Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) struggling to access finance received a boost today as the Business Secretary Vince Cable launched the first phase of the new business bank set to address long-standing gaps in the SME finance market.
The multi-million investment is the first deployment from the £1 billion of new capital allocated to the business bank in the 2012 Autumn Statement. It will build on the success of the Business Finance Partnership to leverage at least the same amount in private sector investment.
The focus is on promoting greater diversity of debt finance available to SMEs by encouraging the growth of smaller lenders and new entrants in the market. Investments will be made via new and existing lending channels on a commercial basis.
New research by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) highlights that SMEs have been disproportionately affected in their ability to access finance as a result of the contraction in bank lending since 2008.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Small and medium sized businesses are still telling me that access to finance is their number one problem, preventing them from investing and growing. That’s why through the business bank we are developing a range of measures to provide businesses with the power to choose the type of finance that suits them.
“Today’s £300 million boost shows we are serious about increasing competition and diversity in the business lending market. Establishing a lasting business bank institution is a long-term project, but getting this money reaching SMEs as soon as possible is the first step.”
Mansell has been selected for a £12 million seven-storey student accommodation building on London’s Euston road that will pave the way for new trade jobs
The scheme involves demolition of part of the existing building behind a retained façade and construction of a 171-bed accommodation block along with associated external works, services, lifts and ancillary areas.
Once complete, the building will be certified with a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating.
Construction of the seven-storey project at Bentley House will be completed in time for the 2014 student intake, boosting the trades and people in the building construction industry.
To protect the architectural heritage of the building, bricks removed during demolition will be salvaged, cleaned and reused where possible, with new material matched to the original as closely as possible.
Situated within close proximity to an area of high pedestrian footfall and heavy traffic, sensitive demolition techniques and sophisticated logistics planning will be used throughout the duration of the contract to avoid disruption.
An innovative piling solution, which will complete prior to the start of demolition works, will facilitate the seamless transition between an old and new sub-station.
Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission has awarded four contracts worth £600 million to build new electricity substations in the north of Scotland set to create new jobs and boost the trades.
This multi-million development of the new substations are an integral part of SHE Transmission’s investment programme to heavily upgrade and reinforce the transmission network and will help facilitate the connection of more renewable generation in the north of Scotland.
Miller Quatro is a joint venture between Miller Construction and three Spanish companies, Sacyr Industrial, Isastur and Aditel known collectively as Quatro T & D.
Chris Webster, Chief Executive, Miller Construction, said: “We are delighted to have secured a place on this substation delivery framework. Miller Quatro is a new entrant to the market place and we are looking forward to working with our joint venture partners to contribute towards the delivery of infrastructure required to support the connection of renewables.”
Pedro Siguenza Hernandez Chief Executive Officer of Sacyr Industrial said: “This agreement provides a significant opportunity for the growth of our Miller Quatro joint venture. We are fully committed to contributing to our client’s successful development of this framework”.
Demand for connection to the transmission network from renewable developers has increased considerably, requiring significant change to its configuration and operation.
David Gardner, SSE’s Director of Transmission, said: “The award of these contracts, with some of the industry’s global experts will help deliver the infrastructure that is needed to support the connection of renewables, as well as providing a boost to the local communities where we are operating.”
What is your reaction to the new £600 million funding for Scotland that will kick-start the energy industry and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.
The first step has been taken to allow the redevelopment of the 14.57 acre Harmsworth Quays printing works site in Canada Water, South East London, to go ahead.
The decision is a key milestone for the development which has the potential to deliver significant improvements to the local area and create new trade jobs.
Cllr Fiona Colley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Southwark Council, said: “In addition to new homes, the redevelopment of Harmsworth Quays has the potential to deliver the town centre and jobs that Rotherhithe really needs.”
British Land will now begin working up proposals in consultation with Southwark Council and the local community to realise the full potential of this important site. Vacant possession of the site will be available later this year following the relocation of DMGT’s printing operations to Thurrock.
Southwark Council, which is currently developing policy to guide the redevelopment, will be adopting a preferred option of its Area Action Plan in May for consultation. This will emphasise the council’s and community’s vision to create a mixed-use town centre at Canada Water.
Both Southwark Council and British Land have committed to exploring the potential to create a new campus for Kings College as part of the scheme, to complement their proposals for the adjoining site at the Mulberry Business Park.
Nigel Webb, Head of Development for British Land, said: “We are delighted that the London Borough of Southwark has agreed the assignment for Harmsworth Quays. We can now begin the process of working with the local community, the London Borough of Southwark and other key stakeholders to bring forward a new, mixed use development in the heart of Canada Water.”
