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In Pictures: transport secretary visits Laing O'Rourke Steetley factory

The transport secretary and chief executive of Crossrail have visited Laing O’Rourke’s Explore Industrial Park in Steetley where they urged companies from across the UK to seek work on Europe’s largest construction project.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme were speaking on a visit to Laing O’Rourke’s factory in Steetley, East Midlands, where Crossrail’s Custom House station is being built.

Large sections of the station will be transported 130 miles to east London and assembled on site.

Crossrail is expected to generate at least 75,000 business opportunities and support the equivalent of 55,000 full-time jobs.

Of businesses that have won work on the project, three out of five are based outside London and more than half are SMEs.

Mr Wolstenholme said: “The work taking place in Steetley is evidence that Crossrail is not just benefiting 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.”

Laing O’Rourke director of manufacturing Russell Kellett 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.”

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