National Highways announces new £3.5bn framework

By Leila Steed21 September 2021

National Highways' M5-Oldbury Viaduct renewal scheme.

National Highways, formerly known as Highways England, has awarded 50 construction sector companies places on its new £3.5 billion infrastructure framework.

The six-year-long Scheme Delivery Framework (SDF) comprises 16 lots, covering contracts for maintenance, renewal, improvements and small scale construction works to England’s road and motorway network.

Leading construction group Galliford Try and engineering services provider WSP are among the companies that have been awarded places on the SDF, which is designed to “support the delivery of National Highways’ decarbonisation, sustainability and environmental ambitions across its renewals programme”.

The new government framework, which replaces the existing Construction Works Framework, aims to enable “a diverse pool of suppliers of all sizes to work directly with National Highways”.

Unlike previous frameworks, the SDF incorporates a new approach that includes a focus on social value “throughout the procurement process”.

With key themes including creating new jobs, new skills and tackling workforce inequality, National Highways said the new approach will help ensure that “suppliers are measured on their contribution and impact socially within each region”.

According to Duncan Smith, Acting Executive Director for Operations at National Highways, around 23% of the overall framework value has been awarded to SMEs.

Smith said, “The framework offers a blend of large capital work along with smaller specialist opportunities that maximises the ability for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to develop a direct relationship with National Highways, driving growth within the industry and introducing more innovation.”

The SDF comprises award values for the 50 selected suppliers vary between £1 million and £144 million. 

Galliford Try was awarded places on both the Civils lot for the North super-region and on the Drainage lot for the Midlands, which are estimated to be worth around £120 million over the next six years.

Bill Hocking, Chief Executive of Galliford Try, said, “We have an excellent relationship with National Highways, and this further framework will only help to strengthen that further.

“We look forward to taking our place on the SDF and working with all the supply partners and stakeholders involved to provide the vital improvements our national infrastructure needs.”

WSP secured Design Services roles for the East Region, North West Region and the South Super Region on the new National Highways framework.

While the company did not reveal the value of the awards, Charlie Hodgson, Managing Director for Transport & Infrastructure at WSP, said, “I’m delighted that we’ve been successful on this framework and part of this innovative new approach from National Highways.

“WSP has a long-standing heritage of road asset maintenance design for multiple local authorities and national operators, and this framework will enable us to play a central role in the SDF supplier community in renewing and improving some of the country’s most vital roads.”

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