UK-based construction and civil engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine has been appointed to provide groundworks and concrete structures works at the Sellafield nuclear-clean-up site in Cumbria, UK.

This framework agreement, worth £1bn, will span 17 years.

Sir Robert McAlpine’s appointment as the key delivery partner for Sellafield’s Programme and Project Partners’ (PPP) long-term framework agreement is expected to create a range of investment opportunities in West Cumbria – right from the appointment of local suppliers and workforce to apprenticeships and training.

Initially, the groundwork, concrete buildings, and blockwork package were scheduled to share by two delivery partners.

In 2019, PPP was mobilised to transform Sellafield’s project delivery.

The latest agreement comes as Sellafield’s workload has increased, making it one of the largest infrastructure projects in the country and providing 60,000 jobs.

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Sir Robert McAlpine managing director for civil engineering Tony Gates was quoted by Mirage.News as saying: “Through this long-term appointment, we intend to make a lasting, positive impact on local communities in West Cumbria by boosting employment, promoting skills and education, working with trusted supply chain partners in the region, and creating a tangible, measurable social impact.”

Programme and Project Partners head of social impact Luke Richardson said: “Sir Robert McAlpine has committed to supporting local employment, but they’ve gone further in committing to both the Building Future Trades and the Programme and Project Partners Internship Scheme.

“These are targeted employability schemes that will provide life-changing opportunities for people in West Cumbria. They have pledged to work with local small and medium enterprises, voluntary, community, social enterprises, and charities. They have also committed to open a regional office in Copeland, West Cumbria, in the next couple of years, further embedding the business in the region.”

In the past, McAlpine has completed projects for Sellafield from the mid-1980s through 2017.