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Nick Clegg signs £129m growth deal for Swindon and Wiltshire

Nick Clegg signs £129m growth deal for Swindon and Wiltshire

The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Deal will help to create up to 1,500 jobs, allow up to 2,000 homes to be built by 2021 and generate up to £70 million in public and private investment.

Find out more about Growth Deals across the country.

Almost £13 million has been confirmed in the first year, and an ongoing commitment from the government will see more than £116 million of funding delivered from 2016 to 2017 onwards.

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “I’m delighted to be finalising this historic deal bringing real change to Swindon and Wiltshire.

This significant growth deal will enable a whole host of jobs to be created, see scores of homes built and transport improved. All of this is a major boost to the economy in the south-west.

Growth Deals are about local areas leading their own growth, giving more power to people in the regions so we work together to build a strong economy and a fairer society.”

Key features of the deal

These include:

A package of road schemes around the Eastern Villages development – a new urban expansion to the east of Swindon

speeding up the delivery of 8,000 new homes by 2026 to meet local housing needs

A new science park at Porton Down, which will provide facilities for research, development and advanced skills training for companies specialising in life sciences and healthcare

A range of transport schemes to help people and goods move more easily around Swindon and Wiltshire’s key growth zones, including Wichelstowe, where the signing took place today

The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Deal is part of a £12 billion long-term programme to revitalise local economies. The deals are the latest example of the British economy being rebuilt from the bottom up, and sharing the benefits of the recovery around the country.

Nick Clegg signs £129m growth deal for Swindon and Wiltshire

Nick Clegg signs £129m growth deal for Swindon and Wiltshire

The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Deal will help to create up to 1,500 jobs, allow up to 2,000 homes to be built by 2021 and generate up to £70 million in public and private investment.

Find out more about Growth Deals across the country.

Almost £13 million has been confirmed in the first year, and an ongoing commitment from the government will see more than £116 million of funding delivered from 2016 to 2017 onwards.

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “I’m delighted to be finalising this historic deal bringing real change to Swindon and Wiltshire.

This significant growth deal will enable a whole host of jobs to be created, see scores of homes built and transport improved. All of this is a major boost to the economy in the south-west.

Growth Deals are about local areas leading their own growth, giving more power to people in the regions so we work together to build a strong economy and a fairer society.”

Key features of the deal

These include:

A package of road schemes around the Eastern Villages development – a new urban expansion to the east of Swindon

speeding up the delivery of 8,000 new homes by 2026 to meet local housing needs

A new science park at Porton Down, which will provide facilities for research, development and advanced skills training for companies specialising in life sciences and healthcare

A range of transport schemes to help people and goods move more easily around Swindon and Wiltshire’s key growth zones, including Wichelstowe, where the signing took place today

The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Deal is part of a £12 billion long-term programme to revitalise local economies. The deals are the latest example of the British economy being rebuilt from the bottom up, and sharing the benefits of the recovery around the country.

Wandsworth town regeneration scheme approved

Wandsworth town regeneration scheme approved

Plans have been approved for 201 new homes and a brand new library in the heart of the Wandsworth Town regeneration area that will help local growth and boost the trades.

The council’s planning applications committee this week approved a proposal to merge and redevelop three outdated sites linking Garratt Lane and Wandsworth High Street.

Planning applications committee chairman Sarah McDermott said: “Wandsworth Town is now one of the biggest regeneration projects in London with well over £1 billion of new investment flowing through the area.

Hundreds of new jobs and homes are being created here alongside major improvements to the local environment.”

The three sites include a nine-storey block owned by South Thames College and two buildings owned by the council – Welbeck House and 17-27 Garratt Lane.

The new development would create four new buildings ranging in heights from four to 26-storeys.

There are several major regeneration projects now underway in the Wandsworth Town regeneration area including the revival of Southside Shopping Centre, Wandsworth Business Village, the Ram Brewery, Lion House and The Filaments.

The Council and Transport for London are working on a redesign of the Wandsworth One Way system which would make the town centre more attractive and pedestrian friendly.

Ms McDermott said: “This is another important step forward in the revival of Wandsworth Town. The development will create valuable new connections through the town centre and attractive public spaces for the local community.

The new buildings along the high street and Garratt Lane are a huge improvement on the tired blocks they replace. Their design and size is much more appropriate and the new shops will make an active contribution to the street.

The new affordable and market homes are badly needed and the scheme will make another important financial contribution to removing the Wandsworth gyratory. This is key to reviving the high street and unlocking the town centre’s full potential.”

Wandsworth town regeneration scheme approved

Wandsworth town regeneration scheme approved

Plans have been approved for 201 new homes and a brand new library in the heart of the Wandsworth Town regeneration area that will help local growth and boost the trades.

The council’s planning applications committee this week approved a proposal to merge and redevelop three outdated sites linking Garratt Lane and Wandsworth High Street.

Planning applications committee chairman Sarah McDermott said: “Wandsworth Town is now one of the biggest regeneration projects in London with well over £1 billion of new investment flowing through the area.

Hundreds of new jobs and homes are being created here alongside major improvements to the local environment.”

The three sites include a nine-storey block owned by South Thames College and two buildings owned by the council – Welbeck House and 17-27 Garratt Lane.

The new development would create four new buildings ranging in heights from four to 26-storeys.

There are several major regeneration projects now underway in the Wandsworth Town regeneration area including the revival of Southside Shopping Centre, Wandsworth Business Village, the Ram Brewery, Lion House and The Filaments.

The Council and Transport for London are working on a redesign of the Wandsworth One Way system which would make the town centre more attractive and pedestrian friendly.

Ms McDermott said: “This is another important step forward in the revival of Wandsworth Town. The development will create valuable new connections through the town centre and attractive public spaces for the local community.

The new buildings along the high street and Garratt Lane are a huge improvement on the tired blocks they replace. Their design and size is much more appropriate and the new shops will make an active contribution to the street.

The new affordable and market homes are badly needed and the scheme will make another important financial contribution to removing the Wandsworth gyratory. This is key to reviving the high street and unlocking the town centre’s full potential.”

Councils receive £3bn reward for getting the country building

Councils receive £3bn reward for getting the country building

Councils have received almost £3.4 billion through the New Homes Bonus for building over 800,000 more homes, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis announced this week.

The minister said the figures demonstrated how more communities were saying ‘yes’ to new development, after planning reforms have put power back into the hands of local people.

It comes as new figures show that in the year to September, planning permissions have risen to 240,000 – showing that the locally-led system and incentives like the New Homes Bonus are working well.

Seeing the benefits of growth

In the year to October 2014, councils have helped provide 154,000 newly-built homes and conversions – including over 42,000 new affordable homes – and brought over 10,000 empty homes back into use.

Mr Lewis announced the provisional allocation of £1.2 billion New Homes Bonus to councils in England that will create new jobs and boost the building industry.

Since the New Homes Bonus was introduced in April 2011 more than 700,000 homes and conversions have been provided, and over 100,000 long term empty properties returned to use – leading to councils receiving almost £3.4 billion, including a £15 million premium for providing affordable homes.

Councils are free to spend the money as they see fit to benefit the local area – including freezing Council Tax.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We’ve got the country building again and given local communities control over where new homes go in their area. This is in stark contrast to the housing crash and failed top-down regional strategies of the last government.

Councils have received more than £3 billion for their part in getting Britain building, and as a result housing construction has reached its highest level for 7 years.”

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “I’m delighted to see the number of long term empty homes going down with 100,000 being brought back into use. Today’s New Homes Bonus payments are in recognition of council-led efforts to make this happen.

But I want councils to go even further, and use the range of powers we’ve put in their hands to end the blight of empty properties in our neighbourhoods and bring them back into productive use for the families who need the stability and security new home can provide.”

Councils receive £3bn reward for getting the country building

Councils receive £3bn reward for getting the country building

Councils have received almost £3.4 billion through the New Homes Bonus for building over 800,000 more homes, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis announced this week.

The minister said the figures demonstrated how more communities were saying ‘yes’ to new development, after planning reforms have put power back into the hands of local people.

It comes as new figures show that in the year to September, planning permissions have risen to 240,000 – showing that the locally-led system and incentives like the New Homes Bonus are working well.

Seeing the benefits of growth

In the year to October 2014, councils have helped provide 154,000 newly-built homes and conversions – including over 42,000 new affordable homes – and brought over 10,000 empty homes back into use.

Mr Lewis announced the provisional allocation of £1.2 billion New Homes Bonus to councils in England that will create new jobs and boost the building industry.

