Heath and Safety

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

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

The Green Deal will give homes and businesses a new way of paying for energy efficient improvements, such as insulation and new heating systems.

The scheme is expected to support 60,000 jobs in the insulation sector by 2015, providing a real boost for the expanding market of energy efficiency products and the construction industry.

Mr Crabb said: “Thousands of homes across Britain are wasting energy and money because of poor energy efficiency, yet demand for measures to counter this remains low. The Green Deal gives people the opportunity to make this right.

“And today, we will see that it’s not just consumers that will benefit. The Green Deal is also great for business, creating a new market and new jobs.”

The Greendeal programme provides funding of up to £15,000 for each home which can be used to install one or more officially approved Greendeal measures.

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

Green Deal in numbers

  • £125 million is available in the Government funded Cashback Scheme
  • 8 million households could benefit from solid wall insulation
  • 4 million households could benefit from cavity insulation
  • 60,000 jobs are expected to be supported in the insulation sector alone by 2015 – up from 26,000 in 2011
  • £3.5 million of funding to training in key Green Deal skills
  • £270 a year could be saved if a typical three bedroom semi-detached house installed just solid wall insulation
  • 38% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from leaky buildings

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

 

Sita to build £250m Merseyside waste plant

Sita to build £250m Merseyside waste plant

The Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority has named Sita as preferred bidder for a £1.2 billion deal to manage 430,000 tonnes of waste each year.

The consortium, which consist of industrial energy specialist Sembcorp Utilities UK and I-Environment will build a rail loading waste transfer station in Merseyside and energy-from-waste plant in Teesside.

The winning bid from Sita includes a high efficiency Energy from Waste facility with Combined Heat and Power at the Wilton International site in Teeside creating around 50 new permanent jobs.

New rail hub for the transportation of waste at the existing Potter Group Rail Freight Terminal at Kirkby on Merseyside creating around 25 new permanent jobs.

The new energy-from-waste facility will generate electricity for the equivalent of 63,000 homes and has the potential to provide steam directly to adjacent business customers, which would further improve its efficiency.

In total, over 90 per cent of the contract waste managed by the Sita consortium will be diverted from landfill and used to produce energy.

David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive Office of Sita UK said: “We are delighted to be selected as preferred bidder for this major contract in Merseyside. This is great news for Merseyside, for the environment and for new jobs.

“The two new facilities that we will develop will enable all of Merseyside’s household waste to be put to good use.

“We will create over 70 new full time jobs in Merseyside and Teeside and several hundred more during the construction of our new resource recovery facilities.”

Royal Liverpool Hospital gets the go-ahead by government

Royal Liverpool Hospital gets the go-ahead by government

The government has given the go-ahead for the building of Liverpool’s £425 million Royal University Hospital that will create 750 full-time construction jobs.

The multi-million development is set to employ local people, materials and services where possible to generate an additional £240 million for the local economy and boost the trades.

The Department for Health and the Treasury have approved the funding and the hospital is now assessing bids from two construction companies, Carillion and Horizon, that will design and build the hospital by 2017.

After the bidder is appointed, the hospital will obtain final planning permission and sign contracts, with building construction work expected to begin early next year.

Aidan Kehoe, chief executive, said: “I am delighted that we are now just weeks away from unveiling the design for our new hospital.

“The new Royal is at the very heart of our city and this is a significant step forward in the creation of our world-class hospital.

“It also brings us one step closer to the creation of the Liverpool BioCampus, which has the potential to transform the city, propelling us onto the world stage along with Boston and Singapore.”

What is your reaction to the £425 million funding for the building of new Royal Liverpool University Hospital that will create hundreds of construction jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Building trade given £30m boost to get projects off the ground

Building trade given £30m boost to get projects off the groundThe Government has backed a £30 million investment package to help small construction businesses secure credit from B&Q and Screwfix via their TradeUK credit scheme.

