Contractors welcome the appointment of the Balfour Beatty director

Contractors have welcomed Andrew Wolstenholme’s appointment as the new chief executive of Crossrail.

Wolstenholme, who is currently director of innovation and strategic capability with Balfour Beatty, will take up his new role in September 2011.

Leading figures from the industry believe Wolstenholme’s knowledge of the industry will be mutually beneficial for Crossrail and contractors.

Commenting on the appointment Willmott Dixon chief executive John Frankiewicz said:

“He brings an enormous track record of partnering that will be essential if we are to deliver the Crossrail project on time and budget.

“His previous experience with BAA suggests to me that he is well versed on getting the best out of contractors.”

Wolstenholme was project director for the construction of the £4bn Heathrow Terminal 5 which was delivered on time and budget. He also acted as construction director on the Heathrow Express Rail Link and as BAA’s director of capital projects.

James Wates, chairman of Wates, agreed with Frankiewicz that it was a good choice, adding:

“I support the appointment because it’s important we have a client who knows and supports the industry. He’ll bring a wealth of experience from his BAA role which should stand him in good stead on this job.”

Alexander Jan, associate director at Arup, said:

“It’s a clever choice appointing a Balfour guy to this role. Given his background he’ll understand the contractors take on Crossrail intimately.”

In a statement announcing the appointment, Crossrail chairman Terry Morgan said he was delighted to have Wolstenholme on board.

He added: “Andrew is an outstanding candidate to oversee the delivery of this critically important project for London and the UK.

“Construction of Crossrail is accelerating and we are now less than one year away from the start of tunnelling to build the major new rail tunnels under London.

“Andrew will be joining Crossrail at a strategically important time, just ahead of intensive construction getting underway, and will lead the project into its next phase of delivery.”

Wolstenholme will succeed Rob Holden who is stepping down in mid-July.