Plumbing News

Minister confirms European funding for Tees Valley

Minister confirms European funding for Tees ValleyCommunities 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.

Willmott Dixon confirmed for £46m Birmingham City campus

Willmott Dixon

The next phase of Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus is set to provide a £28 million boost to local businesses and create new jobs in the trades.

Willmott Dixon was today confirmed as a preferred contractor for the £46 million contract to build phase two of the University’s new campus in the city centre at Eastside, adjacent to Millennium Point in the heart of Birmingham.

The two-year project will also sustain 1,300 jobs and Willmott Dixon has committed to creating 46 new jobs for trainees, apprentices and people currently looking for employment.

With construction starting in June, the company expects £28 million of the build cost to go on sub-contractor packages delivered by firms located within a 20-mile radius of the project.

Phase two is part of the University’s £180 million investment in its estate and will feature a student support hub as well as a new library, teaching and IT space, plus other student-facing support faculties.

The Coleshill-based contractor also built phase one of the University’s masterplan, which features an integrated creative and media hub supported with pioneering technology. This project alone saw over £25 million of contracts spent on companies within a 20-mile radius of the site.

The phase one development has been named The Parkside Building, as it overlooks the newly opened Eastside City Park fronting the University’s flagship city centre campus. The Parkside Building will be open to students from this September.

Peter Owen, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the Midlands, said:  “As a local company we take seriously our responsibility to support growth and sustain jobs in Birmingham.

“Our recent investment in the 4Life Academy is an example of this commitment. Now we have been appointed for phase two of Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus and we’ll work with local companies to ensure they benefit from this huge investment.”

Multi-million pound Cardiff Pointe project is under way

Multi-million pound Cardiff Pointe project is under way

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Galliford Try Announces £36.5m Building Projects in Manchester

Galliford Try Announces Building Projects in Manchester Totalling £36.5mGalliford Try, the housebuilding and construction group, has announced that its building business has secured three contracts in the Greater Manchester area worth £36.5 million.

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.

Galliford Try has concluded an agreement with the Carlyle Group and its joint venture partners Nikal and Abstract Securities to build the second stage of the Soapworks project.

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.”

What is your reaction to the £36.5 million building contracts that will energise the construction industry and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

BAM appointed to deliver several Midlands schools

BAM appointed to deliver several Midlands schools

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

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

The schools included are:

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

Work will now progress to the planning application stage.

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

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

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

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

HS2 Ltd unveils new building plans for London Euston

HS2 Ltd unveils new building plans for London Euston

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

The first phase of HS2 alone, from London to the West Midlands, is expected to support about 40,000 jobs, figures which do not include broader employment growth supported by the new line and the use of released capacity on existing routes.

HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Alison Munro said: “HS2 will be an engine for growth that supports the creation of thousands of jobs for Londoners, provides extra space on the existing lines for more commuter services, and improved connectivity with our great northern cities.”

The new plans for Euston, developed partly in response to concerns from the community about the potential disruption caused by the redevelopment would lead to less disruption for passengers as the station could continue to operate mostly as normal rather than having to move services from old platforms to new ones while platforms are being progressively demolished and rebuilt.

Ms Munro commented: “Community concerns have been raised about the potential disruption caused by the redevelopment of Euston Station.

“Following more work done by our engineers to find the best way to deliver best value for taxpayers, we have identified an option that we believe delivers great opportunities for the area while minimising the potential effects on local communities in Camden and on passengers.”

The new proposals would see the station revitalised for passengers and with potential for new homes, offices and shops above. Completing construction by 2026 will unlock the line-wide benefits for local residents and businesses.

 
The revised proposal features:

  • Potential opportunities for over-station development – with the possibility of being used for future homes, open space and businesses.
  • The capacity needed for high speed and conventional trains
  • New platforms and facilities for the high-speed trains
  • New, improved facilities for all passengers in a redeveloped, integrated station with a new, combined concourse and façade
  • Better connections with the Underground, including a new Underground ticket hall
  • A sub-surface pedestrian link between Euston and Euston Square Tube
  • East-west pedestrian routes across the station, helping to link communities on either side of the station.

 

£80m Woking housing development reaches out for new jobs

£80m Woking housing development reaches out for new jobs

Woking Borough Council has given the go-ahead for the building of 371 new family homes as part of a £80 million housing scheme that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The site, commonly known as the Moor Lane housing development, will be developed by Evolution, a consortium between Kier Project Investment and Thames Valley Housing.

