Affordable housing

Telford development reaches out with new homes and jobs

Telford development reaches out with new homes and jobsNew homes and jobs are being created in Telford as part of a £11 million project by Sanctuary Group that will see the building of hundreds of new homes in the area.

The leading housing and care provider is developing 86 extra care apartments for over 55s as well as 12 apartments specially designed for people with learning difficulties, in Ketley.

A 500-strong workforce has begun work on the Ketley Park Road site as part of a £60 million partnership with national contractor Seddon to build more than 700 new homes in the Midlands.

The Telford scheme is set to be finished in autumn 2014. It has been partly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency and is being delivered in partnership with Telford and Wrekin Council.

Councillor Hilda Rhodes said: “This is an excellent scheme which very much reflects the council’s drive to support businesses and I was delighted to kick start the work on the site. I look forward to seeing the projects develop in the months to come.”

 
David Charmbury, area manager with HCA, said: “The HCA is pleased to be working with our strategic partners and making investment into this scheme.

“Not only will the development cater for local need, it will also provide much needed economic and employment benefits for the borough and complete another key component of the wider Telford Millennium Community.”

The new extra care scheme, set in landscaped gardens, will feature communal facilities including a restaurant, lounge, gym and hair salon.

 
Sanctuary’s development, Andrew White, said: “This is an ambitious project which will create much needed homes for older people in this part of Ketley. Sanctuary is dedicated to creating new jobs and apprentice posts at all our developments and this site is no different.”

What is your reaction to the multi-million Telford residential scheme that will create new jobs and boost the construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

£32m investment to unlock 5,000 jobs

£32m investment to unlock 5,000 jobsProposals to create thousands of new homes and jobs in Devon have been backed by the Government to invest £32 million in the project to get the first phase of work underway.

The investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is intended to unlock the development of the long-awaited new community of Sherford, which is anticipated to bring 5,500 new homes and create 5,000 jobs.

The development is expected to generate around £1billion in development expenditure to the area and provide an economic boost worth around £2billion.

Subject to the agreement of legal terms, the investment would be used by a development consortium led by Red Tree to start work on the development and begin a series of important road and utilities improvements to accommodate the early phases of house building.

The funding, unveiled by housing minister Mark Prisk, is set to kick-start construction of houses and community facilities at the new town of Sherford.

The scheme will also include 893,000 sq ft of employment space as well as schools, a town hall, swimming hall and community park.

Colin Molton, HCA executive director for the South and South West, said: “The new community of Sherford is an incredibly important project, because it will go a long way towards meeting the significant need for new homes in Devon and Plymouth and provide a major boost for the economy.

“It is a complex development, which has taken years to bring to this stage. It is fantastic news that investment has been approved which will support the development of the sustainable new community of Sherford. I look forward to seeing work start on the project soon.”

Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans added: “For every home built, one and a half permanent jobs are created. This is not just good news for the construction industry, it’s good for the wider supply chains and the businesses and shops that will all begin to see new customers as this new community begins to take shape.”

What is your reaction to the £32 million of investment that will unlock 5,000 jobs in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

£80m Woking housing development reaches out for new jobs

£80m Woking housing development reaches out for new jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is your reaction to the multi-million residential scheme in Woking that will deliver hundreds of new homes and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Government commits £1bn investment to build 10,000 new homes

Government reveals £1bn build-to-rent fund set to deliver 10,000 new homesHousing Minister Mark Prisk announced today that up to 10,000 new homes could be built by 2015 that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The minister announced the first 45 projects to be taken forward using the £1 billion Build to Rent Fund which will provide equity finance to house builders and developers.

Mr Prisk said that the innovative new projects, a quarter of which are for London, will be the first step toward creating a more balanced rental market, driven by quality instead of demand.

The Build to Rent Fund is designed to help developers invest in homes built specifically for private rent by reducing the up-front risk in a relatively untested market.

A first round of projects will now receive a share of £700 million government investment package, with a second round of bids for the remaining fund expected to open later this year.

Projects going forward in this round have the potential to deliver between 8,000 and 10,000 homes, and include:

  • Genesis Housing Association, with plans for new rental homes around London
  • Place First, along with Together Housing Group, who will be building across Northern England
  • Crest Nicholson, who intend to bring a significant number of homes to market over many sites across the country

Mr Prisk said that the varied mix of developers, from brand new organisations and small housing providers to long-established developers, will bring new blood into a market currently dominated by small-scale buy-to-let landlords, and will help to give tenants more choice when choosing a home in the future.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This government is determined to get Britain building, and the Build to Rent Fund is set to help us deliver, with up to 10,000 new homes to be built from these projects.

“We’ve seen overwhelming demand for the fund, and it’s become clear that there’s a real appetite for rental investment. We want to support that, which is why we’ve made a £1 billion Budget boost to the fund.

“Now, these new projects will help us map this almost uncharted market, bringing in new blood to improve rental quality and choice, and building the new homes that this country wants and needs.”

What is your reaction to the new £1bn build-to-rent fund that will deliver 10,000 new homes and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Business Secretary launches new Anglia growing business fund

Business Secretary launches new Anglia growing business fund

Business Secretary Vince Cable has launched a new £3 million funding scheme for East Anglia that will kick-start growth for small firms in the trades.

The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership is specifically aimed at helping firms that want to grow but have been held back by a lack of finance.

The £3 million fund will provide cash grants to businesses looking to expand their operations

and create new jobs. Funding for the scheme has come from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The fund will provide grants of up to 20%, between £25,000 and £100,000, to business that have a shortfall in their investment plan and are able to create at least one job for every £10,000 provided by the fund.

The Business Secretary launched the fund at Redpack in Norwich, a company which hopes to benefit from the new fund and expand its existing operations in the city.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “A lack of finance is one of the biggest barriers facing firms that want to grow. The government is already taking big steps to help companies bridge that gap and now, thanks to this new fund, businesses across East Anglia will get that helping hand they need.

“Through programmes like the New Anglia ‘Growing Business Fund’, the government’s Regional Growth Fund has supported around 1,200 small and medium sized companies across the country, helping them create jobs, increase skills and grow their business.”

What is your reaction to the new funding scheme for East Anglia that will kick-start growth for small businesses and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

NewBuy scheme set to boost housebuilding in Wales

The Welsh Government

The Welsh Government has announced to launch its flagship mortgage guarantee scheme this summer that will boost the construction industry and create new jobs.

The NewBuy Cymru scheme will enable home buyers to access high loan value mortgages which will have a positive impact on the housing market and see the building of around 3,000 new homes across Wales.

The housing sector has widely welcomed the scheme which is set to provide significant employment opportunities in the trades. It is estimated that for every £1 spent on building houses, there is £1.40 generated in gross output across the economy as a whole.

Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Carl Sargeant, said: “NewBuy Cymru is not only good news for the Welsh economy but good news for families and individuals across Wales.

“We are all aware of the difficulties that people are having in either buying their first home or moving up the housing ladder. NewBuy Cymru will provide a helping hand in the shape of a mortgage guarantee to people that have been saving hard to put down a deposit for a new home.

“By helping to kick-start the housing sector it’s hoped that NewBuy Cymru will help tackle poverty and provide a welcome short in the arm to our economy.”

Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation, Stewart Baseley, said: “It is fantastic news for Wales that NewBuy is being launched. In recent years many people in Wales have been unable to buy a home because of the large deposits required to secure a mortgage.

“NewBuy will allow people to buy with a more realistic 5% deposit and so realise their dream of home ownership. Opening up the market will also allow builders to build more homes, so creating jobs and providing Wales with an economic boost.”

What is your reaction to the new NewBuy scheme in Wales that will see the building of new homes and boost the construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

Plans for Great Haddon Urban Extension given the go-ahead

Plans for Great Haddon Urban Extension given the go-aheadPeterborough City Council has approved plans for building 5,300 new homes as part of the Great Haddon development which is set to create thousands of jobs in the construction industry.

Peterborough Planning and Environmental Protection Committee has backed plans to build three primary schools, one secondary school and some 5,300 new homes alongside the 390 hectare site in the south west of Peterborough

The scheme is expected to create 24,600 new jobs in the next 8 years whilst delivering wider economic growth to the Peterborough area and boosting the trades.

The project has been included in the government’s London-Stansted-Cambridge-Peterborough growth area to help meet the UK’s housing shortage and generate economic growth.

The Committee has asked the Consortium to work up further details for certain aspects of the scheme, such as the design of the Yaxley ‘Loop Road’ and the timing of provision of community facilities, to ensure that those aspects of the scheme are fully scrutinised prior to implementation of the consent.

The applicants’ team will be working these details up over the coming weeks prior to a report being presented back to Committee.

Lucia Serluca, the chairman of the planning committee, said it was essential that good and efficient infrastructure is built before people started moving in to the new homes.

“Let’s not just build the houses and forget about everything else,” she said.

“We need to build the houses in conjunction with the educational centre, the retail centre, to make sure the amenities that those residents will have, they have as soon as they live on the development.”

