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Crossrail and contractors launch Community Investment Programme

By William Mach

Crossrail and contractors launch Community Investment Programme
  • Contractors help improve reading skills in schools

  • Farringdon contractor to donate £10,000 to Islington’s Word2012 Festival

  • Community Investment Programme to also target increasing employability in communities neighbouring Crossrail sites

It’s full speed ahead for Crossrail’s new Community Investment Programme which will see major contractors donating expertise, time and resources to create a lasting benefit to communities neighbouring Crossrail worksites.

One of the first schemes to see Crossrail contractors leave a lasting legacy got off to a great start in Islington this week.

Laing O’Rourke & Strabag JV, the engineering specialists carrying out piling works for the new Crossrail Farringdon station, have donated £10,000 to kick-start Islington’s Word2012 Festival, aimed at spreading a passion for reading and improving literacy and employability in south Islington.

Crossrail Chairman Terry Morgan said: “Crossrail’s Community Investment Programme will see our major contractors benefiting communities neighbouring Crossrail worksites well beyond the life of the project. This is one of the first times that a major infrastructure project has sought to realise significant commitments from contractors in terms of their own time and money to improve local communities and is setting the standard for future large construction projects.

“Already we have seen Crossrail contractors making real commitments to improving reading and literacy skills in local schools as well as delivering local employment opportunities. The donation to Islington is just one example of how our Community Investment Programme can have a lasting benefit.”

Crossrail contractors working across London are supporting similar schemes to create a lasting benefit well beyond the life of the project.

Mick Lee, Farringdon Project Director for Laing O’Rourke & Strabag JV said: “The Laing O'Rourke Strabag Joint Venture - working in collaboration to deliver the Crossrail station at Farringdon - is delighted to support ‘The Word2012 Festival’ in Islington. As an investor in people, we recognise the value of continued learning and development in helping our employees get the most out of their careers with us. In the same way, we are committed to making a positive difference in the communities where we work – in particular by supporting skills building through educational and employment opportunities.

“For this reason, we applaud any initiative that reminds us of the many different rewards literature - and literacy - brings to our lives. The Word Festival is more than just a three-week event. It is the culmination of months of community engagement, encouraging local residents to expand their minds and express themselves creatively through reading and writing.”

Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration said: "We're committed to helping residents get jobs, skills and training, and reading and literacy play a vital role. Word2012 is an exciting initiative and at a time when council budgets are under huge pressure we're very grateful for this donation."

Other Crossrail contractor initiatives include:

  • Costain Skanska Joint Venture, piling contractor at Bond Street, has started fulfilling their commitment to donate one hundred staff hours preparing lunch for the homeless in Westminster. This is in partnership with The Connection at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
  • VINCI  working in Liverpool Street, have formed a partnership with City Gateway to improve employability in deprived communities in Tower Hamlets.
  • At Whitechapel, BNK (BAM Nuttall / Kier) intend to undertake three programmes of community investment will be supporting local employment by partnering with local skills expert Next Steps. BNK will also donate new kit to local football team Senrab FC, regenerate a neighbouring garden and develop local residents gardening skills.
  • Costain Skanska Joint Venture, constructing the new Crossrail station at Paddington, plan to carry out a number of community investment programme over the life of their contract. The first of these is to donate nearly 100 staff hours to Hallfield Primary School to help improve the reading skills of its pupils. 
  • BBMV (Balfour Beatty / Morgan Sindall / VINCI), carrying our piling at Tottenham Court Road, have recently confirmed that they will make a donation to the Safer Soho scheme which responds to local concerns around crime prevention.
  • BFK (BAM, Ferovial, Kier), who are constructing Crossrail’s western tunnels, have started engagement with the local community to determine where investment is most needed. They are planning a number of initiatives that will benefit the communities that are most impacted by their works.


For further information contact Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email

About Crossrail

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118 km (73 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.

About Word2012

Word2012 is a new initiative from Islington Council Library and Heritage Service, Arts Service, The Freeword Centre and All Change

Beginning in January 2012, the project will culminate in a 21 day celebration between Friday 11th to Thursday 31st May 2012.

Word2012 is an exciting programme of activities, events and workshops, culminating in May with a three-week celebration of reading, including new writing by the local community and events from Islington authors. It is a partnership between Islington Council, arts charity All Change and Islington’s Freeword centre.

To find out more about the Word2012 and how to get involved contact

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