Politics

Planning reform to boost the trades

The Scottish Government

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.”

Minister confirms European funding for Tees Valley

Minister confirms European funding for Tees ValleyCommunities Minister Baroness Hanham has announced £5.4 million of European investment to build state-of-the-art business facilities which will further development on Enterprise Zones.

Lady Hanham confirmed that the European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007- 2013 is investing £3.29 million in the HCA owned Darlington Business Growth Hub where work will start later this year.

The Baroness also announced that the European Regional Development Fund is investing £2.1 million in Boho 5, part of the DigitalCity initiative, that is expected to create at least 250 new jobs in 10 years.

The scheme is set to provide 2,322 sq m of high quality business accommodation targeted specifically at small and medium enterprises operating in digital and creative sectors.

Baroness Hanham said: “I am delighted to formally announce European Regional Development Fund investment for the Darlington Business Growth Hub and Boho 5, which will see the development of high quality premises enabling new and growing businesses to create jobs and wealth in Tees Valley.”

Darlington Business Growth Hub will comprise additional 3,200 m² of high quality Grade A office space for small and medium enterprises and is due to open January 2015.

The project will see the creation of at least 25 new businesses and 350 new jobs within the first 15 years of operation. The project is being managed by Darlington Borough Council with the Homes and Communities Agency providing the match funding.

David Curtis, Executive Director at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) said:
“The confirmation that these schemes will receive European Funding means that the HCA will invest an additional £5million in creating jobs in the Tess Valley.”

“We will invest £3million in the Darlington Growth Hub to help create a purpose built facility that will help new businesses grow and supports local jobs. Our £2 million investment in Boho 5  is a key part  of our wider long term investment in Middlehaven to help create educational and employment opportunities for Middlesbrough”

The European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007-13 is bringing over £300 million into North East England to support innovation, enterprise and business support.  It will help create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the productivity by £1.1bn per annum.

Government to promote offshore wind investment

Government to promote offshore wind investmentBusiness and Energy Minister Michael Fallon has announced the creation of an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation (OWIO) to boost levels of inward investment and to further stimulate jobs in the UK offshore wind industry.

The OWIO is expected to boost the UK offshore wind industry alongside Government support for three offshore wind innovation projects as well as pave the way for new employment opportunities in the trades.

Energy Minister, Michael Fallon said: “Offshore wind is a major success story for the UK, and we want to boost levels of inward investment. This will be an important part of our industrial strategy for the sector later this year, and we are creating the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation to drive that activity.

“We already have more installed offshore wind than anywhere else in the world, and this brings enormous economic benefit to our shores, supporting thousands of skilled jobs.

“Through the formation of this industry-led partnership and through our support for innovation projects, we will boost the positive benefits that the offshore wind sector can bring to the UK economy.”

The OWIO is one of the recommendations of the forthcoming industrial strategy and will be headed by a senior industry figure. The organisation will be a partnership between industry and Government, established by UK Trade & Investment, that will complement the work of DECC and BIS in delivering the Government-wide offshore investment objectives.

Michael Fallon also announced three innovation projects that Government will support as part of Offshore Wind Components Technologies Scheme:

  • Power Cable Services Limited, based in Kent, have been awarded a £540,000 grant towards their high voltage subsea cable jointing technology project
  • Aquasium Technology Ltd with partners Burntisland Fabrications Ltd and TWI have been awarded a grant of £769,600 towards their cost-effective fabrication project.
  • Wind Technologies Ltd (Cambridge) have been awarded a £728,355 grant to design, manufacture and test an innovative 5MW medium speed drive train concept.

The Minister announced the support during his keynote speech to Renewable UK’s Offshore Wind 2013 conference in Manchester today.

Industry delegates at the conference are also able to attend the first ‘Share Fair’ session enabling them to hear about investment opportunities from major players in the market. This addresses one of the priorities identified by the offshore wind industrial strategy partnership between Government and industry.

What is your reaction to the Government plans to boost levels of inward investment and create new jobs in the UK offshore wind industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Extra investment bringing ‘real results’ and jobs- says Jane Hutt

Extra investment bringing real results and jobs says Jane Hutt

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.

Finance Minister Jane Hutt has outline today how the Welsh Government has helped deliver new hundreds of affordable homes since the its  Infrastructure Investment Plan was published in May 2012.

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.

Enterprise zones get £100m building boost

Enterprise zone activity gets £100m building boost

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.

Mayor announces £40m to create jobs and economic growth

London Mayor Boris Johnson

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.

Government to unlock thousands of new homes and jobs

Government to unlock thousands of new homes and jobsThe 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. 

Hinkley Point builders to get paid at least £13 an hour

Hinkley Point builders to get paid at least £13 an hour

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. 