 

George Osborne reveals £3bn infrastructure fund to boost the trades

George Osborne reveals £3bn extra investment to boost the trades

Chancellor George Osborne has used Budget 2013 to announce an additional £3 billion investment plan to boost infrastructure spending and create new trade jobs.

The Budget sets out further action to build a stronger economy, with help for UK businesses to create jobs and kick-start major construction projects across England.

Chancellor Osborne said in Parliament today that the government was “already supporting the largest investment in railways since Victorian times and spending more on new roads than in a generation.”

The Government would now boost spending by £3 billion from 2015-16 with the money saved from departmental budgets, amounting to a total of £15 billion of extra capital spending in the next 10 years

The Chancellor has also announced a new Help to Buy scheme involving equity loans on new build houses and £130 billion mortgage guarantee programme that will help people to buy their new homes.

Chancellor George Osborne said that by investing in the arteries of the country’s infrastructure, the Government will get growth “flowing to every part of the country”.

The latest stimulus of financial support to tackle long-term shortage in the housing market will see the building of new homes and boost employment in the construction industry.

Mr Osborne said: “We’ve switched billions of pounds from current to capital spending since the spending review. But on existing plans, capital spending is still due to fall back in 2015-16. I don’t think that’s sensible.

“So by using our extra savings from government departments, we will boost our infrastructure plans by £3 billion a year from 2015-16.

“That’s £15 billion of extra capital spending over the next decade. Because by investing in the economic arteries of this country, we will get growth flowing to every part of it.

“And public investment will now be higher on average as a percentage of our national income under our plans than it was in the whole period of the last Government.

“In June, we will set out long term spending plans for that long term capital budget.

“And we will use the expertise of Paul Deighton, the man who delivered the Olympics and who now serves in the Treasury, to improve the capacity of Whitehall to deliver big projects and make greater use of independent advice.”

The British Property Federation has welcomed the Government’s funding increase to kick start the housing market and help a number of build-to-rent schemes.

Director of policy at the British Property Federation, Ian Fletcher, said: “It’s encouraging the Government’s confidence in build to rent has been reciprocated and we are delighted to see that the equity funding was heavily oversubscribed.

“Working in partnership with government the sector should deliver an exciting and quality array of homes for renters.”

What is your reaction to Budget 2013 announced by Chancellor Osborne to boost infrastructure spending and build new homes? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

Government Approves Northampton Enterprise Zone Site

CPO Powers Secure Enterprise Zone Site

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has confirmed a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for the development of a 2.4 hectares scheme in Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone.

The CPO is set to kick-start the transformation of the area, boosting the construction industry and creating new jobs in the trades. Plans include the building of 40,000 sq metres quality office space and six-storey Innovation Centre, which begins construction this summer.

Councillor David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “Across our town we are seeing exciting Northampton Alive projects breathing new life into areas as we unlock their potential.

“There are real opportunities to invest in Northampton and our Enterprise Zone. This is another positive step as we bring together another site for redevelopment and new employment opportunities.”

WNDC now owns all of the vacant land, 5 commercial properties and 10 residential properties in St Peter’s Waterside. In addition, the Corporation is in advanced discussions with National Grid about the potential to include two adjoining Gasholder sites in the development plans.

Government Approves Northampton Enterprise Zone Site

The CPO is one of two that the Corporation has launched in the Northampton Enterprise Zone, with the other Order covering the Avon Nunn Mills site. A decision on that CPO is expected later this spring.

Chris Garden, WNDC’s Director of Regeneration said: “With its central location and transport links, St Peter’s Waterside is a perfect location for high profile office development.  We have been buying land in the area for some time, but this CPO means we have consolidated various sites and can press ahead with our plans.

“There will be cranes in the skyline this summer, with work starting on the first phases of development and demolition. Meanwhile, directly opposite the site, construction will be underway on Northampton’s new railway station. It is a defining period in the regeneration of the town.”

What is your reaction to the Compulsory Purchase Order given by Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, to pave to way for new businesses as well as boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

White City residential scheme gets the go-ahead

Dairy Crest Site

Hammersmith and Fulham Council have given the go-ahead to Helical Bar and Aviva Investors to build 1,150 new homes in White City, west London.

The 1.5 million sq ft residential-led development is based on the former Diary Crest site and is expected to create thousands of jobs in the construction industry and boost the trades.

Current plans include demolition of all existing buildings on the site and providing up to 1,150 new homes, business space, local retail and associated services, leisure and a range of community facilities comprising a multi-purpose community building incorporating basement and service level car parking.

The scheme will also see the building of an Urban Square, a public Central Garden Square with communal and private space available on site.

Development Director at Helical Bar, Matthew Bonning-Snook, said: “We are extremely excited about our proposals for Brickfields.

“The Eric Parry design code for the masterplan uses a predominantly natural palette of brick and stone to create sustainable and attractive buildings which, alongside the public realm and amenities, will form a genuine new London community.”

The brick-built homes will be a mixture of affordable, shared and private ownership. The developer and partner Aviva Investors also plan to build 150,000 sq ft of offices, retail and community facilities.

The site is part of the Mayor of London’s and Hammersmith and Fulham’s White City Opportunity Area, set to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs for the capital.

What is your reaction to the new residential development at White City that will see the building of new homes and boost employment in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

Boris Johnson reveals £100m affordable housing boost

Train4TradeSkills Blog Boris JohnsonThe Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has secured a £100 million government investment for housing providers to help boost affordable housing in the capital.

The new investment secured by Mayor Johnson forms the latest part of his pledge to safeguard London’s affordable housing market and create new jobs in the construction industry.

By improving housing options of Londoners, Boris Johnson is providing a real boost for building professionals and people working in the trades.

Today’s investment represents an additional funding to the first £100 million Housing Covenant announced by the Mayor in September. The scheme will target housing providers who commit to starting construction on site by March 2015 at the latest.

Mayor Boris Johnson said: “This latest tranche of cash is another fantastic opportunity for housing providers in the capital to deliver the homes that this city desperately needs.

“Whether it’s for affordable homes to own, or to make better use of properties that lie empty or under-used, the fund will help working Londoners across the capital and create valuable jobs in construction.”

The Mayor, who has overseen the release of 100 hectares of Greater London Authority land since he assumed his new housing powers, announced last month that funding allocations for the first part of his Housing Covenant would deliver more than 3,000 homes and support around 6,000 construction jobs.

Developers, local authorities, charities and private organisations are all invited to bid for funding, which will be used to deliver affordable homes to own.

The Mayor also wants to hear from organisations committed to bringing empty properties or under-used commercial units back into use as affordable homes or to help London boroughs tackle homelessness. Organisations interested in submitting bids in London will need to do so by April 30. The funding prospectus for this round of funding can be accessed from here.

Government’s support for improving new homes and boosting energy efficiency

Improving new build homes to cut energy billsCommunities Minister Don Foster has committed to improving energy efficiency levels in new homes that will save up to £100 per year in bills and boost the trades.

A programme of work between the government, manufacturing and construction industry will look at where some new build homes are failing to match up to expectations, from building materials to construction practices, paving the way for new jobs across key sectors in the trades.

This work will include a programme of testing homes’ energy efficiency and a set of recommendations for making future improvement on the buildings that need additional work.

Speaking at the Eco-build green building conference today Don Foster said: “Home energy bills are one of the biggest costs that people and families face, especially during a really cold winter such as this one.

“I want to do everything to cut bills by making homes in this country the most energy efficient possible. From today government and industry will be working hand in hand to ensure new build homes live up to expectations, and drive energy bills down for householders.

“The alternative would be further regulation of industry but I do not want to add red tape and financial burdens that would just be passed on to already struggling homebuyers. Instead I want to work with industry to improve standards and performance in practice.”

New build homes in England are some of the best quality in the world, with existing high standards on energy efficiency. Today’s deal will be overseen by the Zero Carbon Hub, which brings together industry including the Home Builders Federation, Construction Products Association and the National House-Building Council.

The scheme will run from 2013 to 2020, with the first set of recommendations for improvement due next year. The government will be providing £380,000 with a further £1 million of cash and in-kind support from industry.

Government approves £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme

Government approves £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme

The Government has given the go-ahead to the £5.5 billion regeneration scheme in Liverpool that will create tens of thousands of jobs and boost the trades.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has today approved the ambitious Liverpool Waters scheme which will see the building of 9, 000 homes and 3 million square feet of commercial development,
including hundreds of offices, hotels, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities .

The granted planning permission will enable Peel Holdings and the City Council to begin work on the plans that are expected to create more than 20,000 jobs.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “Today’s announcement marks the start of a new era for Liverpool, paving to way to us delivering a world class development which will transform a part of the city that has been in desperate need of investment for decades.

“Liverpool Waters will create thousands of jobs and opportunities for local people, as well as providing new housing and attracting new businesses and visitors.

“It’s a huge boost for our city and yet more evidence that despite the recession, regeneration is forging ahead here. We can now look forward to the plans moving forward on this once-in-a-lifetime scheme which will bring huge, lasting benefits to future generations in this city.

“It’s vital that Peel delivers these plans in a way which meets the conditions set out by the planning committee and we’ll be working closely with them to make sure this is achieved.”

