Tag Archives: Building Construction Industry

Dr Jan Telensky complimented by Tommy Walsh

Celebrity TV builder Tommy Walsh compliments Dr Jan Telensky for his New Vocational Quickstart project enabling would-be trades people to qualify for their NVQ in a fraction of the normal time. Here what Tommy Walsh say, but of more importance what the recent NVQ student say.


UK Nation Wide NVQ

Dr Jan Telensky has launched a UK nationwide initiate enabling British based trades people to fast track through their qualifications in plumbing, electrical, heating, gas etc. The opening of the first set of properties, totally refurbished by the NVQ students, was opened by TV Celebrity Builder Tommy Walsh. Mr Walsh praised Dr Telensky for the project adding “Jan is a doer, not just a talker”. It is expected many hundreds will be able to find employment because of the scheme.JT The Grange

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.”

Another Selection of UK Construction Jobs and News

Funding boost for new affordable homes

Funding boost for new affordable homes

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins has welcomed a deal that will release £500 million additional funding to build new affordable homes and boost the construction industry.

This new investment, secured through an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB), will help deliver up to 4,300 new affordable homes and create new jobs in the building trades.

The funding will form part of the £3.5 billion Affordable Housing Guarantees programme, which enables housing associations to use a government guarantee to secure private investment at more competitive rates than they would otherwise.

Kris Hopkins said: “Today’s deal with the European Investment Bank is a vote of confidence in our ongoing efforts to restore confidence to our housing market and get Britain building.

“This £500 million investment will help deliver up to 4,300 new affordable homes across the country, on top of the 170,000 affordable homes we’ve already delivered since 2010.”

Richard Blakeway, the Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property said: “This new funding will help many hard working people who need, and rightly deserve, decent low cost homes.

“Tackling the demand for housing is a key priority and we all need to work closely together to boost affordable housing supply in London and across the UK.”

First borrowers

Mr Hopkins also confirmed the first eight housing associations to receive funding through Affordable Housing Guarantees. They are:

  • Devon & Cornwall Housing Limited, who will borrow up to £85 million to build 887 homes in those counties.
  • Hexagon Housing Association will borrow up to £12.5 million to build 74 homes in Greater London and the South East.
  • First Wessex will borrow up to £88 million to build 589 homes in Hampshire and Surrey.
  • Great Places will borrow up to £50 million to build 674 homes in Manchester and the North.
  • Wales and West Housing Association will borrow up to £25 million to build 251 homes in Wales.
  • Adactus will borrow up to £27 million to build 344 homes in Greater Manchester and Lancashire.
  • Home group will borrow up to £61 million to build 642 homes in England.
  • Paradigm will borrow up to £65 million to deliver up to 594 homes

Lovell set to deliver £2m Glasgow housing scheme

Bield Housing & Care has appointed housing specialist Lovell to build a £2 million 20-home apartment development for older residents in Bearsden, Glasgow.

The high-quality apartments for low-cost home ownership will be part of the new St Andrew’s Brae development, six miles north of Glasgow city centre.

St Andrew’s Brae includes a recently-completed care home and housing for sale which is currently being built by Miller Homes, paving the way for new jobs in the building trades and boosting the local economy.

Designed by architects at Glasgow-based design consultancy Network Five, the four-storey apartment block will be built at the former St Andrew’s College site. Lovell is set to start work on the 44-week scheme in early 2014. The company was selected for the project through a competitive tendering process.

The flats will be available from Bield on a shared ownership with residents able to purchase a 75 per cent share while the remaining equity is held by Bield. Homeowners will be able to increase their share to 100 per cent following a qualifying period.

Claire Monk, Bield Housing & Care’s assistant director development, said: “Bield is delighted to be working with Lovell on this project. It offers self-contained, flexible homes designed with the needs of older people at its core and we believe it is a valuable contribution to the Bearsden market.”

Lovell regional director Alan Taylor said: “Our team is excited to be helping deliver these superb new homes for Bield at St Andrew’s Brae. The properties will be built to an exacting standard, creating smart, modern purpose-built apartments for older residents in this sought-after residential location.”

Work on major Cambridge housing project gets underway

Work begins on major Cambridge housing projectAn ambitious construction programme, that will see the building of more than 180 new homes across the city of Cambridge, has been given the go-ahead by the partners involved.

Representatives from Cambridge City Council, national housing and regeneration company Keepmoat and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) have visited the site in Barnwell Road to see work begin on the new council homes due to be built over the next 18 months.

Cambridge City Council and Keepmoat have just received planning permission for three more of the eight total developments, in Water Lane and Green End Road, Aylesborough Close and Campkin Court.

In total, eight council-owned sites across the city are due to be initially developed through the scheme, providing a mix of affordable council-owned homes and creating new jobs in the trades.

Des Wain, Senior Development Manager for the HCA in Cambridgeshire said: “It’s great to be able to support this project which is providing more affordable homes to those that need them in Cambridge.

