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Mon December 04 2023

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Hackitt joins HS2 board, Wolstenholme out

12 Apr 19 Dame Judith Hackitt, the former Health & Safety Executive chair who last year led a review of building regulations to address issues raised by the Grenfell Tower fire, has joined the board of HS2 Ltd.

Dame Judith Hackitt
Dame Judith Hackitt

Dame Judith is one of two new non-executive directors appointed to the HS2 board by transport secretary Chris Grayling. The other is former Birmingham City Council chief executive Stephen Hughes.

However, Andrew Wolstenholme, the former Crossrail chief executive, has left the board of HS2 Ltd after serving less than a year.

Dame Judith Hackitt was the chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety and is chair of manufacturing trade body Make UK (formerly the Engineering Employers Federation). She is also a non-executive director of Made Smarter Commission, Imperial College Court, City & Guilds Group and High Value Manufacturing Catapult. Stephen Hughes, an accountant by profession, was chief executive of Birmingham City Council for nearly 10 years. He is also a non-executive director of Housing & Care 21 and Big Band Ltd.

In addition, Ed Smith and Roger Mountford have been reappointed to the board for a further three years.

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However, Andrew Wolstenholme has left the board of HS2 Ltd, having only been appointed in June 2018. When he was appointed, he had already left Crossrail for a new job with Bae Systems as managing director Maritime & Land UK.

He was chief executive of Crossrail from 2011 to 2018 and was also co-chair of the government's Construction Leadership Council. However, since his departure from Crossrail it has emerged that the project was unable to meet deadlines and would cost nearly £3bn more than planned. No reason was given for his departure from the HS2 board.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said of the new directors: “The appointments of Dame Judith Hackitt and Stephen Hughes will ensure that HS2 Ltd continues to have a world-class leadership team under Allan Cook CBE. I am also delighted that Ed and Roger will continue in their roles.

“Their collective wisdom and expertise will be invaluable in overseeing the construction of one of the UK’s most important infrastructure projects, ensuring we deliver on the opportunity of huge economic growth for the north and Midlands and improved journeys for passengers right across the country.”

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