Winner on Washwood Heath scheme due early next year

The race for one of the last major building projects yet to be awarded on the first phase of HS2 has gone down to two bidders, Building understands.

The £275m scheme at Washwood Heath in Birmingham will serve as both the railway’s network control centre and its rolling stock maintenance depot once the line opens.

Turkish contractor Gülermak was the surprise name on a three-strong shortlist for the job when it was announced two years ago but is understood to now be out of the running, leaving a pairing of Vinci and Keltbray up against a team featuring VolkerFitzpatrick and VolkerRail.


Designed by local architect Glenn Howells, the centre is expected to employ more than 550 people

Bidders were given an 11 week extension earlier this year with bids eventually going in in the middle of April.

HS2 declined to comment on who was left in the race but a spokesperson said: “The procurement process for the Washwood Heath depot and the Network Control Centre is ongoing and we intend to award contracts next year.”

The 30ha scheme was given the green light by the city council in January with the depot including a rolling stock maintenance building, carriage wash, automatic vehicle inspection building and 14 sidings where trains can be stored overnight.

Also on the same site will be the Network Integrated Control Centre, the hub of the network’s signalling and control systems as well as office buildings for cleaners and drivers.

A team from HS2’s enabling works contractor LM, a pairing of Laing O’Rourke and Murphy, completed the demolition of the buildings on the site in 2020. The Washwood Heath site was formerly home to the Metro-Cammell railway works, which closed in 2004.