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.