Tag Archives: Construction industry

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

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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.”

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.

Trades News, Contracts and JOBS! Updated 15 July 2013

£198m contract set to deliver hundreds of homes and new jobs in Leeds

Ground breaking £198m contract set to build 1,000 homes and create jobs in LeedsCommunity regeneration specialist Keepmoat has won a £198 million contract to regenerate three areas of inner city Leeds, as part of the first ever PFI scheme awarded to the company.

The landmark scheme will see Keepmoat refurbish 1,245 properties, create 388 new homes and make environmental improvements to the Holbeck, Beeston Hill and Little London areas of the city.

The tender awarded by Leeds City Council and Sustainable Communities for Leeds (sc4L) will create 250 new skilled jobs and boost the building construction industry.

Sc4L was named a preferred bidder back in 2010, but the work funded through a Private Finance Initiative was delayed during the recession. With funding from a recently completed public bond issue now in place, survey teams are expected on site within the next few days and work is due to start in September.

Nick Ash, Regeneration Director at Keepmoat, said: “This scheme will make a huge difference to residents and communities in Leeds.

“As well as transforming large swathes of the inner city, this scheme is economically important for Leeds. It will create hundreds of skilled jobs, as well as giving local young people the chance to do apprenticeships and work experience.”

Keepmoat has been awarded the £145 million construction contract over the next three and a half years and a further £53 million in maintenance and repair contracts over the next 20 years.

Dave Sheridan, Chief Executive of Keepmoat, said: “This contract win is an endorsement of our exceptional track record in successfully transforming communities. As one of Britain’s foremost experts in community regeneration, Keepmoat has proven it can deliver quality and value for money no matter how large or small the scheme.

“We are currently working on a number of other PFI contracts across the UK as we pursue our commitments to improve British communities and deliver regeneration that works.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive member for housing, said: “I am very pleased that we can finally kick-start the project for these communities, who have waited a long time. I want to thank the residents for their continued patience, now is the time to finally deliver results!

“The project brings about a massive regeneration programme for this part of inner city Leeds, along with a boost to employment and the local community.”

Naz Parkar, Head of Area at the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “This is fantastic news for the communities of Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck who will now see their homes refurbished and a further 400 new homes built.”

Tender launch to boost Green Deal contractors

Hull Council

Hull City Council has launched the procurement process to appoint Green Deal partners to deliver energy efficiency improvements to thousands of properties across Hull.

Businesses are invited to become a partner that will deliver structural improvements and external solid wall insulation to approximately 3,250 council properties, alongside improvements to private sector properties either fully funded or through the use of a loan product.

Hull has recently launched a new, exciting and ambitious City Plan with the primary aim of creating 7,500 new jobs and improving income levels, health and skills.

This is an exciting opportunity for organisations to work with a City recently shortlisted as one of four contenders for the 2017 City of Culture.

Councillor Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder for Energy City, said: “The procurement of the partner is part of the city’s wider City Plan objectives to become a green city as well as creating employment and learning opportunities.

“This is an excellent opportunity for a company to provide significant energy efficient improvements to homes that will reduce energy bills for residents, which in turn helps to tackle fuel poverty.”

The procurement opportunity is published in the Official Journal of the European Union Website TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) and YORtender website, the procurement portal of the Yorkshire and Humber regions.

Hull City Council has an agreement with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council which allows them to access the procured partner. This will widen the geographical area in which the Green Deal Partner could potentially deliver Green Deal measures.

The deadline to submit a completed Pre-Qualification Questionnaire is Wednesday 7 August at 5pm.

To support the process a Market Day for interested parties will take place on Wednesday 17 July at the Hull City Hall. Places are strictly limited and any interested contractors and building organisations should email regenerationteam@hullcc.gov.uk with name, job title, company address and contact telephone number.

Miller kick-starts Birmingham Arena Central scheme

Miller kick-starts Birmingham Arena Central scheme

Miller Developments has started work on the first phase of the Arena Central scheme in Birmingham that will see the building of a new 210-bedroom hotel. 

The redevelopment of Birmingham’s Arena Central is well underway, with demolition works clearing the way for the construction of a brand new Holiday Inn Express hotel.

The demolition of a redundant multi-storey car park at the corner of Holliday Street and Bridge Street is the first step towards the construction of the building at Birmingham city centre.

The 14-storey hotel will include an atrium link to the adjacent Crowne Plaza Hotel. Once completed, the Holiday Inn Express will back onto Arena Square, forming a key part of this office-led mixed use scheme.

Jonathan Wallis, Development Director at Miller Developments, said: “Arena Central forms an integral part of Birmingham City Council’s Big City Plan as well as having a prime position within the City Centre Enterprise Zone and I am exceptionally pleased that we have been able to appoint a local company to undertake these works.

“Alongside the development of the hotel, we are working closely with Birmingham City Council to deliver the site’s next commercial building of around 110,000 sq ft, which is planned to sit in a prominent position fronting Broad Street.

“This site is one of the most strategically important locations in the city and our proximity to the Library of Birmingham, the established city core, Brindleyplace and The Mailbox will undoubtedly help to create a fully connected, 21st century location.”

The 9.2 acre Arena Central site is at the heart of Birmingham’s City Centre Enterprise Zone, meaning that it benefits from simplified planning and reduced business rates as well as forming a significant part of the city’s vision for regeneration.