“These homes will replace those no longer fit for purpose, providing better homes with more space and much improved energy efficiency.”

Keepmoat Land and Partnership Director Andrew Almond said: “We are delighted to be working with Cambridge City Council on this exciting development programme which not only provides much needed affordable homes for rent by the City Council but also high quality energy efficient homes for open market sale.

“This project also marks the beginning of the expansion of Keepmoat Homes into the South East and will hopefully be the first of many new developments for us in this region.”

Growth Minister praises Enterprise Zones for creating new jobs

Growth Minister praises Enterprise Zones for creating new jobs

Local Growth Minister Kris Hopkins has said that Enterprise Zones across the UK are delivering long term, sustainable growth that will create nearly 5,000 jobs.

Since Enterprise Zones opened for business in April 2012 they have laid down the foundations of their success, attracting 212 businesses and international investment, securing half a billion pounds of private sector investment.

The Government is now investing additional £200 million to build the infrastructure needed to turn shovel ready sites into job ready sites and help the zones realise their potential.

Local Growth Minister Kris Hopkins said: “This government is taking the difficult decisions needed to tackle the deficit inherited from the previous government, and thanks to our long-term economic plan, we’re now seeing the UK economy growing faster than any of our competitors.

“We are investing billions through our growth programmes, supporting thousands of local businesses, securing billions in private sector investment, boosting skills and creating tens of thousands of much needed local jobs.

“And we are now reaping the rewards, with the latest GDP figures showing the economy is back on track, with the deficit falling and unemployment at its lowest for more than 3 years.

“The government is working closely with all 24 zones to help them accelerate delivery so they realise their growth potential based on market conditions.

“The government remains confident that they will achieve significant growth and create jobs as the economy continues to improve and new investment creates more development opportunities.”

Kier secures £158m healthcare projects in the South-East

Kier secures £158m healthcare projects in the South-East

Kier has been given full approval to proceed with the redevelopment scheme of Broadmoor Hospital in Crowthorne, Berkshire and a new male medium secure unit at St Bernard’s Hospital in Ealing.

The contract value is £158 million and will involve the construction of new hospitals, providing a modern, fit for purpose environment for services as well as boosting the building trades.

Construction and delivery of new facilities will help patients in their recovery, reduce treatment times and support more efficient delivery of care.

The projects are in partnership with the West London Mental Health Trust (WLMHT) and will be officially signed in January 2014.

Managing director of Kier Construction’s major projects business, Colin Lamb, said: “Kier has a proven track record of delivering highly complex projects creating facilities for the health sector, and this latest milestone is a significant development that demonstrates how successful the collaboration between the partners has been.

“We look forward to working very closely with the Trust to deliver these facilities, which will provide excellent new facilities for the benefit of the patients and the wider communities.”

WLMHT chairman, Nigel McCorkell, commented: “This is a significant achievement for everyone involved in mental health care.

“Given the difficulties and restrictions the current environments present at Broadmoor Hospital and the St Bernard’s MSU, our doctors, nurses and other staff have done an amazing job of providing high quality and safe care for our patients and service users.”

Hull and Humber City Deal to accelerate region’s economic growth

Hull and Humber City Deal to accelerate economic growthHull City Deal is expected to unlock £460 million of investment in development along the Humber and support the creation of 4,000 jobs.

The government has today agreed the landmark Hull and Humber City Deal to make the most of the area’s local strengths to create jobs and boost growth in the area.

A 25-year development plan for commercial development will be drawn up to give businesses the confidence to invest in the region in the long term.

It will also create a single point of contact for developers, to reduce the red tape and bureaucracy that can hamper growth.

Skills programmes will be specifically developed to ensure the local workforce have the right skills to take advantage of the opportunities in the energy sector. 1,100 unemployed young people will be helped into work and unemployment will be reduced across the region.

The deal has been agreed with local authorities and the Local Enterprise Partnership and will take advantage of Hull and Humber’s expertise in engineering, particularly following recent government announcements regarding the future of offshore wind energy.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “My message to Humberside is clear – as our economy turns a corner I want to see our great northern towns and cities right at the heart of the recovery.

“This new City Deal for Hull and Humber will mean a huge boost for local jobs, giving the area greater power and freedoms and allowing local people to take more decisions on the economy for themselves.”

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said: “This City Deal marks the beginning of a new era of growth and prosperity in the Hull and Humber.

“The engineering expertise in the area is among the best in the world, and this deal provides the means to improve it even more.

“As the green economy becomes ever stronger, the people and businesses of Hull and Humber can be optimistic that it will be in the vanguard of the economic recovery.”

Southwark Council selects Morgan Sindall and Lovell to deliver 94 new homes

Southwark Council selects Morgan Sindall and Lovell to deliver 94 new homes

Southwark Council has appointed Morgan Sindall’s housing solutions specialist Lovell to deliver four affordable housing schemes worth £20 million in south-east London.

