Posts tagged building construction industry

£1 billion growth fund reaches out for new trade jobs

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Cleg has announced an investment of £1 billion under the Regional Growth Fund which will kick-start 130 projects across England.

The Government has estimated that today’s latest round of spending could create 240,000 jobs, many of those in the building construction industry.

The fund will help manufacturing firms, small businesses and local partnerships to expand their operations, create new jobs and stimulate economic growth.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: “This £1 billion boost for growth in towns and cities across England is creating jobs that will last in the parts of the country that need it most.

“In tough economic times the Regional Growth Fund is good value for taxpayers’ money – this £1 billion round of the fund is pulling in £6 billion of private sector investment.”

CBI chief policy director Katja Hall said: “The Regional Growth Fund is helping to meet businesses’ needs for growth capital up and down the country, enabling the successful companies to get projects off the ground.”

Commenting on the new initiative, business minister Michael Fallon, said that this is a significant investment which will help different sectors and provide strong economic boost for businesses across the country.

Mr Fallon said: “The selection process has been very fast – from companies applying to allocating funds in only five months.

“So we are keen to get a move on which is why this time, those selected have now only three months to agree final offers, and three months to complete due diligence. We want to ensure good value for the taxpayer and to get these projects started as soon as possible.”

£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”.

Jobs boost in Leeds Thorpe Park expansion plan

Scarborough Development Group has submitted plans to build a £400 million development at Thorpe Park, East Leeds, which could create up to 6,500 new jobs and boost the trades.

The mixed-use development scheme is designed to meet the needs of business occupiers as well as provide a valuable hub for local communities in Leeds.

It comprises 1.2 million sq ft of office space, 130,000 sq ft food storage area, 177,000 sq ft leisure area for hotels and additional 33,000 sq ft for dining outlets.

The project will also bring the delivery of a 113-acre Green Park and Leeds’ first significant new public park in over 100 years.

Commenting on the plans, Mark Jackson, Managing Director of Scarborough Development Group said:  “Our new plans will present a step-change at Thorpe Park with a new offer for established businesses, growing businesses and fledgling business.

“We want Thorpe Park to be an engine for economic growth in the immediate area, and a benefit to the whole City Region.”

Mr Jackson outlined the wider benefits of this development for creating new jobs and boosting the local economy.

He said: “Thorpe Park has the potential not just to boost the economy of the city region and help cement Leeds’ position as a regional capital, but also to provide thousands of new job opportunities for local people built around a more diverse economy and range of uses on the park.”

£1bn council housing boost reaches out for new trade jobs

Housing minister Mark Prisk has announced a £1 billion investment package to improve council homes across England that will provide work for thousands of tradesmen.

The new funding could bring over 86,000 homes up to a decent standard, paving the way for new trade jobs in the building construction industry.

It is the latest round of funding under the Decent Homes Programme which aim is to help councils bring their homes up to a decent standard, from fitting new roofs and windows to updating kitchens or heating systems.

Mr Prisk said that this new construction and skilled work would provide a shot in the arm for thousands of local businesses and tradesmen, supporting the Government’s measures to boost British jobs and the economy.

The Minister said that spending money earlier would help boost local employment as early as possible, as well as delivering home improvements for tenants ahead of schedule.

Mr Prisk said: “By improving this country’s council homes we will transform many families’ lives for the better, bringing their living standards up to scratch ensuring that their home is the safe haven it is meant to be.

“But the benefits of the £1 billion I’ve confirmed today reach far beyond tenants themselves and into the local economy.

“With every pound spent on improvements boosting local business, creating new jobs and supporting local spending, I want to see councils realising the benefits of this cash as soon as possible.”

What is your reaction to the newly announced £1 billion investment programme set to improve thousands of council homes, boost the trades and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Government boost for building 9,000 new homes

Norman Lamb has used the Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton to announce an extra £100 million investment for the construction of new care homes.

The care services minister revealed that the government fund for specialised housing will be increased from £200 million to £300 million which could see the building of 9,000 new homes and boost the trades.

Norman Lamb said: “Staying independent and having the choice to live in your own home as you get older is something we know most people want.”

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) welcomed the announcement by the care services minister, describing it as a great opportunity to build safe and improved homes across the country.
Domini Gunn, director of health and wellbeing at the CIH, said: “We are delighted to see the Department of Health making a commitment to help support greater health and independence for older people and to provide safe homes.

“The investment will create new opportunities to deliver additional and improved services through collaboration with housing and health professionals as well as planning departments.

“This is a great opportunity for housing to be recognised as an important function in the effective delivery of care provision.”

New partnership to boost homebuilding in Manchester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Citizens Advice signposts consumers to find reliable tradesmen

The Citizens Advice Bureau and TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality body, have joined forces to help homeowners find reputable tradesmen when they are looking to repair or maintain their properties.

Consumers from across the UK will now be able to search and select a TrustMark registered and inspected tradesman from the Citizens Advice website.

Homeowners in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have the assurance that all the firm’s competences and their fair trading practices have been independently inspected and checked.

Stuart Carter, Head of Marketing at TrustMark, said: “We are always looking for better ways to increase visibility for this quality mark so we are delighted that Citizens Advice is now signposting consumers to our TrustMark registered tradesmen.

“It is important that we continue to do more joined-up working with the key agencies, independent third sector organisations, trade bodies and advisory services to help consumers make more informed decisions when hiring tradesmen to improve or repair their homes.”

Gillian Guy, chief executive at Citizens Advice, said: “TrustMark is an excellent example of the kind of creative problem prevention initiatives that we really value at Citizens Advice.”

What is your reaction to the partnership which aim is to help consumers make the right choice when they are looking to repair, maintain or improve their homes. Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Government approval for Edinburgh Royal Hospital to boost the trades

Plans to build a £150 million replacement for Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children have been approved by the Scottish Government, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.   

Negotiations over the site for the new building have delayed the project, but now tenders will be invited to build the hospital next to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2017 and is part of a national initiative supported by the Scottish Futures Trust, which will see £750 million of investment in health facilities across Scotland.

The new site’s owners agreed to give the health board the land, currently a car park, in exchange for another site.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “There have been delays with the new Sick Kids Hospital in the past, due to land and commercial issues with an inherited PFI contract on the proposed site.