It will see the building of 371 family homes, of which 224 will be affordable, with the remaining 147 homes for private sale.

Kier will construct the properties and Thames Valley Housing will manage and maintain the social housing over the 25-year contract.  Construction work will commence during the summer.

Cllr David Bittleston, Woking Borough Portfolio Holder for Housing said: “We are delighted that the development has had the go-ahead.

“The Council is committed to supporting the Governments’ growth agenda and this development will provide much-needed affordable houses for local people and a major boost for employment in the local area.”

Nigel Turner, managing director of Kier Property, added: “We are thrilled to have achieved this important milestone and we look forward to working with Thames Valley Housing to progress the development.

“The mixed tenure scheme will play an important part in addressing the area’s housing shortage and also creates long-lasting community benefits through a designated fund for the use by the local community.”

Geeta Nanda, CEO of TVH, said: “We are delighted to have led this consortium to supply much-needed affordable homes in Woking. It is great that we have been granted planning permission so we are one step closer to getting new homes built and lived in.”

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

Costain Joint Ventures Win Two Crossrail Contracts

Costain Joint Ventures Win Two Crossrail ContractsCostain 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.”

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

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

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

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

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

The financing package consists of:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

British Land reaches key milestone in London redevelopment

British Land reaches key milestone in the redevelopment of Harmsworth Quays

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.

Southwark Council has given its approval for the Daily Mail General Trust (DMGT) to assign its leasehold interest in the site to British Land.

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

White City residential scheme gets the go-ahead

Dairy Crest Site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Housebuilding set to start on Ebbsfleet residential scheme

Land Securities Group

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

The infrastructure work is set to commence in the summer with the housing construction due to begin in autumn 2013, paving the way for new jobs in the building industry and boosting the trades.

The development will be made up of family houses, located with easy access to Ebbsfleet International Station , which offers high speed domestic services to destinations including Kings Cross St Pancras and Stratford, as well as Eurostar services to Europe.

Emma Cariaga, Development Director at Land Securities, said: “We are delighted to have exchanged contracts with Ward Homes which enables the first stage of our redevelopment in the area.

“This marks the start of an exciting regeneration of the area, which will bring new homes and businesses to the Ebbsfleet Valley region. This represents a significant step forward in relation to the Government’s desire to see economic growth and housing delivery in Kent Thameside”.

Mark Bailey, Managing Director at Ward Homes, said: “Ward Homes is proud to be associated with this unique landmark development and pleased that our local Kent brand was selected as the most appropriate to launch this prestigious site.

“We look forward to working closely with Land Securities and are committed to delivering a quality residential scheme that we are confident will be a highly desirable place to live”.

Trade Mission to Singapore and Indonesia to boost economic growth

Trade Mission to Singapore and Indonesia to boost exports

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

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

It is the first time that an All-Party Parliamentary Group has taken a trade mission on a visit to a market in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

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

Infrastructure opportunities are growing rapidly in the South East Asia region, which includes some of the fastest-growing markets. The region is predicted to be the fourth largest market in the world by 2030.

The mission is set to start in Singapore where the group will meet key figures from the public and private sector education and business communities.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “Getting more companies to export and attracting high-quality investment to the UK are key planks of the government’s Plan for Growth. Indonesia and Singapore are high growth markets and I am delighted to see this mission taking place.”

In 2011 UK goods and services exports to Singapore totalled £7.8 billion (+7.4% on 2010), making Singapore the UK’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia. Opportunities in Singapore include machinery and transport, which is the largest UK goods export sector to Singapore.

MP Margot James said: “I am delighted to be leading this mission, the first by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade and Investment.

“This trade mission is a fantastic opportunity to give British companies access to the exciting and growing markets of Singapore and Indonesia which are vital to delivering the UK’s economic growth agenda.”

The UK is ranked 20th largest exporter to Indonesia and the 3rd largest among EU member states. The UK’s largest exports to Indonesia include power generation equipment; general industrial machinery, road vehicles, pulp and waste paper and specialised machinery.