CH2M Hill has announced to create 500 new trade jobs in a wide range of high-skilled engineering roles and boost the construction industry.
The new jobs will be created across CH2M Hill’s infrastructure divisions including nuclear; transportation, tunneling and earth engineering; water; environmental services and Industrial & Advanced Technology.
Alongside these new jobs, CH2M Hill will also be creating 40 graduate level positions, as well as offering 30 paid internships, bringing its total investment for the UK for 2013 to £65 million.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The creation of 500 new jobs is a considerable investment into the UK market and is a great vote of confidence for the highly skilled engineers here in Britain.
“Building on our strengths in areas like manufacturing, including engineering, will be crucial to our economic success in the years ahead. Today’s announcement supports our aim of ensuring that the UK can compete with other economies at the highest level by raising the numbers of skilled engineers.”
The company is working on some of the most innovative and challenging infrastructure programmes in the UK including, High Speed 2, Crossrail, Thames Tideway Improvements and the decommissioning of Dounreay, the former fast reactor research centre.
Commenting on its UK investment plans, Lee McIntire, Chairman of CH2M Hill said: “Following the acquisition of Halcrow and its integration in to CH2M Hill over the last year, I am delighted to be able to announce this significant investment into the UK’s labour market with the creation of 500 new jobs this year across a range of high skilled engineering and technical roles.
“I am especially proud that we will be playing such a major role developing future British engineering talent with our graduate, apprenticeship and internship programmes.
The UK remains an attractive place to do business and today’s announcement reflects our commitment to the UK. With the British Government’s clear commitment to deliver new infrastructure and renew aging infrastructure, I am hopeful we will be able to build on this investment today in the years ahead.”
The pilot scheme will help small and sole trader construction businesses to secure credit from B&Q and Screwfix stores that will allow them to bid for bigger construction projects in the future.
Customers of B&Q TradePoint and Screwfix, part of the Kingfisher Group, can now apply for a credit account of up to £25,000, where previously they may have struggled to secure credit due to a lack of security or adequate credit history. Existing trade customers will be able to apply to extend their accounts for credit of up to £50,000.
Previously, these viable businesses would only have been eligible for credit of up to £3,000 from Screwfix or B&Q, making it harder for them to take on projects due to being unable to afford the upfront costs of the materials. Kingfisher is able to support the additional lending as a result of it being backed by a government guarantee.
The pilot is the result of work between the government and Kingfisher to adapt the existing Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme to widen access to funding and provide alternatives to bank lending. Business Minister Michael Fallon will now be writing to other companies offering them an opportunity to take part in the pilot scheme and offer their customers access to this new source of finance.
Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “Builders and tradesmen are experiencing a real bottleneck when it comes to accessing credit, and projects are being held up unnecessarily. This pilot is an innovative attempt to make a real difference for the sector.
“Britain’s builders have a vital role to play in delivering growth in this country and we’re determined to get behind them.”
Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher, said: “By piloting this new scheme we are backing Britain and backing the country’s professional tradesmen.
“Access to credit and control of cashflow is vital for smaller tradesmen, so we are pleased that Screwfix and B&Q will be able to make it easier for more of their trade customers to get credit through this innovative new scheme. By backing Britain’s tradesmen we can boost spending on the home and help get the economy moving again.”
The pilot allows Kingfisher to give credit to trade businesses it would normally have to turn away, by sharing the risk through providing government guarantees of 75 per cent on its lending. As well as allowing Kingfisher to lend to viable businesses outside its present risk profile, the scheme also allows it to lend more to existing businesses.
The pilot has been designed so there is no new administrative burden to Kingfisher. All credit decisions will be made by Kingfisher based on existing processes, and customers and frontline staff will see no difference to the trade credit application.
The survey of 398 firms found that output growth over the last three months remained steady but subdued.
But the outlook is much brighter for the next quarter, with output volumes expected to rise rapidly – the strongest expectations since April last year – with the anticipated pick-up in variety of markets and mechanical engineering sectors.
Exports orders are also at their highest level for three months, while total orders are broadly flat. Meanwhile expected price inflation has fallen back to levels last seen midway through last year.
Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Analysis, said: “Manufacturers appear more optimistic about the next few months than the official figures and commentary would suggest, with sharp rises in output expected right across the sector.
“Total orders were steady and in line with long-run averages and there was some pickup in exports, possibly helped by the weak pound.
“Price expectations have fallen to the lowest level for six months – driven by inflation expectations plummeting from near-record highs in the food, drink and tobacco sector.”