“I am pleased to say that there is now a framework in place to resolve the legal and commercial issues that arose in the original contract.”

Mr Neil said that the Scottish Government has already invested £1 billion into the building of new hospitals across the country. He committed to invest another £1 billion over the next two years.

Commenting on the announcement, chairman of NHS Lothian Charles Winstanley said: “The benefits of having children’s, maternity and adult services on the same site are well documented.

“This new building will add to the existing facilities at Little France to create a centre of excellence, bringing paediatric care, specialist neonatal care, neurosciences and A&E together.”

Government Approves £650m Chatham Docks Scheme

The Government has approved plans to transform a 26-acre site at Chatham Docks into a £650 million development set to create 3,500 new jobs.

Medway Council granted planning permission to the scheme, which has now been approved by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Construction work on the Peel Group’s project is scheduled to start next year, paving the way for jobs in the building sector and giving ‘a real economic boost’ to the region.

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Rodney Chambers, said: “This is a major step forward for the regeneration of Medway and is a clear indication of how the area is growing and continuing to attract significant investment from developers and businesses.

“Not only will it create thousands of jobs for residents in the near future, but it will provide opportunities for future growth and unrivalled facilities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy and benefit from.”

The major development will build hundreds of new homes, a hotel, a supermarket, office and retail space, as well as education and community facilities.

James Whittaker, Development Director at Peel said he was delighted the Government has approved outline plans for Chatham Waters.

Mr Whittaker said: “The plan will regenerate and breathe new life into a significant area of the dockland and give the region a real economic boost.

“We will now continue preparing detailed plans for the first phase and we hope to start building on the site next year.”

Get Britain Building for Jobs and Growth

A group of British builders and influential trade associations have launched a new campaign to encourage economic growth and create new jobs in the construction industry.

The “Jobs for Growth” programme, which was officially launched today, is now the UK’s biggest coalition of companies making the case for investment in the building of new homes to quickly stimulate growth and generate jobs.

The organisation is targeting specific areas in the UK construction sector, reaffirming that there are significant benefits for investing in housebuilding and infrastructure projects.

For example, every £1 spent in construction generates £2.84 in economic activity, whilst 92% of the investment is retained in the UK, supporting manufacturing and the skills which the country needs.

Jobs for Growth founder Mike Leonard said: “The UK needs jobs and growth, and building our way out of recession is now the only solution left to Government.

“After a golden summer of sporting achievement, we need to capture some of that Olympic spirit, positivity and determination and go for gold in Jobs and Growth.”

Mr Leonard said: “Over the coming months we will work closely with all our local and national politicians, banks and other decision influencers to build the case for Jobs and Growth.

“We have the demand, the will, the land, the materials and the skills to make this happen. With the same level of focus, commitment and pride demonstrated by our athletes this summer, the building industry can lead Britain out of recession.”

What is your reaction to the new “Jobs and Growth” campaign promoting construction led recovery? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Acton Gardens Reaches Out for New Homes

The London Borough of Ealing has granted planning permission for the £579 million regeneration scheme in Acton Gardens that will build thousands of homes and pave the way for new jobs in the trades.  

The regeneration of Ealing’s largest housing estate will develop an urban village with around 2,500 homes, half of which will be affordable, as well as tree-lined streets, parks, communal gardens, offices and retail space.

The developer, Acton Gardens LLP, is a joint venture between Countryside Properties and social housing landlord L&Q. It has established Acton Gardens Community Board in conjunction with local residents and stakeholders, to help manage the 15-year regeneration programme.

The new homes will be built to achieve a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 offering low heating, power and water consumption. Non-domestic buildings are aspiring to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’.

David Montague, Chief Executive of L&Q, said: “Securing planning committee approval is a crucial milestone in the transformation of South Acton and we are extremely pleased to have been given the green light by our partners at the London Borough of Ealing.

“The consultation process with residents and local and regional stakeholders involved numerous public exhibitions, workshops with community groups and over 600 face to face interviews with residents.

“The results of this process can be seen in the quality of the design proposals which are very focused on delivering the aspirations of local people. The ground-breaking ‘Future Climate’ work at Acton Gardens will aid us in all our future projects.”

Currently there are 167 dwellings at Acton Gardens which are under construction with first completions expected in January 2013.

What is your reaction to multi-million regeneration scheme at Acton Gardens that will build new homes and create jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Approval for £8bn London Development to Create New Jobs

An ambitious £8 billion redevelopment plan for Earls Court and the Kensington Opportunity Area in West London is set to pave the way for thousands of jobs in the trades.

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has today granted planning permission to Capital and Counties Properties to develop a new urban district including 7,500 new homes across four residential districts.

The Council have estimated that more than £1 billion worth of community benefits will be generated in the local area, creating 9,500 permanent jobs.  It will also include 760 replacement council homes.

The scheme will also include the building of 1,500 affordable homes, offices, educational, cultural and community facilities as well as a new five acre green park.

Residents living on the estates would be offered the chance to build new skills in preparation for the thousands of employment opportunities which will be created.

Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, Cllr Nicholas Botterill, said: “This major regeneration could lead the way in lifting the country out of recession – ploughing hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment into London’s economy and bringing thousands of new homes and jobs.

Ian Hawksworth, Chief Executive of Capco welcomed the Council’s decision to grant a planning consent for the Earls Court Masterplan which work is expected to start next year.

He said: “The proposed scheme will offer a multi-billion pound investment in both London and the local community creating thousands of new homes and jobs.”

Major transformation in St James’s area to create new jobs

The Crown Estate has submitted four planning applications as part of a £450 million redevelopment plan that will transform the St James’s area in central London and create new jobs.

A major part of St James’s will be rebuilt to create nearly 340,000 sq ft of mixed-use accommodation between Regent Street and Haymarket.

The lead scheme, known as St James’s Market, will see the building of a commercial redevelopment which will create offices, retail and restaurant space behind preserved historic facades in central London.

The proposals mark the next stage of the Crown Estate investment programme for St James which comprises nearly 50 per cent of the buildings in the area.

James Cooksey, Head of St James’s Portfolio said: “Our investment in St James’s builds on the area’s status by providing a first rate destination amenity space for those living, working and visiting the area.

“Together with our Gateway scheme and investment in Trafalgar House and British Columbia House, it demonstrates the major progress we’re making in delivering on our St James’s strategy.”

