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 Don Foster has announced that towns across England will benefit from £91 million to refurbish and bring back into use over 6,000 empty homes and derelict homes.
The Minister said that regions in the Midlands and North, where the problem is most acute, would especially benefit from the investment that will create new jobs and boost the building industry.
Speaking today whist visiting an empty homes refurbishment project in Stoke on Trent, Mr Foster said: “The government is doing everything possible to tackle the problem of empty homes and urban blight.
“Today I’m announcing we’re going to do even more, with towns across England benefiting from £91 million to refurbish over 6,000 empty properties to get them back into use.
“This will bring people, shops and jobs back to once abandoned areas, and provide extra affordable homes we so badly need.”
The funding will be spent on refurbishment in areas where empty properties have commonly led to problems such as squatting, rat infestation and collapsing house prices, driving remaining residents away.
The funding is being allocated under two programmes:
- £61 million from the second round of the empty homes funding programme, provided to successful bidders eligible from all areas across England (except London, which will be announced separately) with empty homes. Around two thirds of this (£41 million) is allocated by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to registered social landlords; and the remaining money to community and voluntary groups. Together the 187 successful organisations will bring around 3,200 extra homes back into use.
- £30 million second year award of Clusters of Empty Homes programme funding for twenty partnerships in areas of acute problems such as Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Middlesbrough which will bring around 3,500 homes back into use.
Andy Rose, HCA chief executive, said: “We had a very encouraging response to the funding across a wide range of types of property.
“This demonstrates a strong appetite and scope for bringing empty homes and properties back into use, which will help to reinvigorate our communities and towns. We look forward to working with housing providers to bring these homes forward.”
What is your reaction to the £90 million cash boost that will create new jobs and boost the construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.”
What is your reaction to the multi-million Telford residential scheme that will create new jobs and boost the construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed Kier as one of four construction firms on its new prime contractor framework to deliver the majority of its building projects that will create new jobs.
In the agreement, which will last up to four years, Kier joins Galliford Try Construction, Mansell Construction Services, and Robertson Construction to work on projects estimated to be worth around £6 million per year.
HIE director of regional development, Carroll Buxton, commented: “We are delighted to have agreed a contract with these four highly skilled and respected companies, all of which have strong links to the area.
“This partnership framework approach provides flexibility for the businesses and healthy competition for us which will ensure best value for the public purse.”
From its offices in Aberdeen, Kier is currently working on a number of projects across the region and its appointment on the framework will further strengthen the relationship between Kier and the HIE, established through the delivery of projects via the Scape National Minor Works Framework, on which Kier is the sole contractor.
Kier Construction regional managing director, Brian McQuade, said: “The appointment to HIE’s framework will provide Kier with an excellent opportunity to continue its relationship with local communities delivering employment and training opportunities in various disciplines and professions in the construction industry.
“Kier looks forward to supporting HIE in its role as the economic and community development agency for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
“Our knowledge and relationship with the local supply chain combined with our national buying power will deliver best value construction solutions that will support community benefits and development throughout the highlands.”
HIE is now discussing a number of pipeline projects with the businesses and hopes to award the first projects under the framework later in 2013.
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.”
An extra £1.3 billion has been spent on building affordable homes, new health facilities and schools in the past year, the Welsh government has said.
Jane Hutt said that despite cuts to the capital Budgets, the Welsh Government has focused on important priorities of creating new jobs and boosting economic growth.
Ms Hutt said: “The additional investment we have made from capital reserves, totalling almost £462m, in the short term has the potential to create around 8,000 jobs during construction phases. In the longer term, this will boost growth and support the delivery of more efficient public services.
“In addition we have continued to work across the Welsh Government to maximise our opportunities. For example, we have worked to develop an Infrastructure Priority in the 2014 – 2020 European Structural Fund Programmes.
“A potential £1.8bn source of investment which could make a significant contribution to the delivery of our key priorities.”
