What our clients say – weekly update

Mr James H.

Very happy with the high level of expertise, knowledge and assistance.

 

Mr Edward H.

I thought Mike was an excellent plumbing tutor and enjoyed him teaching me.

 

Mr Andrew C.

my final week here at Featherstone and its been a pleasure mike my tutor is really great and as made all my weeks under him very relaxed and took time to help me every step of the way as well as passed on some very useful tips he is a credit to this company and would highly recommend this training centre to anyone wishing to pursue a career in plumbing

 

Mr Antony S.

All in all a great experience and really learnt a lot over my 5th week.

 

Mr Ian C.

Excellent experience and has given me the upmost confidence to use those skills independently.

Keep up the good work..!

 

Mr Zoltan T.

I am absolutely definitely maximally super satisfied!!! Thank you for everything!

 

Miss Katie F.

top notch tutor

 

Mr Daniel K.

Really helped thanks.

 

Mr Bradley E.

great tutor. gives good advice when u get stuck and directs you to the wright way of doing it enjoyed this week thanks to mike.

 

Mr Eamon D.

A good week

 

Mr Gediminas K.

The tutors are top guys very helpful and entertaining. Very happy with the course.

 

Mr James M.

Had Mike top boy really helpful, enjoyed my week 5.

 

Mr Matthew M.

john is an exellent tutor

 

Mr Harvey L.

good week tutor put information across well felt confident by end of week

 

Mr Manoj A.

good time

 

Mr Nick W.

Friendly centre, alot better classroom work with only 5 students.

 

Mr Adam T.

VERY GOOD TUTOR

 

Mr Evan K.

Very happy with the staff and management here in wolverhampton very helpful in explaining courses and booking dates for attendance.

 

Mr Parminder K.

college staff very good this is best college

 

Mr Kyle B.

cheers vincent!

 

Mr Hassan A.

Had a good time doing practical training. Tutor was very helpful and reassured everyone.

 

Mr Stephen W.

Gary was a great tutor – faultless.

 

Mr Lorcan M.

I thoughtt the over all training was very good the tutor and staff at the training center are very helpful and freindly.

all round a very enjoyable experince.

 

Mr Jermaine R.

i am learning a lot from my tutor gary and am happy with my progress so far im eager to learn more its a great envirionment

 

Mr Ryan H.

gary is a great tutor and his professionalism and enjoyment of what he does is inspiring me to do well

 

Mr Isaac A.

This week practical went well the tuotr did a grate job by showing me many thing such how to bend a pip and alos mesuring with mm.

 

Mr Brendon B.

The actual training at the centre was brilliant. Paul is a very inspirational teacher and have made us feel very welcome and his knowledge is second to none.

 

Mr Paul M.

Had a great time

 

Mr John A.

This is the best training centre I have been to. Facilities and staff are great.

Thanks

 

Mr Paul P.

valued information

which made learning so much easier . good teaching.

 

Mr Mark H.

Really enjoyed the week and learned a lot, benefited from the practical side.

 

Mr Lewis B.

overall good experience. tutor was spot on and a class sence of humor, nothing negative about my visit.

 

Mr Michael B.

overall very good tutors have been very helpful and understanding with practical work.

 

Mr Marcin B.

All is on high level and very professional. High recommendation for ERR Training Center

 

Mr Mute U.

it was excellent expeirence I enjoyed my time and I look forward to complete my training

 

Mr Francis M.

AM VERY HAPPY WITH THE WORK I DID

 

Mr Martin F.

I felt the week was very positive and came away with a positive attitude

 

Mr Deb R.

I HAD AN EXCELLENT WEEK THIS WEEK.I FOUND ALL THE STAFFS VERY HELPFUL.JOHN WAS FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL AND HAVE ALL THE KNOWLDEGE OF PLUMBING.THANK YOU.

 

Mr Aaron C.

john was really friendly and helpful and I would be happy for him to be my tutor again

 

Mr Thomas B.

Dave is very good teacher

 

Mr Ismail R.

it was perfect

 

Mr Lee B.

good couple of weeks training at Basildon

 

Mr Karim A.

  1. The trainers are excellet and very proffesional. and very friendly. BOB Riddick was so good he was hands on every thing we were doing at the centre.
  2. all the staff are very welcome

 

Mr Matthew S.

Bob reddick the tutor was great, very knoledgeable and keen to help and guide us.

 

Mr Thomas B.

excellent week thanks

 

Mr Svetlin G.

good staff

 

Mr Michael M.

Great tutor wish I could guarantee I could get him for all my plumbing course..

 

Mr Glen K.

staff very knowledgable and helpful learnt a lot in just a week

 

Mr Kevin J.

Steve has great knowledge and delivers this very well in the classroom

 

Mr Anibal P.

good atmosphere for learning. hope I can do my nvq level 3 at this centre as tutors are great and facility’s are brilliant.

 

Mr Frederick S.

Excellent resources and training

 

Mr Barry B.

Stephen needs a payrise.

 

Mr Samuel H.

really enjoyed my time with err training centre, I cant wait to come back to complete my course

 

Mr Paul M.

tutor was knowledgeable and helpful. Happy with the week as a whole.

What our clients say – weekly update

Mr Elliot B.

mark is a top bloke, passionate about his job and makes sure you understand what he is showing you before he moves on.

 

Mr David M.

The course has been enjoyable and well set out. The tutor was really helpful and friendly

 

Mr Adam W.

Good week which i enjoyed. John is a good tutor who knows his stuff. Woukd happily come back to this centre.

 

Mr Huw P.

Have had a great first week. i have learned so much.

Can’t wait for week 2

 

Mr Justin W.

all aspects of the course were enjoyable and presented extremely well. My tutor made the course experience as a whole very enjoyable and knowledge passed was always thorough and easily understood.

 

Mr Darryl T.

Excellent First week. John is making all of the science make sense.Looking forward to week 2 thank you john

 

Mr Earl D.

thanks you john for your time

 

Mr Arjun S.

Brilliant , i’ve had good fun learning this course so far !!

 

Mr Stephen A.

When i first arrived at the centre i was nervous and didnt know what to exspect. the training i received in the centre was brilliant and couldnt of passed this test without John Ryans help.

 

Mr Humphrey C.

Very impressed with the quality of the training in the course of my stay.

 

Mr Qasim H.

excellent facility, john ryan is great tutor all in all very happy thanks

 

Mr Adam B.

very helpful, learnt a lot in the workshop

 

Mr Andrew F.

Very informative and helpfull.

 

Mr Tihomir P.

Vince is a nice ,helpful tutor

 

Mr Aleksandr P.

Well organized practical part,materials tools,nothing is missing.Tutore knowledge sufficently high level…I will return with pleasure…

 

Mr Hassan A.

Had a great week and i can now see what i need to work to for the final assessment.My tutor has been great and helped me along the way.

 

Mr Jermaine R.

I am very pleased with my progerss so far i am gaining more and more confident and i owe a lot of it to training centres environment and my tutor attitude to help out when needed

 

Mr Isaac A.

This weeek went well with the frames from p12 to p13 it was the expraice to make a frame like that. Thanks to my tutor for giving me the help that i need to complete the tasks with the exams and the pratical work.

 

Mr Lorcan M.

Training was very enjoyable.Tutors and staff very freindly and informative.ecellent training center

 

Mr Ryan H.

Gary is a superb tutor, everything is explained and shown you brilliantly. which makes the learning process a lot easier and fun to do. really enjoyed the first two weeks. cant wait to get the rest booked in.

 

Mr Bengy N.

Consistantly a great experiance everytime. A friendly atmosphere and proffesional staff who are always happy, genuinely a great place to come.

I would recommend this centre to anyone and everyone and will return for more training myself.

Thanks again.

 

Mr Oneil S.

Pleased with my progress and the training centre.

 

Mr Jason F.

had a brilliant week have enjoyed my 9 weeks at leeds mike has been a good teacher.

 

Mr Gareth E.

mike is a plumbing god

 

Mr Brendon B.

This week Anthony has been brilliant. He has challenged previous knowledge learnt on week 1 and has made this weeks learning a real joy.

 

Mr Sean B.

ever time I come I feel more happy with what im studying and the centers make every thing seam more earser to under stand your should be proud of your staff thank you to you all

 

Mr Rory D.

Great centre. Learning material was good and useful. Any help needed was given. Overall a great learning centre.

 

Mr John A.

Great centre and the staff were excellent. Thanks

 

Mr Edgaras T.

Staff of the center allways are friendly and helpful

 

Mr Paul P.

learnt a lot

 

Mr Mark H.

Tutor is excellent and happy to help at any time

 

Mr Marcin B.

top service, best tutor

 

Mr Stephen P.

very pleased with my practical training at thecentre

 

Mr Stewart M.

Great training once again. Learned so much this week. Cant wait to get back. Terry is a top teacher!!

 

Mr Austin C.

The experience was amazing. It was not easy to pass 3exams.But the guidance from the tutor was amazing. Looking forward to the next challenge.

Thanks to all the staff.

 

Mr Lungile N.

Allow me to say Paul was on point ,no time wasted ,every aspect was clearly explained .The classroom lessons were detailed and not rushed ,no deviation .

 

The whole centre is a vibrant place premising good and helpful people .

 

Mr Nikesh S.

Paul was a great teacher. spent some valuable time explaining areas that I was unsure on and I felt I have learnt a lot from him. Chris was also a great help in the workshop. real support from Chris and Paul these past 2 weeks. thank you

 

Mr Jahangir Y.

really enjoyed working with experienced tutor

 

Mr Zoltan N.

very fast teachin thank you

 

Mr Attila N.

I had a great week. Well organised way to finish this week tasks. Second time was Paul my Tutor. He has a great knowledge and best way of teaching. Thanks for a successful week.
Attila

 

Mr Nathaniel E.

Good overall experience

 

Mr Aaron C.

the tutor was very friendly and knowledgeable and was able to answer all questions asked would be more than happy to be tutored be by him again.

 

Mr Randy N.

John was an incredibly knowledgeable man. He made an otherwise dry subject, interesting. It will be a loss to the centre when he is no longer here.

 

Mr Deb R.

I HAD A VERY GOOD WEEK.JOHN WAS BEEN VERY HELPFUL.

 

Mr Herbert S.

am loving it. keep it

 

Mr Fraser T.

Staff a the centre are great, Bob is a wealth of encouragemen

 

Mr Dawood A.