The go-ahead for the Liverpool Waters scheme adds further momentum to regeneration in the city, with a recent audit finding that hundreds of millions of pounds worth of projects are active in the city, despite the recession.

Development Director at Peel, Lindsey Ashworth, said, “This is a well-deserved reward and justice for all those who never gave up supporting this scheme – the Government is now demonstrating its support for Liverpool Waters too.”

The planning consent will open up opportunities and new prospects to link UK businesses with other international organisations from Asia and the rest of the world, making Liverpool become the UK’s second city to London.

What is your reaction to the Government’s decision to approve the ambitious Liverpool Waters scheme that will create 20,000 jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Quintain gets the go-ahead for building new homes at Greenwich Peninsula

Quintain gets the go-ahead for building new homes at Greenwich Peninsula

Quintain has been given the go-ahead to build more than 500 new homes as part of a £5 billion master plan at London’s Greenwich Peninsula.  

Construction work on site is set to start in summer 2013, paving the way for new trade jobs and boosting the building construction industry.

Peninsula Riverside forms part of a multi-billion master plan which will deliver 10,000 new homes to transform Greenwich Peninsula into London’s most exciting riverside community.

Max James, Chief Executive of Quintain said: “We are delighted that the Royal Borough of Greenwich has granted detailed planning consent for 506 homes at Peninsula Riverside.

This decision paves the way for construction work to start on site this summer delivering new jobs and homes; a positive step in transforming the vision for Greenwich Peninsula into reality.”

The 190 acre scheme has been given an outline planning consent by the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It will see the building of residentially led mixed-use development scheme with new homes spread across four quarters and a commercial district, including a 40-acre park.

Anthony Gill, Development Director for Greenwich Peninsula said: “The Peninsula Riverside development will continue the unstoppable momentum East London has enjoyed since the Olympic Games.

“The combination of affordable riverside living, just one tube stop from Canary Wharf and within 15 minutes’ reach of the West End, ensures Peninsula Riverside will become one of the most exciting new housing schemes in London.”

Accelerating delivery on major sites like Greenwich Peninsula is a key part of the Mayor of London’s work to boost the building of homes for Londoners and drive investment in the capital’s economy.

Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property, said: “Greenwich Peninsula, with its potential to deliver thousands of homes, including a large proportion of affordable housing, and jobs, is exactly the kind of development we want to see moving forward in London helping to boost the economy and accelerate the number of homes being built on GLA public land.”

What is your reaction to the building of hundreds of new homes at London’s Greenwich Peninsula?  Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Enterprise Zone Fund to accelerate growth and create new jobs

Enterprise Zone Fund to accelerate growth and jobs

A £59 million Enterprise Zone Fund to help speed up growth and create thousands of new trade jobs has been launched by the Government.

Enterprise Zones across England can now apply for funding to help them ‘turn shovel ready sites into job ready sites’ by completing key infrastructure projects and boosting the trades.

They reflect the Government’s core belief that economic growth and job creation should be led by the private sector. The Zones are focused on removing barriers to private sector growth with lower tax levels for business and a simplified planning regime and a lighter regulatory and administrative burden.

The Fund will help those Zones with real growth potential to put in place the infrastructure required to unlock sites so businesses can set up and take advantage of the offer available in Enterprise Zones, such as business rate discounts, simplified planning and superfast broadband.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles said: “Economic growth is this government’s biggest priority and Enterprise Zones are the engine room of that strategy. They are a fantastic way to attract the jobs and business investment that local areas need. This new £59 million fund will turbo charge that engine by turning shovel ready sites into job ready sites.

“Enterprise Zones have all the raw ingredients and growth incentives – simplified planning, low tax, super fast broadband and inward investment – they need to translate their potential into jobs and growth success. This is an opportunity to lay the infrastructure foundations so they are ‘gift wrapped’ ready to house new businesses.

“It is time for Enterprise Zones to take up the gauntlet of growth. Local Enterprise Partnerships can do more to make zones realise their potential sooner. The government is determined to work flat out with partnerships to clear any roadblocks in their zone’s path so they can forge ahead and deliver the jobs the country’s economy needs.”

The £59 million fund is part of the Government’s Local Infrastructure Fund of £474 million designed for infrastructure investment to support local economic growth, jobs and homes.

What is your reaction to the Enterprise Zone Fund that will support economic growth and create thousands of new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

1,200 new homes and further investment for Cornwall

New homes and further investment for CornwallCornwall Council has committed to working with five different housing associations to deliver 1,200 new affordable homes in Cornwell over the next 4 years.

The Council has re-iterated its commitment to meet local housing needs as well as to create hundreds of construction jobs in the building industry and boost the trades.

Joining residents and representatives of Devon & Cornwall Housing (DCH) Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, Mark Kaczmarek, said: “The Council works closely with a number of housing associations to deliver affordable homes for local people.

“The Council supports the delivery of new affordable housing through the planning process, and planning permission for this scheme was granted in 2010.  Cornwall Council also provides funding towards the cost of new affordable housing, including a contribution of £55,000 to this specific scheme.

“But this is not the only investment we are making. Given the desperate housing shortage and the Council’s commitment to meeting local housing needs, the Council has agreed ambitious plans to match pound for pound Government investment in new homes.

“I am pleased to announce that the Council is signing contracts with five housing associations to deliver an additional 1,000 affordable homes in Cornwall over 4 years with investment totalling over £20 million. Few councils have made such a commitment.

“DCH is one of the Council’s key partners and today I am endorsing a contract with DCH which will see them commit to deliver 500 affordable homes for Cornwall. This is a Council fund, in addition to their own schemes and programmes funded through Government. The Council welcome DCH’s commitment and the ambition they are showing in working with us to meet Cornwall’s needs.”

Andy Moore, Chief Executive of Penwith Housing Association, part of DCH said: “There is a huge need for affordable housing across Cornwall. The delivery agreement with Cornwall Council is extremely important in providing vital new homes like the homes at St Stephen and we are pleased to be one of the partners working with them.”

The £2.6 million scheme in St Stephen, which was completed in January 2012, provides 18 homes for rent and 4 for shared ownership.

There are 9 x 2 bedroom homes, 10 x 3 bedroom homes, and 3 x 4-bedroom properties. Support came from a £1,350,000 investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and a grant of £55,000 from Cornwall Council.

The group visited residents’ homes to see how living in their affordable housing has had a positive effect on their lives ensuring they were able to stay within the community where their families were based.

What is your reaction to the new affordable homes that will create jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Nick Clegg backs City Deal for new jobs and growth

Government unveils more ‘City Deals’ to boost growth

Nick Clegg has today transferred greater powers to local authorities across England to drive economic growth, build thousands of new homes and boost employment in the trades.

The Deputy Prime Minister has backed the ‘City Deal’ which aim is to grant more freedom, powers and tools needed for local government to shape their economic future and create new jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said: “Even more places will be free from Whitehall control and have the tools to power their own growth. These deals help cities and their wider areas make once in a generation changes that will be felt by everyone across their region.”

Councils in England need to ease planning regulations and have greater control over funds to accelerate housing and residential developments.

According to Coventry and Warwickshire local authorities, the scheme is estimated to create around 30,000 jobs across the region and boost the trades.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) that led the City Deal bid said it was pleased by the Government’s decision to drive economic development tand create new jobs in the area.

Sir Peter Rigby, chair of the CWLEP said: “This is great news for Coventry and Warwickshire and allows us to put our very exciting plans into place to do just what the LEP was established to do – to create jobs and economic growth and prosperity.”

Deputy Prime Minister 1

The 20 cities and their outline proposals: 

Black Country: want to use a City Deal to grow their high-value manufacturing sector. They want to build on the Black Country’s track record in designing, building and exporting components and products such as aircraft control systems, turbo technology and an extensive range of automotive components.

Bournemouth and Poole: want to use a City Deal to encourage a transition to a more balanced local economy by boosting Advanced Manufacturing (particularly marine and aerospace) as well as digital and creative industries.

Brighton and Hove: want to use a City Deal to realise the economic potential of their eco-tech sector.  This is a new, and growing, sector in Brighton & Hove. The universities have developed specialisms in this area.  Brighton and partners want to build on this and encourage more innovation and business growth.

Greater Cambridge: want to use a City Deal to unleash the next wave of the “Cambridge Phenomenon”, which is a cluster of high-tech firms that focus on biotechnology, software and electronics around Cambridge, many of which have links with Cambridge University. Greater Cambridge wants to spread the “brand” of Cambridge over a broader area by creating better links between the science and business parks (e.g. Babraham Research Campus), the city centre (where Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities are based), strategic transport routes and key residential sites (including the new town development of Northstowe), as well as the Enterprise Zone at Alconbury.

Coventry and Warwickshire: want to use a City Deal to capitalise on existing strengths in advanced manufacturing and engineering and to support the expansion of this sector. Coventry and Warwickshire want to grow these sectors by raising the skill levels of the workforce by increasing the number of people with intermediate and high level engineering skills and encouraging greater innovation in the sector.

