Joint ventures including British construction and infrastructure companies Kier, Balfour Beatty and Morgan Sindall have been awarded multi-million pound contracts for work on London's Crossrail project.

A joint venture between British contractors Balfour Beatty and Morgan Sindall, together with France's Vinci Construction, has been awarded a 110 million pounds contract for work on Whitechapel station in east London, the companies said on Thursday.

The project is worth some 29 million pounds to Morgan Sindall.

A three-way venture between British construction firms Kier and Bam Nuttall with Spanish infrastructure firm Ferrovial was awarded a contract worth more than 200 million pounds for engineering work on Farringdon station in London's financial district.

Kier said work was due to start in January 2012 with completion scheduled for 2018.

Crossrail, Europe's largest infrastructure project, is an east-west commuter line project linking central London and the southeast of England. It is expected to cost around 16 billion pounds.

The opening of Crossrail was pushed back until late 2018 from 2017 in last year's spending review to cut the project's cost.

Crossrail is expected to play a key role in Britain's economic recovery. The British government believes the project will add some 42 billion pounds to the economy.

(Editing by Matt Scuffham)