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Highlands and Islands Enterprise awards property framework contract

Kier 1Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed Kier as one of four construction firms on its new prime contractor framework to deliver the majority of its building projects that will create new jobs.

In the agreement, which will last up to four years, Kier joins Galliford Try Construction, Mansell Construction Services, and Robertson Construction to work on projects estimated to be worth around £6 million per year.

HIE director of regional development, Carroll Buxton, commented: “We are delighted to have agreed a contract with these four highly skilled and respected companies, all of which have strong links to the area.

“This partnership framework approach provides flexibility for the businesses and healthy competition for us which will ensure best value for the public purse.”

From its offices in Aberdeen, Kier is currently working on a number of projects across the region and its appointment on the framework will further strengthen the relationship between Kier and the HIE, established through the delivery of projects via the Scape National Minor Works Framework, on which Kier is the sole contractor.

Kier Construction regional managing director, Brian McQuade, said: “The appointment to HIE’s framework will provide Kier with an excellent opportunity to continue its relationship with local communities delivering employment and training opportunities in various disciplines and professions in the construction industry.

“Kier looks forward to supporting HIE in its role as the economic and community development agency for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

“Our knowledge and relationship with the local supply chain combined with our national buying power will deliver best value construction solutions that will support community benefits and development throughout the highlands.”

HIE is now discussing a number of pipeline projects with the businesses and hopes to award the first projects under the framework later in 2013.

Willmott Dixon confirmed for £46m Birmingham City campus

Willmott Dixon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Green Deal in numbers

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

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

 

Exciting £500m Reading scheme gets submitted

Exciting £500m Reading scheme gets submitted

Sackville Developments Reading Limited (SDRL) has submitted plans for the £500 million regeneration scheme of Reading’s town centre that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The regeneration of the Station Hill site in Reading is an employment-led mixed-use redevelopment which will include new homes, shops, cafés and leisure facilities.

SDRL represents a joint venture between Benson Elliot and Stanhope PLC. Between them, Stanhope PLC and Benson Elliot have the expertise and stable financial backing to deliver a first class redevelopment to Station Hill.

The application has been drawn up following extensive consultation with local residents and business owners as well as council representatives.

Jason Margrave, Development Director  of Stanhope said: “This application is the culmination of a considerable amount of consultation with Reading Borough Council as well as the promoters of the neighbouring Thames Tower.

“The designs we have submitted have been widely supported by the public and we believe they will considerably transform  this part of the town, building on the significant investment currently taking place at the station.

“Following consultation, we have included an enlarged public open space in the heart of the scheme, improved the retail offer and incorporated more public art.”

The public exhibition which took place in February last year attracted over 700 people, with over 95% of respondents supporting that the area is in need of regeneration.

The application is due to be decided by Reading Borough Council later in the year. If approved, work will look to commence in 2014.

Whilst redevelopment is taking place, it is the intention of the developers to create a temporary event space outside of Reading Station to be used for a variety of cultural and entertainment events.

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

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.

Costain Joint Ventures Win Two Crossrail Contracts

Costain Joint Ventures Win Two Crossrail ContractsCostain has been awarded a £300 million contract to design, fit-out and commission the railway systems in Crossrail’s tunnel network that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Under the contract, the engineering solutions provider will design and install track, overhead lines and mechanical and electrical equipment to fit out the 21km of twin tunnels currently being bored under the streets of London.

Design work will commence immediately, with the fit-out works starting in 2014, and will be carried out within the entire tunnelled and surface sections of the Crossrail route between Royal Oak, Pudding Mill Lane and Plumstead Portals.

Costain has also announced that in Joint Venture with Alstom it has been awarded the £15 million contract for the design, construction and commissioning of the system that will provide traction power for the trains in the central tunnelled section of the Crossrail scheme.

Work will involve the construction of several auto–transformer stations and a feeder station site at Pudding Mill Lane to provide a 25 kV supply to the overhead line equipment that will power the new Crossrail trains. Costain is also constructing for National Grid the new cable tunnels to provide power to the other Crossrail feeder station at Kensal Green.

Crossrail will open in 2018. The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and will increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent. An estimated 200 million people will travel on Crossrail each year.