Councillor Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Jobs and Skills, Birmingham City Council, said: “Arena Central is an ambitious mixed-use scheme with a key position in the City Centre Enterprise Zone, to which I give my full support.

“Projects such as this are vital to the on-going redevelopment of Birmingham and with an established central location I believe that Arena Central will be of real interest to a wide variety of occupiers, further boosting the reputation of the city and region as a whole.”

£1.9bn net benefit to improve energy efficiency

£1.9bn net benefit to improve energy efficiencyProposals for new energy saving assessments for larger firms in the UK have been published today by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

These assessments, required by the new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), will enable companies to identify opportunities to save money on energy bills through improved energy efficiency and could benefit the UK by £1.9 billion.

Under the scheme, which is being developed as part of the UK’s implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, large enterprises will be required to undertake ESOS assessments to identify cost-effective ways to invest in energy efficiency, helping reduce energy bills and increase competitiveness.

Organisations who take up energy efficiency recommendations will face lower energy bills – on average, an enterprise taking up recommendations from energy savings assessment will invest £15,000 per year in energy efficiency measures and benefit from bill savings of £56,400 per year.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Effective energy efficiency means cutting out waste and increasing profits. These new energy saving assessments will help our largest firms identify where money can be saved by installing energy efficiency measures.

“The potential benefits of cutting down on energy waste are significant – £56,400 savings per year on the energy bills of the average large business, and £1.9 billion benefits to the UK as a whole.”

Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: “Investing in energy efficiency can hugely benefit our big businesses, helping British businesses get ahead in the global race.

“Energy saving assessments will show exactly where the biggest savings can be made and if firms then go forward and invest, they will soon see the benefits.”

There will be no legal requirements to implement the energy saving measures identified, but the assessments could help large businesses, large charities and other large organisations to consider the benefits of investing in energy efficiency.

Net social benefits of £1.9 billion could be achieved even if 6 per cent of the potential energy savings identified through assessments in buildings and industrial processes are implemented by participating organisations.

The new scheme will complement other Government initiatives aimed at helping business make investments to improve energy efficiency, such as the non-domestic Green Deal, Electricity Demand Reduction, and Enhanced Capital Allowances for energy-saving plant and machinery.

Enterprise zones investment grows to over a billion pounds

Enterprise zones investment grows to over a billion pounds

Eleven enterprise zones will benefit from a £150 million boost from the government to create local jobs and secure growth across the country, Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk announced today.

The fourth round of the Regional Growth Fund will help companies in enterprise zones expand their operations, creating new private sector jobs and economic growth.

This means enterprise zones and the local enterprise partnerships which support them will benefit from just under £800 million of government investment which has been already matched by almost £230 million of private sector investment, with many more on the pipeline.

Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk said: “This is more good news for enterprise zones. They are already having a positive impact in the economy, having created 3,000 jobs and attracted £230 million in private sector investment since their standing start 1 year ago.

“Their significant tax incentives, simplified planning and super fast broadband are making the country a great place to do business and rebalancing the economy by creating new local jobs and business ventures.

“Today’s extra investment will give our enterprise zones another boost towards delivering strong and lasting growth so we can compete in the global economy.”

This announcement is just one of range of steps the government has taken to rebalance the economy and support local businesses looking to grow and create jobs.

The government has reformed the way councils are funded by establishing 39 local enterprise partnerships that along with enterprise zones are able to access the billions of government investment to support their local economy, including the £3.2 billion Regional Growth Fund.

UK wind energy set to boost the trades and create new jobs

UK wind energy set to boost the trades and create new jobsThe power of the UK’s offshore and onshore wind resource is set to be harnessed further today, with the go-ahead given for two large wind farms that will create new jobs.

Planning consent has been granted for what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm off the Lincolnshire and Norfolk coast, with a total investment of £3.6 billion that will create 1,130 jobs and provide power to 820,000 homes.

New jobs are set to be created as a result of that development that will generate enough power for almost one million homes when completed and bring significant investment into the economy.

Secretary of State for Energy Edward Davey said: “The investments by Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm Limited and Vattenfall are testament to the power of inward investment in the UK.

“These two projects will attract billions in investment into the UK, support hundreds of skilled green jobs in Lincolnshire, Norfolk and in the county boroughs of Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf whilst providing homes with clean energy.

“Only last week the Prime Minister opened the London Array, the largest operating wind farm in the world, and today we gave planning permission to build a bigger offshore wind farm and also welcome the go-ahead of the biggest onshore wind farm in England and Wales. Offshore and onshore wind is an important contributor to our energy mix.

“We have provided certainty early to onshore and offshore wind investors and now see significant investment decisions being made that will benefit the UK’s economy for years to come.”

BAM gets £10m Salford technical college contract

Bam ConstructionSalford’s new University Technical College (UTC) at MediaCityUK has taken a major step forward with the selection of BAM Construction for the £10.4 million design and build contract.

The proposed UTC@MediaCityUK, as it would be known, will specialise in the creative and digital industries with a direct link to boosting employment and stimulating economic growth.

UTC Project Manager Abigail Williams said: “UTC@MediaCityUK will provide outstanding opportunities for young people to develop skills in the digital and media industries and we believe that this new college will deliver the right facilities and environment to foster our students’ ambitions”.

