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Transport Secretary visits Midlands factory building Crossrail station

By Nick Mann

Transport Secretary visits Midlands factory building Crossrail station
  • Construction of Crossrail station underway at state-of-the-art Midlands factory 130 miles north of London
  • Companies from outside London urged to seize opportunities created by Europe’s biggest construction project
  • Benefits of Crossrail felt well beyond the capital as project creates jobs and business opportunities right around the UK

The Transport Secretary and Crossrail Chief Executive are urging businesses from outside London to ensure that they reap the benefits of the construction of the capital’s £14.8bn rail link.

On Monday 9 December, they visited Laing O’Rourke’s state-of-the-art factory in Steetley, in the East Midlands, where the construction of Crossrail’s new Custom House station is underway. Large sections of the station are being built in Steetley and then transported more than 130 miles to East London and assembled on site.

This process saves time and money and ensures that disruption to residents, existing rail services and the nearby ExCeL London conference centre are minimised as far as possible.

Companies from right around the UK are being urged to make the most of the many thousands of business opportunities that will arise in Crossrail’s supply chain over the coming years.

It is estimated that Crossrail will generate at least 75,000 business opportunities and support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs right around the UK. Three out of five businesses currently winning work on the project are based outside London and over half (58%) are SMEs.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Those who said that only the capital would reap the benefits of Crossrail are being proven wrong.

“Crossrail is presenting thousands of business opportunities for companies across the country, and with those come thousands of jobs. It is excellent to see how the Midlands is benefiting from the project and I would urge other regions to follow suit.”

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive said: “The work taking place in Steetley is evidence that Crossrail is not just benefitting London and the South East, it is creating jobs and business opportunities right around the UK.

“It may seem unusual for a station to be constructed 130 miles away, but the method saves time and money and minimises disruption. The job on site at Custom House becomes one of assembly rather than traditional construction, significantly simplifying the process of building a station. Crossrail is committed to capturing the kind of innovation on display at Steetley to ensure that it can be applied to future projects and continue to drive up standards in the industry.”

Russell Kellett, Laing O’Rourke Director of Manufacturing said: “It’s thanks to the latest advances in digital engineering that allow our designers to model every aspect of the new station virtually, and then manufacture the major structural components here in the factory.  This ensures that every item is made to a far higher quality than possible on site, the whole build process is more efficient, and the sustainability benefits are improved through fewer vehicle movements and less time required on site compared to traditional methods.”  

The Laing O’Rourke Explore Industrial Park, which is built on the site of a former colliery, employs 275 people, 80% of whom live within a 20 mile radius of the plant. The factory supports construction projects across the UK through the manufacture of major components in a high quality environment.

The knock-on supply chain impact in the local area is also significant, with dozens of nearby suppliers providing the plant with vital goods and services. These include:

  • Aggregates and sand from Lafarge Tarmac three miles from the plant
  • Cement from Hope Cement Works located in the Peak District
  • Insulation from SIG Insulation

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

About Crossrail:

The total funding available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn.

The Crossrail route will pass through 38 stations and run more than 100km 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.