The housing programme will create significant job and training opportunities locally including jobs for 25 people working in the trades.

Construction work on the 94 new houses is expected to start in spring 2014 with completion scheduled for early 2016.

All homes will meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, making them 44 per cent more energy efficient than properties built to current Building Regulations.

Councillor Fiona Colley from Southwark Council said: “I am pleased that contractors have been appointed for these sites and we can now press ahead with our plans to create 11,000 brand-new homes over the next 30 years for people in Southwark.”

David Diboll, operations director at Morgan Sindall, says: “This is a significant project for the borough which addresses the critical need for more affordable inner-city housing.

“We’re very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Lovell to bring combined expertise and experience to bear on this ambitious development which will have such a positive impact for people living in the locality.”

Lovell regional director, Peter Taylor, said: “There is a pressing need for new affordable homes in the capital and these schemes will play an important role in meeting the demand for quality, energy-efficient new housing in Southwark, providing homes for social rent and shared ownership properties which will help people take their first step on to the housing ladder.”

New £34m school gets the go-ahead

New £34m school gets the go-ahead

Construction work has started on the new James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed this week.    

The new school will be built for the City of Edinburgh Council and is expected to create 250 construction jobs and boost the building trades.

Deputy First Minister Nicole Sturgeon said: “Investment in infrastructure projects such as the new James Gillespie’s High School, not only supports jobs and apprenticeships locally, but it also helps the wider Scottish economy.”

The project involves the demolition of the existing school buildings, the construction of a new teaching block and brand new sports and performance buildings on the campus.

The £34 million-school will be part funded by the Scottish Government’s £1.25 billion Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme and will house 104 staff and 1,150 pupils.

The Grade A-listed Bruntsfield House at the centre of the campus will also undergo a major refurbishment.

Ms Sturgeon said: “In Scotland we are building many new schools, and refurbishing still more to provide an excellent learning environment for staff and pupils.

“This project is part of the Scottish Government’s £1.25 billion ‘Scotland’s Schools for the Future’ programme which will see the construction of 67 new schools and the movement of 46,000 pupils into top quality accommodation.”

The school is due to be completed by summer 2016 and is expected to support modern apprenticeships and a host of work experience opportunities.

£500m Reading scheme gets the go-ahead

£500m Reading scheme gets the go-ahead

Benson Elliot and Stanhope have secured planning consent from Reading Borough Council to start construction work on a £500 million redevelopment site of Station Hill in Reading.

The scheme will be built over several phases and the plans for the 5 acre site will also include the complete remodelling and refurbishment of the existing NCP car park, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.

Jason Margrave, Development Director at Stanhope, said: “The scheme provides a great opportunity to extend and enhance the retail core in line with the borough’s long term vision and it will also create significant new employment opportunities in Reading.”

The joint venture between Benson Elliot and Stanhope, is for a mixed-use development of the five acre site, which will provide office space and deliver 300 flats, 32,000 sq ft of shops and 9,000 sq ft of leisure space.

The first elements of the phased scheme will commence in 2014. In a separate decision the planning committee has approved plans to tear down the Station Hill retail parade to create a temporary events arena which will be ready by early 2015.

Phil Irons, Partner at Benson Elliot, said: “We are delighted to have secured consent for the redevelopment of this critical town centre site.

“This is an important milestone in the regeneration of an area that will ultimately be seen as the heart of Reading. We will be starting on site in 2014 and aim to deliver the first of the four office buildings by 2016.”

Constration News from the UK 18 November 2013

BAM gets £13m Newcastle College tower block revamp

Bam Construction

BAM Construction has won a £13 million contract to refurbish a 1970s tower block in the North East that will boost the construction trades.

The contractor has offices in Gateshead and will undertake a major transformation of Newcastle College’s Parsons Tower.

The teaching block will be given a contemporary facade with a variety of elevational treatments and new windows.

BAM will also carry out an internal remodelling, and upgrade mechanical and electrical services.

The project will provide a more comfortable, inspirational and sustainable building.

Construction director Andrew Warwick said: “Parsons Tower is one of the first buildings many people see when approaching Newcastle by road or rail.

“BAM is looking forward to updating this important facility to provide better facilities for students and staff at the college, and a more fitting landmark for the city.

“We will seek to use local suppliers where possible and to involve students at the college in the construction project to enhance their studies and their ownership of the new building.

“We have a strong and lasting relationship with Newcastle College and are delighted to be continuing that.”

The project is due to start on site early in the New Year, with completion in the summer of 2015.

BAM built a 12,000 sq m sixth form centre for the College in a £20 million project that completed earlier this year.

The contractor last year completed a terminal extension at Newcastle International Airport, and was behind the Institute of Transplantation at Freeman Hospital among many other schemes in the north east of England.