BAM Construction has been named preferred bidder for a £10 million contract that will see the building of two new primary schools in Sheffield.
The UK-wide contractor will build the schools in Shirecliffe and Fir Vale for Sheffield City Council, paving the way for new jobs in the construction industry and boosting the trades.
BAM is now working on designs to meet the requirements of the council ahead of a start on site in September 2013. Completion is scheduled for August 2014 so the schools can open at the start of the 2014/15 academic year.
Construction director Kelvin Pollard said: “We look forward to using our experience and skills to create two schools Sheffield can be proud of.
“These are important facilities for the city and we are delighted BAM has been chosen to deliver them.
“It is a great sign that BAM continues to be selected as a company trusted to deliver quality buildings at affordable prices through regional frameworks such as YORbuild.”
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “Giving children the best possible start in their education is essential in helping them reach their full potential.
“Research has shown that children’s achievement at school can be improved by their surroundings. These new schools will provide desperately needed places and put well-designed facilities at the heart of the community. It’s great to hear that work will be starting soon.”
BAM has built a series of major education and health projects in Sheffield in the past ten years such as the Arts Tower and culminating in the laboratory rationalisation project for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. On the border with Rotherham, BAM is delivering the new Advanced Blade Casting Facility for Rolls-Royce.
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.
Peterborough 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.”
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.
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has announced plans to build £330 million research centre and corporate HQ in Cambridge that will pave the way for new jobs in the construction industry.
The move is part of the company’s proposals to create strategic global R&D centres in the UK, US and Sweden to improve pipeline productivity and to establish AstraZeneca as a global leader in biopharmaceutical innovation.
Focusing on the company’s UK-based activities at the new centre in Cambridge, the pharmaceutical giant will build on AstraZeneca’s world-leading protein engineering capabilities already based in the city, expanding its operations and boosting employment across a range of industries in the area.
Chief executive of AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot, said: “Our proposed investment is a clear signal of AstraZeneca’s long-term commitment to the UK and highlights the important role Cambridge plays internationally in bioscience research.
“The Government’s Life Sciences Strategy and the meaningful policies they have put in place in recent years to encourage investment help make Britain an attractive location for biopharmaceutical research and development.
“Cambridge, which boasts strong links with London-based research institutions, is a world-renowned bioscience hotspot that rivals the likes of San Francisco and Boston.
“In a world where partnerships and collaborations drive medical progress, becoming an integral part of the Cambridge ecosystem offers compelling advantages for AstraZeneca, giving us easier access to leading-edge academic and industry networks, scientific talent and valuable partnering opportunities.
“I believe that the investment we are announcing today greatly increases the chances that the next generation of innovative medicines will be invented and manufactured in Britain.”
What is your reaction to the £330 million plan to build a new research and corporate centre in Cambridge that will boot the construction industry and the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.
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.
The Government has announced a £20 million investment plan to build a renewable energy factory in Hull that will create 300 new trade jobs.
Energy Works, the technically advanced renewable energy power plant to be built in Hull, will use household waste, and will generate enough energy for more than 25,000 homes.
The funding has been given from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government and is a key part of the financing for the £100 million-plus energy recovery plant that uses an innovative combination of green technologies and will be the first of its kind in the UK.
Communities Minister Baroness Hanham said: “This plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the security and diversity of the energy supply.
“Supporting this Hull-based company with public funding to pioneer these cleaner, more efficient technologies and sharing the learning gained from operating the plant, will help to roll out similar facilities elsewhere in the UK and around the world.
“This investment will create highly skilled jobs and contribute to the Humber area’s growing reputation as one of the best places in the world to develop environmental energy businesses“.
The complete Energy Works development will be built to sort, pre- treat and process different types of waste with several advantages over more conventional technologies, including that it complemented recycling efforts and produced improved air quality.
Spencer Group’s Chief Executive Charlie Spencer said: “We are delighted that the Government and the European Commission have recognised that Energy Works is an innovative, green and clean development which can be replicated elsewhere.
“It has been a pleasure to brief the Minister on the many benefits it offers. This grant is a key element of the funding model and enables the project to move forward.
“As a Hull-based company, we are intensely proud that we will be pioneering a UK first in the city and that our investment will add to the Humber region’s credentials as the UK hub for renewable energy technologies.”
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.
The infrastructure work is set to commence in the summer with the housing construction due to begin in autumn 2013, paving the way for new jobs in the building industry and boosting the trades.
