4 September 2019
Transport for London (TFL) 10th Floor 55 Broadway London SW1H 0DB

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Governance SIG

Sponsorship on the Network Rail Thameslink Programme

Venue: Transport for London (TFL), 10th Floor, 55 Broadway, London. SW1H 0DB

An engaged and effective sponsor / sponsor group is the key success factor to the successful outcome of a project or programme.

The Government funded Thameslink programme has transformed north south rail travel through London. A key part of this was delivered by Network Rail managing over 100 projects successfully delivering £5bn of infrastructure improvements. London Bridge and Blackfriars stations have been rebuilt. The route through central London has been extensively upgraded, a new tunnel has been completed. All of this was achieved whilst keeping an ever-busier commuter network running.

But how do you establish effective sponsorship on a programme of this scale with multiple players working across the rail industry? What were the key governance bodies established to oversee the programme? How does sponsorship on this major programme compare to other sponsorship models?

Nick Gray was the Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, and will outline the answers to these and more questions around effective sponsorship. He will also compare his experience of sponsoring major programmes with the guidelines published in Sponsoring Change, 2nd edition.

Nick has worked for Network Rail for 19 years and in that time sponsored a wide range of enhancements at all stages of the lifecycle. Highlights have included :

  • Working with Virgin Trains to modernise the Cross Country network.
  • Sponsor and delivery roles on the £600m Southern Power Supply Upgrade.
  • Sponsor on the iconic £540m redevelopment of Kings Cross station.
  • Programme Sponsor of the £5bn Thameslink Infrastructure Programme guiding 100 component projects across all railway disciplines as well as delivering £780m of programme-wide enabling activities.

Nick has brought that experience to bear as the Head of Sponsorship providing professional leadership for the 300 strong sponsor community across the organisation.

Nick is currently Director of Sponsorship for Western Route leading a team of 55 sponsors working with a wide range of public sector and private sector funders on a portfolio worth over £400m/year.


Previous presentations and webinars can be viewed on the APM Slideshare and YouTube channels.

This event is suitable for sponsors, directors, and other project professionals up to an intermediate level of experience.


APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition reference

Section Description
1.3.1 Governance principles
1.3.5 Sponsorship
1.3.10 Governance boards
3.2.4 Leadership




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