BAM construction’s bid manager, Adrian Blackie said: “UTC@MediaCityUK is a fantastic and exciting project to be involved with due to the specific areas of specialisation it will offer, and we are delighted to have been selected.

“We have developed excellent relationships with the sponsors and look forward to working with them to deliver this impressive purpose built UTC to serve the Greater Manchester region.”

Architect IBI Taylor Young is working on designs for the 6,200 sq m building which will accommodate the industries’ specific requirements and include state-of-the-art TV and Radio studios, as well as Interactive Media and Gaming studios.

Supported by the Department of Education and funded by the Education Funding Agency the UTC@MediaCityUK is sponsored by a comprehensive network of partners led by The Aldridge Foundation, The University of Salford, Salford City College and The Lowry.

The design and build team includes architect IBI Taylor Young, civil and structural engineers Curtins, building services consultant Ramboll, landscape architect Planit IE and interior designer Space Zero.

Lovell lands £269m Greenwich estate rebuild

Lovell lands £269m Greenwich estate rebuild

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has appointed developer Lovell to undertake a £269 million redevelopment programme which will transform three Woolwich council estates and pave the way for new construction jobs.

The project, in partnership with asra Housing Group, will see the demolition and redevelopment of the 1,064-home Connaught, Morris Walk and Grove estates and their replacement with 1,500 new high-quality, mixed tenure homes.

Construction work on the 13-year project for the three estates, which occupy around 12 hectares of land to the east and west of Woolwich town centre, is set to start in May 2014 following an extensive stakeholder consultation and the submission of planning applications.

Lovell, which has a solid record of achievement in working with communities to create successful, sustainable mixed tenure neighbourhoods, was chosen for the scheme following a rigorous selection process. The architects are Pollard Thomas Edwards.

The scheme will create 975 new homes for open market sale; 375 homes for affordable rent and 150 shared ownership homes. All properties will be energy efficient, meeting Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Asra Housing Group will be responsible for the management of the new shared ownership and affordable rent homes.

Lovell regional director Peter Taylor says: “We’re delighted to have been selected to work with residents, the Royal Borough of Greenwich and asra Housing Group to deliver this wide-ranging regeneration programme which will bring new open market and affordable housing of the highest quality to the area along with new community facilities and infrastructure and significant employment and training opportunities.”

Matt Cooney, Chief Executive of asra Housing Group, said: “We are proud to be delivering more than 500 homes affordable homes. This is happening at a time when there is a housing shortage, particularly in London.

“This development will breathe new life into the area and we are certain it will become a thriving community who will be living in high quality sustainable homes at affordable prices.”

Work starts on new school campus

Kier ConstructionKier Construction has started work on a brand new £5.2 million primary school campus in North Tyneside that will boost the construction industry and help the local economy.

The Longbenton Voluntary Aided Schools campus will house two schools – St Stephen’s RC Primary and St Bartholomew’s Church of England Primary.

Children from both schools were invited to a special blessing and ceremony where they helped perform the official turf cutting alongside council chairman Cllr Janet Hunter, and cabinet member for children, young people and learning, Cllr Ian Grayson.

Kier is building the campus on the former Goathland Primary School site in Longbenton. Both new schools will retain their individual identities and remain two distinct and separate schools with their own registration, faith and ethos.

Cllr Grayson said: “This is an exciting and long-awaited day and I am delighted and honoured to be helping the children cut the first piece of ground.

“This is a first for North Tyneside. We are building two fantastic new primary schools in one state-of-the-art building with bright, modern classrooms, a community building and extensive outdoor facilities. The children will get the best possible chance to learn and achieve their full potential, while teachers will have the best possible environment in which to deliver the first-class educational opportunities our children deserve.

“This is a brilliant opportunity and I can’t wait for the building work to be finished and the new schools to be open in September next year.”

The event was also attended by the Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn, local councillors, head teachers, teachers, church officials and representatives from Kier Construction.

Mrs Redfearn said: “This symbolic ceremony marks the start of the work and who better to get it under way than the children themselves.  They are our VIPs – very important pupils – who are such enthusiastic and wonderful ambassadors for their schools.”

Steve Lynn, Kier Construction project manager, added: “We are delighted to be involved with this innovative project, which sees two high quality schools housed under one roof benefitting from shared efficiencies and savings. It is satisfying to get on site and make a start on what will be a fantastic facility.”

Hull Council appoints housing developer to kick-start new regeneration scheme

Hull Council appoints housing developer to kick-start new regeneration schemeHull City Council has appointed Compendium Living as its development partner to build new modern housing within the Ings area of Hull that will create new trade jobs.

Hull City Council and Compendium Living have been working together to develop plans and designs for 770 new quality homes that will transform the Ings focus area into an ‘urban village’ and boost the local economy.

This appointment will allow the Council and Compendium Living to replicate the success of the housing developments created by the Council and its partners in the west of the city.

These are some of the fastest selling developments in the country last year. It is hoped that following planning approval building will begin in summer 2014.

Councillor John Black, Portfolio Holder for Strategic and Operational Housing, said: “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Compendium Living as our Lead Developer Partner for Ings. We look forward to working in partnership with Compendium to develop high quality, modern housing in a much needed area. These are exciting times for the area and it presents a real opportunity for the community to shape the area for generations to come and to be involved in the regeneration.”

