Proposed changes to Scotland’s planning system will put a great emphasis on economic benefits, including creating new jobs, planning Minister Derek Mackay will tell key members of Scotland’s business community this week.
Mr Mackay will meet with Scotland’s business leaders during a series of engagements taking place around the country to support the Scottish Government’s public consultation on Scotland’s third National Planning Framework (NPF3) and a revised Scottish Planning Policy.
The Minister will discuss how proposed changes to the planning system will place a greater weight on economic impact. This includes the creation of new jobs as well as recognising and responding to economic conditions.
Mr Mackay said: “The Scottish Government is focussed on sustainable economic growth, and as Planning Minister I am intent on delivering a planning system that is enabling this objective.
“This is about the culture and practice of planning on the ground. An explicit emphasis on economic impact in planning deliberations is both necessary and timely. I believe we are making good progress.
“During the consultation process I have been meeting with local authorities, developers, environmental groups and members of the public. By meeting with key players from Scotland’s business community I will gain further feedback on the consultation which will assist in our drive to push forward sustainable economic growth.”
Communities Minister Baroness Hanham has announced £5.4 million of European investment to build state-of-the-art business facilities which will further development on Enterprise Zones.
Lady Hanham confirmed that the European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007- 2013 is investing £3.29 million in the HCA owned Darlington Business Growth Hub where work will start later this year.
The Baroness also announced that the European Regional Development Fund is investing £2.1 million in Boho 5, part of the DigitalCity initiative, that is expected to create at least 250 new jobs in 10 years.
The scheme is set to provide 2,322 sq m of high quality business accommodation targeted specifically at small and medium enterprises operating in digital and creative sectors.
Baroness Hanham said: “I am delighted to formally announce European Regional Development Fund investment for the Darlington Business Growth Hub and Boho 5, which will see the development of high quality premises enabling new and growing businesses to create jobs and wealth in Tees Valley.”
Darlington Business Growth Hub will comprise additional 3,200 m² of high quality Grade A office space for small and medium enterprises and is due to open January 2015.
The project will see the creation of at least 25 new businesses and 350 new jobs within the first 15 years of operation. The project is being managed by Darlington Borough Council with the Homes and Communities Agency providing the match funding.
David Curtis, Executive Director at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) said:
“The confirmation that these schemes will receive European Funding means that the HCA will invest an additional £5million in creating jobs in the Tess Valley.”
“We will invest £3million in the Darlington Growth Hub to help create a purpose built facility that will help new businesses grow and supports local jobs. Our £2 million investment in Boho 5 is a key part of our wider long term investment in Middlehaven to help create educational and employment opportunities for Middlesbrough”
The European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007-13 is bringing over £300 million into North East England to support innovation, enterprise and business support. It will help create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the productivity by £1.1bn per annum.
New homes and jobs are being created in Telford as part of a £11 million project by Sanctuary Group that will see the building of hundreds of new homes in the area.
The leading housing and care provider is developing 86 extra care apartments for over 55s as well as 12 apartments specially designed for people with learning difficulties, in Ketley.
A 500-strong workforce has begun work on the Ketley Park Road site as part of a £60 million partnership with national contractor Seddon to build more than 700 new homes in the Midlands.
Councillor Hilda Rhodes said: “This is an excellent scheme which very much reflects the council’s drive to support businesses and I was delighted to kick start the work on the site. I look forward to seeing the projects develop in the months to come.”
David Charmbury, area manager with HCA, said: “The HCA is pleased to be working with our strategic partners and making investment into this scheme.
“Not only will the development cater for local need, it will also provide much needed economic and employment benefits for the borough and complete another key component of the wider Telford Millennium Community.”
The new extra care scheme, set in landscaped gardens, will feature communal facilities including a restaurant, lounge, gym and hair salon.
Sanctuary’s development, Andrew White, said: “This is an ambitious project which will create much needed homes for older people in this part of Ketley. Sanctuary is dedicated to creating new jobs and apprentice posts at all our developments and this site is no different.”
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Much-needed new homes, jobs and training opportunities are being created in Telford as part of an ambitious £11 million project by Sanctuary Group.
The housing and care provider is developing 86 extra care apartments for over 55s as well as 12 apartments specially designed for people with learning difficulties, in the suburb of Ketley.
A 500-strong workforce has begun work on the Ketley Park Road site as part of a £60 million partnership with contractor Seddon to build more than 700 new homes in the Midlands.
Local suppliers will be used wherever possible on the development and there will be grants available for local community projects.
Andrew White, Sanctuary’s Development Director, said: “This is an ambitious project which will create much needed homes for older people in this part of Ketley. Sanctuary is dedicated to creating new jobs and apprentice posts at all our developments and this site is no different.”
Councillor Hilda Rhodes, Telford and Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Customer Services, marked the start of work on site during a special sod cutting ceremony.
She said: “This is an excellent scheme which very much reflects the council’s drive to support businesses and I was delighted to kick start the work on the site. I look forward to seeing the projects develop in the months to come.”
Ian Calder from Seddon said: “We’re delighted to be creating apprentice training opportunities through this important housing scheme. Boosting local economies by providing new jobs and training is a central feature of our work with Sanctuary.”
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced to increase the Government’s infrastructure investment in enterprise zones by £100 million that will create thousands of local jobs in the trades.
The investment package will help the thirteen enterprise zones to receive more money for 18 projects to build new service roads, car parking and other infrastructure, transforming ‘shovel ready sites into job ready sites’.
The fund, originally £60 million, is designed to help zones reach their real growth potential faster as economic engine rooms of local economies. Following a competitive bidding process the successful proposals will now undergo further testing to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.
Enterprise zones have already created 3,000 new jobs, attracted 126 businesses, generated 105,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace and secured almost £229 million of extra private sector investment.
In addition to this, 5 enterprise zones are also receiving £24 million to tackle traffic bottlenecks and road congestion near their site through Department for Transport funding.
Eric Pickles said: “Enterprise zones are stimulating job creation and economic growth in different parts of the country with their special package of incentives to attractive new business ventures.
“The government is putting its money where its mouth is and making sure enterprise zones have the buildings and infrastructure they need to make sites ready for business to set up in.
“Enterprise zones are proving extremely popular with business – they have already created over 3,000 jobs for local people – a 75% increase in just 5 months – and many more will be coming down the pipeline because of this new support.”
Andy Rose, Chief Executive at the Homes and Communities Agency, which is administering the fund, said: “The response from the enterprise zones to this investment opportunity demonstrates just how crucial upfront infrastructure is to development.
“It is great news that this additional investment means more priority sites can be funded than first thought, creating more jobs in the areas that need them.”
Today’s announcement is just one of range of steps the government has taken to rebalance the economy and support local businesses to grow and create jobs.
The government has reformed the way councils are funded so they have new incentives to go for growth and support local businesses. It has established 39 local enterprise partnerships that along with enterprise zones are able to access millions in government investment to support their local economy, including the £770 million Growing Places Fund and £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund.
The schemes backed by the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) are in areas where ambitious regeneration plans are in place and where transport infrastructure will help unlock significant economic growth.
These schemes are set to deliver improved rail links between Tottenham Hale and the Upper Lee Valley; major road improvements in Bexley and support Ealing to harness the economic opportunities coming from Crossrail.
Collectively the projects could safeguard existing or create an estimated 45,000 jobs, support the construction of tens of thousands of homes and attract significant private investment into deprived areas.
The LEP’s adoption of these bids is a significant milestone for these projects and the proposals will now progress to a final stage, including more detailed work developing business cases, technical modelling and delivery mechanisms.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Transport links are a vital precursor to economic development. This money is earmarked for investment into transport schemes which have significant potential to stimulate growth and job creation.
“I welcome the London Enterprise Panel’s assessment of which projects are best placed to do this and City Hall will now be working with the bid teams to progress these ambitious proposals.”
The bids approved by the London Enterprise Panel will provide extra services at Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale, improving rail links between Stratford, the Upper Lee Valley and beyond including Stansted Airport.
Collectively with Angel Road Station improvements, this will support the commencement of the Meridian Water development and regeneration at Northumberland Park where there are plans for an estimated 3,500 homes and 500 jobs.
It will also support the development of an estimated 15,700 new homes, 21,900 new jobs in the Lee Valley and up to 15,000 jobs in adjoining areas.
£2.5 million allocated to upgrade Angel Road station and support regeneration in Enfield (bid from Enfield Borough Council). Angel Road station is vital to the regeneration of Enfield and specifically to support the Meridian Water development and regeneration in the Lower Lea Valley more widely.
Station improvements will increase passenger capacity through an enhanced commuter rail service and boost employment across wide range of trades in the building construction industry.