The pilot scheme will help small and sole trader construction businesses to secure credit from B&Q and Screwfix stores that will allow them to bid for bigger construction projects in the future.

Customers of B&Q TradePoint and Screwfix, part of the Kingfisher Group, can now apply for a credit account of up to £25,000, where previously they may have struggled to secure credit due to a lack of security or adequate credit history. Existing trade customers will be able to apply to extend their accounts for credit of up to £50,000.

Previously, these viable businesses would only have been eligible for credit of up to £3,000 from Screwfix or B&Q, making it harder for them to take on projects due to being unable to afford the upfront costs of the materials. Kingfisher is able to support the additional lending as a result of it being backed by a government guarantee.

The pilot is the result of work between the government and Kingfisher to adapt the existing Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme to widen access to funding and provide alternatives to bank lending. Business Minister Michael Fallon will now be writing to other companies offering them an opportunity to take part in the pilot scheme and offer their customers access to this new source of finance.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “Builders and tradesmen are experiencing a real bottleneck when it comes to accessing credit, and projects are being held up unnecessarily. This pilot is an innovative attempt to make a real difference for the sector.

“Britain’s builders have a vital role to play in delivering growth in this country and we’re determined to get behind them.”

Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher, said: “By piloting this new scheme we are backing Britain and backing the country’s professional tradesmen.

“Access to credit and control of cashflow is vital for smaller tradesmen, so we are pleased that Screwfix and B&Q will be able to make it easier for more of their trade customers to get credit through this innovative new scheme. By backing Britain’s tradesmen we can boost spending on the home and help get the economy moving again.”

The pilot allows Kingfisher to give credit to trade businesses it would normally have to turn away, by sharing the risk through providing government guarantees of 75 per cent on its lending. As well as allowing Kingfisher to lend to viable businesses outside its present risk profile, the scheme also allows it to lend more to existing businesses.

The pilot has been designed so there is no new administrative burden to Kingfisher. All credit decisions will be made by Kingfisher based on existing processes, and customers and frontline staff will see no difference to the trade credit application.

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

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

The Government has announced a £20 million investment plan to build a renewable energy factory in Hull that will create 300 new trade jobs.

Energy Works, the technically advanced renewable energy power plant to be built in Hull, will use household waste, and will generate enough energy for more than 25,000 homes.

The funding has been given from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government and is a key part of the financing for the £100 million-plus energy recovery plant that uses an innovative combination of green technologies and will be the first of its kind in the UK.

Communities Minister Baroness Hanham said: “This plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the security and diversity of the energy supply.

“Supporting this Hull-based company with public funding to pioneer these cleaner, more efficient technologies and sharing the learning gained from operating the plant, will help to roll out similar facilities elsewhere in the UK and around the world.

“This investment will create highly skilled jobs and contribute to the Humber area’s growing reputation as one of the best places in the world to develop environmental energy businesses“.

The complete Energy Works development will be built to sort, pre- treat and process different types of waste with several advantages over more conventional technologies, including that it complemented recycling efforts and produced improved air quality.

Spencer Group’s Chief Executive Charlie Spencer said: “We are delighted that the Government and the European Commission have recognised that Energy Works is an innovative, green and clean development which can be replicated elsewhere.

“It has been a pleasure to brief the Minister on the many benefits it offers. This grant is a key element of the funding model and enables the project to move forward.

“As a Hull-based company, we are intensely proud that we will be pioneering a UK first in the city and that our investment will add to the Humber region’s credentials as the UK hub for renewable energy technologies.”

White City residential scheme gets the go-ahead

Dairy Crest Site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chancellor Should Boost Construction to Drive Growth

The Construction Products Association

The Construction Products Association (CPA) has called on the Chancellor George Osborne to recognise the potential of the construction industry to drive economic growth and create new jobs in the trades.

According to the Association, it is vital for the government to spend the multi-billion capital investment boost announced in the Autumn Statement that could provide 0.8% additional growth in GDP.

