Contractor promises “plenty of opportunities” for subcontractors after securing coveted Sellafield contract

Paul Smith, Morgan Sindall chief executive

Morgan Sindall will use the  £1.1bn Sellafield contract it secured last week as a platform to target further opportunities in the Cumbria region and further infrastructure work around the country, the firm’s chief executive has said.

Speaking to Building after the contractor’s joint venture with Arup was chosen as the preferred delivery partner for Sellafield’s Infrastructure Strategic Alliance contract, Morgan Sindall Group chief executive Paul Smith (pictured) said the win was “terrific” news for the firm.

The contract, worth up to £1.1bn over a maximum of 15 years, is part of Sellafield’s long-term programme of strategic investment, and will see the joint venture managing and delivering a series of infrastructure projects and emergent work, ranging from £1m to £50m and providing a range of essential services at the Sellafield nuclear site.

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Morgan Sindall opened an office in Cumbria last December as part of its drive to secure work with Sellafield, and Smith said the contractor’s active presence in the region had helped with its bid.

He said Morgan Sindall would now use the contract as a platform for further growth in Cumbria, particularly through longer-term regeneration opportunities – as well as further infrastructure work around the country.

He said: “The construction market overall is pretty tough at the moment but in certain areas there are some great growth opportunities at the moment and we’ve won here a terrific contract that gives us a lot of growth potential

“In the Cumbria area this really does give us a firm footprint in which to look for longer-term regeneration projects outside of the Sellafield contract itself.

“Our strategy is to target growth opportunities – and we see that in the infrastructure sector – in energy, aviation and rail -  but we also see that in the regeneration arena, where typically government and public sector has got a lot of under-utilised land and assets and our strategy is very much to work to being those back to economic use.

“And that applies to Cumbria. So when we work in an area we do like to develop a longer-term footprint that involves not just construction but regeneration opportunities as well.”

“But we will be targeting further opportunities in infrastructure – rail, aviation and energy, including the nuclear sector – not just in the power generation itself but in bringing power stations onto the gird, in the electricity transmission network, he said

“It’s great news for us really and will help us growth in what are otherwise tough times.”

Smith said contracts would be signed before the end of the year, with the joint venture to start “looking to gear up soon after that”. 

“Exactly when we start on site is still subject to discussion with Sellafield. We’re still working through the details of how we mobilise and how that will actually ramp up,” he added.

He said there would be “plenty of opportunities” for subcontractors through the contract. “We will be engaging with the local supply base. When we’ve previously worked in the region we’ve extensively used local suppliers to underpin our work - so that will be a big part of the work,” he said.

He said Morgan Sindall and Arup would be working as a “very closely knit team” to deliver the contract. “Primarily Arup will be providing more of the programme management and engineering skills and we will be doing more of the utilities and site delivery and civil engineering work – the actual physical work,” he said.