Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced to increase the Government’s infrastructure investment in enterprise zones by £100 million that will create thousands of local jobs in the trades.
The investment package will help the thirteen enterprise zones to receive more money for 18 projects to build new service roads, car parking and other infrastructure, transforming ‘shovel ready sites into job ready sites’.
The fund, originally £60 million, is designed to help zones reach their real growth potential faster as economic engine rooms of local economies. Following a competitive bidding process the successful proposals will now undergo further testing to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.
Enterprise zones have already created 3,000 new jobs, attracted 126 businesses, generated 105,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace and secured almost £229 million of extra private sector investment.
In addition to this, 5 enterprise zones are also receiving £24 million to tackle traffic bottlenecks and road congestion near their site through Department for Transport funding.
Eric Pickles said: “Enterprise zones are stimulating job creation and economic growth in different parts of the country with their special package of incentives to attractive new business ventures.
“The government is putting its money where its mouth is and making sure enterprise zones have the buildings and infrastructure they need to make sites ready for business to set up in.
“Enterprise zones are proving extremely popular with business – they have already created over 3,000 jobs for local people – a 75% increase in just 5 months – and many more will be coming down the pipeline because of this new support.”
Andy Rose, Chief Executive at the Homes and Communities Agency, which is administering the fund, said: “The response from the enterprise zones to this investment opportunity demonstrates just how crucial upfront infrastructure is to development.
“It is great news that this additional investment means more priority sites can be funded than first thought, creating more jobs in the areas that need them.”
Today’s announcement is just one of range of steps the government has taken to rebalance the economy and support local businesses to grow and create jobs.
The government has reformed the way councils are funded so they have new incentives to go for growth and support local businesses. It has established 39 local enterprise partnerships that along with enterprise zones are able to access millions in government investment to support their local economy, including the £770 million Growing Places Fund and £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund.
The Government is going to build thousands of homes at stalled housing sites and create new construction jobs through a multi-million investment package set to kick-start the economy and boost the trades.
Today, Housing Minister Mark Prisk confirmed that 14 major housing schemes across the UK will benefit from the investment that can start building up to 38,000 new homes.
A share of the Local Infrastructure Fund, which has a total budget of £474 million, will create thousands of jobs for local communities and people in the trades across the country.
The funding programme is targeted at large-scale sites of over 1,500 homes that could deliver real benefit to their communities.
Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This government is determined to get Britain building again. That’s why we are working with local housing schemes that have their plans in place, but need help to move forward.
“Our support through the Local Infrastructure Fund will help deliver the homes this country needs, create thousands of jobs and inject millions of pounds of investment into local economies.”
Homes and Communities Agency Chief Executive, Andy Rose, said: “This investment from the Local Infrastructure Fund is about building momentum behind some of those larger locally-backed housing developments to accelerate the supply of new homes.
“There is work to be done to ensure these bids deliver value for money for the taxpayer and fit with local priorities, but I am looking forward to getting out on site and seeing progress on successful bids in the months ahead.”
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Householders across Great Britain will be able to get even more cash for renewable heating kit, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced today.
The money off vouchers available under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme have been increased to £2,300 for ground source heat pumps, £2,000 for biomass boilers, £1,300 for air source heat pumps and £600 for solar thermal systems.
The RHPP scheme, first launched in July 2011, is designed to encourage householders to switch to renewable heat from traditional heating systems by offering money off the cost of the equipment. The scheme is targeted at those living off the gas grid, where most money on bills and carbon can be saved.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Over 10,000 householders have already taken advantage of money off renewable heating kit and we want to see even more consumers stepping up to the plate and getting on board.
“But I want to go even further. I want to kick start this exciting new market for consumer renewable heat technologies.
“This time limited, big increase in the value of vouchers for hardworking people who want to do something positive to install money saving green heating in their homes, should be a real boost for this growing green sector.”
The scheme was extended in March this year until the end of March 2014 ahead of the launch of a Renewable Heat Incentive for householders, with around £12 million up for grabs.
Alongside changes to the voucher values, householders will now be required to undertake a Green Deal assessment before submitting a claim to the Energy Saving Trust to redeem their voucher.
This will help householders think about how renewable heat could fit with energy efficiency improvements for their home and ensure they are advised on choosing the right technology for them.
The additional voucher values are intended to reflect the cost of a Green Deal assessment, as well as the cost of getting these technologies installed in homes. Householders can also use the Green Deal to pay for some of the cost through savings on their energy bill.
The increased voucher values and Green Deal assessment requirement will kick in for any applications submitted today onwards.
Building work is set to start today on the Swansea University’s second campus that will create 4,000 construction jobs with a further 6,000 indirect posts supported in the wider economy.