Since the New Homes Bonus was introduced in April 2011 more than 700,000 homes and conversions have been provided, and over 100,000 long term empty properties returned to use – leading to councils receiving almost £3.4 billion, including a £15 million premium for providing affordable homes.

Councils are free to spend the money as they see fit to benefit the local area – including freezing Council Tax.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We’ve got the country building again and given local communities control over where new homes go in their area. This is in stark contrast to the housing crash and failed top-down regional strategies of the last government.

Councils have received more than £3 billion for their part in getting Britain building, and as a result housing construction has reached its highest level for 7 years.”

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “I’m delighted to see the number of long term empty homes going down with 100,000 being brought back into use. Today’s New Homes Bonus payments are in recognition of council-led efforts to make this happen.

But I want councils to go even further, and use the range of powers we’ve put in their hands to end the blight of empty properties in our neighbourhoods and bring them back into productive use for the families who need the stability and security new home can provide.”

Councils receive £3bn reward for getting the country building

Councils receive £3bn reward for getting the country building

Councils have received almost £3.4 billion through the New Homes Bonus for building over 800,000 more homes, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis announced this week.

The minister said the figures demonstrated how more communities were saying ‘yes’ to new development, after planning reforms have put power back into the hands of local people.

It comes as new figures show that in the year to September, planning permissions have risen to 240,000 – showing that the locally-led system and incentives like the New Homes Bonus are working well.

Seeing the benefits of growth

In the year to October 2014, councils have helped provide 154,000 newly-built homes and conversions – including over 42,000 new affordable homes – and brought over 10,000 empty homes back into use.

Mr Lewis announced the provisional allocation of £1.2 billion New Homes Bonus to councils in England that will create new jobs and boost the building industry.

Since the New Homes Bonus was introduced in April 2011 more than 700,000 homes and conversions have been provided, and over 100,000 long term empty properties returned to use – leading to councils receiving almost £3.4 billion, including a £15 million premium for providing affordable homes.

Councils are free to spend the money as they see fit to benefit the local area – including freezing Council Tax.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We’ve got the country building again and given local communities control over where new homes go in their area. This is in stark contrast to the housing crash and failed top-down regional strategies of the last government.

Councils have received more than £3 billion for their part in getting Britain building, and as a result housing construction has reached its highest level for 7 years.”

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “I’m delighted to see the number of long term empty homes going down with 100,000 being brought back into use. Today’s New Homes Bonus payments are in recognition of council-led efforts to make this happen.

But I want councils to go even further, and use the range of powers we’ve put in their hands to end the blight of empty properties in our neighbourhoods and bring them back into productive use for the families who need the stability and security new home can provide.”

Construction starts at Walsall Waterfront leisure scheme

Construction starts at Walsall Leisure Scheme

Work has started on site at the new Waterfront leisure scheme in Walsall this week that will create 230 jobs and help the local economy.

Developer Kier Property has appointed contractor GF Tomlinson for the project, which includes a new eight-screen cinema for ‘The Light’ and four new restaurants operated by Chiquito, Pizza Express, Bella Italia and Hungry Horse.

Only one unit remains as part of phase one, which will provide around 5,000sq ft of retail and leisure space, while four units are available in phase two, which will provide a further 14,000sq ft.

The £65 million Waterfront development has been a resounding success so far, regenerating over 17 acres in Walsall.

Oliver Butler, project manager for Kier Property, said: “We are delighted to confirm we are about to start work on site. This is fantastic news, following many weeks of working in partnership with GF Tomlinson. It’s great to finally get started and we look forward to watching the scheme progress through to completion in the autumn/winter of 2015.”

Paul Fish, director of GF Tomlinson, said: “We are proud to be selected to build this new number one leisure destination in Walsall. We plan to engage as much as possible with the local community to ensure we recruit in the vicinity to help follow the ethos of the entire scheme.”

Cllr Mohammad Nazir, Walsall Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing work start on site and very much welcome the investment and job creation that it will bring.”

Construction starts at Walsall Waterfront leisure scheme

Construction starts at Walsall Leisure Scheme

Work has started on site at the new Waterfront leisure scheme in Walsall this week that will create 230 jobs and help the local economy.

Developer Kier Property has appointed contractor GF Tomlinson for the project, which includes a new eight-screen cinema for ‘The Light’ and four new restaurants operated by Chiquito, Pizza Express, Bella Italia and Hungry Horse.

Only one unit remains as part of phase one, which will provide around 5,000sq ft of retail and leisure space, while four units are available in phase two, which will provide a further 14,000sq ft.

The £65 million Waterfront development has been a resounding success so far, regenerating over 17 acres in Walsall.

Oliver Butler, project manager for Kier Property, said: “We are delighted to confirm we are about to start work on site. This is fantastic news, following many weeks of working in partnership with GF Tomlinson. It’s great to finally get started and we look forward to watching the scheme progress through to completion in the autumn/winter of 2015.”

Paul Fish, director of GF Tomlinson, said: “We are proud to be selected to build this new number one leisure destination in Walsall. We plan to engage as much as possible with the local community to ensure we recruit in the vicinity to help follow the ethos of the entire scheme.”

Cllr Mohammad Nazir, Walsall Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing work start on site and very much welcome the investment and job creation that it will bring.”

Construction starts at Walsall Waterfront leisure scheme

Construction starts at Walsall Leisure Scheme

Work has started on site at the new Waterfront leisure scheme in Walsall this week that will create 230 jobs and help the local economy.

Developer Kier Property has appointed contractor GF Tomlinson for the project, which includes a new eight-screen cinema for ‘The Light’ and four new restaurants operated by Chiquito, Pizza Express, Bella Italia and Hungry Horse.

Only one unit remains as part of phase one, which will provide around 5,000sq ft of retail and leisure space, while four units are available in phase two, which will provide a further 14,000sq ft.

The £65 million Waterfront development has been a resounding success so far, regenerating over 17 acres in Walsall.

Oliver Butler, project manager for Kier Property, said: “We are delighted to confirm we are about to start work on site. This is fantastic news, following many weeks of working in partnership with GF Tomlinson. It’s great to finally get started and we look forward to watching the scheme progress through to completion in the autumn/winter of 2015.”

Paul Fish, director of GF Tomlinson, said: “We are proud to be selected to build this new number one leisure destination in Walsall. We plan to engage as much as possible with the local community to ensure we recruit in the vicinity to help follow the ethos of the entire scheme.”

Cllr Mohammad Nazir, Walsall Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing work start on site and very much welcome the investment and job creation that it will bring.”

Speedier decision-making key to construction sector

House Building

Decisions on planning applications need to be made more quickly to help boost the construction industry, Scottish planning Minister Alex Neil said today.

Statistics published today show that between July and September 2014 the highest quarterly number of local housing developments were processed, and more quickly than ever before.

In addition, the average time taken to process both major developments and local developments is lower than last year.

Mr Neil said: “Effective planning is crucial to promoting strong, sustainable economic growth. We need to facilitate new developments and invest in modern infrastructure, while maintaining and creating great places to live and work.

So I am determined to enhance the reputation of our planning service by quickening momentum on planning performance and driving further improvement.

Today’s statistics show major developments are being processed more quickly than last year, and sustained good progress on local housing applications and local developments. Planning is about getting the right developments in the right place, and a consistently high approval rate shows authorities are working closely with applicants to meet that aim.

There is however inconsistency across the country and it’s clear that those authorities with longer timescales are impacting on the averages. I have written to every planning authority to give my comments on all aspects of their performance in the last year, and I will continue to monitor the planning statistics closely.”

Manchester scheme encouraged to employ local workers

Leading businesses in south Manchester have been called upon to support local people and community causes by a new network that will boost growth and create new jobs.

The Employment, Training & Communities (ETC) has been initiated by affordable housing contractor Wates Living Space, Manchester City Council’s South Regeneration team and Southway Housing Trust.

Businesses in Didsbury, Chorlton, Whalley Range, Withington, Fallowfield, Burnage and Levenshulme are being encouraged by the initiative to employ local people who are currently out of work or looking for training into a new career path.

Companies which sign up to the scheme can attend quarterly events with key themes and guest speakers. They will also have the opportunity to work in partnership and network with other organisations on community engagement programmes and share knowledge, expertise and good practice with support from major stakeholders in south Manchester.

During the launch event, the founding companies showcased what they have already achieved under the scheme such as helping 130 south Manchester tenants receive training in the construction sector.

In addition, 86 people being supported into work through a range of initiatives and assisting community organisations access £78,000 to run services to help residents find employment.

Lee Sale, Regional Director for Wates Living Space, said: “We’re really pleased to be launching the ETC scheme in partnership with Manchester City Council and Southway Housing Trust.