The additional infrastructure investment in Wales will see a number of construction schemes underway including the Local Government Borrowing Initiative to the 21st Century Schools programme and completion of the A465 through a non-dividend investment vehicle
What is your reaction to the extra £1.3 billion investment that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.”
What is your reaction to the Government’s plans to kick-start thousands of homes at stalled housing sites and create new construction jobs in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.”
What is your reaction to the development of Hinkley Point that will employ 5,000 workers at the peak of construction and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.”
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.”
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.
What is your reaction to the £29 billion investment that will energise the renewable industry and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.
What is your reaction to the increased infrastructure investment in Wales that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.
Scotland’s planning system will create new trade jobs and economic benefits to help deliver sustainable economic growth, Planning Minister Derek Mackay has announced today.
The third National Planning Framework (NPF) and draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) will influence development plans across Scotland and guide future planning decisions on a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure.
The NPF is the Scottish Government’s strategy for the long-term development of Scotland’s towns, cities and countryside. It sets out strategic infrastructure needs and priorities over the next 20 to 30 years that will pave the way for new jobs in the construction sector.
Mr Mackay said: “Scotland needs a planning system that has, at its heart, the overriding principle of delivering sustainable economic growth in order to maximise the country’s attraction to investors and visitors in a global economy.
“We want future planning decisions to give significant weight to the economic benefit of proposed developments, particularly the creation of new jobs.”
These draft proposals are supported by on-going measures to improve the overall performance of the planning system, ensuring smoother delivery and a stronger focus on economic recovery.
Planning Minister Derek Mackay added: “The consultation on the National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy will influence development plans across the country for the next thirty years affecting every part of Scotland.”
He said: “We will support our review of Town Centres by insisting that major new developments which attract people – like workplaces, leisure facilities and shops – are in town centres wherever possible. We want to see development which ensures lively, successful and viable town centres.
“I am keen that planning does more to encourage good design, and the creation of the kind of places we would all like to live in or visit. Our forthcoming policy on Architecture and Place will show what we are doing to achieve this.
“Scotland is enriched by a high quality environment and many special places to live in and visit. These physical assets underpin our economy and our quality of life and that is why we need to ensure developments go in the right place, providing positive benefits for our communities and environment.”
What is your reaction to the proposed planning changes in Scotland that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.
Sackville Developments Reading Limited (SDRL) has submitted plans for the £500 million regeneration scheme of Reading’s town centre that will create new jobs and boost the trades.
The regeneration of the Station Hill site in Reading is an employment-led mixed-use redevelopment which will include new homes, shops, cafés and leisure facilities.
SDRL represents a joint venture between Benson Elliot and Stanhope PLC. Between them, Stanhope PLC and Benson Elliot have the expertise and stable financial backing to deliver a first class redevelopment to Station Hill.
The application has been drawn up following extensive consultation with local residents and business owners as well as council representatives.
Jason Margrave, Development Director of Stanhope said: “This application is the culmination of a considerable amount of consultation with Reading Borough Council as well as the promoters of the neighbouring Thames Tower.
“The designs we have submitted have been widely supported by the public and we believe they will considerably transform this part of the town, building on the significant investment currently taking place at the station.
“Following consultation, we have included an enlarged public open space in the heart of the scheme, improved the retail offer and incorporated more public art.”
The public exhibition which took place in February last year attracted over 700 people, with over 95% of respondents supporting that the area is in need of regeneration.
The application is due to be decided by Reading Borough Council later in the year. If approved, work will look to commence in 2014.
Whilst redevelopment is taking place, it is the intention of the developers to create a temporary event space outside of Reading Station to be used for a variety of cultural and entertainment events.
What is your reaction to the multi-million residential scheme in Station Hill that will deliver new homes and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.
The consortium, which consist of industrial energy specialist Sembcorp Utilities UK and I-Environment will build a rail loading waste transfer station in Merseyside and energy-from-waste plant in Teesside.