What is your reaction to the trade delegation in Singapore and Indonesia this week to strengthen business ties and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chancellor Should Boost Construction to Drive Growth

The Construction Products Association

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Green Deal joins forces with Kier to boost the trades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Industry urges EU policy-makers to build low carbon future

A group of energy giants will today launch a new alliance aiming to stimulate the renewable industry as Europe seeks to advance its low carbon economy and create new trade jobs.

The so-called Energy Partnership will be launched today in Brussels by its founding partners Alpine Energie, Dong Energy, First Solar, GE, and Shell.

The companies said they are aiming to promote the use of gas alongside the growth of renewables by creating policies that effectively integrate the two technologies.

They maintain that both gas and renewables could play a critical role in the European Commission’s 2050 Energy Roadmap, and that the two technologies will be highly complementary until at least 2030.

They argue that gas can provide a low carbon and flexible energy supply that can help balance out the supply of intermittent renewables, such as wind and solar.

Launching the partnership, Stephan Reimelt, chief executive of GE Germany, will say that combining renewables and gas will be the key to building a low carbon economy.

“Companies from different parts of the energy market are launching this new alliance because the evidence is clear that renewables and gas offer the most affordable, reliable, and sustainable pathway for an energy secure Europe,” he will say.

Jörg Gmeinbauer, director of Alpine Energie, will say the alliance can herald a shift in the debate around EU energy policy.

“It’s time for a systems approach to Europe’s energy policy,” he says. “We need integrated policies, market reforms, and investment in generation, transmission, and infrastructure if we are to achieve Europe’s energy goals.

“We have formed the Energy Partnership because together the partners can offer practical pathways to the future based on the synergy between renewables and gas.”

Queens Park development to create new jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hollywood film giant Paramount plans huge theme park in Swanscombe

A computer-generated image showing the proposed design for the site.
A computer-generated image showing the proposed design for the site.

HOLLYWOOD film giant Paramount has unveiled £2 billion proposals to build one of Europe’s largest theme parks in Swanscombe.

Planning to create 27,000 jobs, the 872-acre development planned for the Swanscombe Peninsula is bigger than the Olympic Park.

At the core of the development will be a Paramount-branded entertainment resort, boasting attractions including Europe’s largest indoor water park.

Theatres, live music venues, cinemas, restaurants and hotels are also planned to open in just six years time on the currently derelict brownfield site.

Top-secret talks have been held almost daily between developer London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) and Dartford and Gravesham Councils during the past year.

Gravesham Council leader Councillor John Burden said: “This scheme is as imaginative as it is vast.

“It has the potential to re-energise the entire north Kent economy, wipe out unemployment at a stroke and resolve the long-standing regeneration issues surrounding this peninsula.

“It’s a landmark announcement which could transform the area at super-heroic speed.”

A new country park, the biggest performing arts centre in Europe and apartments for the site’s employees are also in the pipeline.

The developer says a study suggests the huge attraction will draw in thousands of tourists to the north Kent area annually, adding significantly to the economy.

LRCH project leader Tony Sefton said: “Our vision is to create a world class entertainment destination, the first of its kind in the UK.

“We’re at the start of a long journey, but have been encouraged by the support and buy-in we have had to date.

“We are particularly pleased with the appetite we are seeing from investors, who consider this a compelling investment proposition.”

Ebbsfleet International station is at the core of access plans for the site, while the M25, M20 and A20 will provide road access.

Source This Is London

Construction of New Power Plant Gets Approved

The Government has granted planning consent for the building of a 60MW power plant in Cheshire which will create 500 new jobs during its 3-year construction period.

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, has given the go-ahead for E.ON Energy and Tata Chemicals Europe to build a new power plant at Northwich which will generate enough power to supply 80,000 homes and boost the local economy.

The plant will be built and operated by EEW. It will use pre-treated waste from economically recyclable materials that would otherwise be destined for landfill.

A spokesman from the Department for Energy and Climate Change said: “It is essential we have a balanced energy mix in the future to provide low cost, efficient energy to households and businesses.”

Commenting on the development, Director at E.ON, Nader Bahri said: “This decision is a milestone for EEW in the UK as it is our second UK plant to be granted planning consent.

“As a result, many tonnes of waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill could now be used to create sustainable energy.”

Tata Chemicals Europe Managing Director, Martin Ashcroft, welcomed the decision by Government to approve construction of the plant which will bring more competitiveness in the energy market.