There are currently over 10,000 people looking for work in south Manchester and we’re hopeful this scheme will take big strides in helping people into employment or training and encouraging volunteers to take part in local good causes. We thoroughly recommend businesses in south Manchester sign up to this progressive cause.”

Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Joining the ETC network is the perfect way for businesses in south Manchester to expand their professional networks, while also enhancing their links with their local community.

Working together, we can help create new employment and training opportunities for local people, while making sure that businesses are finding the right recruits to help them grow.”

Manchester scheme encouraged to employ local workers

Leading businesses in south Manchester have been called upon to support local people and community causes by a new network that will boost growth and create new jobs.

The Employment, Training & Communities (ETC) has been initiated by affordable housing contractor Wates Living Space, Manchester City Council’s South Regeneration team and Southway Housing Trust.

Businesses in Didsbury, Chorlton, Whalley Range, Withington, Fallowfield, Burnage and Levenshulme are being encouraged by the initiative to employ local people who are currently out of work or looking for training into a new career path.

Companies which sign up to the scheme can attend quarterly events with key themes and guest speakers. They will also have the opportunity to work in partnership and network with other organisations on community engagement programmes and share knowledge, expertise and good practice with support from major stakeholders in south Manchester.

During the launch event, the founding companies showcased what they have already achieved under the scheme such as helping 130 south Manchester tenants receive training in the construction sector.

In addition, 86 people being supported into work through a range of initiatives and assisting community organisations access £78,000 to run services to help residents find employment.

Lee Sale, Regional Director for Wates Living Space, said: “We’re really pleased to be launching the ETC scheme in partnership with Manchester City Council and Southway Housing Trust.

There are currently over 10,000 people looking for work in south Manchester and we’re hopeful this scheme will take big strides in helping people into employment or training and encouraging volunteers to take part in local good causes. We thoroughly recommend businesses in south Manchester sign up to this progressive cause.”

Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Joining the ETC network is the perfect way for businesses in south Manchester to expand their professional networks, while also enhancing their links with their local community.

Working together, we can help create new employment and training opportunities for local people, while making sure that businesses are finding the right recruits to help them grow.”

Manchester scheme encouraged to employ local workers

Leading businesses in south Manchester have been called upon to support local people and community causes by a new network that will boost growth and create new jobs.

The Employment, Training & Communities (ETC) has been initiated by affordable housing contractor Wates Living Space, Manchester City Council’s South Regeneration team and Southway Housing Trust.

Businesses in Didsbury, Chorlton, Whalley Range, Withington, Fallowfield, Burnage and Levenshulme are being encouraged by the initiative to employ local people who are currently out of work or looking for training into a new career path.

Companies which sign up to the scheme can attend quarterly events with key themes and guest speakers. They will also have the opportunity to work in partnership and network with other organisations on community engagement programmes and share knowledge, expertise and good practice with support from major stakeholders in south Manchester.

During the launch event, the founding companies showcased what they have already achieved under the scheme such as helping 130 south Manchester tenants receive training in the construction sector.

In addition, 86 people being supported into work through a range of initiatives and assisting community organisations access £78,000 to run services to help residents find employment.

Lee Sale, Regional Director for Wates Living Space, said: “We’re really pleased to be launching the ETC scheme in partnership with Manchester City Council and Southway Housing Trust.

There are currently over 10,000 people looking for work in south Manchester and we’re hopeful this scheme will take big strides in helping people into employment or training and encouraging volunteers to take part in local good causes. We thoroughly recommend businesses in south Manchester sign up to this progressive cause.”

Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Joining the ETC network is the perfect way for businesses in south Manchester to expand their professional networks, while also enhancing their links with their local community.

Working together, we can help create new employment and training opportunities for local people, while making sure that businesses are finding the right recruits to help them grow.”

Countryside wins 400-home London rebuild

Countryside wins 400-home London rebuild

Countryside has been named the development partner to work with Waltham Forest Council on the extensive regeneration of Marlow Road, E17 which will bring over 400 new homes to the area.

The project will see the transformation of the estate with the existing properties replaced with new homes that will pave the way for new jobs and boost the construction trades.

Countryside is working alongside local residents and stakeholders on the detailed design proposals which will be submitted for approval in Spring 2015 with building works starting later in the year.

The scheme, designed by Stitch Architects, includes 150 affordable homes and flexible retail space around a new Plaza and public square.

Richard Cherry, Chief Executive of Countryside’s Partnerships division, said: “We are delighted to be the development partner for Marlowe Road and look forward to working with Waltham Forest Council and residents to deliver much needed new housing for the local area.

Our focus will be on bringing back traditional tree-lined streets that link well with the surrounding area, with active frontages providing well defined spaces for the neighbourhood to enjoy.”

A review by the Council in 2010 identified the 1960s estate, which has suffered from crime and deprivation, as a priority for investment. It has poor pedestrian walkways and linkages, while gardens and store sheds are underused.

Countryside wins 400-home London rebuild

Countryside wins 400-home London rebuild

Countryside has been named the development partner to work with Waltham Forest Council on the extensive regeneration of Marlow Road, E17 which will bring over 400 new homes to the area.

The project will see the transformation of the estate with the existing properties replaced with new homes that will pave the way for new jobs and boost the construction trades.

Countryside is working alongside local residents and stakeholders on the detailed design proposals which will be submitted for approval in Spring 2015 with building works starting later in the year.

The scheme, designed by Stitch Architects, includes 150 affordable homes and flexible retail space around a new Plaza and public square.

Richard Cherry, Chief Executive of Countryside’s Partnerships division, said: “We are delighted to be the development partner for Marlowe Road and look forward to working with Waltham Forest Council and residents to deliver much needed new housing for the local area.

Our focus will be on bringing back traditional tree-lined streets that link well with the surrounding area, with active frontages providing well defined spaces for the neighbourhood to enjoy.”

A review by the Council in 2010 identified the 1960s estate, which has suffered from crime and deprivation, as a priority for investment. It has poor pedestrian walkways and linkages, while gardens and store sheds are underused.

Carillion consortium achieves financial close on £550m scheme

Carillion consortium achieves financial close on £550m scheme

Carillion, Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try have been appointed as the preferred bidder to finance, design build and operate the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.

The project, which is estimated to be worth in the region of £550 million, is being delivered in partnership with Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council and is being procured under the Scottish Government’s Non-Profit Distribution (NPD) model.

Carillion expects to invest up to £20 million of equity (one third share) in the project and to have a one third share of the construction revenue.

Following the completion of construction in winter 2017, the route will be managed and maintained by Aberdeen Roads Limited for 30 years.

Carillion Chief Executive, Richard Howson said: We are delighted that our consortium has achieved financial close on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty project, which is the largest of its kind in Scotland to date.

The project is firmly in line with Carillion’s selective approach to construction, namely of focusing on large, high quality projects, notably those involving integrated solutions.

We look forward to working closely with Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council to deliver this major improvement to the transport network around Aberdeen.”

Carillion consortium achieves financial close on £550m scheme

Carillion consortium achieves financial close on £550m scheme

Carillion, Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try have been appointed as the preferred bidder to finance, design build and operate the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.

The project, which is estimated to be worth in the region of £550 million, is being delivered in partnership with Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council and is being procured under the Scottish Government’s Non-Profit Distribution (NPD) model.

Carillion expects to invest up to £20 million of equity (one third share) in the project and to have a one third share of the construction revenue.

Following the completion of construction in winter 2017, the route will be managed and maintained by Aberdeen Roads Limited for 30 years.

Carillion Chief Executive, Richard Howson said: We are delighted that our consortium has achieved financial close on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty project, which is the largest of its kind in Scotland to date.

The project is firmly in line with Carillion’s selective approach to construction, namely of focusing on large, high quality projects, notably those involving integrated solutions.

We look forward to working closely with Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council to deliver this major improvement to the transport network around Aberdeen.”

Stamp duty reform accelerates hundreds of new homes

Stamp duty reforms – factsheet

Southampton house builder Crest Nicholson has announced it will bring forward the next phase of development at Centenary Quay and build 280 new homes – 128 of them in the next year – following government reforms to stamp duty.

New analysis by the company also revealed today that the reforms will save buyers in Southampton over £1,660 per transaction and increase demand for new homes.

In addition, since 2013 44% of sales at Centenary Quay were made through the government’s Help to Buy scheme and a further 101 apartments were sold for Build to Rent.

The news comes as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne met homebuyers at Crest Nicholson’s Centenary Quay development in Southampton.

