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New figures show impact of Crossrail on jobs and growth around the UK

By Nick Mann

  • Project supported equivalent of 13,800 full time jobs across UK last year
  • Majority of Crossrail’s supply chain spend was outside London
  • Crossrail embarks on major push to raise awareness of business opportunities for UK firms of all shapes and sizes

The stimulus that Crossrail is providing for job creation and growth in the UK’s regions and nations is revealed by new figures showing that more than half of the project’s supply chain spend is taking place outside London.

The figures, published today by Crossrail, show that in 2012/13:

  • Throughout its supply chain, the project supported the equivalent of 13,800 full time jobs right across the UK
  • Three out of five of these full time equivalent jobs (8,310) were outside of London
  • Expenditure in the supply chain was estimated at £865m, of which £460m (53%) was spent outside London.

London’s new east-west rail link, which will include the construction of 26 miles of tunnels under the capital, is Europe’s largest infrastructure project and on a scale nearly twice the size of the London 2012 Olympics.

Over the entire course of the project, it is estimated that Crossrail and its supply chain will create at least 75,000 business opportunities and support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs across the UK. More than three in five (62%) businesses currently winning work are based outside London and over half (58%) are SMEs.

Transport Minister Stephen Hammond said: “The Government is taking major steps in getting the economy back on track and the significant impact of Crossrail is further proof that investing in major infrastructure projects is the right thing to do. Not only is Crossrail delivering a world-class transport system and boosting regeneration across London but it is also a vital engine for growth for the rest of the country.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Crossrail is set to revolutionise east-west transit in the greatest city on earth, pinging you from Heathrow to the City in about half an hour. Even in its construction phase, it is good for the whole of Britain. 62 per cent of businesses winning work are outside London – more than half of them small and medium enterprises. There are bridges from Shropshire, cranes from Derbyshire, grouting from Coventry, piling from Oldham, lifts from Preston and lubricants from Bournemouth. It’s a truly fantastic example of British engineering.”

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive said: “These figures show how investment in Crossrail is stimulating jobs and business opportunities not just in London but right around the UK. Firms of all shapes and sizes from Falmouth to Fife are winning work as the benefits of Europe’s biggest infrastructure project are being spread far and wide.”

Mike Brown MVO, TfL’s Managing Director of London Underground and Rail, said: “The significant impact that Crossrail is having on job creation and growth right around the UK demonstrates the vital importance of continuing to invest in London’s transport infrastructure for the benefit of the whole UK. Investment in London’s transport network already supports more than 40,000 jobs around the UK, not including Crossrail, and 62 per centof procurement spend goes to suppliers outside London. This demonstrates how investment in London over the long-term gives suppliers confidence to invest in jobs, skills and apprenticeships across the UK.”

With Crossrail now entering its peak period of construction, the project is starting a major push to raise awareness of the opportunities that will arise for UK firms of all sizes over the next few years. Crossrail will require goods and services from a wide range of sectors as the project’s focus moves from tunnel construction to station and tunnel fit-out. 

The company has embarked on a series of events around the country to encourage businesses to seize the opportunities that the project will generate, beginning recently in Northern Ireland.

Andrew Wolstenholme added: “The project will need goods and services from a huge range of sectors over the next few years, so it’s vital that firms from all over the country seize the tens of thousands of business opportunities that will arise.”

Click here for a list of case studies from all the UK’s regions and nations of businesses that already have won work on Crossrail.

Click here for a map showing businesses that have won work on Crossrail.


For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

Regeneris Economics Research Analysis was commissioned to consider the impact of Crossrail’s supply chain on the UK.

Crossrail provided all spend at tier 1 level over £50,000 and critical contracts at tier 2 and tier 3. Once double counting had been removed, total supply chain expenditure was calculated at £865m in 2012/13. Renegeris used this information and the location of suppliers to locate total expenditure and FTE figures. As only critical contracts were monitored at levels two and three in the supply chain and only contract values over £50,000 were included in the study, it is likely that the actual impact of Crossrail is even larger than the estimates suggest.

Total Economic Impact of Crossrail’s Supply Chain Expenditure in the UK, 2012/13


Total Expenditure (£m)

Total Employment (FTEs)

Total UK



Total - all regions less London



Source: Regeneris Consulting Input-Output Model, using procurement data from Crossrail

Note: Expenditure and GVA expressed in 2012-13 prices.


Crossrail has issued a three point plan for businesses looking for work on the project.

  • Sign up to the CompeteFor website, a website which automatically matches suppliers to opportunities that suit them.
  • Go to the suppliers section of the Crossrail website where they can see the latest summary of all the direct contracts awarded.
  • Get in touch with their trade association, many of which are in contact with Crossrail about the opportunities available for the sectors that they represent

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 below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

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.