Welsh Government has confirmed that the ‘Future Valleys’ consortium has been awarded the contract to take forward improvements to Section 5 and 6 of the A465, following their appointment as preferred bidder in June.
Sections 5 and 6 are an 18km stretch of road between Dowlais Top, Merthyr Tydfl and Hirwain. They are the western section of the wider dualling programme, and their construction will complete the dualling of the A465 a long-standing commitment of Welsh Government. The scheme will see the existing three lane road converted to two lanes in each direction. Construction is due to start in earnest in early 2021 and be finished by mid-2025.
Future Valleys (FCC, Roadbridge, Meridiam, Alun Griffiths (contractors) and Atkins) comprises large international construction companies alongside established financial investors – each with significant experience of working in partnership with the public sector. They are partnered with Welsh contractors and design teams with knowledge of the area and the local supply chain.
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, said:
“I’m pleased we have been able to award Future Valleys the contract to take forward these improvements. The A465 is a vital part of the strategic road network and when complete will form a high standard alternative route to the M4 and a key northern cross-Valley Link for the South Wales Metro. It will also improve facilities for active travel and access to key public services.
“The work will have a strong focus on delivering community benefits, supporting the objectives of the Valleys Task Force. This will include: apprenticeships and training; employment of local people and business; spend with Welsh companies; engagement with schools and colleges; and supporting community groups and events.
“While it is inevitable there will be disruption while the project is being built, the contract requires Future Valleys to mitigate these impacts with financial penalties for non-performance.
Rebecca Evans, Finance Minister, commented:
“The investment from this scheme is vital as we look to support the region’s recovery from the social and economic impacts of coronavirus. An estimated £400 million of project spend will be in Wales, with £170 million within the Heads of the Valleys region, generating a projected £675 million value for the wider welsh economy.
“I am delighted that we are able to bring forward this project as the first to be delivered via our new Mutual Investment Model. Delivering the scheme in this way provides the best opportunity to complete the scheme as quickly as possible. Having such a large infrastructure project ready to go within the region has the real potential to accelerate the regional recovery.