Read the government’s stamp duty factsheet, for information on the changes.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: “This is great news for Southampton – not only are Crest Nicholson building more homes quicker but buyers will also see real cash saving when they purchase a house.

Stamp duty was one of the worst designed taxes and acted as a brake on aspiration for those who wanted to get on or move up the housing ladder. The new system means there will be tax cut for 98% of homebuyers who pay stamp duty.

Together with the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which has helped more than 10,000 people in the South-East and over 71,000 people across the country buy their new home, we’re taking action to help hard-working taxpayers achieve their goals – and for many, their biggest goal is owning their own home. It’s a key part of our long term economic plan.”

Debbie Aplin, Managing Director of Crest Nicholson Regeneration, said: “The recent changes to the stamp duty system are extremely welcome. These reforms will undoubtedly boost activity in the housing market, re-stimulating building rates and enable us to drive the rate of sales back to pre-recessionary levels.

This will in turn support further job creation and have a positive overall impact on the entire economy. Most importantly though, the impact of changes to stamp duty will remove a lot of uncertainty for consumers over the coming months, helping to solve the affordability challenge so many purchasers are facing. “

Stamp duty reform accelerates hundreds of new homes

Stamp duty reforms – factsheet

Southampton house builder Crest Nicholson has announced it will bring forward the next phase of development at Centenary Quay and build 280 new homes – 128 of them in the next year – following government reforms to stamp duty.

New analysis by the company also revealed today that the reforms will save buyers in Southampton over £1,660 per transaction and increase demand for new homes.

In addition, since 2013 44% of sales at Centenary Quay were made through the government’s Help to Buy scheme and a further 101 apartments were sold for Build to Rent.

The news comes as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne met homebuyers at Crest Nicholson’s Centenary Quay development in Southampton.

Read the government’s stamp duty factsheet, for information on the changes.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: “This is great news for Southampton – not only are Crest Nicholson building more homes quicker but buyers will also see real cash saving when they purchase a house.

Stamp duty was one of the worst designed taxes and acted as a brake on aspiration for those who wanted to get on or move up the housing ladder. The new system means there will be tax cut for 98% of homebuyers who pay stamp duty.

Together with the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which has helped more than 10,000 people in the South-East and over 71,000 people across the country buy their new home, we’re taking action to help hard-working taxpayers achieve their goals – and for many, their biggest goal is owning their own home. It’s a key part of our long term economic plan.”

Debbie Aplin, Managing Director of Crest Nicholson Regeneration, said: “The recent changes to the stamp duty system are extremely welcome. These reforms will undoubtedly boost activity in the housing market, re-stimulating building rates and enable us to drive the rate of sales back to pre-recessionary levels.

This will in turn support further job creation and have a positive overall impact on the entire economy. Most importantly though, the impact of changes to stamp duty will remove a lot of uncertainty for consumers over the coming months, helping to solve the affordability challenge so many purchasers are facing. “

HS2 signs construction pledge

HS2

The HS2 scheme has signed up to the Construction and civil engineering industries pledges as part of its ongoing commitment to support the health, safety and well being of its employees.

Through signing up to these pledges HS2 aims to break new ground to establish innovative, world-class ways of working that set the standard for the rest of the industry, by committing to the promotion of health in construction and setting challenging performance standards for its supply chain.

HS2 Chief Executive, Simon Kirby said: “Thoughtful and inclusive management of our employees’ health, safety and well being can bring real benefits including better staff engagement, improved productivity and reduced staff turnover.

The pledges we are making today are for all members of our staff and our supply chain.

Through signing the Responsibility Deal, we recognize the importance the workplace plays in maintaining the mental and physical well-being of our staff.”

Dame Carol Black, Chair of the Responsibility Deal health at work network, said: “Over the past year, the Public Health Responsibility Deal has been engaging in a sector-specific way. Working with the construction industry, we have developed a construction pledge with 99 construction companies now signed up to it.

We are delighted to have high-profile rail companies like Crossrail and now HS2 joining the Responsibility Deal and we feel sure that this will encourage other rail companies to do the same.”

735 partners have now joined the Responsibility Deal and HS2 is the 100th organisation to sign the Construction and Civil engineering pledge.

The six pledges cover a range of areas including:

A health and well being strategy for staff and contractors as the project moves towards construction;

Use of accredited occupational health providers;

Implementing regular staff health checks ;

Procedures to support staff with chronic conditions;

A programme of activities relating to mental health and well being;

Facilities for cyclists and runners;

HS2 signs construction pledge

HS2

The HS2 scheme has signed up to the Construction and civil engineering industries pledges as part of its ongoing commitment to support the health, safety and well being of its employees.

Through signing up to these pledges HS2 aims to break new ground to establish innovative, world-class ways of working that set the standard for the rest of the industry, by committing to the promotion of health in construction and setting challenging performance standards for its supply chain.

HS2 Chief Executive, Simon Kirby said: “Thoughtful and inclusive management of our employees’ health, safety and well being can bring real benefits including better staff engagement, improved productivity and reduced staff turnover.

The pledges we are making today are for all members of our staff and our supply chain.

Through signing the Responsibility Deal, we recognize the importance the workplace plays in maintaining the mental and physical well-being of our staff.”

Dame Carol Black, Chair of the Responsibility Deal health at work network, said: “Over the past year, the Public Health Responsibility Deal has been engaging in a sector-specific way. Working with the construction industry, we have developed a construction pledge with 99 construction companies now signed up to it.

We are delighted to have high-profile rail companies like Crossrail and now HS2 joining the Responsibility Deal and we feel sure that this will encourage other rail companies to do the same.”

735 partners have now joined the Responsibility Deal and HS2 is the 100th organisation to sign the Construction and Civil engineering pledge.

The six pledges cover a range of areas including:

A health and well being strategy for staff and contractors as the project moves towards construction;

Use of accredited occupational health providers;

Implementing regular staff health checks ;

Procedures to support staff with chronic conditions;

A programme of activities relating to mental health and well being;

Facilities for cyclists and runners;

McAlpine wins £70m WestQuay contract in Southampton

Hammerson appoints contractor for WestQuay Watermark in Southampton

Hammerson has appointed Sir Robert McAlpine to undertake the main construction works for its £70 million WestQuay Watermark development in Southampton’s city centre.

The mixed-use, leisure led scheme, which received detailed planning consent earlier in the year, will create up to 500 new construction job opportunities and boost the local economy.

The project will deliver a landmark 10 screen cinema, up to 20 restaurants and a new high quality public plaza for the city supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Located immediately adjacent to Hammerson’s jointly owned WestQuay Shopping Centre, which is anchored by John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, the development is set to become Southampton’s new city centre leisure hub providing the area with a vibrant new dining and leisure destination.

WestQuay Watermark will be delivered in two phases. Phase one initial enabling works on the site have begun and the main start on site is scheduled for first thing in the New Year, with WestQuay Watermark set to open in autumn 2016. The second phase has the potential to include a hotel, residential tower with flexibility for retail and office space.

Hammerson is currently working with Southampton City Council’s Economic Development Team and Sir Robert McAlpine to ensure employment opportunities are available to the local Southampton workforce with skills and training opportunities.

Guy Wells, Hammerson Development Manager, commented: “Sir Robert McAlpine is a welcome addition to the WestQuay Watermark team. Their extensive experience of delivering high-quality schemes will be fundamental to the timely delivery and quality of the development.”

Mark Williamson, Regional Manager for Sir Robert McAlpine said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Hammerson to deliver this exciting new project for Southampton.”

Councillor Simon Letts, Leader of Southampton City Council, said: “This scheme forms part of our Heart of the City’s VIP project to invigorate the city centre, creating over 500 jobs and providing outstanding leisure facilities for residents and visitors to enjoy.

This is a vital first phase in linking the city centre to the Waterfront via a world class piece of public open space.”

Regional growth fund investment reaches £4bn

Regional growth fund investment reaches £4 billion

The government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has now put more than £1 billion in the hands of businesses, which in turn has leveraged nearly £3 billion in private sector investment, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced today.

The fund has also created and safeguarded more than 100,000 direct jobs in the English regions to-date. The news means the fund is now on track to deliver the 573,000 jobs it is projected to deliver by the end of the decade.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “So far, the Regional Growth Fund has secured £4 billion investment in companies across England – this is a great achievement, helping people and businesses across the country and there is still more to come.

It is proof that RGF is playing a pivotal role in developing innovative technologies; providing highly skilled jobs and giving businesses the confidence to invest in the UK.”

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said: “RGF is a great example of how business and government can work together to create the long-term, highly skilled jobs that are fuelling our recovery and growing our economy.