Inward investment on the rise as Olympics brings £2.5bn to UK economy

Inward investment on the rise as Olympics brings £2.5bn to UK economy

Britain’s Olympics has delivered a £2.5 billion boost in foreign direct investment (FDI) over the past year, bringing with it more than 31,000 jobs, according to preliminary figures published today.

The investment projects generated following the 2012 Olympics’ British Business Embassy programme of global business summits have helped ensure that the UK has again retained its position as the leading European destination for foreign direct investment.

The preliminary data published today at the Global Investment Conference shows that during 2012-13, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) recorded 1,462 projects which brought with them or safeguarded 163,489 jobs. Of these 58,170 are new jobs – beating both the quantity of investment attracted and employment secured in the previous year.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron joined other high profile delegates from 40 countries at the Global Investment Conference, including the German and Canadian finance Ministers, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, global chief executive officers, sovereign wealth funds representatives and corporate investors.

Senior Ministers Chancellor George Osborne, Energy Secretary Ed Davey, Trade Minister Lord Green, Treasury Ministers Greg Clark and Lord Deighton and London Mayor Boris Johnson also spoke to delegates about the UK’s compelling offer as both a hub for global growth and an international investment destination.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “Foreign investment creates hundreds of thousands of jobs and helps to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the UK economy. It’s a vital strand of the Government’s plan for growth.

“The 2012 Olympics were a once in a generation opportunity for the UK to showcase to the world Britain’s compelling investment offer and these preliminary figures are very encouraging. Despite strong competition from our traditional competitors and emerging economies, Britain has retained its position as the leading destination for foreign direct investment in Europe.

“To retain the UK’s enviable position as one of the most attractive global locations of choice, Britain will need to continue to work hard to attract high value foreign investment in the coming year and beyond.“

The preliminary data published today compares favourably with last year’s 1406 recorded projects (4% increase) and 112,659 jobs (45% increase). Of the 163,489 jobs, 58,170 are new jobs and 105,319 safeguarded jobs. UKTI and its partners were involved in delivering nearly 84% of the projects. Full results will be published in July.

Work starts on new homes at Trinity South

Work starts on new homes at Trinity SouthAn exciting £30 million scheme to create new homes and jobs in South Shields has moved forward thanks Keepmoat Homes and the Homes and Community Agency (HCA).

Work has begun to build the 222 new family homes on 13.1 acres of land, which includes part of the former Circatex factory site and the southern end of Frederick Street, and is adjacent to the Zero carbon housing development at Sinclair Meadows

Local ward members Councillors visited the site alongside Lead Member for Housing and Transport, Councillor Jim Foreman and Ian Prescott from Keepmoat Homes, to see the work get underway.

Councillor Malcolm, who is also Lead Member for Resources and Innovation, said: “I’m delighted to see work starting on these new homes. It’s a major milestone in our ambitious plans to transform the Riverside area.

“There is so much happening locally, with the recently completed eco-friendly business incubator at One Trinity Green and new carbon negative homes at Sinclair Meadows going on to win awards for innovation. This new development will build on this success and I can’t wait to see it take shape over the coming years.”

The new homes will include 20 Council properties, which will be available to rent through South Tyneside Homes with the remainder for sale through Keepmoat.

The development will also feature a landmark apartment building and a specially designed £500,000 linear park, which will provide a new play area as well as create better pedestrian links to the riverside.

Councillor Clare, ward member and Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy, said: “These new homes form part of our wider plans to revitalise the Riverside area, which also includes Harton Quays Park, where work is already underway.

“It’s wonderful to see our ambitious plans progressing. This particular development will be a real asset to the Rekendyke area and a huge benefit to the wider community.”

Ian Prescott, Land and Partnerships Director at Keepmoat, said: “Keepmoat share in the Council’s exciting ambitions for the regeneration of this part of South Shields. Our £30 million Trinity South scheme will have a significant impact on the local community.

“In addition to developing high quality, new and affordable homes in an attractive landscaped setting, we are engaging with local businesses to create employment and training opportunities for local people.”

The development will also meet Level 3 of the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes.

Go-ahead for £150m Olympic Stadium conversion

Go-ahead for £150m Olympic Stadium conversion

Transformation works at the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford have been given the go-ahead, paving the way for new jobs and boosting the trades.  

The Legacy Corporation’s planning decisions committee granted permission for the original structure to be transformed into a 60,000-seater venue with a capacity of 80,000 for concerts.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: “This is fantastic news and we will work hard to make sure our residents have access to the jobs created by the construction project as well the Stadium itself once it opens. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is beginning to take shape and the progress that’s been made so far is impressive.”

The multi-purpose venue, which has Premier League club West Ham United confirmed as an anchor tenant, will host Rugby World Cup matches in 2015 and the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

Members unanimously approved the application, which was made by the Legacy Corporation on behalf of E20 Stadium LLP – a special purpose vehicle comprising The Legacy Corporation and Newham Council.