Hull and the Humber: wants to use a City Deal to maximise the potential of the Humber Estuary. The estuary is already a home to a chemicals and processing sector worth £6bn and has the highest tonnage throughput of any UK port.  Humber now wants to grow the “Energy Estuary” by maximising these opportunities and the benefits of offshore wind investment – and to ensure that local people have the necessary skills to take up these opportunities.

Ipswich: want to use a City Deal to equip local people and businesses with the skills they need to take advantage of significant expansion in high value jobs through development of Sizewell and Felixstowe.

Leicester and Leicestershire: want to use a City Deal to accelerate the growth of key sectors in the economy (notably manufacturing and logistics) and to encourage greater commercialisation of research emanating from the three universities in the area (Loughborough, Leicester and De Montfort).

Milton Keynes and the South East Midlands: want to use a City Deal to deliver significant, sustainable growth in housing.   Over the longer term, this will allow the local area, and South East Midlands, to attract and find homes for high-skilled workers to drive economic growth.  In the shorter term, providing confidence to private sector developers will create jobs in construction and industry supply chains.

Greater Norwich: wants to use a City Deal to accelerate the growth of the internationally-recognised environmental and life sciences industry within the Greater Norwich area by focusing on the potential of Norwich Research Park.

Oxford and Oxfordshire: want to use a City Deal to accelerate the growth of the knowledge economy by building on the strong base (including significant clusters in bio-sciences, space technology and cryogenics), two world-class universities (Oxford and Oxford Brookes) and  internationally-recognised ‘Big Science’ research centres (eg Culham Research Centre and Harwell Laboratories).

Plymouth: wants to use a City Deal to build on its strengths in advanced engineering and design, marine renewable energy, maritime and sub-sea operations and supporting technologies.  It seeks to do this by increasing the commercialisation of research in these areas and increasing exports from its high growth companies.

Preston:  has seen significant private sector growth in the last 10 years, largely driven by growth in small and medium sized businesses.  Preston want to build on this and sustain further growth, particularly in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing sector by investing in infrastructure.

Reading and Central Berkshire: want to use a City Deal to ensure that local people have the skills they need to access local job opportunities.  Reading wants to focus on ensuring that people have skills in the growing sectors (particularly construction, logistics and knowledge intensive areas) and to ensure school leavers have the soft “employability” skills businesses need.

Southend and South Essex: want to use a City Deal to increase investor confidence to increase the supply of good quality office space and housing which will accelerate business expansion.

Stoke and Staffordshire: want to use a City Deal to build on strong heritage to become the internationally competitive home for Advanced Materials businesses in Europe.  They want to grow the advanced materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, etc.) sector and to promote the use in advanced manufacturing.

Southampton and Portsmouth: wants to use a City Deal to drive the growth and diversification of the maritime sector in the area. They are seeking to do this by supporting growth in the associated sub-sectors of transport and logistics, defence and advanced manufacturing, the visitor economy and the complex supply chains linked to research and innovation.

Sunderland and the North East: want to use a City Deal to expand their manufacturing base and to diversify and grow the city’s economy.

Swindon and Wiltshire: want to use a City Deal to capitalise on the strong military presence in the area.  They seek to do this by increasing the number of spin-offs firms from developments in military technology and to harness the skills from ex-servicemen/women.

Tees Valley: wants to use a City Deal to establish a global super cluster of petrochemical and processing industries  to compete on the world stage. They want to build on Tees Valley’s current industrial complex, which includes over 50% of the country’s petrochemical and a significant percentage of the pharmaceutical sectors.  Such a super cluster would have at its heart the production of cleaner energy, containing new developing, and associated, sectors such as biofuels from waste and other forms of renewable energy such as offshore wind.

Legal & General get the go-ahead to build new homes in Croydon

Legal & General get the go-ahead for new homes in Croydon

Work is due to start for the building of 288 new homes in Croydon after Legal & General received planning permission to transform Nestlé’s former Croydon headquarters into flats.

The financial investment company was given planning permission for the St George’s House scheme in Croydon that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport, said: “This exciting plan matches the council’s vision for transforming the town centre into a place to live as well as to work, shop and socialise.

“It’s a significant leap forward in the council’s strategy for regenerating the town centre, refreshing its 1960s streetscape and boosting the economic growth of the borough.”

Charlie Walker, director at Legal & General Property, said: “Last night’s decision marks an important step forward for Croydon and is a strong testament to the hard work we have put in over the past year to ensuring our proposals not only complement the existing qualities of the borough but contribute to its wider regeneration, enhancing its position as a desirable residential location.

“We believe that not only will this scheme deliver much needed high quality residential accommodation to the very centre of town, but should bring a new lease of life to the area by significantly improving the public realm, creating a more accessible and attractive civic space for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Legal & Generals plans include community and retail space at ground level and a roof top garden area that will be environmentally sustainable.

There will also be 160 car parking and 313 secure cycle spaces and a café on the corner of Park Street and Park Lane.

The planning committee granted permission to the scheme less than seven months after being presented with the pre-application enquiry.

Stanhope launches masterplan for BBC Television Centre

TELEVISION CENTRE, WHITE CITY

Property developer Stanhope has outlined plans for BBC’s iconic Television Centre in White City that could see the building of 1,000 new homes.

Stanhope and the BBC have launched their vision to transform the Television Centre in West London that will be turned into office and studio space for the BBC, modern housing, complementary entertainment, leisure facilities and a hotel.

Listed buildings are to be retained, while the “inner ring” of the TV Centre will be converted into new apartments that will create new trade jobs as well as boost the construction industry.

David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope Plc, said: “Stanhope is working in partnership with the BBC to deliver a publicly accessible mixed use remodelling of these iconic buildings and redevelopment of the adjoining land.

“We will be introducing a vibrant and exciting mix of new retail, leisure, office and residential uses whilst keeping and enhancing the famous original BBC buildings and retaining key operational BBC studio and office facilities on site.”

  • The listed buildings and the remodelled forecourt, frontage and elevation of Television Centre from Wood Lane will be retained
  • The ‘inner ring’ of Television Centre will be refurbished to provide space for a hotel and residential apartments
  • The current ‘Stage 4 and 5′ buildings will also be refurbished to provide speculative office space, targeted at being a new media or creative hub for businesses in the area
  • The ‘Drama Block’, ‘Restaurant Block’ and Multi Storey Car Park on Wood Lane will be replaced with new residential buildings and townhouses and the ‘East Tower’ will be replaced with a more slender and appropriately positioned residential building
  • A ‘Village Green’ of town houses for families with private rear gardens will be created to the south of the site
  • There will be approximately 1,000 new residential units and townhouses in total, including affordable housing
  • RIBA award winning practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris are Stanhope’s lead architects on the project, supported by Macreanor Lavington and Duggan Morris

 

What is your reaction to the transformation of the BBC Television Centre in White City that will be turned in to offices and new housing? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Government unveils £10bn investment to kick-start housebuilding

Government unveils £10bn investment to kick-start housebuildingThe Government has announced two new lending schemes that will help investors build thousands of new homes and boost employment in the construction industry.  

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Housing Minister Mark Prisk have set out how two investment schemes will provide up to £10 billion of lending guarantees to businesses that want to build new affordable homes.

The ministers are publishing further details on the schemes that will use the Government’s fiscal credibility to provide property investors with low-cost finance so they can deliver new private rented or affordable housing.

Both schemes were revealed in September 2012 to kick-start private investment in the housing sector, which will create thousands of new homes and jobs, boosting growth across the country.

The guarantees will support new-build projects, located in the United Kingdom. The private rented sector guarantee will back a variety of options to invest in new homes for private rent, from building new homes to converting existing commercial spaces into rental properties.

This will make vital finance available for projects in any part of the UK that have a minimum value of £10 million. The new homes will have to remain in the private rented sector until the money is paid back.

Following extensive consultation with the housing sector, the government is setting out eligibility requirements and how the guarantees will be structured, in the scheme rules for affordable housing and the scheme rules for private rented housing. It is also publishing an invitation to tender for the running of the schemes.

Chief Secretary, Danny Alexander said: “The announcement today shows we’re getting on with delivering an ambitious guarantee programme, giving projects across the UK a unique opportunity to take advantage of the strength of the UK’s balance sheet, allowing businesses and homeowners to benefit from lower borrowing costs and more affordable housing.

“We must build on this momentum to boost vital investment in the housing sector, creating jobs, supporting small businesses and building the foundations for growth across the country.”

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “The housing guarantee schemes will help to get spades in the ground, create jobs, and establish new business models that will ensure the private rented sector continues to grow and more affordable homes are delivered.”

What is your reaction to the new funding announced by the Government that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Wates announced as contractor for Midlands Priority Schools

Wates Construction UK

Wates Construction has been appointed by the Department for Education to deliver a £36 million contract in Coventry, paving the way for new trade jobs.

The contract, which is part of the Priority Schools Building Programme, will see Wates deliver building and refurbishment work across one secondary and four primary schools in Coventry.

The Educational Funding Agency (EFA) has launched the procurement exercise for a second batch of schools in the Midlands, paving the way for employment opportunities in the building construction sector.