The First Minister made the announcement whilst on site to mark the start of construction of the new campus which took place on Europe Day.
First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said: “I welcome the opportunity to be here on this significant day not only to mark the start of construction but also, crucially, to acknowledge the benefits to Wales of our relationship with Europe, including EU funding.
“This EU investment will help drive forward the development of the new Science and innovation Campus, creating a cornerstone for world-leading research and employment opportunities in the construction industry as work gets underway.”
The EMC will include state-of-the-art facilities to enable Swansea University to carry out research and development, particularly through collaborative projects with industry. It will support a range of collaborations with businesses in sectors such as advanced engineering, the digital economy and low carbon technologies.
Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, said: “I am delighted we have been able to invest EU funds to pioneer innovation and deliver state-of-the-art education facilities, benefiting Swansea and beyond.
“We have a key commitment through our Programme for Government to enhance research and innovation to help increase Wales’ global competitiveness, and create jobs and growth. The European Structural Funds programmes in Wales are helping us to achieve this goal, having already generated a total project investment of around £400 million in R&D and innovation alone.”
EMC will accommodate the University’s Civil and Computational Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Materials and Mechanical Engineering as well as Printing and Coating activities.
The Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, Professor Richard B. Davies, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded funding from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government for the Engineering Manufacturing Centre.
“The EMC will provide world-class research facilities and a resource for industry to access world-leading expertise to help improve manufacturing products and processes and develop new ones, thus contributing to the economic regeneration of the region.”
The Green Deal will give homes and businesses a new way of paying for energy efficient improvements, such as insulation and new heating systems.
The scheme is expected to support 60,000 jobs in the insulation sector by 2015, providing a real boost for the expanding market of energy efficiency products and the construction industry.
Mr Crabb said: “Thousands of homes across Britain are wasting energy and money because of poor energy efficiency, yet demand for measures to counter this remains low. The Green Deal gives people the opportunity to make this right.
“And today, we will see that it’s not just consumers that will benefit. The Green Deal is also great for business, creating a new market and new jobs.”
The Greendeal programme provides funding of up to £15,000 for each home which can be used to install one or more officially approved Greendeal measures.
Green Deal in numbers
- £125 million is available in the Government funded Cashback Scheme
- 8 million households could benefit from solid wall insulation
- 4 million households could benefit from cavity insulation
- 60,000 jobs are expected to be supported in the insulation sector alone by 2015 – up from 26,000 in 2011
- £3.5 million of funding to training in key Green Deal skills
- £270 a year could be saved if a typical three bedroom semi-detached house installed just solid wall insulation
- 38% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from leaky buildings
The first phase of HS2 alone, from London to the West Midlands, is expected to support about 40,000 jobs, figures which do not include broader employment growth supported by the new line and the use of released capacity on existing routes.
HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Alison Munro said: “HS2 will be an engine for growth that supports the creation of thousands of jobs for Londoners, provides extra space on the existing lines for more commuter services, and improved connectivity with our great northern cities.”
The new plans for Euston, developed partly in response to concerns from the community about the potential disruption caused by the redevelopment would lead to less disruption for passengers as the station could continue to operate mostly as normal rather than having to move services from old platforms to new ones while platforms are being progressively demolished and rebuilt.
Ms Munro commented: “Community concerns have been raised about the potential disruption caused by the redevelopment of Euston Station.
“Following more work done by our engineers to find the best way to deliver best value for taxpayers, we have identified an option that we believe delivers great opportunities for the area while minimising the potential effects on local communities in Camden and on passengers.”
The new proposals would see the station revitalised for passengers and with potential for new homes, offices and shops above. Completing construction by 2026 will unlock the line-wide benefits for local residents and businesses.
The revised proposal features:
- Potential opportunities for over-station development – with the possibility of being used for future homes, open space and businesses.
- The capacity needed for high speed and conventional trains
- New platforms and facilities for the high-speed trains
- New, improved facilities for all passengers in a redeveloped, integrated station with a new, combined concourse and façade
- Better connections with the Underground, including a new Underground ticket hall
- A sub-surface pedestrian link between Euston and Euston Square Tube
- East-west pedestrian routes across the station, helping to link communities on either side of the station.
Plans for the building of a new Energy Park in Bulwell that will create hundreds of construction jobs have been submitted to Nottingham City Council.
Chinook proposes to develop the 17 acre site on Blenheim Lane for a major new manufacturing plant for its recycling equipment and to create new jobs in the trades.
If planning permission is granted, work on the site could begin early next year, creating 250 jobs during the construction phase and later at the completed site, including manufacturing jobs.
Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council, Councillor Graham Chapman, said: “We very much welcome Chinook’s proposals for the Energy Park and in particular their commitment to create new manufacturing jobs for local people.
“If approved, this investment would boost the city’s credentials as the most self-sustaining city for energy production in the UK. Given the problems of energy cost and supply in the next few years, it is essential this city creates as much of its own supply as possible and this is an important step in that direction.
“Expansion of the city’s high tech and green sciences sectors are a key part of our Growth Plan so that new long term employment can be created in sustainable emerging industries. But the cherry on the cake is British manufacturing jobs. At a time when the UK manufacturing base has been declining, we in Nottingham want to do all we can to revive it.”
Chinook Sciences Technical Director, Harry Perry confirmed: “This is a milestone in our plans to develop a local manufacturing base and to significantly upgrade our R&D facilities.
“Powering the site with electricity from our own technology will further demonstrate Chinook Sciences’ renewable energy capabilities, and bring clean-tech employment and investment to the Bulwell area.
“In addition, part of our plan is to launch a training program for the local workforce to enable them occupy these new jobs with confidence and competence.”
Housing Minister Mark Prisk announced today that up to 10,000 new homes could be built by 2015 that will create new jobs and boost the trades.
The minister announced the first 45 projects to be taken forward using the £1 billion Build to Rent Fund which will provide equity finance to house builders and developers.
Mr Prisk said that the innovative new projects, a quarter of which are for London, will be the first step toward creating a more balanced rental market, driven by quality instead of demand.
The Build to Rent Fund is designed to help developers invest in homes built specifically for private rent by reducing the up-front risk in a relatively untested market.
A first round of projects will now receive a share of £700 million government investment package, with a second round of bids for the remaining fund expected to open later this year.
Projects going forward in this round have the potential to deliver between 8,000 and 10,000 homes, and include:
- Genesis Housing Association, with plans for new rental homes around London
- Place First, along with Together Housing Group, who will be building across Northern England
- Crest Nicholson, who intend to bring a significant number of homes to market over many sites across the country
Mr Prisk said that the varied mix of developers, from brand new organisations and small housing providers to long-established developers, will bring new blood into a market currently dominated by small-scale buy-to-let landlords, and will help to give tenants more choice when choosing a home in the future.
Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This government is determined to get Britain building, and the Build to Rent Fund is set to help us deliver, with up to 10,000 new homes to be built from these projects.
“We’ve seen overwhelming demand for the fund, and it’s become clear that there’s a real appetite for rental investment. We want to support that, which is why we’ve made a £1 billion Budget boost to the fund.
“Now, these new projects will help us map this almost uncharted market, bringing in new blood to improve rental quality and choice, and building the new homes that this country wants and needs.”
What is your reaction to the new £1bn build-to-rent fund that will deliver 10,000 new homes and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Costain has been awarded a £300 million contract to design, fit-out and commission the railway systems in Crossrail’s tunnel network that will create new jobs and boost the trades.
Under the contract, the engineering solutions provider will design and install track, overhead lines and mechanical and electrical equipment to fit out the 21km of twin tunnels currently being bored under the streets of London.
Design work will commence immediately, with the fit-out works starting in 2014, and will be carried out within the entire tunnelled and surface sections of the Crossrail route between Royal Oak, Pudding Mill Lane and Plumstead Portals.
Costain has also announced that in Joint Venture with Alstom it has been awarded the £15 million contract for the design, construction and commissioning of the system that will provide traction power for the trains in the central tunnelled section of the Crossrail scheme.
Work will involve the construction of several auto–transformer stations and a feeder station site at Pudding Mill Lane to provide a 25 kV supply to the overhead line equipment that will power the new Crossrail trains. Costain is also constructing for National Grid the new cable tunnels to provide power to the other Crossrail feeder station at Kensal Green.
Crossrail will open in 2018. The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and will increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent. An estimated 200 million people will travel on Crossrail each year.
Andrew Wyllie, Chief Executive of Costain, said: “The Crossrail scheme is providing a much-needed solution to upgrading a key part of the nation’s travel infrastructure.
“We are delighted to have been awarded these contracts, which follow on from other Crossrail projects we are involved in, including the construction of the Bond Street and Paddington stations and works at Eleanor Street and Mile End Park.
“We believe these further wins demonstrate the successful implementation of our ‘Choosing Costain’ strategy in which we focus group-wide resources on meeting the developing requirements of major blue chip customers.”
The government has given the go-ahead for the building of Liverpool’s £425 million Royal University Hospital that will create 750 full-time construction jobs.