Subject to a referral to the Mayor of London, work will begin later this year on the proposed alterations, which include introducing retractable seating in the lower tier and a new extended roof design to cover the new seating, as well as the re-use of the iconic lighting towers.

Dennis Hone, Legacy Corporation chief executive, said: “This is an important milestone that paves the way for the Stadium’s intended legacy use as an all-year-round venue.

“As we prepare for the phased re-opening of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this summer, with the long-term future of all eight permanent venues on the Park now secure, we remain firmly on track to deliver a meaningful physical and social legacy for Londoners.”

What is your reaction to the transformation of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford 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.

£32m investment to unlock 5,000 jobs

£32m investment to unlock 5,000 jobsProposals to create thousands of new homes and jobs in Devon have been backed by the Government to invest £32 million in the project to get the first phase of work underway.

The investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is intended to unlock the development of the long-awaited new community of Sherford, which is anticipated to bring 5,500 new homes and create 5,000 jobs.

The development is expected to generate around £1billion in development expenditure to the area and provide an economic boost worth around £2billion.

Subject to the agreement of legal terms, the investment would be used by a development consortium led by Red Tree to start work on the development and begin a series of important road and utilities improvements to accommodate the early phases of house building.

The funding, unveiled by housing minister Mark Prisk, is set to kick-start construction of houses and community facilities at the new town of Sherford.

The scheme will also include 893,000 sq ft of employment space as well as schools, a town hall, swimming hall and community park.

Colin Molton, HCA executive director for the South and South West, said: “The new community of Sherford is an incredibly important project, because it will go a long way towards meeting the significant need for new homes in Devon and Plymouth and provide a major boost for the economy.

“It is a complex development, which has taken years to bring to this stage. It is fantastic news that investment has been approved which will support the development of the sustainable new community of Sherford. I look forward to seeing work start on the project soon.”

Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans added: “For every home built, one and a half permanent jobs are created. This is not just good news for the construction industry, it’s good for the wider supply chains and the businesses and shops that will all begin to see new customers as this new community begins to take shape.”

What is your reaction to the £32 million of investment that will unlock 5,000 jobs in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

£29bn boost for the renewable industry

£29bn boost for the renewable economyMore than £29 billion worth of investment has been announced in the renewable energy sector since 2010 with the potential to support around 30,000 jobs and boost the trades.

At the All Energy Conference today in Aberdeen, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey revealed new regional renewables job and investment figures for the green economy.

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. 

Construction of Swansea University campus gets underway

£20m Europe Day boost as construction of Science and Innovation campus gets underway

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.

Over £20 million from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government will be invested to build the centre which has also received backing from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

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.”

Proposed planning revamp to boost infrastructure projects and create new jobs

The Scottish Government

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.

Sita to build £250m Merseyside waste plant

Sita to build £250m Merseyside waste plant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government commits £1bn investment to build 10,000 new homes

Government reveals £1bn build-to-rent fund set to deliver 10,000 new homesHousing Minister Mark Prisk announced today that up to 10,000 new homes could be built by 2015 that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The minister announced the first 45 projects to be taken forward using the £1 billion Build to Rent Fund which will provide equity finance to house builders and developers.

Mr Prisk said that the innovative new projects, a quarter of which are for London, will be the first step toward creating a more balanced rental market, driven by quality instead of demand.

The Build to Rent Fund is designed to help developers invest in homes built specifically for private rent by reducing the up-front risk in a relatively untested market.

A first round of projects will now receive a share of £700 million government investment package, with a second round of bids for the remaining fund expected to open later this year.

Projects going forward in this round have the potential to deliver between 8,000 and 10,000 homes, and include:

  • Genesis Housing Association, with plans for new rental homes around London
  • Place First, along with Together Housing Group, who will be building across Northern England
  • Crest Nicholson, who intend to bring a significant number of homes to market over many sites across the country

Mr Prisk said that the varied mix of developers, from brand new organisations and small housing providers to long-established developers, will bring new blood into a market currently dominated by small-scale buy-to-let landlords, and will help to give tenants more choice when choosing a home in the future.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This government is determined to get Britain building, and the Build to Rent Fund is set to help us deliver, with up to 10,000 new homes to be built from these projects.

“We’ve seen overwhelming demand for the fund, and it’s become clear that there’s a real appetite for rental investment. We want to support that, which is why we’ve made a £1 billion Budget boost to the fund.

“Now, these new projects will help us map this almost uncharted market, bringing in new blood to improve rental quality and choice, and building the new homes that this country wants and needs.”

What is your reaction to the new £1bn build-to-rent fund that will deliver 10,000 new homes and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Royal Liverpool Hospital gets the go-ahead by government

Royal Liverpool Hospital gets the go-ahead by government

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business Secretary launches new Anglia growing business fund

Business Secretary launches new Anglia growing business fund

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.  

