Joint venture set to lead £100m Southsea sea defences scheme is unveiled

An aerial view of Southsea. Picture: Shaun Roster
An aerial view of Southsea. Picture: Shaun Roster
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A JOINT venture set to build the £100million sea defences to protect the city for decades to come has been named.

VSBW, a partnership between VolkerStevin and Boskalis Westminster, has been appointed as the main contractor for the Southsea Coastal Scheme, Portsmouth City Council confirmed. 

The defences will provide flood protection to more than 8,000 properties and 704 businesses at risk because of ageing existing coastal defences along 4.5km of Solent coastline.

Both firms were formed in the UK in the 1930s and have previously collaborated in joint ventures, including the £115m Dover Western Docks Revival scheme.

VolkerStevin has also worked with multiple local authorities to deliver successful flood defence schemes.

It also worked with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to reconstruct the jetty at Portsmouth Naval Base in preparation for the arrival of the new Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) Aircraft Carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. 

Boskalis Westminster also had a hand in the project as it dredged 3million cubic metres of material – with approximately 750,000 cubic metres stored for later beneficial reuse – to accommodate the ships' arrival in the city. 

It also detected and removed a host of unexploded ordnance and other debris.

Both firms were chosen from a shortlist of three contractors. 

Rob Coupe, of VSBW, said: ‘We are delighted to be joining the team delivering this project.

‘We have been impressed with the quality of work put into the scheme already and are looking forward to getting on site and delivering new defences for Southsea.’

Councillor Dave Ashmore, cabinet member for environment and climate change at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘This intensive procurement process has allowed us to identify a very capable, proven contractor who will now be at the helm of delivering this very important piece of work for Portsmouth.

‘The integrated project team will continue to engage with the public throughout what will be an exciting project.