The multi-million development is set to employ local people, materials and services where possible to generate an additional £240 million for the local economy and boost the trades.
The Department for Health and the Treasury have approved the funding and the hospital is now assessing bids from two construction companies, Carillion and Horizon, that will design and build the hospital by 2017.
After the bidder is appointed, the hospital will obtain final planning permission and sign contracts, with building construction work expected to begin early next year.
Aidan Kehoe, chief executive, said: “I am delighted that we are now just weeks away from unveiling the design for our new hospital.
“The new Royal is at the very heart of our city and this is a significant step forward in the creation of our world-class hospital.
“It also brings us one step closer to the creation of the Liverpool BioCampus, which has the potential to transform the city, propelling us onto the world stage along with Boston and Singapore.”
What is your reaction to the £425 million funding for the building of new Royal Liverpool University Hospital that will create hundreds of construction jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.”
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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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.”
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 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.
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.
A £50 million funding package will see an empty building in Glasgow City Centre transformed into high quality retail and office space, creating 250 new constructing jobs and boosting the trades.
From January, construction work will get underway at 110 Queen Street – a former bank – to create 143,000 sq ft of Grade A offices and 20,000 sq ft of retail space accommodating up to 1,500 workers.
The project, which is being developed and built by BAM, will receive a £9.6 million loan from the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) Fund, which has been established with Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund money.
The news of the development comes after a recent research report published by Ryden outlined a demand in Glasgow for new office space to enable it to compete effectively with other UK regional cities.
Speaking after making the announcement at the Queen Street site, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Significant city centre developments like today’s £50 million boost for Glasgow are central to stimulating economic growth across Scotland.
“This is absolutely imperative in these tough economic times. It is vital that we support opportunities for new business to help create new jobs and also encourage inward investment to Scotland.
“The transformation of this building, due for completion in 2015, will provide much needed high spec office space for Glasgow, which will enable it to compete more effectively with other large cities – and help to attract companies from across the globe.”
John Burke, Executive Director, BAM Construct UK, said: “This is terrific news for Glasgow and the wider construction sector, and is testament to the confidence investors have that BAM can deliver the largest office development to be built outside of London in a number of years.
“BAM is also investing £40.4m in this project which will generate spin-off economic activity, both short and long term in the construction sector and supply chain as well as a number of new apprenticeships. The team is keen to get started and will be moving on site on 7 January.
“It is our firm belief that this significant development will give Glasgow a competitive advantage by providing new quality office space, which is scarce, to established companies looking for long term growth, and help to attract inward investors to the city”.
The reforms to the scheme are set to deliver 55 per cent cost reduction and a total of £272 million worth of savings for participants in the in the scheme.
The simplification of the CRC programme will make it easier for businesses to feel the benefits of using less energy, and will also support jobs in the energy savings industry.
The changes are expected to increase demand for energy efficient products and services.
Minister of State Gregory Barker said: “Energy efficiency increases productivity and is good for growth so it is important that we continue to incentivise this through the CRC.
“We have listened to the concerns of business and radically simplified the scheme in order to cut down on administrative costs and red tape. And we will consider how to encourage new renewable on-site generation through the CRC scheme.
“The scheme will now be more flexible and light-touch, saving participants money and helping them to save energy”.
Reforms to the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme include:
- Reducing the number of fuels that participants have to report against from 29 to 2 (electricity and gas for heating).
- Reducing scheme complexity by removing the 90% rule and Climate Change Agreements (CCA) exemption rule.
- Abolishing the Performance League Table but continuing to publish participants aggregated energy use and emission data.
- Reducing overlap with other climate change legislation.
- Withdrawing all state-funded schools in England from the scheme.
- Government will consider how the CRC can incentivise the uptake of new onsite renewable self-supplied electricity.
The infrastructure investment package will be funded by welfare cuts and a reduction in other Whitehall departments. The latest revelation by the Chancellor represents a firm commitment by Government to boost construction projects and create new jobs.
The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) said that today’s autumn statement demonstrated that the government was listening to the needs of the infrastructure sector.
In advance of today’s statement CECA had worked with other industry bodies to press the case for immediate action to unlock activity in the sector.
Based on analysis of figures published today, CECA believes that around £775 million of work will be release in 2013/14 as a result of the Chancellor’s actions. More than £1 billion further additional work is due to follow the next year.
Commenting, CECA director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner said: “CECA has long argued that there is a pressing need for the government to take action to unlock new work in the infrastructure sector to achieve growth in the economy.
“Today’s Autumn Statement show that the government has listened. A combination of new projects and investment in repair and maintenance work offers the potential of additional work worth £775 million for CECA members in 2013/14.