British Land reaches key milestone in London redevelopment

British Land reaches key milestone in the redevelopment of Harmsworth Quays

The first step has been taken to allow the redevelopment of the 14.57 acre Harmsworth Quays printing works site in Canada Water, South East London, to go ahead.

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

The decision is a key milestone for the development which has the potential to deliver significant improvements to the local area and create new trade jobs.

Cllr Fiona Colley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Southwark Council, said: “In addition to new homes, the redevelopment of Harmsworth Quays has the potential to deliver the town centre and jobs that Rotherhithe really needs.”

British Land will now begin working up proposals in consultation with Southwark Council and the local community to realise the full potential of this important site. Vacant possession of the site will be available later this year following the relocation of DMGT’s printing operations to Thurrock.

Southwark Council, which is currently developing policy to guide the redevelopment, will be adopting a preferred option of its Area Action Plan in May for consultation. This will emphasise the council’s and community’s vision to create a mixed-use town centre at Canada Water.

Both Southwark Council and British Land have committed to exploring the potential to create a new campus for Kings College as part of the scheme, to complement their proposals for the adjoining site at the Mulberry Business Park.

Nigel Webb, Head of Development for British Land, said: “We are delighted that the London Borough of Southwark has agreed the assignment for Harmsworth Quays. We can now begin the process of working with the local community, the London Borough of Southwark and other key stakeholders to bring forward a new, mixed use development in the heart of Canada Water.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NewBuy scheme set to boost housebuilding in Wales

The Welsh Government

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.  

George Osborne reveals £3bn infrastructure fund to boost the trades

George Osborne reveals £3bn extra investment to boost the trades

Chancellor George Osborne has used Budget 2013 to announce an additional £3 billion investment plan to boost infrastructure spending and create new trade jobs.

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.  

Government Approves Northampton Enterprise Zone Site

CPO Powers Secure Enterprise Zone Site

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has confirmed a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for the development of a 2.4 hectares scheme in Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone.

The CPO is set to kick-start the transformation of the area, boosting the construction industry and creating new jobs in the trades. Plans include the building of 40,000 sq metres quality office space and six-storey Innovation Centre, which begins construction this summer.

Councillor David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “Across our town we are seeing exciting Northampton Alive projects breathing new life into areas as we unlock their potential.

“There are real opportunities to invest in Northampton and our Enterprise Zone. This is another positive step as we bring together another site for redevelopment and new employment opportunities.”

WNDC now owns all of the vacant land, 5 commercial properties and 10 residential properties in St Peter’s Waterside. In addition, the Corporation is in advanced discussions with National Grid about the potential to include two adjoining Gasholder sites in the development plans.

Government Approves Northampton Enterprise Zone Site

The CPO is one of two that the Corporation has launched in the Northampton Enterprise Zone, with the other Order covering the Avon Nunn Mills site. A decision on that CPO is expected later this spring.

Chris Garden, WNDC’s Director of Regeneration said: “With its central location and transport links, St Peter’s Waterside is a perfect location for high profile office development.  We have been buying land in the area for some time, but this CPO means we have consolidated various sites and can press ahead with our plans.

“There will be cranes in the skyline this summer, with work starting on the first phases of development and demolition. Meanwhile, directly opposite the site, construction will be underway on Northampton’s new railway station. It is a defining period in the regeneration of the town.”

What is your reaction to the Compulsory Purchase Order given by Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, to pave to way for new businesses as well as boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trade Mission to Singapore and Indonesia to boost economic growth

Trade Mission to Singapore and Indonesia to boost exports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boris Johnson reveals £100m affordable housing boost

Train4TradeSkills Blog Boris JohnsonThe 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.

Imperial College unveils plans for new London campus

Imperial launches major new research and translation campus

Imperial College London has revealed further details of its plan to build a £150 million campus in White City that will create around 3,200 new jobs and boost the trades.

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.  

Construction Starts on 100 Cheapside in the City of London

Construction Starts on 100 Cheapside in the City of LondonSkanska 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 scheme will see the demolition and construction of a ten-storey commercial building for its client, Ten Times Ten Development, a joint venture between Quadrant Estates and City of London.

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.”

What is your reaction to the £28 million construction contract by Skanska in the City of London? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

Government approves £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme

Government approves £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme

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 .

The granted planning permission will enable Peel Holdings and the City Council to begin work on the plans that are expected to create more than 20,000 jobs.

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.

Quintain gets the go-ahead for building new homes at Greenwich Peninsula

Quintain gets the go-ahead for building new homes at Greenwich Peninsula

Quintain has been given the go-ahead to build more than 500 new homes as part of a £5 billion master plan at London’s Greenwich Peninsula.  

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.”