Commenting on the proposals, Alastair Smart, Head of Development said: “St James’s Market is perhaps the most significant development we have ever undertaken and builds on the two schemes currently on site as part of our investment in St James’s and Regent Street to provide modern space for global businesses.”

The St James’s Market proposals also include three associated private residential and affordable housing schemes. These will create new homes totalling 60,000 ft2, ranging from one bedroom apartments to four bedroom family homes.

In March 2012 The Crown Estate consulted the local community and received strong levels of positive feedback on the proposals, particularly in relation to the improvements to the accommodation and quality of the public areas in St James’s.

Olympic and Paralympic Success to Boost Business Growth

Trade Minister Lord Green and Olympic Ambassador Sebastian Coe vowed today to build on the success of the Olympics and Paralympic Games by working with industry to promote British skills around the world.

An Olympics Legacy programme of trade missions and companies in the building construction sector will build on the successful completion of the Olympic venue which is set to bring £13 billion to the UK in the coming months and years.

Olympics Legacy Ambassador to the Prime Minister, Sebastian Coe, said that the Olympic legacy which London 2012 left is ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to showcase British business excellence to the world.

Coe, who is also a double Olympic Champion and 12-time world record holder in athletics, said: “The extraordinary success of the London 2012 Games has shown the best of Britain to the world and now our focus turns to securing a lasting legacy. We have already witnessed the incredible regeneration of east London, with world class facilities and a new urban park created.

“We now need to ensure that organisations up and down the country use the positive impact generated by the Games to reach out to new markets and grow their businesses.

“The British Business Embassy at Lancaster House has brought together business leaders from the UK and all over the world in a showcase of Britain’s industrial strengths and successes.”

Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Green, said that the Games have provided excellent chance to enhance Brittan’s business links with the rest of the world that will bring significant investment to the economy.

Mr Green said: “The British Business Embassy has hosted 4,000 business people from large and small firms alike. The connections they have made will deliver real economic dividends.

“We are now working hard, alongside firms around the country to follow up the contacts, networks, announcements and momentum created by the Games.”

New Jobs as the Duke of York gets £25m Refurbishment Scheme

The Duke of York Military School has appointed BAM Construction to deliver a £25 million refurbishment programme that will create new trade jobs.

As part of the multi-million expansion of the co-educational school in Kent, BAM will deliver five new buildings and refurbish several more, bringing extra employment opportunities for people in the building construction sector.

Project director Rod Stiles said that BAM was particularly pleased to help the ‘historic’ school upgrade its facilities and provide work for local construction companies and trade professionals.

He said: “Most of the suppliers and construction workforce will be from Kent and our training programmes will continue to develop new local construction apprentices.”

The school, which became an “Academy with Military Traditions” in September 2010, will increase its capacity from 468 to 722 pupils and provide enhanced study and sport facilities.

BAM’s major project will include demolishing several blocks and building a sports hall, two two-storey teaching blocks and four two-storey junior boarding houses.

The construction firm confirmed today that further remodelling and repair work will take place across the school estate. The project builds on a thriving workload for BAM which in the last decade delivered buildings in Kent worth more than a third of a billion pounds.

Executive Principal, Chris Russell, said: “We are delighted that BAM has been selected to enhance our already extensive school site and facilities. This programme will ensure that the Duke of York’s Royal Military School will remain a leading state boarding academy for many years to come”.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Jonathan Walker talks about plumbing training with T4TS

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

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

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PLANNING MAJOR CHANGES TO CREATE NEW JOBS

The Government is planning to re-write planning rules to boost “nationally significant” infrastructure projects and build new homes, Chancellor George Osborne unveiled yesterday.

The Chancellor said that developers would be allowed to build on the Green Belt around towns and cities if an equivalent area of land is safeguarded elsewhere.

Mr Osborne said: “I think we can speed up planning. It is absolutely ludicrous that it takes years to get planning decisions in this country. The country, in the current economic environment, cannot afford to wait years for development.”

A £10 billion Treasury package will guarantee the debt of housing associations and private developers in bid to create jobs and revive housing market.

The Chancellor said that the Government will do more in order to make it easier for local authorities to grant planning permission for developers in the future.

Mr Osborne announced a Small Business Bank to bring together what he called an “alphabet soup” of Government schemes to help small firms and encourage economic growth.

What are your thoughts about George Osborne’s announcement? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

New Trade Jobs as Kwoks set to roll in £300m deal

A £300 million development programme, part of an ambitious £8 billion residential scheme for London, is set to start in next year following an agreement between developers.

Capital and Counties Properties (Capco) today finalised the deal with Hong Kong developers, the Kwok family, to build 800 new homes around Seagrave Road in central London.

The investment is set to bring thousands of new trade jobs for the construction industry and encourage economic growth.

Proposals include building new offices, leisure and retail space as well as a new primary school, library and open public areas. The project will include 200 affordable homes that will be offered to tenants in nearby estates.

Ian Hawksworth, Chief Executive of Capco said: “We are pleased to have completed our joint venture agreement in relation to the Seagrave Road project and look forward to starting on site in 2013 to create this exciting new residential quarter for London.”

In accordance with the conditional agreement reached in December 2011, Capco received cash consideration of approximately £67 million from the Kwok family for the 50 per cent interest in the development, which includes the Seagrave Road site and other adjacent assets.

What is your reaction to the £300 million residential scheme at Seagrave Road that will create new trade jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Gary Slater talks about plumbing training with T4TS

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

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

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Daily Mirror Boost for ATL as Prof Trades Up to Success

“The Man who Swapped Science for Plumbing”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Bernard Gunga talks about plumbing training with T4TS

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

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

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

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

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

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Mobolaji Okikiolu talks about plumbing training with T4TS

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

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

[scribd id=103330673 key=key-psi8z7of7qd1m0ne2ht mode=scroll]

Council to Create 500 New Trade Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Multi-million Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Jobs

A £65 million deal for student accommodation at the University of Essex is going ahead, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction industry.

Today’s announcement gets  the ball rolling for selected building and design contractor Bouygues UK to build over a thousand student-bed accommodation complex.

Construction work has already started on the site adjoining Boundary Road which forms part of the University’s major Knowledge Gateway development.

The three-year scheme includes the construction of 648 new student units and the transfer of 766 existing ones, for which the Bouygues Development will provide the university a capital receipt.