Mr Ashcroft said: “As an energy intensive business, we are faced with ever-rising gas prices which are increasingly difficult to absorb. The new plant will give us fuel price stability which will allow us to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and to plan our long-term future.”

New partnership to boost homebuilding in Manchester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK cities get Green Deal funding boost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swansea Uni £90m expansion to bring 4,000 trade jobs

Some 4,000 jobs are set to be created during the construction of a new science and innovation campus for Swansea University.

The University announced yesterday it has secured £90 million funding from the European Investment Bank and the Welsh Government towards its campus development programme.

The expansion programme also includes the regeneration of Swansea University’s Singleton Park Campus which will see further 6,000 indirect jobs supported in the wider economy.

Developer St Modwen will work closely in collaboration with its construction partner, Vinci, for building work to start in early 2013. The new campus and new student residences will be completed by autumn 2015.

Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Simon Brooks, said: “This scheme will not only benefit future generations of students, but develop specialist skills, drive innovation and enhance economic growth in Wales.

“The European Investment Bank is committed to funding leading research and educational excellence across Europe and is pleased to support this landmark investment.”

Swansea University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Davies said the University was grateful to the European Investment Bank and the Welsh Government for the investment which will create new jobs and boost the economy.

Professor Davies said: “The new Science and Innovation Campus is a transformational project for Wales and for the University.

“It promises to become a global exemplar for how a research intensive university can work effectively with industry, helping to drive economic regeneration and creating exciting employment opportunities for its graduates.”

New Trade Jobs as Cameron and Clegg Boost Planning Reform

“Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says on TV that the Government’s planning changes are boost to solo traders in the trades”

The government is easing the planning rules on extending homes in England as part of a package to boost housebuilding and stimulate economic growth.

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have announced a major housing and planning package which is set to build 70,000 new homes and create up to 140,000 construction jobs.

Speaking to BBC News this morning Nick Clegg said that people will be allowed to build up to 8-metre larger extensions to their houses without needing a planning permission. He argued that the relaxation of the planning regulations will create jobs and boost those professionals who are already working in the trades.

Clegg said: “The planning changes mean that people will get the local builder to extend their kitchen or conservatory which will create jobs and stimulate economic activity.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the package announced today includes investing hundreds of millions of pounds into building more affordable homes as well as a £40 billion guarantee for infrastructure projects to support the building construction industry.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said in a statement that the Government’s announcement will help people to build new homes and ‘kick-start’ the economy.

Mr Cameron said: “We’re determined to cut through the bureaucracy that holds us back. That starts with getting the planners off our backs, getting behind the businesses that have the ambition to expand and meeting the aspirations of families that want to buy or improve a home.”

Housing stimulus package includes:

  • Removing restrictions on house builders to help unlock 75 000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable. Developers who can prove that council’s costly affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed.
  • New legislation for Government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers.
  • Up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use using new capital funding of £300m and the infrastructure guarantee
  • An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report to Government on boosting the private rented sector
  • Thousands of big commercial and residential applications to be directed to a major infrastructure fast track and where councils are poor developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate.
  • Calling time on poor performing town hall planning departments, putting the worst into ‘special measures’ if they have failed to improve the speed and quality of their work and allowing developers to bypass councils. More applications also will go into a fast track appeal process.
  • 16,500 first-time buyers helped with a £280m extension of the successful ‘FirstBuy’ scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much-needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder.
  • For a time limited period, slashing planning red tape, including sweeping away the rules and bureaucracy that prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties, helping tens of thousands of home owners and companies.

 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Jonathan Walker talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Jonathan Walker  is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Jonathan to find out how his plumbing  course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Jonathan via AudioBoo at:www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Gary Slater talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Gary Slater  is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Gary to find out how his plumbing  course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Gary via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Daily Mirror Boost for ATL as Prof Trades Up to Success

“The Man who Swapped Science for Plumbing”

A redundant scientist  is earning ‘top’ money in the plumbing industry after taking a training course with  top trades’ school ATL, the Daily Mirror has revealed.  

Leading trade skills provider ATL made news across the country today after laboratory scientist Steve Banks hung up his test tubes and went looking for a way to turn his life round.

And Steve, aged 43, who has two sons, Mathew and Daniel, as well as a three-year old girl Ruby and lives with his wife, Naomi, said he wished he had taken the plunge years ago.

