Crossrail on agenda as VT chief lends commercial voice to state projects

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The Independent Online

Paul Lester, the chief executive of FTSE 250 support services group VT, has been appointed to a powerful Treasury committee that decides how and when large government infrastructure contracts are awarded to the private sector.

The Major Projects Review Group will meet again next month. Crossrail, the £16bn Heathrow-to-Essex link, is likely to be on the agenda.

Chaired by senior Treasury official John Kingman, the 12-strong body is dominated by civil servants. Mr Lester will add a strong private sector voice, though he will be unable to comment on areas such as defence, where VT has a string of big government contracts including a £4bn joint venture with BAE to build two aircraft carriers.

VT is also in the running for a £5bn deal to build search and rescue helicopters for the RAF and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. It has teamed up with Lockheed Martin and British International Helicopters, and is up against a consortium led by Thales.