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.”
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.
Nick Clegg has today transferred greater powers to local authorities across England to drive economic growth, build thousands of new homes and boost employment in the trades.
The Deputy Prime Minister has backed the ‘City Deal’ which aim is to grant more freedom, powers and tools needed for local government to shape their economic future and create new jobs.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said: “Even more places will be free from Whitehall control and have the tools to power their own growth. These deals help cities and their wider areas make once in a generation changes that will be felt by everyone across their region.”
Councils in England need to ease planning regulations and have greater control over funds to accelerate housing and residential developments.
According to Coventry and Warwickshire local authorities, the scheme is estimated to create around 30,000 jobs across the region and boost the trades.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) that led the City Deal bid said it was pleased by the Government’s decision to drive economic development tand create new jobs in the area.
Sir Peter Rigby, chair of the CWLEP said: “This is great news for Coventry and Warwickshire and allows us to put our very exciting plans into place to do just what the LEP was established to do – to create jobs and economic growth and prosperity.”
The 20 cities and their outline proposals:
Black Country: want to use a City Deal to grow their high-value manufacturing sector. They want to build on the Black Country’s track record in designing, building and exporting components and products such as aircraft control systems, turbo technology and an extensive range of automotive components.
Bournemouth and Poole: want to use a City Deal to encourage a transition to a more balanced local economy by boosting Advanced Manufacturing (particularly marine and aerospace) as well as digital and creative industries.
Brighton and Hove: want to use a City Deal to realise the economic potential of their eco-tech sector. This is a new, and growing, sector in Brighton & Hove. The universities have developed specialisms in this area. Brighton and partners want to build on this and encourage more innovation and business growth.
Greater Cambridge: want to use a City Deal to unleash the next wave of the “Cambridge Phenomenon”, which is a cluster of high-tech firms that focus on biotechnology, software and electronics around Cambridge, many of which have links with Cambridge University. Greater Cambridge wants to spread the “brand” of Cambridge over a broader area by creating better links between the science and business parks (e.g. Babraham Research Campus), the city centre (where Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities are based), strategic transport routes and key residential sites (including the new town development of Northstowe), as well as the Enterprise Zone at Alconbury.
Coventry and Warwickshire: want to use a City Deal to capitalise on existing strengths in advanced manufacturing and engineering and to support the expansion of this sector. Coventry and Warwickshire want to grow these sectors by raising the skill levels of the workforce by increasing the number of people with intermediate and high level engineering skills and encouraging greater innovation in the sector.
Hull and the Humber: wants to use a City Deal to maximise the potential of the Humber Estuary. The estuary is already a home to a chemicals and processing sector worth £6bn and has the highest tonnage throughput of any UK port. Humber now wants to grow the “Energy Estuary” by maximising these opportunities and the benefits of offshore wind investment – and to ensure that local people have the necessary skills to take up these opportunities.
Ipswich: want to use a City Deal to equip local people and businesses with the skills they need to take advantage of significant expansion in high value jobs through development of Sizewell and Felixstowe.
Leicester and Leicestershire: want to use a City Deal to accelerate the growth of key sectors in the economy (notably manufacturing and logistics) and to encourage greater commercialisation of research emanating from the three universities in the area (Loughborough, Leicester and De Montfort).
Milton Keynes and the South East Midlands: want to use a City Deal to deliver significant, sustainable growth in housing. Over the longer term, this will allow the local area, and South East Midlands, to attract and find homes for high-skilled workers to drive economic growth. In the shorter term, providing confidence to private sector developers will create jobs in construction and industry supply chains.
Greater Norwich: wants to use a City Deal to accelerate the growth of the internationally-recognised environmental and life sciences industry within the Greater Norwich area by focusing on the potential of Norwich Research Park.
Oxford and Oxfordshire: want to use a City Deal to accelerate the growth of the knowledge economy by building on the strong base (including significant clusters in bio-sciences, space technology and cryogenics), two world-class universities (Oxford and Oxford Brookes) and internationally-recognised ‘Big Science’ research centres (eg Culham Research Centre and Harwell Laboratories).
Plymouth: wants to use a City Deal to build on its strengths in advanced engineering and design, marine renewable energy, maritime and sub-sea operations and supporting technologies. It seeks to do this by increasing the commercialisation of research in these areas and increasing exports from its high growth companies.
Preston: has seen significant private sector growth in the last 10 years, largely driven by growth in small and medium sized businesses. Preston want to build on this and sustain further growth, particularly in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing sector by investing in infrastructure.
Reading and Central Berkshire: want to use a City Deal to ensure that local people have the skills they need to access local job opportunities. Reading wants to focus on ensuring that people have skills in the growing sectors (particularly construction, logistics and knowledge intensive areas) and to ensure school leavers have the soft “employability” skills businesses need.
Southend and South Essex: want to use a City Deal to increase investor confidence to increase the supply of good quality office space and housing which will accelerate business expansion.
Stoke and Staffordshire: want to use a City Deal to build on strong heritage to become the internationally competitive home for Advanced Materials businesses in Europe. They want to grow the advanced materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, etc.) sector and to promote the use in advanced manufacturing.
Southampton and Portsmouth: wants to use a City Deal to drive the growth and diversification of the maritime sector in the area. They are seeking to do this by supporting growth in the associated sub-sectors of transport and logistics, defence and advanced manufacturing, the visitor economy and the complex supply chains linked to research and innovation.
Sunderland and the North East: want to use a City Deal to expand their manufacturing base and to diversify and grow the city’s economy.
Swindon and Wiltshire: want to use a City Deal to capitalise on the strong military presence in the area. They seek to do this by increasing the number of spin-offs firms from developments in military technology and to harness the skills from ex-servicemen/women.
Tees Valley: wants to use a City Deal to establish a global super cluster of petrochemical and processing industries to compete on the world stage. They want to build on Tees Valley’s current industrial complex, which includes over 50% of the country’s petrochemical and a significant percentage of the pharmaceutical sectors. Such a super cluster would have at its heart the production of cleaner energy, containing new developing, and associated, sectors such as biofuels from waste and other forms of renewable energy such as offshore wind.
Carillion has committed to create and sustain at least 360 jobs and also encourage its business partners to invest locally in a range of new green energy projects.
Under the BES scheme, Carillion will work with Birmingham City Council as its exclusive delivery partner to improve the energy and carbon efficiency of up to 60,000 households across the city, together with schools and other non-domestic council properties.
The scheme will give households affordable ways of improving their properties by fitting energy efficiency measures, such as insulation and new boilers, under the Government’s Green Deal.
The eight-year contract is estimated to be initially worth up to £600 million, but has the potential to be extended to the wider West Midlands area under a framework agreement worth up to £1.5 billion over eight years.
Now that the contract has been finalised, Carillion is embarking on a recruitment programme to hire locally-based energy assessors, who will evaluate properties and provide advice on the energy efficiency improvements they require.
Commenting on the newly signed deal, Carillion’s Chief Executive Richard Howson, said:”Birmingham Energy Savers is a genuinely ground-breaking scheme and we are delighted to have agreed this contract with Birmingham City Council.
“We believe that in order to reach its full potential, the programme must fully engage with the community and this is why the next stage will focus on recruiting local people and businesses to deliver the scheme.”
Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart city at Birmingham City Council, added: “This programme represents a major milestone in Birmingham’s green ambitions, and demonstrates that the social justice and environmental agendas go hand-in-hand with each other.
“It will reduce energy bills for citizens by up to £300 per year – taking up to 40,000 people out of fuel poverty by 2015 – create jobs in the technology supply chain and ensure that there are less carbon emissions from the city.”
The Energy and Climate Change Secretary said that countries around the world had to make their contribution to reach closer to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the Bali Action Plan, and the Cancun Agreements.
Last year, the UN agreed to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change no later than 2015.
That would mean that each country has to cut its carbon emissions and focus on renewable energy resources, boosting the green economy and creating new jobs.
Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “A global effort is needed if we are to achieve our climate goals – we need to pave the way for the new global deal while delivering more action now.