I had a very interesting second week the staff were helpful and happy to answer any questions I had for my progression during the course.

 

Mr Janos T.

Gary was very professional and knew all we needed.

 

Mr Matthew S.

Gary is a very good teacher and will take his time to help us on the way with our tasks and is very patient! very good tutor indeed!

 

Mr Benjamin E.

Couldn’t ask for a better tutor.

 

Mr Christopher P.

Very well taught this week

 

Mr Michael R.

John was very helpful with everything and I look forward for my next weeks in centre.

 

Mr Carlos V.

its been brilliant, every assessor was very helpful

 

Mr Harribeto A.

productive week and an excellent completion

 

Mr Martin K.

jon was fantastic this week helping me keep nerves down when I took my 2365-202. helped me understand how to look at the information and take it on board. thank you very much.

 

Mr Rheden A.

John is very considerate and helpful.

 

Mr Lanray B.

john teaching skills were brilliant very clear and I understood all theory and practical perfectly and am very happy.

 

Mr Neil E.

Neal put everything across in an easy to understand way.

Thank you

 

Mr Michael M.

Paul was a brilliant and excellent tutor can’t wait for weeks 3-4 and more.

 

Mr Glen K.

training centre very well organised and staff excellent

 

Mr Ronnie D.

The Tutors are very helpful

 

Mr Declan M.

I really enjoyed my visit here this time as I was learning something new to me.

Steve spent lots of time making sure I understood what was needed for the tests, he also demonstrated a lot for me so I could try copy him.

What our clients say – weekly update

We use both traditional and modern methods to train our students to become capable, trustworthy and professional   tradespeople … we teach plumbing, heating and ventilation, gas, electrics, renewables and air-conditioning to people who are getting ready to help construct Britain’s brighter future. We show people of all ages the nuts and bolts of the construction industry, we give them practical on-the-job experience and the opportunity to use the latest in training, including virtual reality.

Yes, we’re very good at what we do  – and so are our qualified students.

Here’s what they have to say

 


Mr Timothy B.

John was fantastic his knowlage and the way he explained everything ment i could pass all assesments and exams no problem.


Mr David R.

Overall a good job well done


Mr Daniel M.

great training week with john he really knows his stuff


Mr Christopher B.

Exelent knoledge with great practical examples.

Well presented with care to ensure every one is up to speed. 10/10


Mr Lokesh D.

great


Miss Chene D.

I have found the week intresting from starting off with a poor understanding I am going back with a more clear understanding of what I have been doing also john ryan has help me alot to understand it more.


Mr Pieter P.

great tutor


Mr Richard G.

Mark was very helpfull and knowledgeable throughout, one of the best tutor i have had and i cannot fault him in any way the content of the course was huge this week


Mr Peter C.

brillioant


Mr Stephen B.

STEVE IS AN EXELLENT TUTOR WHO PUTS HIS KNOWLEDGE ACROSS WITH PASSION AND DRIVE A TRULY EXEPTIONAL MENTOR WHO REALLY INSPIRES STUDENTS TO WANT TO DO BETTER.


Mr Erlwin D.

It was a pleasure being here for my first time and I really felt like Steve tried his best to get us where we need to be.

Thanks a lot


Mr Paul S.

Many Thanks To Steve For This Week.

His Time And Patience Explaining Things Have Been Much Apprecated.

Cant Thank Him Enough

Cheers

Paul


Mr Trust D.

Great learning facility.


 

Mr Nageeb A.

Martin was a great help and taught me a lot


Mr Jason F.

martin was really good teacher I really enjoyed the week


 

Mr Jason C.

Bob was very good at explaining what was required to get through the criteria and entertaining at the same time


 

Mr Craig S.

DAVE IS AN EXCELLENT TUTOR WITH OUTSTANDING KNOWLEDGE


 

Mr Andrzej G.

great time here

What our clients say – weekly update

We use both traditional and modern methods to train our students to become capable, trustworthy and professional   tradespeople … we teach plumbing, heating and ventilation, gas, electrics, renewables and air-conditioning to people who are getting ready to help construct Britain’s brighter future. We show people of all ages the nuts and bolts of the construction industry, we give them practical on-the-job experience and the opportunity to use the latest in training, including virtual reality.

Yes, we’re very good at what we do  – and so are our qualified students.

Here’s what they have to say


Mr Ryan C.

peter very nice chap he is a guy with lots of field knollage and could explain it very clearly he made the week very easy and run smoothly overall very very happy with the week


Mr Leighton C.

VERY GOOD


Mr David D.

was all good..


Mr Jean K.

Pete was fantastic I wish I have him all the way through and not forgetting Chris what a legend both of them …..


Mr Andrew C.

Tutor and workshop staff were very helpful and the week was very productive and I feel I learn a lot in a relatively short period of time.


Mr Kevin S.

Pete and Chris have both been very helpful and both shared good knowledge of the course practical’s sessions thank you to the both off them its been a pleasure to be here this week many thanks Pete and Chris for your hard work.


Mr Jordan M.

Peter was very patient and explained thoroughly what was needed to be done.


Mr Everton W.

My experience has been tremendous. I am more confident now than when I first started the theory. Thanks Peter and Chris


Mr Paolo L.

Very good teacher thanks


Mr Anthony C.

It was very exciting and the staff… professional and helpful.

thank you.


Mr Jomon M.

TUTOR HAVE EXCELLENT KNOWELDE OF THE SUBJECT.I AM HAPPY TO THIS COURSE IN WATFORD.


Mr Michael H.

The centre staff were all very friendly and courtious.

John Ryan (tutor) was very well versed in the need to get us involved in the manner the exams were structured.

Overall I was given a good week of instruction and training.


Mr Ian T.

enjoyed my week, tutor john ryan very helpfull


Mr Adam B.

tutor was great had a good week learnt lots and had extra support to pass exam vary happy thanks


Mr Parminder S.

James and Mark have been brilliant learnt alot from both. Even some of the basic stuff they really helped me out and cleared a few questions i had. Thank you guys


Mr Andrei B.

friendly staff


Mr Arsene O.

very HAPPY


Mr Charlie B.

overall good week tutor was exellent look forward to second week


Mr Andrew A.

I AM GLAD I CAME HERE MOST TECHNICAL WORD IN PLUMBING BECAME CLEARER AND UNDERSTANDABLE WITH THE HELP OF THE TUTOR.


Miss Lindsey M.

I cant fault the ERR Wolverhampton centre, I really enjoyed my first week.


Mr Scott D.

good training centre.


Mr Kizzito N.

everything about the training center is great


Mr Thomas S.

steve is a top bloke that really knows his stuff and goes above and beyond to help his students


Mrs Jennifer J.

Fantastic as usual.


Mr Timothy G.

Top week


Mr Daniel D.

martin sheriff massive help highly appreciated


Mr Dean F.

Martin was brilliant extremly helpful and dealt with my failed exams excellently


Mr Bryan B.

tutor was very good


Mr Liam H.

Really enjoyed my second week practical. Both in the classroom and workshops.

Looking forward to starting my portfolio and getting back for week 3/4


Mr Andrew H.

GREAT WEEK .THX GUYS KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.


Mr Ali M.

Overall I am happy with my second week, Mr Webster is a great teacher and has made me more enthusiastic to pursue this career path.


Mr Alan H.

very pleased previously had Neil as tutor which was good and terry was equally as good and ensured all practical and exams where achievable.

thank you


Mr Stuart F.

a third week at Featherstone and am still very very impressed with how well the centre runs. this place excels I can not praise them enough.

All teachers her have been brilliant and have gone above and beyond on all counts.

Having been involved in training schemes in others subjects I wasn’t expecting much however Featherstone ERR are very well organised and provide a friendly and approachable albeit professional high standard.

I will defiantly be booking at Featherstone for the completion of my level 3 NVQ in due course.


Mr Henryk Z.

Mr.Terry O’Brien is the best tutor that I ever meet. He put the things in simple words, intelligible language for anyone. It can be an example for every coach in the centre.Each exam was preceded by a precise explanation of the topic. He answered every questions and not once explained to the details of the operation of the system. I am very happy with the way in which Mr Terry O’Brien gave me instruction on the task that I work on.


Mr Mark W.

I enjoyed this week and Terry was a great help.


Mr Paul M.

very supportive throughout this week and the course in general, Terry was friendly and helpful


Mr Rodney C.

Couldn’t have asked for a better Assessor, this week.

Whatever help I required, Terry was there to explain everything in simple terms.


Mr Marco P.

I definitely had an excellent week end it up with a great result…

I have to say a big thank you to all my tutors for what I’ve been learning and to the brilliant support I had received

many thanks to all


Mr Ivan C.

Great experience, its all very productive when I come in. Really learn a lot.


Mr Isaac A.

everything about this centre is good


Mr Stanislaw T.

Dave was brilliant at explaining concepts and everything was run really efficiently – another enjoyable week at the centre!


Mr Vincenzo M.

all good snd well organised


Mr Ali A.

My tutor was excellent.


Mr Muhamed H.

Exellent, Nice teaching Thank you!


Mr James T.

Helpful and friendly.


Mr Laszlo C.

As usually week has been good so far, can not say thanks enough for our tutor for the supporting and knowledge what he is passed to me

Go-ahead for three London river crossings

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has outlined his commitment to providing greener and more public transport-focused river crossings in the East and South East of London.

The Mayor has set out a package of new river crossings to be built in the next five to 10 years that will vastly improve travel across the capital, while supporting new affordable homes and business opportunities in East London.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s no secret that London has long needed more river crossings in the east. With new homes and economic growth across East London, it becomes even more important that we deliver new greener transport links that allow Londoners to cross the river quickly and more easily.

“But we don’t want these to have a damaging impact on our environment, and that’s why I’ve reviewed and improved plans for Silvertown Tunnel and why I’m pushing forward with crossings that encourage public transport, walking and cycling.

“As we continue to unlock the massive economic potential of East London, we must secure the very best transport infrastructure that improves the quality of life for everyone living and working in the area.”

Go-ahead for three London river crossings

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has outlined his commitment to providing greener and more public transport-focused river crossings in the East and South East of London.

The Mayor has set out a package of new river crossings to be built in the next five to 10 years that will vastly improve travel across the capital, while supporting new affordable homes and business opportunities in East London.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s no secret that London has long needed more river crossings in the east. With new homes and economic growth across East London, it becomes even more important that we deliver new greener transport links that allow Londoners to cross the river quickly and more easily.