Chief Executive of the CPA, Diana Montgomery said: “With the general economic outlook continuing to look uncertain, we are urging government to do more to drive growth by building on the recent increase in capital investment for repair and maintenance of roads and extending this to other parts of built environment, such as housing, schools and hospitals.

“We also want to see the UK improve on its current ranking of 24th in the world for the quality of its infrastructure. For the UK economy to remain internationally competitive in attracting inward investment, it is essential that there are significant improvements in its infrastructure.

“Government frequently states it is aware of the importance of the construction industry and its product manufacturers and suppliers. In these challenging times for the UK economy, the opportunities that we provide to drive economic growth and build a more sustainable future for the UK need to be prioritised. We can only hope the Chancellor does indeed recognise this.”

To read the full draft of the letter from the Construction Products Association to the Chancellor, click here.

Enterprise Zone Fund to accelerate growth and create new jobs

Enterprise Zone Fund to accelerate growth and jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nick Clegg backs City Deal for new jobs and growth

Government unveils more ‘City Deals’ to boost growth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deputy Prime Minister 1

The 20 cities and their outline proposals: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stanhope launches masterplan for BBC Television Centre

TELEVISION CENTRE, WHITE CITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Major investment in Whitehill & Bordon to provide new jobs and homes

A Ministry of Defence site in Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town has been bought by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to provide much-needed homes and create new trade jobs.

The Quebec Barracks site will see 100 new homes built and employment space for up to 100 new jobs created as result of a £3 million investment for East Hampshire.

The funding will transform the former barracks into a high quality sustainable neighbourhood as part of the ambitious Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town project.

The overall plan for the regeneration of the town is set to build 4,000 environmentally sustainable homes and create 5,500 jobs.

The new homes will meet official zero carbon standards and be attractively designed to set the benchmark for new homes in the rest of the town.

HCA investment supports sustainable new homes and jobs in HampshireKevin Bourner, HCA Head of Area, said: “This investment enables partners to take the first steps towards regenerating Whitehill & Bordon in an environmentally and economically sustainable way.

“The homes will be built to a much higher standard than originally envisaged, which will raise the bar in terms of the development of the rest of the project and act as a catalyst for lasting change here. There is a lot of work that needs to be done over the next year, but it is exciting to have got to this stage and see that progress is going to happen in the months ahead.”

Cllr Glynis Watts, East Hampshire District Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Whitehill and Bordon, said: “This investment is a great step forward for the town. The focus of this and future development is on enabling residents to have a really good quality of life.

“The homes that will be built will meet local aspirations because they will be attractive, cheap to run and in a great environment. We are going to pull out all the stops to make this something really special.”

John Walker, the Independent Chairman of the Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town Delivery Board, said: “The regeneration of Quebec Barracks is a small example of what we are trying to achieve across the town.

“Our aim is to deliver exceptionally good design that sets the standard for future Eco-town development. This is a tremendous opportunity to create a really attractive and sought-after place to live and work.”

What is your reaction to the new funding announced by the Homes and Community Agency that will create new jobs and build new homes? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Go-ahead for new council houses in Linton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Carillion grabs £10m tunnel repair contract

Leeds Gov

Leeds City Council has selected Carillion Construction to carry out an extensive twenty-month long repair job set to improve the A58 Woodhouse Tunnel and create new trade jobs.

Initially, Carillion will advise on how to best to carry out a £10 million programme of extensive concrete repairs to the roof and walls of both tunnel bores.

The Council says the Woodhouse Tunnel is suffering severe concrete damage and deterioration as a result of prolonged, extensive chloride ingress from winter de-icing salts.

The damage is so severe that the structural capacity of components is now being affected.

The tunnel needs extensive concrete repairs to the roof and walls of both tunnel bores and strengthening for vehicle impact loading to the area of the tunnel supporting the Leeds General Infirmary buildings.

Strengthening work for vehicle impact loading and protection to the rest of the tunnel will be also required.

