Redrock
Stockport's Redrock complex was procured under the previous iteration of NWCH's high value framework

Bidders line up for £1.5bn NWCH framework

Charlie Schouten

Contractors including ISG, Styles & Wood, and Willmott Dixon, alongside framework incumbents Bam, Galliford Try and Kier are all looking to bid for the North West Construction Hub’s refreshed high value framework, Place North West understands.

The current high value framework, worth £1.5bn, is currently held by Bam, Galliford Try, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Morgan Sindall, and Wates, and covers projects across the North West worth more than £9m.

The NWCH issued tender documents for a refreshed framework in January this year, with significant changes, including procuring the deal across three lots.

The first covers works between £8m and £15m; the second covers works ranging between £15m and £35m; and the third includes works worth more than £35m.

NWCH said at the time of issuing tender documents that it expected to invite 16 firms to tender the framework, and it is understood that a number of interested parties have put their names forward.

Including all six incumbents, contractors understood to be looking at the framework include Graham, Robertson, ISG, Willmott Dixon, John Sisk & Son, and Styles & Wood.

Other contracts including Engie – formerly Keepmoat Regneration – Vinci, Eric Wright Group, and Interserve, are all also weighing up bidding for the framework.

Graham, Interserve, ISG, and Willmott Dixon were all understood to have bid for the framework in its last iteration, which was first procured in 2013, but were unsuccessful in winning a place.

Styles & Wood, which was acquired by CSHL in December last year, has increased its push into different areas of construction in recent years, having won a place on a regional lot of Education & Skills Funding Agency’s £8bn framework in November 2017.

It is also understood to have poached a number of senior framework managers from other contractors over the past 12 months, but the company declined to comment on whether it was bidding for the NWCH framework.

The procurement for the refreshed framework has been hit with some difficulty after tender documents had to be reissued in early February. This was understood to be due to issues with language used in the documents which would leave NWCH open to a legal challenge once any contracts were awarded.

Since its establishment in 2009, the NWCH has delivered around 300 projects for around 80 clients, covering a construction value of more than £1.5bn. Projects have been completed across Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, and Cheshire through the framework.

NWCH is also looking to reprocure its medium value framework, which covers projects between £2m and £9m, after starting soft market testing earlier this year.

The contractors currently on the medium value framework are Bam, Conlon, Galliford Try, ISG, Keepmoat, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Seddon, Vinci, Wates, and Willmott Dixon.

NWCH declined to comment.

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