Category Archives: environement

Aquacity in the snow January 2015

It may be cold outside but the outside pools are lovely and warm. Inside reception offers a warm welcome.


Dr Jan Telensky on the UK’s Forces TV

Capture Forces TV

British Army Football Team Heading to Slovakia

 The British Army football team is heading to Poprad, Slovakia.
 They’ll take on their counterparts in the central European country during their visit next May.
 It’s been organised to coincide with a visit by the All Star UK legends team, and it’s all taking place in the world’s first geo-thermal heated stadium,
The man who built it, businesman and philanthropist Jan Telensky, is paying for the cost of bringing the teams over and their accommodation, whilst the British Professional Football Association is paying £160,000 to provide the team
Paula Middlehurst asked him why the game was important to him.

TV builder backs scheme to aid the Trades

Celebrity builder Tommy Walsh has welcomed a one-stop-shop to get building trade apprentices blocked from jobs by ‘out-dated’ Government rules into work within weeks rather than years.

The Ground Force star is supporting the pioneering scheme by a Wolverhampton trades school which is also rescuing Britain’s derelict housing stock.

Tommy, aged 57, said: “The Government’s commitment to building 200,000 homes is threatened by skill shortages. But this one-stop-shop idea is exactly what the industry and the economy needs.”

There have been thousands of new construction jobs in the UK this year as builders attempt to meet Government targets – but apprentices who spent years learning to become plumbers, gas fitters, bricklayers and electrician have been missing out because legislation demands that they have 100 hours unpaid practical experience.

Dr Jan Telensky, whose company Engineering Real Results came up with a practical way round the rules, said: “Over the past few years there has been a massive influx of trades people and labourers from the EU, many who are well trained and with excellent skills. They have been able to find work while our own apprentices have been losing out because of the legislation.

“This new scheme, New Vocational Quickstart, involves renovating properties across the country which are either derelict or fallen into disrepair, enables them to get there NVQ in just weeks, instead of years.”

Tommy backed Dr Telensky, whose European-wide business empire is based in Luton, Bedfordshire. He said: “We have plenty of young people ready to build a new life for their families by learning a trade. But they come up against a brick wall because of a lack experience on site.”

The legislation forces newly-qualified tradesman to go cap-in-hand to small builders and beg for unpaid work but they are refused because of complications over insurance.

Engineering Real Results – which was involved in the restoration of an historic factory in All Saints, Wolverhampton – has been buying old houses and flats across the country and now gets students to renovate them which fulfils the demands of the legislation.

Paul Senior, chairman of the National Federation of Builders, also backed the scheme, saying: “Anything to provide training and experience to young construction students is a very good thing. The industry is very dependent on up-to-date skills and experience and we welcome innovative solutions such as Engineering Real Results, but it needs to be sustainable to meet the growing demand for student work placements.”

Courtesy Express & Star

Summer time doesn’t bring jobs? It DOES!

Kensington and Chelsea enters £200m regeneration scheme

Kensington and Chelsea enters £200m regeneration schemeCatalyst Housing has received planning permission for phase 2 of its £200 million regeneration of the Wornington Green estate in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Work will begin onsite in Autumn 2015 and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019. Over 300 private and affordable apartments will be built along with new shops on Portobello Road. An energy centre will be included in Phase 2 which will provide heating and hot water to the new development.

The £66 million second phase follows extensive consultation with local residents which has led to a number of design improvements including a range of balconies to suit differently sized families and changes to the layout of the apartments.

Planning permission for phase 2, along with the recent approval of a major regeneration of Havelock in Southall, continues Catalyst’s award-winning reputation as a developer of high-quality regeneration schemes catering to different housing needs across London and the South East.

Rod Cahill, Catalyst Chief Executive said: “We are thrilled that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have approved our plans for the second phase of the Wornington Green regeneration.

“I’d like to thank all those that have taken part in the consultation process and given us feedback on the first phase. I’d also like to thank residents of Wornington Green and surrounding area for their patience as the building work continues.

“Reactions from those that have moved into the first phase are positive and we’re excited to keep up this momentum by not only providing new homes but also new shops in phase 2.”

Boost for business energy and electricity sector investment

Ed DaveyBusinesses and industries will get help to cut their energy costs with £10 million available this year to improve efficiency, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey announced today.

He also unveiled new plans that will remove barriers to investment in energy infrastructure, boost economic growth and support up to 250,000 jobs by 2020.

Mr Davey told the CBI’s Energy Conference that the energy sector had seen £45 billion of investment between January 2010 and December 2013, with nearly £8 billion investment in renewable technologies in 2013 alone, as he published the Government’s first report on energy investment in the UK.

