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Merseylink consortium welcomes awards success

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The Merseylink consortium has congratulated Halton Borough Council and paid tribute to its advisers after Mersey Gateway picked up a double award success.

The deal that saw the consortium appointed by Halton Borough Council to design, build, finance and operate the Mersey Gateway Project picked up two prestigious international awards.

The Mersey Gateway Project ‘deal’ has been named as Europe’s Infrastructure Deal of the Year at the Project Finance International Awards and IJ Global’s European Road Deal of the Year 2014.

Hugh O’Connor, General Manager of the Merseylink consortium, joined other consortium representatives to receive the European Infrastructure Deal of the Year award from Project Finance International said: “These awards demonstrate well-deserved international recognition of the outstanding work that Halton Borough Council and its team to deliver Mersey Gateway Project to this point.”

He added: “The Merseylink consortium is proud of the role we have played in securing this deal and the £250million in savings and I would like to thank our advisers at Ashursts, Freshfields and Macquarie Capital for the crucial role they played.”

The deal is worth £1.86bn over its 30-year lifetime, with the construction and land assembly costs for the project totaling around £600million.

The Merseylink consortium’s equity partners are Macquarie Capital Group Limited, BBGI, and FCC Construcción.

Ashursts acted as legal advisors to the Merseylink consortium throughout the procurement process, with Freshfields providing advice to the lenders over the same timetable.

The economic, transport and social benefits the project will bring to the region include: 470 permanent full-time equivalent jobs on site during construction; 4,640 permanent direct and indirect jobs; and £61.9 million a year in Gross Value Added from the new jobs by 2030.

When it opens in 2017, both the new bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge will be tolled, but they will be free to all Halton residents.

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