Steve told the Daily Mirror: “I started looking around for courses I could do in my own time while carrying on working and asking people for recommendations and found that ATL had a very good reputation.”

When Steve was made redundant in 2009, he had almost completed his plumbing course and was about to set up his own business… Now he earns about £45,000 a year, much more than in his previous job.

Steve said: “It was great really, I got so much confidence from the course that my business grew through word of mouth.”

Altogether, Steve from Letchworth, Herts, spent about £6,500 from his redundancy money on his training. “This was a lifetime investment for me and it is paying off.”

Steve says that he is a very practical person who always enjoys doing things with his hands. He used to help his father who was working in the building trades before he retired.

Like every new thing, Steve admits that his business was slow to start with, but soon people began to ring him, saying that a friend had recommended his services. Now he is thinking of employing extra people to help him.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Bernard Gunga talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Bernard Gunga is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Bernard to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Bernard via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Mobolaji Okikiolu talks about plumbing training with T4TS Part 2

Mobolaji Okikiolu is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Mobolaji to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Mobolaji via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Mobolaji Okikiolu talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Mobolaji Okikiolu is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Mobolaji to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Mobolaji via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Council to Create 500 New Trade Jobs

“Development to generate plenty of employment opportunities for people in the trades”

A council has given the go ahead for a £430 million housing regeneration scheme to build 1,600 new homes and refurbish a further 1,200 existing homes, creating hundreds of new jobs in the trades.

After a 4-year consultation period with the local community in Pendleton, the multi-million scheme is going to be delivered by SP+ consortium, which includes Chevin Housing Association, Keepmoat, Harewood Homes and Latham Architects, creating opportunities for local suppliers and trade professionals to benefit from work contracts.

The housing improvement scheme will create 500 new jobs in the building construction sector, many of them in the plumbing, electrical and gas-engineering industry. The huge project is set to create   2,000 work experience placements for apprentices and people looking to enter the trades.

As well as housing, the scheme will also provide new sports pitches, green space, walk ways, cycle paths, an extra care facility, new shopping promenade and new sports pitches at the Fit City development.

Councillor Gena Merrett, Assistant Mayor for Housing and Environment at Salford City Council, said: “Now that we have approved plans the contractors will be able to get on site and start creating a new Pendleton.

“The plans put forward by the preferred bidder not only build new housing, they will also make the most of what is already there, refurbishing some of the existing properties and creating parks and green space that will create a much nicer environment for local residents to enjoy.”- said Councillor Merrett.

What is your reaction to the £430 housing regeneration scheme that has been given the go ahead by Salford City Council? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Jayson Singh talks about plumbing training with T4TS Part 2

Jayson Singh is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Jayson to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Jayson via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Jayson Singh talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Jayson Singh is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Jayson to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Jayson via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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University Regeneration Scheme to Create New Jobs in the Trades

The University of Bath has announced plans to spend £100 million on improving its campus over the next three years that will enhance student experience and create new jobs in the building trades.

The University’s major refurbishment programme announced today will provide 708 en-suite bedrooms in 75 flats across two buildings and deliver increased space for teaching and research improved facilities, creating employment opportunities for people in the building engineering sector.

A new multimillion Art Centre will be built by the autumn of 2014 including general teaching building facilities with a main 350-seat lecture theatre which is due to open in October 2013

Building plans have been submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council which is expected to reach a decision and give the green light to the improvement scheme by October 2012.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell, said: “Despite continuing economic uncertainty and the changing tuition fee landscape, the University of Bath is facing the future with great confidence.

“Our aim is to further enhance the university’s ability to deliver an outstanding student experience; creating additional facilities for research, and an inspiring working environment, as well as providing cultural and economic benefits for the wider Bath region.”

What is your reaction on the £100 million regeneration scheme at the University of Bath? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

 

Approved Plans for Building 3,000 Homes in Cambridge to Create New Trade Jobs

The University of Cambridge has been granted planning permission to build 3, 000 new homes as part of its £1 billion development in northwest Cambridge, creating significant employment opportunities for people in the trades.

The planning application for the 150 hectare site was approved by local authorities today, paving the way for residential and development partners to start building construction work in early 2013.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates welcomed the project’s planning consent. He commented that the £1 billion investment will encourage economic growth and create new jobs, showing that Cambridge is truly open for business.

