Lead Project Manager (Rail)Connected Places Catapult

Farringdon, England, United Kingdom 03-05-2023


Location - Milton Keynes or London (minimum of two days a week in the office. You can do more than two days if preferable)

Reporting to - Project Management Team Lead, Commercial projects

Band - 3.3

Salary - £60,323 - £66,128 (depending on location and proven ability)

Working hours - Full time

Contract type/duration - Permanent

Closing Date - 26th April 2023

Who Are We?  

Connected Places Catapult is the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport, and places. We provide impartial ‘innovation as a service’ for public bodies, businesses, and infrastructure providers to catalyse step-change improvements in the way people live, work and travel. We connect businesses and public sector leaders to cutting-edge research to spark innovation and grow new markets.   

We have a vacancy for a newly created role of Lead Project Manager in our commercial projects team, with a focus on managing innovation projects, predominantly in the rail sector.

The purpose of the role is to manage ground-breaking innovative projects to cost, time and quality requirements. You will predominantly manage our most complex projects within our Rail & Stations ecosystem portfolio, and you may be required to lead more than one project simultaneously. In carrying out this role, you will lead teams drawn from across our Delivery functions and manage subcontractors. Our projects accelerate innovation adoption and no two projects are the same. You will be required to foresee and instigate changes to the planned activities to keep the work focused on delivering the required market impact, liaising with the Internal sponsors and Account leads. Strong leadership and exceptional client relationship building skills and collaboration are essential in this role.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead the delivery of technically complex, large innovation projects from contract award to closure to cost, time and quality requirements.
  • Refine work plans, adjusting as necessary as projects develop, to provide clarity to project teams on the required activities.
  • Manage significant, technically complex contracts with project partners and sub-contractors.
  • Drawing on technical and sector knowledge, proactively identify and manage risks, issues and dependencies. Lead on the development of options and anticipate the need to adjust the work programme to meet the requirements of the client, directing project teams accordingly
  • Build a trusted adviser status with clients and with internal stakeholder. Lead engagement with the client and other stakeholders, including the effective chairing of meetings and advising on the management of issues.
  • Collaborate with the Portfolio Management Office to ensure projects are sufficiently resourced, drawing on agile resource as required.
  • Guide the development of deliverables, providing feedback to the project teams to ensure high standards.
  • Provide high quality, accurate and timely internal reporting of progress against plan. Ensure resourcing and financial forecasts are completed to the best possible accuracy
  • Manage projects aligned to Catapult processes and standards, contributing to their refinement. Actively contribute to the continued improvement of the project management function through sharing project lessons, contributing ideas and working with others to develop and Implement changes.
  • Build knowledge and contacts through presenting on project work at conferences, seminars and workshops, and representation on steering groups/external bodies.
  • You may be required to undertake any other reasonable duties to support the Catapult in achieving its strategic outcomes and ensure effective business operations.



  • Proven ability of successful delivery of complex projects to cost, time and quality requirements.
  • Extensive experience of working in the rail sector, with knowledge of the types of technological and process innovation required to advance innovation adoption.
  • Proven ability to effectively lead rail projects or programmes.
  • Demonstrable track record of building lasting relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Prior experience of operationalizing strategic organizational objectives.
  • Exceptional levels of commercial acumen, including the management of contractors delivering challenging, innovative work programmes.
  • A confident leader, adept at managing relationships with very senior stakeholders
  • Experience of managing research, development or innovation projects In both the public and private sectors
  • Experience of operationalizing strategic organizational objectives.
  • Qualified to degree level or equivalent
  • Experience in the use of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and SAP
  • Deep expertise in waterfall and agile project management methodologies (e.g. PRINCE2) to the extent can mentor Project Managers


  • Excellent attention to detail whilst retaining the ability to see and communicate the bigger picture.
  • Comfortable engaging with diverse technical teams covering, for example, systems engineering, human insights, economic appraisal, urban and transport planning, and data science.
  • Able to communicate and share complex information clearly and succinctly, both orally and written.


Holiday entitlement – 25 days holiday entitlement for everyone (pro-rata if part time) plus a shutdown at Christmas (approx 3 extra days off)

Pension Scheme – We offer a competitive pension plan, helping you save for your future

Volunteering – Whether you’re looking to clean up a beach, are a school governor or charity trustee, want to support a local charitable event or use your skills and experience as part of a mentoring scheme for SMEs we are here to support you with two paid days of volunteering leave per year (pro-rata if part time)

Payroll Giving – Our Payroll Giving Scheme with GiveAll, is a flexible option which allows anyone who pays UK income tax to give back to their charity of choice on a regular basis from your pre-tax income – helping your money go further to those who need it the most

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) – Provided by Health Assured, our EAP offers 24/7 confidential work/life support services to you and your immediate family members

Cycle to Work Scheme – We love to cycle and as well as bike racks and showers at our two office locations, you can spread the cost of a new bike over a 12 or 18 month period, through payroll deductions

Cash Health Plan – We’ve teamed up with Westfield to offer you a range of generous health and wellbeing cash plans. This benefit allows you to be reimbursed for a wide range of both essential and everyday healthcare expense

Tech Loans – As an innovative, early adopter and future thinker, you’ll want the latest gadgets, so you have the option of buying any IT equipment and repaying it through payroll deductions

Discounts and Offers – To provide you with a range of offers from a wide variety of retailers

Keeping all our colleagues safe is our first priority, especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic. We are back in our offices and all staff will have a working week both in the office and days at home as part of our Hybrid working model.

Employment here is based solely upon individual merit and qualifications directly related to professional competence. We strictly prohibit unlawful discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, colour, religion, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, mental or physical disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, or any other characteristics protected by law. We also make all reasonable accommodations to meet our obligations under laws protecting the rights of the disabled.


Applications are now closed