“Investment in the infrastructure sector offers the best rate of return, but for larger infrastructure projects it can take time for these benefits to be realised, particularly due to the planning system.
“It is thus vital that government and industry work together to identify ways of unlocking work in the sector that will show an immediate benefit.
“By announcing new work in the fiscal year, the Chancellor has recognised the need to stimulate infrastructure activity in the short as well as the long term, as the best means of returning UK plc to economic health.
“Clearly we will need to be sure that this is genuinely new money, rather than recycling of funds that would otherwise have been spent on infrastructure elsewhere. But on the face of it, this appears to have been a good Autumn Statement for the industry.”
Carillion has committed to create and sustain at least 360 jobs and also encourage its business partners to invest locally in a range of new green energy projects.
Under the BES scheme, Carillion will work with Birmingham City Council as its exclusive delivery partner to improve the energy and carbon efficiency of up to 60,000 households across the city, together with schools and other non-domestic council properties.
The scheme will give households affordable ways of improving their properties by fitting energy efficiency measures, such as insulation and new boilers, under the Government’s Green Deal.
The eight-year contract is estimated to be initially worth up to £600 million, but has the potential to be extended to the wider West Midlands area under a framework agreement worth up to £1.5 billion over eight years.
Now that the contract has been finalised, Carillion is embarking on a recruitment programme to hire locally-based energy assessors, who will evaluate properties and provide advice on the energy efficiency improvements they require.
Commenting on the newly signed deal, Carillion’s Chief Executive Richard Howson, said:”Birmingham Energy Savers is a genuinely ground-breaking scheme and we are delighted to have agreed this contract with Birmingham City Council.
“We believe that in order to reach its full potential, the programme must fully engage with the community and this is why the next stage will focus on recruiting local people and businesses to deliver the scheme.”
Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart city at Birmingham City Council, added: “This programme represents a major milestone in Birmingham’s green ambitions, and demonstrates that the social justice and environmental agendas go hand-in-hand with each other.
“It will reduce energy bills for citizens by up to £300 per year – taking up to 40,000 people out of fuel poverty by 2015 – create jobs in the technology supply chain and ensure that there are less carbon emissions from the city.”
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey is to chair a summit for independent energy suppliers that could generate investment in the energy industry and create new jobs.
Mr Davey will host the meeting at the Department of Energy and Climate Change with representatives expected to attend from Co-operative Energy, Cornwall Energy Associates, Ecotricity, First Utility, Good Energy, Haven Power, Loco2 Energy, Opus Energy, Smartest Energy, Spark Energy, Utilita, and Ofgem.
Edward Davey said: “I want our energy market to be as competitive as possible. That is central to ensuring that our households and businesses can get the best deals for their gas and electricity,
“And that’s why I want to be sure that we make it as easy as possible for new players to break into the UK market, and that if there are any barriers to that, we do everything we can to remove them.
“As a long-time proponent of collective purchasing, I am delighted to see some of the smaller suppliers already winning customers through early collective switching initiatives, and that such schemes are helping them grow their customer base more rapidly.”
Areas of discussion are likely to focus on the obstacles facing independent suppliers to breaking into the UK energy market and growing their market share.
The Secretary of State also wants to take the opportunity to sound out independent suppliers on the Department’s proposals to reform the electricity market and proposals to legislate in the Energy Bill to ensure customers are on the cheapest tariffs.
On 23 November 2012 the Government announced, ahead of publication of the Energy Bill later this week, a landmark agreement on energy policy that will deliver a clear, durable signal to investors .
Over the next eleven weeks EDF Energy will be consulting on the company’s initial proposals to build the Sizewell C nuclear station next to an existing plant at Leiston
The project is expected to take nine years to complete. EDF said that the scheme could create 25,000 ‘employment opportunities’, with 5,600 workers on site at the peak of construction.
EDF also wants to create two park and ride sites, intended for construction staff that will be employed to deliver the multi-million project.
Local people can have their say on areas such as the overall proposals for Sizewell C, a rail, sea and road transport strategy including park and ride sites, accommodation for workers, and the socio-economic effects of the power station construction.
Richard Mayson Director of Planning and External Affairs, Nuclear New Build, EDF Energy, said: “We are looking forward to talking to people in the local communities in Suffolk and with other stakeholders about our proposals.
“Sizewell C would generate enough electricity to supply one in five homes in Britain. It would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for low-carbon, secure and affordable energy. It would also create significant business, training and employment opportunities locally, regionally and throughout the UK.
“I urge you to play an active role in this consultation process. We are committed to giving your feedback serious consideration and will take it into account as we prepare detailed plans for Sizewell C.”
