Environment

Portsmouth gateway transformation reaches out for new jobs

Portsmouth gateway transformation reaches out for new jobs

Developers are being sought to transform a derelict site in Portsmouth that will create 1,500 jobs and see the building of up to 1,600 new homes.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has announced it is seeking a development partner to build and market the first 80 new and affordable homes at its site in Tipner. Work by Portsmouth City Council includes the creation of a new motorway interchange and park-and-ride facility.

The site has undergone an extensive clean-up over the last year, which has seen the HCA invest around £3 million in preparing it for residential development.

This work has been carried out by specialist construction company the Tamdown Group, who have worked closely with local residents to keep them informed about progress on the site over the last year.

Kevin Bourner, HCA head of area, said: “This first phase of development marks an incredibly important step for a project which stands to make a hugely positive contribution to the local community and wider economy over the long-term.

“It will set the standard and tone of the rest of the development and demonstrates to those who have backed the project for so long that progress is being made. This is a complex project, which has required a great deal of work to get to this stage.

“I am confident that prospective partners will see what a fantastic opportunity this represents to be part of an exciting scheme that has the potential to regenerate the area for future generations.”

Kathy Wadsworth, director of regeneration at Portsmouth City Council, added: “Tipner will be an important new residential and employment area at the gateway to the city, with major new transport infrastructure and waterside developments.

“It is a major part of our plan to bring £1 billion worth of investment into the city. The new motorway junction will enable more development in the area, and the park-and-ride will cater for visitors to our new-look city centre, which is being planned now.”

Telford development reaches out with new homes and jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government to promote offshore wind investment

Government to promote offshore wind investmentBusiness and Energy Minister Michael Fallon has announced the creation of an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation (OWIO) to boost levels of inward investment and to further stimulate jobs in the UK offshore wind industry.

The OWIO is expected to boost the UK offshore wind industry alongside Government support for three offshore wind innovation projects as well as pave the way for new employment opportunities in the trades.

Energy Minister, Michael Fallon said: “Offshore wind is a major success story for the UK, and we want to boost levels of inward investment. This will be an important part of our industrial strategy for the sector later this year, and we are creating the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation to drive that activity.

“We already have more installed offshore wind than anywhere else in the world, and this brings enormous economic benefit to our shores, supporting thousands of skilled jobs.

“Through the formation of this industry-led partnership and through our support for innovation projects, we will boost the positive benefits that the offshore wind sector can bring to the UK economy.”

The OWIO is one of the recommendations of the forthcoming industrial strategy and will be headed by a senior industry figure. The organisation will be a partnership between industry and Government, established by UK Trade & Investment, that will complement the work of DECC and BIS in delivering the Government-wide offshore investment objectives.

Michael Fallon also announced three innovation projects that Government will support as part of Offshore Wind Components Technologies Scheme:

  • Power Cable Services Limited, based in Kent, have been awarded a £540,000 grant towards their high voltage subsea cable jointing technology project
  • Aquasium Technology Ltd with partners Burntisland Fabrications Ltd and TWI have been awarded a grant of £769,600 towards their cost-effective fabrication project.
  • Wind Technologies Ltd (Cambridge) have been awarded a £728,355 grant to design, manufacture and test an innovative 5MW medium speed drive train concept.

The Minister announced the support during his keynote speech to Renewable UK’s Offshore Wind 2013 conference in Manchester today.

Industry delegates at the conference are also able to attend the first ‘Share Fair’ session enabling them to hear about investment opportunities from major players in the market. This addresses one of the priorities identified by the offshore wind industrial strategy partnership between Government and industry.

What is your reaction to the Government plans to boost levels of inward investment and create new jobs in the UK offshore wind industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

New homes and employment boost at new Telford development

New homes and employment boost at new Telford developmentMuch-needed new homes, jobs and training opportunities are being created in Telford as part of an ambitious £11 million project by Sanctuary Group.

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

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

Local suppliers will be used wherever possible on the development and there will be grants available for local community projects.

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

Councillor Hilda Rhodes, Telford and Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Customer Services, marked the start of work on site during a special sod cutting ceremony.