Phil Harrison, Managing Director for Wates Construction, Midlands and North, commented: “We are delighted to have been named as the main contractor for the first batch of Priority Schools in the Midlands.

“This programme of works calls for a great deal of efficiency without a compromise on quality and our extensive expertise in producing innovative solutions in order to create outstanding education facilities places us as a trusted partner to the EFA.”

The Coventry batch is one of two in the first round of the £2.4 billion capitally funded Priority School Building Programme – the second of which covers the North East and Yorkshire.

Wates is going to work closely with the Education Funding Agency and the schools to develop the designs for the new facilities ahead of the start of building works.

 

£600m Scottish South-West hub deal will boost the trades

Scottish Future TrustThe South-West of Scotland is set to receive more than £600 million infrastructure investment over the next ten year that will create new trade jobs.

Creation of the South-West hubCo has been welcomed by construction firms across the region as a boost for securing future work in the building sector.

The multi-million deal was struck by six local authorities, three health boards, emergency services and other public bodies that will help secure long-term local employment opportunities.

Bill Martin, programme director of the South-West hubCo programme board, explained: “The structure of this relationship means that it will bring real opportunities to local businesses as over 80% of the construction value will be competitively tendered to SMEs on the supply chain.

“We are delighted with the outcome of the agreement which will deliver innovation and better value-for-money on all our construction projects.”

Nick Parker, chief operating officer of Equitix and a Director for Alliance Community Partnerships, stated: “We are very much looking forward to building a successful and long-lasting partnership with all organisations involved in the South-West hubCo, delivering much-needed projects and investment in the local communities.”

“Importantly, the formation of the South-West hubCo will facilitate the creation of new employment and training opportunities for local companies in challenging economic times.”

The Scotland-wide hub initiative is led by the Scottish Futures Trust and reflects a national approach to deliver new community infrastructure valued at more than £1.5bn over the next 10 years.

It brings community planning partners including health boards, local authorities, blue-light services and other public bodies together with a private sector development partner to form a hubCo, to increase joint working and deliver best value.

HS2 to recruit local land and property management firms to boost the trades

HS2 to recruit local land and property management firms to boost the trades

High Speed Two Ltd (HS2), the company planning and building Britain’s high-speed rail network is going to recruit local property management companies along the route between London and Leeds to boost the trades and create new jobs.

HS2 is seeking expressions of interest to provide both local as well as wider national expertise in valuation services; estate services; property management and in both urban regeneration and commercial development.

The aim of this is to spread the economic benefits of planning and building the new railway across the country from the earliest opportunity and boost the economy.

Local firms will be able to add to HS2’s knowledge and provide focused local expertise about the area in which they are based and boost confidence among local people.

Commenting, HS2 Ltd.’s Head of Land & Property, Liz Hirst, said: “We are looking for firms with local and national expertise who can help us with property management, surveying, valuation, development and regeneration services.

“We want to create opportunities for local and small business contractors and we are interested in learning more about both large and small companies with the skills that will be needed on HS2.”

An Official Journal of the European Union contract notice has been published inviting expressions of interest for the HS2 Ltd Land and Property Professional Services Framework.

 

Relaxed planning rules will boost the trades

Planning measures will help the tradesThe Government has announced new development rights that will allow office buildings to be converted into homes without the need for planning permission.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles argues that the new planning measures will ensure empty and underused offices can be swiftly converted into much-needed homes for local people.

The proposals are expected to create jobs in the construction industry and provide significant boost for people in the trades.

Further reforms will also help boost rural communities and create jobs by allowing agricultural buildings to be converted for other business uses.

Buildings no longer suitable or needed for agricultural use could be transferred into new growth-boosting ventures that benefit rural areas, such as shops, restaurants, small hotels and leisure facilities.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “We want to promote the use of brownfield land to assist regeneration, and get empty and under-used buildings back into productive use.

“Using previously developed land and buildings will help us promote economic growth, provide more homes and still ensure that we safeguard environmentally protected land.

“We are absolutely determined to support people striving to bring life back to their communities and high streets.”

Planning Minister Nick Boles said: “These new changes ensure the very best use is made of our existing buildings to provide new homes and makes sure we get the most use we can out of our previously developed land.

“These changes are an important step in improving the planning system and making sure it is in the best possible shape to swiftly adapt to changes and opportunities that can provide a big boost to the economy.”

President of the Country Land and Business Association, Harry Cotterell, said: “We are very pleased with this announcement. It is something for which we have campaigned for years.

“It offers farmers and land managers the chance to find alternative sources of income by using their redundant agricultural buildings in new ways.

“This will underpin their farming businesses and boost the rural economy by helping to create new jobs and businesses at a time when they are greatly needed.”

£200 million extra investment for housing in Scotland

The Scottish GovernmentScotland’s housing budget has increased by almost £200 million over the last year, paving the way for new homes to be built across the country.

With over 30 rep cent additional housing investment this year, compared to the 2011 Spending Review, the building construction sector is set to benefit from the recent funding which could create new jobs and boost the trades.

Decisions on the allocation of another £50 million investment package for the housing industry are expected to be announced later this month.

Speaking ahead of a debate on the Scottish Government’s Budget Bill, Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government has been absolutely clear that we aim to deliver at least 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this parliament and this funding will help ensure this commitment will be met.

“Despite Westminster cuts to our capital budgets the Scottish Government is delivering just as much new social housing – and more new affordable housing – as in the period up to 2007 when budgets were rising every year.

“The extra £50 million is our fourth tranche of extra housing spending announced over the last year, and is in addition to announcements made in February, June and September.

“The overall increase totals almost £200 million over the spending review period – demonstrating that where we have an opportunity to invest, this Government does exactly that.

“Housing is just one element of the Budget Bill which will be debated in Parliament this week. Parliament will be debating a Budget for Scotland’s economy. This Government is doing everything within its limited power to protect households, business and front line services, and this Budget provides further investment in construction, skills and the green economy.

“We are investing money to create and maintain jobs. Increased support for affordable homes will provide a much needed boost to the construction industry as well as improving the lives of the families who live in them.

“We are providing an immediate capital stimulus through support for shovel ready projects and we are helping businesses with a tax relief package worth over £540 million this year.

“This has to be seen against a 26 per cent real terms cut by the UK Coalition Government to Scotland’s capital budget in a failed attempt to reduce public sector borrowing.

“We have listened to the Scottish Parliament by bringing forward further investment in housing and we will continue to work with all parties to deliver a budget for growth.

“Only with the full levers of independence can Scotland properly capture economic opportunity and tackle inequality and poverty and we can do so more efficiently and effectively than currently happens in the UK.”

Go-ahead for new council houses in Linton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elephant & Castle regeneration to create 6,000 new jobs

Planning permission granted for Elephant & Castle masterplanSouthwark Council has given the go-ahead for a transformed Elephant & Castle, representing significant milestone in the regeneration of Central London that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Lend Lease, the integrated property and Infrastructure Company, will work with the Council to deliver a masterplan that will see the creation of one of the largest new housing developments in London.

By 2025, the scheme is expected to deliver 2,500 new homes, shops, restaurants and community facilities, paving the way for over 6,000 new jobs in the construction industry.

Mark Dickinson, Managing Director of Lend Lease’s Development business in EMEA, said: “The £1.5bn regeneration of Elephant & Castle is now underway.

“The approval of our masterplan vision sets in motion our long-term plans and our commitment to the area. We’ve set out our blueprint for the future but there is a lot of detailed work to undertake and we’ll continue working with the community at every step.

“At the heart of everything we do is the desire to create a sustainable place to live. A truly sustainable environment needs to bring economic benefits, support business growth and local job creation.”

The  new neighbourhood will be a low carbon energy development and the masterplan is currently one of just 18 global projects to be accepted as part of the Clinton Climate Positive Development Programme, designed to showcase and support large-scale urban projects that are ‘climate positive’.

There will also be significant improvements and investment in public transport, along with new pedestrian and cycle paths that will create one of the best connected locations in London.

Chancellor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “We now have the opportunity, working with local people and our partners Lend Lease, to continue the transformation of the area as a place where people want to live, work, shop and relax.

“The regeneration of Elephant & Castle will take time, but this announcement, and the starting of work on a brand new leisure centre, are all crucial steps towards a greener, safer and more attractive place in central London that people will be proud to call their home.

“It is so exciting to see this vital project gain momentum so that people will finally begin to see those much needed improvements being made on the ground.”

Housing Minister reveals funding to speed up building of new homes

Housing Minister Mark Prisk Reveals new fundingThe housing minister, Mark Prisk, said to bring forward the development of 6,300 new homes by providing fresh funds to support the building industry.

The Minister announced £20 million of fresh investment to accelerate the construction of 6,300 homes at the new town of Cranbrook in East Devon, paving the way for employment opportunities in the trades and boosting the construction sector.

Mr Prisk visited the new community of Cranbrook to see first-hand how a partnership approach to development is reaping impressive results from government investment.

