UK Project Management Round Up


Infrastructure, Energy and Other Projects in UK, including HS2, Thames Tideway Tunnel, Hinkley Point C, London runway 3, raising of the HMS Invincible, Palace of Westminster reconstruction and tunnel under Stonehenge

By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK



This past month has been pretty boring with BREXIT dominating even though precious little happened on that front until just before closing for press. Fuel prices have been increasing due as much to OPEC production restrictions as a weak £, British consumers are still spending so many businesses are claiming the Referendum result is ‘good for Britain’ while the economic figures for the period immediately after the vote are holding up pretty well, on the surface.

That is the key right now – things look good on the surface. The FTSE is riding high but then most of the stocks are quoted in $US so are benefiting from the weak £. The Bank of England has raised its estimation of economic growth this year to 2% so what’s to worry anyone? Well, the main issue in the coming months will be higher input costs, rising inflation which will be coupled with wage increase demands plus lower output prices for exporters.

On the project front, the big news concerns Hinkley Point, London’s 3rd runway, the HS2 programme and London’s new sewerage system although there is much other news of projects both large and small. So this month, I’ll be looking at infrastructure projects, energy, national economic policy as it affects projects, and a few other smaller items should there be space.


Apart from the Government’s Infrastructure Projects Portfolio supervised by the IPA (note this is not the beer of similar abbreviation), there are many infrastructure projects ‘out there’. Perhaps the most eye-catching are the top trio of Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station III, the London 3rd Runway and the new rail link connecting the South of England to the so called Northern Powerhouse or as it is fondly called, HS2.

Taking the train first, HS2 is beset by a barrage of moaners, NIMBYs and other critics. This seems to have proved too much for its Chief Executive, Simon Kirby, who decamped to Rolls-Royce. As the first phase of this massive engineering project, the upgrade of the London to Birmingham line is due to receive Parliamentary approval before Christmas, this seems like taking the hand off the tiller at a crucial juncture. Members of Parliament have warned that a leaderless major project increases risk perceptions and weakens confidence in the whole project.


However, shortly after Kirby left, a report by Albion Economics claims that failing to complete the £50 billion project will cost the nation some 27,000 jobs by the end of the decade. This is the number of people employed by contractors and includes thousands of apprentices who many see as the key to improving Britain’s work force and productivity. Interestingly, amid all the noise over HS2 comes a whining lead article stating that the programme has spent £2 billion yet no track has been laid. Seems the journos and politicians forget that project need to be planned and preliminary work done, including purchase of land for said new track. As the image above shows, there is quite a bit of work in 2016 alone.


To read entire report, click here



About the Author


Salisbury, UK

UK small flag



Miles Shepherd is an executive editorial advisor and international correspondent for PM World in the United Kingdom. He is also managing director for MS Projects Ltd, a consulting company supporting various UK and overseas Government agencies, nuclear industry organisations and other businesses. Miles has over 30 years’ experience on a variety of projects in UK, Eastern Europe and Russia. His PM experience includes defence, major IT projects, decommissioning of nuclear reactors, nuclear security, rail and business projects for the UK Government and EU.   Past Chair and Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM), Miles is also past president, chair and a Fellow of the International Project Management Association (IPMA). He is currently Director of PMI’s Global Accreditation Centre and the Chair of the ISO committee developing new international standards for Project Management and for Program/Portfolio Management. He was involved in setting up APM’s team developing guidelines for project management oversight and governance. Miles is based in Salisbury, England and can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Miles Shepherd, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/miles-shepherd/.