The winning bid from Sita includes a high efficiency Energy from Waste facility with Combined Heat and Power at the Wilton International site in Teeside creating around 50 new permanent jobs.
New rail hub for the transportation of waste at the existing Potter Group Rail Freight Terminal at Kirkby on Merseyside creating around 25 new permanent jobs.
The new energy-from-waste facility will generate electricity for the equivalent of 63,000 homes and has the potential to provide steam directly to adjacent business customers, which would further improve its efficiency.
In total, over 90 per cent of the contract waste managed by the Sita consortium will be diverted from landfill and used to produce energy.
David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive Office of Sita UK said: “We are delighted to be selected as preferred bidder for this major contract in Merseyside. This is great news for Merseyside, for the environment and for new jobs.
“The two new facilities that we will develop will enable all of Merseyside’s household waste to be put to good use.
“We will create over 70 new full time jobs in Merseyside and Teeside and several hundred more during the construction of our new resource recovery facilities.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
What is your reaction to the £425 million funding for the building of new Royal Liverpool University Hospital that will create hundreds of construction jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.
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.”
Mansell has been selected for a £12 million seven-storey student accommodation building on London’s Euston road that will pave the way for new trade jobs
The scheme involves demolition of part of the existing building behind a retained façade and construction of a 171-bed accommodation block along with associated external works, services, lifts and ancillary areas.
Once complete, the building will be certified with a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating.
Construction of the seven-storey project at Bentley House will be completed in time for the 2014 student intake, boosting the trades and people in the building construction industry.
To protect the architectural heritage of the building, bricks removed during demolition will be salvaged, cleaned and reused where possible, with new material matched to the original as closely as possible.
Situated within close proximity to an area of high pedestrian footfall and heavy traffic, sensitive demolition techniques and sophisticated logistics planning will be used throughout the duration of the contract to avoid disruption.
An innovative piling solution, which will complete prior to the start of demolition works, will facilitate the seamless transition between an old and new sub-station.
Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission has awarded four contracts worth £600 million to build new electricity substations in the north of Scotland set to create new jobs and boost the trades.
This multi-million development of the new substations are an integral part of SHE Transmission’s investment programme to heavily upgrade and reinforce the transmission network and will help facilitate the connection of more renewable generation in the north of Scotland.
Miller Quatro is a joint venture between Miller Construction and three Spanish companies, Sacyr Industrial, Isastur and Aditel known collectively as Quatro T & D.
Chris Webster, Chief Executive, Miller Construction, said: “We are delighted to have secured a place on this substation delivery framework. Miller Quatro is a new entrant to the market place and we are looking forward to working with our joint venture partners to contribute towards the delivery of infrastructure required to support the connection of renewables.”
Pedro Siguenza Hernandez Chief Executive Officer of Sacyr Industrial said: “This agreement provides a significant opportunity for the growth of our Miller Quatro joint venture. We are fully committed to contributing to our client’s successful development of this framework”.
Demand for connection to the transmission network from renewable developers has increased considerably, requiring significant change to its configuration and operation.
David Gardner, SSE’s Director of Transmission, said: “The award of these contracts, with some of the industry’s global experts will help deliver the infrastructure that is needed to support the connection of renewables, as well as providing a boost to the local communities where we are operating.”
What is your reaction to the new £600 million funding for Scotland that will kick-start the energy industry and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.”
What is your reaction to the new funding scheme for East Anglia that will kick-start growth for small businesses and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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 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.”
What is your reaction to the new NewBuy scheme in Wales that will see the building of new homes and boost the construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.”
What is your reaction to Budget 2013 announced by Chancellor Osborne to boost infrastructure spending and build new homes? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.”
What is your reaction to the £330 million plan to build a new research and corporate centre in Cambridge that will boot the construction industry and the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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”.
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).
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.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has secured a £100 million government investment for housing providers to help boost affordable housing in the capital.
