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Scramble for Midlands work worth £300m

More than 10 firms are vying for a spot on a four-year Midlands roads framework worth up to £300 million

Bam Nuttall, Interserve, May Gurney and an Aggregate Industries/Geoffrey Osborne joint venture are all understood to be bidding for the Midlands Highway Alliance’s Medium Schemes Framework 1.

Tarmac and Carillion are rumoured to be joining forces to bid while it is thought Balfour Beatty has submitted a pre-qualification questionnaire. It is unclear whether it will deploy its own civils division, or its subsidiary Birse Civils will go for the work.

Aggregates specialists Lafarge, Hanson and Cemex are also thought to be sizing up the framework, which covers individual roads schemes worth up to £12m.

Meanwhile, local firms North Midland Construction and G F Tomlinson are also said to be interested.

Up to seven contractors will be shortlisted and invited to tender on 19 October.

A source at one of the bidders said that the prequalification documents for the framework were proving hard work due to the level of detail required, but that the job was worth it.

“It’s the opportunity to go and work for a very wide range of local authorities. If you get the chance to build one of the £12m schemes, that represents a very good opportunity in this climate.”

Typical schemes on the framework may involve highway improvements and highway infrastructure works – including bridges, subways, culverts and retaining walls – as well as town centre enhancements.

Drainage improvements, canal works and other infrastructure works such as waste management facilities will also be required.

Works will be undertaken for various members of the Midlands Highway Alliance, which is a partnership between multiple local authorities and the Highways Agency.