HS2 to secure maximum boost for the Midlands

HS2 to secure maximum boost for the MidlandsThe HS2 Growth Taskforce has today met key figures from across the East Midlands as part of the building of high speed railway network that will create 10,000 construction jobs.

HS2 is set to play a key role in job creation, regeneration and development in the East Midlands.

Land around the East Midlands hub station will be a highly attractive investment proposition for developers and the Growth Taskforce will be looking at how to make the most of this opportunity.

Chair of the HS2 Growth Taskforce Lord Deighton said: “HS2 will give a massive boost to the East Midlands, creating new employment and business opportunities, freeing up capacity on the railways and improving connections to the West Midlands, north and south.

“The Growth Taskforce is determined to see the benefits of HS2 stretch far and wide, with an estimated 70% of jobs expected to be outside London. That is why getting out and meeting with city and business leaders is so vital. By planning ahead and thinking big, the East Midlands could start to benefit long before the first HS2 train arrives.”

The journey time to London will be just 51 minutes from the East Midlands hub, while the stations in Leeds, Sheffield, East Midlands and Birmingham will each be less than 20 minutes apart, making daily commuting easy.

Chair of East Midlands Councils Cllr Jon Collins said “HS2 has potential to boost our local economies through improving connectivity to London, Birmingham and the northern core cities, freeing up capacity on existing rail lines for more services, and creating jobs in our highly competitive transport engineering sector.”

New housing development scheme launched in West Oxfordshire

New housing development scheme launched in West OxfordshireHousing group GreenSquare has launched a £42.5 million new homes development programme in West Oxfordshire that will boost the local economy and create new jobs.    

These schemes will see the development of 269 new homes for rent, sale, and shared ownership, supported by around £6 million investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

The development projects, across nine sites in the district, include extra care housing schemes for older people at Witney and Milton-under-Wychwood – both of which are now on site with contractor Leadbitter.

Howard Toplis, GreenSquare’s chief executive said: “GreenSquare has a long history of working in Oxfordshire, with the origins of our local housing association dating back to the late nineteenth century and around 3000 homes in the county today.

“We’re delighted to now be developing these new homes for rent, sale and shared ownership in West Oxfordshire, helping to meet the very real demand for new homes in the area.

“In particular we’re excited to be working with our local authority partners and the HCA to deliver these extra care schemes for older people.

“These brilliant developments will help people aged 55 or above, who need a little extra help, to continue to live independently in their own home.”

Stephanie Ainsworth, area manager for the HCA, said: “Our Affordable Homes Programme will enable almost 1,300 homes to be built in Oxfordshire by Spring 2015 for rent and shared ownership, of which more than 400 will be extra care homes for older people.

“There is a large demand for this type of housing in West Oxfordshire and the county generally, which is why we are pleased to support schemes of this type where possible.”

Olympic park redevelopment reaches out to the trades

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The London Legacy Development Corporation is to offer work opportunity for developers to participate in the building of 1,500 new homes on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The neighbourhoods of East Wick and Sweetwater will consist of much needed private rented housing and affordable homes that will boost the economy and create new jobs.

The Legacy Corporation expects the first residents to move in at the end of 2016 with the development completed in 2023 – six years ahead of the original masterplan.

Located on the western edge of the Park, with connections through to the creative and artistic districts of Hackney Wick and Fish Island, the development will include employment space, two new primary schools, nurseries and a health centre.

Future residents will also benefit from the fantastic leisure facilities, open spaces and world class sporting venues of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Bidders are being invited to put forward proposals to shape and deliver these exciting new communities of East Wick and Sweetwater.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “The development of East Wick and Sweetwater offers a tremendous opportunity for developers to be part of London’s historic Olympic site.

“Our goal is to create vibrant new neighbourhoods to include a range of affordable housing choices for Londoners. There’s a huge need for more homes in the capital and this pressure will only increase as the city grows.

“That’s why we have found a way to accelerate the delivery of these two neighbourhoods to help people get into the homes they want more quickly.”

Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “The new neighbourhoods at East Wick and Sweetwater will exemplify the best of London’s residential architecture with a range of family homes and apartments.

“This is the next stage in the transformation of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and an exciting opportunity for a development partner to create two high quality new neighbourhoods. We are creating a new part of the city and these neighbourhoods will be at its heart.”

Optimism rises at record pace among UK’s smaller manufacturers

Optimism rises at record pace among UK's smaller manufacturers

Optimism among small and medium-sized manufacturers about the business situation rose at the fastest pace since records began in 1988, the CBI’s latest SME Trends Survey has shown.

Total new orders increased in the three months to October for the first time since July 2012, driven by domestic orders which rose at their fastest rate since January 1995.

Export orders rose at their fastest rate since April 2011, while optimism around export prospects for the next twelve months increased strongly.

Alongside the improvement in demand, output rose modestly and is expected to pick up at a faster pace over the next three months, accompanied by a further improvement in orders.