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

Ian Calder from Seddon said: “We’re delighted to be creating apprentice training opportunities through this important housing scheme. Boosting local economies by providing new jobs and training is a central feature of our work with Sanctuary.”

The project has been part funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) through the Affordable Homes Programme and is being carried out in partnership with Telford and Wrekin Council.

Work starts on new homes at Trinity South

Work starts on new homes at Trinity SouthAn exciting £30 million scheme to create new homes and jobs in South Shields has moved forward thanks Keepmoat Homes and the Homes and Community Agency (HCA).

Work has begun to build the 222 new family homes on 13.1 acres of land, which includes part of the former Circatex factory site and the southern end of Frederick Street, and is adjacent to the Zero carbon housing development at Sinclair Meadows

Local ward members Councillors visited the site alongside Lead Member for Housing and Transport, Councillor Jim Foreman and Ian Prescott from Keepmoat Homes, to see the work get underway.

Councillor Malcolm, who is also Lead Member for Resources and Innovation, said: “I’m delighted to see work starting on these new homes. It’s a major milestone in our ambitious plans to transform the Riverside area.

“There is so much happening locally, with the recently completed eco-friendly business incubator at One Trinity Green and new carbon negative homes at Sinclair Meadows going on to win awards for innovation. This new development will build on this success and I can’t wait to see it take shape over the coming years.”

The new homes will include 20 Council properties, which will be available to rent through South Tyneside Homes with the remainder for sale through Keepmoat.

The development will also feature a landmark apartment building and a specially designed £500,000 linear park, which will provide a new play area as well as create better pedestrian links to the riverside.

Councillor Clare, ward member and Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy, said: “These new homes form part of our wider plans to revitalise the Riverside area, which also includes Harton Quays Park, where work is already underway.

“It’s wonderful to see our ambitious plans progressing. This particular development will be a real asset to the Rekendyke area and a huge benefit to the wider community.”

Ian Prescott, Land and Partnerships Director at Keepmoat, said: “Keepmoat share in the Council’s exciting ambitions for the regeneration of this part of South Shields. Our £30 million Trinity South scheme will have a significant impact on the local community.

“In addition to developing high quality, new and affordable homes in an attractive landscaped setting, we are engaging with local businesses to create employment and training opportunities for local people.”

The development will also meet Level 3 of the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes.

Work to start on Inverness College

The Scottish Government

Construction work on the new £50 million Inverness College UHI is set to start next month, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today.

The 13.3 acre University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) development will create 300 jobs during construction, a minimum of 28 modern apprenticeships and provide facilities for over 8,500 students.

Inverness is the first Further Education college to use the Non Profit Distributing (NPD) financing model with City of Glasgow and Kilmarnock colleges to follow later in the year.

NPD ensures that private sector returns are capped, that there is no dividend bearing equity, and any surplus is directed in favour of the public sector.

Other major projects in the £2.5 billion NPD pipeline include M8, M73 and M74 improvements, while construction work has already begun on community health buildings in Aberdeen, Forres and Tain.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The new £50 million Inverness College UHI will be a landmark building, the centrepiece in a high quality, modern and sustainable campus being developed on the outskirts of the city.

“This Government is determined to invest in Scotland’s infrastructure – our schools, roads and hospitals – both to stimulate growth in the short term and lay the foundations for long term success.

“That is good news for the Highland economy and its construction industry and will attract businesses and highly trained professionals to the Highlands to help stimulate economic growth.

“Our investment in schools, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure is set to top £3.4 billion in 2013-14, which is estimated to support more than 40,000 jobs across the Scottish economy.”

Education Secretary Michael Russell said: “The Scottish Government has demonstrated its commitment to Scotland’s college sector by adding £61 million to the sector’s budget over the next two years compared to what was originally planned for the spending review period.

“We are progressing college reforms that will substantially improve students’ chances of securing a job at the end of their course, as well as ensuring local businesses are able to employ the right people with the right skills.

“Our investment in Inverness College UHI sits alongside upcoming investment in Glasgow and Kilmarnock colleges to ensure our students have state of the art learning facilities to help them maximise their potential. The new Inverness campus will play a crucial role in the expansion of research, further and higher education in the Highland region.”