The development will be made up of family houses, located with easy access to Ebbsfleet International Station , which offers high speed domestic services to destinations including Kings Cross St Pancras and Stratford, as well as Eurostar services to Europe.
Emma Cariaga, Development Director at Land Securities, said: “We are delighted to have exchanged contracts with Ward Homes which enables the first stage of our redevelopment in the area.
“This marks the start of an exciting regeneration of the area, which will bring new homes and businesses to the Ebbsfleet Valley region. This represents a significant step forward in relation to the Government’s desire to see economic growth and housing delivery in Kent Thameside”.
Mark Bailey, Managing Director at Ward Homes, said: “Ward Homes is proud to be associated with this unique landmark development and pleased that our local Kent brand was selected as the most appropriate to launch this prestigious site.
“We look forward to working closely with Land Securities and are committed to delivering a quality residential scheme that we are confident will be a highly desirable place to live”.
A planning application has been submitted to Camden Council for striking residential scheme comprising 22 one, two and three bedroom apartments at Fisher Street in central London.
The scheme has been designed in consultation with the London Borough of Camden and English Heritage. The plans will incorporate the ground floor Crossrail shaft while creating a unique exterior that offers different views of the building from each angle.
The project is Crossrail’s latest over-site development submitted for planning consent. Another 3 million square feet of office, retail and residential space is planned above new Crossrail stations and sites in London with planning consent secured for nearly 1 million sq ft of development so far.
These developments will help create new business space, jobs and new homes for Londoners on top of the world-class new transport links Crossrail is delivering.
Crossrail’s Land and Property Director, Ian Lindsay, said: “Not only is Crossrail delivering world-class new transport links, it is creating high-quality new development opportunities throughout the capital.
“The Fisher Street plans offer a striking piece of architecture for a unique opportunity to deliver new residential space in a prime central London location.
“This is one of a number of commercial opportunities in the pipeline and we are continuing to seek new development partners to help us deliver a range of future schemes.”
Construction work on the Fisher Street shaft is already well underway and is expected to be completed in 2015.
It is the first time that an All-Party Parliamentary Group has taken a trade mission on a visit to a market in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
Infrastructure opportunities are growing rapidly in the South East Asia region, which includes some of the fastest-growing markets. The region is predicted to be the fourth largest market in the world by 2030.
The mission is set to start in Singapore where the group will meet key figures from the public and private sector education and business communities.
Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “Getting more companies to export and attracting high-quality investment to the UK are key planks of the government’s Plan for Growth. Indonesia and Singapore are high growth markets and I am delighted to see this mission taking place.”
In 2011 UK goods and services exports to Singapore totalled £7.8 billion (+7.4% on 2010), making Singapore the UK’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia. Opportunities in Singapore include machinery and transport, which is the largest UK goods export sector to Singapore.
MP Margot James said: “I am delighted to be leading this mission, the first by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade and Investment.
“This trade mission is a fantastic opportunity to give British companies access to the exciting and growing markets of Singapore and Indonesia which are vital to delivering the UK’s economic growth agenda.”
The UK is ranked 20th largest exporter to Indonesia and the 3rd largest among EU member states. The UK’s largest exports to Indonesia include power generation equipment; general industrial machinery, road vehicles, pulp and waste paper and specialised machinery.
What is your reaction to the trade delegation in Singapore and Indonesia this week to strengthen business ties and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The 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.
The centrepiece of the 7-acre new Imperial West campus is the multi-million Research and Translation Hub for academics and business partners that will see the building of new homes, publicly accessible green space, pedestrian subways and leisure and retail facilities.
Imperial West is set to become a major new research quarter for London, reinforcing the capital’s position as a catalyst for scientific development and economic growth
Imperial bought the land for the new campus from the BBC in 2009. The first new building, which provides accommodation for over 600 postgraduates and early career researchers, has been occupied since September 2012.
Terms of the planning permission for the rest of the site were agreed with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in December 2012
Design work on the Hub, which is funded by investor Voreda and from the College’s own resources, is underway. The College plans to complete the construction in 2015.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London is home to some of the world’s leading universities and sharpest business minds.
“This fantastic venture will bring the best of both these worlds together turning brilliant ideas into jobs and economic growth and further bolster our reputation as the must-come destination for research and development.”
Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said: “Imperial is one of our country’s great universities and the new Imperial West campus is a really exciting development. It will focus on translational work – on applying the excellent research that Imperial does to bring benefit to the wider world.
“The government strongly supports the vision and plans for the new campus and we look forward to seeing it grow and prosper in the future.”
What is your reaction to the new campus at Imperial College London that is forecast to create thousands of new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Communities 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.