Accelerating delivery on major sites like Greenwich Peninsula is a key part of the Mayor of London’s work to boost the building of homes for Londoners and drive investment in the capital’s economy.

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.”

What is your reaction to the building of hundreds of new homes at London’s Greenwich Peninsula?  Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Advanced manufacturing supply chain fund to create thousands of new jobs

Advanced manufacturing supply chain fund to create thousands of new jobs

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.

Chancellor Should Boost Construction to Drive Growth

The Construction Products Association

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

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

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

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

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

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

1,200 new homes and further investment for Cornwall

New homes and further investment for CornwallCornwall 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.

What is your reaction to the new affordable homes that will create jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Time to seize the moment on offshore wind and the renewable industry

Investment in Scottish renewables to top £1 billion and support 11,000 jobs

Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has warned that the UK Government should allocate further investment to boost the electricity market and create thousands of offshore wind jobs.

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.

Nick Clegg backs City Deal for new jobs and growth

Government unveils more ‘City Deals’ to boost growth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deputy Prime Minister 1

The 20 cities and their outline proposals: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Cameron on India Trade Trip

David Cameron arrives in Mumbai this morning with a British trade delegation

Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived on a three-day British trade delegation in India set to win investment and create thousands of new jobs.

In what looks like the largest UK trade delegation to visit India, the Prime Minister is accompanied by more than 100 business representatives, including senior staff from Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and BP, that are hoping to build long-term partnerships and double exports to the country by 2015.

In 2010, the UK attracted 97 new projects from India generating 6,096 jobs. It is estimated that 700 out of 1200 Indian firms in the European Union operate from the UK.

It is forecast that India will spend $1 trillion in the next five years on infrastructure and Britain is hoping its building construction firms to win some of those contracts. The Prime Minister’s trade delegation also includes 30 small and medium-sized firms.

Speaking at Unilever’s Mumbai HQ, Mr Cameron said: “India’s rise is going to be one of the great phenomena of this century and it is incredibly impressive to see.”

“Britain wants to be your partner of choice. We’ve only just started on the sort of partnership that we could build. As far as I’m concerned, the sky is the limit.”

Between 2001 and 2011, UK goods and services imports from India rose by 220 per cent while exports to India rose by 240 per cent.

Over the same period, India became a more important trading partner for the UK, with a significant rise in total UK exports and imports.

The Prime Minister has blogged on LinkedIn about why he sees British trade delegations as a vital part of his job. Read it from here.

What is your reaction to the trade delegation led by Prime Minister David Cameron to build long-term partnerships, create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Heathrow unveils £3bn investment plan

Heathrow unveils £3bn investment plan

Heathrow Airport has announced plans to invest a further £3 billion in improving its infrastructure which will boost the building industry and create new jobs.

The announcement forms part of the airport’s business plan which represents one of the largest private-sector investments in UK infrastructure.

The plans include the completion of Terminal 2 and the early works on extending the building. It will see the development of integrated baggage system and the construction of new taxiways.

Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: “Heathrow is the UK’s only hub airport and a strategically important national infrastructure asset.”

“Heathrow faces stiff competition from other European hubs and we must continue to improve the service we offers passengers and airlines.”

“We have invested billions of pounds in new facilities such as Terminal 5 in recent years and passengers say they have noticed the difference.”

“Our plan for a further £3 billion of private-sector investment will further improve the airport for passengers. The plan represents good value for money for airlines and passengers and comes at no cost to taxpayers.”

Heathrow will open the new Terminal 2 in 2014.  The subsequent move of airlines into the new terminal allows the closure of Terminal 1 in 2016. By 2019 work will already have started on extending Terminal 2.

Since 2003, Heathrow has invested £11 billion in the airport. Investment includes the construction of Terminal 5, a new Terminal 2 due to open in 2014, new baggage tunnels, and the refurbishment of Terminals 3 & 4.

Leeds approves two major waste plants

VEOLIA SCHEME 2012.04.03 IMAGE 01(1)Leeds City Council has approved plans for the building of two waste treatment plants which are expected to create more than 600 construction jobs.

The two incinerators will be built within a mile of each other. The first waste plant will be developed by Veolia Environmental Services . It will burn household waste and is to be located at a site near Cross Green in south-west Leeds.

The 8-storey building is set to generate enough electricity for 20,000 houses. Construction work on the multimillion project is expected to start at the end of this summer. It will continue for at least 36 months.

The £125 million energy from waste facility will be a largely glazed and timber frame building, which will be known as the greenhouse.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said: “This decision has been years in the making and the level of scrutiny provided by panel members demonstrates just how important the incinerator is to the city.

“I’ve said frequently that we can’t afford to continue to bury waste in the ground on financial or environmental grounds.

“Alongside other improvements to our waste services, this is a significant milestone in enabling us to recycle as much as we can.

