Glamorgan authorities sign £75m deal

15 September 2008

Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Councils have signed a deal with Capita Symonds for a groundbreaking £75m joint venture that will deliver major highways, transportation, engineering, construction, environmental and related projects across the local authorities and the rest of South Wales.

The 15-year partnership sees the creation of a new company - Capita Glamorgan Consultancy – which is jointly owned by Capita Symonds and the three authorities. This supersedes the Glamorgan Engineering Consultancy (GEC) – a joint venture between the three authorities which designed and managed local civil engineering projects. The deal also safeguards the jobs of the 70 GEC staff who will TUPE transfer directly to Capita Glamorgan Consultancy with immediate effect.

Pictured (left to right): Cllr Tony Rogers, Merthyr; Graham Cogswell, Capita Symonds; Cllr Paul Cannon, RCT; Cllr Colin Teesdale, Bridgend.

Capita Glamorgan Consultancy will deliver significant savings to the local authorities and is expected to create over 130 new jobs over the next five years. It will also provide a huge boost to the local community, creating a substantial platform for long-term sustainable growth across the area through job creation, major investment in a wide range of training schemes, and the development and implementation of regeneration and investment funding.

Capita Symonds is one of the UK's largest and most diverse multidisciplinary consultancies operating in the building design, civil engineering, environment, management and transport sectors. The company – which was named as ‘successful bidder’ for the contract in May - has had a similar, award-winning joint venture in place with four authorities in South East Wales for the last five years - Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire and Torfaen Councils. This successful partnership – based in Capita Symonds’ Cwmbran office - has delivered similar benefits through high quality service delivery including the award-winning Ebbw Valley Railway – the first new railway to be built in the UK for a generation.

The new Capita Glamorgan Consultancy partnership comes under the banner of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Making the Connections strategy and subsequent Beecham Review for improvements in public services – a wide-ranging policy for transforming the delivery of public services across Wales. This unique shared services model represents a major step forward bringing together the best of the public and private sector, for a range of services – delivered jointly by local resources in Wales.

Ian Germain, Director of the new Capita Glamorgan Consultancy, said: “The new company not only protects our long term future but also presents us with an exciting opportunity for development and growth. This area of Wales has a long and proud history of being at the forefront of industries such as engineering and our unrivalled technical expertise will enable us to expand the business while also creating significant job opportunities for the local community.”

Graham Cogswell, Director Wales & the West, Capita Symonds, said: “This is a major achievement and really reinforces Capita Symonds’ position as the leading consultancy in Wales. We have a proven track record of improving services and job creation through local authority partnerships across the UK and Wales in particular. The new company will add real value to the South Wales economy while our investment plans will inspire, challenge and engage with local communities.”

Richard Fletcher, Head of Street Scene, Bridgend County Borough Council said: “Bridgend County Borough Council looks forward to working in partnership with Capita Symonds and the other local authorities in this exiting new venture. It provides the new company with an excellent opportunity to consolidate and grow its range of services, from new offices, to deliver benefits to the three partner authorities and the wider community.”

Edward Foley, Head of Engineering, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council said: “We are looking forward to the development of the joint venture as a natural progression of the existing collaborative arrangements we have enjoyed for the last twelve years. The creation of a major new private/public venture in conjunction with Capita Symonds presents a unique opportunity to expand the resource base and critical mass of the partnership. This will be accompanied by the advantage of competitive rates and local community benefits including the retention of highly skilled local employment opportunities along with training potential for much needed future engineers and support staff.” 

Councillor Paul Cannon, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Housing, Rhondda Cynon Taf, said: “We are looking forward to working with the new joint venture, continuing and progressing further still the excellent collaborative arrangements of the GEC. The introduction of a private sector partner will significantly enhance existing arrangements by providing additional flexibility and a much larger resource base. Capita Symonds’ proposals will enable us to obtain competitive rates for this important service area whilst benefiting from genuine expertise of local and national developments in highways and related engineering works.”