“But we don’t want these to have a damaging impact on our environment, and that’s why I’ve reviewed and improved plans for Silvertown Tunnel and why I’m pushing forward with crossings that encourage public transport, walking and cycling.

“As we continue to unlock the massive economic potential of East London, we must secure the very best transport infrastructure that improves the quality of life for everyone living and working in the area.”

Carillion wins £350m Nationwide contract

Carillion has been awarded a seven-year contract to provide facilities management services for Nationwide Building Society.

This contract is expected to be worth approximately £350 million and has the potential to be extended for a further three years.

The award builds on an existing partnership of nearly nine years during which Carillion has been providing facilities management services for Nationwide.

Under the new contract, which commenced on 1 October 2016, Carillion will provide a wide range of hard and soft facilities management and workplace services for Nationwide’s Headquarters in Swindon, its 15 corporate offices, critical data centres and 700 retail branches throughout the UK.

These services, which will be specifically aligned to Nationwide’s sustainability strategy, will include energy management, risk assurance, asset maintenance, capital works, front-of-house, security, grounds maintenance, mailroom management, porterage and cleaning.

Carillion Group Chief Executive, Richard Howson, said: “Our strong emphasis on delivering sustainable services is also a key differentiator, as both Nationwide and Carillion are focused on responsible business practice that maximises the benefits our operations can have on the communities in which we operate”.

Morgan Sindall gets £7.3m job at Heathrow

morgan-sindall-gets-7-3m-job-at-heathrow

Morgan Sindall has been appointed by Heathrow Airport to carry out £7.3 million of refurbishments and improvements to its infrastructure, runways and stands.

Pre-contract enabling works have been carried out to ensure there is no damage to underground services and the project team has already completed the first phase of the scheme, which involved resurfacing the T5 end of the southern runway.

The runway was re-surfaced with a new polymer modified bitumen (PMB) asphalt, designed specifically for use in airports due to its high strength and resistance to cracking.

The next stage of the project involves working directly in front of the BAE line maintenance base to replace underground stone water-drainage pipes.

The site team is working during the night and has constructed a purpose-built route so that aircraft are able to access the base, ensuring there is minimal disruption to one of the airport’s busiest areas.

The work was awarded to Morgan Sindall due to its place on the Q6 Framework. It is one of four contractors appointed to deliver a £1.5 billion programme of upgrades and improvements at Heathrow Airport by 2019.

Keith Cannin, managing director of aviation at Morgan Sindall, said: “We have a long standing relationship with Heathrow Airport and a track record of successfully delivering this kind of work.

Our site team understand the pressures and considerations involved working in a live airside environment and always take the necessary measures to mitigate interruptions at the airport.”

The work is expected to be complete by the end of 2017 and follows the successful refurbishment and resurfacing of the airport’s Sierra Taxiway as part of a £16 million contract completed last year.

North Wales projects secure £16m EU funding

More than £16 million of EU funds will be invested in two North Wales projects, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced.

The funding will boost businesses in the marine energy sector and training programmes for people affected by long-term unemployment and economic inactivity.

Around 50 businesses will benefit from specialist research and development collaborations with universities and 2,000 people who are out of work take part in training programmes to develop new skills and improve their job prospects.

Mark Drakeford said: “This is a major investment of EU funding which will finance highly specialised-innovation in an important sector of our economy and target support to people who are finding it difficult to get into work.

These projects are also good examples of how EU funds are being used in Wales to grow businesses, improve people’s lives and strengthen our economy.”

Almost £12 million will support Bangor University‘s £17 million SEACAMS 2 project, which aims to expand Wales’ marine energy sector over the next four years.

Experts at Bangor and Swansea universities will provide specialist research and development programmes to help businesses exploit commercial opportunities and create new products and patents.

The project aims to create new enterprises in the sector and accelerate job creation in existing businesses.

Professor Colin Jago, director of the SEACAMS project, said: “We will build on our five years of work with industry during the first SEACAMS funding phase.

In pooling expertise at Bangor and Swansea universities, we have the scope of knowledge to provide the detailed technical information required to support these exciting developments, which could change the way we resource our energy needs in Wales.”

Hull Uni secures £130m accommodation scheme

hull-uni-secures-130m-accommodation-scheme

University Partnerships Programme (UPP) has been appointed as preferred bidder to deliver a new student accommodation scheme for the University of Hull valued at around £130 million.

The 43-year partnership between the University and UPP will provide a further 1,450 students with a room, helping to meet the growing demand for high quality, on-campus accommodation.

The scheme will comprise a mixture of new build and estate transfer and UPP will raise the required investment and handle the design, construction and operation of the scheme. The construction value of the project is more than £80 million.

This latest partnership boosts UPP’s portfolio to around 31,500 rooms through long term partnerships with 15 leading universities across the UK.

Once the transaction is complete, UPP will have invested approximately £2.2 billion in universities across the UK since 1998, demonstrating the appetite amongst long term institutional investment for the higher education sector.

Sean O’Shea, Group Chief Executive of UPP, said: “We are committed to driving investment into the UK’s higher education sector and plan to invest a further £1 billion into universities over the next two years that will help deliver world class infrastructure and continue attracting the brightest and best students from across the world.”

Stephen Willis, Chief Finance Officer at the University of Hull, said: “The bold transformation well under-way on campus is a critical element in ensuring an outstanding student experience and a huge statement of confidence in the future of both the University and the city of Hull. We’re proud to be investing so significantly in making Hull a highly desirable place to live, work, study, visit and invest.”

Go-ahead to £110m Midlands shopping village

The building of a new shopping village for the West Midlands was given the go-ahead this week as development partners U+I and Rioja Developments confirmed receipt of full planning permission.

This is the biggest development of its kind in the West Midlands. It will inject a major investment into the area, provide a huge economic boost and put the area firmly on the designer outlet map.

The phased scheme will cost in excess of £110 million and will create over 1,200 jobs.

Nestled in a valley adjacent to a nature reserve the 26,505 sq m outlet village will provide up to 130 designer outlet stores, new restaurants and around 2,000 car parking spaces within easy access of the M6 and M6 Toll road.

Richard Upton, Deputy CEO, U+I, said: “This is a major investment that could generate more than £500 million of socio-economic improvements over the next ten years and create in excess of a thousand jobs, benefitting Cannock and the wider region and putting this outlet in the top five outlet centres nationally.

We intend to create a unique experience in factory outlet retailing which will complement the beautiful environment, including a real focus on sustainability.”

Giles Membrey, Rioja Developments’ Managing Director, said: “This is a key stage on our journey to make our vision for the Mill Green development become reality. It’s a unique location in terms of both the commercial opportunity and surrounding landscape.”

The area will also benefit from considerable investment in off-site improvements, including the widening of Eastern Way and the addition of much-needed pedestrian crossings. Moreover, Cannock will benefit from a further investment of circa £150,000 for town centre improvements.

Funding boost for proposed station at Robroyston

The Scottish Government has given a huge boost to plans for a new railway station for Robroyston.

The new station proposals, which include a park & ride car park, are designed to provide local residents with a sustainable travel option, as well as catering for additional future demand from the 1,600 new households planned for the Robroyston area.

The Scottish Government has committed to meet 50% of the station`s currently estimated construction costs – over £7 million – through the Scottish Stations Fund. The remainder is expected to be met by the scheme promoters Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), Glasgow City Council, and private developers.

This investment reaffirms the Scottish Government’s commitment to investing in Scotland`s railways, ensuring that more people are able to access the rail network.

Minister for Transport, Humza Yousaf said: “I am very pleased to announce this substantial funding package for a new station for Robroyston.

This is a significant announcement, with Robroyston the first new station project to be funded by the Scottish Stations Fund, which was introduced to improve and increase access to rail across Scotland.

This announcement highlights the Scottish Government`s continued investment in rail infrastructure and services to better connect our communities and support sustainable economic growth and jobs across the country, with £5 billion of funding for infrastructure and services committed to 2019.”

Wates starts work on Hoxton towers

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Wates Construction has signed a £70.9 million contract to build Anthology’s new Hoxton Press residential development.

The Hackney project will see Wates create two towers of 20 and 16 storeys, comprising 198 one and two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom penthouses for private sale.

Designed by Karakusevic Carson Architects and David Chipperfield Architects, the new development will include a single storey basement car park, ancillary services and a ground-floor café in one of the towers.

The new development, which will overlook Shoreditch Park and Regents Canal, forms part of the ongoing regeneration of Hackney Council’s Colville Estate in Hoxton, which will also help fund investment in new council homes for social rent and shared ownership.

Building work has now commenced at Anthology Hoxton Press and completion of the two towers, Mono and Duo, is expected by summer 2018.

David Newey, Project Director for Anthology Hoxton Press said: “We are thrilled to be working in collaboration with Wates on the exciting regeneration of the Colville Estate. At Anthology, we put community into the heart of everything we do and with Wates’ support at Hoxton Press, we will be providing a community café for all local residents to enjoy.

Hoxton is cemented as a key London destination for buyers, renters and tourists alike. By working with Wates, we are able to bring our vision to life with a development that sits in the heart of Hackney and has good travel connections, markets, shops and design studios just a stone’s throw away. Anthology will continue to work closely with Wates to deliver homes that provide the community with a location for creativity to flourish.”

Lovell gets £2.5m housing refurb scheme

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Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council (NBBC) in Warwickshire has appointed Lovell to carry out £2.5 million of housing improvement work for local council homes over the next three years.

The large-scale refurbishment programme will see Lovell transforming homes with new kitchens and bathrooms, as well as carrying out other improvements including installing level-access showers.

In the first phase of the work, 300 homes at the Grove Farm estate, Nuneaton, will be refurbished by May 2017.

Councillor Julie Jackson, Housing and Communities portfolio holder, said: “This is fantastic news for our tenants. NBBC will be delivering around 350 kitchen and bathroom replacements this year, an increase of approximately 40 properties on previous years. It has been possible to achieve so much as a result of a successful re-procurement process and reduced tender costs.”

Lovell has moved into new premises at the Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate in Nuneaton, which will be the project depot for the contract. Forty people are employed to work on the project with 90 per cent local to the Nuneaton area.

We’re delighted to bring our expertise in undertaking successful large-scale housing improvement programmes to this important scheme for Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council” said Lovell regional director Steve Davis.