Dave Bullock, Managing Director of Compendium Living, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been appointed by Hull City Council to carry out this very important regeneration project, and now to be starting the detailed work which will lead to the revitalisation of the Ings area of East Hull.

“We believe that the scale and quality of the plans we have devised with the City Council and local people will help transform this part of the city and create a more attractive, safe and popular place to live for all those people who make this their home.”

Galliford Try wins £41m Edinburgh hospital job

Galliford TryGalliford Try and its Scottish business partner, Morrison Construction, have been appointed as preferred contractors for the first phase of the £41.8 million redevelopment of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

In addition to that contract, Galliford Try has been chosen to provide ongoing hard facilities maintenance and lifecycle management worth approximately £18 million over the next 25 years.

Morrison Construction will deliver a new state-of-the-art 15,500 sqm specialist mental health facility on the west edge of the existing campus in Morningside, Edinburgh.

When operational the facility will provide services for the adult acute mental health inpatient service, intensive psychiatric care, national brain injury unit, mental health rehabilitation and older people’s mental health assessment and treatment services.

Galliford Try Chief Executive Greg Fitzgerald said: “We are delighted to have been selected by hub South East for this major project in Edinburgh.

“This appointment demonstrates the strength of our business across our construction, facilities management and investments teams and we look forward to working with hub and NHS Lothian to create the top class facilities the local public deserve.”

Preston reaches out with new homes and jobs

Preston reaching out with new homes and jobs

A major new development in north Preston will boost economic growth and create more than 175 jobs if planning application is approved by Preston City Council.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has unveiled plans to create up to 300 homes, neighbourhood facilities and a major link road on land off Eastway in Preston.

Building construction work is set to continue for 15 years, paving the way for new employment opportunities in the trades.

The 25-hecatare site has been masterplanned following extensive consultation with local residents, statutory consultees and a panel of North West design experts.

A key feature of the layout of the new development has been to work within the framework of the existing ecological features, creating an attractive network of open spaces and ensuring permeability from the site into the surrounding area.

Tom Warburton, head of Cumbria and Lancashire at the HCA said: “The site has been identified for development for many years so submitting a planning application for this scheme is great news for the area.

“Once we get the go ahead, we can start to unlock the site to create much needed new homes for Preston.

“Longer term, this 15-year development will include new infrastructure to support the growth of Preston city centre and surrounding areas, bringing with it new jobs, enhanced communities and economic growth for Central Lancashire.”

Leeds City Council gets £120m housing regeneration boost

Leeds City Council gets £120m housing regeneration boost

Leeds City Council has signed a major contract set to deliver a huge regeneration programme, build new homes and create hundreds of trade jobs.

The Council and sustainable communities for Leeds (sc4L) have signed the contract that will last for 20 years and help communities across the Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck areas of the city.

Local communities will benefit from the refurbishment of the 1245 council homes, and the construction of 388 new council homes to rent with environmental improvements to the estates.

Capital investment of over £120 million over the next three and a half years will provide training and employment schemes leading to jobs, work placements, apprenticeships and social enterprise opportunities.

The project is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government under the Private Finance Initiative.

Leeds City Council has forecast that the refurbishment of homes and new regeneration activity will improve the lives of local residents and boost the local economy.

Councillor for neighbourhoods and planning, Peter Gruen, said: “We welcome the news that this project has reached financial close. I am very pleased that we can finally start to deliver the project for these communities, who have waited a long time. I want to thank the residents for their continued patience, now is the time to finally deliver results!

“The council has worked extremely hard with its partners over many years to move this project along at the various stages. It is great to sign it off and be able to tell local people they will start to see work happening soon.

Jon Hinchliff, sc4L general manager said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with Leeds City Council and the local communities within Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck.

“The team we have assembled to deliver this project is local, committed, professional and vastly experienced. We are all keen to get started and are looking forward to making a positive difference to the neighbourhoods and communities living here.”

Rydon secures £11.3m housing contract

Rydon wins £11.3m housing contract

Thames Valley Housing Association (TVHA) has appointed Rydon as their delivery partner for a new £11.3 million development on the site of the former Newman House office block in Surrey.

The scheme will see the building of 90 one and two-bedroom apartments with shared courtyard space built above 1,100 square metres of commercial space and a new car park.

The new six-storeys building will occupy a central location on the corner of Victoria Road and Russells Crescent, working with local sub-contractors and people in the trades.

75 homes will be available through TVHA on a shared ownership basis with the remaining 15 available through affordable rent. The retail space will comprise one large unit of around 500 square metres and three smaller units of around 200 square metres.

Mark Mitchener, Managing Director, Rydon Construction said: “This is a significant scheme for the town and we will ensure local sub-contractors reap the benefits throughout the construction process. We also intend to support the next generation of the construction industry through a training programme for young people in the area.”

The development is due for completion in spring 2015 and forms part of the master plan for the regeneration of Horley, which includes 2,600 new homes, better public transport as well as enhanced recreation and leisure facilities.

Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive Officer of Thames Valley Housing added: “We’re delighted to be working with Rydon on a proposal that will help to regenerate this important site in Horley town centre and improve its vitality by providing quality affordable homes both for rent and for shared ownership.”

