HS2, the agency responsible for implementing UK’s £32bn high-speed rail project, has appointed CH2M HILL as its development partner for the next phase.

Under the £70m contract, CH2M Hill, the parent company of UK consultancy Halcrow, will assist HS2 in the engineering, design and environmental work on the proposed line from London to Birmingham.

The company said the contract will create work for a team of around 80 people, largely consisting of project management and engineering specialists from the UK.

HS2 chief executive Alison Munro said: "Now that HS2 is up and running, it’s time to bring new people on board and I’m very pleased to welcome CH2M Hill as our development partner for the next phase of this exciting project – we will now be able to move forward without delay.

"The appointment means that we will have world class project managers and technical experts working alongside us to deliver the design, engineering and environmental work necessary for the hybrid bill. They will bring, in particular, their highly regarded experience of working on HS1 and Crossrail, two major UK infrastructure projects that have direct relevance to our work."

CH2M Hill will project manage the professional services companies who will undertake design, environmental and land referencing work for the high-speed rail line. The firm will also supervise various professional service contracts, which will be awarded in February this year and HS2 is currently tendering.

CH2M Hill recently acquired Halcrow, which worked on HS1 and Crossrail. The company has previously delivered the construction for the 2012 London Olympics as the Olympic Delivery Authority’s delivery partner, as well as programme managing the London Tideway Tunnel and Crossrail.