Nuclear plan to create jobs and boost economic growth

Sellafield nuclear siteThe nuclear industry will play a major role in driving economic growth, securing the nation’s energy suppliers and creating new jobs, Energy Minister John Hayes announced today.

The comments come as a campaign is launched to fill around 500 skilled jobs at the Sellafield nuclear site in West Cumbria.

The roles will include operations and maintenance staff, engineers, project managers and back-office functions.

They will be filled by a mixture of apprentices, graduates, and trainees and ex-military personnel will be specifically targeted in the recruitment process.

Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon confirmed the Government’s commitment to expand its global nuclear market as part of the published Nuclear Supply Chain Action Plan.

He said: “This action plan is an important part of our work with industry to shape a vibrant UK nuclear industry, and to ensure the UK exploits the commercial opportunities that exist and is a leading player in the expanding global nuclear market.

“We are determined to exploit our strengths and believe this is a sector where a partnership between government and industry can help give the UK a competitive edge in the global race. It’s a key sector in our industrial strategy.”

John Hayes, Energy Minister, said: “Energy is central to our economic future and at the heart of all we do as a nation.

“Just as atoms collide in a nuclear reactor, the economic benefits of our nuclear renaissance will reverberate far and wide across the country.

“The announcement of 500 jobs at Sellafield today shows the immense contribution of the nuclear sector to the UK economy, in particular that of West Cumbria.

“Our Action Plan for the nuclear supply chain will set out how the UK can make the most of future opportunities presented by around £60bn of new investment.”

Green Deal energy contract gets signed

Carillion has signed a contract with the Birmingham Energy Savers (BES) scheme to deliver energy services as part of the Green Deal and create new jobs.

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.”

 

Multi-million highway job and two framework lots get the go ahead

The Welsh Government has granted a four-year technology contract for the maintenance of infrastructure schemes that will boost the trades and create new jobs.

Costain, a leading engineering solutions provider, has confirmed a £15 million technology contract as well as two lots of the Highways Agency Asset Support Framework that are expected to start in early 2013.

Work packages would include surfacing works, structures works, technology related works, and general highway improvements across the whole of the Highways Agency motorway and trunk road network.

While there is no commitment by the Agency to spend under the framework, over £750 million of work packages are expected to be awarded through the framework over the next three years.

Costain is one of five contractors on each framework that will operate for three years, with scope for an extension of up to a further 12 months.

Andrew Wyllie, Chief Executive of Costain, commented: “We are delighted with these additional appointments from existing customers, which demonstrate the ongoing success of the implementation of our ‘Choosing Costain’ strategy: providing a broader service offering to the major customers who are making significant investment in the UK’s national infrastructure needs.”

 

Green Deal joins forces with Kier to boost the trades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

£25m Scottish repairs contract reaches out for new jobs

Scotland’s second largest housing association is set to grant a £25 million contract that will see the repairs of more than 10,200 households and create new trade jobs.

Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) has chosen housebuilder Lovell as preferred bidder to provide repairs service for thousands of households as well to refurbish void properties.

The new contract will run for five years with the option of a further two-year extension which is expected to boost the building construction industry.

Lovell will create jobs and training opportunities for local people as part of its commitment to deliver long-term community benefits.

The company has committed to employ apprentices throughout the contract with new apprentices to be taken on as existing apprentices finish their training.

Future improvements planned through the new contract, in line with tenants’ wishes, will include more flexible appointment times for repairs visits, including early morning and evening and Saturday morning appointments.

Simon Medler, managing director for the Lovell repairs and maintenance business, said: “Providing a high-quality repairs service which puts tenants’ needs first has been our priority since taking over the contract and it’s very rewarding to see the success of our approach recognised by our selection as preferred bidder to deliver the repairs service on a long-term basis.”

“We have worked very closely with DGHP and tenants to identify how the service could be improved and have then implemented the changes needed. That process is ongoing and we will build on our achievements through further improvements, ensuring that tenants continue to receive a truly excellent repairs service.”