Aside from the construction of new homes, he also announced that the money would be used to deliver the roads and infrastructure needed to develop a new town centre, with the remaining funds supporting the construction of a new secondary school and a second primary school as part of the next phase of Cranbrook’s development.

This investment in infrastructure is expected to accelerate the pace of the delivery of new homes from 300 a year to up to 500.

Today’s announcement is the first allocation of £225 million earmarked by the chancellor in his Autumn Statement for the delivery of 50,000 new homes in large, locally-supported housing programmes.

The funding programme for planned, large-scale sites, administered by the Homes and Communities Agency, will be targeted at schemes that are struggling to move forward because of the current economic climate.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This government is serious about building more homes. That’s why we have been looking carefully at how we can accelerate large, planned housing schemes that already have the support of local people, but need help to move forward in the current economic climate.

“So I’m delighted that today I can announce our intervention will help unlock the delivery of over 6,000 new homes in Cranbrook, and create thousands of jobs for local people.

“In the months ahead I will be announcing support for similar schemes. That means more investment, more jobs for our young people and more affordable homes for families across the country.

“We have set aside considerable funding to assist large housing programmes like Cranbrook, and I would urge anyone with similar proposals to come forward and contact my department.”

What is your reaction to the new funding announced by Housing Minister Mark Prisk that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

£58m Islington residential scheme to boost the trades

United House Wharf RoadUnited House is set to build 327 homes in a £58 million mixed-use residential scheme in Islington, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.

Architects FraserBrownMacKenna and project designers Stephen Marshall are behind the project, which is being developed by A2Dominion Group. The multi-million development

The canal-side scheme will comprise a mixture of private sale, shared ownership and social rent homes.

The apartments will be built in four blocks from seven to ten storeys tall with rooftop play areas and terraces and including almost 6,000 sq ft of commercial space.

The double storey basement to be built beneath the scheme is between listed buildings and within a conservation area.

All apartments will be built to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and commercial spaces will meet BREEAM Excellent. BIM will be incorporated in the construction.

 

 

Boost for Scotland’s construction industry

The Scottish GovernmentThe number of new homes started by private sector builders in the year to June 2012 was the highest recorded since the banking crisis started in 2008 according to official statistics.

Over that period, 10,827 new homes were started, a 24 per cent increase on the previous year. This increase follows three years of recorded annual decreases in private sector new build starts.

The statistics reflect new starts by house builders building for private sale, alongside other house building activity by construction companies throughout Scotland such as for RSL shared equity developments and self-build.

There was also a continued increase in the number of council houses across Scotland, with local authorities completing 1,206 new homes in the year to September 2012, the highest number since 1990.

Across all sectors 14,032 houses were started to June 2012, up by 4% compared to the same period last year.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “Scotland’s construction sector has faced the full force of the economic downturn.

“Times are still very tough, with high deposit requirements and reduced mortgage availability continuing to prove a barrier to recovery in the housing market.

“However, I welcome these latest statistics and hope this increased activity can spark an economic revival for the industry. Every house started supports jobs for bricklayers, joiners, plumbers and the wider supply chain.

“The Scottish Government is doing all it can to support the industry and boost supply. We plan to deliver at least 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of the Parliament, backed by investment of at least £760 million in the next three years.

“We have allocated almost £115 million to local authorities across Scotland, which is helping deliver over 4,400 council homes.

“And we are stimulating growth through the innovative National Housing Trust initiative and our shared equity schemes.

“We have also offered a guarantee to support up to 6,000 new build house purchases through a housing industry-led Mortgage Indemnity Scheme, to help address the banks’ requirements for high deposits.”

Mace to kick-start £250m Greenwich regeneration scheme

Developer Hadley Mace has finalised a deal with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Royal Borough of Greenwich to deliver a £250 million mixed-use scheme in east Greenwich that will create new jobs.

It is anticipated that the first phase of homes and community facilities will be completed by late 2014, with the entire development completed approximately three years later, paving the way for employment in the trades.

David Grover, director of Hadley Mace, said: “This leading scheme will demonstrate the benefits of public private consortium and its impact on a community that has been anticipating investment and re-development for more than 10 years.”

“The partnership between Hadley and Mace came about as a response to the Home and Communities Agency’s quest to find a new way of regenerating neighbourhoods with fresh, innovative thinking and creative investment.

“Acting as delivery partner for the client, and taking control of funding and risk aspects of the scheme, we are offering a full turn-key solution that can be replicated throughout the UK on all public land and any stalled public regeneration scheme.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This landmark regeneration scheme is a key part of my commitment to provide much-needed housing and jobs for Londoners by bringing forward public land for development.

“The East Greenwich project will see nearly 30% of homes built with families in mind and the construction of some fantastic new amenities that will help to create a thriving and vibrant community.

“I am delighted the scheme is now storming ahead and is another step closer to delivering what I have no doubt will be an exciting new place for Londoners to live, work and visit.”

Green Deal joins forces with Kier to boost the trades

Kier Services is the latest big builder to gain Green Deal accreditation from leading certification body NICEIC paving the way for employment in the trades.

Kier Services is now certified to carry out installer work and improve the energy efficiency of existing domestic and non-domestic buildings.

Green Deal is the Government’s flagship scheme to reduce energy emissions from homes and buildings across the UK. It is forecast to create thousands of new jobs in the building services engineering sector.

Last month the new Energy Company Obligations (ECO) was launched, with the aim of making up to 14 million homes more efficient through insulation, draught proofing, double glazing and other measures which are designed to reduce the energy usage.

Scott Murray, head of energy at Kier, said, “Kier has a great track record in providing repairs and maintenance in the housing sector, maintaining in excess of 300,000 homes – together with success in delivering similar government backed energy efficient and funded schemes such as the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) and CERT.

“As these current initiatives are phased out, Kier aims to be at the forefront of the Government’s new flagship initiative, not only helping to reduce carbon emissions by fitting energy efficiency measures, but by working with customers to consider changes in their behaviours to help combat the challenges of fuel poverty.”

NICEIC offer certification to any business wishing to become a Green Deal installer or advisor. The certification process ensures standards are maintained by any business undertaking Green Deal work for consumers.

Green Deal approval involves checks of all quality procedures within an organisation in addition to an ability to carry out the work. By going through these rigorous checks customers can have confidence in the firm they select to carry out the work.

Green Deal Project Manager at NICEIC, Nick Wright, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Kier on this important initiative. Green Deal installers will be responsible for carrying out the work which will see millions of homes across the UK upgraded to improve energy efficiency.

“It is vital that all firms carrying out this type of work have the correct and appropriate procedures in place. Consumers need to have confidence in the firms they employ to make Green Deal a success.”

 

£10 billion fund could build 300,000 new homes a year and create new jobs

The Future Homes Commission has set out plans to fund a three-fold increase in the number of new homes being built every year, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.

The Commission, set up by the Royal Institute of British Architects, has called on Government to use council pension pots to fund a massive housing programme that could see the building of 300,000 homes a year and boost the construction industry.

The Homes Commission argues for the creation of a new £10 billion Local Housing Development Fund, financed by the largest Local Authority pension funds, that would use 15% of their assets to invest in new rental and shared ownership housing.

The new scheme would play a lead role for the government to use localassets to lead the creation of sustainable communities and meet local housing needs as well as create thousands of jobs in the building construction industry.

A similar approach to that proposed is being pioneered by Manchester City Council, which is working with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund to build 244 homes.

The city council will release land into the joint venture at fair market valuation and GMPF will inject £25 million to pay for building work.

Both partners will then receive a capital payment on the sale of houses and an annual revenue return.

10-year multi-million maintenance contract to bring new jobs

Outsourcing company Mitie has been awarded a ten-year repair and maintenance contract that will create new trade jobs and boost building sector.

The contract is worth £70 million over ten years with the potential to rise to £120 million if Golding Homes issue additional works. The multi-million scheme will see the housing association’s upkeep of 6,000 properties across Kent.

The deal is expected to benefit customers with more flexible appointment system and a quicker repairs ordering process. It will generate additional opportunities for skills training and employment in the trades.

Peter Stringer, Golding Homes chief executive, said: “We carefully considered a range of models for providing repairs and maintenance services, based on our customers’ priorities.

We concluded that creating a wholly owned subsidiary company as a vehicle for the contract will best help us meet our goals.

“We are confident that selecting Mitie as our partner will bring the professional and innovative approach our customers deserve and we look forward to working closely with them.”

Mitie will work with Golding Homes and its wholly owned subsidiary Golding Services to deliver gas maintenance, responsive repairs, void reinstatements and planned works.

Commenting on the contract award, Peter Griffin, director for social housing at Mitie, said:

“At Mitie we’re passionate about working with our customers to develop strategic partnerships that can provide long-term investment in both service infrastructure and assets. We’re delighted to be working with Golding Homes and Golding Services to deliver this exciting new contract.”

£1bn University Olympic Park Set to Create New Jobs

University College London has been given the go-ahead to build a £1 billion campus next to the Olympic site in east London that would create 3,300 new jobs and boost the trades.