Skanska UK has been selected to deliver a £28 million construction contract on the redevelopment of 100 Cheapside in the City of London.
Work on the 18-month contract is set to start immediately, paving the way for new jobs in the building industry and boosting the trades.
The development will include 9,000 sq ft of retail accommodation, which is likely to attract major brands looking for exposure to the City retail market on this prime retail thoroughfare.
Director at Quadrant Estates, Graham Tyler, said: “We have set high environmental targets for 100 Cheapside, and as a leader in sustainability Skanska is best placed to meet these.
“We are working with them on another City development and are confident that both will be delivered to a high standard.”
100 Cheapside will be a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building, which will offer office floor plates of up to 11,000 sq ft over 10 floors, targeting core City occupiers looking for Grade A space.
Paul Heather, Managing Director at Skanska for London and the South East said: “Skanska is delighted to have won this contract in the heart of London.
“Winning this in such competitive market conditions is a true testament to our commitment to a more sustainable future and our client’s confidence that they can use our knowledge and skills to achieve a building which meets the high environmental standards of today and for years to come.”
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 .
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.
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.”
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.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced £213 million of industry investment that will improve UK’s manufacturing supply chain and create 11, 000 new jobs.
In addition to the thousands of new jobs that will be created through the multi-million investment, some 5,000 existing jobs are set to be safeguarded.
Over £73 million has been awarded from Round 2 of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) to 12 national supply chain projects, and a further £140 million will be invested by business.
The scheme was open to bids from all manufacturing sectors as the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced an additional £120 million in the Autumn Statement for two further rounds of AMSCI funding.
Examples of winning bids include the creation of a ‘National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme’ led by the Aerospace Growth Partnership to address skills shortages and improve R&D collaboration in the aerospace sector.
The £35 million project will create nearly 5,000 jobs in the supply chain. Another successful bid, led by David Brown Gear Systems in Huddersfield, will position the UK as a world leader in the creation of large gearboxes for the next generation of offshore wind turbines.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Boosting jobs and growth is my number one priority to build a stronger economy. This investment will secure Britain’s future as a world leader in industries like cars, where we have traditionally taken the lead, and new technologies such as wind turbine gears and semiconductor chips.”
What is your reaction to the investment announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to improve the manufacturing supply chain and create thousands of new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Construction Products Association (CPA) has called on the Chancellor George Osborne to recognise the potential of the construction industry to drive economic growth and create new jobs in the trades.
According to the Association, it is vital for the government to spend the multi-billion capital investment boost announced in the Autumn Statement that could provide 0.8% additional growth in GDP.
Chief Executive of the CPA, Diana Montgomery said: “With the general economic outlook continuing to look uncertain, we are urging government to do more to drive growth by building on the recent increase in capital investment for repair and maintenance of roads and extending this to other parts of built environment, such as housing, schools and hospitals.
“We also want to see the UK improve on its current ranking of 24th in the world for the quality of its infrastructure. For the UK economy to remain internationally competitive in attracting inward investment, it is essential that there are significant improvements in its infrastructure.
“Government frequently states it is aware of the importance of the construction industry and its product manufacturers and suppliers. In these challenging times for the UK economy, the opportunities that we provide to drive economic growth and build a more sustainable future for the UK need to be prioritised. We can only hope the Chancellor does indeed recognise this.”
To read the full draft of the letter from the Construction Products Association to the Chancellor, click here.
Network Rail, Atkins, Laing O’Rourke and VolkerRail have formed the industry’s first ‘pure construction alliance’ to deliver £250 million Stafford Area Improvement Programme (SAIP) that will boost the trades.
The initiative, part of the West Coast Main Line, will see all sides working together and sharing information under a model trialled in Australia, where all parties share the benefits and the risks of the project.
This new venture represents a clear move away from the more traditional ‘hub and spoke’ style of contracting towards a completely integrated ‘one team’ structure expected to boost employment in the construction industry.
The formation of the SAIP Alliance has been welcomed by Network Rail’s managing director of infrastructure projects Simon Kirby who believes it represents a key change for the rail industry.
He said: “This type of truly collaborative approach is the natural way forward for contracting within Network Rail and indeed the wider rail industry. By adopting a common focus and shared approach with our industry partners, this will ultimately help to drive down costs, reduce risk and lead to the more efficient and timely delivery of major projects such as Stafford.”
The Alliance partners also believe that the approach adopted for Stafford heralds the way forward for cross-industry contracting.