Andrew Wyllie, Chief Executive of Costain, said: “The Crossrail scheme is providing a much-needed solution to upgrading a key part of the nation’s travel infrastructure.

“We are delighted to have been awarded these contracts, which follow on from other Crossrail projects we are involved in, including the construction of the Bond Street and Paddington stations and works at Eleanor Street and Mile End Park.

“We believe these further wins demonstrate the successful implementation of our ‘Choosing Costain’ strategy in which we focus group-wide resources on meeting the developing requirements of major blue chip customers.”

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.

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.  

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.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Enterprise Zone Fund to accelerate growth and create new jobs

Enterprise Zone Fund to accelerate growth and jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Legal & General get the go-ahead to build new homes in Croydon

Legal & General get the go-ahead for new homes in Croydon

Work is due to start for the building of 288 new homes in Croydon after Legal & General received planning permission to transform Nestlé’s former Croydon headquarters into flats.

The financial investment company was given planning permission for the St George’s House scheme in Croydon that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport, said: “This exciting plan matches the council’s vision for transforming the town centre into a place to live as well as to work, shop and socialise.

“It’s a significant leap forward in the council’s strategy for regenerating the town centre, refreshing its 1960s streetscape and boosting the economic growth of the borough.”

Charlie Walker, director at Legal & General Property, said: “Last night’s decision marks an important step forward for Croydon and is a strong testament to the hard work we have put in over the past year to ensuring our proposals not only complement the existing qualities of the borough but contribute to its wider regeneration, enhancing its position as a desirable residential location.

“We believe that not only will this scheme deliver much needed high quality residential accommodation to the very centre of town, but should bring a new lease of life to the area by significantly improving the public realm, creating a more accessible and attractive civic space for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Legal & Generals plans include community and retail space at ground level and a roof top garden area that will be environmentally sustainable.

There will also be 160 car parking and 313 secure cycle spaces and a café on the corner of Park Street and Park Lane.

The planning committee granted permission to the scheme less than seven months after being presented with the pre-application enquiry.

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.

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.

 

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.”

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.”

Clegg unlocks more cash to help businesses

Nick Clegg Regional Growth FundAs part of the Regional Growth Fund, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced a £350 million cash pot that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The Regional Growth Fund is a £2.6 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2016. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.

The first three rounds will leverage over £13 billion of private sector investment and create or safeguard over 500,000 jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “The Regional Growth Fund is already proving a shrewd investment by providing a welcome boost to jobs and growth across the country, with thousands of jobs created, businesses expanding into new markets and manufacturing new products. With this next round of funding, I would urge England’s budding businesses to produce top quality bids to access the money that can help them grow.

“There’ll be stiff competition, and we can only invest in those projects that will lead to sustainable jobs and the best value for money.

“Boosting jobs and growth is our number one priority for Britain right now. That is why I am so pleased to be opening a fourth round of the Regional Growth Fund which supports growth across a range of industries.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The additional £350 million for the Regional Growth Fund is a big boost for those parts of the country facing structural problems.

“The fund has already supported a variety of industries – from motor vehicles to life sciences. This goes hand in hand with our industrial strategy.

“But it’s not just about big industry and household names. To date we have supported over a thousand SMEs through Regional Growth Fund programmes which is giving small business the impetus to expand, employ more staff or start exporting.

“This is the Government’s commitment to growth in action to encourage investment and lead to a more balanced economy.”

What is your reaction to the new funding announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg 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.

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Housing Minister reveals funding to speed up building of new homes

Housing Minister Mark Prisk Reveals new fundingThe housing minister, Mark Prisk, said to bring forward the development of 6,300 new homes by providing fresh funds to support the building industry.

The Minister announced £20 million of fresh investment to accelerate the construction of 6,300 homes at the new town of Cranbrook in East Devon, paving the way for employment opportunities in the trades and boosting the construction sector.

Mr Prisk visited the new community of Cranbrook to see first-hand how a partnership approach to development is reaping impressive results from government investment.

