Press Release

Balfour Beatty launches children’s book to inspire school children in Leeds

22 October 2021


Balfour Beatty has launched an educational book for children aged between six and eight years old, entitled, “CONES and Building Bridges”.

The book, written by author Chris Madeley, aims to inspire children to consider a career in the construction and infrastructure industry from a young age by demonstrating the exciting opportunities that the industry has to offer.   

By bringing traffic cones to life, “CONES and Building Bridges” takes the reader through a typical day on a construction site, educating them on health and safety and touching on topics such as the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Supported by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Asghar Khan and Leeds City Council’s executive member for infrastructure and climate, Councillor Helen Hayden, 1,000 copies of the book will be provided, free of charge, to schools across Leeds.

“CONES and Building Bridges” marks the latest in a series of books written by Chris Madeley about the construction and infrastructure industry. The series has recently been recognised by CSR-A, the UK’s only accreditation body for Social Responsibility.

Mark Bullock, Balfour Beatty Chief Executive Officer, UK Construction Services said: “For many years, we have actively sought to engage the future generation of engineers and construction professionals.

“Through grassroots activities such as these, we’re able to set young minds free, allowing them to envisage working in the construction and infrastructure industry, whilst encouraging them to realise their dreams.”

Chris Madeley, author of CONES and Building Bridges, commented: “I am delighted to work with such a forward-looking company which is proactively demonstrating its commitment to improving opportunities for young people, health and safety, and awareness of this essential industry. 

“It is my pleasure and privilege to use the Cones characters in this way, particularly to highlight the exciting jobs and career opportunities available to both boys and girls as lifetime opportunities to encourage them to shed stereotypical attitudes and explore the boundless opportunities of the construction industry.”

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for infrastructure and climate said: “This book truly captures just how much hard work goes on behind the scenes in major projects such as the Regent Street Flyover and East Leeds Orbital Route. It is incredible to see that we are showing young people that there are so many options to consider when thinking about a career in construction and I hope that this will shine a light on some of the very important projects that will transform and improve our city.”

Councillor Asghar Khan, Lord Mayor of Leeds commented: “I’d like to congratulate CONES and Balfour Beatty for collaborating on this exciting community engagement project. Combining the creativity of author, Chris, with the backdrop of the city’s new Regents Street Flyover and East Leeds Orbital Route, I hope the book achieves what it set out to do and opens up the eyes of the City of Leeds’s children, to the world of construction.”

“CONES and Building Bridges” was developed by Balfour Beatty’s Regent Street Flyover and East Leeds Orbital Route projects in Leeds, in support of the bold targets and ambitions set out in the company’s refreshed sustainability strategy “Building New Futures”, in which it committed to positively impact more than one million people between now and 2040.



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Balfour Beatty
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Notes to editors:

  • Balfour Beatty ( is a leading international infrastructure group with 26,000 employees driving the delivery of powerful new solutions, shaping thinking, creating skylines and inspiring a new generation of talent to be the change-makers of tomorrow.  
  • We finance, develop, build, maintain and operate the increasingly complex and critical infrastructure that supports national economies and deliver projects at the heart of local communities. 
  • Over the last 112 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including: the £1.5 billion A14 improvement scheme - Britain’s biggest road project; Hong Kong’s HK$5.5 billion world-class harbour theatre project for the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; and the 12.5 mile $429 million North Metro Commuter Rail line in Colorado, US.
  • Balfour Beatty’s UK and Ireland regional construction business is a leading integrator of complex, sophisticated and innovative projects that improve national infrastructure.
  • Successfully delivering efficient and sustainable projects at the heart of local communities as well as those of national significance, we work closely and collaboratively with our customers to always leave behind a positive, lasting legacy and deliver benefit for the communities in which we operate.
  • Significant projects in its current portfolio include includes the £267 million Midlands Metropolitan hospital contract to deliver the main construction works to the 80,000 square metre hospital on behalf of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, the £287 million Manchester Engineering Campus Development which represents one of the largest capital developments ever undertaken by a UK higher education institution, the £150 million contract to deliver the main construction works for the 53-storey Madison Tower in Canary Wharf and the £170 million contract to upgrade baggage screening and handling systems at Heathrow Airport.
  • Notable projects of the past include the £46 million foundation works at One Nine Elms in Vauxhall, a £28 million contract to regenerate a region to the south of Battersea Power Station, the £40 million renovation and extension of the Grade II listed Bristol Fry Building providing state-of-the-art mathematic facilities for The University of Bristol, the £85 million Vine Street student accommodation in the City of London on behalf of Urbanest and the £28.5 million Dundee railway station on behalf of Dundee City Council, forming a part of the Council’s regeneration programme and aiming to create a strong and sustainable city economy that will raise the quality of life and improve the local environment.

Mohsin Sufi

Media and PR Executive