Bradford resource recovery centre will create new trade jobs

A major new resource recovery facility, that will boost Bradford’s construction industry and create hundreds of trade jobs has been given the go ahead. 

Members of Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee have approved plans to build the state-of-the-art centre that will produce enough electricity to power around 20,000 homes.

Construction giant Skanska will be responsible for delivering the project and will work in a joint venture with AECOM, a global provider of professional technical and management support services, to design, build and commission the Resource Recovery Facility.

FCC Environment (formerly Waste Recycling Group (WRG)), a leading UK waste management and energy recovery company, will operate the facility.

The facility will mechanically extract valuable recyclable materials from Bradford and Calderdale’s household waste before using the remainder to produce electricity to be supplied to the National Grid.

It will divert over 90% of Bradford and Calderdale’s waste away from landfill each year, help the councils increase their recycling rates to over 50% and generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 20,000 homes.

The scheme at Bowling Back Lane will create 80 permanent jobs with a further 300 positions created during construction.

Speaking after the committee’s decision Mark Tribe, Project Director for Pennine Resource Recovery (PRR), said: “Our project will bring great economic and environmental benefits to Bradford and Calderdale and we’re delighted councillors have recognised this.

“No matter how environmentally responsible we are, our society will always generate waste.  The Resource Recovery Facility will ensure we deal with waste in a sustainable way and avoid sending it to environmentally damaging and increasingly costly landfill sites.

“This decision is great news for Bradford and Calderdale.  The scheme has been specifically designed for the area and we will be working very closely with local training and employment agencies to ensure that local people across both districts are able to benefit from the employment and training opportunities on offer.”

Benefits for residents and the economy within the Bradford and Calderdale areas include:

• 300 jobs during construction

• 80 permanent jobs during operations

• 80 apprenticeships

• 124 weeks of work experience for school children

• 1,500 weeks of work experience for unemployed people

• Up to £50,000 a year donated to a Community Fund

• Contracts available for local recycling companies

• £30million in construction contracts

£22m school expansion programme reaches out for trade jobs

Enfield Council has unveiled plans to spend £22 million on a building programme to expand 11 schools across North London which will provide 2, 400 extra school places and boost the trades.

Most of the building work is expected to be completed by September next year and could create hundreds of jobs in the construction industry as well as boost the local economy.

The Council has chosen Cornerstone Property Assets for its delivery partner of the scheme.

Cornerstone, which is led by former Partnership for Schools’ chief executive Tim Byles, welcomed the school expansion programme that will see the construction of much needed school places and improve the existing facilities.

Mr Byles said: “Enfield is taking a highly innovative approach to addressing their shortfall, and subject to the consultation, we very much look forward to working with them to create the additional places in safe, secure facilities in time for the new school year in 2013.”

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Ayfer Orhan, said: “This £22 million project will provide hundreds of extra primary school places in the areas they are most needed and improve our educational facilities ahead of the 2013 school year.

“We want parents and our partners to tell us what they think of the proposals so Enfield Council can be sure we get this project right and provide enough school places for Enfield’s pupils for years to come.

“We need to accommodate the expected increase in primary school places so we can address parent’s concerns that their children don’t have to travel excessive distances to school.”

What is your reaction to the £22 million school expansion programme in Enfield? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

£1 billion campus expansion to boost the trades

The University of Manchester has announced an ambitious £1 billion plan that will see the construction of a world-class campus and pave the way for new trade jobs.  

The Estates Master Plan, which was approved by the University’s Board of Governors last week, will create a single campus which will involve the construction of teaching and research buildings as well as new student facilities.

The first phase of the plan, costing around £700 million, will be delivered over the next six years and will throw a lifeline to the building industry and boost the trades.

Plans include building of a new engineering campus, new centres for the school of law and Manchester Business School, a major refurbishment of the university library, a bigger students’ union and new medical school.