Our focus is always on ensuring that residents are at the heart of what we do. We have a strong record of delivering improvement work carried out to the highest standard and with the utmost consideration for householders.”

Capital & Centric unveils Manchester residential scheme

capital-centric-unveils-manchester-residential-scheme

Capital & Centric has revealed plans for a £50 million residential scheme in central Manchester that will see the building of new homes.

The developer has submitted a planning application to convert a grade II listed mill complex near Piccadilly station into a residential scheme providing 201 one, two and three bed apartments.

The cluster of buildings is situated on Fair Street, Chapeltown Street, Congou Street and Baird Street around a central courtyard area.

The proposed scheme – known as Crusader Works – was designed by Shedkm and will provide 126 apartments in the existing mill and a further 75 apartments in an adjacent 10 storey building.

Adam Higgins, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “Crusader Works is one of Manchester’s forgotten treasures and has been neglected for too long.

Our unique design led scheme will see the sensitive restoration of the mill using creative conservation designs to provide efficient and attractive living spaces and ensure the long term sustainability of the listed buildings.”

The developer is also responsible for Kampus – the £200 million mixed-use scheme on nearby Aytoun Street which is being delivered with joint venture partner, Henry Boot.

Work on Crusader Works is due to start on site next May, with the first phase of the apartments to be ready for occupation towards the end of 2018.

First Minister gives new building boost for Wales

The First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has set out his government’s five-year plan to deliver more jobs through a stronger economy while building a united and sustainable Wales.

The First Minister said the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government, Taking Wales Forward, makes clear that the government’s focus will be on driving improvement in the Welsh economy.

The First Minister also confirmed that the Welsh Government’s key pledges have been maintained despite the uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote, including the commitment to create at least 100,000 all-age apprenticeships and the development of the South Wales Metro.

Mr Jones said: “Taking Wales Forward outlines our key priorities for delivering those improvements. They are ambitious measures, aimed at making a difference for everyone, at every stage in their lives.

Together we can build a Wales that is more confident, more equal, better skilled and more resilient. As a country we have punched above our weight, and now we are ready to do more.

I want to see a Wales which is prosperous and secure, healthy and active, ambitious and learning, united and connected. This is the Wales we are determined to build over the coming five years.”

Morgan Sindall gets £5.6m Ashford school contract

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Morgan Sindall has been appointed to design and build the first phase of the new £5.6 million Finberry Primary School in the heart of Ashford, Kent.

The project for Kent County Council is already underway and will see the school transformed from a one, to a two-form entry facility accommodating 450 pupils, once the second phase of the project is complete.

The new school will be built at the Finberry housing development site at Cheeseman’s Green and is the seventh school within The Stour Academy Trust, a primary sector-only Trust.

Morgan Sindall will deliver the first phase of works at the school which will include the construction of nine classrooms, a nursery area and an SEN resource room. The firm will also deliver a main reception admin area, school hall facility and kitchen area.

The school will comprise a steel frame structure and its brickwork skin will be partially clad in bright orange. Morgan Sindall will also deliver external landscaping as part of the project including; a new sports pitch, a multi-use games area, a soft play area, a habitat area and a covered outdoor learning area.

Julien Jones, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re delighted to have been appointed to this important scheme which will help to alleviate demand for primary and nursery school places in Ashford.

Finberry Primary School will be unique in design and provide a modern learning space for pupils and teachers to enjoy. Morgan Sindall is well versed in delivering innovative and exciting learning environments and we look forward to handing over the new school in time for the start of the academic school year in 2017.”

Loans to help make warmer homes

New £10 million pilot scheme has been announced which will increase energy efficiency and help repair homes across Scotland.

More people will be able to make their homes warm and water-tight through a new £10 million fund that will also boost the building trades.

The pilot scheme in Glasgow, Argyll and Bute and Perthshire will provide equity loans of up to £40,000 to home owners on low incomes to help them make essential repairs to leaking roofs and building structures.

The funding can be used either as a single equity loan or with other existing Scottish Government grants to fund more expensive measures like solid wall insulation or a package of energy efficiency works.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart announced the pilot ahead of his attendance at the launch of Under One Roof. The new website will provide free and impartial advice to private flat owners and help them understand their obligations when it comes to property and shared spaces.

He said: “Making sure everyone has access to a warm and affordable home is a priority for this Government which is why we have committed half a billion pounds over the next four years, meaning over £1 billion by 2021, to tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency.

We know leaking roofs and poor building structures can drive up energy bills and make them more difficult to heat, but for low income households they can often be too costly to repair.

This £10 million scheme will provide households with loans to carry out essential repair work and install energy efficiency improvements.

This will help us make homes warmer and easier to heat, with our record investment already resulting in two fifths of Scottish homes now being in the top three energy efficiency ratings – an increase of 71% since 2010.”

Mary Taylor, Chief Executive of SFHA, said: “We welcome the announcement of the equity loan scheme. It is extremely important that we invest in the energy efficiency of existing homes to provide affordable warmth and reduce carbon emissions. It is also important that we invest in existing buildings and keep them in a good state of repair.”

Planning application submitted for Nine Elms Centre

Lambeth College – The Careers College and its development partners, Carillion and Arlington Real Estate, have submitted a planning application for the regeneration of its Vauxhall campus, which will create a world-class centre.

The redevelopment of the site will see more than £100 million invested in the area. The scheme will benefit from up to £22 million of funding from the London Enterprise Panel.

The skills centre will create thousands of career and learning opportunities for young people, delivering in the region of 3,500 apprenticeships and 2,200 jobs.

The site will also feature a fully-operational training hotel and additional local housing and public realm improvements will also be delivered.

Replacing the existing college building will be the all new Nine Elms Skills Centre, a ground-breaking education and training facility with a focus on construction, hospitality and science and technology, which will work in close partnership with employers.

It will replace the current 1960’s buildings, which are no longer fit for purpose and fail to meet employers’ needs. The scheme will align to the skills and employment priorities in Lambeth, South London and the Nine Elms regeneration area.

Monica Box, Interim Principal and Chief Executive of Lambeth College said: “The local community has been really engaged with the college for this development and can see the benefits this skills centre will bring to the area’s education provision and the career and training opportunities for local young people.

It will be a landmark and transformational development for this area and reinforce our commitment to be London’s career college.”

Simon Eastwood, Managing Director at Carillion Developments, said: “This is a pioneering project for the UK’s Further Education Sector, which will utilise the expertise of employers, working in partnership with the college, to address skills shortages in sectors such as construction.

Carillion is the largest provider of construction skills training in the UK with over 2,500 apprentices in our training centres at any one time and the new Nine Elms Skills Centre will form an important part of our training infrastructure. We are proud to be part of such an ambitious scheme that will improve the long-term skills training opportunities for London.”

Carillion selected by Centrica for £90m scheme

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Carillion has been selected by Centrica plc as its preferred partner to deliver facilities management and project services for an initial period of five years, which can be extended to seven years.

The contract has an estimated value to Carillion of some £90 million over five years with service delivery scheduled to start in December 2016.

Carillion has worked in close partnership with Centrica for over a decade as managing agent, helping to deliver significant value to Centrica’s British Gas business.

The new contract builds on this successful relationship with an extension of scope to a Total Facilities Management (TFM) service.

Under the new contract Carillion will provide a wide range of hard and soft facilities management services, including asset surveys and planning, planned and reactive maintenance, cleaning, security and catering for Centrica’s 115 locations in the UK and Republic of Ireland, together with the delivery of certain construction projects for Centrica.

Carillion’s Chief Executive, Richard Howson, said: “We have worked closely with Centrica since 2005 and built a strong partnership. We are delighted to be extending this relationship, which is based on a one-team approach in which Carillion and Centrica work together to deliver award-winning standards of facilities management and customer service across all Centrica and British Gas sites.”

Housing boost for the Islands

Up to 100 affordable homes will be built in island communities through a new £5 million fund.

Speaking during a Scottish Parliament debate Housing Minister Kevin Stewart announced the Scottish Government will establish a new Islands Housing Fund – backed by up to £5 million funding over three years – to increase the availability of affordable housing in the islands.

This investment is in addition to the £25 million Rural Housing Fund which is supporting the building of new homes and refurbishment of existing properties in rural areas.

Mr Stewart said:“Scotland’s islands have rich and vibrant cultures and make a huge contribution to Scottish life but we know people living there can face challenges when it comes to accessing the home they want.

Our new £5 million Islands Housing Fund will increase the supply of good quality affordable housing which is an essential part of attracting and retaining people in our islands.

Investment in this support for the islands and through the Rural Housing Fund will help us deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes over the lifetime of this Parliament and ensure we are reaching across all of Scotland in our ambitions.

“Our Islands Housing Fund demonstrates our strong and continued support for our islands, with the forthcoming Islands Bill set to provide lasting benefits for these communities for generations to come.”

Go-ahead to £300m Chester Northgate development

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Cheshire West and Chester Council unanimously accepted plans to develop the Northgate area of the city centre for a retail-led, mixed-use development that will boost economic growth.

The £300 million Chester Northgate scheme is set to deliver around 500,000 sqft of new retail, restaurant and leisure facilities over two phases of construction.

The first Phase will start in autumn 2017. Picturehouse will be the operators of a six-screen cinema providing more than 715 seats, on the upper levels of the scheme, with a ground-level foyer and café bar opening onto the new Market Square and Hunter Street.

A new market hall will replace the current Chester Market and a new, 167-bedroom, 4-star hotel and conference centre will be built as a replacement for the existing Crowne Plaza hotel.

Councillor Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member, Economic Development and Infrastructure said: “The development of Northgate has been a long held ambition.

When it became clear that the private sector was not going to deliver what the city needed, the Council took control with the view to progressing proposals to a stage where the private sector is willing to invest. Obtaining planning consent is a major component.

This proposal delivers a new development that will feel like Chester and not just like any other city.”

Councillor Stuart Parker, Shadow Cabinet Member, Communities and Wellbeing added: “Northgate is the most significant regeneration opportunity to impact on Chester in many decades.

It will transform the city from its present state of retail and leisure decline. Granting consent today will send a powerful message that Chester is open for business in a truly spectacular style.”

In December 2013 the Council purchased the Forum Shopping Centre and now owns around 85 per cent of the 5.8-hectare site. Rivington Land is the development managers overseeing the development.

David Lewis, Chief Executive of Rivington Land, said: “Obtaining this resolution to grant planning consent for Chester Northgate is a massive achievement on the path to delivery of this significant scheme.