The new investment secured by Mayor Johnson forms the latest part of his pledge to safeguard London’s affordable housing market and create new jobs in the construction industry.
By improving housing options of Londoners, Boris Johnson is providing a real boost for building professionals and people working in the trades.
Today’s investment represents an additional funding to the first £100 million Housing Covenant announced by the Mayor in September. The scheme will target housing providers who commit to starting construction on site by March 2015 at the latest.
Mayor Boris Johnson said: “This latest tranche of cash is another fantastic opportunity for housing providers in the capital to deliver the homes that this city desperately needs.
“Whether it’s for affordable homes to own, or to make better use of properties that lie empty or under-used, the fund will help working Londoners across the capital and create valuable jobs in construction.”
The Mayor, who has overseen the release of 100 hectares of Greater London Authority land since he assumed his new housing powers, announced last month that funding allocations for the first part of his Housing Covenant would deliver more than 3,000 homes and support around 6,000 construction jobs.
Developers, local authorities, charities and private organisations are all invited to bid for funding, which will be used to deliver affordable homes to own.
The Mayor also wants to hear from organisations committed to bringing empty properties or under-used commercial units back into use as affordable homes or to help London boroughs tackle homelessness. Organisations interested in submitting bids in London will need to do so by April 30. The funding prospectus for this round of funding can be accessed from here.
The centrepiece of the 7-acre new Imperial West campus is the multi-million Research and Translation Hub for academics and business partners that will see the building of new homes, publicly accessible green space, pedestrian subways and leisure and retail facilities.
Imperial West is set to become a major new research quarter for London, reinforcing the capital’s position as a catalyst for scientific development and economic growth
Imperial bought the land for the new campus from the BBC in 2009. The first new building, which provides accommodation for over 600 postgraduates and early career researchers, has been occupied since September 2012.
Terms of the planning permission for the rest of the site were agreed with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in December 2012
Design work on the Hub, which is funded by investor Voreda and from the College’s own resources, is underway. The College plans to complete the construction in 2015.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London is home to some of the world’s leading universities and sharpest business minds.
“This fantastic venture will bring the best of both these worlds together turning brilliant ideas into jobs and economic growth and further bolster our reputation as the must-come destination for research and development.”
Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said: “Imperial is one of our country’s great universities and the new Imperial West campus is a really exciting development. It will focus on translational work – on applying the excellent research that Imperial does to bring benefit to the wider world.
“The government strongly supports the vision and plans for the new campus and we look forward to seeing it grow and prosper in the future.”
What is your reaction to the new campus at Imperial College London that is forecast to create thousands of new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Skanska UK has been selected to deliver a £28 million construction contract on the redevelopment of 100 Cheapside in the City of London.
Work on the 18-month contract is set to start immediately, paving the way for new jobs in the building industry and boosting the trades.
The development will include 9,000 sq ft of retail accommodation, which is likely to attract major brands looking for exposure to the City retail market on this prime retail thoroughfare.
Director at Quadrant Estates, Graham Tyler, said: “We have set high environmental targets for 100 Cheapside, and as a leader in sustainability Skanska is best placed to meet these.
“We are working with them on another City development and are confident that both will be delivered to a high standard.”
100 Cheapside will be a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building, which will offer office floor plates of up to 11,000 sq ft over 10 floors, targeting core City occupiers looking for Grade A space.
Paul Heather, Managing Director at Skanska for London and the South East said: “Skanska is delighted to have won this contract in the heart of London.
“Winning this in such competitive market conditions is a true testament to our commitment to a more sustainable future and our client’s confidence that they can use our knowledge and skills to achieve a building which meets the high environmental standards of today and for years to come.”
The Government has given the go-ahead to the £5.5 billion regeneration scheme in Liverpool that will create tens of thousands of jobs and boost the trades.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has today approved the ambitious Liverpool Waters scheme which will see the building of 9, 000 homes and 3 million square feet of commercial development,
including hundreds of offices, hotels, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities .
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “Today’s announcement marks the start of a new era for Liverpool, paving to way to us delivering a world class development which will transform a part of the city that has been in desperate need of investment for decades.
“Liverpool Waters will create thousands of jobs and opportunities for local people, as well as providing new housing and attracting new businesses and visitors.
“It’s a huge boost for our city and yet more evidence that despite the recession, regeneration is forging ahead here. We can now look forward to the plans moving forward on this once-in-a-lifetime scheme which will bring huge, lasting benefits to future generations in this city.
“It’s vital that Peel delivers these plans in a way which meets the conditions set out by the planning committee and we’ll be working closely with them to make sure this is achieved.”
The go-ahead for the Liverpool Waters scheme adds further momentum to regeneration in the city, with a recent audit finding that hundreds of millions of pounds worth of projects are active in the city, despite the recession.
Development Director at Peel, Lindsey Ashworth, said, “This is a well-deserved reward and justice for all those who never gave up supporting this scheme – the Government is now demonstrating its support for Liverpool Waters too.”
The planning consent will open up opportunities and new prospects to link UK businesses with other international organisations from Asia and the rest of the world, making Liverpool become the UK’s second city to London.
What is your reaction to the Government’s decision to approve the ambitious Liverpool Waters scheme that will create 20,000 jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Construction work on site is set to start in summer 2013, paving the way for new trade jobs and boosting the building construction industry.
Peninsula Riverside forms part of a multi-billion master plan which will deliver 10,000 new homes to transform Greenwich Peninsula into London’s most exciting riverside community.
Max James, Chief Executive of Quintain said: “We are delighted that the Royal Borough of Greenwich has granted detailed planning consent for 506 homes at Peninsula Riverside.
This decision paves the way for construction work to start on site this summer delivering new jobs and homes; a positive step in transforming the vision for Greenwich Peninsula into reality.”
The 190 acre scheme has been given an outline planning consent by the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It will see the building of residentially led mixed-use development scheme with new homes spread across four quarters and a commercial district, including a 40-acre park.
Anthony Gill, Development Director for Greenwich Peninsula said: “The Peninsula Riverside development will continue the unstoppable momentum East London has enjoyed since the Olympic Games.
“The combination of affordable riverside living, just one tube stop from Canary Wharf and within 15 minutes’ reach of the West End, ensures Peninsula Riverside will become one of the most exciting new housing schemes in London.”
Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property, said: “Greenwich Peninsula, with its potential to deliver thousands of homes, including a large proportion of affordable housing, and jobs, is exactly the kind of development we want to see moving forward in London helping to boost the economy and accelerate the number of homes being built on GLA public land.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced £213 million of industry investment that will improve UK’s manufacturing supply chain and create 11, 000 new jobs.
In addition to the thousands of new jobs that will be created through the multi-million investment, some 5,000 existing jobs are set to be safeguarded.
Over £73 million has been awarded from Round 2 of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) to 12 national supply chain projects, and a further £140 million will be invested by business.
The scheme was open to bids from all manufacturing sectors as the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced an additional £120 million in the Autumn Statement for two further rounds of AMSCI funding.
Examples of winning bids include the creation of a ‘National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme’ led by the Aerospace Growth Partnership to address skills shortages and improve R&D collaboration in the aerospace sector.
The £35 million project will create nearly 5,000 jobs in the supply chain. Another successful bid, led by David Brown Gear Systems in Huddersfield, will position the UK as a world leader in the creation of large gearboxes for the next generation of offshore wind turbines.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Boosting jobs and growth is my number one priority to build a stronger economy. This investment will secure Britain’s future as a world leader in industries like cars, where we have traditionally taken the lead, and new technologies such as wind turbine gears and semiconductor chips.”
What is your reaction to the investment announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to improve the manufacturing supply chain and create thousands of new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.