So far we have supported over 8,000 companies across the country to help them expand, take advantage of new markets and reach their full potential.”

Regional growth fund investment reaches £4bn

Regional growth fund investment reaches £4 billion

The government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has now put more than £1 billion in the hands of businesses, which in turn has leveraged nearly £3 billion in private sector investment, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced today.

The fund has also created and safeguarded more than 100,000 direct jobs in the English regions to-date. The news means the fund is now on track to deliver the 573,000 jobs it is projected to deliver by the end of the decade.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “So far, the Regional Growth Fund has secured £4 billion investment in companies across England – this is a great achievement, helping people and businesses across the country and there is still more to come.

It is proof that RGF is playing a pivotal role in developing innovative technologies; providing highly skilled jobs and giving businesses the confidence to invest in the UK.”

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said: “RGF is a great example of how business and government can work together to create the long-term, highly skilled jobs that are fuelling our recovery and growing our economy.

So far we have supported over 8,000 companies across the country to help them expand, take advantage of new markets and reach their full potential.”

Regional growth fund investment reaches £4bn

Regional growth fund investment reaches £4 billion

The government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has now put more than £1 billion in the hands of businesses, which in turn has leveraged nearly £3 billion in private sector investment, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced today.

The fund has also created and safeguarded more than 100,000 direct jobs in the English regions to-date. The news means the fund is now on track to deliver the 573,000 jobs it is projected to deliver by the end of the decade.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “So far, the Regional Growth Fund has secured £4 billion investment in companies across England – this is a great achievement, helping people and businesses across the country and there is still more to come.

It is proof that RGF is playing a pivotal role in developing innovative technologies; providing highly skilled jobs and giving businesses the confidence to invest in the UK.”

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said: “RGF is a great example of how business and government can work together to create the long-term, highly skilled jobs that are fuelling our recovery and growing our economy.

So far we have supported over 8,000 companies across the country to help them expand, take advantage of new markets and reach their full potential.”

Regional growth fund investment reaches £4bn

Regional growth fund investment reaches £4 billion

The government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has now put more than £1 billion in the hands of businesses, which in turn has leveraged nearly £3 billion in private sector investment, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced today.

The fund has also created and safeguarded more than 100,000 direct jobs in the English regions to-date. The news means the fund is now on track to deliver the 573,000 jobs it is projected to deliver by the end of the decade.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “So far, the Regional Growth Fund has secured £4 billion investment in companies across England – this is a great achievement, helping people and businesses across the country and there is still more to come.

It is proof that RGF is playing a pivotal role in developing innovative technologies; providing highly skilled jobs and giving businesses the confidence to invest in the UK.”

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said: “RGF is a great example of how business and government can work together to create the long-term, highly skilled jobs that are fuelling our recovery and growing our economy.

So far we have supported over 8,000 companies across the country to help them expand, take advantage of new markets and reach their full potential.”

Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm to create 2,500 jobs

Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm to create 2,500 jobs

An offshore wind project that is expected to bring up to 2,500 local jobs and millions of pounds’ worth of investment to the UK’s economy has been given the go-ahead from the Government.

Hornsea Project One will be made up of three offshore wind farms with a maximum capacity of 1200MW. Once built, it will generate enough electricity to power more than 800,000 homes.

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

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said:“With around 2,500 local green jobs on the horizon, this is another great boost for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is crucial to creating job and business opportunities in the UK, getting the best deal for consumers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports. Wind power is vital to this plan, with £14.5 billion invested since 2010 into an industry which supports 35,400 jobs.”

Based 64 miles off the coast of Yorkshire, the project was one of eight renewable energy projects awarded an early Contract for Difference (CFD) in April 2014.

These investment contracts are a major part of the Government’s world leading Electricity Market Reform programme – reforms which will see competition and markets attract tens of billions of pounds of vital energy investment whilst reducing the costs of clean energy to consumers.

Consent was provided on the condition that the project has an employment and skills plan approved by North Lincolnshire Council, which includes local advertising of jobs and supply chain opportunities and outreach employment presentations.

This is one of the largest investments in the Humberside area in the last 50 years and clearly demonstrates that the UK is the leading market for the sector.

Carillion wins £190m Midlands schools contract

Carillion logo

Carillion‘s joint venture with Equitix has been appointed to deliver the Midlands Private Finance Batch under the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).

The Selected Bidder will finance, design, build and provide hard facilities management for the eight schools under a £190 million Public Private Partnership scheme.

This programme forms part of the Government’s £750 million Priority School Building Programme through which the Education Funding Agency is procuring projects to renew those parts of the schools estate in England that have been prioritised for replacement or upgrading.

Carillion expects to invest up to approximately £9 million of equity in the project from which we also expect to generate construction and services revenues of approximately £190 million over the life of the 27-year construction and concession contract.

The Midlands Priority Schools Building Programme will improve education facilities and outcomes for the pupils and staff in the eight schools listed below, by replacing substandard buildings and providing excellent facilities to support teaching and learning.

Schools:

Alfreton Grange Arts College, Derbyshire

ARK Kings Academy, Birmingham

Greenwood Academy, Birmingham

Plantsbrook School, Birmingham

President Kennedy School, Coventry

The Phoenix Collegiate, Sandwell

The Queen Elizabeth Academy, Warwickshire

Top Valley Academy, Nottingham

Carillion Chief Executive, Richard Howson said: “We are delighted that we have been appointed as the Selected Bidder for the Midlands Private Finance Batch under the Priority School Building Programme.

“This is the second major PPP project in the UK for which we have been selected as the preferred bidder this year, following our success in being selected for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route in which we will invest some £20 million of equity and from which we expect to generate around £175 million of construction revenue.”

Carillion wins £190m Midlands schools contract

Carillion logo

Carillion‘s joint venture with Equitix has been appointed to deliver the Midlands Private Finance Batch under the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).

The Selected Bidder will finance, design, build and provide hard facilities management for the eight schools under a £190 million Public Private Partnership scheme.

This programme forms part of the Government’s £750 million Priority School Building Programme through which the Education Funding Agency is procuring projects to renew those parts of the schools estate in England that have been prioritised for replacement or upgrading.

Carillion expects to invest up to approximately £9 million of equity in the project from which we also expect to generate construction and services revenues of approximately £190 million over the life of the 27-year construction and concession contract.

The Midlands Priority Schools Building Programme will improve education facilities and outcomes for the pupils and staff in the eight schools listed below, by replacing substandard buildings and providing excellent facilities to support teaching and learning.

Schools:

Alfreton Grange Arts College, Derbyshire

ARK Kings Academy, Birmingham

Greenwood Academy, Birmingham

Plantsbrook School, Birmingham

President Kennedy School, Coventry

The Phoenix Collegiate, Sandwell

The Queen Elizabeth Academy, Warwickshire

Top Valley Academy, Nottingham

Carillion Chief Executive, Richard Howson said: “We are delighted that we have been appointed as the Selected Bidder for the Midlands Private Finance Batch under the Priority School Building Programme.

“This is the second major PPP project in the UK for which we have been selected as the preferred bidder this year, following our success in being selected for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route in which we will invest some £20 million of equity and from which we expect to generate around £175 million of construction revenue.”

Faster economic growth for Wales

The Welsh Government

Statistics published by the Office for National Statistics show that between 2012 and 2013 Wales saw a 3.4% increase in GVA (Gross Value Added) per head, the fastest growth out of all the nations and regions of the UK.

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb said they show that the Government’s long-term economic plan is working for Wales, paving the way for more jobs and boosting employment.

Since 2010, Wales’ GVA per head has grown by 8.4%, the fastest growth out of all of the UK nations and regions after London.

Figures published this week by Markit also show that Wales saw the strongest rise in business activity during November since July 2014.

Stephen Crabb said: “These figures are great news and show that our long term economic plan is working for Wales.

Since 2010 we have lower unemployment, more jobs and now evidence of faster growth than almost any other part of the UK.

We still have long way to catch up – but the plan we have put in place is Wales’ best hope of building a stronger economy. It would be madness to abandon it now and put the recovery at risk for so many people in Wales.”

Faster economic growth for Wales

The Welsh Government

Statistics published by the Office for National Statistics show that between 2012 and 2013 Wales saw a 3.4% increase in GVA (Gross Value Added) per head, the fastest growth out of all the nations and regions of the UK.

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb said they show that the Government’s long-term economic plan is working for Wales, paving the way for more jobs and boosting employment.

Since 2010, Wales’ GVA per head has grown by 8.4%, the fastest growth out of all of the UK nations and regions after London.