Outline plans have been drawn up for a second phase which is expected to cost a further £300 million and is set to begin in 2018.

The second phase of the plan would create a Biomedical Campus around the existing Stopford Building along with other major developments for staff and students, including refurbishments in the Schools of Computer Science.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester, professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “Our long-term aim, as restated in our Manchester 2020 Vision, has been to create a world leading university that would compete with the best universities in the world and would occupy a single, outstanding campus, where some of our beautiful old buildings would stand alongside the very best in modern facilities for our research and our students.”

Queens Park development to create new jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

£1bn housing boost reaches out for new jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

£33m Essex College Scheme to Boost the Trades

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”.

Clean Energy of Northern Seas to Boost the Renewable Industry

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.”

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vauxhall Student Scheme Reaches Out for New Jobs

Lambeth Borough Council has granted planning permission to Downing Developments to build a 32-storey student accommodation scheme in Vauxhall, South London, which will boost the building industry and create new jobs.

The development will see the building of 553 student accommodation units, a 25-metre swimming pool and leisure facilities which will be open to the public. The scheme will boost local businesses and benefit the construction sector as well as create new jobs in the trades.

The architect for the scheme is Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. Downing is planning to start work on the site immediately as the scheme is set for completion by 2014.

Downing development director, Paul Houghton said: “The scheme represents a significant investment in the area, not only through the £4.5m swimming pool and leisure facility, but also through the in excess of £1.5m of contributions that will benefit the local area.

“The proposals will redevelop a brownfield site and provide a major boost to local businesses through the increased spend that the students will deliver.”

Downing submitted the planning application in November 2011 following consultation on draft plans with the local community.  Following a public exhibition held in September 2011, the size of the swimming pool was increased from 20m to 25m in response to residents’ feedback.

Jobs boost in Leeds Thorpe Park expansion plan

Scarborough Development Group has submitted plans to build a £400 million development at Thorpe Park, East Leeds, which could create up to 6,500 new jobs and boost the trades.

The mixed-use development scheme is designed to meet the needs of business occupiers as well as provide a valuable hub for local communities in Leeds.

It comprises 1.2 million sq ft of office space, 130,000 sq ft food storage area, 177,000 sq ft leisure area for hotels and additional 33,000 sq ft for dining outlets.

The project will also bring the delivery of a 113-acre Green Park and Leeds’ first significant new public park in over 100 years.

Commenting on the plans, Mark Jackson, Managing Director of Scarborough Development Group said:  “Our new plans will present a step-change at Thorpe Park with a new offer for established businesses, growing businesses and fledgling business.

“We want Thorpe Park to be an engine for economic growth in the immediate area, and a benefit to the whole City Region.”

Mr Jackson outlined the wider benefits of this development for creating new jobs and boosting the local economy.

He said: “Thorpe Park has the potential not just to boost the economy of the city region and help cement Leeds’ position as a regional capital, but also to provide thousands of new job opportunities for local people built around a more diverse economy and range of uses on the park.”

London Mayor Unveils £100m Housing Boost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

£1bn council housing boost reaches out for new trade jobs

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.

Solent Enterprise Zone Reaches Out For New Trade Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New partnership to boost homebuilding in Manchester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Former factory site to be transformed into new homes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liverpool accommodation scheme reaches out for new jobs

Two student accommodation schemes at the University of Liverpool have been submitted for planning approval, paving the way for developers to start building work.

The £50 million project, part of an overall £600 million campus investment announced last year, will build 621 en-suite rooms and create new jobs in the trades.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said that this regeneration will not only improve the facilities at the University of Liverpool, but will also provide economic boost to the city and bring new employment opportunities for local people.

Mr Anderson said: “This development will increase the appeal of the University of Liverpool to potential students right across the country and the world, contributing to Liverpool’s growing status as a distinctive global city.

“It will also provide a much needed boost to the city in terms of jobs and training opportunities for local people.”