“With the final discussions set to get underway, we’re confident the end result will be a facility that will allow us to realise our ambitions for a cleaner, greener Leeds.”​​​​

What is your reaction to the go-ahead for the two new waste treatment plants in Leeds? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

RWE unveils plans for Triton Knoll offshore wind farm

RWE national gridOutline planning proposals for the development of Triton Knoll windfarm in Lincolnshire have been revealed, paving the way for new jobs in the building industry.

Offshore wind farms provide enormous economic benefits during their construction both through direct job creation and through the wider supply chain.

It has been estimated that the Triton Knoll windfarm will see the creation of around 500 jobs during the different construction phases, each phase exceeding significant multi-million investment.

Developer RWE has invested over £10 million in the Triton Knoll project since 2003, the vast majority of which has been in support of the UK renewable energy.

There are currently approximately 25 people directly employed on Triton Knoll by RWE. Over 50 consultancy contracts, with a total value of approximately £3 million, have been awarded leading to many more people working on the project.

Over the next year further work will be available which will attract a further additional investment, requiring experienced contractors for the UK offshore renewable energy industry.

Project Manager for Triton Knoll, Jacob Hain, revealed that RWE was planning to use Alternating Current (AC) technology to transmit the power from the wind farm to the national grid, instead of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC).

Mr hain said: “Our consultation will allow us to gather local knowledge and help communities to influence the proposals and have their say,”

“We are also now able to show the underground ‘cable corridors’ for the cables which will carry the electricity from where it comes to shore in the vicinity of Anderby Creek between the compound and the substation and to the national grid connection point.”

What is your reaction to the development of Triton Knoll windfarm in Lincolnshire which is set to create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Stanhope launches masterplan for BBC Television Centre

TELEVISION CENTRE, WHITE CITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

St Modwen gets £150m Swansea Uni campus deal

Swansea University New Development 1Swansea University has signed a £150 million contract with developer St Modwen to build new campus that will create jobs and boost the trades.

Work on the first building will get underway in April, with Bam Construction, Leadbitter, Vinci and Willmott Dixon in the tender race to build a £23 million innovation hub centre at the site.

Bill Oliver, chief Executive of St. Modwen, said: “This is an incredibly exciting project and one that complements our extensive experience in regenerating complex sites.

“We are very pleased to have agreed terms and look forward to engaging with Swansea University, Neath Port Talbot Council and other stakeholders to progress the delivery of this substantial and strategic development.”

The first phase of this scheme, which received detailed planning permission in December 2012 from Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, will comprise 700,000 sq ft of development including 430,000 sq ft of academic space as well as 900 student apartments.

This will deliver world-leading research, innovation and education facilities for Swansea. St. Modwen expects to start on site in April 2013.

Swansea University New DevelopmentThe project on an old BP refinery site in Neath has already been given a detailed planning permission for 430,000 sq ft of academic buildings and 900 student apartments.

The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Councillor Ali Thomas, said: ‘‘This project will provide a considerable economic boost not just for Neath Port Talbot but for the wider region.

“It will support the growth of highly skilled jobs and knowledge-driven businesses and is an exciting and outstanding example of the major new developments which the Fabian Way Corridor is attracting. I look forward to watching it progress.’’

The University has already secured funding from the European Investment Bank and the Welsh Government while St Modwen has secured the investment sale of 50% of the student accommodation to a major institutional investor.

An outline planning permission is already in place for future development phases which will be in excess of £300 million in value.

Government unveils £10bn investment to kick-start housebuilding

Government unveils £10bn investment to kick-start housebuildingThe Government has announced two new lending schemes that will help investors build thousands of new homes and boost employment in the construction industry.  

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Housing Minister Mark Prisk have set out how two investment schemes will provide up to £10 billion of lending guarantees to businesses that want to build new affordable homes.

The ministers are publishing further details on the schemes that will use the Government’s fiscal credibility to provide property investors with low-cost finance so they can deliver new private rented or affordable housing.

Both schemes were revealed in September 2012 to kick-start private investment in the housing sector, which will create thousands of new homes and jobs, boosting growth across the country.

The guarantees will support new-build projects, located in the United Kingdom. The private rented sector guarantee will back a variety of options to invest in new homes for private rent, from building new homes to converting existing commercial spaces into rental properties.

This will make vital finance available for projects in any part of the UK that have a minimum value of £10 million. The new homes will have to remain in the private rented sector until the money is paid back.

Following extensive consultation with the housing sector, the government is setting out eligibility requirements and how the guarantees will be structured, in the scheme rules for affordable housing and the scheme rules for private rented housing. It is also publishing an invitation to tender for the running of the schemes.

Chief Secretary, Danny Alexander said: “The announcement today shows we’re getting on with delivering an ambitious guarantee programme, giving projects across the UK a unique opportunity to take advantage of the strength of the UK’s balance sheet, allowing businesses and homeowners to benefit from lower borrowing costs and more affordable housing.

