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10 November 20205 minute read

DLA Piper advises Welsh Ministers on the GBP1.14bn groundbreaking A465 Roads Project

On 28 October DLA Piper completed a GBP1.14 billion project, to design, build, finance and operate Sections 5 (Dowlais to A470) and 6 (A470 to Hirwuan) of the A465 road in South Wales (A465 Project), on behalf of the Welsh Ministers. DLA Piper has acted for the Welsh Ministers on the project since October 2015.

The project has included the development of a new form of model contract. Under the new Public Private Partnership (PPP) delivery model for Wales, the Mutual Investment Model (MIM), the A465 Project:

  • is the first Roads PPP project to be procured and completed by the Welsh Ministers;
  • is the first privately financed PPP project of this scale to be completed in the UK since the outbreak of COVID-19;
  • is the first UK privately financed PPP project of this scale to be completed virtually;
  • is the first UK PPP project in procurement to address the impact of COVID-19 and future epidemics/pandemics;
  • is the first privately financed UK PPP project to address Libor transition;
  • is the first privately financed UK PPP project to address the impact of Brexit;
  • will provide GBP400 million of direct spend in the Welsh economy;
  • guarantees a minimum investment of GBP10 million in community benefit initiatives.

DLA Piper’s Finance and Projects partner Liam Cowell, said: “We are delighted to have advised the Welsh Ministers on this truly groundbreaking project, which is a pathfinder project in the sector. This was a sterling effort from the Welsh Ministers and the Future Valleys consortium to get this deal over the line. The improvement to the A465 is critical to the social and economic regeneration of the Heads of the Valleys area. It will improve access to key services, jobs and markets supporting inward investment to areas, as well as delivering economic and community benefits in a post-coronavirus recovery period. The project is expected to deliver around GBP400m of direct spend in Wales.”

The DLA Piper Finance and Projects team was led by partner Liam Cowell and legal director Ben Morton. Other partners included: UK Head of Projects Lillian Mackenzie, Ronan Mellon (Finance), Sharon Fitzgerald and Andrew S Davies (Projects) and Andrew Batterton (Real Estate).Ashurst advised Future Valleys while Herbert Smith Freehills advised the funders. Credit Agricole CIB was financial adviser to Future Valleys; PWC was financial adviser to the Welsh Ministers and Jacobs provided technical advice to the Welsh Ministers.