According to the Government, the investment won since 2010 will keep the lights on and build a low-carbon energy system that will create new jobs in the energy trades.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “Our plan is powering growth and jobs in the UK economy. We are building a secure, sustainable energy system for the future, dealing with an historic legacy of underinvestment and neglect that threatened to undermine the whole economy.

“The funds we invest now in keeping the lights on could, in the future, be available to support cheaper projects that deliver lasting reductions in peak electricity demand.

“I want to unlock the untapped potential of better efficiency in electricity use – so that more efficient kit can compete with building new power stations in the future. Our £20 million pilot will fund schemes that will help reduce our demand – not only saving businesses and their customers money, but reducing the amount of electricity we’ll need to generate.

“And by stripping away barriers to investment in our energy market, we’ll make attracting capital investment cheaper and easier – meaning real benefits for the British economy and British consumers.”

Rampion offshore wind farm gets the go-ahead

Rampion offshore wind farm gets the go-aheadA new wind farm of the coast of Sussex that will support 750 jobs and bring over £2 billion of investment into the UK’s economy has been given the go-ahead.

The Government has today given consent to Rampion offshore wind farm. The project is expected to boost the local economy, create new jobs and encourage investment in the area.

Once built, the wind farm would generate enough electricity to power approximately 450,000 homes.

The decision underlines how the government’s policies have made the UK the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “We’re driving investment in our energy security, and our plans have made us number one in the world for investment in offshore wind energy.

“This project is great news for Sussex, providing green jobs as well as driving business opportunities right across the country in a sector with a clear roadmap for long-term growth.”

Welsh Water confirms £1.5bn alliance partners

Welsh Water confirms £1.5bn alliance partnersWelsh Water has announced the partners it has appointed to deliver part of its £1.5 billion capital investment programme for 2015 to 2020.

The level of capital investment across the period will also enable Welsh Water to continue to support more than 6,000 jobs across Wales.

The successful partners will work closely with Welsh Water throughout the investment period, known in the industry as AMP6, to deliver cost effective and sustainable outcomes that will benefit customers and the environment for many years to come.

The contracts will run for an initial five year period from 2015 – 2020 with an option to extend for a further five years.

The company’s capital partners for 2015 to 2020 have been confirmed as:

Chris Jones, Welsh Water’s Chief Executive, said: “As a company, we want to deliver the best possible outcomes for our customers and for the environment at the most affordable price.

“We went through an extensive procurement process to ensure that we selected capital partners that share our vision and values and are committed to delivering the customer service, environmental and financial outcomes that our customers want and deserve.”

A key driver for Welsh Water in its selection of partners for AMP6 was to identify companies who could work collaboratively in the new Capital Delivery Alliance.

The Alliance will bring together best in class organisations and individuals to deliver Welsh Water’s capital programme safely and efficiently, achieving sustainable outcomes for the benefit of its customers and the environment.

The Alliance will drive value in the planning and pre-construction phase by co-locating Welsh Water, contractor and consultant resource into a single Integrated Solutions Team to help facilitate collaboration and innovation.

Alex Salmond reveals £2.2m to cut costs for offshore wind

Scottish Wind FarmsA project to cut the cost of offshore wind by at least 10 per cent is being awarded £2.2 million by the Scottish Government, First Minister Alex Salmond has announced.

The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme will bring together nine offshore wind developers with over 72% (31GW) of the UK’s licensed capacity.

The project aims to deliver the 10% reduction in time for offshore wind developments in Scottish waters with partners working together to identify technological challenges and prioritising those with the most significant savings potential, before developing innovative solutions.

The OWA will receive £200,000 in 2014/15 and £2,000,000 in 2015/16. The money will be used to:

· encourage international collaboration between the world’s leading offshore wind developers to address cost reduction challenges in Scottish waters

· share knowledge on foundations and installations, operations and maintenance, the best wind farm layouts, electrical systems and cable installation

· support the commercialisation of floating offshore wind turbines for Scottish waters

Following a meeting with representatives of the Carbon Trust and OWA programme in Aberdeen, the First Minister said: “Scotland is admired around the world for our work in renewable energy and in 2013 we set a new record for renewables generation, emphasising our commitment.

“That progress has accelerated into 2014 with new record levels of renewables generation in the first months of this year – up 56% over the year to the first quarter of 2014.

“Renewable energy is extremely valuable to Scotland’s economy, to reducing our carbon emissions and in providing low carbon energy supplies as well as jobs and long term investment.”

Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust said: “We are delighted to be working with the Scottish Government to drive further cost reductions in the offshore wind industry. The sector has huge potential to generate low carbon power and create economic value.

“Key to that success will be driving costs down through innovation and doing this quickly. The OWA and this new injection of funding will be key to help meet this cost reduction challenge.”

