East West Railway Company appoints Arcadis as Commercial Partner, supporting local STEM and apprenticeships. Job creation, new apprenticeships, career development, volunteering schemes and local education support are just some of the activities underpinning the appointment of Arcadis to support East West Rail.
Arcadis has been selected by the East West Railway Company (EWR Co) to support their work driving long-term social and economic value for local communities between Oxford and Cambridge, as part of a wider commercial services contract that will help East West Rail to continue to develop its business case and provide the best value for money for taxpayers. This contract includes a core responsibility to generate positive social impacts for communities along the East West Rail route and the wider economy. This will include supporting job creation, upskilling and training and increasing awareness of career opportunities, particularly for young people.
The appointment will see Arcadis harness its existing apprenticeship programme – supported by its Cambridge office – to provide up to eight apprenticeship starts over the course of the commission (four years). These opportunities will target under-represented and disadvantaged groups, with each early career apprentice expected to add a further boost to the local economy.
Other commitments include contributing 120 staff volunteer days to support local projects and charity initiatives such as the Trussell Trust, which helps to combat food poverty with a network of food banks in communities along the route. Arcadis will also visit schools across Oxford, Milton Keynes and Bedford, to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activity, provide careers and CV advice, and contribute to a reduction in the skills, diversity and gender gaps facing the construction industry.
Arcadis’ role as EWR Co’s Commercial Partner will also include procuring and administering contracts, with a particular emphasis on working with local suppliers, leading cost planning, and contributing to developing the business case and submitting the application for a Development Consent Order to build the next stage of the rail link between Bletchley and Cambridge.
James Norman, Corporate Services Director at East West Railway Company said:
“Arcadis has an excellent track record in commercial services and will work alongside various teams at EWR Co, helping to develop the business case, validating tender prices, and managing expenditure to make sure the East West Rail project continues to provide the best value for money for taxpayers.
“At a local level, this partnership will help bring new opportunities along the route, including apprenticeships, school STEM sessions, and support for disadvantaged communities.
“I’m delighted to have them on board.”
Matt Kitching, Partner and Account Lead at Arcadis, said:
“By connecting science parks, universities and industry, East West Rail will support access to new opportunities that make the area more commutable, open up new job opportunities for local residents and help the economy to grow.
“As we work with the East West Railway Company to help improve journeys across the region, our role will focus on defining and improving the value that a new direct rail connection can bring. From faster journey times to lower transport costs and the easing of pressures on local roads, the new rail connection will be key to creating positive, long term industry and social legacies.”
The Oxford-Cambridge Arc is home to leading universities, life sciences companies and a manufacturing cluster known for high-performance technology and motorsport engineering, but the area has historically been poorly served by rail connections, with the vast majority of journeys having to be made by road. East West Rail intends to offer an affordable and sustainable public transport alternative, linking communities to job opportunities and access to new homes across the region.