The new build part of the scheme – known as The Meadows – has been designed by Lewis & Hickey architects and comprises 12-bed town houses accommodating 228 students and a further 420 en-suite study bedrooms.

An eye-catching  pavilion that will house a student common room, known as  ’The Hub’, will be built along the clusters of the study bedrooms.

Director of University of Essex Campus Services, Peter Church, said: “Demand for good quality campus residences remains high and The Meadows will add to student choice, with the town houses ideal for groups who wish to share accommodation.”

Mr Church commented that the combination of Bouygues Development’s extensive building and project management experience will complement and enhance the sense of community for students and local residents

What is your reaction to the major student accommodation scheme at the University of Essex? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Sporting Chance of Jobs in Hull’s New Theatre of Solar Power

One of the UK’ top sports colleges is about to get a £19 million facelift which is expected to create hundreds of new trade jobs.

Morgan Sindall has been given the go ahead for projects in Hull aspart of the city’s £400 million Schools Future Programme. Part of this will renovate St Mary’s College and will construct a 70, 000 sq. ft. teaching block.

North East construction managing director, Gordon Ray, said: “Construction work of this size and calibre has a huge impact on the economy of the city.

“We always look to support the communities and we hope to bring in a number of jobs to the region including for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.”

The new campus building will also include a new professional-standard 300-seat theatre with a ‘fly’ tower, allowing stage scenery to be raised and lowered during performances, which is one of the first to be installed in a school in the UK.

Mr Ray said that the company will aim to work with 50 building subcontractors from the area and also recruit apprentices throughout the lifetime of the project.

Due to the large amount of glazing and south facing frontage in its design, the new building will use thermal modelling and solar controlled glazing to ensure a steady internal temperature.

The main building will house 12 humanities classrooms, six sixth form classrooms, 14 science laboratories, 7,500 sq. ft. design and art space, a food technology classroom and two ICT suites.

As a specialist sports college, St Mary’s  will build a new 11,800 sq. ft. three court sports block with three sports science classrooms, an all-weather pitch and multi-use games area.

What is your reaction to the £19 million building scheme in Hull’s Mary College that will provide employment opportunities for trade professionals? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Building Man City’s New Training Academy to Create Trade Jobs

Building work on Manchester City’s new £100 million training academy has been given the green light by the government, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction industry.

After clearing objections by previous landlords who refused to sell their plots to the football club, now the Secretary of State has granted a compulsory purchase order, allowing building work to start.

The scheme, which involves building a 7, 000 seat-stadium and 15 small pitches will create new jobs and help the local economy.

Eddie Smith, Chief Executive of urban regeneration company New East Manchester, told the BBC that this development will benefit the people in Manchester and create new jobs

Mr Smith said “Manchester City Football Club’s plans in east Manchester are a hugely important ingredient of the ongoing regeneration of the area, which will see not only world-class leisure and educational facilities for the community, but also jobs for local people.

“We worked with the club to help relocate existing business and sustain existing jobs and are pleased that the Secretary of State has reached a decision in the public interest which will enable this ambitious scheme to move forwards.”

BAM Construction has won the main contract after holding off competition with other firms.

Plans at the site on land next to the Etihad stadium include:

  • A home for up to 400 young players who will train and study alongside senior players, with a clear development pathway to the first team
  • One half size and 11 full size youth development pitches
  • One half size and 4 full size first team pitches
  • On site sleeping accommodation and classroom facility for 40 young players to allow them to train and study in a safe and secure environment
  • A carefully planned first team building with changing rooms, gym, refectory and injury and rehab centre
  • A 7,000 capacity stadium for youth matches
  • Staff offices and a dedicated media centre
  • A bridge linking the site to the Etihad Stadium and the rest of the Etihad Campus

What is your reaction to the green light given to the Manchester City’ training academy? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Good News for the Trades: Hull’s Library Renovation Scheme to Create New Jobs

“The new redevelopment is to bring employment opportunities for trade professionals”

A multimillion redevelopment scheme at the University of Hull’s historic library has been given the green light with the appointment of its main contractor that will refurbish the 16,000 square-metre building and provide new employment opportunities for people in the trades. 

Today’s appointment of BAM Construction will provide the eight-storey library with new facades, mechanical and engineering services.

Building work is set to start this month, with the main scheme getting underway in November 2012. The project will continue for 3 years and is expected to be completed by 2014.

The project is expected to meet the world’s leading environmental and rating system for buildings, BREEAM.

BAM said in a statement today that it will hold suppliers days to attract local labour and provide employment opportunities for trade professionals, including plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

BAM’s Construction Director, Kelvin Pollard, said that the company is delighted to bring such impressive library to the forefront of modern design and technology which will encourage economic growth and create new jobs.

Mr Pollard said: “This major project will benefit the local economy and will ensure the library remains operational throughout. When complete, students will benefit from lighter, airier spaces that are more conducive to study and better equipped for modern learning.”

What is your reaction to the multimillion redevelopment scheme at University of Hull’s historic library which will benefit the local economy and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

 

University Regeneration Scheme to Create New Jobs in the Trades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Jobs

A multimillion accommodation scheme at the University of Stirling has been granted to a large construction firm which will see will the creation of 788 contemporary bedrooms and bring new jobs during its three year redevelopment period.

The £11 million contract will enable Stirling to compete with universities and colleges around the world whist creating employment opportunities for people in the trades and directly benefiting the local economy.

Building construction work, which is due to start this year, will improve current student accommodation with newly-designed study bedrooms, spacious kitchens with dining space, and increased social spaces.

Director of Estates & Campus Services, Karen Plouviez, described the scheduled redevelopment as the largest capital project the University has undertaken since it was created in the late 1960s.

Ms Plouviez said “We are looking forward to working in partnership with GRAHAM Construction to deliver this transformational project and to sensitively enhancing what is already an exceptional landscape and architectural setting.”

Regional Director for Graham Construction said: “Graham has a policy of being a responsible neighbour to the communities we operate in and we will be seeking to build relationships with the local construction industry and its supply chain.”

What is your reaction on the multimillion accommodation scheme at the University of Stirling? Do you think the local construction industry could benefit by the willingness of Graham Construction to cooperate with its supply chain? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Renewable Energy Jobs to Be Created

Global renewable energy developer, Element Power, has sign a deal with the National Grid UK to provide 3,000 megawatts of electricity to Ireland, creating 10, 000 jobs during project’s development and construction phase.