The Government is going to build thousands of homes at stalled housing sites and create new construction jobs through a multi-million investment package set to kick-start the economy and boost the trades.
Today, Housing Minister Mark Prisk confirmed that 14 major housing schemes across the UK will benefit from the investment that can start building up to 38,000 new homes.
A share of the Local Infrastructure Fund, which has a total budget of £474 million, will create thousands of jobs for local communities and people in the trades across the country.
The funding programme is targeted at large-scale sites of over 1,500 homes that could deliver real benefit to their communities.
Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This government is determined to get Britain building again. That’s why we are working with local housing schemes that have their plans in place, but need help to move forward.
“Our support through the Local Infrastructure Fund will help deliver the homes this country needs, create thousands of jobs and inject millions of pounds of investment into local economies.”
Homes and Communities Agency Chief Executive, Andy Rose, said: “This investment from the Local Infrastructure Fund is about building momentum behind some of those larger locally-backed housing developments to accelerate the supply of new homes.
“There is work to be done to ensure these bids deliver value for money for the taxpayer and fit with local priorities, but I am looking forward to getting out on site and seeing progress on successful bids in the months ahead.”
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Construction unions have signed a ground breaking industrial relations agreement to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point that will employ 5,000 workers at the peak of construction.
The project will be the largest single site construction project in Britain. The Civil Engineering Sector Agreement has established pay rates for the workforce which is significantly above those agreed by the Construction Industry Joint Council.
It has been confirmed that a minimum craft rate of £13 an hour for civil engineering work and additional bonus payments to workers on site will establish the job as the best-paid site in the UK.
After months of negotiating, unions UCATT, Unite and GMB have secured agreement with the client EDF Energy and the principal contractors Bouygues Laing O’Rourke for a Common Framework Agreement which addresses how industrial relations will be managed and a Civil Engineering Sector Agreement.
The agreement also makes clear that the training of traditional apprenticeships and adult trainees will be a priority. A target of training at least 500 apprentices and adult trainees during the lifetime of the project has been set.
In an important step to combat casualisation and poor productivity the site will only directly employ workers through PAYE. For the first time in such an agreement there will also be strict rules placed on the recruitment of workers through employment agencies.
A top of the range occupational health scheme will be established to help ensure the short-term and long-term health of the construction workforce.
The agreement also sets out provision for a bonus scheme, a productivity scheme and milestone payments, which has laid the foundations for the best paid construction project the industry has seen.
Steve Murphy, General Secretary of construction union UCATT, said: “This ground breaking agreement will ensure that workers building Hinckley Point will receive excellent rates of pay and first class conditions. This agreement will act as the blueprint for all future major construction projects.”
Kevin Coyne, Unite National Officer for Energy and Utilities, said: “A new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point will be a significant milestone towards meeting Britain’s low carbon energy needs.
“We’re pleased that progress towards a greener future is also characterised by good pay and conditions for thousands of highly skilled workers. The agreement reached between the unions and employers is the result of intense but constructive negotiations.
“This agreement sends a clear message to the rest of the construction industry that good productive relationships can deliver positive results. The unions and employers have made real progress in laying the right foundations for this important project. It is now time for the government to stop delaying and give EDF the certainty it needs so the company can get on with the job of meeting the UK’s energy needs.”
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Britain’s Olympics has delivered a £2.5 billion boost in foreign direct investment (FDI) over the past year, bringing with it more than 31,000 jobs, according to preliminary figures published today.
The investment projects generated following the 2012 Olympics’ British Business Embassy programme of global business summits have helped ensure that the UK has again retained its position as the leading European destination for foreign direct investment.
The preliminary data published today at the Global Investment Conference shows that during 2012-13, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) recorded 1,462 projects which brought with them or safeguarded 163,489 jobs. Of these 58,170 are new jobs – beating both the quantity of investment attracted and employment secured in the previous year.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron joined other high profile delegates from 40 countries at the Global Investment Conference, including the German and Canadian finance Ministers, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, global chief executive officers, sovereign wealth funds representatives and corporate investors.
Senior Ministers Chancellor George Osborne, Energy Secretary Ed Davey, Trade Minister Lord Green, Treasury Ministers Greg Clark and Lord Deighton and London Mayor Boris Johnson also spoke to delegates about the UK’s compelling offer as both a hub for global growth and an international investment destination.
Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “Foreign investment creates hundreds of thousands of jobs and helps to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the UK economy. It’s a vital strand of the Government’s plan for growth.
“The 2012 Olympics were a once in a generation opportunity for the UK to showcase to the world Britain’s compelling investment offer and these preliminary figures are very encouraging. Despite strong competition from our traditional competitors and emerging economies, Britain has retained its position as the leading destination for foreign direct investment in Europe.
“To retain the UK’s enviable position as one of the most attractive global locations of choice, Britain will need to continue to work hard to attract high value foreign investment in the coming year and beyond.“
The preliminary data published today compares favourably with last year’s 1406 recorded projects (4% increase) and 112,659 jobs (45% increase). Of the 163,489 jobs, 58,170 are new jobs and 105,319 safeguarded jobs. UKTI and its partners were involved in delivering nearly 84% of the projects. Full results will be published in July.
Work has begun to build the 222 new family homes on 13.1 acres of land, which includes part of the former Circatex factory site and the southern end of Frederick Street, and is adjacent to the Zero carbon housing development at Sinclair Meadows
Local ward members Councillors visited the site alongside Lead Member for Housing and Transport, Councillor Jim Foreman and Ian Prescott from Keepmoat Homes, to see the work get underway.
Councillor Malcolm, who is also Lead Member for Resources and Innovation, said: “I’m delighted to see work starting on these new homes. It’s a major milestone in our ambitious plans to transform the Riverside area.
“There is so much happening locally, with the recently completed eco-friendly business incubator at One Trinity Green and new carbon negative homes at Sinclair Meadows going on to win awards for innovation. This new development will build on this success and I can’t wait to see it take shape over the coming years.”
The new homes will include 20 Council properties, which will be available to rent through South Tyneside Homes with the remainder for sale through Keepmoat.
The development will also feature a landmark apartment building and a specially designed £500,000 linear park, which will provide a new play area as well as create better pedestrian links to the riverside.
Councillor Clare, ward member and Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy, said: “These new homes form part of our wider plans to revitalise the Riverside area, which also includes Harton Quays Park, where work is already underway.
“It’s wonderful to see our ambitious plans progressing. This particular development will be a real asset to the Rekendyke area and a huge benefit to the wider community.”
Ian Prescott, Land and Partnerships Director at Keepmoat, said: “Keepmoat share in the Council’s exciting ambitions for the regeneration of this part of South Shields. Our £30 million Trinity South scheme will have a significant impact on the local community.
“In addition to developing high quality, new and affordable homes in an attractive landscaped setting, we are engaging with local businesses to create employment and training opportunities for local people.”
The development will also meet Level 3 of the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes.
The 13.3 acre University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) development will create 300 jobs during construction, a minimum of 28 modern apprenticeships and provide facilities for over 8,500 students.
Inverness is the first Further Education college to use the Non Profit Distributing (NPD) financing model with City of Glasgow and Kilmarnock colleges to follow later in the year.
NPD ensures that private sector returns are capped, that there is no dividend bearing equity, and any surplus is directed in favour of the public sector.
Other major projects in the £2.5 billion NPD pipeline include M8, M73 and M74 improvements, while construction work has already begun on community health buildings in Aberdeen, Forres and Tain.
Ms Sturgeon said: “The new £50 million Inverness College UHI will be a landmark building, the centrepiece in a high quality, modern and sustainable campus being developed on the outskirts of the city.
“This Government is determined to invest in Scotland’s infrastructure – our schools, roads and hospitals – both to stimulate growth in the short term and lay the foundations for long term success.
“That is good news for the Highland economy and its construction industry and will attract businesses and highly trained professionals to the Highlands to help stimulate economic growth.
“Our investment in schools, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure is set to top £3.4 billion in 2013-14, which is estimated to support more than 40,000 jobs across the Scottish economy.”
Education Secretary Michael Russell said: “The Scottish Government has demonstrated its commitment to Scotland’s college sector by adding £61 million to the sector’s budget over the next two years compared to what was originally planned for the spending review period.
“We are progressing college reforms that will substantially improve students’ chances of securing a job at the end of their course, as well as ensuring local businesses are able to employ the right people with the right skills.
“Our investment in Inverness College UHI sits alongside upcoming investment in Glasgow and Kilmarnock colleges to ensure our students have state of the art learning facilities to help them maximise their potential. The new Inverness campus will play a crucial role in the expansion of research, further and higher education in the Highland region.”