“The new homes have all been designed to a very high standard and are very local to supermarkets, shops and other amenities.  The homes for sale been designed to appeal to professional people wanting to get onto the housing ladder, ideal because of the close proximity to the London to Brighton mainline and to Gatwick as well as the town centre.”

Rydon secures £11.3m housing contract

Rydon wins £11.3m housing contract

Thames Valley Housing Association (TVHA) has appointed Rydon as their delivery partner for a new £11.3 million development on the site of the former Newman House office block in Surrey.

The scheme will see the building of 90 one and two-bedroom apartments with shared courtyard space built above 1,100 square metres of commercial space and a new car park.

The new six-storeys building will occupy a central location on the corner of Victoria Road and Russells Crescent, working with local sub-contractors and people in the trades.

75 homes will be available through TVHA on a shared ownership basis with the remaining 15 available through affordable rent. The retail space will comprise one large unit of around 500 square metres and three smaller units of around 200 square metres.

Mark Mitchener, Managing Director, Rydon Construction said: “This is a significant scheme for the town and we will ensure local sub-contractors reap the benefits throughout the construction process. We also intend to support the next generation of the construction industry through a training programme for young people in the area.”

The development is due for completion in spring 2015 and forms part of the master plan for the regeneration of Horley, which includes 2,600 new homes, better public transport as well as enhanced recreation and leisure facilities.

Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive Officer of Thames Valley Housing added: “We’re delighted to be working with Rydon on a proposal that will help to regenerate this important site in Horley town centre and improve its vitality by providing quality affordable homes both for rent and for shared ownership.”

“The new homes have all been designed to a very high standard and are very local to supermarkets, shops and other amenities.  The homes for sale been designed to appeal to professional people wanting to get onto the housing ladder, ideal because of the close proximity to the London to Brighton mainline and to Gatwick as well as the town centre.”

Skills2Learn opens new centre to make learning easier

Skills2Learn opens new centre to make learning easier

An award-winning virtual reality and digital training developer, Skills2Learn, has celebrated its successful multimedia legacy with the launch of a new state-of-the-art Head Office in Milton Keynes.

Skills2Learn has been helping people from different trades to gain professional skills in a risk-free environment through innovative e-learning training solutions and game-based environment scenarios.

In a true Skills2Learn style, Mayor Brian White and Mark Lancaster MP, cut the ribbon and unveiled the plaque using an interactive virtual reality programme, which has been designed and built by a dedicated team at Skills2Learn.

Commenting on the long-lasting legacy of Skills2Learn and the exciting launch of company’s new Head Office Mark Lancaster MP said: “This is my first experience of opening an office with the power of just one finger!”

Other official guests included Iain Stewart MP and Mayoress Mrs Leena White who were able to view the new offices, meet with members of staff and experience some of the new technologies that Skills2Learn are pioneering including interactive virtual reality scenario based assessments, mobile augmented reality solutions and the new revolutionary virtual holographic environment.

Skills2Learn opens new centre to make learning easierCommenting on the official opening of the centre Chief Executive of Skill2Learn, Majid Al-Kader, said: “We are pleased that so many friends and clients could join us today, this is a great opportunity for us to say thank you to all who have supported us over the past few years and introduce the new members of our team.

“We are very proud of our achievements and I think the number of clients who have supported us today is a great reflection of not only the standard of the work that the team produces but how we work with our clients and deliver their objectives.”

Mr Al-Kader added: “We moved in at the end of April and have already added more than twelve new members of staff to the team. This year, Skills2Learn has secured major projects with well-known National and International clients.

“We wanted to stay local to Milton Keynes especially as we have such great links with local colleges and business’ so these new offices are ideal.”

Many of Skills2Learn’s clients and partners joined the celebration including Babcock, British Gas, Capita, Cengage Learning, Centrica, EAL, EU Skills, Network Rail, Milton Keynes College, College of North West London, Stoke on Trent College, Central Bedfordshire College and Weldability SIF.

Support for energy intensive industries

Support for energy intensive industriesEnergy intensive businesses will get help to offset the cost of energy policy on their electricity bills under plans published by Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon.

Proposals to exempt the most electricity intensive industries from a proportion of the costs of Contracts for Difference will be subject to consultation. The move will “level the playing field” so that British businesses are not made uncompetitive due to the costs of this policy.

Contracts for Difference have been introduced to support investment in low carbon electricity generation. They are a significant element of Electricity Market Reform (EMR) and aim to stimulate investment by providing a stable long-term price for low carbon electricity.

Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: “As we reform the market to attract new investment into our energy infrastructure, it is vital that we do not undermine the competitiveness of UK industry.

“Energy intensive manufacturing is central to strengthening our industrial base and rebalancing our economy. These industries are significant employers and play an important role in the low carbon economy through the products they manufacture.”

The exemption from the costs of Contracts for Difference is part of a government package to support the most electricity intensive industries. This consultation sets out what the exemption might look like, and seeks views on eligibility criteria.

The recommended option is to use the same eligibility criteria as the EU Emissions Trading System and Carbon Price Support indirect costs compensation. This would exempt industries with a total combined value to the UK of approximately £50 billion in turnover, employing 150,000 people.

