Tier 2 Market Engagement Starts in £275 million River Thames Scheme contractor search

The River Thames Scheme is inviting tier 2 suppliers and small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to take part in phase two of its market engagement exercise.  This next chapter will set out formal procurement plans as part of its search for firms to build the £501 million flood alleviation scheme.

Draft design proposals and procurement plans have been prepared for the project, which will involve the construction of two new flood relief channels being created at Runnymede and Spelthorne, as well as weir improvements at Sunbury, Molesey and Teddington. Further capacity improvement works are also planned at the Desborough Cut.

The scheme’s wider benefits will include new walking and cycle paths, green spaces and the creation of new wildlife habitat areas to improve biodiversity. The approximate value of the design and construction works is expected to be approximately £250 – £275 million.

The team will be seeking feedback from the supply market to help shape the current plans and ensure the project is delivered efficiently and in the most effective way.

River Thames Scheme project director Jeanne Capey said: “This is a huge opportunity not only for the civil engineering and construction sector, but also for small and medium businesses in Surrey and the surrounding area. This engagement will enable companies to help shape the future of this project and I would urge any firms interested in the River Thames Scheme to get involved and sign up.”

Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Community Protection, Councillor Kevin Deanus said: “This is a really exciting step forwards for the River Thames Scheme, and we’re looking forwards to engaging with our potential contract partners. Not only will the scheme provide a long-term economic legacy to the region by keeping the area open for business in times of flood but will also create new jobs, training opportunities and skills.”

Details of phase 2 of the market engagement can be found here: River Thames Scheme – Tier 2 and SMEs – Market Engagement – Find a Tender ( Interested companies should register on the Defra e-sourcing portal, Bravo by 31 March at:

Notes to editors

  • The scheme’s wider partners are Elmbridge Borough Council, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Runnymede Borough Council, Spelthorne Borough Council, Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, Thames Water, Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
  • The River Thames Scheme will reduce flood risk to people living and working near the Thames, enhance the resilience of nationally important infrastructure, contribute to a vibrant local economy and maximise the social and environmental value of the river.
  • There have been serious floods in this area over the past 100 years, namely in 1947, 1968, 2003 and most recently between 2013/2014.
  • We will build two new flood channels alongside the River Thames to reduce flood risk to 11,000 properties in communities in Hythe End, Egham, Staines, Chertsey, Shepperton, Weybridge, Sunbury, Molesey, Thames Ditton, Kingston and Teddington.
  • There will be increased capacity of the Desborough Cut and weirs at Sunbury, Molesey and Teddington by installing additional weir gates.
  • Detailed planning and design under way. The large scale of the project means the government has directed that it be treated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). NSIPs require a type of consent known as ‘development consent order’ (DCO). A DCO removes the need to obtain several separate consents, including planning permission and is designed to be a quicker process than applying for these separately. The DCO must be granted before full funding is approved and construction can begin.


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