In combination with the level of occupier demand we are witnessing and the recent exchange of contacts with Picturehouse, this consent represents real progress and a major corner piece of the overall jigsaw.

The application on such a sensitive site was very complex and this decision is a huge compliment to the talented design team involved.”

It is anticipated that the whole development will be completed and opened during 2021.

Construction set to begin on The Mill

The Mill – an 800 home urban village complete with a neighbourhood centre, community hall, and parks – is being developed by Tirion Homes on the site of the former Arjo Wiggins Paper Mill site in Canton.

The construction programme is expected to create over 1,000 jobs, many for people living locally.

The site remediation has been carried out by Alun Griffiths. The construction of the new homes will be undertaken by Lovell.

The Group is currently working on two other sites in the region; the 500-home Whiteheads development in Newport, and the planned 225-home Parc Eirin site in Tonyrefail.

Peter Mathias, chairman of Tirion Group, says: “The Mill is a ground-breaking development that will not only transform the local community around it, but hopefully become a blueprint for high-quality housing communities across South Wales.

As we prepare for the start of construction it is an honour to host AMs, MPs and councillors, and to be able to outline our vision for the site and our future vision for housing developments across Wales.”

At The Mill, Tirion has unlocked the potential of the long-disused paper mill site by acquiring and cleaning up the brownfield land with financial backing from the Welsh Government and Principality, securing planning permission and then developing the site in partnership with Lovell.

Lovell regional director Kate Rees says: “We are delighted to be working with the Tirion Group, Cadwyn Housing Association, the Welsh Government and Principality to deliver this landmark housing scheme for Cardiff and look forward to starting construction of these new high-quality homes for sale and for rent.

The Mill will create a brand-new community in an extremely desirable riverside location close to the city centre.”

Peter Hughes, managing director at Principality Commercial, said: “Supporting this development goes to the heart of our purpose in helping people access quality affordable housing in an attractive environment, with excellent links to the city centre.

In recent years we have invested heavily in local communities through a variety of both commercial and residential projects. The Mill project will hopefully pave the way for similar schemes across Wales.”

Apache in joint venture with Moda Living

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Apache Capital Partners has announced a joint venture with Moda Living to plan and build projects of approximately 5,000 homes and a gross development value of £1 billion.

This strategic joint venture makes Apache Capital the long term funding partner of Moda Living. The partnership is expected to create the largest owner of regional purpose-built PRS and one of the largest owners of PRS overall in the UK.

The portfolio concentrates on regional centres where population growth and an undersupply of residential accommodation looks set to trigger rental and capital growth over the next few years.

A focus on prime locations attracting the ideal tenant profile for PRS developments; 20-44 year olds with disposable income who demand locations and buildings that come with high quality services and amenities.

Richard Jackson, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Apache Capital Partners, said: “We at Apache Capital have seen a strong demand from our Middle Eastern investors in the UK’s Private Rented Sector.

This is partly because PRS is already an established sector in the region, the sector’s continuing supply/demand imbalance in the UK, but also coupled with the prevailing lifestyle shift toward flexible living that delivers high quality amenities and services.

“The 5,000 unit secured portfolio provides us immediate scale and Apache Capital and Moda Living will currently be the largest owner of regional purpose-built PRS and the second largest owner overall in the UK.

“This strategy builds on the success of Apache Capital’s Social Infrastructure investment platform, where we have aggregated an institutional grade portfolio of assets in the student accommodation and healthcare sectors.”

More affordable housing approved

The number of affordable homes in Scotland has increased by 26% on the previous year, bringing the total number of approvals over the year to 8,067.

Official statistics published this week show that during 2015-16, the number of new house builds started, across the public and private sector, rose to 16,910, a 4% increase on the previous year and the highest number of starts since 2008-9.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said the figures showed good early progress towards delivering the Scottish Government’s ambitious target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes over the next five years.

Speaking ahead of a visit to a new housing development in Edinburgh which will provide 236 affordable homes in the city, Mr Stewart said: “We have an excellent track record on housing. The number of affordable home completions from April 2007 to end March 2016 was 60,704 – on average 24% more per year than the 38,015 delivered between April 2000 and March 2007.

“In the previous session of Parliament, we exceeded our target of delivering 30,000 affordable homes, and our bold and ambitious More Homes Scotland approach will build on that achievement.

“We have committed to investing over £3 billion to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes over the next five years. This is accompanied by increased housing subsidy levels and a new Rural Housing Fund to boost the supply of affordable rural housing.

“We’ve also helped stimulate growing confidence in the private housing market and supported people into home ownership, in particular through our £500 million Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme.”

SES Engineering Services gets two London projects

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SES Engineering Services is building on its major success at the heart of the redevelopment of King’s Cross after winning a duo of central London new build projects.

The company was appointed to deliver mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) services on the 12-storey S2 Grade A office building as part of the King’s Cross regeneration scheme.

The company has been awarded an £18.6 million MEP contract to deliver Barts Square Phase One, a new £110 million high-end residential development in the St Bart’s Hospital area in Farringdon.

SES will continue work with Carillion on the commercial King’s Cross project – and will be working with client Helical Plc for the first time to deliver 144 luxury apartments with a selection of one, two and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses located in seven property blocks.

The dual wins represent a major milestone for SES’ London and South East operation and are testament to SES’ reputation for delivering innovative, cost and time saving off-site manufacturing solutions on logistically challenging city-centre projects.

SES’s engineering expertise was fundamental to its appointment on the King’s Cross S2 project, in response to the client’s requirement to deliver the very latest Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology.

Tim Cunningham, SES Regional Director, London and South East also said: “This is a truly exciting time for our London and South East operation and the growth of our business is down to our teams’ exemplary work and innovative off-site approach.

We’re tremendously proud of our work on The Plimsoll Building and the Gasholder residential schemes at King’s Cross so we’re thrilled to continue that relationship for the S2 office project.

Likewise, our ability to deliver these critical city-centre residential schemes on time and on budget has been essential to winning the innovative and prestigious Barts Square project.”

Birmingham unveils £1bn investment plans for growth and jobs

Almost £1 billion of investment is being committed to redevelop a part of Birmingham that will pave the way for thousands of new jobs and homes.

The Curzon Investment Plan is an ambitious 30-year strategy to unlock and regenerate the 141 hectares of land around the planned HS2 Curzon Street Station, led by the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) and Birmingham City Council.

Creating 36,000 jobs, 4,000 new homes, unlocking 600,000 sqm of commercial floor space and connecting the eastside of Birmingham to the rest of the city and beyond; the investment is the first major financial commitment by any local area in the country to use HS2’s arrival as a catalyst for regeneration. It also has the potential to add £1.4 billion to the local economy.

Plans include the development of Curzon Street Station itself, several new neighbourhoods, offices and retail spaces. The creation of stunning public places such as the Curzon Promenade and Curzon Square – which will incorporate the original Curzon Station, a Grade I listed building.

In total £907 million is being allocated to a variety of projects, and is made up of £586.8 million from the GBSLEP, which draws funds from business rates within the Enterprise Zone and £137.2 million from the newly formed devolved government, West Midlands Combined Authority.

A further £183.3 million towards the cost of delivering Metro extension projects, connecting the eastside of the city to central Birmingham and out to Birmingham International Airport and Solihull, where another HS2 station, an interchange, is planned.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I’m delighted that Greater Birmingham is making this investment in the future, working to maximise the potential of HS2 by investing in jobs and housing – and encouraging more business investment.

It was in Birmingham where I outlined my plan to build an economy that works for all, with a proper industrial strategy that delivers prosperity, job creation and higher wages across the country, not just in London.”

Steve Hollis, Deputy Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP (GBSLEP), said: “The Curzon Investment Plan is the first major commitment by a local area to maximise the impact of HS2.

It outlines how we will use HS2 as a trigger to transform an area of untapped potential in Birmingham’s city core and create thousands of new jobs, homes and places for businesses to thrive.

This demonstrates clearly what we can achieve in this region by being given the right tools by central government, to unlock our own future economic success.

Our commitment to invest is a bold statement of intent for how we will utilise HS2 as a catalyst for growth at every step. By setting out our plans and investing now, we will begin to realise the economic benefits of HS2 far sooner.”

Councillor John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “It is an unprecedented time for Birmingham and the wider region. By working with partners from across the region, we have fuelled an economic renaissance with significant inward investment and the implementation of major infrastructure schemes.”

Employment reaches a record high

The number of people in work is at a record high with nearly 175,000 more people in work up to July 2016, compared to the previous 3 months.

The Office for National Statistics confirmed today that there are 31.77 million people now in work – up by more than 550,000 in the past year and by 2.7 million since 2010.

The employment rate in the UK continues to run at a record high of 74.5%, and the unemployment rate holds firm at 4.9% – its lowest in more than 10 years.

The rise in employment continues to be driven by full-time work, which has accounted for 75% of the growth since 2010. Average wages including bonuses grew by 2.3% over the last year.

Work and Pensions Secretary of State, Damian Green, said: “It’s great to see another record-breaking set of figures out this month with the unemployment rate at a 10-year low and wages growing healthily.

We know that there are fewer children living in workless households too, which underlines our efforts to help people move into employment and to build a Britain that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

But there’s more to do, and we will continue to work with businesses to help more people take up the wealth of opportunities out there in the economy.”

Morgan Sindall wins £2.2m contract

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Morgan Sindall has been appointed to construct a £2.2 million storage facility in Exeter that will be completed for the start of spring 2017.

The project for Britannia Lanes Storage and Removals Ltd is already underway and includes the demolition of two buildings on Hennock Road East to make way for a five-storey storage facility.

The warehouse-style building will include over 700 storage containers; ten individual self-storage drive up units and three trade counter units, all with 24/7 number plate recognition access.

The self-store facility will provide 30,000 sq. ft. of storage space and be available for both commercial and residential usage.

Morgan Sindall will also deliver external works as part of the project, including a car parking area and an on-site washing facility for large vehicles.

Rob Lane, director at Britannia Lanes Storage and Removals Ltd, said: “Since Britannia Lanes of Devon commenced operations in 1992, we have enjoyed great success and expanded our existing warehouse as well as renting additional storage space to fit with the growing demand.

Within the same period we’ve expanded our other branches in Cornwall and Somerset, as well as acquiring a new branch in Bristol. With our continued success, we thought now was the right time to reinvest in our Exeter location.