David Cameron launches world’s largest offshore wind farm

David Cameron launches world's largest offshore wind farm

The Prime Minister has attended the inauguration of London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm located 12 miles off the Kent and Essex coasts in the outer Thames Estuary.

More than 75 organisations and 6,700 individuals were involved in its construction, with up to 1,000 people working on site. The lessons learned are expected to help reduce the cost of future offshore wind farms.

Speaking at the inauguration, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This is a great day for Kent and a great day for Britain. London Array has been built by some of the bravest seamen, the most talented engineers and hardest workers. It will bring benefits to Kent for years to come.”

London Array will be able to power the equivalent of around half a million UK households and should help reduce harmful CO2 emissions by more than 900,000 tonnes a year.

As well as marking a big step forward for UK renewable energy generation it will help ensure a reliable electricity source for the south east.

Inward investment for the project came from Denmark-based DONG Energy, the E.ON Group and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar.

Later, the PM joined Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in London for the official ground-breaking ceremony of the 39-acre Battersea Power Station site redevelopment.

The long-awaited project will transform the area into a vibrant new neighbourhood and see the iconic Grade II listed power station fully restored and opened to the public, 30 years after it was decommissioned.

Some 3,500 new homes, shops, restaurants and offices will be built, set in a 6-acre riverside park with the power station at its heart.

The redevelopment will generate 15,000 new jobs and has attracted inward investment from a Malaysian-led consortium of SP Setia, Sime Darby and EPF, with redevelopment undertaken by the British-based Battersea Power Station Development Company.

Miller wins £48m of schools work in South East

Miller

Miller Construction has been appointed as preferred contractor for 13 schools across the South East, with a construction value of over £48 million.

Clients include Hampshire County Council, Reading Borough Council, Surrey County Council and West Sussex County Council that will share services arrangement set to boost the trades and stimulate employment.

The Property Services Cluster (PSC), which enables all four Councils to work together to achieve substantial efficiency benefits and cost reductions, has selected the IESE (Improvement and Efficiency South East) framework to deliver about 30 schools with a combined construction value of £100 million.

Chris Webster, Chief Executive, Miller Construction, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to deliver services on 13 schools for the Property Services Cluster via the IESE framework.

“This appointment reiterates our continued commitment to our strategy focussing on long-term partnerships and framework agreements.

“We have a proven track record in the education market and we are confident the schools we deliver as part of this framework will leave behind a positive legacy for the pupils who will use them.”

The latest tranche will see Miller initially delivering pre-construction services on ten schools across Surrey; De Stafford Primary, Stamford Green Primary, Cranmere Primary, Hurst Park Primary, Esher High School, Redhill, Horley NE, Langshott Primary, Earlswood Junior and Holmesdale Infant School, with a combined value of £35.5 million.

Work gets underway for new Durham homes

Work gets underway for new Durham homesConstruction work is underway to build 24 affordable homes in County Durham, thanks to a partnership between Yuill Homes and the Vela Group.

Leading North East housebuilder Yuill Homes will deliver eight new two bedroom bungalows for rent at Greenwood Cottages in Thornley Village with funds generated at its successful nearby private housing development, Crossways.

Built with support from Durham County Council and the local parish council, the energy-efficient homes will be available to rent through the Vela Group, which incorporates Tristar Homes and Housing Hartlepool. Each home will be allocated to people in the greatest housing need via the Durham Key Options lettings system.

Stephen Jackson, head of partnership development at Yuill Homes, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Vela Group on these important affordable housing schemes. Each scheme also forms part of our Affordable Homes Programme with the Homes and Communities Agency to continue to provide new affordable homes in local communities over the next few years.”

As well as delivering eight new affordable homes in Thornley Village, Yuill Homes is also working in partnership with the Vela Group to develop 16 two and three bedroom homes for rent at its Denewood development in Murton.

Part funded with an investment from the HCA, the £1.3 million scheme will see each home at the development built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 Standard, helping residents to keep their energy bills affordable.

Sarah Fawcett, Head of Development at Vela said: “We have a long history of working with Yuill Homes, to deliver attractive, high quality modern homes for customers to rent or buy as shared owners. These are our first schemes in Thornley and Murton and we know that people will be delighted with the new homes that we will be able to offer here.”

Cllr Eddie Tomlinson, Cabinet member for housing, said: “Durham County Council is committed to ensuring more affordable housing is available across the county and we’re delighted that Yuill Homes are building such good quality homes in line with our strategic aims.

“The new houses promise to not only be built to a high standard but will also be environmentally friendly, increasing the range of affordable homes for County Durham residents.”

Trades News and Trades Jobs 29 March 2013

BAM appointed to deliver several Midlands schools

BAM appointed to deliver several Midlands schools

The Education Funding Agency has appointed BAM Construction as a preferred bidder for the delivery of £27 million contract for the Midlands two capital batch.

Schools are located in Birmingham, Derby and Nottinghamshire More than 1,800 pupils in one primary, one secondary and two special schools will be taught in new buildings.

The schools included are:

  • Lees Brook Community School (Secondary)
  • Heathlands Primary School
  • Hallmoor School (Special)
  • Fountaindale School (Special)

Work will now progress to the planning application stage.

Keith Rayner, BAM’s education director, said: “This is excellent news for the creative and hard working team that put together our successful proposals for these schools.

