The charity making life better by water

We've appointed further civil engineering contrators

We've appointed seven further contractors to work alongside the newly appointed JN Bentley and Kier to carry out construction and engineering projects across its 2,000 miles of waterways over the next decade.

Works at Wigan, Leeds & Liverpool

The seven new contracts have a potential worth of approximately £300m, bringing our total civil engineering contract total to approximately £800m, and are part of our largest ever award of waterway engineering contracts. Playing a pivotal role in helping us protect and preserve the nation's canals, reservoirs and river navigations, the contracts will commence from August 2022, with an initial mobilisation phase.

Who are the contractors?

The seven contractors are: Amco; Breheny; CPC Civils; Forkers; Jacksons; Land and Water; and Onsite. They have been appointed to deliver less complex projects on a regional basis, including those funded by third parties such as towpath and access improvements.

These contractors will play an important role in supporting us and working alongside JN Bentley and Kier, who cover the north and south of the network respectively and will carry out the largest restoration and repair projects, including responding to dynamic situations, such as flooding or canal breaches. JN Bentley and Kier will also undertake non-complex works alongside the seven new contractors.

A vital role to play

Malcolm Horne, our chief infrastructure and programmes officer, said: “Built 250 years ago as arteries of the Industrial Revolution, the canal network has been rediscovered and is today used by more people than at any point in its history. With research showing that spending time by water is good for mental health and wellbeing, and with canals on the doorsteps of millions of people, the waterways have a vital role to play in the communities they run through.

“The ongoing task of caring for the thousands of historic assets that make up this extraordinary infrastructure network requires a substantial programme of work that, as the charity dedicated to protecting and preserving the waterways, we are committed to investing in. I am delighted to welcome our new contractors who will be working with us to take on this unique challenge.

“Amco, Breheny, CPC Civils, Forkers, Jacksons, Land and Water, and Onsite will be carrying out a suite of projects that will improve the experience for local communities, boaters and visitors, enabling more people to experience the benefits of spending time by the water.”

Carefully chosen

We are the third largest owner of Listed buildings in the UK, including 46 Scheduled Monuments. The new contracts will cover our 1,582 locks, 55 tunnels, 2,970 bridges, 281 aqueducts and 71 reservoirs. The maintenance of these historic assets requires a huge amount of knowledge, technical expertise, and sensitivity to the heritage requirements.

The new contracts are awarded for a period of up to 10 years from August 2022, with an initial term of four years, followed by extension options of a further six years. A rigorous six-stage tender process was carried out over a 20-month period.

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Last Edited: 30 August 2022

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