Barry White, Chief Executive of the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), explained: “Reaching financial close of a project of this size and complexity in only 17 months is unprecedented. This project, funded through the SFT led NPD programme, is a massive boost to the local economy with the main contractor committed to deliver at least 25 apprenticeship positions.

“When it opens in summer 2015, Inverness College UHI will be housed in modern, high quality and fit-for-purpose buildings and achieve great value-for-money thanks to the collaborative efforts and professionalism of all partners involved.”

Multi-million pound Cardiff Pointe project is under way

Multi-million pound Cardiff Pointe project is under way

The first stage in the exciting multi-million pound International Sports Village development at Cardiff Pointe has been launched by Cardiff Council leader, Heather Joyce.

The launch marked the official start of the latest major project in Cardiff Bay, which includes a new Olympic standard, twin-pad ice arena and Cardiff Pointe, a sustainable residential quarter consisting of around 800 new homes.

Future stages will also include a 150 million indoor ski-slope, one of the world’s largest indoor snow play centres, a stunning mixed-use tower that will be the tallest in Wales, gallery space, a hotel, retail outlets, housing and office accommodation.

Cardiff Council leader, Heather Joyce, said: “This development will not only look fantastic but will also create thousands of jobs, attract tens of thousands more visitors to the city and provide homes – including affordable homes – for people in Cardiff.

“The end results will be state-of-the-art facilities that everyone can use, including, crucially, two ice rinks which will provide a new home for the Cardiff Devils and offer people a range of winter sports to try out. This will all go a long way to enhancing Cardiff’s reputation as a world class sporting capital city.”

Jonathan Smith Director at Helium Miracle 113 said: “We are immensely proud of the Sports Village’s design and content, which follows the high standard set by the Cardiff Pointe residential quarter. We believe the new facilities will strengthen Cardiff’s reputation as a forward-thinking, cosmopolitan centre of sports, culture and housing.

“The benefits to the area will be enormous and tangible: not only will Wales gain a Centre of Excellence for Winter Sports, available to professionals and the public alike, but we will be extending both Cardiff’s tourism season and catchment area; and employing, conservatively, over 1,600 people from the local area.”

More money for renewable heating kit

More money for renewable heating kitHouseholders 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.

Willmott Dixon gets Scape contract to drive growth and create jobs

Willmott Dixon

Willmott Dixon has announced to use its re-appointment as sole contractor on Scape’s major works framework to create jobs and boost opportunities for local companies over the next four years.

Willmott Dixon estimates that under the previous Scape framework, where it was the incumbent contractor, local authorities saved a minimum of 14p in every £1 they spent on projects procured through Scape.

The construction company is planning to increase that saving to 20p in every £1, while ensuring 60 per cent of project budgets are spent on companies within a 20 mile radius of each Scape site, and raising employment and skills targets by 1,400 per cent.

Mark Robinson, CEO of Scape said: “Scape’s frameworks are becoming increasingly sought after with the number of public bodies using Scape’s services doubling over the last two years.  It is important that this new framework focuses more than ever before on supporting local people and local businesses in a tough economic climate.”

Scape’s frameworks are worth £3 billion and over the last decade Scape has delivered over 1,200 projects on time and in budget for 250 public sector clients.

Scape specialises in providing a range of national and regional procurement frameworks enabling the UK public sector to procure construction services quicker and more efficiently, without having to go through lengthy and costly OJEU processes each time.

Scape’s new major works framework, which Willmott Dixon won after a seven-month re-procurement process, is expected to generate £1.25bn of construction work over the next four years. It comes as public sector budget cuts and reduced spending on capital projects put the spotlight on contractors generating even more value and efficiency in their construction output.

The benefits to clients of using Scape, including the reduced procurement time it brings, was underlined by Willmott Dixon delivering all 157 projects under the previous framework on time and in budget.

EC boost for green infrastructure

EC boost for green infrastructure

The European Commission (EC) has adopted a new Action Plan for encouraging the use of green infrastructure, and for ensuring that the enhancement of natural processes becomes a systematic part of spatial planning.