Figures published this week by Markit also show that Wales saw the strongest rise in business activity during November since July 2014.

Stephen Crabb said: “These figures are great news and show that our long term economic plan is working for Wales.

Since 2010 we have lower unemployment, more jobs and now evidence of faster growth than almost any other part of the UK.

We still have long way to catch up – but the plan we have put in place is Wales’ best hope of building a stronger economy. It would be madness to abandon it now and put the recovery at risk for so many people in Wales.”

Willmott Dixon to deliver huge retrofit programme

Willmott Dixon

Hull City Council has chosen Willmott Dixon as preferred bidder for a £60 million Green Deal and ECO partnership to deliver energy improvements to 3,000 homes across the city.

Hull City Council is one of only a small number of local authorities to ‘partner’ and work collaboratively with an Energy Efficiency Partner for a period of five years to help residents access Green Deal measures in a simplified way.

Refurbishment work by Willmott Dixon will include improvements to homes in the Preston Road and Orchard Park regeneration areas. It will include external solid wall insulation similar to that delivered in other areas of the city, along with other forms of insulation, plus draught-proofing, double glazing and renewable energy generation, such as, solar panels or heat pumps.

Councillor Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder for Energy City, said: “This is another positive step forward for Hull in becoming a leading UK Energy City. Bringing significant investment and much needed employment and training opportunities to the city.

We have set an encouraging 80 per cent target to use local labour to undertake the improvement works, highlighting our commitment to employing local businesses and residents.”

This contract expands the significant ECO and Green Deal presence of Willmott Dixon Energy Services in the North of England. The company is currently working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authorities, the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, Leeds Federated Housing Association and Golden Gates Housing Trust. Also, in North Wales it is delivering the Arbed programme.

Rob Lambe, Willmott Dixon Energy Services managing director said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Hull City Council to transform homes across the city – it’s a major step forward for the Green Deal. Our work to install energy efficiency improvements will help residents reduce their fuel bills and live in warmer, healthier homes.”

Leeds Enterprise Zone reaches out with new jobs

Logic Leeds development gets the go-ahead

Leeds Enterprise Zone is gearing up to become one of the country’s premier locations for engineering and modern manufacturing thanks to millions of pounds of government funding, Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt has announced.

The Minister visited the enterprise zone to see how £8.57 million of Government investment is being used to improve infrastructure, unlock development and pave the way for thousands of new jobs for the region.

It comes just days after the Autumn Statement in which the Chancellor announced that up to £25 million would be spent upgrading nearby junction 45 of the M1, significantly improving access to the zone and providing a boost to the local construction sector.

Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “Leeds Enterprise Zone is really starting to take shape and everything I’ve seen today tells me it’s going to be a great success.

Companies can have every confidence that this is a world-class facility and we are investing millions to ensure they have infrastructure in place to grow their business.

It’s all part of our long-term economic plan to create a northern powerhouse that drives forward local economies, create jobs and delivers real benefits to hard-working people.”

Covering 142 hectares of prime development land, the enterprise zone is already home to a number of well-established companies, including Roberts Mart, one of the UK’s largest packaging manufacturers, floor covering manufacturer Mercado and branded foods manufacturer Symington’s.

The government opened the zones in April 2012 as part of a 25-year project to rebalance the economy, offering tax incentives, simplified planning and super fast broadband to companies. Latest figures show they have created 12,530 jobs, attracted 434 new businesses and generated over £2 billion worth of private investment.

Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “There has been significant progress on the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone this year and I am pleased government has recognised the hard work and commitment from our public and private partners.

We will continue to explore new opportunities for further development and promote the scale of opportunity this major investment location brings the City Region and the entire country.”

Leeds Enterprise Zone reaches out with new jobs

Logic Leeds development gets the go-ahead

Leeds Enterprise Zone is gearing up to become one of the country’s premier locations for engineering and modern manufacturing thanks to millions of pounds of government funding, Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt has announced.

The Minister visited the enterprise zone to see how £8.57 million of Government investment is being used to improve infrastructure, unlock development and pave the way for thousands of new jobs for the region.

It comes just days after the Autumn Statement in which the Chancellor announced that up to £25 million would be spent upgrading nearby junction 45 of the M1, significantly improving access to the zone and providing a boost to the local construction sector.

Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “Leeds Enterprise Zone is really starting to take shape and everything I’ve seen today tells me it’s going to be a great success.

Companies can have every confidence that this is a world-class facility and we are investing millions to ensure they have infrastructure in place to grow their business.

It’s all part of our long-term economic plan to create a northern powerhouse that drives forward local economies, create jobs and delivers real benefits to hard-working people.”

Covering 142 hectares of prime development land, the enterprise zone is already home to a number of well-established companies, including Roberts Mart, one of the UK’s largest packaging manufacturers, floor covering manufacturer Mercado and branded foods manufacturer Symington’s.

The government opened the zones in April 2012 as part of a 25-year project to rebalance the economy, offering tax incentives, simplified planning and super fast broadband to companies. Latest figures show they have created 12,530 jobs, attracted 434 new businesses and generated over £2 billion worth of private investment.

Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “There has been significant progress on the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone this year and I am pleased government has recognised the hard work and commitment from our public and private partners.

We will continue to explore new opportunities for further development and promote the scale of opportunity this major investment location brings the City Region and the entire country.”

New London bridge for Nine Elms development

New London bridge for Nine Elms development

Wandsworth Council has launched an international competition to design a new bridge across the River Thames as part of a £1 billion infrastructure scheme in Central London.

The 480 acre Nine Elms district is now well into the construction phase and on course to create thousands of affordable homes, 25,000 jobs and billions in growth for the UK economy.

The Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge is part of a major infrastructure package transforming the Nine Elms regeneration area into a well connected Zone One destination.

As well as the bridge there are two new Northern Line tube stops, improvements to rail stations, two riverbus piers and a new network of footpaths, parks and cycle lanes.

A Transport for London feasibility study completed in 2013 found that there is a strong transport case for a new bridge at Nine Elms and it would provide pedestrians and cyclists with an attractive car-free alternative to Chelsea or Vauxhall Bridges.

Around £26 million is committed to the project through the development of Nine Elms and the new design would be used to lever-in match funding.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council and co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, said: “This is a competition to find a team of brilliant engineers and architects to design a beautiful bridge spanning the Thames.

This bridge has the potential to become an inspiring landmark, heralding the changes that are taking place south of the river and making vital connections to the north shore. The transport case is strong and this will be a valuable and sustainable addition to London’s transport infrastructure.

This bridge needs to be designed to the highest quality standards; it must be inspiring, elegant and functional. The conundrum of creating a bridge that can be readily used by cyclists and pedestrians alike, that also provides adequate headroom for river traffic, is at the heart of the challenge.

The design must also win the hearts and minds of Londoners, particularly the people living in the local area. Developing an inspiring, beautiful design will help us to leverage further funding and take the project to the next stage.”

Once the winning design is selected, it would need to go through the planning process before work could begin.

New London bridge for Nine Elms development

New London bridge for Nine Elms development

Wandsworth Council has launched an international competition to design a new bridge across the River Thames as part of a £1 billion infrastructure scheme in Central London.

The 480 acre Nine Elms district is now well into the construction phase and on course to create thousands of affordable homes, 25,000 jobs and billions in growth for the UK economy.

The Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge is part of a major infrastructure package transforming the Nine Elms regeneration area into a well connected Zone One destination.

As well as the bridge there are two new Northern Line tube stops, improvements to rail stations, two riverbus piers and a new network of footpaths, parks and cycle lanes.

A Transport for London feasibility study completed in 2013 found that there is a strong transport case for a new bridge at Nine Elms and it would provide pedestrians and cyclists with an attractive car-free alternative to Chelsea or Vauxhall Bridges.

Around £26 million is committed to the project through the development of Nine Elms and the new design would be used to lever-in match funding.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council and co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, said: “This is a competition to find a team of brilliant engineers and architects to design a beautiful bridge spanning the Thames.

This bridge has the potential to become an inspiring landmark, heralding the changes that are taking place south of the river and making vital connections to the north shore. The transport case is strong and this will be a valuable and sustainable addition to London’s transport infrastructure.

This bridge needs to be designed to the highest quality standards; it must be inspiring, elegant and functional. The conundrum of creating a bridge that can be readily used by cyclists and pedestrians alike, that also provides adequate headroom for river traffic, is at the heart of the challenge.

The design must also win the hearts and minds of Londoners, particularly the people living in the local area. Developing an inspiring, beautiful design will help us to leverage further funding and take the project to the next stage.”

