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Balfour Beatty secure £52million early environment works on HS2 contract

Balfour Beatty New SK
Tree planting

Balfour Beatty announced the award of a £52million contract on behalf of HS2, to deliver environmental works across the route from West Midlands to Crewe. The contract has been awarded through SCAPE Civil Engineering.

As part of the contract, Balfour Beatty will create a number of new environmental habitats along the 64km section of Europe’s largest infrastructure project, including woodland and wetlands.

In addition, the company will plant thousands of trees covering the equivalent of 86 football pitches; more than 18 miles of new hedgerows; and enough grassland meadows to cover 140 football pitches, to encourage wildflowers and wildlife to flourish.

Having launched its sustainability strategy, Building New Futures, last year, this latest contract award supports Balfour Beatty’s bold and ambitious targets of going beyond net zero and positively impacting more than one million people by 2040.

The award follows Royal Assent in February 2021 for the latest 36-mile section of the railway, opening HS2’s first section to provide seamless, low carbon, high speed rail services between Crewe, the West Midlands and London, and link to the mainline for direct services North.

Balfour Beatty’s contract with HS2 builds on our “Building New Futures” strategy through which we’re committed to leaving a lasting positive legacy for the communities in which we operate. Our work on the route between Crewe and the West Midlands will build a better, greener future for everyone - through our ongoing and essential work to protect the environment, and our continued focus on providing employment opportunities for local businesses and people.

Mark Bullock
Chief Executive Officer of Balfour Beatty’s UK Construction Services Business

We said that we wanted to bring the benefits of HS2 to the north earlier than originally planned, and this early environmental works contract with Balfour Beatty on the new route to Crewe will put that promise into action. Creating new wildlife habitat and compensating for areas that will be unavoidably affected by the new railway is a crucial early stage in building HS2. And we have an ambition to go further by seeing how we might help environments to support a greater range of flora and fauna than was there before the line.

Colette Carroll
HS2 Ltd phase 2a Delivery Director

Ensuring construction projects create a sustainable, positive legacy has never been more important, as the UK takes strides towards its net zero target. Both SCAPE and Balfour Beatty are committed to protecting and enhancing the environment through best practice and creating these new habitats will help to improve biodiversity, strengthen our ecosystems and protect local wildlife.

Mark Robinson
Group Chief Executive, SCAPE

Early works are already underway with completion scheduled in Spring 2023. At peak construction, the project will employ a workforce of over 200 people as well as a number of graduate and apprenticeship positions.

This latest contract award will help HS2 with the mission to build the most sustainable high speed railway of its kind in the world. The aim will be for commuters and travellers to change their choice of transport which will support the economy, create jobs, reduce carbon emissions and provide reliable travel in a changing climate throughout the 21st century and beyond.

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