Nichols support the Department for Transport by managing market soundings for rail links to Heathrow

Department of Transport - Marketing Sounding

On 24 May Nichols hosted a market sounding launch event for a new Southern Rail link to Heathrow on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT).

The DfT are seeking engagement from the private sector in development and delivery of this project.  The 180 guests including potential financiers, private promoters, local authorities, legal advisors and contractors received a keynote address from The Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Honourable Chris Grayling MP and presentations from Liz Baker and Stephen Jones of Nichols.

This opportunity is still at conceptual stage and the market sounding exercise is expected to establish the level of interest and capability the private sector has to progress the project.  This is the first project to make use of the recently released DfT Rail Market-Led Proposals Guidance.  Building on recommendations generated by the Hansford Review, Nichols is delighted to be helping the DfT take forward this opportunity as a ‘Pathfinder’ to test new ways of developing projects.

In addition to hosting this event, Nichols are managing a sounding for the Western Rail link to Heathrow, aiming to harness the expertise of investors and local partners regarding the feasibility of delivery through a Public Private Partnership.


Nichols Report on Complex Rail Programmes

Nichols welcomes ORRs publication of its Network Rail Monitor on 4 December 2017, which includes reference to our recent review report on Complex Rail Programmes.  Grant Biggam the Nichols Lead Reporter for this review sets the context for the Nichols Report.

“Nichols was engaged by ORR and Network Rail as an Independent Reporter in June 2017 to review the improvements made by Network Rail in its management of complex programmes involving major timetable change.  We reviewed six representative programmes using a best practice framework for complex programmes developed by Nichols in 2014 for a previous review.

Published by ORR yesterday, our review identifies that improvements have been made by Network Rail since 2015 and areas that can be developed further towards good practice.  Network Rail work closely with the Department for Transport and Transport Scotland to develop and deliver these complex programmes.

We are very pleased with the response to our Report from ORR, DfT, Transport Scotland and Network Rail, and are proud to have delivered another complex multi-stakeholder review to a high quality in a short timescales.”

To read the review please click here.


Stay put and make a scene

Nichols Lisa Hogben has carried out a micro-research project examining the different reactions of men and women to negative behaviours in the construction industry workplace.

Using the information gathered through her research, Lisa has written an article to encourage women to speak up, rather than move on.

Her article has received wonderful feedback and has been shared widely throughout the industry.  To read it, click here.


Nichols welcome Michael Hurn

Michael Hurn will be joining Nichols in January 2018.

Michael joins us from the Department for Transport where he has worked for the past 12 years, most recently as Acting Director General, High Speed Rail Group.

Michael has been accountable for the development and delivery of a number of significant projects.  These include, his involvement in High Speed Rail Group who sponsored Phase 1 of the HS2 project, the privately financed procurement of new trains for the Thameslink programme and Inter City Express Programme, and King’s Cross redevelopment.

Kathryn Nichols (Chief Executive) said: “We are delighted that Michael is joining our business family. We know that he embodies our values and will help manifest our future vision.”


The Mike Nichols Award for Inspiration 2018

We are delighted to announce that nominations have opened for this year’s Mike Nichols Award for Inspiration.

This award celebrates the legacy of our founder and guiding star, Mike Nichols – recognising inspirational individuals, projects, programmes and organisations, and their contribution to successful transformational change for the world and society. The award will be presented at the APM awards ceremony in November.

We very much look forward to reading your entries and learning about what has inspired you in the past year. Please click here for further details and nomination forms.



The Mike Nichols Award for Inspiration 2017

All of our finalist’s entries for the award this year were extremely deserving of recognition and demonstrated hugely inspiring qualities.

Two particular entries however, truly touched our hearts and show great hope and light in a time where our world can sometimes seem a dark place.  Both entries were equally as inspiring and so, unusually, two winners have been chosen for this year’s Mike Nichols Award.

As an individual winner, we have chosen Nurjahan Khatun founder of the I Dare U Foundation, and as a programme winner, we have chosen Khadijah Abdullah on behalf of the Education Performance and Delivery Unit in Malaysia.

We were honoured to be joined by both of our winners to accept their awards at the APM Awards Ceremony on Monday 20 November, and are so grateful for Khadijah Abdullah and her team who travelled across the globe to join us on the evening.

We look forward to learning about and celebrating those who inspire the project community and the world in 2018.