We have been looking for a new site for many years in order to create the first purpose-built removal and self-storage facility within the South West and are proud to be months away from realising our objectives with a state of the art modern facility. ”

Nigel Whelan, area manager at Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re very pleased to have been appointed to deliver this important scheme. The new building will provide 30,000 sq. ft. of much needed storage space for businesses and residents in Exeter and makes the best use of the space.”

Morgan Sindall has recently been appointed to deliver a £800,000 digital humanities laboratory for the University of Exeter. The project is already underway and includes a two-storey extension of the existing Queen’s Building. The project will also include a range of refurbishment works at the Thornlea Building.

Lovell project director appointed for 800-home urban village

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Lovell has appointed Lee Woodfine as project director for The Mill: an £100 million urban village set to bring 800 new homes and boost the building trades.

Construction work will start later this year on the development at Canton which is being created by a partnership of the Tirion Group, Cadwyn and Lovell.

Lee’s appointment sees him return to Lovell after previously working with the company in South Wales for nearly a decade, leaving in 2010.

His 20-year construction career has also included senior management roles with residential developer Kier Living, developer Sennybridge and construction services company ISG.

Lee, who lives in Blackwood, Caerphilly, said: “I’m delighted to be working on this fantastic development which will significantly extend the available choice of new-build homes for sale and for rent in Cardiff, through the creation of a brand-new riverside community. The Mill will be a superb place to live.”

Later this year, Lovell will start construction work of the new homes at The Mill which is set to transform the 53-acre former Arjo Wiggins Paper Mill site.

One of Wales’ biggest urban regeneration projects, the construction programme is expected to create over 1,000 jobs, many for people living locally, as well as significant training opportunities.

Funding boost for low carbon schemes

Bidders hoping to share a £8 million European Regional Development fund (ERDF) have been given a boost thanks to Transport Scotland.

Thirty nine projects will benefit from support of up to £10k each, enabling them to develop ideas in preparation for launch of the ERDF Low Carbon Travel and Transport (LCTT) challenge fund later this year.

Many of the bids aim to deliver local regeneration and economic development benefits, while boosting growth and creating new jobs.

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands said: “We need to maximise this ERDF investment to support our low carbon travel and transport aspirations by establishing a strong network of these across Scotland by December 2018.

The Pre-Application Support Fund received a high-level of interest and I’m delighted that funding is being offered to a wide range of public sector bodies, as well as a number of community and third sector organisations to help them develop their ideas.

The quality of the applications received is pleasing and I hope that many of these will be developed to form strong bids for the full ERDF challenge fund, once this launches later in the year.”

Morgan Sindall to build £10.3m Bromsgrove leisure centre

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Bromsgrove District Council has appointed Morgan Sindall to build a £10.3 million state-of-the-art leisure centre, which will include two swimming pools.

Plans for the development, on School Drive, will see the installation of a climbing wall, a 100-station fitness suite and a 25-station group cycling studio across a two-storey building.

The larger swimming pool will measure 25 x 12.5 metres and alongside it will be a learner pool measuring 15 x 10 metres which will feature an adjustable floor.

Work is scheduled to begin this year and the new centre is expected to be open by the end of 2017.

Morgan Sindall area director, Richard Fielding, said: “We’re pleased to be involved in this project and confident that the finished facility will be well received by the local community.

Once complete it will provide the people of Bromsgrove with a modern environment in which to exercise and prove an enduring addition to the leisure offering in the area.”

The centre will be self-funding, unlike the current Dolphin Centre which runs at a heavy annual loss, and the process of selecting a day-to-day operator to run it will shortly take place.

The leisure centre is the latest redevelopment in Bromsgrove under a strategic Town Centre regeneration partnership of public bodies that was formed in 2010 to redevelop areas of the town, making major efficiency savings across the public purse.

This has led to the total revamp of the high street, major retail developments coming forward across the town and a near-total overhaul of public buildings.

Willmott Dixon to deliver grade A office scheme in Birmingham

The significant refurbishment of one of Birmingham’s most well-known buildings has taken a step forward with the appointment of Willmott Dixon as contractor.

Legal & General Property (LGP) which owns the Lewis Building on Bull Street has appointed the construction and regeneration specialist to carry out the comprehensive refurbishment.

When completed, the Lewis Building will offer 114,000 sq ft of contemporary Grade A office space set behind a classic Portland Stone façade.

The £18 million contract will see Willmott Dixon strip back the interior of the building to shell and core, remodeling the building to provide floorplates of 17,000 sq ft – some of the largest in the city’s business district – along with a new 12,000 sq ft, fully glazed seventh story with roof terraces.

All floors will receive high quality finishes throughout and the building will benefit from new mechanical and electrical systems.

The company is also building the National College for High Speed Rail in Duddeston to train HS2 engineers and transforming the Millennium Quarter with another project for Birmingham City University, this time expanding the Curzon building.

Tom Williams, Senior Asset Manager, Legal & General Property, said: “The Lewis Building represents a fantastic opportunity for Birmingham’s commercial market and we have already seen considerable interest from some of the larger requirements currently looking to identify space.”

Formerly known as Temple Court, the Lewis Building was originally built as a department store in the 1920s by renowned 19th Century philanthropist, David Lewis and has been an integral part of Birmingham’s city core for almost 100 years.

Willmott Dixon’s managing director in the Midlands, Peter Owen: “We are hugely proud of our role in creating Birmingham’s exciting new future with these projects, and are excited to be creating superb Grade A offices in the heart of the city’s business district.“

Birmingham signs £2bn scheme with Chinese developer

birmingham-signs-2bn-scheme-with-chinese-developer

Birmingham City Council has signed a deal with the fifth-largest property developer in China that could be worth up to £2bn to the local economy.

As part of the agreement, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed company Country Garden will explore large-scale investment opportunities in Birmingham, with particular focus around HS2.

It also agreed to work with the council to deliver large numbers of new homes.

Council leader John Clancy signed the joint statement of investment commitment with Country Garden on a week-long trade mission to China.

Cllr Clancy said: “The landscape has inevitably changed post-Brexit and Birmingham is already out of the starting blocks. That’s why I’m here selling our city to many of China’s leading investors.

This agreement is about bringing good jobs and quality homes to Birmingham.

Country Garden has a proven track record of building homes at pace and scale. They have played a major role over the last 20 years, as housebuilders have met the massive demands of China’s rapidly expanding economy.”

Founded in 1992, Country Garden has developed 300 high-end township developments, 54 five-star hotels and more than 2.5 million properties.

Country Garden founder and chairman Yang Guoqiang added: “I have been impressed with Birmingham’s ambition and huge potential.

We have a proven track record in delivering quality housing at a scale to match Birmingham’s ambitions and with major projects coming to the city, including the forthcoming High Speed two project, these are exciting times for Country Garden and Birmingham.”

New Bill will boost growth and house building

Measures in the new Neighbourhood Planning Bill will support more house building and provide support to local developments, the Housing and Planning Minister announced this week.

The Bill will speed up and strengthen the popular neighbourhood planning process by simplifying how plans can be revised as local circumstances change and ensure that plans come into force sooner once approved by local people.

Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell said: “The Prime Minister has been absolutely clear that we need to build more homes and this Bill is the first of a number of measures to deliver on that.

“We have already built more than 900,000 homes since 2010 and now this Bill will help speed up delivery of the further new homes our country needs and ensure our foot is still firmly on the pedal.

“We’re also going further than ever before to speed up neighbourhood planning which puts power in the hands of local people to decide where development gets built.”

There will also be a simplifying of the compulsory purchase order process to make it clearer, fairer and faster.

Further Bill measures will ensure that planning conditions which require developers to take action before work starts are only used where strictly necessary, but in a way that ensures important heritage and environmental safeguards remain in place, so that once a developer has planning permission they can get on and start building as soon as possible.

This government is determined to boost home building and is taking forward the boldest ambition for housing in a generation, with a pledge to deliver one million new homes and a doubling of the housing budget to £20 billion.

Chancellor steps up industry engagement

Government to support UK industry

In the run up to the Autumn Statement the Chancellor Philip Hammond will speak to British businesses in a series of high profile meetings.

As well as holding further discussions with the financial services sector in October, the Chancellor will chair roundtables with representatives from the world of technology, retailing and manufacturing as well as meeting investors, importers and exporters and hosting representatives from the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI), the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

From virtual reality to food, clothing and banking, the Chancellor will meet with representatives covering almost every aspect of the economy.

He will set out the government’s plans to support an economy that works for everyone and then lead a discussion with industry representatives on the underlying strengths of the UK economy as we enter a period of adjustment in the lead up to leaving the European Union.

Representatives will also be given an opportunity to contribute their views on the future of Britain outside of the European Union and offer input to how the government can best offer support to their industries and workforces leading up to the Autumn Statement.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said: “We want to ensure the continued investment that creates jobs and supports wage growth throughout this period of uncertainty ahead of the UK formally leaving the European Union.

“That means listening to businesses and organisations who represent working people all over the country, and taking the necessary steps to maintain economic stability.

“From manufacturing to new technology, exporters to small businesses, I am determined that industry and government work together to ensure that Britain takes full advantage of the opportunities Brexit presents. That means engaging in open and constructive dialogue with business leaders in the months ahead.”

Building work set to start on affordable homes for Leeds

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Leeds Federated Housing Associationhas appointed partnership housing developer Lovell to build 33 new affordable homes in Belle Isle, south Leeds.

Construction is due to start on the new houses which will all be for affordable rent through the housing association. The £3.6 million scheme will create 20 two-bedroom and 13 three-bedroom houses.

The new housing will take shape on two Leeds City Council-owned brownfield sites in Newhall Gate and Newhall Walk. Designed to complement and fit in with existing homes in the area, the development is expected to be complete at the end of 2017. The scheme forms part of Leeds Federated’s Affordable Homes Programme and is supported by Leeds City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.

Steve Ellis, head of Assets and Development for Leeds Federated, says: “We are delighted to be partnering with Lovell to build 33 much-needed affordable homes for rent in Belle Isle.

“There is currently a national shortage of affordable housing. Leeds Federated plans to more than double the amount of homes it develops each year to help address the need for high quality affordable homes in the Leeds City region.”

Robert Adams, regional director for Lovell – which is based locally in Gildersome, Leeds – comments: “These much-needed properties will help address the serious shortage of affordable housing locally by creating high-quality modern homes for local people.