“So far, BAM has a 100% track record of making the shortlist on all of the priority schools for which we have tendered, but the real test of value is in being selected and we are delighted that our designs have been chosen.

“BAM’s presence in the education market remains extremely strong and is supported by the collaborative ethos of our company as well as our integrated capability to design and build.”

Exciting £500m Reading scheme gets submitted

Exciting £500m Reading scheme gets submitted

Sackville Developments Reading Limited (SDRL) has submitted plans for the £500 million regeneration scheme of Reading’s town centre that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The regeneration of the Station Hill site in Reading is an employment-led mixed-use redevelopment which will include new homes, shops, cafés and leisure facilities.

SDRL represents a joint venture between Benson Elliot and Stanhope PLC. Between them, Stanhope PLC and Benson Elliot have the expertise and stable financial backing to deliver a first class redevelopment to Station Hill.

The application has been drawn up following extensive consultation with local residents and business owners as well as council representatives.

Jason Margrave, Development Director  of Stanhope said: “This application is the culmination of a considerable amount of consultation with Reading Borough Council as well as the promoters of the neighbouring Thames Tower.

“The designs we have submitted have been widely supported by the public and we believe they will considerably transform  this part of the town, building on the significant investment currently taking place at the station.

“Following consultation, we have included an enlarged public open space in the heart of the scheme, improved the retail offer and incorporated more public art.”

The public exhibition which took place in February last year attracted over 700 people, with over 95% of respondents supporting that the area is in need of regeneration.

The application is due to be decided by Reading Borough Council later in the year. If approved, work will look to commence in 2014.

Whilst redevelopment is taking place, it is the intention of the developers to create a temporary event space outside of Reading Station to be used for a variety of cultural and entertainment events.

HS2 Ltd unveils new building plans for London Euston


HS2 Ltd unveils new building plans for London Euston

Euston Station will be redeveloped to become the gateway to the great cities of the Midlands and North as part of the HS2 scheme that will create thousands of trade jobs.

The first phase of HS2 alone, from London to the West Midlands, is expected to support about 40,000 jobs, figures which do not include broader employment growth supported by the new line and the use of released capacity on existing routes.

HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Alison Munro said: “HS2 will be an engine for growth that supports the creation of thousands of jobs for Londoners, provides extra space on the existing lines for more commuter services, and improved connectivity with our great northern cities.”

The new plans for Euston, developed partly in response to concerns from the community about the potential disruption caused by the redevelopment would lead to less disruption for passengers as the station could continue to operate mostly as normal rather than having to move services from old platforms to new ones while platforms are being progressively demolished and rebuilt.

Ms Munro commented: “Community concerns have been raised about the potential disruption caused by the redevelopment of Euston Station.

“Following more work done by our engineers to find the best way to deliver best value for taxpayers, we have identified an option that we believe delivers great opportunities for the area while minimising the potential effects on local communities in Camden and on passengers.”

The new proposals would see the station revitalised for passengers and with potential for new homes, offices and shops above. Completing construction by 2026 will unlock the line-wide benefits for local residents and businesses.
The revised proposal features:

  • Potential opportunities for over-station development – with the possibility of being used for future homes, open space and businesses.
  • The capacity needed for high speed and conventional trains
  • New platforms and facilities for the high-speed trains
  • New, improved facilities for all passengers in a redeveloped, integrated station with a new, combined concourse and façade
  • Better connections with the Underground, including a new Underground ticket hall
  • A sub-surface pedestrian link between Euston and Euston Square Tube
  • East-west pedestrian routes across the station, helping to link communities on either side of the station.

Sita to build £250m Merseyside waste plant


Sita to build £250m Merseyside waste plant

The Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority has named Sita as preferred bidder for a £1.2 billion deal to manage 430,000 tonnes of waste each year.

The consortium, which consist of industrial energy specialist Sembcorp Utilities UK and I-Environment will build a rail loading waste transfer station in Merseyside and energy-from-waste plant in Teesside.

The winning bid from Sita includes a high efficiency Energy from Waste facility with Combined Heat and Power at the Wilton International site in Teeside creating around 50 new permanent jobs.

New rail hub for the transportation of waste at the existing Potter Group Rail Freight Terminal at Kirkby on Merseyside creating around 25 new permanent jobs.

The new energy-from-waste facility will generate electricity for the equivalent of 63,000 homes and has the potential to provide steam directly to adjacent business customers, which would further improve its efficiency.

In total, over 90 per cent of the contract waste managed by the Sita consortium will be diverted from landfill and used to produce energy.

David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive Office of Sita UK said: “We are delighted to be selected as preferred bidder for this major contract in Merseyside. This is great news for Merseyside, for the environment and for new jobs.

“The two new facilities that we will develop will enable all of Merseyside’s household waste to be put to good use.

“We will create over 70 new full time jobs in Merseyside and Teeside and several hundred more during the construction of our new resource recovery facilities.”

Proposed Energy Park will create 250 new local jobs

Proposed Energy Park will create 250 new local jobs

Plans for the building of a new Energy Park in Bulwell that will create hundreds of construction jobs have been submitted to Nottingham City Council.

Chinook proposes to develop the 17 acre site on Blenheim Lane for a major new manufacturing plant for its recycling equipment and to create new jobs in the trades.