“Many developed and developing countries have already come forward with pledges under the UN framework to reduce their emissions by 2020. I want to encourage more to do so at Doha and beyond.
“The EU has led the way in calling for more ambition and in enshrining emissions reductions in law. I want to encourage it to move to a more ambitious 2020 emissions reduction target of 30%.
“Here in the UK we are driving forward our plans to move to a lower-carbon energy mix, and this week we will be publishing the Energy Bill which will enable this.
“I also want to see progress at Doha on achieving the global deal that all countries agreed to work towards in Durban last year. For the first time all countries agreed to sign up to a legally-binding deal to be adopted by 2015, and at Doha we need to agree a plan for these crucial negotiations.”
Speaking at the CBI’s conference in London, the Prime Minister said the Government will embark on radical reforms to speed up key decisions that will boost economic growth and “eliminate bureaucratic rubbish”.
In a wide-ranging keynote speech, Mr Cameron said the UK was in the “economic equivalent of war” but hailed signs that Britain was again “selling to the world”. “Frankly, we need this buccaneering, deal-making, hungry spirit now more than ever,” he said.
The prime minister said he had taken “massive steps towards leaner, faster government” but acknowledged that more needed to be done to speed up decision making.
“We urgently needed to get a grip on this,” he said. “Whitehall had become too risk-averse – too willing to say ‘no’ instead of ‘yes’”.
Mr Cameron said the Government would restrict the use of “time-wasting” judicial review applications and reduce the time limit for people to bring their cases as well as charge more for reviews.
He also pledged to stop a “new torrent of rules and regulations” from Brussels that threatened to slow the development of county’s economy, pledging to ensure that new roads and infrastructure projects are build more quickly and efficiently.
You can read the full speech of Prime Minister David Cameron from here.
John Cridland, the CBI director-general, has urged the government to invest £1.5 billion into major infrastructure projects that will boost the economy and create new jobs.
The CBI says that the government should back the construction sector, by introducing measures including investment tax breaks, and business rate reductions.
Such measures will encourage further financial investments and pave the way for more employment opportunities in the trades.
But the CBI chief also called for a focus on projects such as the Thames Tideway “super sewer” tunnel in London and the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset to give the economy an ‘Olympic-style shot’ in the arm.
“We need an industrial Olympics, with big schemes which can make a real difference,” Mr Cridland told the Evening Standard.
And in the Guardian he is quoted as saying: “Kennedy said at the start of the 60s that America would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and it did, even though sadly Kennedy was not around to see it. We need the sense that we are just going to do these projects.”
Mr Cridland highlighted the need for improvements in the UK’s rail and road networks that are vital for strong economy and future growth.
Kier Services is the latest big builder to gain Green Deal accreditation from leading certification body NICEIC paving the way for employment in the trades.
Kier Services is now certified to carry out installer work and improve the energy efficiency of existing domestic and non-domestic buildings.
Green Deal is the Government’s flagship scheme to reduce energy emissions from homes and buildings across the UK. It is forecast to create thousands of new jobs in the building services engineering sector.
Last month the new Energy Company Obligations (ECO) was launched, with the aim of making up to 14 million homes more efficient through insulation, draught proofing, double glazing and other measures which are designed to reduce the energy usage.
Scott Murray, head of energy at Kier, said, “Kier has a great track record in providing repairs and maintenance in the housing sector, maintaining in excess of 300,000 homes – together with success in delivering similar government backed energy efficient and funded schemes such as the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) and CERT.
“As these current initiatives are phased out, Kier aims to be at the forefront of the Government’s new flagship initiative, not only helping to reduce carbon emissions by fitting energy efficiency measures, but by working with customers to consider changes in their behaviours to help combat the challenges of fuel poverty.”
NICEIC offer certification to any business wishing to become a Green Deal installer or advisor. The certification process ensures standards are maintained by any business undertaking Green Deal work for consumers.
Green Deal approval involves checks of all quality procedures within an organisation in addition to an ability to carry out the work. By going through these rigorous checks customers can have confidence in the firm they select to carry out the work.
Green Deal Project Manager at NICEIC, Nick Wright, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Kier on this important initiative. Green Deal installers will be responsible for carrying out the work which will see millions of homes across the UK upgraded to improve energy efficiency.
“It is vital that all firms carrying out this type of work have the correct and appropriate procedures in place. Consumers need to have confidence in the firms they employ to make Green Deal a success.”
A wind farm that will create new jobs and generate £30 million for the Highland economy has been approved by the Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.
The 85-megawatt project will have 25 turbines and generate up to the equivalent of the energy needs of 40,000 homes.
The wind farm, by developers RidgeWind, will employ 90 people for its two-year construction and three people directly and three indirectly once up and running.
Mr Ewing said: “The construction will provide a valuable boost to the local economy, injecting £30 million and creating 90 jobs.
“Once it is up and running it will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and it is expected that the savings made will ‘pay off’ the carbon footprint of constructing the site in less than two years.”
The developer is set to provide five £1000 scholarships for local young people going on into university or technical college.
What is your reaction to the approval of the Invergarry wind farm that is set to bring economic boost to the region and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The European Commission found sufficient safeguards to avoid “crowding out of private investment” and ensure fair competition whilst the bank is offering funding to accelerate the development of the UK’s green economy.
The bank’s mission is to invest in innovative and environmentally friendly projects for which a market failure has been identified. It is set to help offshore wind, waste and non-domestic energy efficiency sectors.
The Commission said the Green Bank will be capitalised with £3 billion and will intervene by syndicating and underwriting junior, mezzanine and senior debt, by taking equity stakes or granting guarantees.
According to the Commission, the new initiative will allow green projects to materialise while minimising potential distortions of competition.
The bank is seen as a crucial element in funding the country’s transition to a low carbon economy and it began investing directly in projects earlier this year.
Green Investment Bank chairman Lord Smith said: “This is excellent news and a very important milestone as we transition to a low carbon economy and work to boost investment across the industry.
“We have already made significant progress in building our teams and the necessary infrastructure for the bank and we expect to be fully operational in the next few weeks.
“We clearly have challenges ahead but we have the people, the expertise and the capability to deliver on our priorities and create the foundation for a new climate of green investment.”
What is your reaction to the UK’s £3 billion Green Investment Bank that is set to boost the green economy? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The plans will see the demolition of the London Fruit and Wool Exchange which will make the way for a six-storey building for office and retail use to be build.
The Mayor believes the site and its location are vital to the prosperity of this fast developing part of the capital and to London’s wider economy.
Mayor Johnson used powers granted to him in 2008 to support the application, which had previously been refused planning permission by Tower Hamlets Council.
He said: “The historic London Fruit and Wool Exchange, in the heart of London’s East End, is a former commercial epicentre to which producers and buyers flocked from miles around to do business.
“These plans will not only restore the façade to its former glory, but regenerate the Spitalfields area with thousands of new jobs, and brand new commercial opportunities.
“It will also make a vital contribution to the wider London economy and have a significant impact not just on Tower Hamlets but on surrounding boroughs as well.
“I can find no reason to refuse permission and am of the firm view that this ambitious and important redevelopment should go ahead.”
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has announced the launch of a new project that will kick-start the Green Deal and creates new jobs.
Speaking alongside climate change minister Greg Barker at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, UKGBC’s chief executive Paul King welcomed the implementation of the scheme and outlined its potential for stimulating economic growth.
Mr King praised the Government’s commitment to the scheme, but warned that it needed adequate support to accelerate the level of uptake and implement its objectives.
He said: “The Green Deal still has the potential to be truly revolutionary in driving mass home retrofit. This new market could, if nurtured properly, create jobs, stimulate economic growth and protect consumers from ever-rising energy prices”.
Diana Montgomery, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, which is supporting the new project, said that despite the strong industry support for the Green Deal, more needed to be done to encourage households to take it up.
Dr Montgomery said: “Collaborating with the UK-GBC on this Green Deal Task Group project will help us to ensure that we can help Government effectively navigate the options they have available to them for capitalising on that opportunity.”