It aims to show how the EU’s Atlantic Member States, their regions and the Commission can help create sustainable growth in coastal regions and drive forward the “blue economy”, which has the potential to provide 7 million jobs in Europe by 2020

Environment commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “Building green infrastructure is often a good investment for nature, for the economy and for jobs. We should provide solutions that work with nature instead of against it, where that makes economic and environmental sense.”

The Plan will contribute to the EU’s “Blue Growth” strategy (IP/12/955) and is consistent with the Commission’s focus on regional collaboration to encourage sustainable growth and create jobs.

The strategy will focus on:

  • Promoting green infrastructure in the main policy areas, such as agriculture, forestry, nature, water, marine and fisheries, regional and cohesion policy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, transport, energy, disaster prevention and land use policies. By the end of 2013, the commission will develop guidance to show how green infrastructure can be integrated into the implementation of these policies from 2014 to 2020
  • Improving research and data, strengthening the knowledge base and promoting innovative technologies that support green infrastructure
  • Improving access to finance for green infrastructure projects – the commission will set up an EU financing facility by 2014, together with the European Investment Bank, to support green infrastructure projects
  • Supporting EU-level green infrastructure projects – by the end of 2015, the commission will carry out a study to assess the opportunities for developing an EU-wide network of green infrastructure.

Construction of Swansea University campus gets underway

£20m Europe Day boost as construction of Science and Innovation campus gets underway

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.

Over £20 million from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government will be invested to build the centre which has also received backing from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

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.”

BAM wins £9m Cambridge technical college job

BAM Construction has won the science-led £9 million contract for the building of University Technical College (UTC) for the city of Cambridge that will pave the way for new trade jobs.  

The contractor will deliver a three-storey building to hold 670 students aged 14 to 19 specialise in biomedical and environmental sciences and technologies.

It will include five super labs on the top floor. These will hold 90 students each, with three capable of joining together to emulate large-scale research conditions.

Sustainability features will include a combined heat and power plant to provide low-carbon energy; photovoltaic cells; and gravel beds to control rainwater run-off.

Pupils at Long Road Sixth Form College and Cambridge Regional College, both of which are sponsoring the UTC, will have the opportunity to learn from the construction project. Local suppliers will be used whenever possible.

The UTC will be built adjacent to the massive £175 million Laboratory of Molecular Biology, which was completed by BAM last year and is the company’s largest project to date, and which has its formal opening this month.

BAM regional design manager Malcolm Boyd said: “We are very excited to be back building science facilities in Cambridge. The LMB project helped us develop our designs for the science laboratories in the UTC, a key contribution to this important win for BAM.

“BAM is committed to ensuring our work creating UTC Cambridge will benefit pupils, teachers, the wider community and the environment.”

Start on site is scheduled for September 2013, with the UTC due to open a year later at the start of the 2014/15 academic year.

BAM’s design arm will carry out structural design as well as specifying furniture, fittings and equipment. It will work closely with architect Hawkins Brown on the scheme.

BAM Plant will work closely with the project team to provide plant equipment and services that will reduce cost, risk and environmental impact.

Proposed planning revamp to boost infrastructure projects and create new jobs

The Scottish Government

Scotland’s planning system will create new trade jobs and economic benefits to help deliver sustainable economic growth, Planning Minister Derek Mackay has announced today.

The third National Planning Framework (NPF) and draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) will influence development plans across Scotland and guide future planning decisions on a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure.

The NPF is the Scottish Government’s strategy for the long-term development of Scotland’s towns, cities and countryside. It sets out strategic infrastructure needs and priorities over the next 20 to 30 years that will pave the way for new jobs in the construction sector.

Mr Mackay said: “Scotland needs a planning system that has, at its heart, the overriding principle of delivering sustainable economic growth in order to maximise the country’s attraction to investors and visitors in a global economy.

“We want future planning decisions to give significant weight to the economic benefit of proposed developments, particularly the creation of new jobs.”

These draft proposals are supported by on-going measures to improve the overall performance of the planning system, ensuring smoother delivery and a stronger focus on economic recovery.

Planning Minister Derek Mackay added: “The consultation on the National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy will influence development plans across the country for the next thirty years affecting every part of Scotland.”