Said Steve Higham of Atkins and a member of the Alliance Leadership Team said: “There is a clear requirement for us all to work smarter to reduce the cost of running the railway.
“We will collaborate with our alliance partners to do just that. With proven expertise in complex signalling projects, Atkins will deliver signalling, power, telecommunications and all multi-functional design for this important scheme.
“SAIP is an exciting project and provides an opportunity to push the boundaries of infrastructure delivery through innovation.”
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.
Cornwall 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.
A recent report by Cambridge Econometrics found that UK GDP will be £20bn or 0.8 per cent higher in 2030 if wind is deployed rather than gas, with 70,000 more jobs created – but that investors needed certainty if we are to secure these benefits.
Ahead of a debate on the Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Committee’s report on the achievability of the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets, Mr Ewing warned the UK coalition ministers’ mixed messages on energy policy and continuing uncertainty around Electricity Market Reform, including the lack of a decarbonisation target until at least 2016, is risking jobs, investment and economic growth.
The proposals outlined in the Energy Bill published in November 2012 lack measures to give investors confidence beyond 2020, putting the UK at a disadvantage compared to countries like Germany which has already set a clear target of 26GW from offshore wind by 2030.
Scotland would benefit in particular from an increase in offshore wind, as we have a quarter of the offshore wind potential in Europe.
Already, four international turbine manufacturers, Gamesa, Areva, Mitsubishi Power Systems and Samsung Heavy Industries have announced they intend to build turbine manufacturing plants in Scotland, creating an estimated 8,600 potential manufacturing jobs.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Offshore wind has reached a watershed. The industry has enormous potential, and to realise this potential it is essential that investors have confidence.
“Over the past weeks I have spoken to many potential investors who say the uncertainty surrounding Electricity Market Reform is starting to affect their investment decisions.
“The time to reassure them is now. The UK Government must make clear their ongoing support for offshore wind and emulate the Scottish Government’s approach by setting a 2030 electricity decarbonisation target now, not in 2016 as planned under the Energy Bill..
“Offshore wind has the potential to raise UK GDP by 0.8 per cent, and we must seize this prize. The opportunities the industry present us – in terms of jobs, investment, stabilizing energy bills and reducing our carbon output – are too valuable to risk.”
What is your reaction to the support by the Scotland’s Energy Minister to boost the renewable industry and create thousands of renewable jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The £18 million scheme also includes the construction of new state-of-the-art cookery school making Waitrose the only UK supermarket to have such facility on site.
Applications approval and listed building consent are likely to be submitted in May this year. Construction is anticipated to start in late 2013 with the shop and cook school due to open at King’s Cross in spring 2015.
The goods shed was originally built in 1850 by the Great Northern Railway as the temporary Maiden Lane passenger railway station while the original King’s Cross station was under construction.
Waitrose Managing Director, Mark Price, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the continuing regeneration of King’s Cross and are looking forward to creating up to 170 new jobs and building on the success of our school in Finchley Road.
“We always believe that, as a food retailer, we have responsibility to help educate and inspire people not only when it comes to their weekly shop but also when it comes to creating and enjoying good food. It’s fantastic to give even more people the opportunity to develop their culinary skills.”
The new supermarket will be in close proximity to superb public transport connections, being five minutes from King’s Cross and St Pancras mainline stations, as well as being surrounded by new and existing homes, offices, schools, community facilities and public spaces at King’s Cross creating an excellent customer catchment on the doorstep.
Richard Meier, Partner at Argent said: “It is fantastic to have a quality brand like Waitrose sign up at King’s Cross. We are creating a truly mixed-use development and this supermarket will become an everyday attraction both for the residents, students, workers and visitors already on site, as well as the wider local community.”
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.”
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.
Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived on a three-day British trade delegation in India set to win investment and create thousands of new jobs.
In what looks like the largest UK trade delegation to visit India, the Prime Minister is accompanied by more than 100 business representatives, including senior staff from Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and BP, that are hoping to build long-term partnerships and double exports to the country by 2015.
In 2010, the UK attracted 97 new projects from India generating 6,096 jobs. It is estimated that 700 out of 1200 Indian firms in the European Union operate from the UK.
It is forecast that India will spend $1 trillion in the next five years on infrastructure and Britain is hoping its building construction firms to win some of those contracts. The Prime Minister’s trade delegation also includes 30 small and medium-sized firms.
Speaking at Unilever’s Mumbai HQ, Mr Cameron said: “India’s rise is going to be one of the great phenomena of this century and it is incredibly impressive to see.”