Electricity is expected to be transmitted through two subsea cables connecting wind power generated in the Midlands of Ireland to consumers in the UK.

The deal which is part of a series of projects exporting wind power could save UK consumers £7 billion over the project’s lifetime compared to sourcing the same energy from sea-based offshore wind farms.

Element Power said that the project would also result in the creation of an estimated 3,000 long-term operational and manufacturing jobs in the UK and Ireland.

Chief Executive Officer at Element Power Ireland, Tim Cowhig believes the project will bring substantial benefits to the economy and pave the way for more jobs in the building engineering industry.

Mr Cowhig said: “Greenwire is a particularly timely project which will enable the economy to harness our renewable energy resources to our economic advantage.

“Greenwire is the enabling project that will allow this to happen boosting our national trade and generating considerable employment and benefit to the Midlands region.”
The growing popularity of wind farms has seen an enormous boost for the renewable energy sector, creating more employment opportunities for engineers and trades professionals. It has been reported that the number of people working in this sector has grown significantly in the last two years.

Share your thoughts about this and other renewable energy developments by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

More Construction Jobs In London

Barratt London and L&Q sign major partnership to redevelop Fulham Wharf

Barratt London have announced that, in partnership with L&Q, it has acquired an 8.5 acre site in Fulham from Sainsbury plc. The site, which is on the north bank of the Thames, has a gross development value of £420m with planning permission for 463 riverside apartments and a new Sainsbury’s supermarket.

This is the third major JV Barratt is undertaking in conjunction with L&Q in London which in total will supply more than 1,000 homes in the Capital. Fulham Wharf follows on from the 50/50 JVs at the Ashburton regeneration project adjacent to the Emirates stadium in North London, and the 27 story Alie Street project on the eastern edge of the City.

The Fulham site has been bought on an unconditional basis with planning permission. In addition to the supermarket and housing, it will include restaurants, cafes and bars, a crèche, a gym, landscaped gardens, a riverside walk and the use of a jetty to create an ecological area for riverside wildlife.

The development will be delivered in two phases with phase one comprising the construction of the new 9,395m2 supermarket for Sainsbury’s together with 267 residential units of which 52 will be shared ownership. The residential blocks wrap around the new supermarket as well as extending above the building and range from 2-17 storeys. Phase two comprises the demolition of the existing superstore and the construction of 196 units, including 14 social rented homes.

Alastair Baird, Regional Managing Director of Barratt London said: “We are delighted to have secured this high profile project on the west London water front. Barratt has a strong track record of delivering complex London schemes including Dalston Junction and Canada Water and this gave us a strong competitive advantage. Our London portfolio is expanding fast – we now have over 3,000 units under construction across the Capital in 17 boroughs providing homes ranging from £120,000 to £3.5m.”

Jerome Geoghegan, Group Director of Development and Sales at L&Q, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Barratt London. We are now working together on three high profile sites that will deliver over 1000 new homes across the Capital.”

The scheme has been designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and construction is scheduled to start this month.

Barratt London is now working on 21 sites across London including Maple Quays at Canada Water, Queensland Road, Arsenal and the Court House in Westminster.

What is your reaction to the major regeneration projects which will pave the way for more employment opportunities for people in the building engineering sector? Let us know what you think by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Good News for the Trades as Three Firms Announce to Build New Homes in Scotland

Three of the leading UK housebuilders are set to build thousands of new homes as part of a major transformational project in Bishopton, South West Scotland, creating new jobs in the building construction sector. 

Taylor Wimpey, CALA and Persimmon have reached an agreement with the defence giant BAE Systems to build around 600 energy efficient homes on the former Royal Ordnance Factory site in Bishopton.

More than 2,500 new homes will be built over the 15-year development programme, making this one of the most exciting property developments taking place in the UK at the moment.

Construction work on the first phase of the £32 million residential development is scheduled to start in September 2012. During its construction phase, the project is expected to create around 4,000 full and part-time employment opportunities for local residents and people in the trades.

Project Director for BAE Systems, Lynda Johnstone, said: “It is testament to the scale and quality of the transformation project that it has sparked the high level of interest from property developers of the calibre of Taylor Wimpey, CALA and Persimmon.

“The multi-million pound regeneration programme will see high quality homes in the area and deliver a new community, which alongside the housing development will include a new primary school, library, community centre, leisure facilities and woodland park to complement the existing friendly, close-knit village feel of Bishopton.”

The regeneration is expected to deliver significant employment and business opportunities with the first homes going on sale in early 2013.

What is your reaction on the development programme that will build energy efficient homes and create new jobs for people in the building engineering industry?  Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Jamie Haskins talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 2

Jamie Haskins  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Jamie to find out how his electrical course is going.

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

[scribd id=99577539 key=key-2n3paylxffpzsgjnz548 mode=list]

Perth is given a £650, 000 Grand ahead of the Queen’s Visit

As reported by the BBC and the Press Association today, Scotland’s newest city has been awarded £650, 000 to restore and repair its historic buildings.

The grant has been given after Perth was granted a city status, which will be officially recognised during a visit by the Queen in July this year.

The funding granted to Perth will be spread over a period of three years. It will aim to safeguard and enhance city’s historic environment whilst contributing to the creation of new jobs and sustainable economic growth, Historic Scotland said.

Making the announcement, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “The grant from Historic Scotland will help secure Perth’s outstanding built heritage, enhancing the city and preserving a sense of place.

“Improving the historic properties will also encourage tourism, promote the use of traditional building skills, and make the city of Perth a better place to live, work and invest in.

“Using sustainable materials to adapt existing buildings will also help support the historic environment’s transition to a low carbon economy.”

What’s your reaction to the future renovation which will take place in Perth? Can you name other similar cities which need such investment?  Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

The Olympic Venue is an Excellent Showcase for British Construction Industry

As London is about to host the 2012 Olympic Games next month, the UK’s construction sector could benefit from this summer’s excellent completion of the Olympic venue and one of the greatest showcases on the Earth to bid for major international project in the future.

The opening of the Olympic Games will signal to the world, and future host cities of sport events, Britain’s success in delivering seven billion pound worth of Olympic infrastructure on time and budget.