“We must build on this momentum to boost vital investment in the housing sector, creating jobs, supporting small businesses and building the foundations for growth across the country.”

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “The housing guarantee schemes will help to get spades in the ground, create jobs, and establish new business models that will ensure the private rented sector continues to grow and more affordable homes are delivered.”

What is your reaction to the new funding announced by the Government that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Super Masterplan for Kings Dock reaches out for new jobs

Kings Dock LiverpoolThe Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has unveiled a new masterplan for Kings Dock, Liverpool, which development framework could create up to 1,000 jobs. 

The HCA has devised the plan at Kings Dock which will boost the local economy and enhance opportunities for existing and future trade professionals.

The new development will also create a pleasant neighbourhood with attractive public squares allowing access to the water space.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said: “This is an important piece of work, which will guide the future development of Kings Dock.

“It supports our recently launched Strategic Investment Framework for the city centre, which includes plans to drive forward the regeneration of the waterfront, increasing visitor numbers, boosting our economy and creating jobs.”

The new masterplan builds on the successful first stage of development of the northern half of the Kings Waterfront site that is home to the world class Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool, hotels, restaurants, multi-storey car park and apartments.

Deborah McLaughlin, HCA Executive Director for the North West, said: “The masterplan has been designed to help continue the transformation of Liverpool into one of the UK’s most business and enterprise-friendly cities and position the city as an international conference and events destination.

“The proposals are wide-ranging to ensure that the emerging development framework is relevant, realistic and deliverable in the current economic climate. As landowner, the HCA is committed to ensuring that the Kings Dock contributes hugely to the prosperity of Liverpool.”

Wates announced as contractor for Midlands Priority Schools

Wates Construction UK

Wates Construction has been appointed by the Department for Education to deliver a £36 million contract in Coventry, paving the way for new trade jobs.

The contract, which is part of the Priority Schools Building Programme, will see Wates deliver building and refurbishment work across one secondary and four primary schools in Coventry.

The Educational Funding Agency (EFA) has launched the procurement exercise for a second batch of schools in the Midlands, paving the way for employment opportunities in the building construction sector.

Phil Harrison, Managing Director for Wates Construction, Midlands and North, commented: “We are delighted to have been named as the main contractor for the first batch of Priority Schools in the Midlands.

“This programme of works calls for a great deal of efficiency without a compromise on quality and our extensive expertise in producing innovative solutions in order to create outstanding education facilities places us as a trusted partner to the EFA.”

The Coventry batch is one of two in the first round of the £2.4 billion capitally funded Priority School Building Programme – the second of which covers the North East and Yorkshire.

Wates is going to work closely with the Education Funding Agency and the schools to develop the designs for the new facilities ahead of the start of building works.

 

£600m Scottish South-West hub deal will boost the trades

Scottish Future TrustThe South-West of Scotland is set to receive more than £600 million infrastructure investment over the next ten year that will create new trade jobs.

Creation of the South-West hubCo has been welcomed by construction firms across the region as a boost for securing future work in the building sector.

The multi-million deal was struck by six local authorities, three health boards, emergency services and other public bodies that will help secure long-term local employment opportunities.

Bill Martin, programme director of the South-West hubCo programme board, explained: “The structure of this relationship means that it will bring real opportunities to local businesses as over 80% of the construction value will be competitively tendered to SMEs on the supply chain.

“We are delighted with the outcome of the agreement which will deliver innovation and better value-for-money on all our construction projects.”

Nick Parker, chief operating officer of Equitix and a Director for Alliance Community Partnerships, stated: “We are very much looking forward to building a successful and long-lasting partnership with all organisations involved in the South-West hubCo, delivering much-needed projects and investment in the local communities.”

“Importantly, the formation of the South-West hubCo will facilitate the creation of new employment and training opportunities for local companies in challenging economic times.”

The Scotland-wide hub initiative is led by the Scottish Futures Trust and reflects a national approach to deliver new community infrastructure valued at more than £1.5bn over the next 10 years.

It brings community planning partners including health boards, local authorities, blue-light services and other public bodies together with a private sector development partner to form a hubCo, to increase joint working and deliver best value.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Relaxed planning rules will boost the trades

Planning measures will help the tradesThe Government has announced new development rights that will allow office buildings to be converted into homes without the need for planning permission.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles argues that the new planning measures will ensure empty and underused offices can be swiftly converted into much-needed homes for local people.

The proposals are expected to create jobs in the construction industry and provide significant boost for people in the trades.

Further reforms will also help boost rural communities and create jobs by allowing agricultural buildings to be converted for other business uses.

