Mersey Gateway unique financial deal wins international acclaim as ‘Best Roads Project’
The deal to finance the £1.86bn Mersey Gateway Project that saw Halton Borough Council appoint the Merseylink consortium as the project company has now picked up its third award, this time at the Partnerships Awards 2015 for ‘Best Road Project’.
In a strong category of esteemed infrastructure projects across Europe, the Project took home the prize being deemed by the Partnerships Awards judging panel as “One of the most impressive, high profile and complex projects to have closed in the UK in recent years.”
The innovative financial deal which combined commercial and bank finance was recognised by six industry expert judges for its hybrid funding solution that protected public sector assets while ensuring the deal was considered bankable for private investors. They described the scheme as a “clear stand-out project with numerous firsts to its financing strategy.”
The judges also highlighted the Project’s bond financing structure (which was the first to utilise the Infrastructure UK Guarantees programme, encouraging new investors into the market), along with its contract solutions and unusual risk allocation, being particularly impressed by the way the risk profile balanced the needs of parties involved.
Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council and Chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board said, “It is fantastic for the Project to be recognised once again for its unique financial deal. The flexible approach we took to procurement which helped deliver saving of £250 million under the budget set by Government in 2011 is testament to the hard work and dedication from everyone involved in the Project to make the new Mersey crossing a reality. We’re delighted to be awarded with this international recognition.”
Hugh O’Connor, General Manager with Merseylink, said: “There were a lot of people who worked very hard and came up with innovative solutions to deliver the savings we managed to achieve on this deal, and it is great to see their work being recognised with this award – which really was a team effort.”
Partnerships Bulletin magazine and website provides in-depth updates on partnership working between the public and private sector to procure, build and manage public infrastructure. The awards were held on 14 May at Park Plaza, London.