The decision means that Newham Council will now enter into detailed negotiations with the University regarding the proposed redevelopment of the Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood, a 23-acre site in Stratford set to create and sustain thousands of trade jobs.

UCL’s proposals for the site include academic and research facilities as well as new residential accommodation for students.

The decision by Newham Council enables UCL to start construction work on the Stratford site in 2016, paving the way for new jobs in the construction industry.

The £1 billion investment is forecast to lead to significant capital investment into the borough with new employment, and a permanent major boost to the local economy.
The proposed development would also provide world class architecture, public spaces and an academic gateway to the Olympic Park complementing the existing higher education offer in Newham.

This development would play a major part in delivering real improvements in the quality of life for Newham’s residents and opening up opportunities for future generations.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham said: “This important scheme will also inspire our youngsters to look at what prospects are available to them as well as creating fantastic long term economic benefits for residents and creating jobs and opportunities for years to come.”

John Burton, Director of Development at Westfield said: “We are delighted that UCL plans to establish its new university campus in Stratford. This announcement demonstrates that Stratford’s regeneration is accelerating – with over 10,000 new jobs already and many thousands more set to come with UCL Stratford and further development both in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Stratford town centre.

“We are seeing an astonishing transformation take place, and bringing one of the world’s top universities to Stratford will only strengthen its offer as one of the best connected and exciting development areas anywhere in Europe.”

More jobs in Keynsham due to a £36m Willmott Dixon scheme

Builder Willmot Dixon has finally got the green light to start of the regeneration of Keynsham town centre, near Bristol.

Bath and North East Somerset Council was forced to postpone the August start of the project earlier this year after criticism from some local people, and the town’s civic society about the designs .

Now after several design variations to the roofs and cladding, the council planning committee has approved the scheme.

The project involves the £36m redevelopment of the existing council offices site in Keynsham with new shops, a library and new council offices.

The buildings have already been stripped for demolition and the scheme, while the planning wrangle was being sorted out.

Original design

Revised plans

The project will allow the council to reduce the amount of office space it uses from 12 building to four and become more financially efficient.

Reduced running costs will deliver 10% annual savings that will benefit the local taxpayer public purse. The Council carbon footprint specifically in its buildings will reduce by up to 70%.

Source

Land Securities’ boost for UK jobs and the trades

Land Securities has been given the go-ahead to start a £350 million Kingsgate redevelopment that will create 2,500 jobs throughout its construction and boost the trades.

The announcement comes after the Prime Minister, David Cameron, visited the site and showed his support for the project in an attempt to prevent planning levy for local infrastructure being double-charged and cut red tape.

David Cameron said: “Already the changes we are making to the planning system are having an impact, with Land Securities giving the go-ahead to a major multi-million pound investment, supporting thousands of jobs in our construction industry.”

The scheme is designed by Lynch Architects and it comprises of two new buildings: The Zig Zag Building, a 190,000 sq ft office building over 14 floors with a staggered façade; and Kings Gate, a 12 storey residential building comprising 100 apartments.

Both buildings will provide a new and enhanced retail space with 45,000 sq ft of space, together with considerable improvements to the public realm benefitting the wider Victoria area. The buildings are planned to complete in summer 2015.

Robert Noel, Chief Executive of Land Securities said: “It is heartening to know that the Government has listened to the industry and acted to remove some of the uncertainty in the planning process.

“It enables us to progress with developing the former Kingsgate House site and continue to transform Victoria into a distinct and vibrant West End hub where people choose to live, work and visit.

“Our experience with our current developments demonstrates that Victoria is proving attractive to potential occupiers. This project will further add to its appeal.”

The scheme will also provide an affordable housing contribution of £11.6 million which will be directed towards the provision of affordable development in the Westminster area.

What is your reaction to the multi-million development that will pave the way for new trade jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Queens Park development to create new jobs

Plans to deliver a £17 million multi-use leisure centre for Queens Park residents in London have been given the go-ahead by Westminster City Council.

The scheme, which has cross value of £60 million, will see the building of 120 new homes developed by Regen on two sites within 0.6 miles of each other.

The new sport centre will be located on the existing Moberly site will be developed at no cost to the taxpayer. It will be funded by a private developer, Willmott Dixon, in exchange for building residential properties on both sites.

The Council is expected to benefit from uplift in sales values of the homes during construction which will create new jobs and boost the trades industry.

This type of land arrangement is set to become more widespread as councils look for innovative funding methods from private sector developers to unlock value and increase funds to build new facilities.

Westminster councillor and a deputy cabinet member for sport and the Olympics, Steve Summers, said: “Few councils are in the position of being able to build multi-million new sports facilities in the current financial climate.

“But together with Willmott Dixon, we look forward to working on proposals which will create a £17m sports centre for residents of Queen’s Park together with a smaller sports facility at the Jubilee site. This will all be done at absolutely no cost to the taxpayer, so represents incredible value for money.”

The new leisure facility will have a 25-metre swimming pool, eight court sports hall, health and fitness facility, exercise studios, a health spa plus boxing and gymnastics halls.

Andrew Telfer, CEO at Regen, said: “I am delighted to be working with Westminster City Council on this exciting and ground-breaking scheme.

“With both current leisure centres in need of modernisation, this solution provides a bigger, state-of-the-art property for the local community offering high quality sporting facilities for many generations to come along with much needed quality new homes.”

£1bn housing boost reaches out for new jobs

Yorkshire Building Society has announced plans to increase lending in social housing by £200 million each year which will boost the trades and create new jobs. 

The building society made the decision to increase lending to housing associations up and down the country for the next five years, paving the way for new employment opportunities in the construction sector.

The society, which won several mandates in 2012 including a £12 million deal to upgrade environmental and heating facilities for 1,800 properties on the Byker estate in Newcastle, has also  taken part in a £14.5m ‘Lending for Leasing’ facility for four new clients.

Head of social housing at Yorkshire Building Society, John Inglesfield, said: “We continue to see a stable and well-managed sector notwithstanding recent changes to the grant and benefit systems.

“As a mutual with the objective of helping our customers into homes, we feel comfortable with working with not for profit housing organisations which also aim to provide the housing people want and need.

“This increased allocation will provide the sector with access to lines of term credit to complement other sources of finance. We hope to work with new customers large and small in lot sizes from £5m to £50m.”

What is your reaction to the increase in social housing investment by the Yorkshire Building Society set to bring economic boost and help the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

£70m Black Country Housing Scheme Reaches Out for New Jobs

Plans to build hundreds of new homes in Sandwell are closer to breaking ground after three housing developers have been named to deliver the scheme.

Sandwell Council has selected Kier Partnership Homes, Barratt Homes and Compendium Living to build homes in West Bromwich, Smethwick and Wednesbury.

The scheme, partly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, will see the building of 768 new homes by 2015. The developments will include family homes, bungalows for older people as well as properties for private sale and for social rent.

Businesses and jobseekers are set to benefit from the scheme which is expected to generate more than £70 million worth of construction work and create hundreds of new jobs with local employers.

The three developers have signed construction pledges to work with local suppliers and the council’s Think Local and ‘Find It In Sandwell’ initiatives which will boost employment and help people in the trades.

Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for housing, said: “We’re pleased to announce partners who will help turn our vision for the future of housing in Sandwell into reality.

“We’ll be providing residents with an excellent range of affordable homes for local people to buy, part-own and rent and consult with local people about the new homes we plan to build.”

Assad Hamed, area manager for the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “We know through working closely with Sandwell Council that increasing the supply of affordable homes in the borough is a big priority and we are pleased our investment is supporting this.

“Getting all three schemes up and running will be a major boost for local communities in Sandwell as they will see lots of activity happening across the borough and will benefit from the impact of local jobs and economic growth.”

Pickles grants the go-ahead for 2,000 new homes

A property development company, Cala Homes, has been given the go-ahead to build 2,000 homes near Winchester which will create new jobs and boost the building industry.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has approved the developer’s plan for building thousands of new homes at the 230-acre Barton Farm site to the north of Winchester.

The scheme is intended to provide 40% affordable housing. It would make a valuable contribution to local businesses and boost the local economy.

The decision by the Communities Secretary paves the way for Cala to begin developing the site. Plans include the building of around 800 affordable homes, with supporting infrastructure and community facilities to help meet Winchester’s housing needs.

Group land director for Cala, Robert Millar, said: “Local people will benefit greatly from this decision. It will be a major contributor to stimulating the local economy and creating long term jobs.

“It will make a significant contribution to the chronic shortage of affordable housing enabling key workers and other local people to live in their own City.”

Mr Millar said that Cala will be examining the detailed design for each of the phases of this development to ensure the housing scheme is delivered as soon as possible.

Ed Balls Goes For New Affordable Homes

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has called for the building of 100,000 affordable homes that will boost the economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the construction industry.  

Today’s announcement comes as the shadow chancellor used his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester to demand radical measures to kick-start the economy and increase infrastructure spending.

Ed Balls said that a windfall of up to £4 billion is to come from the sale of the 4G mobile phone spectrum. This money could be used to fund the building of more affordable homes which will boost the trades and help people get on the property ladder.

