may include new build)
- Minor works including bridge parapet repairs and bank protection projects
The NECC is the Trust's largest single contract and will replace the Omnibus contract, which is currently held by Kier. It's anticipated that this well-established relationship, as well as Kier's knowledge of the Trust, its values and waterways, will bring some major advantages in terms of improved efficiency and customer service.
The initial term of the contract will be six years with options to extend up to a maximum of 10 years. This longer agreement is aimed at encouraging greater capital investment, innovation and improvement in services. The contract will start on 1 April 2015 when the existing Omnibus contract expires and the intervening period will be used to plan works for next year.
Vince Moran, operations director for the Trust, said: “This contract is the result of 18 months of hard work, care and attention reviewing how we manage projects of this type and looking at how we can improve things.
“We're delighted with the way in which Kier have understood and reflected our values and we look forward to continuing our work with them.
“The contract will play a major role in what the Trust is trying to achieve; putting our customers at the heart of what we do and ensuring that our waterways remain special places alive with people, boats and wildlife”.
The NECC is designed to ensure a much closer working relationship between the Trust and Kier, with both organisations working together to deliver continued efficiency, value and excellent customer service.
Kier managing director for utilities, Paul Fletcher, commented: “We are extremely proud to have secured the National Engineering & Construction Contract. The Canal & River Trust is one of our most valued clients and we look forward to enhancing the strong relationship we have developed over the five and a half years of the previous framework. The opportunities for greater integration and collaboration to drive exceptional customer service and sustainable efficiencies are hugely exciting within this progressive and ground-breaking framework.”