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Sat October 31 2020

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Volker Fitzpatrick to build Crossrail tunnelling academy

13 Oct 10 Volker Fitzpatrick has been awarded the contract to the build the Crossrail Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) in east London.

Volker Fitzpatrick has been awarded the contract to the build the Crossrail Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) in east London.

The firm saw off competition from Laing O'Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Vinci, Mansell, and Rok to clinch the £6m deal..

The facility, part funded by a £5m grant from Department of Business Innovation and Skills, will provide training to at least 3,500 people in underground construction alone over the lifetime of the £16bn project. Crossrail at its peak will employ some 14,000 people.

The training at the academy will include National Vocational Qualifications such as NVQ Level 2 in Tunnelling Operations. The course content for this is currently being developed.

The UK currently has no purpose-built training facility for tunnelling and underground training, the nearest such centre being in Switzerland.

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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, with the first tunnel boring machines starting on their journey from Royal Oak towards Farringdon. This will be followed shortly by the launch of further tunnel boring machines in Docklands that will head towards Farringdon under central London.

The volume of tunnelling and underground construction work taking place in the UK over the next decade is unprecedented. Aside from Crossrail, Thames Water will be constructing the Thames Tideway Tunnel sewerage scheme while National Grid will be constructing new electricity cable tunnels under London.

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