The UK Government has announced the winners of major construction contracts associated with the HS2 Phase One rail link, which are worth a combined sum of nearly £6.6bn.
The contracts are expected to support 16,000 jobs across the country.
SCS JV has won the contract of the Area South, while Area Central will be developed by Align JV and CEK JV.
The CEK JV notably includes British construction firm Carillion, which had reported severe financial difficulties the week before the announcement. The company's unexpected profit downfall triggered a share sell-off that reduced its market capitalisation by roughly £600m.
In addition, BBV JV will be responsible for developing Area North of the Phase One project.
UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is a hugely important step in the construction of Britain’s new railway, and underlines this government’s determination to deliver an economy that works for all.
“HS2 will deliver vital links between some of our country’s biggest cities, helping to drive economic growth and productivity in the north and midlands.”
The awarded contracts comprise main civil engineering works on the first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham, which includes the construction of tunnels, bridges, embankments and viaducts.
Parliament previously granted powers to build the Phase One route that stretches from London Euston to Birmingham last February.
The route is expected to become operational from 2026. Preparatory works have already commenced, while the main construction work is scheduled to start from 2018 / 2019 following detailed design work.
In addition to announcing the winners of the construction contracts, the transport secretary will publish a bill to deliver the next phase of HS2 that will operate from the West Midlands to the West Coast Main Line south of Crewe.
Grayling is also expected to confirm the final Phase 2b route from Crewe to Manchester and Birmingham to the East Midlands and Leeds.
According to expert analysis commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT), the first phase of HS2 is expected to cost nearly £48bn, making the development the most expensive railway network in the world, reported Independent.co.uk.