Network Rail has awarded contracts worth up to £640 million through its Design Services Framework.
The contracts went live on New Year’s Day, and have been awarded to 34 different suppliers, who will undertake work during Control Period 6 (CP6), and potentially into Control Period 7 (CP7).
Replacing the Multi-Functional Design Framework, the Design Services Framework has seen two contracts per region awarded in 10 single disciplines – buildings & architecture; civil & structural; consents & environment; E&P contact systems; E&P distribution design; E&P plant; geotechnical; signalling; telecoms; and track.
Four multi-discipline frameworks have also been awarded at a national level.
In total, 82 framework contracts have been handed out as part of the Design Services Framework, featuring 78 single-discipline and the aforementioned four multi-discipline frameworks.
The new framework hopes to ultimately provide access to a wider range of multi-skilled suppliers including SMEs, who form approximately 25% of single discipline suppliers awarded through the framework.
Design services will be delivered across the country during CP6; for this five-year funding period, the contracts awarded are worth £400 million, but because of the option to extend into CP7, the total value of the framework contracts could be as much as £640 million.
Daljinder Chatta, Network Rail commercial director, explained the benefits that the framework will provide.
“Network Rail will have greater access to a design support network providing mutual benefits to both Network Rail and the supply chain.
“Some of these include working more directly with suppliers, improved assurance, getting closer to experts, improved business and safety performance, and enabling innovation to thrive.”
The recipients of the multi-discipline national frameworks are AECOM, Jacobs UK, Mott MacDonald, and WSP.
The single-discipline regional contracts meanwhile, contain a mixture of larger, well-known organisations, as well as SMEs.
It is another significant contract handed out as part of the five years up to April 2024 which will see the greatest spend on the railway ever seen in the UK.