Major central belt motorway improvements give SMEs £144m boost

A map of the project
A map of the project

Scottish subcontractors have so far benefitted from more than £56 million of work on the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project, with a further £88m still be awarded.

Transport Scotland said 112 local SMEs have benefitted by being awarded contracts valued at in excess of £56m which is equivalent to 49 per cent of the total number of contracts advertised through the Public Contracts Scotland procurement portal.

It is also anticipated that a large proportion of the £88m sub-contracts still to be awarded will be sublet to local sub-contractors and suppliers.



The major infrastructure project which will upgrade Central Scotland’s motorway network, including the completion of the M8 between Edinburgh and Glasgow and improvements to the M73 and M74, is around 18 months into construction and scheduled for completion by spring 2017.

Speaking as he visited have benefitted by being awarded contracts valued at in excess of £56 million which is equivalent to 49 per cent of the total number of contracts advertised through the Public Contracts Scotland procurement portal., which has benefitted from the multi-million infrastructure project being on its doorstep, Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities, said: “As one of the biggest transport infrastructure projects currently underway in Scotland, the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project has attracted interest from specialist engineering firms all over the world, but equally, it’s great to see a local enterprises providing a service and benefitting from this Scottish Government investment.

“This is just one example of how this £500m investment in Central Scotland’s motorway network is stimulating the local economy during the construction phase, not to mention the significant benefits to road users, businesses, communities and industry in the west of Scotland and beyond, upon completion.”

Scottish Roads Partnership, the company responsible for the design, build, finance and operation of the project, has confirmed that almost £150m worth of sub-contracts have been procured through the Scottish Government portal, Public Contracts Scotland, since the start of work in February 2014.



Patersons Quarries Group supply quarry products including fill materials, sub-bases and drainage aggregates across the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project. This £5m sub-contract provided the catalyst for Patersons to increase its delivery capability. The company recruited 11 new members of staff and increased its transport fleet, investing in 10 new trucks as a result of its involvement in the project.

Willie Paterson, chairman of Patersons Quarries Group, said: “The contract to supply quarry materials to the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project has been extremely beneficial to the company in terms of revenue and increased output.”

Scotland’s public bodies spend around £10.4 billion each year on procurement

Mr Brown, added: “Very few EU countries have a higher level of spending in their Small-Medium Enterprises sector than Scotland. Scottish SMEs successfully compete for public contracts, representing 37 per cent of the economy, and getting a 46 per cent slice of the £10 billion public procurement spend every year.”

In addition to the contracts and sub-contracts awarded through the portal, Scottish Roads Partnership is also providing site-based employment opportunities which are advertised locally, including at job centres.

To date, a total of 29 job starts have been employed as a result of the project, with a further 31 young people benefitting from apprenticeship training on site.

The project also provides training opportunities for recently qualified graduates from a wide range of disciplines with 27 graduates employed on site, 8 of whom are registered for professional body training schemes.

As construction work on the project continues to increase during 2015, these figures are expected to increase further.

The project includes the construction of a new motorway between Baillieston and Newhouse, which will complete the M8 motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh, a new A8 all-purpose road between Baillieston and Eurocentral and major improvements to the M74 at Raith Junction and other key junctions and sections of the existing M8, M73 and M74.

The contract, which includes the operation and maintenance of the project roads for 30 years by Amey, was awarded to Scottish Roads Partnership, a consortium with a construction joint venture of Ferrovial Agroman and Lagan Construction, in February 2014.

When complete, the new motorway network will significantly improve journey times between Edinburgh and Glasgow, a saving of 20 minutes off the daily commute on the M8 at peak periods and a 15 minute saving for road users travelling via Raith Junction.

Additional benefits include cutting congestion on the existing routes, improving road safety and opening up new opportunities for businesses and inward investment in the West of Scotland and beyond.

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