Firms wanted for £35m Scottish canals framework

scotlands-main-canalsBids are being sought for civil engineering work worth up to £35 million on canals across Scotland.

Managing body Scottish Canals wants to create a five-year framework to cover a range of duties along the country’s 220km long canal system.

Up to 12 firms are expected to be selected, and can then be chosen for projects by direct award and through mini-competition.

The type of areas covered may include bridges, culverts, retaining walls, reservoirs, towpaths, buildings, embankments, and cuttings.

These have been broken up into lots covering small repairs and maintenance up to £70,000 in: Caledonian Canal from Inverness to Fort William; the Crinan Canal in Argyll; the Forth and Clyde, Helix, Union and Monklands Canal Network; and major projects up to £1m across the whole of Scotland.

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association Scotland, which represents 80 per cent of the industry, welcomed the proposed cash injection.

Chief executive Alan Watt told the Scotsman said: “This investment is good news for both Scotland’s civil engineers and for the growing number of people using ­Scotland’s beautiful and historically significant canals for recreation.”

Scottish Canals declined to go into detail about its plans, but a spokesman said it was more than just a new series of maintenance contracts.

He said: “As an organisation, we are always looking for ways to further enhance the experience enjoyed by the growing numbers of people who visit and use our network.

“Scotland’s canals are more than 200 years old and we are committed to preserving that heritage while creating a network which is sustainable for the future.

“At this stage, we are simply welcoming submissions from contractors to complete the pre-qualification questionnaire, which forms part of our procurement process for our contractor framework.”

Contractors have until 25 September to register their interest in the work.

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