Greater optimism and activity among SMEs has led to a step change in investment plans for the year ahead, with forecasts for spending on buildings, plant and machinery, product innovation and training all in positive territory.

Stephen Gifford, CBI Director of Economics, said: “This has been a positive quarter for small and medium-sized manufacturers, with new orders and output both on the rise, and further improvements expected next quarter.

“Optimism about the general business situation has improved at a record pace, and there is evidence of a general thaw in investment intentions for the year ahead.”

New Leisure complex to be built in Workington town centre

New Leisure complex to be built in Workington town centre

Allerdale Borough Council has agreed plans for £9 million leisure centre in a Cumbrian town that will boost the local economy and create new jobs.

Members of Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive have decided that the new attraction will be built at Brow Top in the town centre, and that it will include a family entertainment complex alongside the sports and leisure facilities.

As the site is already in the Council’s ownership, the development process can begin immediately, with the work due to take place in two phases – the leisure centre first, and family entertainment complex later.

A detailed planning application is due to be submitted in Spring 2014 and, if all goes to plan, contractors will be on site by July 2014, with the building work due to take up to 70 weeks.

That means the new centre should be open to the public by November 2015.

The existing 40-year-old crumbling complex is to be demolished because it is no longer fit for purpose, Allerdale Council said.

Executive Member for Locality Services , Councillor Michael Heaslip, said: “I am really pleased to have been involved in this project. The saga of a new sports centre has gone on for too many years.

“What we are looking at now is a facility that the people of Workington and Allerdale can take pride in.

“But this is not just a sports centre and swimming pool in isolation – it is part of the Council’s commitment to sports, art and leisure across the district.”

Hundreds of jobs and homes to be created at Westfield London

Hundreds of jobs and homes to be created at Westfield London

Plans to build a new John Lewis store at Westfield London that will create 600 jobs and boost the trades have been given warmly welcomed by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

John Lewis has announced that it will be the anchor for a major expansion of the shopping centre, opening a 230,000 sq ft, four-storey department store that will be its first in west London.

Michael Gutman, Westfield’s European managing director, said: “John Lewis is the most requested store at Westfield London and we are delighted that we will soon be able to deliver on this for our customers.

“The new store will be another huge attraction to Westfield London and will become an important centrepiece of the massive regeneration taking place in the White City Opportunity Area, with the creation of thousands of new homes and jobs.”

Nicholas Botterill, leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: “This marriage of the UK’s best retailer and the nation’s most exciting shopping centre is set to last – and with one of London’s finest boroughs as the backdrop, it will be a wedding to remember.

“The arrival of John Lewis at Westfield is further proof that White City is becoming unmatched as a centre for shopping and leisure, and the creation of 600 jobs is fantastic news for local people.”

John Lewis will form the centrepiece of an expanded Westfield London, which will include 600,000 sq ft of new retail space alongside more than 1,500 homes, with the creation of around 6,700 permanent jobs.

The store is expected to open in 2017, bringing a further boost to footfall at the shopping centre, which already attracts 27 million shoppers annually.

Balfour Beatty awarded Defence Infrastructure Framework

Balfour Beatty awarded Defence Infrastructure Framework

Balfour Beatty has been awarded defence infrastructure work through the Regional Framework scheme that will create new jobs across the East Midlands and Eastern England.

The framework includes design, development and construction work for capital projects on Ministry of Defence sites across the East of England and East Midlands for a period of four years.

After this initial period, the contracts could be to extend for another three years.

Contracts awarded through the framework will range in value up to £12 million, with the majority of projects for the construction of new buildings and installations.

The scope of the framework will also include the refurbishment of existing infrastructure and engineering works including offices, hangars, guardrooms, railways, army personnel accommodation and runways.

At a signing ceremony at the Ministry of Defence in London yesterday, Andrew Manley, the Chief Executive of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Dave Donaldson, Executive Director, Balfour Beatty and other participants marked the formal commencement of the framework.

Andrew Manley, Defence Infrastructure Organisation Chief Executive, said: “DIO’s priority is to support our Armed Forces as they live, work and train on the military estate.

“I am pleased that future Defence construction requirements will start to be met through this Framework in what will be a busy time for military rebasing and site development.

“The Capital Works Frameworks programme will ensure ongoing competitive tension, better value for money, and will speed up the procurement of projects.”

Dave Donaldson, Executive Director, Balfour Beatty, said: “It is a tremendous privilege to be invited onto the East Regional Defence Infrastructure Framework.

“We are committed to continuous improvement and have a proud track record of delivering defence projects such as the Liberty Village project at Lakenheath and we look forward to serving the Defence Infrastructure Organisation on this new framework.”

Construction Industry Jobs and News from the UK

Skanska wins building job on £1bn Cambridge housing site

Skanska wins building job on £1bn Cambridge housing site

The University of Cambridge has awarded Skanska a £1.5 million contract, to undertake enabling works for its development at North West Cambridge that will boost the trades and create new jobs.

