Construction of the new link road, one of Lancashire’s top priority transport projects, edges closer to site. Despite the current delay imposed by the recent request for a judicial review, Costain is pressing ahead with preparation for taking the job to site.

As part of a drive to make mobilisation of the construction phase of this technically challenging scheme as efficient as possible, Costain is investing in pre construction planning and procurement. An important part of this is raising the profile of the scheme with local businesses, by inviting them to play an active role during the construction.

Construction stage spend in the local area is one of the regenerative benefits of the scheme. A recent study has predicted that every £1 invested in the new link road will earn £6 for the local economy. The project has already committed to employing and offering training opportunities to 80 to 100 local people. Costain has already started discussions with the Lancaster Job Centre, Lancaster and Morecambe College and Lancashire County Council about employment, apprentice and training opportunities.

Several local businesses have already been engaged through the development phase of the scheme and we are looking to expand this by raising the presence of the scheme, with the local business community, and procure a broad spectrum of goods and services, not just from traditional civil engineering and construction activities such as; labour, plant hire and maintenance, materials supply, but also; office support, temporary staff, cleaning and janitorial supplies, catering and events providers, amongst other things.

Costain has organised a Meet the Buyer event, to be held at the Holiday Inn Lancaster, on the 30th of May between 1:00pm and 8:00pm. The event, which will be run as an informal drop in session, is focused on demonstrating the opportunities available to local businesses and explaining Costain’s approach to health, safety, the environment.

At the event, Costain and Key Supply Chain Partners staff will be available to discuss the detailed requirements of the scheme and give advice to interested companies on Costain’s procurement processes.

Claire Chapman Chief Executive of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce said “The Chamber is working with Costain to maximise opportunities for local businesses, and has an important role to play in supporting local companies to become procurement ready. We are working with Costain to reduce the barriers which stop small suppliers being able to tender for work. This partnership approach demonstrates a pro-active commitment by all concerned to deliver this project in a way which benefits the local economy and community.”

Andrew Langley Costain Project Manager said “we will recruit and procure locally where ever possible but a complex scheme of this nature means that we will have to bring some specialist skills and expertise from outside the area. As we negotiate we will be encouraging the supply chain to have a buy in to our local commitment with regards to people and training. The project has set itself a target of employing 30% of sub contractors locally and employ and offer training to between 80 and 100 local people”.