East West Rail is a new railway that will stretch across 130 miles of urban and rural land, creating new connections between 14 stations from Oxford to Cambridge. As the largest construction project in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and with the East West Railway Company (EWR Co) overseeing both the delivery and operation of the railway, it is uniquely placed to maximise Social Value for the Arc’s 3.8 million residents and 203,340 businesses in the long term.
Useful Projects was appointed to be EWR Co.’s Social Value Partner in August 2021. We have been working with the organisation to maximise social value across the project’s entire lifecycle including the development, design, delivery, and operation of the railway.
Our role involves five work stages aimed at maximising the railway’s Social Value outcomes:
- The development of a bold Social Value Strategy and framework for delivery, based on local needs assessment. The Strategy will focus on taking a lifecycle approach and targeting opportunities for innovation and lasting legacy impacts.
- A Socio-Economic Impact Forecast that will deliver a monetised value for the rail’s predicted Social Value impact to support the business case and inform social value interventions. As part of this, we are working with State of Life to measure forecasted wellbeing improvements using the WELLBY method.
- An Organisational Delivery Plan, that sets out how Social Value should be embedded into the organisation, including both formal and informal factors.
- A Procurement and Commercial Delivery Plan, that focuses on the delivery of Social Value through EWR Co.’s supply chain.
- Implementation support.
Our work with EWR Co. implements the recommendations in the landmark report we developed with the Institution of Civil Engineers, ‘Maximising Social Value from Infrastructure Projects’.
EWR Co.’s Social Value Strategy will be published externally in the coming months.