Transport for Wales (TfW) has awarded early contractor involvement (ECI) contracts to three engineering and construction companies for associated South Wales Metro projects.

The contracts were won by Balfour Beatty, Alun Griffiths and Siemens Mobility.

This move is part of the procurement process for the first South Wales Metro projects, such as track work, control systems, stations and a new fleet maintenance depot in Taff’s Well.

The ECI contracts encompass preparatory work to develop plans ahead of the main procurement process for engineering projects.

All three companies will now assist TfW on these projects, as well as work to form a supply chain with local businesses.

Transport for Wales chief executive James Price said: “The South Wales Metro is one of our most important and exciting projects, and I’m delighted that Transport for Wales will be working with three renowned companies on the first crucial stages of our plans to transform public transport, both in the South Wales region and throughout the Wales and Borders network as a whole.

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“The development of the Metro will be a major boost to the local economy of South Wales, creating jobs directly and in the local supply chain.”

In October, the Welsh Government secured £119m in funding from the European Union (EU) to support infrastructure works on the South Wales Metro.

TfW has devised a £5bn investment programme to transform the transport sector across the Wales and Borders network.

The programme focuses on improving customer experience, as well as enhancing the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the region.