Aside from the construction of new homes, he also announced that the money would be used to deliver the roads and infrastructure needed to develop a new town centre, with the remaining funds supporting the construction of a new secondary school and a second primary school as part of the next phase of Cranbrook’s development.

This investment in infrastructure is expected to accelerate the pace of the delivery of new homes from 300 a year to up to 500.

Today’s announcement is the first allocation of £225 million earmarked by the chancellor in his Autumn Statement for the delivery of 50,000 new homes in large, locally-supported housing programmes.

The funding programme for planned, large-scale sites, administered by the Homes and Communities Agency, will be targeted at schemes that are struggling to move forward because of the current economic climate.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This government is serious about building more homes. That’s why we have been looking carefully at how we can accelerate large, planned housing schemes that already have the support of local people, but need help to move forward in the current economic climate.

“So I’m delighted that today I can announce our intervention will help unlock the delivery of over 6,000 new homes in Cranbrook, and create thousands of jobs for local people.

“In the months ahead I will be announcing support for similar schemes. That means more investment, more jobs for our young people and more affordable homes for families across the country.

“We have set aside considerable funding to assist large housing programmes like Cranbrook, and I would urge anyone with similar proposals to come forward and contact my department.”

What is your reaction to the new funding announced by Housing Minister Mark Prisk 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.

Carillion grabs £10m tunnel repair contract

Leeds Gov

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

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

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

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

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

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

£100m repairs contract to create new jobs

Interserve to create new jobsSocial housing landlord East Thames has awarded a £100 million repairs and maintenance contract to Interserve, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.

The seven-year contract will provide repairs service to more than 13,500 households and create new jobs for local residents and the wider community.

Bruce Melizan, executive director at Interserve, said: “Delivering front-line services for East Thames is strategically important to us at Interserve, as it affects local residents’ homes and their quality of life.

“The fact that East Thames has given us an opportunity to share our knowledge and experience in delivering residential repairs and maintenance with them is a strong endorsement of the value and quality we can bring to their estates.

“The benefits of our approach have already been evidenced by the 22 per cent saving we have already achieved for East Thames on their outsourcing model, which is just the start of a partnership that will enable East Thames and their residents to benefit from our intelligent approach to delivering services over the coming years.”

The contract will also see benefits extended to the wider community via local recruitment targets, training and employment opportunities and a unique package of support for local long term unemployed residents who have found it difficult to find work.

Interserve will deliver estate services to local areas, including cyclical works, building refurbishment, planned and responsive repairs and maintenance to corporate buildings.

East Thames director of development and property Geoff Pearce said: “We are very much looking forward to working with our new partners Interserve and welcome their customer-centred approach to delivering our repairs service.

“Thanks to the feedback we’ve received from our residents, we have been able to work, together with Interserve, to design a service that better meets the needs of our customers, while delivering value for money and a significant contribution to East Thames’ local employment aims.”

What is your reaction to the new £100 million repairs and maintenance contract 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. 

 

Green Deal energy contract gets signed

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

Carillion has committed to create and sustain at least 360 jobs and also encourage its business partners to invest locally in a range of new green energy projects.

Under the BES scheme, Carillion will work with Birmingham City Council as its exclusive delivery partner to improve the energy and carbon efficiency of up to 60,000 households across the city, together with schools and other non-domestic council properties.

The scheme will give households affordable ways of improving their properties by fitting energy efficiency measures, such as insulation and new boilers, under the Government’s Green Deal.

The eight-year contract is estimated to be initially worth up to £600 million, but has the potential to be extended to the wider West Midlands area under a framework agreement worth up to £1.5 billion over eight years.

Now that the contract has been finalised, Carillion is embarking on a recruitment programme to hire locally-based energy assessors, who will evaluate properties and provide advice on the energy efficiency improvements they require.

Commenting on the newly signed deal, Carillion’s Chief Executive Richard Howson, said:”Birmingham Energy Savers is a genuinely ground-breaking scheme and we are delighted to have agreed this contract with Birmingham City Council.

“We believe that in order to reach its full potential, the programme must fully engage with the community and this is why the next stage will focus on recruiting local people and businesses to deliver the scheme.”