Incentives to be included:
- Stamp duty banding/rebates
- Council tax banding/rebates
- Energy efficiency feed in tariff
- Subsidised interest rates for Green Deal
- Low interest loans (outside Green Deal)/ Green mortgages (underwritten by Government)
- Lump sum grant/payment (cashback/vouchers)
- Progressively tightening minimum standards, inc. extending to owner-occupied sector
- Salary sacrifice (tax free scheme) through work/tax credits
- VAT cut extension to a wider range of measure
HOLLYWOOD film giant Paramount has unveiled £2 billion proposals to build one of Europe’s largest theme parks in Swanscombe.
Planning to create 27,000 jobs, the 872-acre development planned for the Swanscombe Peninsula is bigger than the Olympic Park.
At the core of the development will be a Paramount-branded entertainment resort, boasting attractions including Europe’s largest indoor water park.
Theatres, live music venues, cinemas, restaurants and hotels are also planned to open in just six years time on the currently derelict brownfield site.
Top-secret talks have been held almost daily between developer London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) and Dartford and Gravesham Councils during the past year.
Gravesham Council leader Councillor John Burden said: “This scheme is as imaginative as it is vast.
“It has the potential to re-energise the entire north Kent economy, wipe out unemployment at a stroke and resolve the long-standing regeneration issues surrounding this peninsula.
“It’s a landmark announcement which could transform the area at super-heroic speed.”
A new country park, the biggest performing arts centre in Europe and apartments for the site’s employees are also in the pipeline.
The developer says a study suggests the huge attraction will draw in thousands of tourists to the north Kent area annually, adding significantly to the economy.
LRCH project leader Tony Sefton said: “Our vision is to create a world class entertainment destination, the first of its kind in the UK.
“We’re at the start of a long journey, but have been encouraged by the support and buy-in we have had to date.
“We are particularly pleased with the appetite we are seeing from investors, who consider this a compelling investment proposition.”
Ebbsfleet International station is at the core of access plans for the site, while the M25, M20 and A20 will provide road access.
Source This Is London
South Essex College has signed a £33 million contract with Skanska which will see the building of a new 2,500 place student campus in Essex.
Construction of the scheme is set to start immediately with the new learning campus being ready to open in the summer of 2014.
Skanska will be responsible for the construction of three and four storey buildings covering around 150,000 sq ft. It has the target of achieving BREEAM excellent rating and the facility will incorporate rainwater harvesting, air source heat pumps and roof level PV installations.
The project is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the construction sector.
The new college aims to boost local construction skills and will teach welding, brickwork, carpentry, engineering, mechanical, electrical and plumbing skills.
Following the completion of the new facility, Skanska will undertake landscaping and associated works which will include car parking, cycle storage and external landscaping.
Paul Heather, Managing Director of Skanska for London and the South East said: “We have successfully delivered a number of world-class education facilities across Essex in recent years and this has enabled to bring together a wealth of experience, skills and expertise to this project.
“The development of the new Thurrock Campus will provide excellent facilities for the students, teaching staff and the wider community and we are proud to be part of creating this key learning environment”.
Over forty organisations have today joined forces to set out a long-term vision for the development of offshore wind in the northern seas that will boost the green economy and create new jobs.
The new network, called Norstec, includes world leading manufacturers, cutting-edge developers, supply chain firms as well as industry bodies representing the trades.
Its mission is to maximise the energy potential generated across the northern sea region which will benefit businesses in the renewable industry and boost the trades.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who first introduced Norstec at the Clean Energy Ministerial in April, emphasised on the benefits offered by the production of clean energy and encouraged the use of renewable resources.
Mr Cameron said: “I continue to be strongly supportive of the UK offshore renewables sector and am delighted to see Norstec rising from the waves.
“As I said, when I launched this network last April, we are on the cusp of a second, clean energy revolution in the North Sea. Close collaboration between industry and government will be critical to making this happen.”
Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, said: “The offshore wind industry represents a massive growth opportunity for the UK and our neighbours around the northern seas, bringing jobs and re-energising once thriving industrial heartlands on the East Coast and beyond.
Mr Davey said that the Government is determined to work closely with businesses in order to make the most from offshore renewable resources.
He said: “Norstec will help the offshore wind industry in the northern seas to grow and create a new industrial revolution, driving economic growth across this part of Europe. I’m delighted to see the potential for offshore wind deployment in the northern seas set out so clearly and vividly.”
A property development company, Cala Homes, has been given the go-ahead to build 2,000 homes near Winchester which will create new jobs and boost the building industry.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles has approved the developer’s plan for building thousands of new homes at the 230-acre Barton Farm site to the north of Winchester.
The scheme is intended to provide 40% affordable housing. It would make a valuable contribution to local businesses and boost the local economy.
The decision by the Communities Secretary paves the way for Cala to begin developing the site. Plans include the building of around 800 affordable homes, with supporting infrastructure and community facilities to help meet Winchester’s housing needs.
Group land director for Cala, Robert Millar, said: “Local people will benefit greatly from this decision. It will be a major contributor to stimulating the local economy and creating long term jobs.
“It will make a significant contribution to the chronic shortage of affordable housing enabling key workers and other local people to live in their own City.”
Mr Millar said that Cala will be examining the detailed design for each of the phases of this development to ensure the housing scheme is delivered as soon as possible.
House builders will have the chance to put their bids forward to deliver major building work which could boost the London economy by £2 billion and create new jobs in the construction industry.
According to the Mayor, injecting such significant investment in the housing market could contribute £1 billion worth of construction projects across the city.
The Mayor has said that all ‘reusable investment’ from this funding boost will be reinvested for the building of more affordable homes over the next decade.
Motor Johnson said “To improve the housing choices of those who work to make this city the fantastic place that it is, I am opening up the market, cutting red-tape and injecting £100million worth of investment to stimulate supply.
“The programme we are announcing will not just unlock the door to home ownership for thousands more Londoners, it will give a welcome shot in the arm for jobs in the capital’s construction industry and spur wider economic growth too.”
The first homes are expected to be available for sale in early 2013 with completions ranging up until March 2016.
Housing minister Mark Prisk has announced a £1 billion investment package to improve council homes across England that will provide work for thousands of tradesmen.
The new funding could bring over 86,000 homes up to a decent standard, paving the way for new trade jobs in the building construction industry.
It is the latest round of funding under the Decent Homes Programme which aim is to help councils bring their homes up to a decent standard, from fitting new roofs and windows to updating kitchens or heating systems.
Mr Prisk said that this new construction and skilled work would provide a shot in the arm for thousands of local businesses and tradesmen, supporting the Government’s measures to boost British jobs and the economy.
The Minister said that spending money earlier would help boost local employment as early as possible, as well as delivering home improvements for tenants ahead of schedule.
Mr Prisk said: “By improving this country’s council homes we will transform many families’ lives for the better, bringing their living standards up to scratch ensuring that their home is the safe haven it is meant to be.
“But the benefits of the £1 billion I’ve confirmed today reach far beyond tenants themselves and into the local economy.
“With every pound spent on improvements boosting local business, creating new jobs and supporting local spending, I want to see councils realising the benefits of this cash as soon as possible.”
What is your reaction to the newly announced £1 billion investment programme set to improve thousands of council homes, boost the trades and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The mixed-use housing scheme at Oakgrove, Melton Keynes, is set to stimulate economic growth and meet high demand for new homes in the area as well as boost employment in the construction industry.
Oakgrove will form a new community with varied sized homes in a parkland setting clustered around a new neighbourhood centre, which will include retail and restaurant facilities.
The development is designed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and it will deliver achieve energy efficiency of a modern home. It will also include affordable housing for those unable to get onto the housing ladder.
Crest’s Executive Board Director, Chris Tinker, said: “Crest Nicholson is delighted to be commencing the delivery of this landmark and much anticipated development at such a critical time in the economic cycle.
“We would like to pay testimony to the officers and members of Milton Keynes Council who have worked hard with the Crest and HCA project team to bring this scheme forward.
