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Morgan Sindall, McAlpine and Skanska battle for £1bn Slough deal

Slough Borough Council has entered into talks with three consortia hoping to become the town’s regeneration partner in a deal that could be worth up to £1 billion.

Teams led by Morgan Sindall, Skanska and a John Laing/Sir Robert McAlpine consortium are fighting it out for the 15-year partnering contract, Construction News understands.

The winning team will form a Local Asset Backed Vehicle with the council, designed to use the increasing value of council-owned assets to fund development.

The Slough tender encompasses architectural, construction, engineering and inspection services. The winner will develop a range of sites for housing, retail, office, Education and leisure uses.

Major potential projects include the construction of a stadium, cinema, ice rink and shopping centre (see box).

The LABV will be 50:50 owned by the public and private sectors, with plans for around £100m of work to be carried out in the first five-year phase of the deal, rising to a potential £1bn over 15 years. A single 10-year extension period is also provided for.

Following a pre-qualification exercise, the council has already eliminated a number of potential partners including a Balfour Beatty-led team, CN understands.

Invitations to participate in competitive dialogue were issued to the three shortlisted bidders last month.

According to the minutes of a regeneration report presented to the council’s cabinet, the LABV plan has been devised to help Slough reshape its capital programme “in light of the current economic climate”.

The council revised its capital plan in the face of declining central government funding and amid concerns the economic climate would ensure asset disposals failed to raise sufficient funds to achieve its aims.

It mimics similar deals already struck elsewhere in the UK, including the Morgan Sindall LABV formed in partnership with Bournemouth Borough Council.

John Laing formed one of the first LABVs in the country with Croydon council, known as the Croydon CURVE.

Sir Robert McAlpine pulled out of its £400m deal with Torbay council late last year.

Slough Borough Council declined to comment on the procurement process.

Slough LABV: what does it cover?

An OJEU notice issued by the council covered construction work for:

  • Recreation centre
  • Art and cultural buildings including a library and museum
  • Commercial buildings
  • Hotels
  • Retail projects including a shopping centre
  • Parking facilities including a car park and a park and ride facility
  • Road maintenance works
  • Education projects including kindergarten, primary schools, secondary schools, special schools, colleges, vocational colleges, technical colleges and further education buildings
  • Energy management and distribution services


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