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart city at Birmingham City Council, added: “This programme represents a major milestone in Birmingham’s green ambitions, and demonstrates that the social justice and environmental agendas go hand-in-hand with each other.

“It will reduce energy bills for citizens by up to £300 per year – taking up to 40,000 people out of fuel poverty by 2015 – create jobs in the technology supply chain and ensure that there are less carbon emissions from the city.”

 

Mace to kick-start £250m Greenwich regeneration scheme

Developer Hadley Mace has finalised a deal with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Royal Borough of Greenwich to deliver a £250 million mixed-use scheme in east Greenwich that will create new jobs.

It is anticipated that the first phase of homes and community facilities will be completed by late 2014, with the entire development completed approximately three years later, paving the way for employment in the trades.

David Grover, director of Hadley Mace, said: “This leading scheme will demonstrate the benefits of public private consortium and its impact on a community that has been anticipating investment and re-development for more than 10 years.”

“The partnership between Hadley and Mace came about as a response to the Home and Communities Agency’s quest to find a new way of regenerating neighbourhoods with fresh, innovative thinking and creative investment.

“Acting as delivery partner for the client, and taking control of funding and risk aspects of the scheme, we are offering a full turn-key solution that can be replicated throughout the UK on all public land and any stalled public regeneration scheme.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This landmark regeneration scheme is a key part of my commitment to provide much-needed housing and jobs for Londoners by bringing forward public land for development.

“The East Greenwich project will see nearly 30% of homes built with families in mind and the construction of some fantastic new amenities that will help to create a thriving and vibrant community.

“I am delighted the scheme is now storming ahead and is another step closer to delivering what I have no doubt will be an exciting new place for Londoners to live, work and visit.”

Highland Council to boost infrastructure and development projects

 The Highland Council will highlight to the Scottish Government a series of infrastructure and development projects that would boost economic growth and create new trade jobs.

The list of key projects will be passed on to the Scottish Government for their consideration as part of the review of the National Planning Framework (NPF3) which is expected to unlock investment for national developments of strategic importance for Scotland.

The projects that will be put forward by Highland Council are all considered to be of national significance and have the potential to make a significant contribution to the country’s sustainable economic growth.

The projects being promoted by the Council to the Government include strategic road improvements to the A9. A82 and A96 trunk roads that connect Highland communities to the rest of Scotland, enhancements to Highland ports and harbours including Nigg and Kishorn, enhancements at all Highland airports, the provision of  superfast broadband and the upgrading of the existing electricity transmission network to realise the growth potential in renewable energy generation.

The Council is also taking the opportunity to raise other issues it feels that are of national importance such as the decommissioning of Dounreay, faster train journey times on the mainline, coastal development including the harnessing of wind, wave and tidal energy, waste management and natural heritage.

Vice Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Councillor George Farlow said: “All the projects we are putting forward could potentially bring huge benefits to Highland businesses and residents as well as bringing wider prospective socio-economic growth to the whole of Scotland.

“Our response will highlight the need to ensure we have the best infrastructure in place to make the most of every opportunity and will recognise the work we are doing to promote sustainable development and economic growth.

“Our plans are ambitious and they reflect the confidence we have in the Highlands as great place to live, work and do business in.”

Terrace Hill to build £30m Darlington leisure development

Developer Terrace Hill has signed an agreement with Darlington Borough Council to build a £30 million leisure centre that will boost the trades and create new jobs.       

The 140,000 sq ft leisure scheme in Feethams, Darlington, will be anchored by a nine screen multiplex cinema and include an 80-bedroom hotel, as well as a number of restaurants, bars and shops.

Terrace Hill has secured an agreement with VUE Entertainment to operate the cinema, and is in advanced discussions with Whitbread who want to operate the 80-bedroom Premier Inn hotel.

The property group has already received strong interest from a number of national restaurant and leisure chains. At present, the operators are not represented in the town, with the multi-million scheme providing an opportunity to bring their brand to Darlington and help the local economy.

Philip Leech, Chief Executive of Terrace Hill, said: “Having made the strategic decision to increase Terrace Hill’s focus on development, thereby better utilising our core expertise, we are very pleased to have been appointed by Darlington Borough Council to develop this important new scheme.

Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council said: “This is excellent news for the Borough. There has been a lot of detailed negotiation around this development and I believe that the Council has chosen the best scheme for the site.

“The news is clear evidence that Darlington can attract a first class development of this kind and that there is confidence in the business world in what the Borough has to offer. Once complete it will be a welcome addition to the already strong culture and leisure offer in the town centre.”

What is your reaction the latest announcement by developer Terrace Hill to build a £30 million leisure centre in Darlington? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Green Deal joins forces with Kier to boost the trades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

£25m Scottish repairs contract reaches out for new jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

£10 billion fund could build 300,000 new homes a year and create new jobs

The Future Homes Commission has set out plans to fund a three-fold increase in the number of new homes being built every year, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.

The Commission, set up by the Royal Institute of British Architects, has called on Government to use council pension pots to fund a massive housing programme that could see the building of 300,000 homes a year and boost the construction industry.

The Homes Commission argues for the creation of a new £10 billion Local Housing Development Fund, financed by the largest Local Authority pension funds, that would use 15% of their assets to invest in new rental and shared ownership housing.

The new scheme would play a lead role for the government to use localassets to lead the creation of sustainable communities and meet local housing needs as well as create thousands of jobs in the building construction industry.

A similar approach to that proposed is being pioneered by Manchester City Council, which is working with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund to build 244 homes.

The city council will release land into the joint venture at fair market valuation and GMPF will inject £25 million to pay for building work.

Both partners will then receive a capital payment on the sale of houses and an annual revenue return.

10-year multi-million maintenance contract to bring new jobs

Outsourcing company Mitie has been awarded a ten-year repair and maintenance contract that will create new trade jobs and boost building sector.

The contract is worth £70 million over ten years with the potential to rise to £120 million if Golding Homes issue additional works. The multi-million scheme will see the housing association’s upkeep of 6,000 properties across Kent.

The deal is expected to benefit customers with more flexible appointment system and a quicker repairs ordering process. It will generate additional opportunities for skills training and employment in the trades.

Peter Stringer, Golding Homes chief executive, said: “We carefully considered a range of models for providing repairs and maintenance services, based on our customers’ priorities.

We concluded that creating a wholly owned subsidiary company as a vehicle for the contract will best help us meet our goals.

“We are confident that selecting Mitie as our partner will bring the professional and innovative approach our customers deserve and we look forward to working closely with them.”

Mitie will work with Golding Homes and its wholly owned subsidiary Golding Services to deliver gas maintenance, responsive repairs, void reinstatements and planned works.

Commenting on the contract award, Peter Griffin, director for social housing at Mitie, said:

“At Mitie we’re passionate about working with our customers to develop strategic partnerships that can provide long-term investment in both service infrastructure and assets. We’re delighted to be working with Golding Homes and Golding Services to deliver this exciting new contract.”

B&K starts on £93m Center Parcs contract set to bring new trade jobs

Building UK’s fifth Center Parcs will boost the construction industry

Bowmer & Kirkland has been selected to construct the leisure buildings at the new Center Parcs in Woburn Forest that will create thousands of new jobs in the trades.

Work will begin this month and is expected to take 72 weeks – with completion in spring 2014.

The build will provide employment for 1,200 construction workers in the run up to opening in spring 2013, when an additional 1,500 jobs will be created.

The £93m contract includes construction of the buildings for the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, restaurants, spa, 75-bedroom hotel, sports hall, conference spaces, supermarket and other associated buildings.

The project builds on an existing relationship between Center Parcs and Bowmer & Kirkland, which has completed a number of refurbishments at Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.

Bowmer & Kirkland Construction Director, Paul Lomas, said: “This latest award by Center Parcs for a fifth UK village is fantastic news for us. We are proud to be associated with Center Parcs and this will enhance our already impressive record in the leisure sector.”

What is your reaction to the new Center Parcs in Woburn Forest that will 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.

 

£1bn University Olympic Park Set to Create New Jobs

University College London has been given the go-ahead to build a £1 billion campus next to the Olympic site in east London that would create 3,300 new jobs and boost the trades.

