British firms are expected to win the lion’s share of construction contracts awarded by the Turkish government in the aftermath of last year’s earthquake. Koray Aydin, Turkey’s minister for public works and settlement, said his government intended to use British construction firms where possible. Rebuilding work is expected to take about 10 years and lead to contracts worth billions of pounds.

A report by the British Earthquake Consortium for Turkey, which includes Balfour Beatty, Bovis Lend Lease, John Laing and Ove Arup & Partners, has identified water systems and a regional hospital as construction priorities.

The UK government is underwriting at least £35m in export credit guarantees. Construction minister Nick Raynsford said the consortium’s report would help the Turkish authorities through the rebuilding process.

He added: “This understanding by the Turkish government indicates real potential for British companies to undertake major construction projects in Turkey.”