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£85M WALSALL LIGHTING CONTRACT

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Amey plc has announced that it has reached financial closure on a 'ground-breaking'£85m PFI public lighting contra...
Amey plc has announced that it has reached financial closure on a 'ground-breaking'£85m PFI public lighting contract awarded by Walsall MBC.

Under the 25-year contract, Amey, working in partnership with Barclays European Infrastructure Fund, will take responsibility for the management and maintenance of all of Walsall's lighting stock which totals more than 26,000 units. Within the first five years of the contract, Amey will undertake an extensive phased programme designed to replace life-expired streetlighting equipment.

The Walsall project, one of the first streetlighting contracts to be tendered under the PFI process, signals an emerging market as local authorities look to the private sector to provide sophisticated lighting stock and significantly improve services.

Amey has also been shortlisted for street lighting PFI contracts in Islington, Manchester, Stoke, and Wakefield, with a total estimated value of a further£500m. In addition, Amey is one of the companies shortlisted for a£250m highway management PFI project with Portsmouth City Council, which includes the provision of streetlighting maintenance.

The streetlighting PFI market continues to grow strongly and is valued at around£5bn based on local government estimates.

Brian Staples, Amey's chief executive, commented: 'We intend to pursue a 'syndication' or portfolio route to streetlighting PFIs, creating and then mapping a successful template from one contract to the next, and thereby creating enhanced value. Our PFI/PPP expertise and service management skills clearly put us in a strong position to extend our interests in this emerging market.'

The Walsall project means that Amey is now responsible for the management and/or maintenance of 280,000 lighting units, making it the fourth largest streetlighting service provider in the UK.

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