“As a Leeds-based company, we’re absolutely delighted to be bringing our expertise in delivering well-designed homes which achieve the highest build and quality standards to this important scheme.” In line with Lovell’s commitment to benefitting local communities, the company will also provide local job and training opportunities through the development.

Contractors invited to bid for work on a £100m Cardiff housing scheme

Lovell homes

Housing developer Lovell is inviting local construction firms to find out about opportunities to work on a major Cardiff housing development by attending an event at Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday, 8 September.

Lovell is seeking supply chain partners to work on The Mill, a new 800-home development in Canton, Cardiff, which is expected to create over 1,000 jobs.

The landmark scheme – which is being delivered by a partnership of Lovell, the Tirion Group and Cadwyn Housing Association – will transform the former Arjo Wiggins Paper Mill site, to the west of the city centre with 800 homes for purchase and rent.

Work will start later this year on the first new housing to be built through the seven-year construction scheme that will pave the way for new jobs and boost economic growth.

Lovell regional director Kate Rees said: “As one of Wales’ largest regeneration programmes, The Mill will create significant work opportunities for local businesses.

“Our supply chain partner event on 8 September will enable new and existing members of our supply chain to find out more and meet our project team.

“It’s a great opportunity to get involved in this exciting project which will bring much-needed high-quality new-build homes to Cardiff.”

The supply chain partner event will take place from 9am to 11am on Thursday, 8 September at the Ricoh Suite 2, Cardiff City Stadium, Leckwith Road, Cardiff CF11 8AZ. The event is free but anyone planning to attend is asked to register in advance at: eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-lovell-supply-chain-partner-event-tickets-27048092573

Kier launches new housing venture in the North

Kier Living

Kier Living has launched a new venture designed to build a thousand of homes per annum within 3 years by creating long-term housing delivery partnerships in the north of England.

The first partnership to be confirmed is between Kier and leading northern HA Together Housing Group (THG); a JV relationship which will develop mixed tenure housing projects across Yorkshire, Humber and the North West, with the first new development site, for 113 properties for outright sale in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

The Northern Ventures model offers a full mixed tenure development partnership, enabling registered providers with development aspirations and revenue needs to share activity, transfer risk and tap into Kier’s mixed tenure development expertise, national presence and sales infrastructure.

Unlike other partnerships, this JV is for multiple sites rather than a single-site partnership, meaning the JV can work together more collaboratively, harnessing regional expertise, investment momentum and innovation and developing a range of potential sites.

Kier Living has put in place a specialist Northern Ventures senior team, as it is expected that this approach will appeal to a wide range of land owners, from private land owners where a high output of affordable housing is required to achieve planning, through to public sector land owners who want to meet mixed tenure housing targets.

Paul Moore, managing director of Kier Living North said: “We are looking at a joint venture model that provides a longer-term sustainable relationship with a 3 -5 year business plan, giving both partners diverse and sustainable benefits.

“By working together, we can look at larger scale opportunities that are not only attractive financially for both parties, but contribute extra mixed tenure new homes to meet the current UK shortage.

With Government focus on home ownership, the joint venture gives our partners opportunities to build housing stock of all tenures, as well as generating a commercial return on their investment that can be re-invested in the sector.”

Mark Dunford, finance director of Together Housing Group added: “THG is excited to enter into this partnership with Kier Living to ensure we continue to meet the aspirations of both the Government and our own growth strategy.

With focus now on home ownership, we needed to work closely with an experienced developer not only to share the risk and reward but also to learn from their experience and knowledge.

“The intention is to build 500 new properties per year and establish site specific limited liability partnership for each scheme. Any profit returned to the Group will be used to fund our affordable housing programme.”

MediaCityUK set to double in size with £1bn expansion

MediaCityUK set to double in size with £1bn expansion

MediaCityUK is to double in size, creating over 1,400 new homes and hundreds of jobs, after city council planners gave the go-ahead this week.

The 10-year building plan will create hundreds of new jobs for the area which is already home to the BBC, ITV, The Lowry, dock10 studios, apartments and hotels, restaurants, cafés and bars, the University of Salford, Salford City College and the UTC.

And, with prime office space, live/work units, small business space, creative studios, a new market square and events hall, cafés, restaurants and shops along with good public transport links to the site, the potential for more jobs is huge.

MediaCityUK is a joint venture between Peel Land and Property and Legal and General Capital.

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett welcomed the news and said it was the second phase of a 20-year plan to transform the former docklands.

Mr Dennett said:“Back in 2006, Salford City Council granted planning permission for 15.1 hectares of development. Phase one has successfully been completed and now we are moving towards the second phase which will see MediaCityUK double in size”

This phase will focus on creating welcoming neighbourhoods where people can live and work, socialise and enjoy events. It’s a very exciting development for Salford.

This is all part of a major building boom in Salford which is bringing thousands of new homes and square metres of business accommodation to our city creating further jobs and opportunities on our doorstep for the people of Salford.”

Phase one of MediaCityUK is now complete, providing office and studio space for the BBC, accommodation for the University of Salford and ITV, further office space in The Landing and the Tomorrow building.

The scheme also consis of two hotels, a multi-storey car park, 378 apartments, shops, restaurants, café and bar premises, new public spaces, a new Metrolink station and a pedestrian footbridge across the Manchester Ship Canal.

The phase two site, for which planning permission has now been granted extends across eight plots on the north eastern part of the site and will provide: over 50,000 sq m of business accommodation, over 4,000 sq m of live/work units, 1,871 residential units including town houses, over 4,400 sq m of retail and leisure space and over 1,800 car parking spaces.

Government investment to create 3,000 skilled jobs

The UK government will invest £35 million to help thriving £70 billion automotive sector and create highly-skilled manufacturing jobs.

The investment will also improve industrial transport links on the A45, including a new bridge to connect Whitley South to the existing Jaguar Land Rover engineering centre and global HQ.

An expanded automotive business zone in Whitley, near Coventry, is set to become home to nearly 3,000 highly-skilled engineering and advanced manufacturing jobs, following £35 million in government investment, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announced this week.

The new 24-hectare site, known as the Whitley South Infrastructure Project, will open up new growth opportunities for local manufacturers and businesses in the supply chain, creating highly-skilled engineering and advanced manufacturing jobs.

The site is being developed with support from Coventry and Warwickshire LEP (CWLEP), Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council, who have secured further local contributions of £10 million to secure the project.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “Our world-class auto sector is leading the way and this new development will create thousands more skilled jobs. It shows how private and public sector can work together to make a difference to the economy.

That’s why every member of my ministerial team has been appointed as a local growth champion, to work with local enterprise partnerships like CWLEP to support key opportunities and increase prosperity.”

The new funding will also help improve local industrial transport links, connecting the site up with the A45, and constructing a new bridge to join the new development with an existing Jaguar Land Rover engineering centre.

To coincide with the announcement, CWLEP has also announced it will publish its refreshed Strategic Economic Plan today, which includes ‘Unlocking our Growth Potential’ and ‘Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering’ as its core priorities, as well as underlining the importance of funding the Whitley South Infrastructure Project.

Speaking ahead of a visit to Coventry-based advanced manufacturing company AMT Expert, Business Minister Margot James said: “The resurgence of advanced manufacturing and the automotive industry in the West Midlands is a real success story.

It’s vital we maintain this momentum and keep creating high-skilled jobs and don’t let any opportunity slip through our fingers. Today’s £35 million investment unlocks land that will help to cement the region as a leading destination for investment.”

UK remains number one investment destination in Europe

New FDI figures show the UK had a record number of inward investment projects and created second highest number of jobs ever in 2015 to 2016.

Britain has benefitted from record-breaking inward investment by foreign companies, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has announced.

Across the country, 2,213 inward investment projects were secured in 2015 to 2016, an 11% increase on the previous year. This lead to around 116,000 jobs being created or safeguarded – the second highest number on record.

Almost 1,600 new jobs a week were created by foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2015 to 2016.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), now part of the Department for International Trade (DIT), helped to secure 4 out of 5 of the projects that created these jobs.

Since 2010, nearly 390,000 new jobs have been created through foreign direct investment in the UK.

Read DIT inward investment results for the tax year 2015 to 2016.

The department has recorded more foreign direct investment projects than ever before and, according to the EY UK Attractiveness Survey, the UK’s strong performance sees it retain its spot as the number one place in Europe for foreign investment.

Responsible for promoting British trade across the world, DIT helps secure investment from overseas companies for projects in the UK. The department’s annual FDI figures are based on UK job creation and number of projects secured.

International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, said: “These impressive results show the UK continues to be the place to do business.

We’ve broadened our reach with emerging markets across the world to cement our position as the number one destination in Europe for investment.

This continued vote of confidence in the UK will help attract foreign investment to create jobs, security and opportunities for people across the UK.

Dr Adam Marshall, Acting Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Keeping the UK attractive to overseas investors is important for our future success. Last year’s up-tick in foreign direct investment is a welcome boost to business, and a good indicator of underlying confidence in the UK economy.”

Cheltenham office scheme to create new jobs

A £15 million office development set to bring up to 500 jobs to Cheltenham has been submitted for planning.

Property investor Formal Investments wants to create more than 80,000 square feet of prime offices as the new HQ for a major international business keen to relocate to the town.

Honeybourne Place has been pre-let to the global company and, subject to the plans receiving permission, construction could begin in 2017 with the occupier moving to Cheltenham in 2019.

Previous plans for Honeybourne Place, at Jessop Avenue, have been revised in this new application because the occupier wants more office space than originally envisaged.

The desired office space has been boosted by more than 20 per cent by removing other elements, including residential units. A detailed planning application has this week been made to Cheltenham Borough Council for the high quality six-storey landmark building.

Nicholas King, a director at Formal Investments, said: “The striking landmark building will help deliver economic growth and bring further major inward investment in a location that has cemented itself as a key business district for Cheltenham.”

Jeremy Williamson, managing director of Cheltenham Development Taskforce, said: “It is always pleasing to bring forward a brown field site, but even more so when it has such job creation potential and is promoted by local investors such as Formal Investments.”

Steve Jordan, Cheltenham Borough Council leader, said: “Securing this investment in the centre of Cheltenham is a real coup, given the high value jobs that it will generate.”

Michael Ratcliffe, chief executive of Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted at the investment in town centre office accommodation, as employment is the lifeblood of the economy.”