John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) explained the success of London 2012 will reinforce Britain’s building construction credentials in overseas markets.

Mr Armitt also commented that the Olympics are an opportunity to build Britain’s self-confidence as a country. British businesses and trade professional could benefit from major projects in some of the world fastest growing economy, including Qatar.

Over the next decade the Gulf state will develop US $140 billion worth of major projects in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. British companies will be able to benefit from these commercial opportunities and pursue the investment potential which their businesses need.

Do you agree the building construction industry will benefit from the Olympic legacy and widen its international operations? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice in our Facebook page.

The UK’s First Nuclear Station in Somerset Will Create New Trades Jobs

 

Proposed plans for building the UK’s first nuclear power station in Somerset will be debated by planners and local authorities, the BBC reported today.

More than 5, 000 new jobs in the building construction industry could be created in the first phase of the project, if the planned nuclear power station near the Bristol Channel, in South West England, is given the green light by the government next year.

One of Britain’s largest energy suppliers, EDF Energy, announced last week the selection of the preferred bidder for carrying out civil works to build the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

The joint venture between Bouygues TP and Laing O’Rourke includes the construction of the main civil works for the nuclear island and building the supporting structures of the project.

This contract is the first relating to the main construction work which will see up to 25,000 jobs created on site over the course of the project, including an estimated 400 apprenticeships, Laing O’Rourke announced.

EDF’s Chief Executive, Vincent de Rivaz, said: “The civils contract will assist the UK’s economic recovery and boost economic prospects and prosperity locally. Our project will inject billions of pounds into the economy, revitalise entire sectors of industry and support tens of thousands of further jobs.”

Chairman and a Chief Executive of Laing O’Rourke, Ray O’Rourke, commented: “We are delighted, along with our partner Bouygues Construction, to be appointed by EDF Energy as preferred bidder to lead the development of the first new nuclear power station, which is vital to meet the UK’s future energy demands and support the wider economic recovery.”

Do you welcome the building of UK’s first nuclear power station in Somerset? What are the implications of this project for you/ your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

Sovereign Unveils an Ambitious Plan to Build 3, 000 New Homes in England

One of the largest providers of affordable housing in the South of England, Sovereign Housing Association, has announced it will build more than 3, 000 new homes over the next four years, paving the way for jobs in the building construction industry.

The ambitious plan will see 1, 064 new homes built by the end of this financial year, 865 of which have been already identified, the housing association confirmed last week. Under Sovereign’s new development strategy at least 276 of the new homes will be for affordable home ownership, forecasting a similar number of homes to be completed in 2013/14.
Development and Commercial Director at Sovereign, Phil Stephens, said: “The top priorities of our development strategy are to ensure that we deliver the HCA Affordable Homes Programme and to play our part in achieving Sovereign’s aim of reaching 50,000 homes by 2015,”

“Our recent successful bond issue has given us the financial strength and flexibility to continue delivering a substantial programme of new homes in our core operating areas in the coming years.”- added Mr Stephens.

It was revealed that Sovereign’s development will include a significant number of shared ownership homes as well as a growing number of market rent properties in key locations.

Mr Stephens commented that there is a definite gap in the market rent properties due to the rising demand from people unable to buy their own homes.

He said: “We will be looking to build on the positive experiences we have had so far letting homes at market rates in the West Country, and not only develop a broader portfolio of properties, but also diversify our revenue streams to enable us to continue providing affordable homes into the future.”

 

What’s your reaction to Sovereign’s announcement to build 3,000 new homes in the next four years? How do you think this revelation could help your business? Let us know by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.  

Persimmon Boss Unveils Plans to Build 5,000 New Homes in Wales

 

Housebuilder Persimmon Homes has revealed a £800 million investment plan to build 5,000 new homes across Wales that could create and support 10,000 jobs in the supply chain according to government estimates.

The announcement comes immediately after the company’s newly appointed Managing Director for Wales, Glyn Mabey, showed a sheer determination and strong commitment to head up the £800 million plan to build thousands of new homes in Wales.

The significant investment is expected to boost the building construction industry, create new jobs and provide employment for people in the trades. Mr Mabey believes that building new homes needs to be taken seriously by politicians and local government.

He said: “Aside from providing homes for a great number of people, which is important in its own right, we create a huge number of jobs on site and through our supply chain. The more we do the more jobs we create. It really is that simple”

Following the appointment of Mr Mabey, who will also be responsible for the Charles Church and Westbury Partnership brands in Wales, Persimmon is planning to open a new head office for the West Wales region, making an additional investment around the Swansea area that will benefit communities and boost the local economy.

Mr Mabey believes this additional expansion to company’s already strong presence in East Wales will continue to grow, becoming part of the fabric of the communities in which the company operates.

Mr Mabey said: “Having covered both England and Wales in my career I remember a time when Welsh Local Authorities and politicians were hugely proactive, creative and welcomed development with open arms, recognising the wider economic benefits it brought and the wealth creation generated by the economic activity. “

“We need to get back to that and Politicians and Officers need to show leadership and bravery to kick down hurdles preventing development from happening, rather than constantly allowing new layers of regulation and bureaucracy which slows everything down.” added Mr Mabey.

What is your reaction to the £800 million investment plan to build 5,000 new homes in Wales? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.


CBI Urges the Government to Boost Infrastructure

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has urged the government to boost economic growth by giving a greater emphasis on infrastructure projects in the UK.

In a new report published today, the CBI has recommended to the Treasury to enhance the credit rating of government construction schemes and raise public funds that will secure private business investment, unlocking billions of pounds to the UK economy.

According to the CBI Director-General, John Cridland, infrastructure investment will offer the UK a sustainable growth development that businesses need.

Mr Cridland said: “As this report makes clear, if we want to see the billions of pounds needed to upgrade our ageing infrastructure and secure jobs and growth for the long-term, the Government must make smarter use of limited public finances. By underpinning and lifting the credit rating of certain infrastructure assets, it can make them less risky and more attractive to investors.

The CBI says that harnessing just a 1 per cent increase from the UK’s pension fund will give a ‘vital boost’ to the UK’s underfunded infrastructure networks and make them more attractive to investors.