Buildings no longer suitable or needed for agricultural use could be transferred into new growth-boosting ventures that benefit rural areas, such as shops, restaurants, small hotels and leisure facilities.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “We want to promote the use of brownfield land to assist regeneration, and get empty and under-used buildings back into productive use.

“Using previously developed land and buildings will help us promote economic growth, provide more homes and still ensure that we safeguard environmentally protected land.

“We are absolutely determined to support people striving to bring life back to their communities and high streets.”

Planning Minister Nick Boles said: “These new changes ensure the very best use is made of our existing buildings to provide new homes and makes sure we get the most use we can out of our previously developed land.

“These changes are an important step in improving the planning system and making sure it is in the best possible shape to swiftly adapt to changes and opportunities that can provide a big boost to the economy.”

President of the Country Land and Business Association, Harry Cotterell, said: “We are very pleased with this announcement. It is something for which we have campaigned for years.

“It offers farmers and land managers the chance to find alternative sources of income by using their redundant agricultural buildings in new ways.

“This will underpin their farming businesses and boost the rural economy by helping to create new jobs and businesses at a time when they are greatly needed.”

£200 million extra investment for housing in Scotland

The Scottish GovernmentScotland’s housing budget has increased by almost £200 million over the last year, paving the way for new homes to be built across the country.

With over 30 rep cent additional housing investment this year, compared to the 2011 Spending Review, the building construction sector is set to benefit from the recent funding which could create new jobs and boost the trades.

Decisions on the allocation of another £50 million investment package for the housing industry are expected to be announced later this month.

Speaking ahead of a debate on the Scottish Government’s Budget Bill, Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government has been absolutely clear that we aim to deliver at least 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this parliament and this funding will help ensure this commitment will be met.

“Despite Westminster cuts to our capital budgets the Scottish Government is delivering just as much new social housing – and more new affordable housing – as in the period up to 2007 when budgets were rising every year.

“The extra £50 million is our fourth tranche of extra housing spending announced over the last year, and is in addition to announcements made in February, June and September.

“The overall increase totals almost £200 million over the spending review period – demonstrating that where we have an opportunity to invest, this Government does exactly that.

“Housing is just one element of the Budget Bill which will be debated in Parliament this week. Parliament will be debating a Budget for Scotland’s economy. This Government is doing everything within its limited power to protect households, business and front line services, and this Budget provides further investment in construction, skills and the green economy.

“We are investing money to create and maintain jobs. Increased support for affordable homes will provide a much needed boost to the construction industry as well as improving the lives of the families who live in them.

“We are providing an immediate capital stimulus through support for shovel ready projects and we are helping businesses with a tax relief package worth over £540 million this year.

“This has to be seen against a 26 per cent real terms cut by the UK Coalition Government to Scotland’s capital budget in a failed attempt to reduce public sector borrowing.

“We have listened to the Scottish Parliament by bringing forward further investment in housing and we will continue to work with all parties to deliver a budget for growth.

“Only with the full levers of independence can Scotland properly capture economic opportunity and tackle inequality and poverty and we can do so more efficiently and effectively than currently happens in the UK.”

Elephant & Castle regeneration to create 6,000 new jobs

Planning permission granted for Elephant & Castle masterplanSouthwark Council has given the go-ahead for a transformed Elephant & Castle, representing significant milestone in the regeneration of Central London that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Lend Lease, the integrated property and Infrastructure Company, will work with the Council to deliver a masterplan that will see the creation of one of the largest new housing developments in London.

By 2025, the scheme is expected to deliver 2,500 new homes, shops, restaurants and community facilities, paving the way for over 6,000 new jobs in the construction industry.

Mark Dickinson, Managing Director of Lend Lease’s Development business in EMEA, said: “The £1.5bn regeneration of Elephant & Castle is now underway.

“The approval of our masterplan vision sets in motion our long-term plans and our commitment to the area. We’ve set out our blueprint for the future but there is a lot of detailed work to undertake and we’ll continue working with the community at every step.

“At the heart of everything we do is the desire to create a sustainable place to live. A truly sustainable environment needs to bring economic benefits, support business growth and local job creation.”

The  new neighbourhood will be a low carbon energy development and the masterplan is currently one of just 18 global projects to be accepted as part of the Clinton Climate Positive Development Programme, designed to showcase and support large-scale urban projects that are ‘climate positive’.

There will also be significant improvements and investment in public transport, along with new pedestrian and cycle paths that will create one of the best connected locations in London.

Chancellor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “We now have the opportunity, working with local people and our partners Lend Lease, to continue the transformation of the area as a place where people want to live, work, shop and relax.

“The regeneration of Elephant & Castle will take time, but this announcement, and the starting of work on a brand new leisure centre, are all crucial steps towards a greener, safer and more attractive place in central London that people will be proud to call their home.

“It is so exciting to see this vital project gain momentum so that people will finally begin to see those much needed improvements being made on the ground.”

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