Bucknall Austin, Turner & Townsend, Faithful + Gould and Buro Four sign three-year contracts

The Royal Mail has outsourced the project management of its construction programme over the next three years.

The four companies involved are Bucknall Austin, Turner & Townsend, Faithful + Gould and Buro Four.

A spokesperson for Royal Mail said: “Following outsourcing tenders we have selected four companies to cover project management for forthcoming building, plant and equipment programmes.”

The contracts have been awarded at a regional level but all four have been informed that they are likely to be involved in national appointments as well.

F+G has been appointed for south-west England and Wales. Ian Metcalfe, a director of the consultant, said that his firm would fulfil a number of roles.

The contracts will be multimillion-pound deals for each of the four consultancies, although exact figures have yet to be revealed. Expenditure within the property division of Royal Mail was in the region of £100m last year.

Andy Mace, a partner at Bucknall Austin, said: “All four consultancies will be working regionally, but any of us can be appointed nationally over the course of the contract. The contract is for three years but renewable to six.”

The appointments follow a wider move by Royal Mail to outsource work. Two weeks ago it said it was planning to dispose of 130 vacant properties and transfer the ownership of a further 180.

David Flowers, Royal Mail’s property director, said: “It is essential that Royal Mail continues to drive efficiencies in all areas of the business. This proposal forms part of our strategy of reducing the cost of property to our operation.”

Royal Mail employs 196,000 people, 1% of the UK workforce.