A joint venture between global infrastructure services firm AECOM and SLC Rail has been appointed on a pioneering framework, with a maximum value of £30m, to provide rail advisory services to Coventry City Council.

The Rail Advisors Framework will enable the Council to draw on SLC Rail’s unique expertise in conceptualising and developing rail schemes and unlocking third party funding and AECOM’s wide ranging expertise in managing and delivering rail projects.

The activities covered by the framework will be for grant funded projects only, and will include developing business cases for rail projects, negotiating new funding models, project planning, project and programme management, timetable performance modelling and station operation planning.

The initial framework is being placed by Coventry City Council, with access also available to West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) who will also be able to draw on the framework to help plan, fund and deliver rail projects, such as new and enhanced existing stations.

The agreement will support a longer-term strategy of improving transport in Coventry and across the West Midlands, ensuring the region is ready for HS2 from 2026 and beyond.

Simon Middleton, Regional Director, Transportation at AECOM said: “AECOM and SLC bring a unique breadth of expertise to support rail projects. The projects that will be developed under the framework will transform connectivity to and from Coventry and the Midlands, and steer investment across the region to support the creation of new jobs and homes.”

The framework is testament to Coventry City Council’s previous experience and future commitment to deliver new rail infrastructure projects as a ‘third party’ investor and deliverer, in ways that the government has recently opened up further through the recommendations set out in the Hansford Review. This rail advisory framework procures the support necessary to enable Coventry City Council to develop and deliver rail infrastructure schemes that benefit local people, with the encouragement and support of national government and Network Rail.

Ian Walters, Managing Director of SLC Rail said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with AECOM to extend and deepen our existing relationship with Coventry City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority. In the past, both organisations have shown foresight and vision in setting out how rail should benefit local people and businesses; with this new framework agreement they are seizing the opportunity to implement that strategy, through project delivery mechanisms that demonstrate the new ways of working set out in the Hansford Review are achievable with the right team.”

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