More than 700 rail industry jobs have been saved after British company Amey swept in to buy up a wave of contracts previously owned by the collapsed outsourcer Carillion.
Amey Rail will now take on the contracts for work on projects in the East Midlands, London and the North West, safeguarding more than two thirds of the roughly 1,000 Carillion workers on Network Rail projects and potentially hundreds more involved in the supply chain.
Network Rail said Amey had bought a “significant number” of Carillion’s contracts, including work on some of its most complex projects such as the North West electrification programme and work related to Crossrail at Old Oak Common, but did not disclose financial details of the transactions.
Matthew Steele, commercial director at Network Rail, said the move ensured the delivery of several major rail projects, something which would be a relief to workers who have been worried about their future.
“We do recognise that this has been a very unsettling period for the employees of Carillion and would like to thank them for the continued commitment to the delivery of these projects,” Mr Steele said.
“We remain focused on the transfer of remaining projects and employees to new arrangements over the coming weeks and months.”
Network Rail, which is state-run, said it was continuing to work with auditor PwC on other Carillion contracts and staff to be transferred to new companies. It confirmed work was continuing on Carillion projects while new contractors were found after an agreement that PwC would pay Carillion employees’ wages until after Easter and after many of the construction company's smaller rail suppliers were paid the arrears they were owed to ensure the continued delivery of important projects.
Earlier this month, the Official Receiver overseeing Carillion’s liquidation said 6,668 jobs had been saved and 1,141 people had been made redundant as a result of the January collapse, forced upon the company by a large pension deficit and debts totalling roughly £1.5bn.