Once the winning design is selected, it would need to go through the planning process before work could begin.

Householders offered free cash for home improvements

Householders offered free cash for home improvements

More people will get help to improve the energy efficiency of their homes through a new release of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund that will boost the trades.

The popular scheme will open to new applications from this week, with up to £5,600 available to households, to help with the cost of installing energy saving measures such as solid wall insulation, double glazing, boilers, cavity wall and floor insulation.

In providing a fund to householders the Green Deal will create job opportunities for professionals in the energy efficiency sector while helping economic growth.

It is estimated that more than 1100 Green Deal authorised businesses are currently registered to provide work under the scheme.

Up to £30 million in vouchers will be available and details of further releases will be announced on a quarterly basis with the next release expected in February 2015.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “This fund is a big success story for the Green Deal – helping thousands of people improve their homes so that they’re warmer, greener and cheaper to run.

The best way people can cut their energy bills, this winter and every winter, is to improve their homes so that they leak less heat and use less energy. That’s why we’ve increased the funding available for the Green Deal to help even more people start saving money sooner.”

Once the funding under each category has been committed, no more applications will be taken for that category – though applications will still be taken for the other category if funds are still available.

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund launched in June and has already provided vouchers for more than 20,000 households. Through this second release of funding, domestic energy customers can now receive:

  • up to £4000 for installing solid wall insulation;

  • up to £1000 for installing two measures from an approved list;

  • up to £100 refunded for their Green Deal Assessment;

  • up to £500 more if applying within 12 months of buying a new home.

Householders are encouraged to get more than one quote, particularly when they are having expensive work done, to make sure they are getting the best deal available.

The £100 million announced in October is in addition to the £450 million allocated to household energy efficiency over three years, which was announced in December 2013.

In providing a fund to householders the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund will create job opportunities for the energy efficiency sector as a whole. More than 1100 Green Deal authorised businesses are currently registered to provide work under the scheme.

Funds are limited and DECC may vary the terms of the scheme (including the incentive rates) or suspend or close the scheme, with immediate effect, without notice and at any time.

Bouygues UK lands £27m City office contract

Bouygues UK lands £27m City office contract

Bouygues UK has been awarded a £27 million design and build contract by developers Morgan Capital Partners LLP at 45 Cannon Street in the City of London.

This deal will see the demolition of the existing offices and the construction of a new eight-floor office building, including a Category A fit-out and the addition of 13,000sqm of retail space on the ground floor.

The award comes hot on the heels of the handover of another major office refurbishment at 71 Queen Victoria Street, which is a stone’s throw away from the new site at 45 Cannon Street, in the heart of London’s financial district.

As part of the works, the entrance to Mansion House underground station will also be refurbished as it sits on the site. Bouygues UK is aiming for a BREEAM Excellent rating on the project.

Arnaud Bekaert, Bouygues UK’s Managing Director for Construction London and South East said: “We have a solid reputation for taking existing office sites and redeveloping them to maximise the commercial space available for clients. This in turn is helping businesses to meet the continued and growing demand for more offices in the capital.

We’ve recently completed our office building at Queen Victoria Street; signed a deal to deliver new apartments for The Hempel Collection in Bayswater and handed over the last of 17 schools that formed part of the Tower Hamlets Building Schools for the Future Programme.

That, coupled with the work that my colleagues are doing on the Housing and Development side of the business means that we’re diversifying and consolidating our already strong presence in London and the South East.”

Demolition work is already being carried out on site, with Bouygues UK scheduled to begin construction work in the New Year. The project is due for completion in 2016.

Bouygues UK lands £27m City office contract

Bouygues UK lands £27m City office contract

Bouygues UK has been awarded a £27 million design and build contract by developers Morgan Capital Partners LLP at 45 Cannon Street in the City of London.

This deal will see the demolition of the existing offices and the construction of a new eight-floor office building, including a Category A fit-out and the addition of 13,000sqm of retail space on the ground floor.

The award comes hot on the heels of the handover of another major office refurbishment at 71 Queen Victoria Street, which is a stone’s throw away from the new site at 45 Cannon Street, in the heart of London’s financial district.

As part of the works, the entrance to Mansion House underground station will also be refurbished as it sits on the site. Bouygues UK is aiming for a BREEAM Excellent rating on the project.

Arnaud Bekaert, Bouygues UK’s Managing Director for Construction London and South East said: “We have a solid reputation for taking existing office sites and redeveloping them to maximise the commercial space available for clients. This in turn is helping businesses to meet the continued and growing demand for more offices in the capital.

We’ve recently completed our office building at Queen Victoria Street; signed a deal to deliver new apartments for The Hempel Collection in Bayswater and handed over the last of 17 schools that formed part of the Tower Hamlets Building Schools for the Future Programme.

That, coupled with the work that my colleagues are doing on the Housing and Development side of the business means that we’re diversifying and consolidating our already strong presence in London and the South East.”

Demolition work is already being carried out on site, with Bouygues UK scheduled to begin construction work in the New Year. The project is due for completion in 2016.

Hundreds more affordable homes planned for Scotland

The Scottish Government

The Scottish Government is investing £25 million next year in charitable bonds that could lead to up to 450 affordable homes being built, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has announced.

The money, from the UK Government’s ‘financial transactions’ funding, can only be used as loan and equity investment but, through a charitable bond model, the Scottish Government has pioneered an innovative way of creating grant to support affordable housing in Scotland.

The charitable bond enables the Government to make an ethical investment that brings forward future interest in an upfront donation for affordable housing by providing a loan to a social housing provider that is repaid in 10 years.

Through the bonds, £7.3 million of grant subsidy will be generated to deliver more than 125 social rented units, and £17.7 million of loan funding will be provided to support housing associations build over 300 social homes in Scotland.

The investment is part of a £200 million increase in next year’s Scottish Government housing supply budget.

That increase is forecast to support at least 6,500 jobs and lever in significant private investment to deliver £600 million of total investment.

Visiting an Edinburgh development by Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association and Places for People, who were involved in the first Scottish Government charitable bond investment last year, Alex Neil said:

In a fair and socially just society we want to make sure that everyone in Scotland has access to good quality housing that meets their needs.

Charitable bonds represent the type of fresh thinking that is helping increase the supply of affordable homes and is supporting our construction industry.”

Heather Macnaughton, Head of Community Investment at Castle Rock Edinvar said: “We are delighted that there is further funding being made available to develop the use of the charitable bond model in Scotland, to increase finance available for affordable housing.

Continued financial innovation by the sector is required to maximise the return on the Scottish Government’s investment and deliver housing that is affordable to everyone.”

Hundreds more affordable homes planned for Scotland

The Scottish Government

The Scottish Government is investing £25 million next year in charitable bonds that could lead to up to 450 affordable homes being built, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has announced.

The money, from the UK Government’s ‘financial transactions’ funding, can only be used as loan and equity investment but, through a charitable bond model, the Scottish Government has pioneered an innovative way of creating grant to support affordable housing in Scotland.

The charitable bond enables the Government to make an ethical investment that brings forward future interest in an upfront donation for affordable housing by providing a loan to a social housing provider that is repaid in 10 years.

Through the bonds, £7.3 million of grant subsidy will be generated to deliver more than 125 social rented units, and £17.7 million of loan funding will be provided to support housing associations build over 300 social homes in Scotland.

The investment is part of a £200 million increase in next year’s Scottish Government housing supply budget.

That increase is forecast to support at least 6,500 jobs and lever in significant private investment to deliver £600 million of total investment.

Visiting an Edinburgh development by Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association and Places for People, who were involved in the first Scottish Government charitable bond investment last year, Alex Neil said:

In a fair and socially just society we want to make sure that everyone in Scotland has access to good quality housing that meets their needs.

Charitable bonds represent the type of fresh thinking that is helping increase the supply of affordable homes and is supporting our construction industry.”

Heather Macnaughton, Head of Community Investment at Castle Rock Edinvar said: “We are delighted that there is further funding being made available to develop the use of the charitable bond model in Scotland, to increase finance available for affordable housing.

Continued financial innovation by the sector is required to maximise the return on the Scottish Government’s investment and deliver housing that is affordable to everyone.”

Jobs and growth to be at the heart of city devolution

Jobs and growth to be at the heart of city devolution

Transport and city leaders from Birmingham, Leeds, London, Greater Manchester and Sheffield have come together to set out how transport funding reforms could transform the prospects of the UK economy.

London’s Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy has thrown his support behind a new independent report which calls for reforms that would ensure a shift in power from Whitehall, enabling the creation of jobs across the UK and economic growth for the whole country.