New technology helping Network Rail redevelop Liverpool Lime Street

Network Rail is using virtual reality technology to save time and money and improve safety as it prepares to redevelop one of Britain’s major stations.

Liverpool Lime Street will undergo major work to transform it into a station to meet the needs of the growing numbers of passengers who use it every year.

As part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, £340 million is being spent across Merseyside to improve the railway for passengers, including changing the layout and length of Lime Street’s platforms to accommodate more and longer trains and upgrading signalling to make it more reliable.

The virtual reality technology has enabled Network Rail to carry out 4D virtual modelling to prepare for the work, reducing the amount of time needed on track and the potential to impact on train services.

Safety and efficiency of work is improved as virtual reality enables planners to avoid overlaps between different engineering teams as well as identifying potential risks and hazards which could potentially impact on reopening the railway on time.

Graeme Whitehead, Liverpool Lime Street project manager, said: “On major projects, where you have people laying track, moving bridges and installing electrical wires overhead, all at the same time, we need precise planning to avoid overlaps that could potentially cause projects to overrun or risk the safety of those working.

Using this state-of-the-art technology we can spot those clashes before they happen making the project safer and more efficient. This delivers benefits for passengers, taxpayers and our orange army of engineers.”

Simon Wray, managing director of Specialist Project Integration, the company which developed the software, said: “Liverpool Lime Street is the first rail project in Britain to have a virtual reality model at its core.

A unique feature of the system is that it works on multiple formats including mobile devices. Liverpool Lime Street is also the first project to use Oculus Rift virtual reality technology, which allows for a fully immersive experience for training and engagement.”

£250 million milestone for Start Up firms

£250 million of Start Up Loans have been made available to entrepreneurs to boost growth and create new jobs, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announced today.

Since 2012, Start Up Loans worth a quarter of a billion pounds have been agreed with start-up businesses to support them in getting up and running with finance and support.

Funded by government through the British Business Bank, Start Up Loans generate a return on investment to the economy of £3 for every £1 spent.

Businesses up and down the country from digital start-ups to recreational centres have benefitted from the government scheme.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “Whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, and whatever your age, everyone should have the chance to turn a great business idea into a reality.

British entrepreneurs and small businesses are the backbone of our economy. This government will build on the success of Start Up Loans to give entrepreneurs the support and opportunities they need to start a business, grow it in Britain and turn it into a global success story.”

Small Business Minister Margot James said: “Small businesses play a vital role in local communities, bringing them together and giving millions of people good jobs and livelihoods.

With 1 in 5 Start Up Loans going to deprived areas in the UK, they are one of the many tools we have to build an economy that works for all.”

At the start of 2016, there were a record 5.4 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, creating more than 15 million jobs and contributing £1.8 trillion to our economy.

Half of all Start Up Loans for people aged 18 to 24 go to those formerly not in employment, education or training (NEET) and 1 in 5 Start Up Loans go to deprived areas in the UK.

Tim Sawyer, CEO of Start Up Loans Company, said: “Since the launch almost 4 years ago our loans have helped create more than 45,100 jobs and for every pound invested we have returned £3 to the economy overall.”

Lovell starts £7.1m Essex housing scheme

Lovell wins £7.1m Essex housing scheme

Uttlesford District Council has chosen partnership housing specialist Lovell to undertake a £7.1 million redevelopment programme for an Essex sheltered housing scheme.

A ground-breaking ceremony has officially marked the start of construction on the project which will transform Reynolds Court in Newport, near Saffron Walden, into a purpose-built modern complex.

The existing sheltered housing is being replaced with 41 brand-new apartments for affordable rent – made up of 34 one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom homes – as well as new communal facilities including a communal lounge and a garden room, hair and beauty salon and a guest suite.

The first phase of demolition and site clearance has already been carried out. The demolition programme is being undertaken in two stages enabling existing tenants to stay at the sheltered housing scheme while it is being rebuilt.

The new complex is designed to achieve a ‘Very Good’ rating when assessed using the BREEAM system for measuring buildings’ sustainability. Energy-saving and environmentally-friendly features include underfloor heating and a sedum green ‘living roof’ which reduces rainwater runoff and provides a habitat for wildlife.

Lovell regional director Simon Medler says: “We are extremely pleased to have started work on these high-quality and modern homes and modern communal facilities for Reynolds Court.

Our team has extensive experience of delivering sheltered housing to an extremely high standard and are excited to be working on this scheme which will bring about real improvements for local residents.”

Balfour Beatty gets £35m Perth Transport contract

Balfour Beatty gets £35m Perth Transport contract

Balfour Beatty has been awarded a £35 million contract to deliver the first phase of the Perth Transport Futures Project, which will support growth in Scotland’s third fastest developing region.

Balfour Beatty will create a new grade separated junction on the A9 dual carriageway as well as a new link road enabling access to development land to the west of the city.

This is the first of four phases of the Perth Transport Futures project which aims to alleviate congestion, enhance accessibility to the city and unlock £500 million of economic growth for the local economy.

Hector Macaulay, Balfour Beatty Regional Managing Director, Scotland, said: “Delivery of this project will provide significant opportunities for local sub-contractors and suppliers, ensuring that the Perth and Kinross community not only benefits from greatly improved infrastructure, but also from the added economic benefit delivered through this scheme.”

Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive, said: “Through our National Civil Engineering and Infrastructure framework, Balfour Beatty and Perth and Kinross Councils have already formed a close partnership and this will help to ensure a streamlined and efficient first phase of the Perth Transport Futures Project.

Through the framework, the council is investing in the local economy and delivering added value for local residents as well as new opportunities for local SMEs, further enhancing growth in this rapidly developing region.”

The works are due to commence in September 2016, with completion expected in Spring 2019. The scheme will employ around 100 people and will provide a number of apprenticeship opportunities.

London Mayor to speed up housebuilding

Docklands deal will deliver 3,500 new London homes

Sadiq Khan has released the first details of his plans to set up a powerful ‘Homes for Londoners’ team at City Hall to oversee homebuilding in the capital and boost the delivery of new homes.

The Mayor of London has begun work to pull together and bolster housing and development capacity at City Hall and across the GLA family.

As a first step, he has begun recruiting new experts to scrutinise ‘viability assessments’ – the financial details that lie behind how much affordable housing new developments include.

The experts, who will be drawn from finance surveyors and property consultant experts and be based at City Hall, will support housing delivery by making planning decisions faster and more consistent, and by ensuring new developments include the maximum amount of affordable housing.

Sadiq will also lead a new ‘Homes for Londoners’ board, formed of London Boroughs, housing associations, and developers.

The board will oversee delivery, land assembly and investment decisions, and will draw on expertise from across the housing and property sectors to help develop new policy for the capital.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Homeownership has been slipping increasingly out of reach for more and more Londoners, and rents have been getting harder and harder to afford. I want to be honest with Londoners from the start that it will take time to turn things around – we’re starting from a position where last year the previous Mayor built the lowest number of affordable homes since records began.

I am determined that Londoners get the same opportunities this great city gave me. That is why I am setting up my Homes for Londoners team to speed up homebuilding and to move towards 50 per cent of new homes in London being genuinely affordable to rent and buy.”

A review of capacity and skills across the GLA will now get underway. Its aim is to ensure the ‘Homes for Londoners’ team can play a more active role in the delivery of housing, particularly in bringing forward public land in London, and speeding up the planning process. This may also lead to additional expertise and support being recruited into the team in due course.

David Montague, Chair of the g15, said: “The Mayor of London has made housing a priority from day one, and we have been working with James Murray on a new strategic housing partnership.

“Homes for Londoners will bring together the GLA, housing associations, local authorities and housebuilders to tackle the capital’s housing crisis.

“The priority now must be to build a long-term pipeline of clean serviced and consented land. With this we can guarantee apprenticeships, jobs, economic growth, thriving communities and affordable homes. Without it, London will lose out in the competition for investment and growth.”

Increase in number of new homes built and started

The number of newly built homes across England has increased 6% in the past year, new figures released today show.

The latest house building data shows that 139,030 new homes were completed in the year to June and have continued to build gradually over the last 2 years.

More than 144,280 homes were started in the year to June 2016.

Meanwhile, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show there are more first-time buyers than at any time since 2007, with 72,800 in England in the second quarter of 2016.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We’ve got the country building again with more new homes started and built than this time last year.

This is real progress but there is much more to do. That’s why we are going further and increasing our investment in house building to ensure many more people can benefit.”

House building across the country

Today’s figures show strong regional growth in London, Swindon and Wakefield, which are all experiencing high levels of completions.

Delivery in London saw 24% more homes being built in the year to June 2016 than the previous year with local authorities in Greenwich and Waltham Forest seeing completions soar 126% and 103% respectively over the same period.

And in Swindon and Wakefield completions were up 104% and 41% respectively.

Figures published last year show that the total number of new homes across the country rose by 25% in 2014 to 2015, when taking in to account all homes, including new builds, houses that have been converted into flats and buildings whose use has been changed to residential.

The government is committed to building the homes this country needs and investing £8 billion to build 400,000 more affordable homes to rent and buy.

The landmark Housing and Planning Act will help deliver on its ambition to build a million more homes by ensuring councils continue to play a key role in delivery, and through new measures that will allow them to deliver more homes more swiftly.

Kier secures £5bn hat-trick of major construction schemes

Kier 2

Kier’s construction arm has confirmed it has secured places on a trio of major construction frameworks with a potential spend of £5bn that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

These include:

• A place on the four-year £4bn Department of Health Procure22 framework as one of six principle supply chain partners which commences in October. Kier Construction is a leading provider in the health sector having delivered over £170m of health projects over the last twelve months.

• A place as one of five suppliers on two five-year construction frameworks worth up to £750m at Gatwick Airport. The frameworks cover building and civil engineering projects up to £10m as well as a smaller works framework for building projects up to £1.5m. The award reflects Kier’s increasing profile in the aviation sector with a place recently secured on the framework at Glasgow airport focused on infrastructure improvements.

• A place on the two-year £500m University of Cambridge Framework to provide a range of facilities including laboratories, teaching and lecture spaces and sport facilities. This construction framework provides opportunity to build on our established working relationship with the University.

Kier Group chief executive, Haydn Mursell, said: “These awards demonstrate the breadth of our offering and the strength of our relationships with clients across a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, aviation and education.

Such awards, which account for approximately half of our UK regional building revenues, enable us to work closely with our clients to deliver on their long-term requirements and they further bolster our strong Construction order book.”

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