Manchester Uni strikes hotel deal as part of £1bn campus scheme

Manchester Uni strikes hotel deal as part of £1bn campus scheme 1The University of Manchester has signed a deal to build a new hotel and an Executive Education Centre for Manchester Business School (MBS) on its Oxford Road campus.

Bruntwood, one of the regional property firms, will develop the 326-room hotel in a 19-storey building under an investment deal with M&L Hospitality Group.

The landmark development, designed by architects BDP and Leach Rhodes Walker, will provide high-end accommodation for visitors to the University, its business school and the wider city.

The hotel, which forms part of Bruntwood’s wider redevelopment of MBS, will adjoin a new two-storey Executive Education Centre, which will provide a new home for the business school’s corporate leadership and management programmes.

Professor Fiona Devine, Head of MBS, said: “The hotel will provide an excellent base for all our visitors from across the globe to explore Manchester and the North West, with easy access to MBS and the University.

“The new Executive Education Centre will enable us to grow our international client base of some of the world’s leading businesses and public sector organisations.”

The development is part of the University’s £1billion Campus Masterplan, which will create some of the most modern campus facilities in the world along the southern gateway to the city, known as the Manchester Corridor.

Manchester Uni strikes hotel deal as part of £1bn campus scheme








Chris Roberts, Bruntwood Development Director, said: “The hotel and adjoining Executive Education Centre will be a landmark development for the Corridor and a great addition to the amenities of the city’s tourism and business offer.”

Neil Maxwell, CEO of M&L Hospitality, added: “We are always exploring investment opportunities that have the potential to deliver stable and attractive returns.

“This hotel will be a valuable campus amenity for MBS, the University and other nearby facilities, such as the Central Manchester University Hospitals, the Manchester Science Park and the many cultural assets and arts venues along the Corridor.”

Kier launches new house building division

Kier 2The Kier Group, which employs over 16,000 staff in the building industry, has confirmed its launch of a new housing division that will see the building of more homes.

The new division will bring together three existing Kier housing businesses, from contracting, to affordable housing partnerships to private market housing solutions.

The new division is set to respond to the significant market opportunities created by a nationwide shortage of housing stock while boosting economic growth and creating new jobs.

The company plans to expand its geographical footprint to meet nationwide demand for new homes, to be better able to respond to the volume of public land emerging through the HCA Developer Partner Panel Framework and the HCA Affordable Homes Programme.

The division will target growth in the north and the south-east, supplementing its other existing regional strongholds and providing a true nationwide footprint for the first time.

John Anderson, Kier Living executive managing director, said: “The model of balancing activity across the public and private housing markets will protect the business against market fluctuation and enables Kier Living to really leverage the potential of its mixed tenure model.

“The cross subsidy effect of this model enables our local authority and housing association clients to generate the necessary funding to deliver a wide range of housing solutions limiting the impact on the public purse.

“We believe this is the ideal time to focus our house building offering in this way and to grow our presence across our core markets and regions.

“Housing associations and local authority clients along with other public and private bodies are increasingly asking Kier to help them deliver new housing stock for the first time in many years so it’s vital that we expand our housing delivery solution to respond to this growing demand.”

Morgan Sindall gets £1.2 million hydro scheme contract

Morgan Sindall wins £1.2 million hydro scheme contractMorgan Sindall has been appointed by hydro-power specialists Green Highland Renewables to deliver part of a 1MW hydro scheme near Achnasheen, Wester Ross some 43 miles from Inverness.

Morgan Sindall has already started work on delivering the £1.2 million contract on the Allt Gharagain hydro scheme which will create sustainable electricity in the area.

The team is working on the run-of-river part of the project, a type of hydro-electric generation whereby little or no water storage is required to create sustainable energy with minimal environmental impact.

The work includes the installation of two kilometres of supply pipeline (penstock) from the stream to the new powerhouse and a tailrace to allow the water used for power generation to return back to the river.

As the works cross the Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh railway line, the Network Rail level crossing needed upgrading. This part of the project has now been completed and construction of the access road has begun.

Green Highland Renewables will operate the completed scheme and anticipates it will begin supplying electricity to the local grid in December this year. The scheme has been developed with funds managed by Albion Ventures LLP.

Robert Ogg, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re very pleased to have been appointed to this scheme. Work is now underway on the project and the team is making good progress.

“This is an important scheme for the region, and the country which aims to become a net exporter of energy by 2020. This will only be achieved by using renewable energy services like this one.”

Ian Cartwright, Managing Director at Green Highland Renewables, said: “This is one of four hydro schemes we are currently delivering in the immediate area and it is good to be working alongside Morgan Sindall on what is a technically challenging project.

Green Highland Renewables has a growing track record in consenting, building and operating hydro schemes across the Highlands, and Morgan Sindall’s experienced team is already making an important contribution to the delivery of the Allt Gharagain project.”

