The demise of Carillion has left a number of highly sought-after contracts available, including the construction of the high-speed railway linking London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, HS2. The first opportunistic firm to jump at this opening was Kier, a Bedfordshire based construction company who have since taken on over 200 ex-Carillion employees to continue construction on the project through government funding. This project takeover occurred after Theresa May has gone under fire for offering out such large-scale contracts to Carillion despite the company warning on profits last year.
The Bedfordshire based construction giant has gone into an equal partnership with French firm Eiffage on the railway project.
The employees taken on also include seven apprentices, with company representatives: “ensuring their development is not stunted by Carillion’s collapse.” During an announcement, Kier said of its decision to continue work on HS2 with existing suppliers: “We want to continue working with people who have the skills and existing knowledge of the project to create the best possible result.”
The project continuation has protected a great many jobs for ex-Carillion workers and small subcontractors, along with upholding the deals struck with firms such as Crowders Nurseries who are contracted to supply in excess of 7 million trees and shrubs to line the beginning stage of HS2’s, with a scheduled completion time of 10-years.
“Winning this contract has given us a lot of confidence going forward – it will be huge,” Robert Crowder’s words, post winning the contract for HS2. Once the news of Carillion falling into liquidation made the headlines, the Crowders chairman stated that: “Carillion’s collapse won’t have a major impact on Crowders’ contract as we are a Tier 1 contractor with a direct relationship with HS2.” He continued: “I think the impact of the collapse will be huge. I think there will be a significant knock-on impact with other subcontractors.”
Concern continues to mount for parties involved with the HS2 project without contract guarantees and with a great deal already invested in the project. In reassurance, Kier has pledged to: “pick up the pieces Carillion has left behind.”