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Project of the Year (over £50m): Winner

Mace working in partnership with Network Rail – Birmingham New Street station and Grand Central redevelopment

The judges described this year’s winner of the Project of the Year (over £50m) as “an exemplar of regeneration and what can be achieved when contractors and clients pull together in the same direction”.

Network Rail and Mace’s comprehensive overhaul of Birmingham New Street station was hailed as an “iconic project”, not just for its technical prowess, challenging environment and efficient delivery, but also for the legacy it will leave for Birmingham and the wider West Midlands.

Client and contractor worked closely together throughout the £750m scheme, all of which was completed in a live station environment, with trains departing and arriving at the station’s platforms every 37 seconds.

Mace acted as construction management and delivery partner, with more than 80 different contractors on site during the programme.

The judges were impressed by the technical and innovative approach to the redevelopment, with extensive use of BIM cutting the project’s demolition phase from 12 months to six.

Bespoke machinery, modular tunnel systems and extensive clash detection modelling systems were also highlighted by the judges as examples of how the scheme was “ahead of the curve”.

“Mace’s project holds importance not just for Birmingham but the whole country”

Judges’ comment

The scheme was highlighted as not just improving connectivity, but also as a flagship project for the city centre’s regeneration.

Nearly 95 per cent of all Network Rail’s assets were renewed as part of the scheme, while the Grand Central shopping centre above the station, long thought of as a 1960s eyesore, was fully refurbished. This had the added bonus of allowing Network Rail to sell the shopping centre for a £150m profit as part of the scheme.

The benefit stretched to the local community, with 107 apprentices trained as part of the project’s construction phase in partnership with South Birmingham College. Safety was paramount to both client and contractor, with 2.3m worker-hours undertaken RIDDOR-free and occupational health courses provided throughout the scheme.

The project had strong sustainability credentials too, and is the first station in the UK that has a combined heat and power system.

The judges agreed that this regeneration should be used “as a model for other city centres” undertaking similar projects and was “a symbol of how city centres can be transformed for the better”.

“It is a truly iconic design and a project that holds importance not just for Birmingham but the whole country,” they added.

Mark of Excellence: Laing O’Rourke – Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Laing O’Rourke’s £187m Alder Hey Children’s Hospital project was “desperately unlucky” to miss out on the top spot, with the judges praising it almost as highly as the eventual winner.

The project, which is the UK’s fastest-ever hospital build of its kind, used BIM extensively to deliver an efficient, innovative and cost-effective hospital, and even used bespoke products that had been specifically developed with the hospital in mind.

The judges said the project was “iconic, much like New Street” and that it represented “where the industry needs to be going with its true, 21st century construction methods”.

“The way that Laing O’Rourke has delivered the project is nothing short of phenomenal,” the judges concluded.


  • A-one+ Integrated Highway Services – Area 12 (Yorkshire & Humber) MAC Project
  • Bam Nuttall – Wallasea Wild Coast project phase one
  • Carillion Building – The Plimsoll Building, King’s Cross
  • ISG – Exhibition Centre Liverpool and Pullman Liverpool Hotel
  • Network Rail / Staffordshire Alliance (collaborative partnership between Network Rail, Atkins, Laing O’Rourke and VolkerRail) – Stafford area improvements programme
  • Skanska Building – London & South-east 1 & 2 New Ludgate London
  • VolkerFitzpatrick – Stoke Gifford Intercity Express programme train maintenance facility

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