Key Projects of United Kingdom
Carillion won the 2005 contract for the Barnsley Schools PPP project in the north of England. The £175 million design–build–finance–service contract covered 13 new-build primary schools for Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, with Carillion contributing towards the cost of the construction up front, its costs being recouped through the life of the project. The specification included facilities management services – maintenance and catering – for all of the schools for the remainder of the 27-year concession period. The new schools replaced old buildings, providing modern learning facilities, including ICT suites, for 4,600 children. The schools were built over two years, with the final one being completed in 2007.
A £6.2 billion contract to widen the M25 – a busy motorway circling London – was won by a consortium headed by Balfour Beatty in 2008. The project saw the motorway widened to four lanes along two sections, as well as the refurbishment of the A1(M) Hatfield Tunnel and the operation and maintenance of the M25 and the Dartford Crossing for 30 years.
Britain’s state-owned industries were sold off under successive Conservative governments in the 1980s and 1990s, with British Telecom and British Gas floated on the stock market and competition introduced in the telecoms, gas, electricity, rail and bus markets. Both the domestic private sector and foreign-headquartered companies have, therefore, had a plethora of contracts to bid for if they can provide services and engineering expertise to government and council-specified schemes. Many large construction projects have used public–private partnerships over the last couple of decades, with private finance initiatives seen as a cost-effective way to raise funding for major works. The current coalition government has introduced a new layer of private sector involvement into the state-run National Health Service (NHS), which sees companies – and not-for-profit organisations such as charities – able to bid for contracts for anything from providing mental health services and out-of-hours care to diagnostic work such as blood tests.