“Britain wants to be your partner of choice. We’ve only just started on the sort of partnership that we could build. As far as I’m concerned, the sky is the limit.”
Between 2001 and 2011, UK goods and services imports from India rose by 220 per cent while exports to India rose by 240 per cent.
Over the same period, India became a more important trading partner for the UK, with a significant rise in total UK exports and imports.
The Prime Minister has blogged on LinkedIn about why he sees British trade delegations as a vital part of his job. Read it from here.
What is your reaction to the trade delegation led by Prime Minister David Cameron to build long-term partnerships, create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Heathrow Airport has announced plans to invest a further £3 billion in improving its infrastructure which will boost the building industry and create new jobs.
The announcement forms part of the airport’s business plan which represents one of the largest private-sector investments in UK infrastructure.
The plans include the completion of Terminal 2 and the early works on extending the building. It will see the development of integrated baggage system and the construction of new taxiways.
Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: “Heathrow is the UK’s only hub airport and a strategically important national infrastructure asset.”
“Heathrow faces stiff competition from other European hubs and we must continue to improve the service we offers passengers and airlines.”
“We have invested billions of pounds in new facilities such as Terminal 5 in recent years and passengers say they have noticed the difference.”
“Our plan for a further £3 billion of private-sector investment will further improve the airport for passengers. The plan represents good value for money for airlines and passengers and comes at no cost to taxpayers.”
Heathrow will open the new Terminal 2 in 2014. The subsequent move of airlines into the new terminal allows the closure of Terminal 1 in 2016. By 2019 work will already have started on extending Terminal 2.
Since 2003, Heathrow has invested £11 billion in the airport. Investment includes the construction of Terminal 5, a new Terminal 2 due to open in 2014, new baggage tunnels, and the refurbishment of Terminals 3 & 4.
The two incinerators will be built within a mile of each other. The first waste plant will be developed by Veolia Environmental Services . It will burn household waste and is to be located at a site near Cross Green in south-west Leeds.
The 8-storey building is set to generate enough electricity for 20,000 houses. Construction work on the multimillion project is expected to start at the end of this summer. It will continue for at least 36 months.
The £125 million energy from waste facility will be a largely glazed and timber frame building, which will be known as the greenhouse.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said: “This decision has been years in the making and the level of scrutiny provided by panel members demonstrates just how important the incinerator is to the city.
“I’ve said frequently that we can’t afford to continue to bury waste in the ground on financial or environmental grounds.
“Alongside other improvements to our waste services, this is a significant milestone in enabling us to recycle as much as we can.
“With the final discussions set to get underway, we’re confident the end result will be a facility that will allow us to realise our ambitions for a cleaner, greener Leeds.”
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.
Outline planning proposals for the development of Triton Knoll windfarm in Lincolnshire have been revealed, paving the way for new jobs in the building industry.
Offshore wind farms provide enormous economic benefits during their construction both through direct job creation and through the wider supply chain.
It has been estimated that the Triton Knoll windfarm will see the creation of around 500 jobs during the different construction phases, each phase exceeding significant multi-million investment.
Developer RWE has invested over £10 million in the Triton Knoll project since 2003, the vast majority of which has been in support of the UK renewable energy.
There are currently approximately 25 people directly employed on Triton Knoll by RWE. Over 50 consultancy contracts, with a total value of approximately £3 million, have been awarded leading to many more people working on the project.
Over the next year further work will be available which will attract a further additional investment, requiring experienced contractors for the UK offshore renewable energy industry.
Project Manager for Triton Knoll, Jacob Hain, revealed that RWE was planning to use Alternating Current (AC) technology to transmit the power from the wind farm to the national grid, instead of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC).
Mr hain said: “Our consultation will allow us to gather local knowledge and help communities to influence the proposals and have their say,”
“We are also now able to show the underground ‘cable corridors’ for the cables which will carry the electricity from where it comes to shore in the vicinity of Anderby Creek between the compound and the substation and to the national grid connection point.”
What is your reaction to the development of Triton Knoll windfarm in Lincolnshire which is set to create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.
Bill Oliver, chief Executive of St. Modwen, said: “This is an incredibly exciting project and one that complements our extensive experience in regenerating complex sites.
“We are very pleased to have agreed terms and look forward to engaging with Swansea University, Neath Port Talbot Council and other stakeholders to progress the delivery of this substantial and strategic development.”
The first phase of this scheme, which received detailed planning permission in December 2012 from Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, will comprise 700,000 sq ft of development including 430,000 sq ft of academic space as well as 900 student apartments.
This will deliver world-leading research, innovation and education facilities for Swansea. St. Modwen expects to start on site in April 2013.