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Kier Services is the latest big builder to gain Green Deal accreditation from leading certification body NICEIC paving the way for employment in the trades.
Kier Services is now certified to carry out installer work and improve the energy efficiency of existing domestic and non-domestic buildings.
Green Deal is the Government’s flagship scheme to reduce energy emissions from homes and buildings across the UK. It is forecast to create thousands of new jobs in the building services engineering sector.
Last month the new Energy Company Obligations (ECO) was launched, with the aim of making up to 14 million homes more efficient through insulation, draught proofing, double glazing and other measures which are designed to reduce the energy usage.
Scott Murray, head of energy at Kier, said, “Kier has a great track record in providing repairs and maintenance in the housing sector, maintaining in excess of 300,000 homes – together with success in delivering similar government backed energy efficient and funded schemes such as the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) and CERT.
“As these current initiatives are phased out, Kier aims to be at the forefront of the Government’s new flagship initiative, not only helping to reduce carbon emissions by fitting energy efficiency measures, but by working with customers to consider changes in their behaviours to help combat the challenges of fuel poverty.”
NICEIC offer certification to any business wishing to become a Green Deal installer or advisor. The certification process ensures standards are maintained by any business undertaking Green Deal work for consumers.
Green Deal approval involves checks of all quality procedures within an organisation in addition to an ability to carry out the work. By going through these rigorous checks customers can have confidence in the firm they select to carry out the work.
Green Deal Project Manager at NICEIC, Nick Wright, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Kier on this important initiative. Green Deal installers will be responsible for carrying out the work which will see millions of homes across the UK upgraded to improve energy efficiency.
“It is vital that all firms carrying out this type of work have the correct and appropriate procedures in place. Consumers need to have confidence in the firms they employ to make Green Deal a success.”
The new contract will run for five years with the option of a further two-year extension which is expected to boost the building construction industry.
Lovell will create jobs and training opportunities for local people as part of its commitment to deliver long-term community benefits.
The company has committed to employ apprentices throughout the contract with new apprentices to be taken on as existing apprentices finish their training.
Future improvements planned through the new contract, in line with tenants’ wishes, will include more flexible appointment times for repairs visits, including early morning and evening and Saturday morning appointments.
Simon Medler, managing director for the Lovell repairs and maintenance business, said: “Providing a high-quality repairs service which puts tenants’ needs first has been our priority since taking over the contract and it’s very rewarding to see the success of our approach recognised by our selection as preferred bidder to deliver the repairs service on a long-term basis.”
“We have worked very closely with DGHP and tenants to identify how the service could be improved and have then implemented the changes needed. That process is ongoing and we will build on our achievements through further improvements, ensuring that tenants continue to receive a truly excellent repairs service.”
The Future Homes Commission has set out plans to fund a three-fold increase in the number of new homes being built every year, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.
The Commission, set up by the Royal Institute of British Architects, has called on Government to use council pension pots to fund a massive housing programme that could see the building of 300,000 homes a year and boost the construction industry.
The Homes Commission argues for the creation of a new £10 billion Local Housing Development Fund, financed by the largest Local Authority pension funds, that would use 15% of their assets to invest in new rental and shared ownership housing.
The new scheme would play a lead role for the government to use localassets to lead the creation of sustainable communities and meet local housing needs as well as create thousands of jobs in the building construction industry.
A similar approach to that proposed is being pioneered by Manchester City Council, which is working with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund to build 244 homes.
The city council will release land into the joint venture at fair market valuation and GMPF will inject £25 million to pay for building work.
Both partners will then receive a capital payment on the sale of houses and an annual revenue return.
Outsourcing company Mitie has been awarded a ten-year repair and maintenance contract that will create new trade jobs and boost building sector.
The contract is worth £70 million over ten years with the potential to rise to £120 million if Golding Homes issue additional works. The multi-million scheme will see the housing association’s upkeep of 6,000 properties across Kent.
The deal is expected to benefit customers with more flexible appointment system and a quicker repairs ordering process. It will generate additional opportunities for skills training and employment in the trades.
Peter Stringer, Golding Homes chief executive, said: “We carefully considered a range of models for providing repairs and maintenance services, based on our customers’ priorities.
We concluded that creating a wholly owned subsidiary company as a vehicle for the contract will best help us meet our goals.
“We are confident that selecting Mitie as our partner will bring the professional and innovative approach our customers deserve and we look forward to working closely with them.”
Mitie will work with Golding Homes and its wholly owned subsidiary Golding Services to deliver gas maintenance, responsive repairs, void reinstatements and planned works.