Covering 150 hectares, the £1 billion North West Cambridge development will combine residential housing, academic and research facilities, a local centre and public amenities that will energise the local economy.

The Skanska contract involves earthworks, drainage, building roads and a temporary junction and installing a 4.5km security fence.

The development includes substantial investment in new publicly accessible parkland, sports pitches and open spaces.

Gavin Heaphy, construction director of the development said: “Skanska’s appointment as Principal Contractor of this £1.5 million contract marks an important milestone in the operational delivery phase of the North West Cambridge development.”

Skanska’s managing director, Deirdre Murphy, commented: “This is an exciting opportunity for Skanska and it’s great to be involved in the early stages of this huge development. I hope this leads to future projects for the rest of Skanska UK.”

The works will start immediately and should be complete at the end of January 2014.

Future plans for Gloucestershire College new campus revealed

Future plans for Gloucestershire College new campus revealed

Gloucestershire College has unveiled building plans for its proposed new campus in Cinderford’s Northern Quarter in the Forest of Dean.

Construction work on the £14 million campus is set to begin in Spring 2014 and scheduled to be completed by August 2015.

The regeneration project will be jointly developed and run by Gloucestershire College and Dene Magna School, providing a new centre for further education and creating new jobs in the trades.

The 7,200 sq m site would be built to high energy efficient standards and will feature large panels of glazing which have been included to maximise the views over the adjacent lakes and surrounding forest, as well providing high levels of natural daylight and the opportunity to put teaching and learning on display externally.

Matthew Burgess, Gloucestershire College Principal and Chief Executive said: “I am really excited to see the plans progressing to develop a new college in the Forest of Dean giving the community there the education facility it deserves. It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point so it’s great to reach this stage.”

Future plans for Gloucestershire College new campus revealed 1

The plans are supported by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), who are working with the college and its partners to bring forward the education-led Northern Quarter project.

David Warburton, HCA Head of Area, said: “It’s great to see plans forming for an exciting new college development for the Forest of Dean. This is a positive step towards bringing new facilities, investment and opportunities to the district.”

Steve Brady, Headteacher at Dene Magna said: “The journey to this point has been exhilarating for all parties and we are excited about realising our dreams and ensuring that we are part of the very best Sixth Form provision for the area. The future is certainly bright and we are proud to be a part of it.”

Balfour Beatty wins £40m helicopter bases contract

Balfour Beatty swoops £40m helicopter bases contract

Balfour Beatty has been appointed by Bristow Helicopters Ltd as its infrastructure delivery partner to support the development of its UK Search and Rescue service.

Balfour Beatty will now begin outsourcing various aspects of the £40 million job to local contractors in the communities in which the bases will be established.

Balfour Beatty will be responsible for delivering infrastructure projects at nine sites across the UK between 2014 and 2017 including the construction of seven new build search and rescue helicopter bases.

The new bases will be located in Inverness, Manston, Prestwick, Caernarfon, St Athan, Humberside and Newquay, and the refurbishment of an existing facility in Stornoway.

The ninth SAR helicopter base which will be used by Bristow to deliver the contract is an existing Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) facility at Lee-on-Solent and a final tenth base shall be an existing Bristow facility at Sumburgh.

At the forefront of sustainability, the new helicopter bases include a raft of environmental technologies including PV solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems.

Managing Director of Bristow Helicopters Ltd, Mike Imlach said: “We were impressed with the extensive experience and professionalism displayed by the team at Balfour Beatty and have absolute faith in their ability to deliver on this important project.

“We remain committed to involving local contractors in the establishment of the new SAR bases and look forward to seeing these contracts signed in the coming months.”

Hector MacAulay, Balfour Beatty Delivery Unit Managing Director, said: “We will use our extensive experience of airport construction work to deliver these projects which are vital to the ongoing success of this emergency service throughout the UK. We look forward to working with our local suppliers to provide facilities that fulfil our customer’s expectations.”

Crossrail’s Farringdon development gets the go-ahead

Crossrail’s Farringdon development gets the go-aheadCrossrail and development partner Cardinal Lysander have received planning approval from the London Borough of Islington for an over-site development at Farringdon Crossrail station.

The 207,000 sq ft development, located at the corner of Cowcross Street and Farringdon Road, will comprise sixstoreys of high-quality office space, with retail units at street level. The building has been carefully designed to integrate with Crossrail’s operating station and will also improve local views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Ian Lindsay, Crossrail Land and Property Director said: “By 2018 Farringdon will be one of Britain’s busiest rail stations, connecting Crossrail, Thameslink and London Underground services. The developments will accelerate the area’s regeneration, helping Farringdon re-emerge as a destination in its own right.”

