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Craftwork for the Underground

London Underground wants to involve more craftsmen and small to medium businesses as it progresses ambitious upgrades at 70 stations.

Already LU has selected more than 20 contractors and three multi-discipline design firms to bring a new innovative and collaborative approach to the work. The Programme will use LU’s Stake delivery model, designed to create greater efficiency by reducing sub- contractor layers in the supply chain. LU will be engaging directly with small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to employ the craftspeople who will deliver work on-site.

Says LU’s Programme Director for Stations, Miles Ashley, ‘This programme of work will see 70 stations brought up to a modern standard, which will not only mean better, brighter customer journeys, but will also mean less closures for remedial work that can cause disruption.

Construction supply chains have become multi-tiered and fragmented, and it could be said that the industry has lost sight of the importance of craft skills in delivering efficiently. Great craftsmanship is the key to the success of any infrastructure project, and our Stake approach allows long-term engagement with the people at the workface and recognises that they are the most valuable part of our team.’

Stations lined up for the craft work approach include Embankment, Paddington, Earls Court, South Kensington and Charing Cross. The seven-year programme will enable suppliers and their craftspeople to work closely with LU to improve delivery with a focus on delivering high quality work first time, leading to increased value across the programme and reduced unit costs.

LU is also working with the successful suppliers to establish craft academies These academies will provide craft skills training as well as frontline leadership for supervisors and construction managers on the skills and practices needed to deliver the programme efficiently.

The new approach’s principle is ‘production leads, everything else enables’, a shift in focus that has been brought about by LU’s adoption of Stuttgart-based DS Consulting’s Collaborative Planning methods.

Contractors include Wingate, Delatim, Giffin Group, Atkins, Fourway, Magnolia, Emerald, Close Brothers, Livis, DMC, Excel, K&M McLoughlin, JNG, HA

Marks, AGS, Community Clean, UKDN Waterflow, Lanes Group, Hillmore Fire Protection, Young & Young Security, TRAD Scaffolding and Millcroft.

The Stake delivery model is a UK trial project under Infrastructure UK, a unit within the Treasury that works on the UK’s long-term infrastructure priorities. The unit is responsible for achieving greater value for money on infrastructure projects.


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