Cornwall Council has committed to working with five different housing associations to deliver 1,200 new affordable homes in Cornwell over the next 4 years.
The Council has re-iterated its commitment to meet local housing needs as well as to create hundreds of construction jobs in the building industry and boost the trades.
Joining residents and representatives of Devon & Cornwall Housing (DCH) Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, Mark Kaczmarek, said: “The Council works closely with a number of housing associations to deliver affordable homes for local people.
“The Council supports the delivery of new affordable housing through the planning process, and planning permission for this scheme was granted in 2010. Cornwall Council also provides funding towards the cost of new affordable housing, including a contribution of £55,000 to this specific scheme.
“But this is not the only investment we are making. Given the desperate housing shortage and the Council’s commitment to meeting local housing needs, the Council has agreed ambitious plans to match pound for pound Government investment in new homes.
“I am pleased to announce that the Council is signing contracts with five housing associations to deliver an additional 1,000 affordable homes in Cornwall over 4 years with investment totalling over £20 million. Few councils have made such a commitment.
“DCH is one of the Council’s key partners and today I am endorsing a contract with DCH which will see them commit to deliver 500 affordable homes for Cornwall. This is a Council fund, in addition to their own schemes and programmes funded through Government. The Council welcome DCH’s commitment and the ambition they are showing in working with us to meet Cornwall’s needs.”
Andy Moore, Chief Executive of Penwith Housing Association, part of DCH said: “There is a huge need for affordable housing across Cornwall. The delivery agreement with Cornwall Council is extremely important in providing vital new homes like the homes at St Stephen and we are pleased to be one of the partners working with them.”
The £2.6 million scheme in St Stephen, which was completed in January 2012, provides 18 homes for rent and 4 for shared ownership.
There are 9 x 2 bedroom homes, 10 x 3 bedroom homes, and 3 x 4-bedroom properties. Support came from a £1,350,000 investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and a grant of £55,000 from Cornwall Council.
The group visited residents’ homes to see how living in their affordable housing has had a positive effect on their lives ensuring they were able to stay within the community where their families were based.
A recent report by Cambridge Econometrics found that UK GDP will be £20bn or 0.8 per cent higher in 2030 if wind is deployed rather than gas, with 70,000 more jobs created – but that investors needed certainty if we are to secure these benefits.
Ahead of a debate on the Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Committee’s report on the achievability of the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets, Mr Ewing warned the UK coalition ministers’ mixed messages on energy policy and continuing uncertainty around Electricity Market Reform, including the lack of a decarbonisation target until at least 2016, is risking jobs, investment and economic growth.
The proposals outlined in the Energy Bill published in November 2012 lack measures to give investors confidence beyond 2020, putting the UK at a disadvantage compared to countries like Germany which has already set a clear target of 26GW from offshore wind by 2030.
Scotland would benefit in particular from an increase in offshore wind, as we have a quarter of the offshore wind potential in Europe.
Already, four international turbine manufacturers, Gamesa, Areva, Mitsubishi Power Systems and Samsung Heavy Industries have announced they intend to build turbine manufacturing plants in Scotland, creating an estimated 8,600 potential manufacturing jobs.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Offshore wind has reached a watershed. The industry has enormous potential, and to realise this potential it is essential that investors have confidence.
“Over the past weeks I have spoken to many potential investors who say the uncertainty surrounding Electricity Market Reform is starting to affect their investment decisions.
“The time to reassure them is now. The UK Government must make clear their ongoing support for offshore wind and emulate the Scottish Government’s approach by setting a 2030 electricity decarbonisation target now, not in 2016 as planned under the Energy Bill..
“Offshore wind has the potential to raise UK GDP by 0.8 per cent, and we must seize this prize. The opportunities the industry present us – in terms of jobs, investment, stabilizing energy bills and reducing our carbon output – are too valuable to risk.”
What is your reaction to the support by the Scotland’s Energy Minister to boost the renewable industry and create thousands of renewable jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.