Preston based developer Worthington Properties, which was selected as a building contractor for the two sites in Liverpool city centre, is planning to demolish five accommodation blocks in Philharmonic Court and construct two six-storey buildings which will contain 354 student rooms.

The second proposed development in Great Newton Street will see Worthington build on a former car park and disused university property. The building will be between four and seven storeys and is expected to have 267 student rooms. Architect on the scheme is Manchester-based Leach Rhodes Walker.

Development director at Worthington Properties, Russell Worthington, said: “We are proud to work in partnership with Liverpool University and Liverpool City Council to design a product that will help the university attract national and international students to the city.

“In addition, the investment by Liverpool University will help to create employment as we will be looking to work with suppliers and recruit from the area.”

What is your reaction to the student accommodation scheme at the University of Liverpool which will boost the local economy and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

UK cities get Green Deal funding boost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government to offer bigger benefits to the wind farm industry

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.”

Citizens Advice signposts consumers to find reliable tradesmen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government approval for Edinburgh Royal Hospital to boost the trades

Plans to build a £150 million replacement for Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children have been approved by the Scottish Government, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.   

Negotiations over the site for the new building have delayed the project, but now tenders will be invited to build the hospital next to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2017 and is part of a national initiative supported by the Scottish Futures Trust, which will see £750 million of investment in health facilities across Scotland.

The new site’s owners agreed to give the health board the land, currently a car park, in exchange for another site.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “There have been delays with the new Sick Kids Hospital in the past, due to land and commercial issues with an inherited PFI contract on the proposed site.

“I am pleased to say that there is now a framework in place to resolve the legal and commercial issues that arose in the original contract.”

Mr Neil said that the Scottish Government has already invested £1 billion into the building of new hospitals across the country. He committed to invest another £1 billion over the next two years.

Commenting on the announcement, chairman of NHS Lothian Charles Winstanley said: “The benefits of having children’s, maternity and adult services on the same site are well documented.

“This new building will add to the existing facilities at Little France to create a centre of excellence, bringing paediatric care, specialist neonatal care, neurosciences and A&E together.”

Boris gives the go ahead to £320m regeneration scheme

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Communities Secretary Erick Pickles have given final approval to a £320 million regeneration scheme in Harrow.

The project will turn the 40-acre strip of land, previously used by the camera company Kodak, and build 985 new homes, a primary school, medical centre as well as shops and offices.

Portfolio holder for regeneration at Hallow Council, Keith Ferry, said he was ‘delighted’ that the project, which was granted panning permission in June, had finally been approved by the Government, paving the way for building work to start in early 2014.

Mr Ferry said: “As a council we are determined to deliver on our promise to regenerate and build the most sustainable community in Harrow and to establish a thriving residential and commercial centre.”

Developer Land Securities estimates the project, which also includes a community centre, student accommodation, and a retirement home, will create up to 1,500 jobs in the construction industry.

Harrow Council said that this development is the biggest in the area and it forms part of the wider Heart of Harrow project, which seeks to create 3,000 new jobs and build 2,500 new homes.

What is your reaction to the multi-million development scheme which has been approved by the government? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Government Approves £650m Chatham Docks Scheme

The Government has approved plans to transform a 26-acre site at Chatham Docks into a £650 million development set to create 3,500 new jobs.

Medway Council granted planning permission to the scheme, which has now been approved by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Construction work on the Peel Group’s project is scheduled to start next year, paving the way for jobs in the building sector and giving ‘a real economic boost’ to the region.

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Rodney Chambers, said: “This is a major step forward for the regeneration of Medway and is a clear indication of how the area is growing and continuing to attract significant investment from developers and businesses.

“Not only will it create thousands of jobs for residents in the near future, but it will provide opportunities for future growth and unrivalled facilities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy and benefit from.”

The major development will build hundreds of new homes, a hotel, a supermarket, office and retail space, as well as education and community facilities.

