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VolkerFitzpatrick wins £6m Crossrail tunnelling academy job

VolkerFitzpatrick has won the £6 million contract to build Crossrail’s Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy.

The contractor saw off competition from Sir Robert McAlpine, Vinci, Laing O’Rourke and Balfour Beatty subsidiary Mansell to bag the job which will start on site in east London next month.

TUCA will start to offer training in spring 2011 and the building will be fully open by summer 2011. At least 3,500 people will be trained in underground construction over the lifetime of the project

The academy will be located at Aldersbrook Sidings on the border of Newham and Redbridge, close to Ilford town centre. Enabling works are currently taking place on site ahead of main construction starting.

Crossrail tunnelling activity will get underway in late 2011. In just over one year from now the first tunnel boring machines will set out on their route from Royal Oak in west London towards Farringdon. Shortly afterwards tunnel boring machines will be launched in Docklands that will head towards Farringdon under central London.

Crossrail chairman Terry Morgan said: “As well as delivering much needed additional rail capacity, Crossrail has an important role to play in supporting regeneration and the economy. Ensuring that job opportunities are made available to Londoners - and that Londoners have the skills required - is a vital part of Crossrail’s approach to construction.

“Contractors winning work with Crossrail will recruit and employ local people along the construction route and it is likely many of these people will attend training at the academy. This will ensure that we have people with the right skills in place to deliver Crossrail for London and many other vital infrastructure projects in the future.”