Commenting on the contract award, Peter Griffin, director for social housing at Mitie, said:
“At Mitie we’re passionate about working with our customers to develop strategic partnerships that can provide long-term investment in both service infrastructure and assets. We’re delighted to be working with Golding Homes and Golding Services to deliver this exciting new contract.”
A group of energy giants will today launch a new alliance aiming to stimulate the renewable industry as Europe seeks to advance its low carbon economy and create new trade jobs.
The companies said they are aiming to promote the use of gas alongside the growth of renewables by creating policies that effectively integrate the two technologies.
They maintain that both gas and renewables could play a critical role in the European Commission’s 2050 Energy Roadmap, and that the two technologies will be highly complementary until at least 2030.
They argue that gas can provide a low carbon and flexible energy supply that can help balance out the supply of intermittent renewables, such as wind and solar.
Launching the partnership, Stephan Reimelt, chief executive of GE Germany, will say that combining renewables and gas will be the key to building a low carbon economy.
“Companies from different parts of the energy market are launching this new alliance because the evidence is clear that renewables and gas offer the most affordable, reliable, and sustainable pathway for an energy secure Europe,” he will say.
Jörg Gmeinbauer, director of Alpine Energie, will say the alliance can herald a shift in the debate around EU energy policy.
“It’s time for a systems approach to Europe’s energy policy,” he says. “We need integrated policies, market reforms, and investment in generation, transmission, and infrastructure if we are to achieve Europe’s energy goals.
“We have formed the Energy Partnership because together the partners can offer practical pathways to the future based on the synergy between renewables and gas.”
The Estates Master Plan, which was approved by the University’s Board of Governors last week, will create a single campus which will involve the construction of teaching and research buildings as well as new student facilities.
The first phase of the plan, costing around £700 million, will be delivered over the next six years and will throw a lifeline to the building industry and boost the trades.
Plans include building of a new engineering campus, new centres for the school of law and Manchester Business School, a major refurbishment of the university library, a bigger students’ union and new medical school.
Outline plans have been drawn up for a second phase which is expected to cost a further £300 million and is set to begin in 2018.
The second phase of the plan would create a Biomedical Campus around the existing Stopford Building along with other major developments for staff and students, including refurbishments in the Schools of Computer Science.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester, professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “Our long-term aim, as restated in our Manchester 2020 Vision, has been to create a world leading university that would compete with the best universities in the world and would occupy a single, outstanding campus, where some of our beautiful old buildings would stand alongside the very best in modern facilities for our research and our students.”
The plans will see the demolition of the London Fruit and Wool Exchange which will make the way for a six-storey building for office and retail use to be build.
The Mayor believes the site and its location are vital to the prosperity of this fast developing part of the capital and to London’s wider economy.
Mayor Johnson used powers granted to him in 2008 to support the application, which had previously been refused planning permission by Tower Hamlets Council.
He said: “The historic London Fruit and Wool Exchange, in the heart of London’s East End, is a former commercial epicentre to which producers and buyers flocked from miles around to do business.
“These plans will not only restore the façade to its former glory, but regenerate the Spitalfields area with thousands of new jobs, and brand new commercial opportunities.
“It will also make a vital contribution to the wider London economy and have a significant impact not just on Tower Hamlets but on surrounding boroughs as well.
“I can find no reason to refuse permission and am of the firm view that this ambitious and important redevelopment should go ahead.”
Yorkshire Building Society has announced plans to increase lending in social housing by £200 million each year which will boost the trades and create new jobs.
The building society made the decision to increase lending to housing associations up and down the country for the next five years, paving the way for new employment opportunities in the construction sector.
The society, which won several mandates in 2012 including a £12 million deal to upgrade environmental and heating facilities for 1,800 properties on the Byker estate in Newcastle, has also taken part in a £14.5m ‘Lending for Leasing’ facility for four new clients.
Head of social housing at Yorkshire Building Society, John Inglesfield, said: “We continue to see a stable and well-managed sector notwithstanding recent changes to the grant and benefit systems.
“As a mutual with the objective of helping our customers into homes, we feel comfortable with working with not for profit housing organisations which also aim to provide the housing people want and need.
“This increased allocation will provide the sector with access to lines of term credit to complement other sources of finance. We hope to work with new customers large and small in lot sizes from £5m to £50m.”
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The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has announced the launch of a new project that will kick-start the Green Deal and creates new jobs.
Speaking alongside climate change minister Greg Barker at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, UKGBC’s chief executive Paul King welcomed the implementation of the scheme and outlined its potential for stimulating economic growth.
Mr King praised the Government’s commitment to the scheme, but warned that it needed adequate support to accelerate the level of uptake and implement its objectives.
