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Why Carillion's work has touched all our lives

Carillion is one of the UK’s largest construction companies but it is also a provider of many services that help the country function.

Its collapse through an application for compulsory liquidation means the company will eventually be dissolved, with creditors sharing any money from the sale of its assets.

The decision to effectively declare itself bust leaves 43,000 jobs worldwide hanging in the balance though there is some hope that many in the sprawling business will keep their jobs, albeit through Carillion’s work being transferred.

The Government has committed to funding contracts, for the moment at least, and has asked all staff to turn up for work as normal.

:: Background

Carillion was created in 1999 by the famous road surfacing business Tarmac in a demerger.

The GCHQ listening post in Cheltenham
Image:Carillion built GCHQ’s ‘doughnut’ in Cheltenham

It expanded its interests – buying a string of companies including Mowlem in 2006 and Alfred McAlpine two years later.

The Wolverhampton-based company described itself as an “integrated support business” with its main focus being on construction and support services work in the UK, Canada and the Middle East.

Almost half its workers – 19,500 people – are in the UK.

:: Construction

Construction was at the heart of the business.

Its major projects have included “the doughnut” – the iconic circular office building of the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) – completed in 2003.

Alongside new facilities for the Royal Opera House, Carillion completed the Tate Modern in London in 2000.

Works of art are pictured behind the Millennium Bridge on the river facade of the Tate Modern in London, on May 23, 2008. The Tate Modern commissioned six artists, whose work is intricately linked to the urban environment and unveiled the giant street art works on Friday. The artists are: Blu from Bologna, Italy; the artist collective Faile from New York, USA; JR from Paris, France; Nunca and Os Gemeos, both from Sao Paulo, Brazil and Sixeart from Barcelona, Spain. AFP PHOTO/Shaun Curry (Photo c
Image:The company also built the Tate Modern

Its other projects have included the Grand Mosque in Oman, completed in 2001, as well as an expansion to Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium in 2016.

It had almost completed work on the Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Sandwell – a 670-bed super hospital – with the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals’ NHS Trust saying on Monday it was working with the Government on putting “alternative arrangements” in place.

:: Schools

Carillion holds various public sector contracts having been responsible for building and maintaining schools – even providing dinners.

It is supposed to provide 32,000 school meals every day in the UK.

:: Transport

Carillion is the second-largest supplier to Network Rail.

Its work includes track, signalling and building projects – recently completing a scheme in Edinburgh over the festive season.

Carillion was also among winning bidders for key tunnel work on the HS2 rail project.

One of its partners in the £1.4bn deal, Kier, said on Monday that it was working to achieve continuity of service on not just HS2 but also on the shared Highways England smart motorway programme.

More from Carillion

:: Prisons and Defence

Carillion maintains approximately half of the UK’s prisons as well as roughly 50,000 homes for the Ministry of Defence.

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