LONDON — The U.K. government will pay £9 million for no-deal Brexit pop-up advice centers for truckers around the bloc — £1 million more than expected.
The tender for up to 150 booths to be stationed at roadsides around the U.K. and EU has been awarded to a company called Identity Holdings, a contract published today reveals. The firm already holds contracts with other government departments, mostly for events services, according to outsourcing monitors at data firm Tussell.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced earlier this month that the project would span 10 EU countries and be supported by billboard and media advertising, at a total cost of £8 million. But the final contract says it will in fact cost £9 million plus VAT.
“As part of [Department for Transport] plans to adequately prepare hauliers for a no-deal scenario, and ensure hauliers are informed of all the new documentation requirements in a no-deal scenario that will impact their journey into the EU, it is proposed that in key locations across the U.K. and EU we have branded ‘Info’ pop up stands,” the contract reads.
“These stands are to be staffed by trained promotional operatives who will be able to answer key questions from hauliers and share with them where they can find more information.”
The EU countries set to receive pop-up stands are Poland, Romania, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. Up to 50 stands will be distributed between them, with another 100 placed in the U.K. The stands will be placed at key ports, truck stops, ferries and relevant industry locations.
Staff will be able to speak English and the language of the country they are working in, while up to 20 percent of the pop-ups will be open 24 hours a day.
The Department for Transport did not respond in time for publication.