A leading civil engineering firm has committed to driving social and economic benefits through a major North West highways project.
Major projects manager Mike Jones delivered a presentation on the new highway at the expo’s collaboration seminar, which was also sponsored by Jones Bros.
His talk highlighted the training, work placement, and employment opportunities for local people available during the highway development.
And he made Jones Bros’ commitment to apprenticeships clear, explaining that apprentices will make up 10 per cent of its workforce recruited in Wigan.
Mike also urged local suppliers to submit their bids for project contracts, which include work in aggregates, street lighting, fencing, and structural concrete.
The presentation followed Jones Bros’ talk at the Wigan, Bolton & Bury Construction Club, and its ‘Meet The Buyer’ event at Wigan Town Hall, where local companies were invited to discuss the A49 plan.
Mike said: “Speaking at the Wigan Business Expo was a brilliant way to tell more local organisations about our plan to help develop the area socially and economically.
“We’re offering work placements of up to 10 weeks for the unemployed on top of our apprenticeships pledge, with six Wigan-based companies having already taken advantage of supplier opportunities.
“Our goals are clear; we want to maintain a high health and safety standard, enhance Wigan’s reputation in the Greater Manchester area, and build a legacy leading to Jones Bros’ involvement in more North West projects.”
The civil engineering contractor commenced work on site in September, and is currently constructing four new bridges throughout the winter and spring.
Leader of the council, Councillor David Molyneux said: “We are committed to investing in our road networks for residents and visitors and to improve East/West connectivity and the local economy.
“Jones Bros have a wealth of experience in the field and they share our social values, so they were the perfect fit for this project. It’s fantastic to hear that Jones Bros will be recruiting apprentices from the borough for this project and we will offer our support to source suitable candidates.
“We look forward to the progression of this scheme and will keep the public updated throughout the works.”
Stage two earthworks and remaining highway works will commence in May 2019, with the scheme set for completion in Spring 2020.
The link road will connect Warrington Road and Goose Green to Westwood Park and the town centre at the Poolstock and Chapel Lane junction.
The route will work hand in hand with the planned M58 link road, which recently received planning permission, and will connect junction 26 of the M6/M58 motorways with Wigan town centre.
For more information, please visit www.wigan.gov.uk and search ‘A49’.