“I have no doubt that through the jobs created and quality new homes it will both stimulate growth and meet pent-up housing need.”
Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has announced the creation of a new infrastructure forum which will give business leaders a direct line to government and boost the trades.
Speaking at the Liberal Democrat Conference yesterday, Mr Alexander said the National Infrastructure Plan Strategic Engagement Forum (NIPSEF) will bring government and industry together to help deliver the UK’s infrastructure needs.
NIPSEF is expected to be launched this autumn. It will bring together government and key trade bodies which will work with CITBConstructionSkills, the sector skills council for the industry.
The infrastructure alliance will include the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the Construction Products Association and the Institution of Civil Engineers.
It will be co-chaired by Mr Alexander and the chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, Nelson Ogunshakin.
Mr Ogunshakin said: “The National Infrastructure Plan is the government’s most important strategic programme to deliver infrastructure, the core driver to UK economic growth.
“Delivering such an ambitious programme of infrastructure expansion on this scale means bringing government and industry together to successfully achieve this goal.
“This new National Infrastructure Plan Strategic Engagement Forum will place the expertise of industry at the heart of government to make that happen.”
Today, seven cities across England are set to receive a share of the £12 million fund which will kick-start the Green Deal and boost the trades.
Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield are the cities which have put proposals to lower their carbon emissions.
The Green Deal is a Government-backed scheme which offers loans to people to help make their homes more energy efficient.
The money will enable professional builders and trade firms to try certain elements of the scheme including assessment and installation of energy efficient measures.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “These cities have really ambitious plans to lower their emissions, reduce energy use and help people save money on their bills.
“This funding will help them get up and running and I look forward to seeing a number of properties across whole communities get the energy efficient improvements they need.”
Earlier in the year, the Government announced that cities would be given greater freedoms, powers and tools to help them go for growth.
The new funding will test elements of the Green Deal framework and provide early feedback for the scheme’s future implementation.
It is expected to deliver around 2,500 retrofits to households and non-domestic properties across the seven major cities, providing support to local supply chains and registered installers.
Communities that host onshore wind farms could benefit from reduced electricity bills and investment in local infrastructure, Energy Secretary Edward Davey said today.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has launched a consultation into how communities could benefit from having wind farms near them which could boost the green industry and create new jobs.
The community benefits consultation will seek new information on how wind farms could deliver wider environmental and social benefits to communities.
It is aimed at encouraging participation by local businesses in the economic supply chain for wind projects as well as providing new employment opportunities for the renewable industry.
Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “This new call for evidence will look at ways to reward host communities and ensure that wider investment, employment and social benefits are felt locally.
“We must also ensure that our policies are based on the best available evidence, so that consumers are not over-subsidising any one technology. That’s why we are seeking new evidence on the cost of onshore wind.”
Energy Minister John Hayes said that the new consultation is evidence that both parties in the Coalition are alive to the need for fresh thinking about the green economy.
Mr Hayes said: “Appropriately sited onshore wind has a role to play, but if we’re to make this work in a way that garners popular support, we’ve got to see a big improvement in how developers engage with local communities, new ways of ensuring a sense of local ownership and more obvious local economic benefits.”
The Government’s fund is set to build around 16,000 new homes and provide financial support for housebuilders on stalled sites across the country, paving the way for employment opportunities in the trades.
The HCA has estimated that the shortlisted schemes could unlock the building of 7,000 homes and create thousands of new jobs in the building construction sector.
HCA chief executive Pat Ritchie said: “The Get Britain Building programme is offering housebuilders the financial support to get stalled developments back on track, and I’m pleased that more than 100 projects can move forward to the due diligence phase.
“We listened to feedback from the sector and reduced the minimum scheme size to 15, and I’m therefore especially pleased that 20 smaller projects have come forward and the majority of bids have come from SMEs.
“These projects must now prove that they can be delivered quickly, provide value for money for the taxpayer and fit with local priorities. As well as building much-needed new homes, the work will create or protect jobs, and boost local economies.”
Around £300 million of recoverable investment has been allocated to more than 130 projects through the first round of the scheme expected to be completed by December 2014. Round two of the scheme, which was announced last week, will continue until March 2015.
The Acton Town Hall regeneration project will provide new and improved leisure, library, community and civic facilities which will benefit communities and boost the local economy.
The town hall complex was built at the beginning of the last century to serve Acton’s growing population. According to the council, these buildings now need significant repairs and have high maintenance costs.
Ealing Council said that the regeneration of the site will provide new facilities whilst considering the heritage assets of the building as well as preserving the environment.
The project also includes the demolition of Acton’s former baths which will be replaced by a new three-storey building housing-a 25 metre swimming pool and a trainer pool, along with fitness and leisure facilities.
Part of the Town Hall will also be kept and refurbished to create a new library and council offices and the Town Hall’s iconic frontage and the baths chimney, listed Grade II, will also be restored.
Chris Tredget, managing director for Willmott Dixon in North London, said the company was delighted to be working with Ealing.
Mr Tredget said: “We are delighted to be working with Ealing Council to regenerate another part of Acton by redeveloping the Town Hall.
“We have a long track record in Ealing and are looking forward to adding to that with the improved Acton Town Hall that will be a new focal point on the main high street.”
What is your reaction to the multi-million regeneration project in Ealing that will benefit local communities and pave the way for new jobs in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
“Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says on TV that the Government’s planning changes are boost to solo traders in the trades”
The government is easing the planning rules on extending homes in England as part of a package to boost housebuilding and stimulate economic growth.
The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have announced a major housing and planning package which is set to build 70,000 new homes and create up to 140,000 construction jobs.
Speaking to BBC News this morning Nick Clegg said that people will be allowed to build up to 8-metre larger extensions to their houses without needing a planning permission. He argued that the relaxation of the planning regulations will create jobs and boost those professionals who are already working in the trades.
Clegg said: “The planning changes mean that people will get the local builder to extend their kitchen or conservatory which will create jobs and stimulate economic activity.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said that the package announced today includes investing hundreds of millions of pounds into building more affordable homes as well as a £40 billion guarantee for infrastructure projects to support the building construction industry.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said in a statement that the Government’s announcement will help people to build new homes and ‘kick-start’ the economy.
Mr Cameron said: “We’re determined to cut through the bureaucracy that holds us back. That starts with getting the planners off our backs, getting behind the businesses that have the ambition to expand and meeting the aspirations of families that want to buy or improve a home.”
- Removing restrictions on house builders to help unlock 75 000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable. Developers who can prove that council’s costly affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed.
- New legislation for Government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers.
- Up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use using new capital funding of £300m and the infrastructure guarantee
- An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report to Government on boosting the private rented sector
- Thousands of big commercial and residential applications to be directed to a major infrastructure fast track and where councils are poor developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate.
- Calling time on poor performing town hall planning departments, putting the worst into ‘special measures’ if they have failed to improve the speed and quality of their work and allowing developers to bypass councils. More applications also will go into a fast track appeal process.
- 16,500 first-time buyers helped with a £280m extension of the successful ‘FirstBuy’ scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much-needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder.
- For a time limited period, slashing planning red tape, including sweeping away the rules and bureaucracy that prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties, helping tens of thousands of home owners and companies.
The Government is planning to re-write planning rules to boost “nationally significant” infrastructure projects and build new homes, Chancellor George Osborne unveiled yesterday.
The Chancellor said that developers would be allowed to build on the Green Belt around towns and cities if an equivalent area of land is safeguarded elsewhere.
Mr Osborne said: “I think we can speed up planning. It is absolutely ludicrous that it takes years to get planning decisions in this country. The country, in the current economic environment, cannot afford to wait years for development.”
A £10 billion Treasury package will guarantee the debt of housing associations and private developers in bid to create jobs and revive housing market.
The Chancellor said that the Government will do more in order to make it easier for local authorities to grant planning permission for developers in the future.
Mr Osborne announced a Small Business Bank to bring together what he called an “alphabet soup” of Government schemes to help small firms and encourage economic growth.
A multi-million planning application to build 5,750 new homes and create thousands of new trade jobs has been submitted to Ashford Borough Council.