Barry White, Chief Executive of the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), explained: “Reaching financial close of a project of this size and complexity in only 17 months is unprecedented. This project, funded through the SFT led NPD programme, is a massive boost to the local economy with the main contractor committed to deliver at least 25 apprenticeship positions.
“When it opens in summer 2015, Inverness College UHI will be housed in modern, high quality and fit-for-purpose buildings and achieve great value-for-money thanks to the collaborative efforts and professionalism of all partners involved.”
Transformation works at the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford have been given the go-ahead, paving the way for new jobs and boosting the trades.
The Legacy Corporation’s planning decisions committee granted permission for the original structure to be transformed into a 60,000-seater venue with a capacity of 80,000 for concerts.
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: “This is fantastic news and we will work hard to make sure our residents have access to the jobs created by the construction project as well the Stadium itself once it opens. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is beginning to take shape and the progress that’s been made so far is impressive.”
The multi-purpose venue, which has Premier League club West Ham United confirmed as an anchor tenant, will host Rugby World Cup matches in 2015 and the 2017 World Athletics Championships.
Subject to a referral to the Mayor of London, work will begin later this year on the proposed alterations, which include introducing retractable seating in the lower tier and a new extended roof design to cover the new seating, as well as the re-use of the iconic lighting towers.
Dennis Hone, Legacy Corporation chief executive, said: “This is an important milestone that paves the way for the Stadium’s intended legacy use as an all-year-round venue.
“As we prepare for the phased re-opening of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this summer, with the long-term future of all eight permanent venues on the Park now secure, we remain firmly on track to deliver a meaningful physical and social legacy for Londoners.”
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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.”
Kier began working with Harlow Council in 2007 when a joint venture partnership, Kier Harlow, was formed to provide a number of services to the town from housing repairs for the council’s 10,000-plus properties to street scene and grounds maintenance.
Due to start in June this year, the additional contract sees Kier appointed as principal contractor to work alongside Kier Harlow in improving kitchens and bathrooms throughout the council’s housing stock.
Continuing for up to four years, the works will upgrade all of Harlow Council-owned properties to ensure they meet and surpass the Government’s Decent Homes standard requirements.
Kier Services planned works manager Christopher Bunker is responsible for delivering the programme. He said: “The partnership will operate from our existing Kier Harlow base and will benefit considerably from the wealth of existing knowledge within the JVCo team.
“Kier is very proud of the contract award and is looking forward to making a big difference in residents’ homes – I’d like to say a big well done to all those involved in securing the work.”
Kier Harlow operations director, John Phillips said: “It is Kier’s goal to continuously improve the customer’s experience in Harlow and this contract together with new team members will be pivotal in achieving our aim. I would also like to extend my sincere appreciation to the team who worked hard to secure this contract.”
The investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is intended to unlock the development of the long-awaited new community of Sherford, which is anticipated to bring 5,500 new homes and create 5,000 jobs.
The development is expected to generate around £1billion in development expenditure to the area and provide an economic boost worth around £2billion.
Subject to the agreement of legal terms, the investment would be used by a development consortium led by Red Tree to start work on the development and begin a series of important road and utilities improvements to accommodate the early phases of house building.
The funding, unveiled by housing minister Mark Prisk, is set to kick-start construction of houses and community facilities at the new town of Sherford.
The scheme will also include 893,000 sq ft of employment space as well as schools, a town hall, swimming hall and community park.
Colin Molton, HCA executive director for the South and South West, said: “The new community of Sherford is an incredibly important project, because it will go a long way towards meeting the significant need for new homes in Devon and Plymouth and provide a major boost for the economy.
“It is a complex development, which has taken years to bring to this stage. It is fantastic news that investment has been approved which will support the development of the sustainable new community of Sherford. I look forward to seeing work start on the project soon.”
Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans added: “For every home built, one and a half permanent jobs are created. This is not just good news for the construction industry, it’s good for the wider supply chains and the businesses and shops that will all begin to see new customers as this new community begins to take shape.”
Speaking at the conference, Mr Davey called on Scotland to remain in the UK to protect current high levels of renewable investment in the trades and safeguard additional employment opportunities for people in the trades.
Mr Davey said: “The UK offers a uniquely attractive, stable, transparent and supportive environment for investment in low carbon generation.
“Between now and 2020, the support we give to low carbon electricity will increase year-on-year to £7.6 billion – a tripling of the support for renewable energy.
“New research by my Department estimates that, since 2010, across the UK, over £29 billion of private sector investment in renewables has been announced supporting almost 30,000 jobs.
“Many of these jobs are highly-skilled and well-paid positions and employees can be proud to be a part of securing the UK’s energy supply.
“The commitment of the UK Government to a vision of a low carbon future is building up a bow wave of new jobs and investment in the economy.”
Renewables jobs and investment
New research shows that since 2010 more than £29 billion worth of investment has been announced in renewable energy with the potential to support around 30,000 jobs.
The figures produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that between January 2010 and April 2013 industry has announced:
- 18,613 jobs and £14.5 billion investment in England,
- 9,143 jobs and £13.1 billion investment in Scotland,
- 1,952 jobs and £1.4 billion investment in Wales,
- 239 jobs and £304 million investment in Northern Ireland.
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Morgan Sindall has begun work on a £3.3 million extension project at The Perse Upper School in Cambridge that will boost the building industry.
The new build development comprises the construction of a three-storey block with a number of associated external works that are due to complete in the summer of 2014.
The new building will significantly expand the school and provide new teaching and classroom facilities for staff and pupils.
Morgan Sindall will construct the building using a traditional concrete frame and a combination of pre-aged zinc cladding, glass curtain walling and render.
The building will be joined to an existing part of the school by an interconnecting covered foot-bridge built to the first floor.
As the project team is working on a busy school site, hoardings have been put into place to ensure that the building works are segregated and that there is minimal disruption to the children’s learning environment.
Ed Elliott, head teacher of The Perse Upper School, said: “We are all delighted to see construction underway. The building will house new classrooms and a large flexible area that can be used for assemblies, rehearsals, exams and meeting space.”
Bob Ensch, Morgan Sindall area director, said: “The new building will bring a wealth of benefits to both pupils and staff at The Perse Upper School and will provide an excellent learning environment for years to come.
“Morgan Sindall has a proven track record in successfully delivering projects on time and within budget and we understand the complexities that are involved when operating within existing educational environments.”
Work on site has begun and will complete following a 60-week programme of development.
The development at The Perse Upper School is the third major project Morgan Sindall has secured in the local area in recent years. The company completed the £9 million redevelopment of office space at Botanic House on Hills Road last year and is currently on site delivering a £1.7 million commercial development at 90 Hills Road.
Householders across Great Britain will be able to get even more cash for renewable heating kit, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced today.
The money off vouchers available under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme have been increased to £2,300 for ground source heat pumps, £2,000 for biomass boilers, £1,300 for air source heat pumps and £600 for solar thermal systems.
The RHPP scheme, first launched in July 2011, is designed to encourage householders to switch to renewable heat from traditional heating systems by offering money off the cost of the equipment. The scheme is targeted at those living off the gas grid, where most money on bills and carbon can be saved.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Over 10,000 householders have already taken advantage of money off renewable heating kit and we want to see even more consumers stepping up to the plate and getting on board.
“But I want to go even further. I want to kick start this exciting new market for consumer renewable heat technologies.
“This time limited, big increase in the value of vouchers for hardworking people who want to do something positive to install money saving green heating in their homes, should be a real boost for this growing green sector.”
The scheme was extended in March this year until the end of March 2014 ahead of the launch of a Renewable Heat Incentive for householders, with around £12 million up for grabs.
Alongside changes to the voucher values, householders will now be required to undertake a Green Deal assessment before submitting a claim to the Energy Saving Trust to redeem their voucher.
This will help householders think about how renewable heat could fit with energy efficiency improvements for their home and ensure they are advised on choosing the right technology for them.
The additional voucher values are intended to reflect the cost of a Green Deal assessment, as well as the cost of getting these technologies installed in homes. Householders can also use the Green Deal to pay for some of the cost through savings on their energy bill.
The increased voucher values and Green Deal assessment requirement will kick in for any applications submitted today onwards.
Willmott Dixon has announced to use its re-appointment as sole contractor on Scape’s major works framework to create jobs and boost opportunities for local companies over the next four years.
Willmott Dixon estimates that under the previous Scape framework, where it was the incumbent contractor, local authorities saved a minimum of 14p in every £1 they spent on projects procured through Scape.
The construction company is planning to increase that saving to 20p in every £1, while ensuring 60 per cent of project budgets are spent on companies within a 20 mile radius of each Scape site, and raising employment and skills targets by 1,400 per cent.
Mark Robinson, CEO of Scape said: “Scape’s frameworks are becoming increasingly sought after with the number of public bodies using Scape’s services doubling over the last two years. It is important that this new framework focuses more than ever before on supporting local people and local businesses in a tough economic climate.”