He said: “We will support our review of Town Centres by insisting that major new developments which attract people – like workplaces, leisure facilities and shops – are in town centres wherever possible. We want to see development which ensures lively, successful and viable town centres.

“I am keen that planning does more to encourage good design, and the creation of the kind of places we would all like to live in or visit. Our forthcoming policy on Architecture and Place will show what we are doing to achieve this.

“Scotland is enriched by a high quality environment and many special places to live in and visit. These physical assets underpin our economy and our quality of life and that is why we need to ensure developments go in the right place, providing positive benefits for our communities and environment.”

What is your reaction to the proposed planning changes in Scotland that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

SITA UK gets West London public partnership contract

SITA UK selected as preferred bidder for West London public private partnership contract

A consortium led by SITA UK, a subsidiary of Suez Environment, has been selected as preferred bidder for a resource recovery contract worth over £900 million over 25 years with the West London Waste Authority.

The contract is to manage up to 300,000 tonnes of residual household waste each year from the West London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmond-upon-Thames.

The new rail-linked energy-from-waste facility, which will be called the Severnside Energy Recovery Centre (SERC) is set to create new jobs and boost the trades.

The waste collected from over 1.4 million residents will be managed in a new energy-from-waste facility in Severnside, South Gloucestershire and transported by rail from West London.

Compared to the current waste treatment this will save over 83,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, which is more than two million tonnes over the duration of the contract.

This facility will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 50,000 homes and could also supply hot water to local businesses, further improving its environmental performance.

The total capital investment in the new facility is over £240 million. A total of 53 permanent jobs will be created at SERC with around 200 jobs being created during its construction.

David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of SITA UK, said: “We are delighted to be named preferred bidder for this major waste management contract in West London. It is great news for the six boroughs and their residents, knowing that their waste materials will be used to produce energy and avoid landfill.

“Contracts like this make the circular economy a reality and show that environmentally sustainable solutions offer nothing other than business sense – extracting energy and employment from materials which too often are treated as waste.”

Wales Office Minister: “Green Deal great for consumers and business”

Wales Office Minister Green Deal great for consumers and businessWales Office Minister, Stephen Crabb, has visited the British Gas Training Academy in Tredegar to show his support for the Green Deal initiative that will create thousands of new jobs.

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.

These Greendeal measures have been proven to save energy and therefore help the environment as well as reduce the cost of energy bills.

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

What is your opinion about the Green Deal initiative that will create new jobs boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

BAM appointed to deliver several Midlands schools

BAM appointed to deliver several Midlands schools

The Education Funding Agency has appointed BAM Construction as a preferred bidder for the delivery of £27 million contract for the Midlands two capital batch.

Schools are located in Birmingham, Derby and Nottinghamshire More than 1,800 pupils in one primary, one secondary and two special schools will be taught in new buildings.

The schools included are:

  • Lees Brook Community School (Secondary)
  • Heathlands Primary School
  • Hallmoor School (Special)
  • Fountaindale School (Special)

Work will now progress to the planning application stage.

Keith Rayner, BAM’s education director, said: “This is excellent news for the creative and hard working team that put together our successful proposals for these schools.

“So far, BAM has a 100% track record of making the shortlist on all of the priority schools for which we have tendered, but the real test of value is in being selected and we are delighted that our designs have been chosen.

“BAM’s presence in the education market remains extremely strong and is supported by the collaborative ethos of our company as well as our integrated capability to design and build.”

What is your reaction to the £27 million school building programme across the Midlands that will boost the construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Exciting £500m Reading scheme gets submitted

Exciting £500m Reading scheme gets submitted

Sackville Developments Reading Limited (SDRL) has submitted plans for the £500 million regeneration scheme of Reading’s town centre that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The regeneration of the Station Hill site in Reading is an employment-led mixed-use redevelopment which will include new homes, shops, cafés and leisure facilities.

SDRL represents a joint venture between Benson Elliot and Stanhope PLC. Between them, Stanhope PLC and Benson Elliot have the expertise and stable financial backing to deliver a first class redevelopment to Station Hill.

The application has been drawn up following extensive consultation with local residents and business owners as well as council representatives.