James Whittaker, Development Director at Peel said he was delighted the Government has approved outline plans for Chatham Waters.

Mr Whittaker said: “The plan will regenerate and breathe new life into a significant area of the dockland and give the region a real economic boost.

“We will now continue preparing detailed plans for the first phase and we hope to start building on the site next year.”

Get Britain Building for Jobs and Growth

A group of British builders and influential trade associations have launched a new campaign to encourage economic growth and create new jobs in the construction industry.

The “Jobs for Growth” programme, which was officially launched today, is now the UK’s biggest coalition of companies making the case for investment in the building of new homes to quickly stimulate growth and generate jobs.

The organisation is targeting specific areas in the UK construction sector, reaffirming that there are significant benefits for investing in housebuilding and infrastructure projects.

For example, every £1 spent in construction generates £2.84 in economic activity, whilst 92% of the investment is retained in the UK, supporting manufacturing and the skills which the country needs.

Jobs for Growth founder Mike Leonard said: “The UK needs jobs and growth, and building our way out of recession is now the only solution left to Government.

“After a golden summer of sporting achievement, we need to capture some of that Olympic spirit, positivity and determination and go for gold in Jobs and Growth.”

Mr Leonard said: “Over the coming months we will work closely with all our local and national politicians, banks and other decision influencers to build the case for Jobs and Growth.

“We have the demand, the will, the land, the materials and the skills to make this happen. With the same level of focus, commitment and pride demonstrated by our athletes this summer, the building industry can lead Britain out of recession.”

What is your reaction to the new “Jobs and Growth” campaign promoting construction led recovery? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Essex Uni gets £26m student centre

Plans for a £26 million student centre at the University of Essex were given planning permission today, paving the way for building construction work.

The project, which is part of the University’s £200 million-plus capital investment programme, will improve facilities and create new jobs in the building engineering industry.

The University of Essex is now going to look for a contractor to complete the project by the end of 2014.

The state-of-the-art centre will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for a range of student services, putting accommodation, finance, registry and student support functions under one roof to enhance the student experience.

The centre will also be home to an integrated learning centre, new IT facilities, a state-of-the-art media centre and will offer a 24-hour reading room.

Richard Halsall, Deputy Director of the Capital Development Team, said: “We are looking forward to getting work underway on this project as it will improve facilities for our students and staff, and bring student services together more cohesively.”

Get Britain Building to Create 30,000 Jobs

The Homes and Community Agency (HCA) has approved 105 housing schemes that will receive funding as part of the £570 million Get Britain Building fund set to create 30,000 new jobs.

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.

Acton Gardens Reaches Out for New Homes

The London Borough of Ealing has granted planning permission for the £579 million regeneration scheme in Acton Gardens that will build thousands of homes and pave the way for new jobs in the trades.  

The regeneration of Ealing’s largest housing estate will develop an urban village with around 2,500 homes, half of which will be affordable, as well as tree-lined streets, parks, communal gardens, offices and retail space.

The developer, Acton Gardens LLP, is a joint venture between Countryside Properties and social housing landlord L&Q. It has established Acton Gardens Community Board in conjunction with local residents and stakeholders, to help manage the 15-year regeneration programme.

The new homes will be built to achieve a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 offering low heating, power and water consumption. Non-domestic buildings are aspiring to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’.

David Montague, Chief Executive of L&Q, said: “Securing planning committee approval is a crucial milestone in the transformation of South Acton and we are extremely pleased to have been given the green light by our partners at the London Borough of Ealing.

“The consultation process with residents and local and regional stakeholders involved numerous public exhibitions, workshops with community groups and over 600 face to face interviews with residents.

“The results of this process can be seen in the quality of the design proposals which are very focused on delivering the aspirations of local people. The ground-breaking ‘Future Climate’ work at Acton Gardens will aid us in all our future projects.”

Currently there are 167 dwellings at Acton Gardens which are under construction with first completions expected in January 2013.

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