Exclusive: Contracting authority lines up joint venture for major framework

A heavyweight joint venture between Gleeds, Aecom and Pick Everard is being lined up for Scape’s £350m consultancy framework, Building understands.

The JV has beaten off competition from four others including Mace, Turner & Townsend and the previous holder of its consultancy framework Faithful+Gould, who this time around teamed up with Arcadis, Bilfinger GVA and Grant Thornton to bid after Scape set a turnover threshold of £125m per annum for bidders. The other bidder was Norse Group, a consultant wholey-owned by Norfolk County Council.

Multiple market sources told Building the Gleeds-led team had pipped its rivals for the framework, with a winner expected to be confirmed by the end of this month.

Scape and Pick Everard declined to comment. Building has contacted Gleeds and Aecom for comment.

The four-year Built Environment Consultancy Services (BECS) framework will be open for use by all public sector clients and will cover project management, quantity surveying, architecture, engineering services and strategic asset management.

Scape describes the BECS framework as “new”, but it in effect replaces its existing Asset Management, Survey and Design Services framework, which is held by Faithful+Gould and expires at the end of this September.

Gleeds, Pick Everard and Aecom said on entering the race for the framework in December that the joint venture between them would offer “a unique range of framework experience with a ‘best in breed’ complimentary skill set”.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will form the vast majority of our supply chain, with specialist international consultants also engaged to provide clients with the broadest range of services,” the trio added.

The firms have worked together before for clients including Sellafield, the Education Funding Agency and Kent County council.

Scape runs a number of frameworks and yesterday announced that its four-year major works framework, that is being re-procured, has increased its estimate value from £5.5bn to £7bn.

Unlike Scape’s existing major works agreement, held solely by Willmott Dixon, the latest version will be split into five lots and appoint a lead contractor to each one.

Meanwhile the other major public sector consultancy framework from the government’s buying arm, the Crown Commercial Service, is being procured later this year after suffering repeated delays.

The £2.9bn flagship Project Management and Full Design Team Service framework had been expected to launch this month.