Jason Margrave, Development Director  of Stanhope said: “This application is the culmination of a considerable amount of consultation with Reading Borough Council as well as the promoters of the neighbouring Thames Tower.

“The designs we have submitted have been widely supported by the public and we believe they will considerably transform  this part of the town, building on the significant investment currently taking place at the station.

“Following consultation, we have included an enlarged public open space in the heart of the scheme, improved the retail offer and incorporated more public art.”

The public exhibition which took place in February last year attracted over 700 people, with over 95% of respondents supporting that the area is in need of regeneration.

The application is due to be decided by Reading Borough Council later in the year. If approved, work will look to commence in 2014.

Whilst redevelopment is taking place, it is the intention of the developers to create a temporary event space outside of Reading Station to be used for a variety of cultural and entertainment events.

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

HS2 Ltd unveils new building plans for London Euston

HS2 Ltd unveils new building plans for London Euston

Euston Station will be redeveloped to become the gateway to the great cities of the Midlands and North as part of the HS2 scheme that will create thousands of trade jobs.

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.

 

Proposed Energy Park will create 250 new local jobs

Proposed Energy Park will create 250 new local jobs

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.”

 

Major industry Players back the Green Deal Finance Company as £244m funding package is ready to flow

Major industry Players back the Green Deal Finance Company as £244m funding package is ready to flow

The Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC) has confirmed a £244 million funding package to set-up Green Deal Plans that will enable providers across the country to begin work on the scheme.

The GDFC can also confirm the 16 organisations behind the stakeholder loan – all key players in the Green Deal. This package will provide very long-term and low-cost funding to enable householders across all parts of the country to finance energy efficiency improvements to their homes.

The 16 organisations behind the stakeholder loan are key players in the Green Deal, including energy suppliers, potential Green Deal installers and the Department of Energy and Climate Change. They are British Gas, Carillion, CertiNergy, CIGA, the Department for Energy & Climate Change, Domestic and General Insulation, EDF Energy, E.ON, Gentoo, InstaGroup, Kingfisher, Newcastle City Council, RWE npower, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, SSE, and ScottishPower.

The financing package consists of:

  • committed funding of £69 million from 16 members of the company and other stakeholders in the Green Deal in the form of Stakeholder Loans and Junior Capital
  • an additional Junior Capital Facility of £20 million and a Contingent Capital Facility of up to £30m provided by DECC
  • a senior debt facility of £125 million provided by the UK Green Investment Bank

Mark Bayley, Chief Executive of the Green Deal Finance Company, said: “I am delighted to confirm the completion of the £244m financing package with our principal stakeholders, DECC and the UK Green Investment Bank. We can now offer Green Deal Providers a one-stop-shop to set up, finance and administer Green Deal Plans.

“By ensuring that householders can only borrow what they can expect to save in energy bills, and by offering a fixed rate for 10 to 25 years, Green Deal Plans will be affordable and widely available to over 80% of the population. No other consumer credit product offers a fixed rate for up to 25 years and is this inclusive.”

“I am also delighted to be making this announcement after very strong growth in Green Deal assessments of energy-saving measures requested by householders during March, well in excess of the 1,800 or so assessments carried out in February. Many of these assessments can be expected to convert into Green Deal Plans as householders install the measures into their homes.”

Commenting on the publication of the latest Green Deal statistics, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “It is clearly very early days but the latest figures on the Green Deal show that this new market is gathering real momentum. 9,268 Green Deal assessments taking place in just over two months is very encouraging and shows a genuine interest from consumers.

“The Green Deal gives people the opportunity to improve the efficiency of their homes, make them warmer and protect themselves from rising energy bills.

“The number of businesses getting on board continues to rise steadily, underlining that the Green Deal offers fantastic new commercial opportunities.

“48 firms are now authorised as providers, with a further 831 registered to carry out installations and over a thousand individuals registered to offer assessments. Overall this is a really promising start for the Green Deal.”

What is your reaction to the £244 million funding for the Green Deal initiative that will finance energy efficiency improvements to people’s homes and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

£300m boost for small and medium businesses

£300m boost for small and medium businessesThe Government has announced a £300 million funding boost to help small and medium sized businesses expand and create new jobs in the trades.   

