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Big winners in the T5 bonanza

As Terminal 5 opens to the public next week, CN looks at which contractors have done best out of this massive development. By Steve Menary

More than £6.2 billion-worth of work has flowed out of the Heathrow in the decade leading up to the construction of Terminal 5, according to an exclusive survey for Construction News.

Research by Emap Glenigan covers projects that form part of the Terminal 5 development and associated schemes linked to the project, such as roads, hotels and warehouse developments.

The study covers jobs let from 1998 up to last year and shows 137 main contracts - projects valued at £100,000 or more.

This work boom ranged from the main £4.3 billion T5 deal to relatively minor schemes pushed forward to prepare for the increased numbers of people and businesses that the enlarged airport would attract.
Schemes like a £200,000 roundabout built by Carillion in 1998 for the London Borough of Hillingdon to a £1.9 million flood alleviation project at Hayes Manor School carried out in 2005 by Enterprise. What the study also shows is a year-by-year breakdown of how the main contracts flowed out.

A decade ago, 21 deals for construction work were let around Heathrow, worth just £50 million. Little preparatory work for T5 was carried out as the planning enquiry dragged on.

In 2001 that enquiry ruled in favour of the project and work began spinning out of T5, from apron repairs to projects aimed at cashing in on an enlarged T5, such as an £8.4 million distribution centre funded by Axa Sun Life and built by Carillion.

Largest package of work

The construction of Heathrow’s fifth terminal itself had Laing O’Rourke undertake the largest package of work within BAA’s integrated construction team, but a number of other players, such as Amec, Balfour Beatty and Warings, also picked up millions of pounds worth of work from the T5 jamboree.

According to Emap Glenigan’s research, the biggest winner in the first year of the survey was Mansell. Now a Balfour Beatty subsidiary, it booked in three jobs worth £7.5 million.

In 1999 Bovis Lend Lease was the big winner with a £32 million deal for the Hilton Hotel.

By the next year, approval of T5 was widely anticipated and companies using the airport were expanding warehouses.

In 2001, the scheme received approval and Laing O’Rourke started work on the T5 civils infrastructure package. Outside of the main T5 project, Amec booked in five jobs worth £281 million.

With Laing O’Rourke signed up for the overall project, main contract awards dropped off in 2002, although Balfour Beatty still picked up £101 million of Heathrow-related work.

In 2003, work began flooding out of T5 again for contractors of all sizes. Balfour Beatty took on £295 million of road works and Morgan Sindall landed £325 million-worth of contracts, including a £250 million logistics centre scheme.

In 2004 Mace took the biggest job with the £110 million Pier Six project at Terminal three.

In 2005 the workload coming out of Heathrow dipped under £100 million as the focus shifted to improving cargo facilities.

The next year saw a brief revival. Warings took £8.5 million-worth of fit-out deals on T5 and Laing O’Rourke took on a £90 million hotel development.

In 2007 work was subsiding and ISG was the biggest winner with a £25 million office refurbishment.

The bonanza is now over but proposals for another runway could yet start another boom.