It was announced this week that Primesight has retained the Network Rail contract for roadside advertising panels in a deal worth GBP 125m. The new seven-year contract is the single biggest roadside contract in the UK and is made up of over 2,000 billboards.
The reappointment follows a competitive tender process and allows Primesight exclusive rights to develop and market advertising panels on roadside-facing railway land across the UK, providing the best footprint for national cover for advertisers.
Naren Patel, CEO at Primesight told us “We are delighted to have been reappointed to the Network Rail contract, which cements our #1 position in the Classic billboard market. The addition of the Network Rail bridge estate is a testament to our focus on the billboard sector of the Out of Home industry. We look forward to the next seven years during which we will be focusing on digital investment to make the most of this portfolio.”
Reaching over 78% of the UK population through its roadside portfolio, Primesight will continue investment in transforming the Network Rail portfolio through digital technology. Primesight already has over 70 digital 48 and 96-sheets and will look to leverage this capacity on one of the nation’s most visible out-of-home estates. Primesight anticipate building another 20 digital billboards on Network Rail land by the end of the year.
As part of the new agreement, Primesight will also take over the advertising rights on Network Rail bridges from April 2018. This contract, which is currently held by Clear Channel, has some high demand locations at Vauxhall and London Bridge which will also be developed into digital sites.
David Biggs, Managing Director of Property at Network Rail, said “The successful management of our advertising assets is a key factor in maximising the value of our estate. The revenue that this work generates is reinvested back into the railway helping to support our upgrade programme. We have worked very successfully with Primesight over the last seven years and look forward to building on this strong relationship. We are particularly excited about the planned expansion of the digital capabilities of the estate, vastly extending opportunities for advertisers.”
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain’s railway – the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts, and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations . In partnership with train operators they help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year – double the number of 1996 – and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. They employ 36,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail’s investment plan for Britain’s railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail’s GBP 40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain’s railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years.