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  • Jane Ellison
  • Company News

Largest contract win for Westlakes Engineering in their tenth anniversary year

The tenth anniversary year continues to deliver significant progress for Westlakes Engineering Limited (WEL) who are celebrating their latest and largest contract win to date. They are working with M+W Group who won the multi-million (£150m quoted by Sellafield Ltd) contract to develop a state of the art, above ground nuclear waste store at Sellafield Ltd in West Cumbria.

The store, which will house Intermediate Level Waste (ILW), is known as the Box Encapsulation Plant Product Store Direct Import Facility – or BEPPS DIF for short. Westlakes Engineering will be providing the civil structural design engineering capability, within the team working out of their Westlakes office, and calling on expertise within their teams in Preston and Manchester.

Andy Hooper Managing Director of Westlakes Engineering said “we had a great start to our tenth year with three framework wins, but without doubt, this latest contract win is the icing on the birthday cake. It is twice the size of any other contract we have been awarded in our ten year history and marks a step change in terms of project work with Sellafield. The contract with M+W will underpin our work for the next twelve months”.

“It’s good to know that the civil engineering design work on such a large contract is staying in West Cumbria. This is M+W Group’s first Sellafield site contract and they have demonstrated very well the benefit of using the local supply chain to break into the UK nuclear market. Lots of companies talk about the local SME Engagement when tendering for contracts, but the M+W team are actually delivering on their promise.”

“When we started talking to M+W Group it was clear that they shared the same belief that partnership working is the way forward, selecting the best skills for the job. This is what differentiates us in the marketplace. In many cases companies focus on pre-existing relationships rather than cherry picking teams with the right skills for the job. M+W Group has a very open minded approach to gathering the complementary skills and teams together and we’re looking forward to working with them.”

From early tendering stages, M+W Group was keen to work with local expertise, recognising that skills rest in the West Cumbrian SME community. They have secured the services of Westlakes Engineering and others, including the James Fisher Nuclear group.

Bill Macaulay, Operations Director Nuclear for M+W Group said “The BEPPS /DIF project is a key strategic contract for us in the UK nuclear market. It is our first major project at Sellafield and we intend it to be an exemplar project for the sector.

“For this reason it was imperative we established a fully integrated team combining leading local expertise and supply chain partners as well as international experience. Westlakes Engineering are a key part of that team. Sharing our commitment to engineering excellence, we see this project as being the platform for a long-term business relationship, expanding our activities together in both the nuclear industry as well as in other areas across Cumbria and the UK.”

Recognising this contract is about more than concrete and steel, good local team work is what will drive the project forward. And whilst this project is nuclear focused, both Westlakes Engineering and M+W Group are aware of the benefits of having skills that can be transferred to non-nuclear projects too.

Andy Hooper said “M+W Group wanted to ensure they have the right pool of talent for the project and that’s what we can deliver. It’s about being able to get hold of the right people when you need them. As a smaller organisation we have the ability to hand pick the best people for the job and have the flexibility to act quickly; it’s about delivering as a team and we’re excited at the potential, not only on this project, but as a model for working in partnerships in the future.”

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Eleanor Billson, Sellafield Ltd Project Manager; Andy Hooper Managing Director Westlakes Engineering; Stewart Ottley M+W UK Project Director Nuclear

The BEPPS DIF contract is part of a portfolio of work that has catapulted Westlakes Engineering to 60th place in the New Civil Engineer rankings for forward workload. It is a decade since Andy Hooper set up the company and took advantage of the Britain’s Energy Coast LinkStart programme and the ongoing business support they provide. Westlakes Engineering Limited has become an exemplar of what can be achieved by a local SME.

In their first four years WEL saw exceptional growth and were ranked in the New Civil Engineering Consultants file – just outside the top 200 Civil and Structural Engineering companies in the UK. Today they are ranked within the top 100, but notably, they are ranked in the top ten Civil/Structural Engineers in the UK Nuclear sector. They have 40+ staff and a turnover in excess of £2.5 million.

To learn more about the growth at Westlakes Engineering please contact Andy Hooper, MD at Westlakes Engineering on 01946 595550

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