Scape’s frameworks are worth £3 billion and over the last decade Scape has delivered over 1,200 projects on time and in budget for 250 public sector clients.
Scape specialises in providing a range of national and regional procurement frameworks enabling the UK public sector to procure construction services quicker and more efficiently, without having to go through lengthy and costly OJEU processes each time.
Scape’s new major works framework, which Willmott Dixon won after a seven-month re-procurement process, is expected to generate £1.25bn of construction work over the next four years. It comes as public sector budget cuts and reduced spending on capital projects put the spotlight on contractors generating even more value and efficiency in their construction output.
The benefits to clients of using Scape, including the reduced procurement time it brings, was underlined by Willmott Dixon delivering all 157 projects under the previous framework on time and in budget.
A tunnel on the proposed route of Britain’s High Speed 2 rail network could be extended to enable plans for a major development next to East Midlands Airport to progress.
The initial preferred route would have seen the new rail line cross the site of the proposed SRFI, which has the potential to create 7,000 jobs in the region, and threaten the feasibility of the proposed development.
During discussions with MPs and local authorities on the proposed route for phase two of HS2 from Birmingham to Leeds, concerns were raised by Leicestershire County Council, and MP for North West Leicestershire, Andrew Bridgen, in conjunction with Roxhill Developments Limited, that the proposed line could affect plans for a strategic rail freight interchange depot (SRFI) next to the airport.
After listening to these concerns, the government has now developed a revised option involving extending the proposed tunnel under the East Midlands Airport, avoiding the majority of the proposed SRFI site.
The Department for Transport will consult on the route later in the year as part of its public consultation on phase two, and after that consultation, a decision will be made. In the meantime, the developer will progress its plans for the proposed depot.
Kate Bedson, Senior Development Director at Roxhill said: “Our proposals for a new SRFI with 6 million square feet of associated warehousing have the potential to create 7,000 jobs, providing a boost to the economy in the region.
“Since the announcement, through our MP and local authority, we have enjoyed an early and positive dialogue with DfT and HS2 Ltd and are very pleased with the decision to amend the proposed route. This now allows us to consult with the public and other bodies on our plans before submitting our application at the end of the year.”
The European Commission (EC) has adopted a new Action Plan for encouraging the use of green infrastructure, and for ensuring that the enhancement of natural processes becomes a systematic part of spatial planning.
It aims to show how the EU’s Atlantic Member States, their regions and the Commission can help create sustainable growth in coastal regions and drive forward the “blue economy”, which has the potential to provide 7 million jobs in Europe by 2020
Environment commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “Building green infrastructure is often a good investment for nature, for the economy and for jobs. We should provide solutions that work with nature instead of against it, where that makes economic and environmental sense.”
The Plan will contribute to the EU’s “Blue Growth” strategy (IP/12/955) and is consistent with the Commission’s focus on regional collaboration to encourage sustainable growth and create jobs.
The strategy will focus on:
- Promoting green infrastructure in the main policy areas, such as agriculture, forestry, nature, water, marine and fisheries, regional and cohesion policy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, transport, energy, disaster prevention and land use policies. By the end of 2013, the commission will develop guidance to show how green infrastructure can be integrated into the implementation of these policies from 2014 to 2020
- Improving research and data, strengthening the knowledge base and promoting innovative technologies that support green infrastructure
- Improving access to finance for green infrastructure projects – the commission will set up an EU financing facility by 2014, together with the European Investment Bank, to support green infrastructure projects
- Supporting EU-level green infrastructure projects – by the end of 2015, the commission will carry out a study to assess the opportunities for developing an EU-wide network of green infrastructure.
The Education Funding Agency (EFA) has announced that 46 schools will be rebuilt using private finance under the next steps of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) that will boost the trades and create jobs.
46 schools in 5 batches will be rebuilt under the government’s new approach to public private partnerships, known as PF2. These schools have a total funding requirement of approximately £700 million.
The funding is set to be raised using an innovative new ‘aggregator’ model. The ‘aggregator’ will be able to access both the bank debt and capital markets in order to secure the best deals for the taxpayer.
The Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading batch will be launched at a bidder’s day due to be held by the EFA on 28 May 2013. A notice inviting bids from firms interested in constructing and maintaining the schools will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union in June.
The other batches, to be released over the next 12 months, will see the creation of more jobs in the building engineering industry as well as benefit from the future investment fund.
The announcement underlines the government’s commitment to using public private partnerships to deliver investment in new public infrastructure and assets.
Ministers are also announcing the allocation of a further £300 million of capital funding in the current spending review period to enable an early start for 27 further schools in the programme. These schools will be procured in 4 batches.
The investment is part of the government’s commitment to give children the best possible start in life and to make sure schools are a place where children can fulfil their aspirations.
The remaining schools in the programme are intended to be delivered using capital funding, subject to the next spending review settlement. The timetable for the remaining schools in the programme will be announced after the settlement is made in June.
Peter Lauener, Chief Executive of the EFA, said: “I am delighted we can confirm the schools to be rebuilt through private finance. The government’s new approach to public private partnerships provides a great opportunity for industry to step up to the mark and I am looking forward to seeing innovative and cost-effective proposals.”
“These 5 privately-financed batches, plus the additional 4 capital-funded batches also announced today, will help us overhaul the schools with the greatest need, ensuring young people can learn in buildings that are up to scratch.”
Building work is set to start today on the Swansea University’s second campus that will create 4,000 construction jobs with a further 6,000 indirect posts supported in the wider economy.
The First Minister made the announcement whilst on site to mark the start of construction of the new campus which took place on Europe Day.
First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said: “I welcome the opportunity to be here on this significant day not only to mark the start of construction but also, crucially, to acknowledge the benefits to Wales of our relationship with Europe, including EU funding.
“This EU investment will help drive forward the development of the new Science and innovation Campus, creating a cornerstone for world-leading research and employment opportunities in the construction industry as work gets underway.”
The EMC will include state-of-the-art facilities to enable Swansea University to carry out research and development, particularly through collaborative projects with industry. It will support a range of collaborations with businesses in sectors such as advanced engineering, the digital economy and low carbon technologies.
Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, said: “I am delighted we have been able to invest EU funds to pioneer innovation and deliver state-of-the-art education facilities, benefiting Swansea and beyond.
“We have a key commitment through our Programme for Government to enhance research and innovation to help increase Wales’ global competitiveness, and create jobs and growth. The European Structural Funds programmes in Wales are helping us to achieve this goal, having already generated a total project investment of around £400 million in R&D and innovation alone.”
EMC will accommodate the University’s Civil and Computational Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Materials and Mechanical Engineering as well as Printing and Coating activities.
The Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, Professor Richard B. Davies, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded funding from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government for the Engineering Manufacturing Centre.
“The EMC will provide world-class research facilities and a resource for industry to access world-leading expertise to help improve manufacturing products and processes and develop new ones, thus contributing to the economic regeneration of the region.”
Finance Minister Jane Hutt outlined that the Welsh Government has delivered additional investment of around £1.1 billion in infrastructure projects across Wales by maximising the use of reduced capital budgets and by generating investment of around £750 million through innovative finance.
Jane Hutt said: “The £76.5 million of additional capital investment I am announcing today supports the priorities set out in the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for Growth and Jobs and ensures every Welsh pound is used to boost jobs and growth.
“The main benefits of investment are gained over the long term. But in present circumstances, the jobs created in constructing new infrastructure are vitally important, and this latest package is expected to support around 1,400 jobs during the construction phase.
“This significant package of investment clearly demonstrates our commitment to stimulating economic growth, creating jobs, mitigating the impact of the UK Government’s Welfare Reforms and reducing poverty in Wales.”
The multi-million package of investment to increase housing supply, including:
- An additional £20 million for the Social Housing Grant specifically to target investment in providing housing for individuals and families that may be adversely affected as a result of the UK Government’s reductions in Housing Benefit; and
- £10 million to expand the pilot of the Houses into Homes initiative to bring empty homes in Wales back into use.
- A £25 million package of investment in education to further accelerate the 21st Century Schools Programme.
- £11.5 million for a railway and station in Ebbw Vale town centre, as an initial element of a wider programme to create a more integrated transport network in South East Wales and support the City Region strategy. This investment will be a further boost to the regeneration of the local area.
- £10 million additional investment in the Flood and Coastal Risk Management Programme, to protect homes, businesses and communities from the risk of flooding.
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The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has approved a vital compulsory purchase order (CPO) that will kick-start a major £330 million campus development and create new jobs.
In November 2012, the landowners agreed a landmark deal with WNDC and the University of Northampton. It could see the area transformed into a state-of-the-art, waterside campus, enabled by a new 1 mile spine road.
