East West Railway Company (EWR Co) has appointed Arcadis as a commercial partner. Arcadis was selected by EWR Co to support its work driving long-term social and economic value for local communities between Oxford and Cambridge.
This is 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.
Including 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.
James Norman, corporate services director at East West Railway Company, said:
“At a local level, this partnership will help bring new opportunities along the route, including apprenticeships, school STEM sessions, and support for disadvantaged communities.”
Matt Kitching, partner and account lead at Arcadis, said:
“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.”
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.