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.”

What is your reaction to the announced £300 million funding to help small and medium sized businesses? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Scottish energy industry gets £600m investment boost

Scottish energy industry gets £600m investment boost

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 to create 500 new jobs and invest £65m into UK operations

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.”

Plans for Great Haddon Urban Extension given the go-ahead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government Approves Northampton Enterprise Zone Site

CPO Powers Secure Enterprise Zone Site

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

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

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

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

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

Government Approves Northampton Enterprise Zone Site

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

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

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

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

Multi-million pound investment reaches out for new jobs in Hull

Multi-million pound investment reaches out for new jobs in Hull

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.”

White City residential scheme gets the go-ahead

Dairy Crest Site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Housebuilding set to start on Ebbsfleet residential scheme

Land Securities Group

Land Securities has exchanged contracts with Ward Homes for the sale of 150 residential plots in Ebbsfleet Valley that will kick-start the building of 6,250 homes.

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”.

Trade Mission to Singapore and Indonesia to boost economic growth

Trade Mission to Singapore and Indonesia to boost exports

All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Trade & Investment is on a trade mission to Singapore and Indonesia this week to strengthen business ties and create new jobs.

The mission, which will boost UK exports, is led by APPG Chair Margot James and is supported by Barclays, Prudential Plc and the UK ASEAN Business Council (UKABC).

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).

Fifteen British companies from the education and infrastructure sectors will take part, including Warwickshire College, the University of Reading and Spark Architecture.

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.  

Boris Johnson reveals £100m affordable housing boost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imperial College unveils plans for new London campus

Imperial launches major new research and translation campus

Imperial College London has revealed further details of its plan to build a £150 million campus in White City that will create around 3,200 new jobs and boost the trades.

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.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Construction Starts on 100 Cheapside in the City of London

Construction Starts on 100 Cheapside in the City of LondonSkanska 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 scheme will see the demolition and construction of a ten-storey commercial building for its client, Ten Times Ten Development, a joint venture between Quadrant Estates and City of London.

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.”

What is your reaction to the £28 million construction contract by Skanska in the City of London? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

Government approves £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme

Government approves £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chancellor Should Boost Construction to Drive Growth

The Construction Products Association

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.

Rail industry adopts ‘pure construction alliance’ to boost the trades

Rail industry adopts pure construction alliance to boost the trades

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.”

1,200 new homes and further investment for Cornwall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time to seize the moment on offshore wind and the renewable industry

Investment in Scottish renewables to top £1 billion and support 11,000 jobs

Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has warned that the UK Government should allocate further investment to boost the electricity market and create thousands of offshore wind jobs.

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.

Waitrose announced as first retailer deal at London’s King’s Cross

Waitrose announced as first retailer deal at London’s King’s Cross

Waitrose has confirmed the development of a 29,000 sq ft supermarket at King’s Cross London that will create up to 170 new jobs and boost the trades.

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 supermarket and cookery school will see the restoration and refurbishment of the Midland Goods Shed and the East Handyside Canopy.

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 backs City Deal for new jobs and growth

Government unveils more ‘City Deals’ to boost growth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deputy Prime Minister 1

The 20 cities and their outline proposals: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heathrow unveils £3bn investment plan

Heathrow unveils £3bn investment plan

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RWE unveils plans for Triton Knoll offshore wind farm

RWE national gridOutline 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.

Stanhope launches masterplan for BBC Television Centre

TELEVISION CENTRE, WHITE CITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

St Modwen gets £150m Swansea Uni campus deal

Swansea University New Development 1Swansea University has signed a £150 million contract with developer St Modwen to build new campus that will create jobs and boost the trades.

Work on the first building will get underway in April, with Bam Construction, Leadbitter, Vinci and Willmott Dixon in the tender race to build a £23 million innovation hub centre at the site.

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.

Swansea University New DevelopmentThe project on an old BP refinery site in Neath has already been given a detailed planning permission for 430,000 sq ft of academic buildings and 900 student apartments.

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.

Government unveils £10bn investment to kick-start housebuilding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wates announced as contractor for Midlands Priority Schools

Wates Construction UK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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