The decision means that Newham Council will now enter into detailed negotiations with the University regarding the proposed redevelopment of the Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood, a 23-acre site in Stratford set to create and sustain thousands of trade jobs.

UCL’s proposals for the site include academic and research facilities as well as new residential accommodation for students.

The decision by Newham Council enables UCL to start construction work on the Stratford site in 2016, paving the way for new jobs in the construction industry.

The £1 billion investment is forecast to lead to significant capital investment into the borough with new employment, and a permanent major boost to the local economy.
The proposed development would also provide world class architecture, public spaces and an academic gateway to the Olympic Park complementing the existing higher education offer in Newham.

This development would play a major part in delivering real improvements in the quality of life for Newham’s residents and opening up opportunities for future generations.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham said: “This important scheme will also inspire our youngsters to look at what prospects are available to them as well as creating fantastic long term economic benefits for residents and creating jobs and opportunities for years to come.”

John Burton, Director of Development at Westfield said: “We are delighted that UCL plans to establish its new university campus in Stratford. This announcement demonstrates that Stratford’s regeneration is accelerating – with over 10,000 new jobs already and many thousands more set to come with UCL Stratford and further development both in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Stratford town centre.

“We are seeing an astonishing transformation take place, and bringing one of the world’s top universities to Stratford will only strengthen its offer as one of the best connected and exciting development areas anywhere in Europe.”

£22m school expansion programme reaches out for trade jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New incentives to drive Green Deal uptake

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has announced the launch of a new project that will kick-start the Green Deal and creates new jobs.  

Speaking alongside climate change minister Greg Barker at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, UKGBC’s chief executive Paul King welcomed the implementation of the scheme and outlined its potential for stimulating economic growth.

Mr King praised the Government’s commitment to the scheme, but warned that it needed adequate support to accelerate the level of uptake and implement its objectives.

He said: “The Green Deal still has the potential to be truly revolutionary in driving mass home retrofit. This new market could, if nurtured properly, create jobs, stimulate economic growth and protect consumers from ever-rising energy prices”.

Among those taking part in the UKGBC task group are Saint-Gobain UK, the Association for the Conservation of Energy, the CBI, Sweett Group, L&Q, Marks & Spencer, Willmott Dixon and Travis Perkins.

Diana Montgomery, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, which is supporting the new project, said that despite the strong industry support for the Green Deal, more needed to be done to encourage households to take it up.

Dr Montgomery said: “Collaborating with the UK-GBC on this Green Deal Task Group project will help us to ensure that we can help Government effectively navigate the options they have available to them for capitalising on that opportunity.”

Incentives to be included:

  • Stamp duty banding/rebates
  • Council tax banding/rebates
  • Energy efficiency feed in tariff
  • Subsidised interest rates for Green Deal
  • Low interest loans (outside Green Deal)/ Green mortgages (underwritten by Government)
  • Lump sum grant/payment (cashback/vouchers)
  • Progressively tightening minimum standards, inc. extending to owner-occupied sector
  • Salary sacrifice (tax free scheme) through work/tax credits
  • VAT cut extension to a wider range of measure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

£33m Essex College Scheme to Boost the Trades

South Essex College has signed a £33 million contract with Skanska which will see the building of a new 2,500 place student campus in Essex.

Construction of the scheme is set to start immediately with the new learning campus being ready to open in the summer of 2014.

Skanska will be responsible for the construction of three and four storey buildings covering around 150,000 sq ft. It has the target of achieving BREEAM excellent rating and the facility will incorporate rainwater harvesting, air source heat pumps and roof level PV installations.

The project is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the construction sector.

The new college aims to boost local construction skills and will teach welding, brickwork, carpentry, engineering, mechanical, electrical and plumbing skills.

Following the completion of the new facility, Skanska will undertake landscaping and associated works which will include car parking, cycle storage and external landscaping.

Paul Heather, Managing Director of Skanska for London and the South East said: “We have successfully delivered a number of world-class education facilities across Essex in recent years and this has enabled to bring together a wealth of experience, skills and expertise to this project.

“The development of the new Thurrock Campus will provide excellent facilities for the students, teaching staff and the wider community and we are proud to be part of creating this key learning environment”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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