Create an engineering legacy for the UK, Chris Grayling tells HS2's international bidders

Rebecca Smith
The first HS2 phase will be split into seven sections
The first HS2 phase will be split into seven sections (Source: Getty)

The UK's biggest infrastructure bidding frenzy starts today - with firms competing for seven packages of civil engineering work to build the first phase of HS2.

Nine international consortia are submitting final bids to win nearly £9bn of contracts, and yesterday, Chris Grayling warned that only those who convince they will invest in a legacy of UK engineering skills will succeed.

The transport secretary, a big-name campaigner for the Leave campaign ahead of the EU referendum, said at an HS2 conference: "We need the right skills to build this runway."

Read more: Senior Tory demands answers on HS2 and airports

While Grayling said he had "no prejudged view" on the nationality of those vying to build the project, he stressed that: "This is a project that has to develop the next generation of engineering skills in the UK."

"If you turn up at our door expecting to do business, hoping to win big contracts without a plan to contribute and to bring along apprentices, then you shouldn't expect to be at the front of the queue of the procurement process," he warned. "That is perfectly legitimate. Our European partners have a long track record of developing skills in their own country."

Grayling added that the sought after contracts would be let on the basis of "best price and best legacy".

The winning consortium is expected to be announced next spring ahead of construction getting going. The initial £900m groundwork enabling contracts are due to be let soon.

Read more: Grayling reveals £70m HS2 compensation fund

The bidders

Tenderer name Consortium
Align Joint Venture

Bouygues Travaux Publics, VolkerFitzpatrick, Sir Robert McAlpine,

ASL Acciona Infraestructuras, John Sisk & Son, Lagan Construction Group

Balfour Beatty VINCI BeMo (BBV)

Balfour Beatty, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, VINCI Construction UK, VINCI Construction Terrassement, BeMo Tunnelling



Carillion-Eiffage-Kier (CEK)

Carillion Construction, Eiffage Genie Civil ,(previously Eiffage TP) Kier Infrastructure and Overseas


Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure,BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman (UK)


Laing O’Rourke Construction, FCC Construccion,J. Murphy and Sons

Momentum Infrastructure

Dragados, Hochtief Infrastructure, GallifordTry Infrastructure


Skanska Construction (UK),Costain, STRABAG

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