The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Councillor Ali Thomas, said: ‘‘This project will provide a considerable economic boost not just for Neath Port Talbot but for the wider region.
“It will support the growth of highly skilled jobs and knowledge-driven businesses and is an exciting and outstanding example of the major new developments which the Fabian Way Corridor is attracting. I look forward to watching it progress.’’
The University has already secured funding from the European Investment Bank and the Welsh Government while St Modwen has secured the investment sale of 50% of the student accommodation to a major institutional investor.
An outline planning permission is already in place for future development phases which will be in excess of £300 million in value.
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 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.
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.
The European Investment Bank has approved up to £100 million of financing which will kick-start building and construction work in the summer of 2013.
Julia Kennedy, associate director at Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) who has been supporting the college through the procurement process, said: “Construction is planned to start later this year and will act as an enormous boost to local small and medium enterprises working within the building sector and related supply chains thanks to the preferred bidder’s commitment to supporting local employment and training.”
Douglas Baillie, Chair of the College Board said: “Selecting the preferred bidder is yet another major milestone in our continuing success.
“The announcement is proof of what we can achieve as a beacon of excellence and it is with great excitement and energy that we look ahead to the next chapter in the life of this great college.
“Enhancing our diverse and talented student learning community with brand new, bespoke facilities underlines our passion for learning and desire to meet the needs of Glasgow’s and Scotland’s employers and the wider civic community.”
Both campuses have been designed by Reiach and Hall and Michael Laird Architects. The College represents the single largest estates investment in the educational sector in Scotland and will help transform the city centre landscape for generations to come.
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.
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.”
Morgan Sindall has won a £11.5 million contract to construct the principal commercial research and development building at Norwich Research Park.
The project is due to complete in March 2014 and will see around 80 people from the local area working on site at the peak of construction.
The development is on track to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating of Excellent.
The four-storey building will provide 4,000 sq m of high quality facilities including laboratory and office space, a business centre and formal and informal meeting rooms.
The Centrum building will also include a restaurant and café, a breakout area and exhibition and circulation space. These social and formal spaces will provide a platform to enable the business community to interact with researchers on the Norwich Research Park.
Alan Giles, Project Director – Norwich Research Park, said “We are pleased to award Morgan Sindall this contract after a rigorous OJEU tender process. This is an important milestone in the development of the Research Park and the Centrum building will be the focal point for business and research to come together.
“Centrum will provide additional commercial laboratory and office accommodation for more established companies wishing to locate to Norwich Research Park. For companies already on the Park, it will provide them with the grow-on space in which to further expand their business.”
The development forms a key part of ‘Project 26′, which refers to the £26 million funding awarded through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in the 2011 Government Budget. The funding has been awarded to Norwich Research Park to improve the Park’s IT infrastructure, road network and provide new flagship buildings.
The Centrum development will be located centrally on the Norwich Research Park adjacent to the existing Recreation Centre and Conference Centre on the John Innes Centre site. It will provide a hub for the local science and business community, and will also facilitate collaboration amongst the Research Park’s occupants.
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.”
The Quebec Barracks site will see 100 new homes built and employment space for up to 100 new jobs created as result of a £3 million investment for East Hampshire.
The funding will transform the former barracks into a high quality sustainable neighbourhood as part of the ambitious Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town project.
The overall plan for the regeneration of the town is set to build 4,000 environmentally sustainable homes and create 5,500 jobs.
The new homes will meet official zero carbon standards and be attractively designed to set the benchmark for new homes in the rest of the town.
“The homes will be built to a much higher standard than originally envisaged, which will raise the bar in terms of the development of the rest of the project and act as a catalyst for lasting change here. There is a lot of work that needs to be done over the next year, but it is exciting to have got to this stage and see that progress is going to happen in the months ahead.”
Cllr Glynis Watts, East Hampshire District Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Whitehill and Bordon, said: “This investment is a great step forward for the town. The focus of this and future development is on enabling residents to have a really good quality of life.
“The homes that will be built will meet local aspirations because they will be attractive, cheap to run and in a great environment. We are going to pull out all the stops to make this something really special.”
John Walker, the Independent Chairman of the Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town Delivery Board, said: “The regeneration of Quebec Barracks is a small example of what we are trying to achieve across the town.
“Our aim is to deliver exceptionally good design that sets the standard for future Eco-town development. This is a tremendous opportunity to create a really attractive and sought-after place to live and work.”
What is your reaction to the new funding announced by the Homes and Community Agency that will create new jobs and build new homes? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.