Sir Peter Hendy said: “The current system of transport evaluation was developed in an era of under-investment, where governments managed the decline of cities. We are now in a very different world, where cities are the drivers of the country’s future growth.

We need a new system that enables cities to work together to realise their full economic potential. For that we need more control over the tax revenue we raise and changes in the way in which the real financial return of transport investment is evaluated.

If we are given the freedom to do so we will create new jobs and growth that will benefit the whole country.”

The report, which was commissioned by Transport for London and Transport for Greater Manchester, has been developed and delivered by leading economic consultants Volterra.

It states that the current approach to the evaluation and funding of transport projects is likely to lead to ‘damaging underinvestment’ unless it is tackled and that pay back in terms of economic growth and jobs would be optimised if the approach were changed.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Greater financial freedoms for our cities are absolutely central to their ability to better plan and finance the infrastructure they need to flourish.

Transport is no exception to this argument. It is a vital key to unlock the door to wider growth in our economy, helping to spur jobs, new homes and regeneration.

Working in partnership with other major cities I have been making the case for Whitehall to give us a greater say over our own futures and in turn boost the prosperity of UK plc.”

New measures will provide thousands of new homes

New measures will provide thousands of new homes

Thousands of new homes will be build following a range of government measures announced this week to boost the construction industry and help growth.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said these new measures would support locally-led efforts to get the country building, building on the momentum gathered since 2010 which has seen house building levels rise to a 7-year high.

The government also announced measures that will provide hundreds of thousands of new affordable homes between 2015 and 2020 – the fastest rate of affordable house building in 2 decades.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “We’ve seen how getting the country building has been key to our long term economic plan – helping hard-working people become homeowners and creating thousands of construction jobs.

Taken together with our plans for a new programme of affordable house building, these measures could deliver over 200,000 new homes across the country.”

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Since 2010 we’ve pulled out all the stops and got the country building, delivering the highest levels of house building for 7 years.

And in doing this, we’ll support the construction industry – a key part of our growing economy – long into the future by creating thousands of new jobs.”

Some of the other announcements include:

  • a locally-led garden town at Bicester, backed by the council and local MP, which will provide up to 13,000 new homes

  • the provision of 10,000 new homes on surplus public sector land at Northstowe in Cambridgeshire

  • a new target to release enough formerly-used surplus public sector land for 150,000 new homes between 2015 and 2020

  • government support to provide 11,000 new homes at Barking Riverside in East London, and 7,500 new homes as part of the redevelopment of Brent Cross

Government cuts taxes on new homes and boosts small builders

Government cuts taxes on new homes and boosts small builders

Eric Pickles has offered a boost to the country’s small house builders, slashing the cost to them of building a new home by as much as £140,000.

The Communities Secretary said the move would help restore the sector which was hit by the 2008 crash, and boosting local jobs and constructions.

Figures from the National Housebuilding Council have suggested that the number of small and medium-sized builders has halved, from 6,167 in 1997 to 2,832 by 2012.

Plans announced today will boost England’s builders, making clear that most “Section 106” charges should not be sought from the smallest housebuilders – specifically on sites of 10 homes or fewer, including self-build, extensions and annexes.

Mr Pickles also confirmed that in very rural areas, sites of 5 homes or fewer should not face the charge.

He also launched a £25 million fund to boost development finance for small builders.

Eric Pickles said: “Small builders are being hammered by charges, which have undermined the building industry, cut jobs and forced up the cost of housing. By getting rid of these 5 and 6-figure charges, we will build more homes and help provide more low-cost and market housing.

This will also be a massive boost to the self-build and custom-build sector. Overnight in many parts of England, it will be cheaper to build an extension, a family annex or just build your own home. Our long-term economic plan is helping hard-working people.

Protecting small builders

It is estimated that the policy will save, on average, £15,000 in Section 106 charges per home in England – with some councils charging up to £145,000 on single properties.

Further savings will be made from tariffs councils can use to charge more than £15,000 per home over and above any housing contributions.

Taken together, these changes will provide 6-figure savings for small-scale developers in some parts of the country.

This will also support the nation’s self-builders – ensuring any builder helping to turn someone’s dream home into a reality, or build an extension to an existing property, doesn’t get lumbered with Section 106 charges, mirroring what the government has already done on exempting them from community infrastructure levy.

Unlocking stalled smaller sites

Mr Pickles also announced plans for a new £25 million fund to unlock construction on micro-building sites between 5 and 15 homes.

These sites have local support and planning permission secured, but have struggled to get restarted after being mothballed during the downturn.

This new funding will come in the form of loans, which the developer will repay on completion and sale of the homes.

Go-ahead for £500m Oxford Westgate centre

Oxford Westgate centre

Work to redevelop Oxford’s Westgate centre with a £500 million shopping complex that will create jobs and build new homes is set get underway in the New Year.

Laing O’Rourke and Sir Robert McAlpine are understood to have submitted bids for the 800,000 sq ft retail-led scheme, which is expected to take three years to build and create tousands of jobs.

The city’s shopping centre overhaul cleared the final planning hurdle yesterday when local councillors granted detailed planning for the scheme to build a new underground car park, shops, restaurants, a cinema and 59 new homes.

Developer Westgate Alliance, a partnership formed by Land Securities and The Crown Estate, are pressing ahead with tender evaluation and are expected to select the winner before the end of the year.

The job involves demolition of the southern part of the Westgate Centre, a multi-storey car park and existing residential accommodation.

This will make way for covered walkways of new retail space in four blocks holding around 70 new shops, anchored by a major John Lewis department store.

Sara Fuge, development manager, Westgate Oxford Alliance, said: “We have been working hard over the last four years with local stakeholders to develop a scheme to deliver a world-class retail and leisure destination for Oxford and now look forward to starting work early next year.’

Go-ahead for £500m Oxford Westgate centre

Oxford Westgate centre

Work to redevelop Oxford’s Westgate centre with a £500 million shopping complex that will create jobs and build new homes is set get underway in the New Year.

Laing O’Rourke and Sir Robert McAlpine are understood to have submitted bids for the 800,000 sq ft retail-led scheme, which is expected to take three years to build and create tousands of jobs.

The city’s shopping centre overhaul cleared the final planning hurdle yesterday when local councillors granted detailed planning for the scheme to build a new underground car park, shops, restaurants, a cinema and 59 new homes.

Developer Westgate Alliance, a partnership formed by Land Securities and The Crown Estate, are pressing ahead with tender evaluation and are expected to select the winner before the end of the year.

The job involves demolition of the southern part of the Westgate Centre, a multi-storey car park and existing residential accommodation.

This will make way for covered walkways of new retail space in four blocks holding around 70 new shops, anchored by a major John Lewis department store.

Sara Fuge, development manager, Westgate Oxford Alliance, said: “We have been working hard over the last four years with local stakeholders to develop a scheme to deliver a world-class retail and leisure destination for Oxford and now look forward to starting work early next year.’

Work on £7.1m Canterbury College gets underway

Work on £7.1m Canterbury College gets underway

Morgan Sindall is delivering a £7.1 million project to construct a new business and enterprise centre, sports facilities and an art building at Canterbury College‘s Dover Road campus in Kent.

The project comprises the demolition of existing facilities which will make way for two new purpose-built teaching blocks while supporting the local economy.

The new facilities will include 12 new classrooms and a two-storey sports and business building. An adjacent art facility will also be constructed.

The sport and business building will include a brand new sports hall, as well as a state-of-the-art gym suite for use by students and staff.

There will also be break out areas for students and staff as well as IT facilities. The business area will include a venue for business events and training space, providing essential space for local businesses and the college to host events.

The art block will be a modernised sculpture and ceramics studio. A supported learning facility will also be included in the new block, creating a relaxed learning environment for teachers to offer extra support to students.

Morgan Sindall project manager Steve Paine is a former student of Canterbury College, having completed a HNC in Building Studies just over 10 years ago.

Mr Paine said: “This project is particularly special to me as a former pupil of the college and it has been a great experience to return and help to progress the college with the construction of these new facilities that will update and improve the services on offer to staff and students.”

The buildings are being built to the latest environmental standards and will include the use of sustainable energy in the form of roof-mounted solar panels which will generate electricity for use within the building. This is in keeping with the building’s target of achieving a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) Excellent rating.

Dave Cook, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “Great progress is being made on-site at Canterbury College, with a number of milestones coming to the fore over the coming months. The new facilities will be of great benefit to the students, staff and local community and we are delighted to be part of that process.”

Hull selects developer partners for 4,000 new homes

Hull selects developer partners for 4,000 new homes

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