How do you make the public love projects like HS2?

14 October 2014

Meryl McMillan

National conference at Westlakes Campus to explore options.

Mega-projects – such as HS2 or nuclear power stations – are often met with resistance from the public, particularly local residents who are fearful of disruption or high costs. So how do policy makers and developers get the public to recognise the value these projects can deliver and ensure public support from the start?

A one-day conference hosted by the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) this week will aim to do just that.

Taking place at the University’s Westlakes campus in West Cumbria on Thursday, 16th October, the conference will provide insights into how the governance of ‘mega-projects’ such as HS2 and the Channel Tunnel can be used to deliver real benefits to the public.

Organised by UCLan’s Applied Policy Science Unit and part-funded by The Samuel Lindow Foundation, the conference will this year incorporate the Foundation’s annual Fyfe lecture on ‘Partnerships and Networks in Public Value Management’.

The conference will particularly focus on how mega-projects can implement governance structures that can instigate dialogue with stakeholders, which have the potential to significantly impact the communities, regions and nations where they are located.

Speakers will include a range of scholars and practitioners involved in mega-projects including John Clarke, Chief Executive at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the Chair of the Public Accounts Select Committee and MP for Barking, the Rt. Hon, Margaret Hodge, from a pre-recorded video link.

Dr Rick Wylie, the UCLan Samuel Lindow Academic Director and Executive Director of the Applied Policy Science Unit at UCLan said:

“There is a huge opportunity for historically controversial mega-projects such as HS2 to actively engage with the public to ensure their positive impact. "

"Sessions at the conference will directly address the importance and intricacies of project structures in implementing real value to the wider public.”

The conference ‘Governing Mega-Projects: Towards Public Value Management’ will take place from 9.00am to 4.00pm on Thursday, 16th October at the UCLan Westlakes campus in West Cumbria. The entire conference will be available to view live through the web link at