Peter Mawson, WNDC’s Chief Executive said: “The University campus will be an unprecedented development for Northampton, breathing new life into its town centre.
“It is the jewel in the crown of an exciting regeneration programme, with nearby projects ranging from a new railway station to riverfront offices starting construction this year”
Professor Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Northampton said: “We are delighted that the Secretary of State has approved the compulsory purchase order which will allow full development of the Avon Nunn Mills site.
“This compulsory purchase order places the University one step closer to realising our plans to create a state-of-the-art Waterside Campus; placing the University in the heart of the community.
“As the Midlands’ most enterprising University of 2013, the University of Northampton fully supports the values of the Enterprise Zone with the creation of jobs, skills and enterprise and looks forward to being a part of the wider plans to regenerate Northampton.”
Carole Stronach, director of real estate for Avon, and the consortium of landowners said: “The University’s campus development plan is a tremendous opportunity and Avon looks forward to working with West Northamptonshire Development Corporation to ensure that the land required to enable the full redevelopment of the Avon Nunn Mills area is brought forward as quickly as possible”.
Plans for the campus development are well advanced, with the University of Northampton looking to submit a planning application this Summer. Subject to securing planning approval and funding arrangements, the University would like construction to start in 2015 and complete in 2018.
BAM Construction has won the science-led £9 million contract for the building of University Technical College (UTC) for the city of Cambridge that will pave the way for new trade jobs.
The contractor will deliver a three-storey building to hold 670 students aged 14 to 19 specialise in biomedical and environmental sciences and technologies.
It will include five super labs on the top floor. These will hold 90 students each, with three capable of joining together to emulate large-scale research conditions.
Sustainability features will include a combined heat and power plant to provide low-carbon energy; photovoltaic cells; and gravel beds to control rainwater run-off.
Pupils at Long Road Sixth Form College and Cambridge Regional College, both of which are sponsoring the UTC, will have the opportunity to learn from the construction project. Local suppliers will be used whenever possible.
The UTC will be built adjacent to the massive £175 million Laboratory of Molecular Biology, which was completed by BAM last year and is the company’s largest project to date, and which has its formal opening this month.
BAM regional design manager Malcolm Boyd said: “We are very excited to be back building science facilities in Cambridge. The LMB project helped us develop our designs for the science laboratories in the UTC, a key contribution to this important win for BAM.
“BAM is committed to ensuring our work creating UTC Cambridge will benefit pupils, teachers, the wider community and the environment.”
Start on site is scheduled for September 2013, with the UTC due to open a year later at the start of the 2014/15 academic year.
BAM’s design arm will carry out structural design as well as specifying furniture, fittings and equipment. It will work closely with architect Hawkins Brown on the scheme.
BAM Plant will work closely with the project team to provide plant equipment and services that will reduce cost, risk and environmental impact.
RED Property Services has appointed Galliford Try to construct the £13.3 million Old Trafford Supporters Club hotel that will see the building of a 139-bed hotel that will feature supporters’ club facilities and bar, alongside additional retail units.
The £12.5 million contract covers the entire second phase of the project and will create 210,000 sq. ft. of Category A office space in the old Colgate-Palmolive factory that adjoins the Media City complex in Salford Quays.
Muse Developments has contracted Galliford Try to deliver the sixth phase of the Smithfield residential project in Salford. The £10.75 million phase of the development will see the creation of 77 one, two and three-bedroom apartments for private sale, and associated retail units.
Galliford Try Chief Executive Greg Fitzgerald said: “These new contracts build on our track record and in particular our recent successes in Greater Manchester, demonstrating the strength of our regional construction business in all sectors.
“We are delighted to be working on these significant developments for the region, and look forward to continuing to play our part in enhancing the built environment in the North West.”
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Scotland’s planning system will create new trade jobs and economic benefits to help deliver sustainable economic growth, Planning Minister Derek Mackay has announced today.
The third National Planning Framework (NPF) and draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) will influence development plans across Scotland and guide future planning decisions on a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure.
The NPF is the Scottish Government’s strategy for the long-term development of Scotland’s towns, cities and countryside. It sets out strategic infrastructure needs and priorities over the next 20 to 30 years that will pave the way for new jobs in the construction sector.
Mr Mackay said: “Scotland needs a planning system that has, at its heart, the overriding principle of delivering sustainable economic growth in order to maximise the country’s attraction to investors and visitors in a global economy.
“We want future planning decisions to give significant weight to the economic benefit of proposed developments, particularly the creation of new jobs.”
These draft proposals are supported by on-going measures to improve the overall performance of the planning system, ensuring smoother delivery and a stronger focus on economic recovery.
Planning Minister Derek Mackay added: “The consultation on the National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy will influence development plans across the country for the next thirty years affecting every part of Scotland.”
He said: “We will support our review of Town Centres by insisting that major new developments which attract people – like workplaces, leisure facilities and shops – are in town centres wherever possible. We want to see development which ensures lively, successful and viable town centres.
“I am keen that planning does more to encourage good design, and the creation of the kind of places we would all like to live in or visit. Our forthcoming policy on Architecture and Place will show what we are doing to achieve this.
“Scotland is enriched by a high quality environment and many special places to live in and visit. These physical assets underpin our economy and our quality of life and that is why we need to ensure developments go in the right place, providing positive benefits for our communities and environment.”
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A consortium led by SITA UK, a subsidiary of Suez Environment, has been selected as preferred bidder for a resource recovery contract worth over £900 million over 25 years with the West London Waste Authority.
The contract is to manage up to 300,000 tonnes of residual household waste each year from the West London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmond-upon-Thames.
The new rail-linked energy-from-waste facility, which will be called the Severnside Energy Recovery Centre (SERC) is set to create new jobs and boost the trades.
The waste collected from over 1.4 million residents will be managed in a new energy-from-waste facility in Severnside, South Gloucestershire and transported by rail from West London.
Compared to the current waste treatment this will save over 83,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, which is more than two million tonnes over the duration of the contract.
This facility will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 50,000 homes and could also supply hot water to local businesses, further improving its environmental performance.
The total capital investment in the new facility is over £240 million. A total of 53 permanent jobs will be created at SERC with around 200 jobs being created during its construction.
David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of SITA UK, said: “We are delighted to be named preferred bidder for this major waste management contract in West London. It is great news for the six boroughs and their residents, knowing that their waste materials will be used to produce energy and avoid landfill.
“Contracts like this make the circular economy a reality and show that environmentally sustainable solutions offer nothing other than business sense – extracting energy and employment from materials which too often are treated as waste.”
Sackville Developments Reading Limited (SDRL) has submitted plans for the £500 million regeneration scheme of Reading’s town centre that will create new jobs and boost the trades.
The regeneration of the Station Hill site in Reading is an employment-led mixed-use redevelopment which will include new homes, shops, cafés and leisure facilities.
SDRL represents a joint venture between Benson Elliot and Stanhope PLC. Between them, Stanhope PLC and Benson Elliot have the expertise and stable financial backing to deliver a first class redevelopment to Station Hill.
The application has been drawn up following extensive consultation with local residents and business owners as well as council representatives.
Jason Margrave, Development Director of Stanhope said: “This application is the culmination of a considerable amount of consultation with Reading Borough Council as well as the promoters of the neighbouring Thames Tower.
“The designs we have submitted have been widely supported by the public and we believe they will considerably transform this part of the town, building on the significant investment currently taking place at the station.
“Following consultation, we have included an enlarged public open space in the heart of the scheme, improved the retail offer and incorporated more public art.”
The public exhibition which took place in February last year attracted over 700 people, with over 95% of respondents supporting that the area is in need of regeneration.
The application is due to be decided by Reading Borough Council later in the year. If approved, work will look to commence in 2014.
Whilst redevelopment is taking place, it is the intention of the developers to create a temporary event space outside of Reading Station to be used for a variety of cultural and entertainment events.
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The first phase of HS2 alone, from London to the West Midlands, is expected to support about 40,000 jobs, figures which do not include broader employment growth supported by the new line and the use of released capacity on existing routes.
HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Alison Munro said: “HS2 will be an engine for growth that supports the creation of thousands of jobs for Londoners, provides extra space on the existing lines for more commuter services, and improved connectivity with our great northern cities.”
The new plans for Euston, developed partly in response to concerns from the community about the potential disruption caused by the redevelopment would lead to less disruption for passengers as the station could continue to operate mostly as normal rather than having to move services from old platforms to new ones while platforms are being progressively demolished and rebuilt.
Ms Munro commented: “Community concerns have been raised about the potential disruption caused by the redevelopment of Euston Station.