The major development programme will take place at the 415 hectare site at Chilmington Green, building thousands of new homes arranged in three distinctive neighbourhoods with a high street, a secondary school, four primary schools, a park and extensive areas of green space.
The planning application has been prepared for the developer consortium, Hodson Developments, Jarvis Homes, Pentland Homes and Ward Home, to deal with UK’s current housing shortage.
Project manager for the consortium, Ian Bull, said that as one of the largest developments in Ashford, the housing scheme will set benchmark for new communities and increase employment opportunities in the area.
Mr Bull said: “Those well-designed places offer communities a lifestyle of wellbeing through a range of employment opportunities, cultural facilities and services, a mix of housing tenures including affordable housing, well-connected and walkable neighbourhoods, and the chance for people to connect with nature through carefully landscaped streets, parks, private gardens and allotments.”
Richard Hutchings, project director at engineering consultancy WSP, who prepared all the engineering and environmental designs and documentation to support the application, said that that developing effective transport, utilities and drainage strategies to ensure efficient delivery of the major urban extension have been the biggest challenges of the project
Mr Hutchings said: “Perhaps most significant was the development of a sustainable transport strategy that resolved existing capacity problems on the A28 corridor by reducing reliance on private vehicle travel and promoting alternative options such as walking, cycling and public transport.”
What is your reaction on the major housing scheme in Ashford that will pave the way for jobs on the building engineering industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced a £100 million fund for green investment which will create new jobs in the renewable energy industry.
Speaking to an energy conference in London’s Lancaster House today, Mr Clegg defended the Government’s commitment to support the renewable energy sector, outlining lasting benefits to the UK low-carbon economy.
He announced multi-million contracts by UK Green Investments (UKGI) with fund managers Equitix and Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL) to provide initial capital to encourage foreign and domestic investment in non-domestic energy efficiency.
The Deputy Minister’s announcement was hailed with a £12 million expansion by a recycling firm Closed Loop in Dagenham, East London, that will create and safeguard 100 jobs.
The UK is the sixth largest market in low carbon goods and environmental services in the world. It contributes 3.9 per cent of the UK’s GDP and employs 173,000 people.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that the Coalition Government is ‘unreservedly committed’ to help Britain’s low carbon sector thrive, providing a clean and green economy.
He said: “There is a global energy revolution underway and the UK is not going to be left behind. We’re leading from the front.
“Together we find ourselves at the vanguard of one of the most dynamic, most innovative, most important industries of our time; an industry whose breakthroughs and endeavours will shape our societies for years to come; an industry that will help us build a more stable, more sustainable, more prosperous world.”
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Changes to subsidies for renewable electricity in Britain could accelerate up to £25 billion of new investment and create thousands of new jobs according to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey.
Bandings for renewable technologies were set last week under the Government’s Renewables Obligation which will support and create new green jobs whilst at the same time minimise energy cost to consumers.
Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, welcomed the decision which will ensure rapid growth in the renewable energy and unlock further green investment.
Mr Davey said: “Renewable energy will create a multi-billion pound boom for the British economy, driving growth and supporting jobs across the country.
“Because value for money is vital, we will bring forward more renewable electricity while reducing the impact on consumer bills between 2013 and 2015, saving £6 off household energy bills next year and £5 the year after.”
The Banding Review (as set out by the DECC) includes:
- Support for onshore wind from 2013-17 will be reduced by 10% to 0.9ROCs, as consulted on in autumn 2011. This level is guaranteed until at least 2014 but could change after then if there is a significant change in generation costs. A call for evidence on onshore wind industry costs will be launched this autumn and report in early 2013.
- Rates of support for offshore wind will reduce as the cost of the technology comes down during the decade;
- Support levels for certain marine energy technologies will more than double from 2ROCs to 5ROCs per MWh, subject to a 30MW limit per generating station;
- There will be a new band to support existing coal plant converting to sustainable biomass fuels. This will increase the amount of renewable energy produced at less cost to consumers; and
- There will be no immediate reduction in support for large-scale solar, but there will be a further consultation this year on reduced support levels given recent dramatic falls in costs.
Speaking today at the largest trade and investment event ever held in Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron said that the £8 billion development of the Battersea Power Station in South West London will create 20, 000 jobs during its construction.
The mixed development will contain homes, office space, a hotel and retail space and will see the Northern Line extended with a new transportation hub at the Power Station site.
The Global Investment Conference, launched by the Prime Minister, is the first of a series of global business summits being held in London to showcase the UK during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The event is expected to generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs for people in the trades.
The conference kicks off the largest and most ambitious set of trade events held in Britain. During the six weeks of the Games, the British Business Embassy will host 17 global business summits that will bring over £1 billion of deals and projects.
These events will allow more than 4,000 business leaders and politicians to exchange views and ideas, discuss local and international economic challenges as well as develop strong global partnerships for future growth and showcase the best of British business to the world.
Chancellor George Osborne said: “Britain has always been a country that is open to the world. In hosting the Olympic Games, we are showcasing that openness. As we welcome the world’s best athletes, we also welcome the world’s best companies – so that they can succeed, invest, and create jobs in Britain.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Tomorrow we welcome the world to London as the 2012 Olympic Games get underway. This summer is more than just a great sporting spectacle – it is an unrivalled opportunity to promote the best of British industry and make the most of our openness to foreign trade and investment.”
This month, the UN’s World Investment Report showed that the UK had retained its place as the number one destination in Europe for inward investment. The report showed that there were almost 60,000 new jobs created last year as a result of inward investment.
What is your reaction to the Global Investment Conference that could bring billions of pounds to the UK economy? How much of an impact will the Olympics have on your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
The UK has been ranked as the most energy efficient country in the world according to a new study which calculates countries’ efforts to reduce energy use and shows the overall effect of green policies, contributing for the creation of thousands of new jobs in the renewable engineering industry.
The study was published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) which ranked the UK first among the world’s 12 largest economies, closely followed by Germany, Italy, and Japan, for reducing pollution in industry, transport and buildings.
British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, welcomed the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard by the ACEEE, emphasising the importance of low-carbon and renewable initiatives in the UK for future economic growth and sustainable development.
Mr Davey said: “The UK and the leading economies of Europe are now well ahead of the United States when it comes to energy efficiency. This is significant because countries that use energy more efficiently require fewer resources to achieve the same goals, thus reducing costs, preserving valuable natural resources, and creating jobs.”
The 12 largest economies, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union represent over 78 per cent of Global Gross Domestic Product; 63 per cent of global energy consumption; 62 percent of the global carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions.
Author of the report and ACEEE Senior Researcher, Sara Hayes, said that investment in cost- effective energy efficiency can help many countries to strengthen their economic competitiveness and create new jobs in the renewable industry.
Ms Hayes said: “While energy efficiency has played a major role in the economies of developed nations for decades, cost-effective energy efficiency remains a massively underutilized energy resource. Fortunately, there is a lot countries can do to strengthen their economic competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency.”
What is your reaction to the new report by the ACEEE that rates the UK as the world’s most energy efficient country? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
“The CBI is urging the government to get its act together and accelerate infrastructure investment”
The CBI Director General, John Cridland, has urged the government in a Financial Times interview to speed up the implementation of its plan for economic growth by accelerating housing and infrastructure projects across the UK.
The head of Britain’s top business lobbying organisation criticised the government over some delays in road improvement plans and the failure to agree renewable energy subsidies, which according to the CBI are vitally important for boosting economic growth.
“I think it is really disappointing how long it is taking to get momentum and urgency into the growth plan.” The Director General told the Financial Times.
Meanwhile, CBI Director for Business and Environment, Rhian Kelly launched, Creating Britain’s future, a new campaign for the UK’s Contractors Group, highlighting the crucial role that the construction sector plays for the creation of new jobs.
Ms Kelly said: “Our analysis shows that the construction sector has the potential to create 215,000 jobs across the UK and throughout the supply chain.
