Network Rail, Atkins, Laing O’Rourke and VolkerRail have formed the industry’s first ‘pure construction alliance’ to deliver £250 million Stafford Area Improvement Programme (SAIP) that will boost the trades.
The initiative, part of the West Coast Main Line, will see all sides working together and sharing information under a model trialled in Australia, where all parties share the benefits and the risks of the project.
This new venture represents a clear move away from the more traditional ‘hub and spoke’ style of contracting towards a completely integrated ‘one team’ structure expected to boost employment in the construction industry.
The formation of the SAIP Alliance has been welcomed by Network Rail’s managing director of infrastructure projects Simon Kirby who believes it represents a key change for the rail industry.
He said: “This type of truly collaborative approach is the natural way forward for contracting within Network Rail and indeed the wider rail industry. By adopting a common focus and shared approach with our industry partners, this will ultimately help to drive down costs, reduce risk and lead to the more efficient and timely delivery of major projects such as Stafford.”
The Alliance partners also believe that the approach adopted for Stafford heralds the way forward for cross-industry contracting.
Said Steve Higham of Atkins and a member of the Alliance Leadership Team said: “There is a clear requirement for us all to work smarter to reduce the cost of running the railway.
“We will collaborate with our alliance partners to do just that. With proven expertise in complex signalling projects, Atkins will deliver signalling, power, telecommunications and all multi-functional design for this important scheme.
“SAIP is an exciting project and provides an opportunity to push the boundaries of infrastructure delivery through innovation.”
Homebuilders and property developers will benefit from a new £5 million investment for Bristol’s Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone which will bring thousands of new jobs in the area, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) revealed today.
Bristol City Council will invest £3.8 million to buy Brunel’s Old Station building and bring the property to public ownership whilst detailed plans for reconstruction and building work are taking place.
The HCA said part of the building could be used for the rail industry to improve services between Bristol and London, with the remaining space used to build conference facilities to support the growth of creative industries within the Enterprise.
Network Rail Western’s route Managing Director, Patrick Hallgate, welcomed the move by the HCA and Bristol City Council to improve railway facilities in Bristol and deal with the continually increasing demand.
Mr Hallgate said: “We need to grow the railway to cater for this boom and there is potential to do so by redeveloping the land, buildings and railway in the Bristol area. A shared vision and firm support from key players such as HCA and the council will be instrumental in helping us shape a successful rail strategy that also fits in with the enterprise zone’s vision for the future of Bristol.”
With the remaining £1.2 million, HCA announced it will support the relocation of Pest Control Depot and its existing facilities to a new purpose build depot elsewhere in the city. It has been forecasted that both projects will create 17,000 jobs over the next 25 years and deliver sustainable economic growth within the area.
HCA Head of Area, David Warburton, said this vital investment will create great opportunities for a number of organisations, provide improved workplace for thousands of individuals and improve public facilities.
Mr Warburton said: “It’s vital that Brunel’s Old Station is used to its full potential, whether that be to support Network Rail Western’s plans for improved transport links, or provide improved workspace and facilities for companies who want to be based here. Working with the City Council to acquire the building will allow us to do that.”
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