Do you welcome the recent report by the CBI that urges the government to make significant improvements to infrastructure schemes in the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or adding your voice on our Facebook Page

Masterplan for 5000 New Homes Will Boost the Building Construction Industry

The London Borough of Enfield has launched a consultation on the Masterplan for Meridian Water that could see 5,000 new homes build and create 3,000 new jobs.

The new development, which has the potential to become one of the largest eco-developments in Britain, has been designed to create new opportunities for canal and riverside homes in North London.

The £1.3 billion development will pave the way for building construction work, creating new jobs for trade professionals in the building construction industry.

Enfield Council has launched a public consultation on the 82 hectares site in Edmonton, currently occupied by a former industrial building, Construction News Reported today.

The council is looking for public input about the project and the consultation will run until the beginning of August 2012, seeking the opinions of investors, stakeholders, residents and local businesses. The Council said it was planning to work closely with potential developers in order to share the future vision of the area.

The current proposals aim to set ambitious targets for sustainability, including plans for a comprehensive district heating network. Meridian Water will also deliver improvements to public transport including improved rail services on the line connecting the area to Liverpool Street and Stratford.

The Local Authority member for Business and Regeneration, Councillor Del Goddard said:  “Meridian Water is the most significant contribution to the transformation of Edmonton and it will play a significant role in driving the expansion of north London for decades to come.”

Under the masterplan written by the London Development Agency (LDA) the projects will be a significant boost for the local economy and diverse sectors of employment.

The LDA Design’s director of urban design Colin James said: “This masterplan is the first step towards bringing forward Enfield council’s vision for creating new high quality, energy efficient housing and breathing new life into employment areas. ”

What is your view of the Meridian Water Masterplan that could build 5,000 new homes and create 3,000 new jobs? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook page: 

Poor Communication is the Biggest Time Waster for Plumbers

A new study has revealed that poor communication is wasting plumbers, heating engineers and other trade professionals more time than being stuck in traffic, HVP News reported today.

The research conducted by business software developer, Clik, has found that poorly managed communication between trade professional and customers  is  the  most frequent reason for wasting valuable working time.

The research, which was conducted among heating engineers, plumbers and facilities managers, found that 76% of the respondents identified issues in communication as the biggest time waster at their work. This includes misunderstandings, arranging and re-arranging appointments, and sending or receiving unnecessary emails, HVP reports.

A significant number of respondents, 63% of those surveyed said that being stuck in traffic wasted time and being unable to find a site impacted 47% of the participants in the survey.

Managing Director of Clik, Geoff Adams, thinks business management software could help industry professionals save valuable time whilst bringing positive results to their workload.

Mr Adams said: “Managing a range of customers and multiple jobs is time-consuming in itself and it is interesting to see that poor communication has such an impact.

“Everyone has their own way so we’ve set out to make a practical difference by providing software that covers all aspects of engineers’ diaries, scheduling, invoicing, planning, call backs and service calls.”

Do you agree that poor communication is the “biggest time waster” for plumbers and trade professionals? If you are working in the trades, share with us what are most common obstacles that slow you down by leaving a comment below: 

Building Work to Start on £90 Million Student Accommodation Scheme

Building work to develop two student accommodation schemes in London and Cambridge is to go ahead this year, providing a total of 770 bed spaces and boosting the building industry, Construction Enquirer reported today.

Student accommodation specialist Downing has confirmed it will build an 80,000 sq. ft. building which will feature 184 student apartments in Acton, West London. Building construction work is scheduled to start this month and it will continue till September 2013, when the £25 million 7-storey towers are completed.

The building firm confirmed it will build more student accommodation in Cambridge that will provide 586 student beds across three new buildings. Downing will also build a mixture of studio flats across the 182,279 sq. ft. development.

Downing Development Director, Paul Houghton, welcomed the new announcements and said that both buildings will be built sustainably which will improve energy efficiency.

Mr Houghton commented: “These acquisitions mark a significant milestone in our strategy to bring the Downing brand of superior, sustainable and energy-efficient buildings to the UK’s major student centres.

“The new funding environment and growing demand for higher quality living spaces with more amenities and better locations means that student accommodation is playing an increasingly important role in how universities attract fee-paying students.”

Do you welcome the new student accommodation scheme in Cambridge and London? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below:  

The University of Birmingham Expansion Plan to Go Ahead

The building construction industry is to receive a £175 million investment as the University of Birmingham is going ahead with a £175 million expansion programme.

The expansion, which is funded by the university and alumni donations, will include the building of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a new library, improving the university’s current sports facilities and student accommodation. The redevelopment plan was submitted to Birmingham City Council which is expected to give the green light for the five-year investment programme; likely to create new jobs in the building construction sector.

The Birmingham Mail reported today that plans for the sports centre will include Birmingham’s only 50- metre swimming pool, a sports hall that will host national sporting events and a gym where students can take part in a variety of sporting activities. The renovation will also include building dance studios and a high performance research centre as well as a new library with a cultural hub which will be open to the public.

It is hoped that the redevelopment scheme and the planned sports centre will cement the university’s reputation as one of the leading sporting universities in the UK.

Director of Estates, Ian Barker, told the Construction Enquirer that the project will benefit not only students and staff, but also local people who will be able to use the new facilities, helping the local economy and boosting economic growth.

Mr Baker said: “Although we are very proud of the current Edgbaston campus these are significant and exciting projects that will benefit students, staff and the local area. The University was founded to be an asset for the city and these plans have that aim in mind.

“For that reason, a number of developments, like the proposed new sports centre, swimming pool and the cultural hub, focus on facilities that will benefit the community as well as staff and students.

“We also hope that extending student accommodation and staff car parking on campus will relieve pressure on Selly Oak. Our plans also envisage a reduction in the University’s environmental impact and carbon footprint.”

What is your reaction to the redevelopment programme announced by the University of Birmingham?  What could be the benefits to you or your business? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Hinckley’s Redevelopment to Boost the Construction Sector

 

The Building Construction Industry will receive an £80 million boost as the government approves Hinckley’s regeneration scheme which will be a major source of work for contractors and people in the building engineering sector. 

The news about the significant redevelopment of Hinckley’s town centre, Leicestershire, comes after 12 years of discussions about the future of the project.

As reported on BBC News today, the regeneration scheme will build 24 new retail and restaurant units, 111,000 square foot Sainsbury’s store and a new bus station.