Mr Bates said: “This new development and investment in the University will be a major boost to jobs in the area and help attract even more business.

“A booming Cambridge economy is good for our local communities and the nation as we have the ability to help the country out of recession.”

The University of Cambridge said in a statement today that it will provide 1,500 homes for key University and College employees, 1,500 homes for sale and accommodation for 2,000 students.

New 100,000 square metres research institutes will be built to the University’s wide range of community facilities. Around one third of the site will be used as public open space for sports, informal recreation and ecological use.

“This development is a major part of the University’s long term future,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. “It will provide much of the residential and research accommodation that the University needs as it grows over the next 20 years.”

Councillor for South Cambridgeshire District Council, David Bard, said: “This development is key to the next stage in the development of Cambridge and will be an exemplar of sustainable living. The plans are of a very high quality and will deliver a new community that everyone will be very proud of.”

What is your reaction to the £1 billion investment at the University of Cambridge that will encourage economic growth and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Good News for the Trades: Millions of Funding to Create New Jobs

“Hundreds of plumbers, electricians and gas engineers to benefit from the investment”

Millions of funding to get low carbon heating into peoples’ homes, including into hundreds of social houses across the nation, is still up for grabs according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Local authorities, housing associations and registered providers of social housing are being urged to benefit from the millions of pounds available from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP).

The scheme will replace more renewable heating systems, including biomass boilers, solar hot water panels and heat pumps, creating new employment opportunities for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

The RHPP has reopened thanks to the high value for money of projects already allocated funding under the scheme which will make tenants’ homes warmer, cosier and far more energy efficient.

Today, the DECC announced that up to £2.5 million of additional funding will be allocated under this element of the scheme.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “We have already awarded nearly £5 million to 72 projects under this year’s scheme, helping householders stay warm this winter and move away from expensive old heating systems to new clean renewable ones.

“But the high value for money of the bids we have received to date means that there is still money up for grabs and I would urge social landlords across the nation to apply and take advantage of all this scheme has to offer.”

The closing date for applications is 9 October 2012 and successful bidders will be announced shortly afterwards. You can find out more about the scheme and how to apply from here.

What is your reaction to the reopening the of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme which will bring financial investment to the trades and create new jobs in the industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

New Leak Testing System to Save Plumbers Money and Time

A new leak detection system which will enable plumbers to accurately identify damaged water pipes has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield.

The ground-breaking invention in the plumbing industry is set to significantly improve leak detection, reduce wasted water supply and help plumbers save both, time and money in carrying out repairs.

The new pipes testing system works by transmitting pressure waves along them and sends back a signal if it passes any leaks or cracks in the pipes’ surface. The strength of that signal can then be analysed to determine the location and the size of the leak.

According to the Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT) as much as 40 per cent of water supply is being lost through leaky pipes each year. The invention has been developed in partnership with the University’s Department of Civil Structural Engineering (DCSE) and Yorkshire Water

The device has now been trialled at Yorkshire Water’s field operators training site in Bradford and results show that it offers a reliable and accurate method of leak testing. Leaks in cast iron pipes were located accurately to within one metre, while leaks in plastic pipes were located even more precisely, to within 20cm, the University said in a statement today.

Commenting on the invention, Dr James Shucksmith, who led the trial at the DCSE, said: “We are very excited by the results we’ve achieved so far: we are able to identify the location of leaks much more accurately and rapidly than existing systems are able to, meaning water companies will be able to save both time and money in carrying out repairs.”

Dr Shucksmith explained that the system has already delivered very promising results at Yorkshire Water and that they look forward to find an industrial partner to develop the device to the point where it can be manufactured commercially.

What is your reaction to the leak detention system that will help plumbers identify pipe leaks quicker and more accurately? Share your thoughts about the environmental effects of the new invention by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Colin Glover talks about plumbing training with T4TS Part 2

Colin Glover is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Colin to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Colin via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Funding for Lending to Boost Businesses and Create Jobs in the Trades

The Treasury has officially opened the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) which will enable businesses to grow and borrow money at a cheaper interest rate for up to four years.

The scheme will deliver economic growth and increase infrastructure investment to the UK which will create jobs for trade professionals including electricians, plumbers and gas engineers.