If planning permission is granted, work on the site could begin early next year, creating 250 jobs during the construction phase and later at the completed site, including manufacturing jobs.

Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council, Councillor Graham Chapman, said: “We very much welcome Chinook’s proposals for the Energy Park and in particular their commitment to create new manufacturing jobs for local people.

“If approved, this investment would boost the city’s credentials as the most self-sustaining city for energy production in the UK. Given the problems of energy cost and supply in the next few years, it is essential this city creates as much of its own supply as possible and this is an important step in that direction.

“Expansion of the city’s high tech and green sciences sectors are a key part of our Growth Plan so that new long term employment can be created in sustainable emerging industries. But the cherry on the cake is British manufacturing jobs. At a time when the UK manufacturing base has been declining, we in Nottingham want to do all we can to revive it.”

Chinook Sciences Technical Director, Harry Perry confirmed: “This is a milestone in our plans to develop a local manufacturing base and to significantly upgrade our R&D facilities.

“Powering the site with electricity from our own technology will further demonstrate Chinook Sciences’ renewable energy capabilities, and bring clean-tech employment and investment to the Bulwell area.

“In addition, part of our plan is to launch a training program for the local workforce to enable them occupy these new jobs with confidence and competence.”

£80m Woking housing development reaches out for new jobs

£80m Woking housing development reaches out for new jobs

Woking Borough Council has given the go-ahead for the building of 371 new family homes as part of a £80 million housing scheme that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The site, commonly known as the Moor Lane housing development, will be developed by Evolution, a consortium between Kier Project Investment and Thames Valley Housing.

It will see the building of 371 family homes, of which 224 will be affordable, with the remaining 147 homes for private sale.

Kier will construct the properties and Thames Valley Housing will manage and maintain the social housing over the 25-year contract.  Construction work will commence during the summer.

Cllr David Bittleston, Woking Borough Portfolio Holder for Housing said: “We are delighted that the development has had the go-ahead.

“The Council is committed to supporting the Governments’ growth agenda and this development will provide much-needed affordable houses for local people and a major boost for employment in the local area.”

Nigel Turner, managing director of Kier Property, added: “We are thrilled to have achieved this important milestone and we look forward to working with Thames Valley Housing to progress the development.

“The mixed tenure scheme will play an important part in addressing the area’s housing shortage and also creates long-lasting community benefits through a designated fund for the use by the local community.”

Geeta Nanda, CEO of TVH, said: “We are delighted to have led this consortium to supply much-needed affordable homes in Woking. It is great that we have been granted planning permission so we are one step closer to getting new homes built and lived in.”

Norwich £11.5m Research Park development reaches out for new jobs

Morgan Sindall wins £11.5 million Norwich Research Park Centrum development

Morgan Sindall has won a £11.5 million contract to construct the principal commercial research and development building at Norwich Research Park.

The project is due to complete in March 2014 and will see around 80 people from the local area working on site at the peak of construction.

The development is on track to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating of Excellent.

The four-storey building will provide 4,000 sq m of high quality facilities including laboratory and office space, a business centre and formal and informal meeting rooms.

The Centrum building will also include a restaurant and café, a breakout area and exhibition and circulation space. These social and formal spaces will provide a platform to enable the business community to interact with researchers on the Norwich Research Park.

Alan Giles, Project Director – Norwich Research Park, said “We are pleased to award Morgan Sindall this contract after a rigorous OJEU tender process. This is an important milestone in the development of the Research Park and the Centrum building will be the focal point for business and research to come together.

“Centrum will provide additional commercial laboratory and office accommodation for more established companies wishing to locate to Norwich Research Park. For companies already on the Park, it will provide them with the grow-on space in which to further expand their business.”

The development forms a key part of ‘Project 26′, which refers to the £26 million funding awarded through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in the 2011 Government Budget. The funding has been awarded to Norwich Research Park to improve the Park’s IT infrastructure, road network and provide new flagship buildings.

The Centrum development will be located centrally on the Norwich Research Park adjacent to the existing Recreation Centre and Conference Centre on the John Innes Centre site. It will provide a hub for the local science and business community, and will also facilitate collaboration amongst the Research Park’s occupants.

Go-ahead for new council houses in Linton

South Cambridshire District Council

Plans for the first new properties in South Cambridgeshire’s biggest building programme have been approved, paving the way for new jobs and boosting the trades.

The four one-bed semi-detached houses on Chalklands in Linton have been given the go-ahead by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Committee, and will replace an existing block of ten under-utilised garages owned by the Council.

Work is set to start onsite later this year and is due to be completed in 2014.

Up to 1,000 new council-owned and affordable properties are planned in the district over the next 30 years after a change in government housing funding policy.

Cllr Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “I’m delighted that approval has been granted to build these much-needed homes, marking a great start to our plans to build hundreds of new homes in the district.

“For the first time in years we have the option to invest heavily in new council houses, and we’re committed to listening to local people and parish councils to put them where they’re most needed.”

The latest phase of another Cambridgeshire’s drive to build almost 25, 000 new homes and create thousands of construction jobs has last week gone on display for public consultation.

A new town at Northstowe recently had its first phase approved. The scheme may eventually see thousands of new homes built, making it one of the biggest new towns in Britain since Milton Keynes.