WYG plays key role in helping to restore law and order in Libya

A YORKSHIRE-based business is set to play a significant role in UK-backed initiatives to improve law and order in Libya.

WYG, the project management and technical consultancy business, could help to train around 50,000 Libyans who want to work in law enforcement.

The Leeds company has been appointed as the key partner in a consortium that has been awarded a contract in Libya by the Department for International Development (DFID).

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The contract forms part of the UK’s Security, Justice and Defence programme in Libya, funded and overseen jointly by DFID, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and Ministry of Defence.

Under the contract WYG, in a joint venture with the Australian professional infrastructure and environmental services company Cardno, will deliver the first phase of a programme to support the Libyan authorities in providing more security, justice and defence for its citizens, over a period of up to 34 months.

A WYG spokesman said: “Our initial work will culminate in the delivery of an inception report which, if accepted, we expect to lead to further work on the project which has a total potential value of approximately £28m and would involve overseeing the training of police officers and judicial police.

“Other components would include improving court administration and security, securing munitions, and weapons stockpiling and decommissioning.”

Paul Hamer, the chief executive of WYG, said yesterday: ”This contract win is a major achievement, as it is the single largest stabilisation project in Libya tendered by DFID to date, demonstrating WYG’s expertise and leadership in delivering critical, strategic programmes in fragile and conflict affected states.

“It builds on our experience in delivering large-scale and complex projects, which include the £68m infrastructure Projects Facility (IPF) in the Western Balkans, and positions us well to continue building on our key strength in fragile states by converting our strong pipeline of opportunities.”

Parts of Libya remain unstable following the uprising that led to the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Law and order in southern Libya is particularly fragile, said Mr Hamer.

In the year ended March 31 2014, WYG’s revenue was £126.9m, compared with £125.7m the year before. The adjusted operating profit was £4.8m, compared with £1.5m in the previous year. The company employs 1,500 staff, including 230 in Leeds.

Mr Hamer added: “We anticipate we will need at least 100 more staff in this financial year. Leeds will probably benefit from that.”

Analysts from WH Ireland said yesterday: “WYG has delivered a good set of results. Profits are bang in line with our expectations... Most importantly the underlying momentum, both in the group’s markets and in its own self-help programme, remains excellent and is partly reflected in our upgrades.

“The international order book has been treading water as previously flagged by WYG, over the period of EU budget discussions, but this business generally is showing signs of renewed buoyancy and is home to major long-term and sizeable contracts.”