“Following more work done by our engineers to find the best way to deliver best value for taxpayers, we have identified an option that we believe delivers great opportunities for the area while minimising the potential effects on local communities in Camden and on passengers.”
The new proposals would see the station revitalised for passengers and with potential for new homes, offices and shops above. Completing construction by 2026 will unlock the line-wide benefits for local residents and businesses.
The revised proposal features:
- Potential opportunities for over-station development – with the possibility of being used for future homes, open space and businesses.
- The capacity needed for high speed and conventional trains
- New platforms and facilities for the high-speed trains
- New, improved facilities for all passengers in a redeveloped, integrated station with a new, combined concourse and façade
- Better connections with the Underground, including a new Underground ticket hall
- A sub-surface pedestrian link between Euston and Euston Square Tube
- East-west pedestrian routes across the station, helping to link communities on either side of the station.
Plans for the building of a new Energy Park in Bulwell that will create hundreds of construction jobs have been submitted to Nottingham City Council.
Chinook proposes to develop the 17 acre site on Blenheim Lane for a major new manufacturing plant for its recycling equipment and to create new jobs in the trades.
If planning permission is granted, work on the site could begin early next year, creating 250 jobs during the construction phase and later at the completed site, including manufacturing jobs.
Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council, Councillor Graham Chapman, said: “We very much welcome Chinook’s proposals for the Energy Park and in particular their commitment to create new manufacturing jobs for local people.
“If approved, this investment would boost the city’s credentials as the most self-sustaining city for energy production in the UK. Given the problems of energy cost and supply in the next few years, it is essential this city creates as much of its own supply as possible and this is an important step in that direction.
“Expansion of the city’s high tech and green sciences sectors are a key part of our Growth Plan so that new long term employment can be created in sustainable emerging industries. But the cherry on the cake is British manufacturing jobs. At a time when the UK manufacturing base has been declining, we in Nottingham want to do all we can to revive it.”
Chinook Sciences Technical Director, Harry Perry confirmed: “This is a milestone in our plans to develop a local manufacturing base and to significantly upgrade our R&D facilities.
“Powering the site with electricity from our own technology will further demonstrate Chinook Sciences’ renewable energy capabilities, and bring clean-tech employment and investment to the Bulwell area.
“In addition, part of our plan is to launch a training program for the local workforce to enable them occupy these new jobs with confidence and competence.”
The construction industry in Scotland is set to benefit from an initiative to speed up payments to contractors in public sector developments.
Project bank accounts are ring-fenced accounts from which payments can be made directly and simultaneously by a client to the main contractor and members of the supply chain, removing the scope for delays in payment from the main contractor’s bank account.
The trial is an early recommendation of the Review of Procurement in Construction, which is set to report in the summer on how Scotland’s £2 billion public construction contracts are awarded.
The system, which should be in place later this year, will speed up available funds to all contractors with electronic payments typically taking five days.
Project bank accounts will also reduce the time between initial expenditure on labour, plant and materials and subsequent payment, which will help reduce insolvencies, particularly amongst SMEs.
Ms Sturgeon said: “The Scottish Government is working tirelessly to improve on the procurement system in Scotland’s public sector in order to maximise economic growth and support jobs.
“We are happy to take on board the trial of project bank accounts for public sector projects and we are now looking to identify suitable opportunities which will support local and national economies and boost cash flow for both contractors and subcontractors.
“This should in turn help to preserve Scottish jobs and retain indigenous skills and expertise.
“Using project bank accounts guarantees a diverse and competitive marketplace, meaning that Scotland’s many SMEs are given the confidence to compete for Scottish construction contracts.”
Ken Lewandowski, deputy chair of the Review of Procurement in Construction, said: “Times are tough in the construction industry, and when payment for work is delayed, things only get tougher.
“Project bank accounts can help to relieve some of that pressure, especially on Scotland’s SMEs.
“The case for trialling them is so compelling, and the industry so important to the economy, that we felt it was appropriate to make this early recommendation, before we publish our full report in the summer.”
Housing Minister Mark Prisk announced today that up to 10,000 new homes could be built by 2015 that will create new jobs and boost the trades.
The minister announced the first 45 projects to be taken forward using the £1 billion Build to Rent Fund which will provide equity finance to house builders and developers.
Mr Prisk said that the innovative new projects, a quarter of which are for London, will be the first step toward creating a more balanced rental market, driven by quality instead of demand.
The Build to Rent Fund is designed to help developers invest in homes built specifically for private rent by reducing the up-front risk in a relatively untested market.
A first round of projects will now receive a share of £700 million government investment package, with a second round of bids for the remaining fund expected to open later this year.
Projects going forward in this round have the potential to deliver between 8,000 and 10,000 homes, and include:
- Genesis Housing Association, with plans for new rental homes around London
- Place First, along with Together Housing Group, who will be building across Northern England
- Crest Nicholson, who intend to bring a significant number of homes to market over many sites across the country
Mr Prisk said that the varied mix of developers, from brand new organisations and small housing providers to long-established developers, will bring new blood into a market currently dominated by small-scale buy-to-let landlords, and will help to give tenants more choice when choosing a home in the future.
Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This government is determined to get Britain building, and the Build to Rent Fund is set to help us deliver, with up to 10,000 new homes to be built from these projects.
“We’ve seen overwhelming demand for the fund, and it’s become clear that there’s a real appetite for rental investment. We want to support that, which is why we’ve made a £1 billion Budget boost to the fund.
“Now, these new projects will help us map this almost uncharted market, bringing in new blood to improve rental quality and choice, and building the new homes that this country wants and needs.”
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Costain has been awarded a £300 million contract to design, fit-out and commission the railway systems in Crossrail’s tunnel network that will create new jobs and boost the trades.
Under the contract, the engineering solutions provider will design and install track, overhead lines and mechanical and electrical equipment to fit out the 21km of twin tunnels currently being bored under the streets of London.
Design work will commence immediately, with the fit-out works starting in 2014, and will be carried out within the entire tunnelled and surface sections of the Crossrail route between Royal Oak, Pudding Mill Lane and Plumstead Portals.
Costain has also announced that in Joint Venture with Alstom it has been awarded the £15 million contract for the design, construction and commissioning of the system that will provide traction power for the trains in the central tunnelled section of the Crossrail scheme.
Work will involve the construction of several auto–transformer stations and a feeder station site at Pudding Mill Lane to provide a 25 kV supply to the overhead line equipment that will power the new Crossrail trains. Costain is also constructing for National Grid the new cable tunnels to provide power to the other Crossrail feeder station at Kensal Green.
Crossrail will open in 2018. The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and will increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent. An estimated 200 million people will travel on Crossrail each year.
Andrew Wyllie, Chief Executive of Costain, said: “The Crossrail scheme is providing a much-needed solution to upgrading a key part of the nation’s travel infrastructure.
“We are delighted to have been awarded these contracts, which follow on from other Crossrail projects we are involved in, including the construction of the Bond Street and Paddington stations and works at Eleanor Street and Mile End Park.
“We believe these further wins demonstrate the successful implementation of our ‘Choosing Costain’ strategy in which we focus group-wide resources on meeting the developing requirements of major blue chip customers.”
The government has given the go-ahead for the building of Liverpool’s £425 million Royal University Hospital that will create 750 full-time construction jobs.
The multi-million development is set to employ local people, materials and services where possible to generate an additional £240 million for the local economy and boost the trades.
The Department for Health and the Treasury have approved the funding and the hospital is now assessing bids from two construction companies, Carillion and Horizon, that will design and build the hospital by 2017.
After the bidder is appointed, the hospital will obtain final planning permission and sign contracts, with building construction work expected to begin early next year.
Aidan Kehoe, chief executive, said: “I am delighted that we are now just weeks away from unveiling the design for our new hospital.
“The new Royal is at the very heart of our city and this is a significant step forward in the creation of our world-class hospital.
“It also brings us one step closer to the creation of the Liverpool BioCampus, which has the potential to transform the city, propelling us onto the world stage along with Boston and Singapore.”
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Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) struggling to access finance received a boost today as the Business Secretary Vince Cable launched the first phase of the new business bank set to address long-standing gaps in the SME finance market.
The multi-million investment is the first deployment from the £1 billion of new capital allocated to the business bank in the 2012 Autumn Statement. It will build on the success of the Business Finance Partnership to leverage at least the same amount in private sector investment.
The focus is on promoting greater diversity of debt finance available to SMEs by encouraging the growth of smaller lenders and new entrants in the market. Investments will be made via new and existing lending channels on a commercial basis.
New research by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) highlights that SMEs have been disproportionately affected in their ability to access finance as a result of the contraction in bank lending since 2008.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Small and medium sized businesses are still telling me that access to finance is their number one problem, preventing them from investing and growing. That’s why through the business bank we are developing a range of measures to provide businesses with the power to choose the type of finance that suits them.