He said: “The Green Deal still has the potential to be truly revolutionary in driving mass home retrofit. This new market could, if nurtured properly, create jobs, stimulate economic growth and protect consumers from ever-rising energy prices”.
Diana Montgomery, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, which is supporting the new project, said that despite the strong industry support for the Green Deal, more needed to be done to encourage households to take it up.
Dr Montgomery said: “Collaborating with the UK-GBC on this Green Deal Task Group project will help us to ensure that we can help Government effectively navigate the options they have available to them for capitalising on that opportunity.”
Incentives to be included:
- Stamp duty banding/rebates
- Council tax banding/rebates
- Energy efficiency feed in tariff
- Subsidised interest rates for Green Deal
- Low interest loans (outside Green Deal)/ Green mortgages (underwritten by Government)
- Lump sum grant/payment (cashback/vouchers)
- Progressively tightening minimum standards, inc. extending to owner-occupied sector
- Salary sacrifice (tax free scheme) through work/tax credits
- VAT cut extension to a wider range of measure
HOLLYWOOD film giant Paramount has unveiled £2 billion proposals to build one of Europe’s largest theme parks in Swanscombe.
Planning to create 27,000 jobs, the 872-acre development planned for the Swanscombe Peninsula is bigger than the Olympic Park.
At the core of the development will be a Paramount-branded entertainment resort, boasting attractions including Europe’s largest indoor water park.
Theatres, live music venues, cinemas, restaurants and hotels are also planned to open in just six years time on the currently derelict brownfield site.
Top-secret talks have been held almost daily between developer London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) and Dartford and Gravesham Councils during the past year.
Gravesham Council leader Councillor John Burden said: “This scheme is as imaginative as it is vast.
“It has the potential to re-energise the entire north Kent economy, wipe out unemployment at a stroke and resolve the long-standing regeneration issues surrounding this peninsula.
“It’s a landmark announcement which could transform the area at super-heroic speed.”
A new country park, the biggest performing arts centre in Europe and apartments for the site’s employees are also in the pipeline.
The developer says a study suggests the huge attraction will draw in thousands of tourists to the north Kent area annually, adding significantly to the economy.
LRCH project leader Tony Sefton said: “Our vision is to create a world class entertainment destination, the first of its kind in the UK.
“We’re at the start of a long journey, but have been encouraged by the support and buy-in we have had to date.
“We are particularly pleased with the appetite we are seeing from investors, who consider this a compelling investment proposition.”
Ebbsfleet International station is at the core of access plans for the site, while the M25, M20 and A20 will provide road access.
Source This Is London
The scheme, partly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, will see the building of 768 new homes by 2015. The developments will include family homes, bungalows for older people as well as properties for private sale and for social rent.
Businesses and jobseekers are set to benefit from the scheme which is expected to generate more than £70 million worth of construction work and create hundreds of new jobs with local employers.
The three developers have signed construction pledges to work with local suppliers and the council’s Think Local and ‘Find It In Sandwell’ initiatives which will boost employment and help people in the trades.
Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for housing, said: “We’re pleased to announce partners who will help turn our vision for the future of housing in Sandwell into reality.
“We’ll be providing residents with an excellent range of affordable homes for local people to buy, part-own and rent and consult with local people about the new homes we plan to build.”
Assad Hamed, area manager for the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “We know through working closely with Sandwell Council that increasing the supply of affordable homes in the borough is a big priority and we are pleased our investment is supporting this.
“Getting all three schemes up and running will be a major boost for local communities in Sandwell as they will see lots of activity happening across the borough and will benefit from the impact of local jobs and economic growth.”
South Essex College has signed a £33 million contract with Skanska which will see the building of a new 2,500 place student campus in Essex.
Construction of the scheme is set to start immediately with the new learning campus being ready to open in the summer of 2014.
Skanska will be responsible for the construction of three and four storey buildings covering around 150,000 sq ft. It has the target of achieving BREEAM excellent rating and the facility will incorporate rainwater harvesting, air source heat pumps and roof level PV installations.
The project is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the construction sector.
The new college aims to boost local construction skills and will teach welding, brickwork, carpentry, engineering, mechanical, electrical and plumbing skills.
Following the completion of the new facility, Skanska will undertake landscaping and associated works which will include car parking, cycle storage and external landscaping.
Paul Heather, Managing Director of Skanska for London and the South East said: “We have successfully delivered a number of world-class education facilities across Essex in recent years and this has enabled to bring together a wealth of experience, skills and expertise to this project.
“The development of the new Thurrock Campus will provide excellent facilities for the students, teaching staff and the wider community and we are proud to be part of creating this key learning environment”.