Lheah Zorlakkis - Business Development and Marketing Administrator
This month Temple were joined by Geoff Loader, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Tideway. Geoff walked us through the history of the Victorian sewer system that London has relied on for over a century, and the stresses and strains that have led to the proposal of the innovative Thames Tideway Tunnel project. This project aims to 'reconnect London' with the River Thames and to dramatically reduce the amount of overflow that is dumped into the Thames annually.
Geoff was very open in discussing the biggest risks (in his opinion) of project delivery; stating that the consenting work compared with the timescales could very much hinder the project. There are also numerous factors that local communities want addressed, as well as concerns with regard to Health and Safety during construction, on account of its proximity to the river.
Geoff also addressed the major strain that the current infrastructure projects are putting on the industry in regards to skilled workers. As part of the tunnel scheme Tideway will be setting up Thames Skills Academy, dedicated to training apprentices in this specialised field. They have also been very successful with the introduction of a Return to Work scheme, encouraging ex-industry professionals who have been on career breaks to return to work.
Many thanks to Geoff for his presentation and we look forward to the next Brown Bag Breakfast with Chris Porter of TfL.