“Today’s £300 million boost shows we are serious about increasing competition and diversity in the business lending market. Establishing a lasting business bank institution is a long-term project, but getting this money reaching SMEs as soon as possible is the first step.”
Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission has awarded four contracts worth £600 million to build new electricity substations in the north of Scotland set to create new jobs and boost the trades.
This multi-million development of the new substations are an integral part of SHE Transmission’s investment programme to heavily upgrade and reinforce the transmission network and will help facilitate the connection of more renewable generation in the north of Scotland.
Miller Quatro is a joint venture between Miller Construction and three Spanish companies, Sacyr Industrial, Isastur and Aditel known collectively as Quatro T & D.
Chris Webster, Chief Executive, Miller Construction, said: “We are delighted to have secured a place on this substation delivery framework. Miller Quatro is a new entrant to the market place and we are looking forward to working with our joint venture partners to contribute towards the delivery of infrastructure required to support the connection of renewables.”
Pedro Siguenza Hernandez Chief Executive Officer of Sacyr Industrial said: “This agreement provides a significant opportunity for the growth of our Miller Quatro joint venture. We are fully committed to contributing to our client’s successful development of this framework”.
Demand for connection to the transmission network from renewable developers has increased considerably, requiring significant change to its configuration and operation.
David Gardner, SSE’s Director of Transmission, said: “The award of these contracts, with some of the industry’s global experts will help deliver the infrastructure that is needed to support the connection of renewables, as well as providing a boost to the local communities where we are operating.”
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Business Secretary Vince Cable has launched a new £3 million funding scheme for East Anglia that will kick-start growth for small firms in the trades.
The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership is specifically aimed at helping firms that want to grow but have been held back by a lack of finance.
The £3 million fund will provide cash grants to businesses looking to expand their operations
and create new jobs. Funding for the scheme has come from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.
The fund will provide grants of up to 20%, between £25,000 and £100,000, to business that have a shortfall in their investment plan and are able to create at least one job for every £10,000 provided by the fund.
The Business Secretary launched the fund at Redpack in Norwich, a company which hopes to benefit from the new fund and expand its existing operations in the city.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “A lack of finance is one of the biggest barriers facing firms that want to grow. The government is already taking big steps to help companies bridge that gap and now, thanks to this new fund, businesses across East Anglia will get that helping hand they need.
“Through programmes like the New Anglia ‘Growing Business Fund’, the government’s Regional Growth Fund has supported around 1,200 small and medium sized companies across the country, helping them create jobs, increase skills and grow their business.”
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The first step has been taken to allow the redevelopment of the 14.57 acre Harmsworth Quays printing works site in Canada Water, South East London, to go ahead.
The decision is a key milestone for the development which has the potential to deliver significant improvements to the local area and create new trade jobs.
Cllr Fiona Colley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Southwark Council, said: “In addition to new homes, the redevelopment of Harmsworth Quays has the potential to deliver the town centre and jobs that Rotherhithe really needs.”
British Land will now begin working up proposals in consultation with Southwark Council and the local community to realise the full potential of this important site. Vacant possession of the site will be available later this year following the relocation of DMGT’s printing operations to Thurrock.
Southwark Council, which is currently developing policy to guide the redevelopment, will be adopting a preferred option of its Area Action Plan in May for consultation. This will emphasise the council’s and community’s vision to create a mixed-use town centre at Canada Water.
Both Southwark Council and British Land have committed to exploring the potential to create a new campus for Kings College as part of the scheme, to complement their proposals for the adjoining site at the Mulberry Business Park.
Nigel Webb, Head of Development for British Land, said: “We are delighted that the London Borough of Southwark has agreed the assignment for Harmsworth Quays. We can now begin the process of working with the local community, the London Borough of Southwark and other key stakeholders to bring forward a new, mixed use development in the heart of Canada Water.”
The pilot scheme will help small and sole trader construction businesses to secure credit from B&Q and Screwfix stores that will allow them to bid for bigger construction projects in the future.
Customers of B&Q TradePoint and Screwfix, part of the Kingfisher Group, can now apply for a credit account of up to £25,000, where previously they may have struggled to secure credit due to a lack of security or adequate credit history. Existing trade customers will be able to apply to extend their accounts for credit of up to £50,000.
Previously, these viable businesses would only have been eligible for credit of up to £3,000 from Screwfix or B&Q, making it harder for them to take on projects due to being unable to afford the upfront costs of the materials. Kingfisher is able to support the additional lending as a result of it being backed by a government guarantee.
The pilot is the result of work between the government and Kingfisher to adapt the existing Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme to widen access to funding and provide alternatives to bank lending. Business Minister Michael Fallon will now be writing to other companies offering them an opportunity to take part in the pilot scheme and offer their customers access to this new source of finance.
Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “Builders and tradesmen are experiencing a real bottleneck when it comes to accessing credit, and projects are being held up unnecessarily. This pilot is an innovative attempt to make a real difference for the sector.
“Britain’s builders have a vital role to play in delivering growth in this country and we’re determined to get behind them.”
Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher, said: “By piloting this new scheme we are backing Britain and backing the country’s professional tradesmen.
“Access to credit and control of cashflow is vital for smaller tradesmen, so we are pleased that Screwfix and B&Q will be able to make it easier for more of their trade customers to get credit through this innovative new scheme. By backing Britain’s tradesmen we can boost spending on the home and help get the economy moving again.”
The pilot allows Kingfisher to give credit to trade businesses it would normally have to turn away, by sharing the risk through providing government guarantees of 75 per cent on its lending. As well as allowing Kingfisher to lend to viable businesses outside its present risk profile, the scheme also allows it to lend more to existing businesses.
The pilot has been designed so there is no new administrative burden to Kingfisher. All credit decisions will be made by Kingfisher based on existing processes, and customers and frontline staff will see no difference to the trade credit application.
The survey of 398 firms found that output growth over the last three months remained steady but subdued.
But the outlook is much brighter for the next quarter, with output volumes expected to rise rapidly – the strongest expectations since April last year – with the anticipated pick-up in variety of markets and mechanical engineering sectors.
Exports orders are also at their highest level for three months, while total orders are broadly flat. Meanwhile expected price inflation has fallen back to levels last seen midway through last year.
Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Analysis, said: “Manufacturers appear more optimistic about the next few months than the official figures and commentary would suggest, with sharp rises in output expected right across the sector.
“Total orders were steady and in line with long-run averages and there was some pickup in exports, possibly helped by the weak pound.
“Price expectations have fallen to the lowest level for six months – driven by inflation expectations plummeting from near-record highs in the food, drink and tobacco sector.”
The Welsh Government has announced to launch its flagship mortgage guarantee scheme this summer that will boost the construction industry and create new jobs.
The NewBuy Cymru scheme will enable home buyers to access high loan value mortgages which will have a positive impact on the housing market and see the building of around 3,000 new homes across Wales.
The housing sector has widely welcomed the scheme which is set to provide significant employment opportunities in the trades. It is estimated that for every £1 spent on building houses, there is £1.40 generated in gross output across the economy as a whole.
Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Carl Sargeant, said: “NewBuy Cymru is not only good news for the Welsh economy but good news for families and individuals across Wales.
“We are all aware of the difficulties that people are having in either buying their first home or moving up the housing ladder. NewBuy Cymru will provide a helping hand in the shape of a mortgage guarantee to people that have been saving hard to put down a deposit for a new home.
“By helping to kick-start the housing sector it’s hoped that NewBuy Cymru will help tackle poverty and provide a welcome short in the arm to our economy.”
Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation, Stewart Baseley, said: “It is fantastic news for Wales that NewBuy is being launched. In recent years many people in Wales have been unable to buy a home because of the large deposits required to secure a mortgage.
“NewBuy will allow people to buy with a more realistic 5% deposit and so realise their dream of home ownership. Opening up the market will also allow builders to build more homes, so creating jobs and providing Wales with an economic boost.”
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Peterborough City Council has approved plans for building 5,300 new homes as part of the Great Haddon development which is set to create thousands of jobs in the construction industry.
Peterborough Planning and Environmental Protection Committee has backed plans to build three primary schools, one secondary school and some 5,300 new homes alongside the 390 hectare site in the south west of Peterborough
The scheme is expected to create 24,600 new jobs in the next 8 years whilst delivering wider economic growth to the Peterborough area and boosting the trades.
The project has been included in the government’s London-Stansted-Cambridge-Peterborough growth area to help meet the UK’s housing shortage and generate economic growth.
The Committee has asked the Consortium to work up further details for certain aspects of the scheme, such as the design of the Yaxley ‘Loop Road’ and the timing of provision of community facilities, to ensure that those aspects of the scheme are fully scrutinised prior to implementation of the consent.