“It is more important than ever that we recognise the role of construction, both as a catalyst for local job creation across the UK in the short-term, and as the lead mover in the £250bn infrastructure renewal needed to underpin economic growth in the long-term.
“To get spades in the ground on infrastructure delivery, there must be an urgent focus across the UK on bringing forward repair, maintenance and improvement projects, for example on roads, to deliver immediate and tangible results in terms of local jobs and growth.”
Do you share the view of the CBI about the huge potential for growth and the creation of new jobs in the construction industry? How viable do you think is this statement for your business?
Barratt Developments PLC is today issuing a trading update for the Company and its subsidiaries (the “Group”) for the year ended 30 June 2012 ahead of its annual results announcement on Wednesday 12 September.
- Group revenues up by c. 14% for the full year to c. £2,320m, with total completions of 12,637 units
- Group operating profit before exceptional items for the full year expected to be up by c. 41% at around £191m
- Operating margin expected to increase to c. 9.5% in the second half and c. 8.2% for the full year, up from 6.6% in the prior full year
- Full year profit before tax and exceptional items expected to increase by c. 158% to c. £110m
- Net debt almost halved against the prior year to c. £170m as at 30 June 2012, significantly lower than previous guidance
- Private forward sales up 34.6% to £378.4m as at 30 June 2012
Mark Clare, Group Chief Executive commented,
“This year has seen a rapidly improving performance across the Group and shows that our strategy is delivering, with profits up more than 150% and an almost halving of our net debt. We expect to make further good progress in the year ahead thanks to a strong forward order book, with private forward sales up 35% and more higher return land
Barratt Developments has made significant progress in both rebuilding profitability and reducing indebtedness during the year just ended. Despite continued uncertainty surrounding the outlook for the wider UK market and constrained levels of mortgage finance, the industry has enjoyed a period of relative market stability. Looking ahead, we expect the Government’s housing initiatives, in particular its mortgage indemnity scheme NewBuy, to continue to provide the industry with support.
In the current financial year we expect to make further good progress with more than half of completions forecast to be delivered from our more recently acquired higher margin land.
What do you think of the positive performance by one of Britain’s largest housebuilders? Share your opinion by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook page.
Three of the leading UK housebuilders are set to build thousands of new homes as part of a major transformational project in Bishopton, South West Scotland, creating new jobs in the building construction sector.
More than 2,500 new homes will be built over the 15-year development programme, making this one of the most exciting property developments taking place in the UK at the moment.
Construction work on the first phase of the £32 million residential development is scheduled to start in September 2012. During its construction phase, the project is expected to create around 4,000 full and part-time employment opportunities for local residents and people in the trades.
Project Director for BAE Systems, Lynda Johnstone, said: “It is testament to the scale and quality of the transformation project that it has sparked the high level of interest from property developers of the calibre of Taylor Wimpey, CALA and Persimmon.
“The multi-million pound regeneration programme will see high quality homes in the area and deliver a new community, which alongside the housing development will include a new primary school, library, community centre, leisure facilities and woodland park to complement the existing friendly, close-knit village feel of Bishopton.”
The regeneration is expected to deliver significant employment and business opportunities with the first homes going on sale in early 2013.
What is your reaction on the development programme that will build energy efficient homes and create new jobs for people in the building engineering industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.
Planning Minister Greg Clark has announced further steps to improve England’s planning system and support sustainable development which will pave the way for more jobs in the building construction sector.
The package of proposals includes measures to make it easier for businesses to re-use existing buildings without needing planning permission which will reduce the volume of planning guidelines and cut red tape, the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed.
According to the government, previous measures to improve the planning system such as the National Planning Policy Framework and the Localism Act have supported a swifter decision making and sped up the application process by allowing more planning applications to go ahead.
The new proposals are expected to cut unnecessary information in the application process, stream up the amount of paperwork needed for planning applications and improve co-ordination between local authorities and building developers.
Commenting on the proposals, Planning Minister Greg Clark said: “Our reforms to the planning system are making it simpler, clearer and more accessible to people in communities.
“Following the simplification of the national planning policy in the National Planning Policy Framework, these proposed changes streamline the process of applying for planning permission.
“Our aim is to have a system that applicants and members of communities can be confident will give a reliable, swift and fair outcome.”
What’s your reaction on the new proposals by the government aiming to improve the planning system in England? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.
The Government has given the green light to a massive regeneration scheme that will build new homes and carry out extensive refurbishments to more than 650 council houses in Brunswick, an area of the inner city of Manchester.
The 25-year regeneration project will see significant investment to the area, paving the way for new jobs in thesector and trade professionals.
The Homes and Community Agency (HCA), which approved the regeneration plan, said it will include building an improved neighbourhood design with new road layouts and safe open space. The project will also build a new retail area including new shops and amenities coupled with a 60-bed accommodation facility.
Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, Cllr Jim Battle, welcomed the announcement for Brunswick saying that residents have long waited for such good news that will transform their area and deliver new homes.
Mr Battle said: “We have a fantastic community here that will no doubt continue to prosper as the regeneration plans come to fruition. Being so close to the city centre, coupled with the promise of new homes and an improved neighbourhood layout, I can see a bright future for Brunswick.”
The Government’s approval for the project means the Council can now consider a variety of bidders who will be responsible for delivering the regeneration plan. The Council said it will evaluate final bids from both Fern and Solutions 4 Brunswick, before selecting the preferred bidder later this year.
What’s your reaction to the approval of the long awaited regeneration plans in Brunswick? How the Government’s decision to refurbish and build new homes will benefit you/ your business?
The Scottish Government is going to invest more than £2 billion in a new energy efficiency scheme that will insulate thousands of new homes across Scotland and create new jobs for people in the trades.
The new investment will be delivered over the next ten years in a national programme that will transform aging houses, reduce heating costs and improve energy efficiency in Scottish homes.
Commenting on the £2 billion programme, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, Alex Neil explained it is essential to put such measures in place in order to improve the energy efficiency of homes across Scotland. He also emphasised the importance of the project for the creation of new jobs and future economic recovery.
Mr Neil said: “These strategies provide a great opportunity for Scottish businesses and can provide a real boost to our economy. Working with the energy companies, we plan to ensure investment of over £2 billion pounds is provided over the next ten years to ensure our housing stock is energy efficient.
“New technologies, which would bring down carbon emissions as well as household fuel bills, are key to energy efficient homes and a vital element in economic recovery.
“The drive to transform new-build through innovative design and construction approaches creates economic and export opportunities for Scottish companies, along with an opportunity to make greater use of Scottish timber in innovative products.”
What is your reaction to the £2 billion investment that will boost the building construction sector? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.
Proposed plans for building the UK’s first nuclear power station in Somerset will be debated by planners and local authorities, the BBC reported today.
More than 5, 000 new jobs in the building construction industry could be created in the first phase of the project, if the planned nuclear power station near the Bristol Channel, in South West England, is given the green light by the government next year.
One of Britain’s largest energy suppliers, EDF Energy, announced last week the selection of the preferred bidder for carrying out civil works to build the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.
This contract is the first relating to the main construction work which will see up to 25,000 jobs created on site over the course of the project, including an estimated 400 apprenticeships, Laing O’Rourke announced.
EDF’s Chief Executive, Vincent de Rivaz, said: “The civils contract will assist the UK’s economic recovery and boost economic prospects and prosperity locally. Our project will inject billions of pounds into the economy, revitalise entire sectors of industry and support tens of thousands of further jobs.”
Chairman and a Chief Executive of Laing O’Rourke, Ray O’Rourke, commented: “We are delighted, along with our partner Bouygues Construction, to be appointed by EDF Energy as preferred bidder to lead the development of the first new nuclear power station, which is vital to meet the UK’s future energy demands and support the wider economic recovery.”
Do you welcome the building of UK’s first nuclear power station in Somerset? What are the implications of this project for you/ your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.
Somerset District Council has launched a six week consultation period over the plan to build 16, 000 new homes across South Somerset in the next 16 years.
Housing growth has been in the Council’s core development strategy with a strong agenda for boosting employment and creating thousands of new jobs, South Somerset District Council said in a statement.