Mr Balls said: “Let’s use that money from the 4G sale and build over the next two years 100,000 new homes – affordable homes to rent and to buy – creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and getting our construction industry moving again.”

According to the shadow chancellor, plans to boost long-term investment and skills are the only way to rising living standards and getting people into employment.

He said: “Conference, a clear and costed plan to kick-start the economy and get people back to work is to build the homes  that we need now and for the long-term, building our way out of recession and re-building Britain for the future.”

What is your reaction to the proposal by the shadow chancellor Ed Balls to use the £4 billion from the 4G mobile phone network sale to build 100,000 affordable homes and boost the economy? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

London Mayor Unveils £100m Housing Boost

London Mayor Boris Johnson has launched a £100 million fund to help a range of housing projects across the capital and boost the trades.

House builders will have the chance to put their bids forward to deliver major building work which could boost the London economy by £2 billion and create new jobs in the construction industry.

According to the Mayor, injecting such significant investment in the housing market could contribute £1 billion worth of construction projects across the city.

The Mayor has said that all ‘reusable investment’ from this funding boost will be reinvested for the building of more affordable homes over the next decade.

Motor Johnson said “To improve the housing choices of those who work to make this city the fantastic place that it is, I am opening up the market, cutting red-tape and injecting £100million  worth of investment to stimulate supply.

“The programme we are announcing will not just unlock the door to home ownership for thousands more Londoners, it will give a welcome shot in the arm for jobs in the capital’s construction industry and spur wider economic growth too.”

The first homes are expected to be available for sale in early 2013 with completions ranging up until March 2016.

Solent Enterprise Zone Reaches Out For New Trade Jobs

Plans to invest £25 million in the Solent Enterprise Zone that will create 1,200 new jobs have been finalised by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.  

The proposed investment would also support the development of a new 25,000 sq ft manufacturing business centre which will pave the way for new employment in the trades.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles, who visited the Enterprise Zone at Daedalus yesterday, revealed that £15 million of the investment will be used for building new homes and a community centre.

Hampshire County Council and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which are funding the project, have forecast that the development could create 1,182 jobs, of which 828 will be permanent.

Secretary of State Eric Pickles said: “This over £25m boost for the Solent Enterprise Zone will unlock its huge potential to deliver growth, homes and jobs and make a real difference to Gosport.

“It is local business and commerce that creates the growth and jobs this country needs and it’s this Government’s job to foster the conditions for those businesses to thrive.

“That is why through the Government’s Growing Places Fund and the setting up of Enterprise Zones, we have empowered local enterprise partnerships to drive forward their own local economic development.”

Colin Molton from the Homes and Communities Agency said: “This package of investment is great news for the local economy, which stands to benefit significantly from the ripple effect of new jobs and businesses coming to the Solent Enterprise Zone.

“This has been the result of partners working closely together to devise an innovative package which will maximise the use of the funds available to have a real positive impact on the ground.”

£200m housing development reaches out for new jobs

Crest Nicholson and the Homes and Communities Agency announced today the commencement of a £200 million housing scheme which will build 1,100 homes and pave the way for new trade jobs.

The mixed-use housing scheme at Oakgrove, Melton Keynes, is set to stimulate economic growth and meet high demand for new homes in the area as well as boost employment in the construction industry.

Oakgrove will form a new community with varied sized homes in a parkland setting clustered around a new neighbourhood centre, which will include retail and restaurant facilities.

The development is designed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and it will deliver achieve energy efficiency of a modern home. It will also include affordable housing for those unable to get onto the housing ladder.

Crest’s Executive Board Director, Chris Tinker, said: “Crest Nicholson is delighted to be commencing the delivery of this landmark and much anticipated development at such a critical time in the economic cycle.

“We would like to pay testimony to the officers and members of Milton Keynes Council who have worked hard with the Crest and HCA project team to bring this scheme forward.

“I have no doubt that through the jobs created and quality new homes it will both stimulate growth and meet pent-up housing need.”

Government boost for building 9,000 new homes

Norman Lamb has used the Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton to announce an extra £100 million investment for the construction of new care homes.

The care services minister revealed that the government fund for specialised housing will be increased from £200 million to £300 million which could see the building of 9,000 new homes and boost the trades.

Norman Lamb said: “Staying independent and having the choice to live in your own home as you get older is something we know most people want.”

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) welcomed the announcement by the care services minister, describing it as a great opportunity to build safe and improved homes across the country.
Domini Gunn, director of health and wellbeing at the CIH, said: “We are delighted to see the Department of Health making a commitment to help support greater health and independence for older people and to provide safe homes.

“The investment will create new opportunities to deliver additional and improved services through collaboration with housing and health professionals as well as planning departments.

“This is a great opportunity for housing to be recognised as an important function in the effective delivery of care provision.”

New partnership to boost homebuilding in Manchester

 A plan to boost housebuilding in Manchester and make new homes more affordable has been agreed this week which will generate new employment opportunities in the trades.

Manchester City Council has signed an agreement with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to bring together a completely new way of funding homebuilding in the city.

The scheme is set to build more than 240 new affordable homes and create thousands of jobs in the construction industry.

Land for the development will be provided by the city council, including one site offered by the HCA, while the Greater Manchester Pension Fund will finance the building of the homes.

The partnership will choose a contractor to build the homes whilst the city council supports the buyer, by taking an equity share in the property, making the new homes more affordable and mortgage costs lower.

Cllr Jim Battle, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester’s growing population and forecasted economic growth will mean we will continue to need more homes in the near future.

“The economic climate has severely slowed home building in recent years and levels of development are not keeping up with the city’s demand.

“This new innovative model tackles these issues, pushing forward development opportunities while ensuring a supply of new attractive homes are available to residents at affordable prices.”

Deborah McLaughlin, North West Executive Director at the HCA, said: “At the HCA our focus is to employ new and innovative ways of working to use public land assets to more quickly deliver homes and economic growth. This new concept marks a major milestone for house building in Manchester and has the potential to attract major investment to the city.”

Former factory site to be transformed into new homes

Plans to regenerate a former factory site into the building of affordable housing and a social care home have been submitted to Leeds City Council.

Home Group, one of the UK’s largest providers for social housing, is planning to build more than 50 new homes and a 64-bed care home in the Armley area of the city on Theaker Lane.

The site sits on a former tannery and soft drinks factory which hasn’t been used for a number of years and is now run down and overgrown. The building work will be carried out by Mansell and LNT Construction.

The £10 million regeneration scheme has been partially funded by the Homes and Communities Agency. It is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the building sector and boost the trades.

Home Group’s head of development, Teresa Snaith, said: “The current site is overgrown and hasn’t been used for a number of years. At a consultation event we held with local residents they have said that they are keen to see the area regenerated and put to good use.

“We hope to build 51 homes which will be available for affordable rent and our partners Ideal Care Homes will also build a 64-bed care home specialising in residential and dementia care if the planning is approved.”

Craig Houston, Regional Director for Mansell’s Yorkshire Business Unit commented “We are excited to be involved with this major regeneration scheme, hopefully one of the first of many site-led opportunities to come to fruition in the coming months.”

UK cities get Green Deal funding boost

Today, seven cities across England are set to receive a share of the £12 million fund which will kick-start the Green Deal and boost the trades.

Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield are the cities which have put proposals to lower their carbon emissions.

The Green Deal is a Government-backed scheme which offers loans to people to help make their homes more energy efficient.

The money will enable professional builders and trade firms to try certain elements of the scheme including assessment and installation of energy efficient measures.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “These cities have really ambitious plans to lower their emissions, reduce energy use and help people save money on their bills.

“This funding will help them get up and running and I look forward to seeing a number of properties across whole communities get the energy efficient improvements they need.”

Earlier in the year, the Government announced that cities would be given greater freedoms, powers and tools to help them go for growth.

The new funding will test elements of the Green Deal framework and provide early feedback for the scheme’s future implementation.

It is expected to deliver around 2,500 retrofits to households and non-domestic properties across the seven major cities, providing support to local supply chains and registered installers.

Citizens Advice signposts consumers to find reliable tradesmen

The Citizens Advice Bureau and TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality body, have joined forces to help homeowners find reputable tradesmen when they are looking to repair or maintain their properties.

Consumers from across the UK will now be able to search and select a TrustMark registered and inspected tradesman from the Citizens Advice website.

Homeowners in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have the assurance that all the firm’s competences and their fair trading practices have been independently inspected and checked.

Stuart Carter, Head of Marketing at TrustMark, said: “We are always looking for better ways to increase visibility for this quality mark so we are delighted that Citizens Advice is now signposting consumers to our TrustMark registered tradesmen.

“It is important that we continue to do more joined-up working with the key agencies, independent third sector organisations, trade bodies and advisory services to help consumers make more informed decisions when hiring tradesmen to improve or repair their homes.”

Gillian Guy, chief executive at Citizens Advice, said: “TrustMark is an excellent example of the kind of creative problem prevention initiatives that we really value at Citizens Advice.”

What is your reaction to the partnership which aim is to help consumers make the right choice when they are looking to repair, maintain or improve their homes. Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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