Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Crossrail given 150m fund boost

Artist impression of Crossrail train
The transport project will be the UK's largest since the Channel Tunnel

The Crossrail scheme has received a 150m boost towards building a new station in east London.

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) contributed the money towards the 500m Isle of Dogs station near its office complex.

Work on the station, which will include retail space and a rooftop park, will begin in January.

Crossrail will run 73 miles (118km) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, to be completed by 2017.

The 15.9bn project will be the UK's largest transport project since the Channel Tunnel.

It aims to bring an extra 1.5m people within 60 minutes commuting distance of central London.

Transport Minister Lord Adonis said: "This deal with CWG once again demonstrates the commitment of business to this vital project."

He said the project would contribute at least 20bn to the UK economy and create an extra 30,000 jobs.

Once Crossrail arrives in Canary Wharf, it will act as the catalyst for a further economic boost
London Mayor Boris Johnson

CWG will build the Isle of Dogs station as part of the 150m deal.

CWG spokesman Howard Dawber said: "This is about the long-term, this is about investing for the upturn in the economic cycle."

He added: "This is a very significant part of the funding for Crossrail - it's really the final piece of major private sector funding for the project."

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the deal was "a welcome boost to the economy at a time when it is hugely needed".

He added: "Once Crossrail arrives in Canary Wharf, it will act as the catalyst for a further economic boost - allowing the construction of more offices and other facilities, including new shops and more hotels, creating lasting jobs over the coming decades."

Crossrail got Parliamentary approval in July and earlier this month the government invited firms to bid to project manage the scheme.

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