First four organisations to adopt Project 13 model revealed on launch day

A new long-term, value-driven approach to how infrastructure is delivered has been backed by the government and industry big hitters as the “start of a long journey” at the launch of what is known as Project 13.

The Project 13 model is an attempt to reassess and rethink the delivery model and prioritise better outcomes for the public and customers of infrastructure. A conference held by the Infrastructure Client Group (ICG) and the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) on 1 May invited representatives from various sectors to understand how and why it was happening.

The first four organisations have also been announced as early adopters of Project 13. These organisations will form a Project 13 implementation group to share experiences and learnings of the new principles. These include Anglian Water: Capital Delivery Alliances, Environment Agency: Next Generation Supplier Arrangements, the Heathrow expansion program and National Grid: London Power Tunnels.

Throughout the launch event, the assembled audience heard that change was needed despite repeated warnings that introducing new delivery models would be “painful” and “extremely difficult”. But standing still and continuing with how the industry operates today would result in more troubling consequences.

Among those in attendance was Robert Jenrick, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, who welcomed the launch of Project 13 and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to infrastructure spending going forward.

He said: "We are investing record amounts in infrastructure to help boost our national productivity and build an economy fit for the future. But we are clear that we need to get the most out of every penny of taxpayers’ money we spend, and the construction industry has to do more to close its own productivity gap if we are to succeed. We welcome this important industry response that will help drive improvements."

Dale Evans, chair of the ICG and director of @One Alliance, discussed the process in getting to the launch. “We are pleased to be launching the implementation phase of Project 13,” he said. “This project has bought together individuals and organisations from across the sector, and within government, to think seriously about how we can better provide infrastructure for the future. We hope that industry will embrace this approach so we can begin working towards a more sustainable and productive future for our sector.”

Nick Baveystock, ICE director general, reaffirmed how far behind the UK was in terms of productivity levels - 35% behind Germany and 18% behind the G7 average. He said it was time for a change in focus with infrastructure end users needing to be placed at the centre of any plan.

“The launch of Project 13 is the chance for industry and government to change how we deliver our infrastructure,” Baveystock added. “Developed between industry, clients and government over a number of years, Project 13 places customers at the heart of our national infrastructure programme, focussing on the social and economic value infrastructure can provide over the long-term. We look to government to continue to support a solution developed by and with the industry with all the potential benefits for the public and the taxpayer. This is a win-win. We should just ask ourselves why we wouldn’t want to use Project 13 principles to deliver better value.”

Organisations can gain access to the tools and training to adopt this new business model by visiting Project 13’s new website. Here the Commercial Handbook and Project 13 Blueprint which provide detailed guidance can be found.

More information about the Early Adopters

  • Anglian Water: Capital Delivery Alliances

Anglian Water is planning further development of its alliance approach in preparation for Asset Management Period 7 (AMP7) - 2020 to 2025. This will include further integration of partners through aligned and incentivised relationships and a digital transformation strategy at the centre of the alliance change programme. The alliances collectively deliver an annual programme of circa £500m on new and refurbished infrastructure.

  • Environment Agency: Next Generation Supplier Arrangements

The Next Generation Supplier Arrangements (NGSA) is a change in how the Environment Agency will select suppliers in future. The NGSA will help deliver flood outcomes, as well as other parts of the business including navigation, and other water and biodiversity work. It will allow for greater collaboration with other risk management authorities, such as local councils, and delivery partners.

  • Heathrow Airport: Expansion, Third Runway and Associated Infrastructure Programme

The Heathrow expansion includes enabling works such as moving and lowering the M25 and diverting local roads and rivers. The works will also build a new runway, and increase terminal capacity with associated baggage systems, airfield and landside facilities.

  • National Grid: London Power Tunnels 

The London Power Tunnels (LPT2) is the second phase of National Grid’s megaproject to rewire London for the 21st century and beyond. It will replace the existing direct buried cable circuits in South London, from Wimbledon to New Cross and then onto Hurst. The 32km of tunnels, crossing seven London boroughs, will be engineered to have a design life of at least 130 years, cost £750M and result in significantly less disruption during construction than direct burying cables. 

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