The Council is inviting businesses and the people of South Summerset to express their views about the major development. The consultation period will run from 28th June to 10th August 2012. Once the consultation is completed, the Council’s proposed plans for new housing and jobs are expected to include policies on affordable housing, car parking, shops, open spaces and the environment up to 2028.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Ric Pallister, described the Local Plan as ‘one of the most important issues to come before the people of South Somerset in more than a decade’.
He said: “We need to take a long term view that is more concerned with meeting the needs of future generations than it is about today’s concerns. Although we are now in the closing stages of the plan being adopted, having taken note of everything the community have said so far, there is this last opportunity to have your say. Comments, either in support or objection, will then be passed on to a Planning Inspector who will hold a public Examination and make a final decision later this year.”
Current Draft of the Local Plan includes:
- 40 hectares of employment land already committed
- 5 new hectares of employment land within the town and 7 new hectares (1,565 jobs) in a Sustainable Urban Extension
- 2943 new jobs
- 3,704 homes allocated, proposed a further 4,111, to include a Sustainable Urban Extension of 1,565 homes to the South, rising to 2,500 homes after the year 2028.
- Green Buffer to protect the villages of East Coker & North Coker
- 13 hectares of new employment land
- 886 new jobs
- 1,861 homes proposed with a further 1,376 after 2028
- Strategic growth will be to the east of the town and including town centre regeneration.
- 5 hectares of new employment land
- 490 new jobs
- 692 homes already allocated proposed a further 11
- Strategic growth will be to the south west of the town, north of Lawrence Hill and west of Wincanton Business Park.
- 10.10 hectares of employment land already committed
- 472 new jobs
- 901 homes already allocated proposed a further 127
- Strategic growth will be located at the Crewkerne Key Site.
Ansford / Castle Cary
- 3 hectares of new employment land
- 223 new jobs
- 127 homes already allocated, proposed a further 273
- Strategic growth will be to the north of Torbay Road and east and west of Station Road.
- Request for a road link between Station Road and Torbay Road to improve access to employment area.
- 3 hectares of new employment land
- 251 new jobs
- 235 homes already allocated, proposed a further 165
- Strategic growth will be to the west of the town.
Langport / Huish Episcopi
- 3 hectares of new employment land
- 233 new jobs
- 295 homes already allocated, proposed a further 105
- Strategic growth will be to the north, east, and south east of the town (employment only to the south east to protect nearby wildlife nesting grounds).
- 23.5 hectares of employment land already committed
- 343 new jobs
- 199 homes already allocated, proposed a further 332
- Strategic growth will be to the south east of the town.
- All rural centres to receive 2 hectares of employment land each (828 jobs overall)
- Bruton – 113 homes already allocated, proposed a further 104
- Ilchester – 151 new homes
- Martock – 101 homes already allocated, proposed a further 145
- Milborne Port – 210 homes already allocated, proposed a further 89
- South Petherton – 151 homes already allocated, proposed a further 94
- Stoke Sub Hamdon – 6 homes already allocated, proposed a further 49
What is your reaction to the major development in Somerset which is expected to build thousands of new homes and boost the building construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voce on our Facebook page.
One of the largest providers of affordable housing in the South of England, Sovereign Housing Association, has announced it will build more than 3, 000 new homes over the next four years, paving the way for jobs in the building construction industry.
The ambitious plan will see 1, 064 new homes built by the end of this financial year, 865 of which have been already identified, the housing association confirmed last week. Under Sovereign’s new development strategy at least 276 of the new homes will be for affordable home ownership, forecasting a similar number of homes to be completed in 2013/14.
Development and Commercial Director at Sovereign, Phil Stephens, said: “The top priorities of our development strategy are to ensure that we deliver the HCA Affordable Homes Programme and to play our part in achieving Sovereign’s aim of reaching 50,000 homes by 2015,”
“Our recent successful bond issue has given us the financial strength and flexibility to continue delivering a substantial programme of new homes in our core operating areas in the coming years.”- added Mr Stephens.
It was revealed that Sovereign’s development will include a significant number of shared ownership homes as well as a growing number of market rent properties in key locations.
Mr Stephens commented that there is a definite gap in the market rent properties due to the rising demand from people unable to buy their own homes.
He said: “We will be looking to build on the positive experiences we have had so far letting homes at market rates in the West Country, and not only develop a broader portfolio of properties, but also diversify our revenue streams to enable us to continue providing affordable homes into the future.”
What’s your reaction to Sovereign’s announcement to build 3,000 new homes in the next four years? How do you think this revelation could help your business? Let us know by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.
Housing developers facing financial difficulties will be able to bid for at least £100 million of investment to get work restarted on stalled sites under the Get Britain Building Programme, the Homes and Community Agency (HCA) has revealed.
Following the announcement by the HCA, housebuilders with as few as 15 houses, which have been suspended, will have the chance to put their bid forward until 25 July 2012.
Development is underway on sites in Ashford, Kent and Bath whilst funding has been allocated to 40 schemes set to deliver more than 3,200 new homes once contracts are agreed.
Chief Executive at the HCA Pat Ritchie said: “It has been a tremendous effort from the industry and the HCA to get this programme up and running, and with more than £110 million allocated I look forward to seeing these developments progressing to build much needed housing.
“We will continue to be thorough in our due diligence, and will only support those schemes backed by the community, which boost the local economy and provide a secure and value for money investment for the taxpayer.” – added Ms Ritchie.
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Member States participating at the United Nations’ Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio + 20, have reached an agreement to advance negotiations towards sustainable development.
“We now have a text which will be adopted at the Conference,” Rio+20’s Secretary-General, Sha Zukang, said in a statement. “We think the text contains a lot of action, and if this action is implemented, and if follow-up measures are taken, it will indeed make a tremendous difference in generating positive global change.”
United Nations’ Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, defended the summit agreement but said that it was ‘merely a piece of paper’ unless world leaders showed political commitment and implemented specific measures towards achieving sustainability.
The Secretary General said: “Why do we have a summit meeting? The leaders are the ones who can make a political decision. Depending on the political priorities they chose, the consequences will be huge,” Mr Ban said in a direct appeal to 190 governments from across the globe to work harder on putting the ideas into practice. “If these actions are not implemented, then this will merely be a piece of paper,” he added.
In addition to the outcome text, there have been over 400 voluntary commitments for sustainable development by Member States in the run up to the high-level meeting of Rio+20, which officially started on Wednesday.
The agreed outcome document spells out action points such as the need to establish sustainable development goals and mobilize financing for sustainable development, as well as the promotion of sustainable consumption and production, among others.
It also stresses the need to include non-governmental organizations, and indigenous groups in the sustainable development agenda, and calls on the private sector to engage in sustainable corporate business practices.
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Assessors, installers and providers of Green Deal services will face no fees for registration or oversight during the scheme’s first two years, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced.
The DECC is going to fund all costs associated with the registration and oversight service in order to help those participating in the scheme, with the intention of moving to a fee-based approach from year three onwards, when the Green Deal has become established.
Speaking at Wolseley, UK’s Plumb Centre Green Deal open day in Leamington Spa, Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker welcomed the announcement of “no registration fees” which will encourage participation in the scheme and give businesses the confidence they need.
Mr Barker said: “No registration fees for the first two years will remove burdensome admin costs at a time when many can least afford them, helping encourage organisations to get on-board and offering more freedom of choice for consumers.”
The announcement follows the appointment of a multi-service provider Gemserv to run the new Green Deal oversight body which will be responsible for the registration of assessors, installers and providers, the DECC confirmed today.
Commenting on the recent appointment the Energy Minister said: “We need to make sure all the Green Deal assessors, installers and providers get our stamp of approval to ensure the highest level of consumer protection for householders and businesses under this scheme. I am delighted that Gemserv has risen to the challenge and is going to take on this very important role.”
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As part of the Green Deal, the Government has set out a new legislation which will help the energy industry enhance customer protection and improve energy efficiency in the UK, the Department of Energy and Climate Change revealed this week.