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council welcomed the decision of the government to give the green light for the project which will encourage future economic growth and create new jobs.

Stuart Bray, the leader of Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, said: “This is fantastic news for the town and means we shall soon start to see things happening. The exciting new shopping and commercial scheme will give the town centre a further boost, thanks to a superstore, cinema, fashion shops, family restaurants and a major new shoppers’ car park alongside a re-designed bus station. We are now looking forward to working with the developer on the construction programme.”

Although, an exact date wasn’t given for the start of the projects, the two developers behind the scheme, Wilson Bowden Developments and Ashcroft Estates, are to complete construction work in 2014.

Director for the joint venture, Tony Baker, said: “This is a crucial step in securing the delivery of this important project for the future of Hinckley. It will not only improve the retail provision in the town centre but provide much-needed new employment. Whilst there are a number of steps to be completed before work starts on site we are now able to move forward with confidence knowing that the entire site can be delivered.”

What is your reaction to the £80 million regeneration scheme for Hinckley? How beneficial the development is going to be for you and your business? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

London Heathrow Expansion Could Go Ahead

Plans to increase airport capacity in Britain and build a third runway at London Heathrow are likely to be supported by the government despite environmentalists’ concerns.

Both David Cameron and George Osborne, have reviewed their initial decision to rule out future expansion for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. It will deal with increased trade capacity and high volume of extra passengers –the Guardian reported yesterday.

Business leaders have expressed concerns that if a third runway at London Heathrow is not built, trade might move elsewhere in Europe which could have a negative effect on future economic growth in Britain.

Expansion in some of Britain’s largest airports would create work opportunities for thousands of people in the building construction industry, creating new jobs and boosting civil engineering recruitment.

In the Budget Statement last Wednesday, Chancellor George Osborne, said the government will optimise air capacity. It is expected a report on aviation policy to be published, aiming to help businesses to trade better and make further improvement into airport capacity.

Tim Yeo, the Tory Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, told the Guardian that he had “completely changed” his mind on the Heathrow expansion plans and now believed there was no option but to build a third runway; this will ensure that the south of England will remain a worldwide aviation hub.

The Prime Minister said that he recognises the need for expanding airport capacity in Britain and that the government is looking at ways of helping businesses to make the most of country’s aviation capacity.

Mr Cameron said: “I’m not blind to the need to increase airport capacity, particularly in the South-East” adding, “Gatwick is emerging as a business airport for London under a new owner, competing with Heathrow.”

What is your reaction to the expansion of airport capacity at London Heathrow? Do you think construction work at Britain’s major airports will help your business? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

HCA Confirms Investment for New Affordable Homes

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has granted £70 million to local authorities, housing associations and other home providers in the UK to bring empty properties back into use. This will deliver more than 5,600 new affordable homes, boosting the building construction industry and creating new jobs.

The £70 million investment will fund the refurbishment of properties which have been standing empty for a minimum period of 6 months. There are currently 700,000 empty homes in the UK that are not in use. The Empty Homes Programme, which is part of the HCA’s main Affordable Homes Programme 2011-15, will bring a considerable number of those homes back to live.

Chief Executive of the HCA, Pat Ritchie, said that the issue of providing more affordable homes across the country will continue to be a priority for the government and the HCA.

Mr Ritchie said: “One of the HCA’s key aims is to maintain a supply of affordable homes. With thousands of homes and properties lying empty across UK, we have a leading role to play in tackling the issue of empty homes blighting our communities, and this funding is welcomed. The high level of interest we received by providers bidding to participate in this programme demonstrates just how important of an issue this is.

“I am pleased therefore to be able to confirm our funding allocations for this spending period. Every part of the country is set to benefit, and we will be continuing to work closely with our local partners to maximise the allocations and deliver value for money in those areas where the need is greatest.”

The government has allocated in its Comprehensive Spending Review a total investment of £100 million for the Empty Homes Programme.  The remaining £30 million will be made available exclusively for community led groups at a later stage of the scheme.

What is your reaction to the £70 million investment to refurbish thousands of properties and provide more affordable homes across the country? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

Wandsworth Council Gives the Green Light for Construction Work

Wandsworth Council has approved plans to build more than 1,800 new homes in Nine Elm, South London. This will pave the way for building construction work, creating new jobs and boosting the local economy.

The 13-acre site will be turned from what was previously a mail sorting office into residential apartments, a new state primary school and a 3.3 acre public park. The scheme is part of a huge regeneration programme aiming to build more affordable homes in London and improve community infrastructure.

The latest approval by Wandsworth Councils brings the total number of homes with planning consent in London to nearly 9,300. Some additional 4,500 homes will be given planning permission in the near future, bringing the total of new homes to nearly 14,000.

Programme Director at Nine Elms, Helen Fisher, welcomed the decision of Wandsworth Council saying that the regeneration programme will make a positive contribution to the local community and improve infrastructure whilst delivering growth and new jobs to the area.

Fisher said: “More than 1,000 homes are under construction in Nine Elms along with brand new offices, shops, a new riverside walk and acres of new park land. The scale of the transformation is truly remarkable and this latest planning approval adds further momentum to our regeneration programme.”

The former Royal Mail site, which lies at the heart of the Nine Elms regeneration zone, will be renovated by architects Allies & Morrison. The redevelopment scheme is an addition to the 250,000 square metres of new commercial and community space previously approved by Wandsworth Council.

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Construction Sector Hires More Workers

There has been a significant increase in the number of vacancies advertised in the building construction industry, despite the negative forecast on UK unemployment figures to reach almost 3 million by the end of this year.  

Recruitment consultants have reported an increase in construction vacancies for the first month of this year. One of the UK’s largest construction engineering recruiter has reported a rise of more than 50% in the number of advertised construction vacancies on their website, careerstructure.com.

Data published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has shown that engineering and construction workers were the most sought after employees in the UK. In contrast, the demand for hotel and catering staff has significantly declined according to the last survey from this year.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has published a report suggesting unemployment will continue to rise. However, the building construction industry is expected to continue to hiring more workers due to recent infrastructure projects and significant government investment.

The government has invested £5 billion towards infrastructure projects announced in the Autumn Statement in November, by Chancellor George Osborne. This has proven a positive incentive for the industry in regards to the progressive requirement as a result of business confidence and growth in the construction sector.

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