Double award success for Mersey Gateway Project

Double award success for Mersey Gateway Project

(From left) Hugh O'Connor, General Manager of Merseylink; Richard Walker, Project Director at Merseylink; David Parr, Chief Executive of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board; and Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council and Chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board

The deal to finance the Mersey Gateway Project has scooped two prestigious international awards – Europe’s Infrastructure Deal of the Year at the Project Finance International Awards and IJ Global’s European Road Deal of the Year 2014.

The £1.86 billion venture will be one of the largest infrastructure initiatives in the UK over the coming years.  Last year it was identified as one of the UK government’s Top 40 priority projects in the National Infrastructure Plan and it has been recognised by KPMG as one of the ‘Top 100 infrastructure projects around the globe’.

Devised by Halton Borough Council along with advisors KPMG and DLA Piper, the deal is an innovative combination of combined commercial and bank finance, and represents more than two decades’ hard work and dedication by the local authority to make the new crossing a reality.

From the beginning, keeping the project affordable was the project mantra, and the deal – which saw the council appoint the Merseylink consortium to design, build, finance and operate the project – delivered impressive savings of £250 million under the budget set by government in 2011.

The budget savings were partly delivered by the flexible approach that Halton Borough Council took to procurement, which allowed the private sector – in the shape of the Merseylink consortium to deliver design and build innovations that delivered enhanced value for money.

The Mersey Gateway was the first project to utilise the IUK Guarantees programme on the bond element financing, encouraging new investors into the market.

Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council said; “These awards are fantastic recognition for everybody who has been a part of the project over the years.  As one of the smaller local authorities in the UK, our successful journey to make the new crossing a reality, bringing benefits right across Halton and the North West is remarkable and we could not have done it without support from our advisors KPMG and DLA Piper.”