Charles Pinchbeck of Jones Lang LaSalle, development managers for Cardinal Lysander said: “Cardinal Lysander firmly believes in the future of Farringdon as one of London’s premier business districts. The scheme prepared with Crossrail and other stakeholders is well-placed to capture Farringdon’s potential.”

Farringdon is at the heart of the Crossrail route and will be a key link in bringing passengers directly from within Greater London and beyond to the business hubs in the City and Canary Wharf. When complete, over 140 trains per hour will flow through the Farringdon interchange.

Farringdon Crossrail station will comprise two platform tunnels, each the length of two football pitches, linking two new ticket halls, and will be fully accessible from street to train.

The western ticket, hall shared with Thameslink services, will have an entrance on Cowcross Street, directly opposite Farringdon Tube station.

The eastern ticket hall will have entrances at the Long Lane end of the station, on Lindsey Street and Hayne Street.  It will also link directly with the existing London Underground platforms at Barbican station.

The Cowcross Street scheme is one of two over-station developments planned in the Farringdon area. In June, Crossrail submitted plans for a significant new commercial development at Lindsey Street to sit above the new Crossrail station eastern ticket hall, opposite the historic Smithfield Market.

The over-site developments are scheduled to commence during the latter stages of work to construct Farringdon Crossrail station. Crossrail will commence services in 2018.

A total of 3 million square feet of development space is planned above Crossrail stations, helping create new business space, jobs and new homes for Londoners. The scale of Crossrail’s property plans are detailed in the Driving London Development brochure which also outlines the significant development and investment opportunities at London sites.

Scottish tidal industry gets a major boost

Scottish tidal industry gets energy boost

Development of the largest tidal array in Europe has today been given the go-ahead after Scottish Ministers awarded consent to build the first tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth.

MeyGen Limited, a competitor in the Scottish Government’s Saltire Prize, has been given the go ahead to install the tidal array in stages, beginning with a nine megawatt demonstration project of up to six turbines.

MeyGen plans to build an initial demonstration array of up to 6 turbines, with construction starting in early 2014 and turbines commissioned in 2015. This initial array will provide valuable environmental data for the subsequent phases and the wider tidal energy industry.

Ed Rollings, Environment & Consents Manager of MeyGen, said: “The award of this consent is the culmination of over 4 years of environmental work and extensive consultation with stakeholders and the local community in Caithness.

“The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters region is an internationally important area for wildlife and we are committed to continuing research with interested parties to ensure that the exploitation of this clean, predictable and sustainable energy resource is done so in a manner that does not have a detrimental effect on the species and habitats in the area.”

Ahead of the Scottish Renewables Marine Conference, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Today, we have granted consent to MeyGen Limited to develop the largest tidal turbine array in Europe and the first commercial project off these shores.

“This is a major step forward for Scotland’s marine renewable energy industry. When fully operational, the 86 megawatt array could generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 42,000 homes – around 40 per cent of homes in the Highlands.

“This exciting development in the waters around Orkney is just the first phase for a site that could eventually yield up 398 megawatts.”

Altrincham £70m regeneration plan gets the go-ahead

Altrincham £70m regeneration plan gets the go-ahead

A £70 million building scheme to regenerate Altrincham town centre in Greater Manchester and pave the way for new jobs in the construction trades has been approved.

The Altair scheme will also see the building of 150 new apartments and townhouses with Nikal reporting interest already expressed by local first time buyers and downsizers.

The planning application on the 4.5 acre site will look to provide a new leisure centre and a range of restaurants, coffee shops and cafes aimed at local residents, whilst also attracting visitors from the wider Cheshire and Manchester areas.

The existing ice rink will remain in its current position and be extended to incorporate a new tenpin bowling alley.

Nick Payne, managing director of developers Nikal, said: “We’ve had a vision to regenerate this brownfield site for many years and it’s tremendously exciting to be taking the next steps with the support of the council.

“It’s a promising time for Altrincham; the refurbishment of the interchange is under way, there are new plans to revitalise the marketplace and now Altair.

“All these schemes will help rejuvenate the town and bring people and trade back into the area, as well as creating new jobs.”

Trafford Council Leader and Chair of Altrincham Forward, Councillor Matt Colledge said: “I am excited by the refreshed plans for Altair and the positive effect it will have on the town as a whole.

“A considerable effort has been made by Nikal and my officers to regain momentum on the scheme despite a challenging economic climate. This scheme is now more refined, and crucially deliverable, and in my view is a huge step forward in the rejuvenation of Altrincham.

“It now offers a very complementary approach to the town centre, with the mix of leisure uses and cafes bringing a much needed vibrancy to the area and will attract families to spend more time not just within Altair itself but across the town centre generally.”

Government funding set to boost the West Midlands economy

Government funding boost for help the West MidlandsNew scheme highlighting the national Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) and the creation of thousands of new jobs in the trades is set to be published next week.