£500,000 to help community energy projects across England

£500,000 to help community energy projects across EnglandThirty local renewable energy projects, stretching from Cornwall to Cumbria, are celebrating being offered financial investment from the government’s Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF).

The Government has this year assigned over £500,000 to help develop bespoke projects across England that will create new jobs and boost the renewable industry.

The first 30 projects receiving funding represent a spectrum of technologies, including community scale anaerobic digestion, solar power, hydro and wind as well as renewable and low carbon heat networks.

Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker said: “It’s great to see so many communities across the UK benefitting from local clean energy.

“I want to see more communities becoming producers of energy – powering schools, market towns and community centres sustainably – and boosting their economy at the same time.

“It’s initiatives like this that are so important for achieving my vision for the Big 60,000 and I wish WRAP every continued success.”

All have sought government support to help raise funding to help realise their ambitions, enabling them to implement environmentally friendly sources of energy at a local level.

Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Dan Rogerson said: “This fund will strengthen the rural economy, safeguard the environment, and will allow communities to unlock the potential of renewable energy.

“Since launching we’ve seen a wide range of projects given the green light and I urge more people to apply and make the most of this opportunity to get their local project off the ground.”

In Cumbria, RCEF is supporting a project which aims to provide heat directly to a local primary school from a community owned anaerobic digestion facility.

This will also generate income from the sale of electricity to benefit other community projects, in a future community group partnership with four farms.

Midland Metropolitan Hospital given the go-ahead

Midland Metropolitan Hospital given the go-aheadChancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has today announced approval for a £353 million new acute hospital in Smethwick that will create new jobs and boost the local economy.

The announcement comes as the Chancellor visited Rowley Regis Hospital – part of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust – where he met with senior executives to hear how they are moving care closer to the community and ensuring the continued delivery of high-quality acute services.

The new Midland Metropolitan Hospital will bring together acute services on to one site, promoting better patient safety and a patient experience while ensuring the best value for money for the taxpayer.

The Chancellor said: “This ambitious package will ensure that patients across the West Midlands continue to benefit from access to world-class acute treatment and cutting edge facilities.

“It is because of the difficult decisions we have taken as a government that we have been able to protect healthcare spending, and announce new facilities like the Midland Metropolitan Hospital.”

Richard Samuda, Chairman of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals said: “This is a vote of confidence in 7,500 staff at the Trust. The Chancellor’s announcement at Rowley Regis Hospital reinforces our strategy of local care for long term conditions and a single specialist acute centre at the Midland Met.”

Chief Executive, Toby Lewis added: “This is a decisive moment for healthcare in the West Midlands. We welcome the determination of the Chancellor to support the regeneration of Smethwick with this vital project for patients.

“Construction of the new hospital is expected to commence in 2016 and be completed by 2018-19. Plans will be finalised over the coming months, with all funding subject to final approvals as usual.”

Trades and Construction News and Jobs August 2013

Greenpeace claims victory in Asia

I can’t believe I’m writing this. Today, you’ve made an amazing breakthrough in protecting the world’s rainforests.

After a tough campaign that’s lasted 10 years, Asia Pulp & Paper – the company that has been destroying huge areas of Indonesian forest – has been forced to change its ways. It has finally agreed to introduce a new policy that should end the appalling amounts of deforestation it has been responsible for.

The pressure you put on companies like Mattel (makers of Barbie), National Geographic and Xerox – all APP customers – persuaded them that being linked to the destruction of Indonesia’s remaining forests wasn’t good business sense. As a result, they all dropped their contracts with APP, and you were well on the way to persuading KFC to do the same.

So the pressure on APP has been immense and, after months of intense negotiations in Jakarta with our team, they have finally agreed to end their reign of destruction. This means that protecting the habitat of Sumatra’s endangered tigers from illegal and destructive logging is one huge step further forward.

I’ve worked on this campaign for several years and there were times when I thought this would never happen, but your commitment to protecting Indonesia’s rainforests has made this possible. Thank you so much!

So far, this policy is only on paper. Permanent changes need to happen in the rainforest before we can claim victory, so experts from Greenpeace and the Indonesian organisations (who have also worked so hard to achieve this) will be monitoring closely the situation on the ground.

It’s not just APP. Other companies are still rampaging through the forests in the name of profit, turning pristine tiger habitats into paper and palm oil plantations. We’re already planning the next steps and you’ll be the first to know.

But for now, take a moment to celebrate. Even though APP still needs to turn words into action, this is a giant leap forward for Indonesia’s rainforests and the people and wildlife that depend on them.

Together we’ve shown that persistence pays off. Well done.

Jamie Woolley

Greenpeace UK