Highways England launches £9bn NEC4 framework

Highways England has launched a new multi-billion-pound framework for delivery of major motorway and A-road projects in England.

A556 Knutsford to Bowdon bypass: Highways England used NEC to deliver project
A556 Knutsford to Bowdon bypass: Highways England used NEC to deliver project
The new ‘regional delivery partnership’ announced by Highways England this January will replace its £5bn NEC3-based ‘collaborative delivery framework’. This 5 year framework was launched in November 2014 but will reach its headline value this year.

Regional delivery integration partners will be appointed later this year under the first £8.7bn phase of the new framework to deliver 8 schemes such as conventional road widening and junction improvements. All contracts will be let under a standard NEC4 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC).

A second £0.3bn phase of the framework will be launched this autumn for development of route options using technical advisors appointed under NEC4 contracts. A new and separate procurement process will be launched at the end of the year for delivery of the smart motorways programme.

Procurement director Sharon Cuff says: "The new contract model puts collaboration at the heart of the relationships necessary to deliver our road investment strategy at the scale and pace required and I urge all of the supply chain to engage."

Cuff wants Highways England to be the ‘client of choice’ in the sector and recognises the important role the supply chain played in helping to shape and innovate its procurement models.

Meanwhile, leading UK public-sector construction framework operator Scape Group has just appointed contractors for its new £1.1bn, 4 year regional construction framework based on NEC4.

Designed for  projects up to £5m in the Midlands and eastern England, all contracts will be let from this month onwards under NEC4 ECC or NEC4 Engineering and Construction Short Contracts (ECSC).

The winning bidders for the 11 value-based lots were Morgan Sindall (£1–5m); Ashe Construction, Clegg Construction, Fortem and GF Tomlinson (£0.5–2.5m); and RG Carter Building, Conamar Building Services, Jeakins Weir, John Graham Holdings, Lindum Group and Seddon Construction (up to £0.75m).