The applicants’ team will be working these details up over the coming weeks prior to a report being presented back to Committee.
Lucia Serluca, the chairman of the planning committee, said it was essential that good and efficient infrastructure is built before people started moving in to the new homes.
“Let’s not just build the houses and forget about everything else,” she said.
“We need to build the houses in conjunction with the educational centre, the retail centre, to make sure the amenities that those residents will have, they have as soon as they live on the development.”
The Budget sets out further action to build a stronger economy, with help for UK businesses to create jobs and kick-start major construction projects across England.
Chancellor Osborne said in Parliament today that the government was “already supporting the largest investment in railways since Victorian times and spending more on new roads than in a generation.”
The Government would now boost spending by £3 billion from 2015-16 with the money saved from departmental budgets, amounting to a total of £15 billion of extra capital spending in the next 10 years
The Chancellor has also announced a new Help to Buy scheme involving equity loans on new build houses and £130 billion mortgage guarantee programme that will help people to buy their new homes.
Chancellor George Osborne said that by investing in the arteries of the country’s infrastructure, the Government will get growth “flowing to every part of the country”.
The latest stimulus of financial support to tackle long-term shortage in the housing market will see the building of new homes and boost employment in the construction industry.
Mr Osborne said: “We’ve switched billions of pounds from current to capital spending since the spending review. But on existing plans, capital spending is still due to fall back in 2015-16. I don’t think that’s sensible.
“So by using our extra savings from government departments, we will boost our infrastructure plans by £3 billion a year from 2015-16.
“That’s £15 billion of extra capital spending over the next decade. Because by investing in the economic arteries of this country, we will get growth flowing to every part of it.
“And public investment will now be higher on average as a percentage of our national income under our plans than it was in the whole period of the last Government.
“In June, we will set out long term spending plans for that long term capital budget.
“And we will use the expertise of Paul Deighton, the man who delivered the Olympics and who now serves in the Treasury, to improve the capacity of Whitehall to deliver big projects and make greater use of independent advice.”
The British Property Federation has welcomed the Government’s funding increase to kick start the housing market and help a number of build-to-rent schemes.
Director of policy at the British Property Federation, Ian Fletcher, said: “It’s encouraging the Government’s confidence in build to rent has been reciprocated and we are delighted to see that the equity funding was heavily oversubscribed.
“Working in partnership with government the sector should deliver an exciting and quality array of homes for renters.”
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Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has announced plans to build £330 million research centre and corporate HQ in Cambridge that will pave the way for new jobs in the construction industry.
The move is part of the company’s proposals to create strategic global R&D centres in the UK, US and Sweden to improve pipeline productivity and to establish AstraZeneca as a global leader in biopharmaceutical innovation.
Focusing on the company’s UK-based activities at the new centre in Cambridge, the pharmaceutical giant will build on AstraZeneca’s world-leading protein engineering capabilities already based in the city, expanding its operations and boosting employment across a range of industries in the area.
Chief executive of AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot, said: “Our proposed investment is a clear signal of AstraZeneca’s long-term commitment to the UK and highlights the important role Cambridge plays internationally in bioscience research.
“The Government’s Life Sciences Strategy and the meaningful policies they have put in place in recent years to encourage investment help make Britain an attractive location for biopharmaceutical research and development.
“Cambridge, which boasts strong links with London-based research institutions, is a world-renowned bioscience hotspot that rivals the likes of San Francisco and Boston.
“In a world where partnerships and collaborations drive medical progress, becoming an integral part of the Cambridge ecosystem offers compelling advantages for AstraZeneca, giving us easier access to leading-edge academic and industry networks, scientific talent and valuable partnering opportunities.
“I believe that the investment we are announcing today greatly increases the chances that the next generation of innovative medicines will be invented and manufactured in Britain.”
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The CPO is set to kick-start the transformation of the area, boosting the construction industry and creating new jobs in the trades. Plans include the building of 40,000 sq metres quality office space and six-storey Innovation Centre, which begins construction this summer.
Councillor David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “Across our town we are seeing exciting Northampton Alive projects breathing new life into areas as we unlock their potential.
“There are real opportunities to invest in Northampton and our Enterprise Zone. This is another positive step as we bring together another site for redevelopment and new employment opportunities.”
WNDC now owns all of the vacant land, 5 commercial properties and 10 residential properties in St Peter’s Waterside. In addition, the Corporation is in advanced discussions with National Grid about the potential to include two adjoining Gasholder sites in the development plans.
The CPO is one of two that the Corporation has launched in the Northampton Enterprise Zone, with the other Order covering the Avon Nunn Mills site. A decision on that CPO is expected later this spring.
Chris Garden, WNDC’s Director of Regeneration said: “With its central location and transport links, St Peter’s Waterside is a perfect location for high profile office development. We have been buying land in the area for some time, but this CPO means we have consolidated various sites and can press ahead with our plans.
“There will be cranes in the skyline this summer, with work starting on the first phases of development and demolition. Meanwhile, directly opposite the site, construction will be underway on Northampton’s new railway station. It is a defining period in the regeneration of the town.”
What is your reaction to the Compulsory Purchase Order given by Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, to pave to way for new businesses as well as boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Government has announced a £20 million investment plan to build a renewable energy factory in Hull that will create 300 new trade jobs.
Energy Works, the technically advanced renewable energy power plant to be built in Hull, will use household waste, and will generate enough energy for more than 25,000 homes.
The funding has been given from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government and is a key part of the financing for the £100 million-plus energy recovery plant that uses an innovative combination of green technologies and will be the first of its kind in the UK.
Communities Minister Baroness Hanham said: “This plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the security and diversity of the energy supply.
“Supporting this Hull-based company with public funding to pioneer these cleaner, more efficient technologies and sharing the learning gained from operating the plant, will help to roll out similar facilities elsewhere in the UK and around the world.
“This investment will create highly skilled jobs and contribute to the Humber area’s growing reputation as one of the best places in the world to develop environmental energy businesses“.
The complete Energy Works development will be built to sort, pre- treat and process different types of waste with several advantages over more conventional technologies, including that it complemented recycling efforts and produced improved air quality.
Spencer Group’s Chief Executive Charlie Spencer said: “We are delighted that the Government and the European Commission have recognised that Energy Works is an innovative, green and clean development which can be replicated elsewhere.
“It has been a pleasure to brief the Minister on the many benefits it offers. This grant is a key element of the funding model and enables the project to move forward.
“As a Hull-based company, we are intensely proud that we will be pioneering a UK first in the city and that our investment will add to the Humber region’s credentials as the UK hub for renewable energy technologies.”
The 1.5 million sq ft residential-led development is based on the former Diary Crest site and is expected to create thousands of jobs in the construction industry and boost the trades.
Current plans include demolition of all existing buildings on the site and providing up to 1,150 new homes, business space, local retail and associated services, leisure and a range of community facilities comprising a multi-purpose community building incorporating basement and service level car parking.
The scheme will also see the building of an Urban Square, a public Central Garden Square with communal and private space available on site.
Development Director at Helical Bar, Matthew Bonning-Snook, said: “We are extremely excited about our proposals for Brickfields.
“The Eric Parry design code for the masterplan uses a predominantly natural palette of brick and stone to create sustainable and attractive buildings which, alongside the public realm and amenities, will form a genuine new London community.”
The brick-built homes will be a mixture of affordable, shared and private ownership. The developer and partner Aviva Investors also plan to build 150,000 sq ft of offices, retail and community facilities.
The site is part of the Mayor of London’s and Hammersmith and Fulham’s White City Opportunity Area, set to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs for the capital.
What is your reaction to the new residential development at White City that will see the building of new homes and boost employment in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The infrastructure work is set to commence in the summer with the housing construction due to begin in autumn 2013, paving the way for new jobs in the building industry and boosting the trades.
The development will be made up of family houses, located with easy access to Ebbsfleet International Station , which offers high speed domestic services to destinations including Kings Cross St Pancras and Stratford, as well as Eurostar services to Europe.
Emma Cariaga, Development Director at Land Securities, said: “We are delighted to have exchanged contracts with Ward Homes which enables the first stage of our redevelopment in the area.
“This marks the start of an exciting regeneration of the area, which will bring new homes and businesses to the Ebbsfleet Valley region. This represents a significant step forward in relation to the Government’s desire to see economic growth and housing delivery in Kent Thameside”.
Mark Bailey, Managing Director at Ward Homes, said: “Ward Homes is proud to be associated with this unique landmark development and pleased that our local Kent brand was selected as the most appropriate to launch this prestigious site.
“We look forward to working closely with Land Securities and are committed to delivering a quality residential scheme that we are confident will be a highly desirable place to live”.