The rising cost of gas and electricity as well as millions of energy inefficient homes across the UK have urged the Government to bring the second phase of the Green Deal into operation, boosting the low carbon economy and supporting up to 60, 000 jobs in the insulation industry.
An additional investment of £1.3 billion a year to develop heating measures across the UK is expected to be announced by Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, later this week.
Commenting on the new legislation Mr Davey said: “I am determined to make sure that, in addition to creating huge opportunities for Green Deal providers and businesses along with thousands of new jobs, this new market in energy efficiency will deliver the very best deal for consumers.”
He explained that the new legislation will allow the energy industry to implement the Green Deal and improve energy efficiency, making sure that the most vulnerable homes are benefiting from the scheme.
The Energy and Climate Change Secretary said: “We have listened very carefully to what industry, consumer groups, and other organisations have told us. Broad support for a managed, tested and careful introduction of the Green Deal fits exactly with our objective to provide an excellent customer experience from day one and a market where a range of new players can readily participate.”
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Prime Minister David Cameron and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg agreed last week a major partnership between the UK and Norway that will boost energy activities between the two countries and bring investment of millions of pounds that will create thousands of new jobs, the Department of Energy and Climate Change revealed.
The partnership between Norway and the UK is designed to secure sustainable long-term energy supplies, improve a wide range of energy activities between the two countries and encourage economic growth.
Prime Minister Cameron, who attended a breakfast meeting with ten leading energy companies from Norway and the UK, highlighted the importance of this partnership for closer collaboration between the two countries that will improve energy security and help economic growth.
Mr Cameron said: “The jobs and investments announced today highlight how vital the strong relationship between Norway and the United Kingdom is for our energy security and economic growth. We look forward to strengthening our partnership further, driving investment into a diverse, sustainable energy mix that delivers affordable long term supplies for consumers.”
Charles Hendry, UK Minister of State for Energy, said: “For many decades Norway has been one of our most trusted and valuable partners, working with us to develop North Sea resources that underpin our energy security. Mr Hendry added: “The investments and jobs announced today by British and Norwegian companies are a clear signal of the benefits of this partnership.”
- “Norwegian global oil services firm Aker Solutions will create 1,300 new highly skilled jobs by 2015 at its engineering hub in Chiswick. This comes on top of 1,000 new jobs it has already created in the UK over the past two years.
- Statoil intends to invest a further £12 billion over the lifetime of the UK’s Mariner-Bressay North Sea oil fields in addition to the £6 billion they have already announced. This will lead to the creation of up to 300 new jobs in the UK in the next few years, including at a new operations base in Aberdeen, in addition to 700 UK jobs from this investment that have already been announced.
- A new Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed between Statoil and Centrica to continue cooperation on gas supply and exploration. This builds on the £13 billion, ten year gas supply deal agreed between the two companies last November and follows the recent completion of a £1billion asset deal between the two companies that will increase Centrica’s oil and gas reserves by 29 percent.
- The Forewind Consortium, which includes Norwegian companies Statoil and Statkraft, has confirmed its intention to develop the 9GW Dogger Bank offshore wind project off the East coast of Yorkshire, which could require up to £30 billion of investment. This project could provide more than 10% of the UK’s electricity needs. In addition to this project Statoil and Statkraft are investing around £1billion in developing the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm off the coast of Norfolk, which is already generating power and will be completed later this year. It will provide power to more than 200,000 UK homes when fully operational. The project employs 500 workers in the field and provides significant secondary employment.
- Good progress is being made in two projects to build one of the world’s longest subsea electricity interconnectors between the UK and Norway, which will enable the UK and Norway to share renewable energy resources, with each project worth over £1 billion: NSN (National Grid and Statnett) and NorthConnect (SSE, Vattenfall, Agder Energei, E-CO and Lyse).
- A deal between Shell and Gassco to strengthen UK energy security by providing British customers with more gas from Norway. By making better use of spare capacity in the UK gas transport system, Norwegian gas owners and transporters, including Shell, will be able to transport more gas from Norwegian fields via the Tampen Link to the FLAGS pipeline into St Fergus.”
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has urged the government to boost economic growth by giving a greater emphasis on infrastructure projects in the UK.
In a new report published today, the CBI has recommended to the Treasury to enhance the credit rating of government construction schemes and raise public funds that will secure private business investment, unlocking billions of pounds to the UK economy.
According to the CBI Director-General, John Cridland, infrastructure investment will offer the UK a sustainable growth development that businesses need.
Mr Cridland said: “As this report makes clear, if we want to see the billions of pounds needed to upgrade our ageing infrastructure and secure jobs and growth for the long-term, the Government must make smarter use of limited public finances. By underpinning and lifting the credit rating of certain infrastructure assets, it can make them less risky and more attractive to investors.
The CBI says that harnessing just a 1 per cent increase from the UK’s pension fund will give a ‘vital boost’ to the UK’s underfunded infrastructure networks and make them more attractive to investors.
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A recent government report has shown that the UK’s green economy grew with £5.4 billion in 2011, employing almost 1 million people in the low carbon industry.
The new report, released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, shows record growth for UK’s green goods and services, generating £122 billion in 2011, an increase of 4.7 per cent against figures from 2009/10.
Employment levels across the Low Carbon, Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) increased with 2.8 per cent, indicating that 939, 627 people are currently employed in green industry sector. Rise in the number of people working in the low carbon industry is “the first really positive sign of employment growth in the sector since the recession in 2008” the report says.
The government expects the companies involved in the LCEGS sector to continue to expand, bringing more employment opportunities for the renewable and low-carbon industry.
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“Green Investment should play a key role in the UK’s economic recovery” states a new report by the Environment Audit Committee published today.
The new report, “A Green Economy” reinforces calls by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) for the Government to put renewable energy at the heart of its economic recovery and employment strategy.
The Report on employment and skills in the UK renewable energy published last month showed that there were over 100,000 people employed in renewable sector across Britain, generating a turnover of £12.5 billion last year alone.
However, the REA is warning that there is a danger for Britain not to fulfil its full potential because of serious skills shortages and uncertainties in the policy framework.
The organisation which represents renewable energy producers in the UK, says that 400,000 people will be needed in the sector by 2020 to meet binding EU targets, suggesting that the renewable industry will need a skilful workforce to deal with continually increasing demand.
Chief Executive of the REA, Gaynor Hartnell, said that the government needs to understand the potential benefits of renewable energy investment.
Ms Hartnell said: “Several countries, from America to Japan to Germany, have realised that taking the long-term view and investing in renewables is a significant step on the route out of economic malaise. The UK renewables industry wants to work with the Coalition Government to realise the huge contribution our sector can make to jobs, growth and prosperity.”
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Apple has announced plans to power its main data centre in North Carolina entirely with renewable energy by the end of 2012, Reuters has reported.
The announcement comes after long-lasting environmental concerns by Greenpeace about Apple’s rapid expansion of high-consuming computer server farms in the US. Greenpeace activists drew significant attention last week on Apple’s use of coal at the data centre that powers its iCloud.
The maker of the iPhone and the iPad confirmed on Thursday that it was buying equipment from SunPower Corp and startup Bloom Energy to build two solar array installations near its core data centre in North Carolina. The sites will employ high-efficiency solar cells and an advanced solar tracking system.
“Apple’s announcement today is a great sign that Apple is taking seriously the hundreds of thousands of its customers who have asked for an iCloud powered by clean energy, not dirty coal.” said Greenpeace International Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook.
The solar farm is expected to supply 84 million kWh of energy annually and it will cover 250 acres of land around Apple’s main data centre.
“The plan we are releasing today includes two solar farms and together they will be twice as big as we previously announced, thanks to the purchase of some land very near to the data centre in Maiden, which will help us meet this goal.” Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer told Reuters.
Mr Oppenheimer outlined company’s ambition to continue its environmental approach along with its expansion in services and provide sustainable development for its products.
“Our next facility will be in Prineville, Oregon. This is still in the planning stages and we have already identified plenty of renewable sources nearby,” Oppenheimer said.
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