The report will be presented by Birmingham City Council, which is the accountable body of the programme, and will progress to Cabinet on Monday 16 September.

Cllr Tahir Ali, cabinet member for Development, Jobs and Skills, said: “I am very pleased that the team at Birmingham City Council has shown they have the necessary experience to administer and manage £245 million of national AMSCI funding.

“This funding will create and safeguard thousands of jobs nationally and 1,000 across the region in the automotive and aerospace supply chain.

“It will give a real boost to the local and regional economy, supporting local companies who are at the top of their industries and eager to expand and will create lots of new, highly skilled jobs.”

Balfour Beatty gets £24m power line contract in Scotland

Balfour Beatty awarded £24m contract in ScotlandBalfour Beatty has been awarded a £22 million contract with SSE to construct a replacement overhead electricity line in the North of Scotland.

The project involves the construction of a 132kV power line connecting substations at Beauly and Mossford in the Highlands. The 26km route will replace two existing lines, which the firm will dismantle as part of the programme of works.

Access and building construction works have begun in August and the project is expected to be complete in 2015.

The replacement of the existing Beauly to Mossford line is a part of ongoing investment in the electricity transmission network in the north of Scotland.  The growth of renewable generation has been significant in recent years and is driving the need for transmission reinforcement.

Neil Kirkby, Managing Director, Balfour Beatty – Power Transmission & Distribution, said:
“Power is an important strategic market for Balfour Beatty, both in the UK and internationally and we are delighted to be continuing our relationship with SHE Transmission through this important infrastructure project.

“Scotland offers many unique challenges to our operations, including inhospitable terrain, unpredictable weather conditions and sensitive environments. Our teams have a wealth of experience of working within these constraints whilst delivering other power projects in the area, and lessons learnt from these operations will be key in the successful completion of the Beauly to Mossford line.”

The new contract is one of several major power infrastructure projects being carried out by Balfour Beatty’s Power Transmission & Distribution team in Scotland.

Preston City Deal to create thousands of new jobs and homes

Preston City Deal to create thousands of jobs and homes

A historic City Deal for Preston and Lancashire has been signed today, supporting the building of 17,420 new homes and £1 billion economic growth over the next 10 years.

The new deal is set to represent one of the most important economic centres outside London. It is forecast that more than 20,000 new jobs will be created – including 5,000 jobs on the Lancashire Enterprise Zone.

The Preston and Lancashire City Deal sets out a detailed plan which will support the building engineering industry and people working in the trades.

County Councillor Jennifer Mein, Leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “It is superb news for Lancashire we have successfully reached agreement on the Preston and Lancashire City Deal.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity that will enable Preston, and indeed Lancashire as a whole, to reach its full economic potential.

“The City Deal gives us the certainty to plan for the future. It is on a vast scale and forms the basis for major investment in transport and housing. It complements our existing work to create jobs and apprenticeships and will provide the ideal conditions for companies to invest and create employment.”

Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, the private and public sector partnership that provides strategic leadership for the county’s economy, will be responsible for ensuring that the City Deal is delivered.

Local Growth Minister, Mark Prisk said: “This government is committed to helping grow local economies and that’s why we are supporting those cities that want their own powers to deliver prosperity.

“This deal will give Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire the means to build 17,000 new homes and create local jobs by investing in their Enterprise Zone so they can successfully attract new businesses to the area.”

New Housing Development for Alva

New Housing Development for AlvaPlanning permission for 48 socially rented homes to be built on the site of the former Alva Academy has been granted, paving the way for building work to get underway.

Clackmannanshire Council has taken action to stimulate the local economy including marketing the development of the former Alva Academy site in Queen Street.

This led to developer Tigh Grian Limited buying the land from the Council after securing £2.2 million-worth of Scottish Government funding through the Greener Homes Innovation Scheme.

Housing, Health and Care Convenor Councillor Les Sharp said: “I’m delighted that this housing development has been given the go ahead. In the long term it will assist both the economic development and regeneration of the town of Alva and the wider area of Clackmannanshire. Our support for this development demonstrates our commitment to increasing the number of houses available for rent in our communities.”

Tigh Grian Limited are keen to roll-out the environmentally innovative technology and construction methods in delivering a larger affordable social housing project in partnership with a Link and Paragon Housing Associations in Alva.

The development will consist of 16 one-bedroomed cottage flats, 24 two-bedroomed houses and 8 three bedroomed houses.

Enterprise and Environment Convenor Councillor Donald Balsillie said: “I’m particularly pleased that these will be energy efficient, affordable housing, using modern methods of off site construction.

“As well as bringing additional funding into Clackmannanshire to provide an extra 48 social rented homes, it will help develop knowledge and experience to reduce fuel poverty and greenhouse gas emissions in the future.”

The committee heard that a footpath between Courthill and Duke Street is to be re-routed through the housing development. The report also pointed out that the number of parking spaces provided is in excess of that required for low cost housing.