Commenting on the FLS Chancellor George Osborne said that the scheme will provide lasting benefits for thousands of people in Britain and boost the economy.

Mr Osborne said: “Today’s announcement aims to make mortgages and loans cheaper and more easily available, providing welcome support to businesses that want to expand and families aspiring to own their home.”

It is expected that banks currently offering loans through the National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS) will continue to offer their NLGS branded product.

The Chancellor said: “The NLGS has made a real difference, with over 16,000 cheaper loans worth over £2.5bn already offered to businesses across the UK. In many cases, the money saved has meant an extra person employed who otherwise still might be looking for work.

“The more generous FLS has officially opened for business and will in time effectively take over from the NLGS, delivering credit easing to the whole economy.”

Do your predictions correspond to Chancellor’s indications for economic growth and more jobs? What do you think about the FLS? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Colin Glover talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Colin Glover is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Colin to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Colin via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Scott Hood talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Scott Hood is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Scott to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Scott via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Renewable Energy Projects to Bring Billions of Investment into the UK

Changes to subsidies for renewable electricity in Britain could accelerate up to £25 billion of new investment and create thousands of new jobs according to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey.

Bandings for renewable technologies were set last week under the Government’s Renewables Obligation which will support and create new green jobs whilst at the same time minimise energy cost to consumers.

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, welcomed the decision which will ensure rapid growth in the renewable energy and unlock further green investment.

Mr Davey said: “Renewable energy will create a multi-billion pound boom for the British economy, driving growth and supporting jobs across the country.

“Because value for money is vital, we will bring forward more renewable electricity while reducing the impact on consumer bills between 2013 and 2015, saving £6 off household energy bills next year and £5 the year after.”

The Banding Review (as set out by the DECC) includes:

  • Support for onshore wind from 2013-17 will be reduced by 10% to 0.9ROCs, as consulted on in autumn 2011. This level is guaranteed until at least 2014 but could change after then if there is a significant change in generation costs. A call for evidence on onshore wind industry costs will be launched this autumn and report in early 2013.
  • Rates of support for offshore wind will reduce as the cost of the technology comes down during the decade;
  • Support levels for certain marine energy technologies will more than double from 2ROCs to 5ROCs per MWh, subject to a 30MW limit per generating station;
  • There will be a new band to support existing coal plant converting to sustainable biomass fuels. This will increase the amount of renewable energy produced at less cost to consumers; and
  • There will be no immediate reduction in support for large-scale solar, but there will be a further consultation this year on reduced support levels given recent dramatic falls in costs.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Ahmad Shahraei talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Ahmad Shahraei is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Ahmad to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Ahmad via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Robert Searle talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Robert Searle is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Robert to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Robert via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Trade Jobs

Good news for the trades as the University of Hertfordshire selects a major developer to build a new 3, 000 bed student accommodation scheme that will create new jobs in the building engineering sector.

Preferred bidder Uliving Consortium is going to build 2, 511 new student accommodation units and transfer around 500 of the University’s existing residences at the College Lane campus in Hatfield.

In a statement, the Uliving Consortium, which is made up of major developer Bouygues Development and not-for-profit accommodation operator, Derwent Living, said that this will be a remarkable and truly transformational scheme that will improve students’ living standards.

The ambitious scheme will also provide new sports facilities, a campus gym, informal learning and social spaces and a new dedicated bus route.  The University’s vision is to create a fully inclusive living and learning environment will pave the way for employment opportunities for builders, plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

The scheme will be delivered in three phases with the first phase set to commence in May 2013.  Each phase thereafter will be completed in time for the start of the following academic year; the entire scheme scheduled for completion in September 2016.

The new buildings that will be built through the scheme will achieve ‘True’ Zero Carbon accreditation and meet BREEAM Outstanding status.

Stephane Slama-Royer, Managing Director of Uliving and Managing Director of Bouygues Development said: “As student accommodation developers and managers we recognise that the quality of student accommodation has a huge influence on the student experience and that the provision of exceptional living environments is central to the success of these communities.”

What is your reaction to the newly appointed bidder of University of Hertfordshire’s 3,000 Bed Student Accommodation Scheme which create jobs in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Marian Clinciu talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Marian Clinciu is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Marian to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Marian via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Simon Hallam talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Simon Hallam is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Simon to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Simon via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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