Halton Borough Council, the procuring authority for the Mersey Gateway Bridge PPP Project, has invited the 3 bidding consortia to submit their final tenders.
The Mersey Gateway Bridge PPP Project is a major scheme to build a new six lane free-flow toll bridge over the Mersey between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes. It is the largest local authority infrastructure project that is currently in procurement and was identified as one of the UK government’s Top 40 priority projects in the National Infrastructure Plan.
The project is being procured under the competitive dialogue process and the dialogue period was concluded on 22 February as contemplated in the procurement programme. Final tenders are due by 10 April and the project is on track to reach financial close as scheduled in October.
Rock has worked with Halton Borough Council as its experienced development partner for the project. Mark Swindell, in his role as the project’s Commercial Director, and Matthew Allen, as leader of the commercial team, have provided leadership in the legal, commercial and financial aspects of the project. This has involved:
- negotiating the funding terms for the project with central government;
- developing the Project’s innovative procurement strategy to deliver the best value for money DBFO for the new crossing and a commercial partner for Halton Borough Council that is incentivised to optimise toll revenues from the open road tolling system;
- playing a leading role in discussions with central government regarding the use by the project of the UK Guarantees Scheme to enhance deliverability and the adoption of PF2 principles; and
- working with Halton Borough Council, the Department for Transport and HM Treasury to develop the bespoke governance arrangements for the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, the arms-length subsidiary of Halton Borough Council that will manage the project as the Council’s agent over its lifetime. Celia Carlisle has led Rock’s involvement in this area.
David Parr, CEO of Halton Borough Council, comments:
“Rock have been instrumental in helping Halton bring the Mersey Gateway to market. Mark, Matthew and Celia have worked with our experienced group of advisers to ensure the project is both attractive to the market place, achieves the very best value for money and will achieve our project deliverables.
Mersey Gateway is a complex and ground-breaking infrastructure project and Rock have been both innovative and effective in addressing a number of challenging areas, ensuring the project remains on time and on budget.”