River Thames Scheme Map

Keeping the Environment Agency’s largest ever flood alleviation project on track

We have been appointed by the Environment Agency (EA) and Surrey County Council to develop the systems and processes needed to manage the EA’s largest ever flood alleviation project – the River Thames Scheme (RTS).

Spanning the area between Egham and Teddington along the River Thames, this is a nationally significant project – given its scope, size, ambition, and complexity. The scheme will create more than eight kilometres of new flood channel and increase the capacity of three existing weirs.

This will reduce the flood risk for more than 11,000 homes, 1,600 businesses and key elements of infrastructure in communities that have suffered major floods in the recent past. The scheme will also create new areas of green open space for recreation, new pathways for walking and cycling, and improve the biodiversity of the area.

Supporting at a critical stage

The project is entering the crucial development consent order (DCO) phase – which make the process overall simpler and more efficient.

There is a lot of work to do to ensure this streamlined approach is efficient and effective. We have been brought on board to help the Agency transform its approach to programme management.

We will ensure that project leadership has accurate, data-informed plans, and the information needed to make high-quality, fully informed decisions. This is crucial to keep the scheme on track, on budget and on course to deliver the promised benefits to communities.

Steven Hayter, Director for Infrastructure Project Management at Currie & Brown and Interim Project Management Office (PMO) Lead for the scheme comments: “Digital technologies are evolving at speed and transforming the way we manage projects. They’re helping us create more accurate plans, manage costs transparently and better foresee risks. It’s been a pleasure developing the programme controls framework to keep this project on track and we are looking forward to assisting our client with this landmark project through the next key phase.”

Leading on digital integration

Our approach is designed to improve all areas of the project, including:

  • Planning – All stakeholders can see what needs to be delivered, how this is progressing, and at what cost. Schedules are logic driven, meaning that if a contractor is going to be delayed delivering an item, this is automatically reflected in project costs and overall timelines.
  • Project financial management and cost control – Having real time data on project costs helps commercial managers keep a tight handle on costs, in line with contract stipulations.
  • Risk and opportunities management – Typically, cost and scheduling risks are modelled using standardised, rather than actual project data. The richness of our project data means that we can create a genuine understanding of risk on the project.
  • Change control – Having a single project dashboard means that everyone can see project changes. We have also developed a formal process for communicating changes and their implications with stakeholders.
  • Health and safety – Information from all suppliers, plus the Environment Agency’s own health and safety data is now consolidated into one dashboard, enabling project managers to report on health and safety across the entire project.

We have also developed practices and processes to bring people together and help with knowledge sharing. These include working alongside client teams at key project locations and hosting regular knowledge sharing sessions. From our experience of introducing similar ways of working at Network Rail, Forth Ports and DEFRA, getting teams fully bought into processes early on makes all the difference. This results in better relationships, stronger trust and a measurable improvement in team performance.

Jeanne Capey, Project Director for the River Thames Scheme comments: “One of our most significant milestones to come to fruition in mid-2025 will be our DCO submission and in order to successfully achieve this, we have been able to secure the professional expertise of business partners including Currie & Brown. Having this knowledge onboard paves the way to successfully transform this ambitious project from concept to reality.”

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