Top 5 Engineering Projects in the UK
With ongoing improvements and multi-million pound investment in the UK’s infrastructure, there are currently a number of attractive engineering job opportunities up for grabs. Much of the investment is a result of the government’s Productivity Plan, which was launched back in 2015[i]. Rail, road and private construction projects continue apace – below are some of the UK’s best engineering projects to get involved with right now.
Along with HS2, Crossrail is one of the biggest transport infrastructure projects that has ever been undertaken in the UK[ii] and also one of Europe’s largest. Due to be completed in 2020, work started on the £15 billion project in 2009. The new rail network will transform the way people travel in and out of London and the south east, with over 100km of new train lines, 40 stations (10 of them brand new), the construction of 42km of underground tunnels and significant upgrades to the current London Underground network[iii]. Over 100 million working hours have been completed on the project so far, opening up thousands of opportunities for engineers and the generation of over 600 apprenticeships since 2012[iv].
2. Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme
The £50 million Flood Alleviation Scheme in Leeds is one of the largest flood risk reduction schemes in the country[v] and a shining example of the UK’s engineering excellence. Innovative technology is being used to reduce the risk of flooding, including the introduction of moveable weirs that can be lowered in high-risk flood situations to reduce water levels and the imminent threat of flooding. With phase one now complete, phase two is in the planning stages, which means an increased amount of construction and engineering jobs in Leeds, along with the possibility of employers offering apprenticeships related to the project.
3. Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme
This impressive engineering project in East Anglia includes an upgrade of 21 miles of the A14, construction of new road networks and bridges, a 750-metre long viaduct and the rerouting of over 100km of utility cabling and pipes[vi]. The £1.5 billion Highways England project is a joint venture between Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain and Skanska and is due to be completed in 2020. Once finished, the upgraded A14 will increase capacity, cut journey times for road users, improve regional connectivity and boost the transport infrastructure in this part of the UK.
4. Birmingham’s Big City Plan
Part of the wider Birmingham Development Plan 2031, Birmingham’s Big City Plan is a 20-year master plan that will transform the city into a world-class destination[vii], attracting more business, investment and enterprise to the West Midlands. Encompassing improved transport connectivity, the creation of seven new quarters in the city, 28km of cyclist and pedestrian routes, 5,000 new homes and a new and improved city infrastructure, the ambitious project has opened up major opportunities and some of the top engineering jobs in Birmingham and the West Midlands. With the HS2 train line also in development, running from Birmingham to London, the market for engineering jobs in Birmingham is looking buoyant.
5. Google UK HQ
Things were never going to be straightforward when it came to building a state of the art UK headquarters for one of the world’s biggest tech giants. With an ever-changing brief, constantly shifting construction costs and the EU referendum thrown into the mix, Google’s new HQ has certainly faced a number of challenges to date. However, it was recently confirmed that construction of the £600 million King’s Cross headquarters will start in 2018[viii]. This will create opportunities for some of the best engineering jobs in London. The 11-storey building, dubbed the ‘landscaper’ will boast a floor space of 650,000 square feet, house over 7,000 employees, be as long as The Shard is tall and include a rooftop running track, half-sized Olympic pool, restaurants and basketball courts (and that’s just for starters). And with Olympic cauldron designer Heatherwick Studio creating the monolith, as well as contractors Sir Robert McAlpine, Mace, Lendlease and Multiplex on board, this is one game-changing engineering project we can’t wait to see completed.