Posts tagged Building industry

Boris Johnson reveals £100m affordable housing boost

Train4TradeSkills Blog Boris JohnsonThe Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has secured a £100 million government investment for housing providers to help boost affordable housing in the capital.

The new investment secured by Mayor Johnson forms the latest part of his pledge to safeguard London’s affordable housing market and create new jobs in the construction industry.

By improving housing options of Londoners, Boris Johnson is providing a real boost for building professionals and people working in the trades.

Today’s investment represents an additional funding to the first £100 million Housing Covenant announced by the Mayor in September. The scheme will target housing providers who commit to starting construction on site by March 2015 at the latest.

Mayor Boris Johnson said: “This latest tranche of cash is another fantastic opportunity for housing providers in the capital to deliver the homes that this city desperately needs.

“Whether it’s for affordable homes to own, or to make better use of properties that lie empty or under-used, the fund will help working Londoners across the capital and create valuable jobs in construction.”

The Mayor, who has overseen the release of 100 hectares of Greater London Authority land since he assumed his new housing powers, announced last month that funding allocations for the first part of his Housing Covenant would deliver more than 3,000 homes and support around 6,000 construction jobs.

Developers, local authorities, charities and private organisations are all invited to bid for funding, which will be used to deliver affordable homes to own.

The Mayor also wants to hear from organisations committed to bringing empty properties or under-used commercial units back into use as affordable homes or to help London boroughs tackle homelessness. Organisations interested in submitting bids in London will need to do so by April 30. The funding prospectus for this round of funding can be accessed from here.

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.

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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

Norwich £11.5m Research Park development reaches out for new jobs

Morgan Sindall wins £11.5 million Norwich Research Park Centrum developmentMorgan Sindall has won a £11.5 million contract to construct the principal commercial research and development building at Norwich Research Park.

The project is due to complete in March 2014 and will see around 80 people from the local area working on site at the peak of construction.

The development is on track to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating of Excellent.

The four-storey building will provide 4,000 sq m of high quality facilities including laboratory and office space, a business centre and formal and informal meeting rooms.

The Centrum building will also include a restaurant and café, a breakout area and exhibition and circulation space. These social and formal spaces will provide a platform to enable the business community to interact with researchers on the Norwich Research Park.

Alan Giles, Project Director – Norwich Research Park, said “We are pleased to award Morgan Sindall this contract after a rigorous OJEU tender process. This is an important milestone in the development of the Research Park and the Centrum building will be the focal point for business and research to come together.

“Centrum will provide additional commercial laboratory and office accommodation for more established companies wishing to locate to Norwich Research Park. For companies already on the Park, it will provide them with the grow-on space in which to further expand their business.”

The development forms a key part of ‘Project 26′, which refers to the £26 million funding awarded through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in the 2011 Government Budget. The funding has been awarded to Norwich Research Park to improve the Park’s IT infrastructure, road network and provide new flagship buildings.

The Centrum development will be located centrally on the Norwich Research Park adjacent to the existing Recreation Centre and Conference Centre on the John Innes Centre site. It will provide a hub for the local science and business community, and will also facilitate collaboration amongst the Research Park’s occupants.

Industry praises Chancellor’s plan to boost infrastructure and create new jobs

CECA Autumn Statement

As reported on T4TS News, Chancellor George Osborne has today announced £5.5 billion infrastructure package in his autumn statement, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction sector.

The infrastructure investment package will be funded by welfare cuts and a reduction in other Whitehall departments. The latest revelation by the Chancellor represents a firm commitment by Government to boost construction projects and create new jobs.

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) said that today’s autumn statement demonstrated that the government was listening to the needs of the infrastructure sector.

In advance of today’s statement CECA had worked with other industry bodies to press the case for immediate action to unlock activity in the sector.

Based on analysis of figures published today, CECA believes that around £775 million of work will be release in 2013/14 as a result of the Chancellor’s actions. More than £1 billion further additional work is due to follow the next year.

Commenting, CECA director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner said: “CECA has long argued that there is a pressing need for the government to take action to unlock new work in the infrastructure sector to achieve growth in the economy.

“Today’s Autumn Statement show that the government has listened. A combination of new projects and investment in repair and maintenance work offers the potential of additional work worth £775 million for CECA members in 2013/14.

“Investment in the infrastructure sector offers the best rate of return, but for larger infrastructure projects it can take time for these benefits to be realised, particularly due to the planning system.

“It is thus vital that government and industry work together to identify ways of unlocking work in the sector that will show an immediate benefit.

“By announcing new work in the fiscal year, the Chancellor has recognised the need to stimulate infrastructure activity in the short as well as the long term, as the best means of returning UK plc to economic health.

“Clearly we will need to be sure that this is genuinely new money, rather than recycling of funds that would otherwise have been spent on infrastructure elsewhere. But on the face of it, this appears to have been a good Autumn Statement for the industry.”

What it your reaction to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement announced today? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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.”

Sizewell nuclear project to create 5,600 new jobs

EDF Energy has today started a public consultation for building a nuclear power station in Suffolk that will create 5,600 jobs in the trades.

Over the next eleven weeks EDF Energy will be consulting on the company’s initial proposals to build the Sizewell C nuclear station next to an existing plant at Leiston

The project is expected to take nine years to complete. EDF said that the scheme could create 25,000 ’employment opportunities’, with 5,600 workers on site at the peak of construction.

EDF also wants to create two park and ride sites, intended for construction staff that will be employed to deliver the multi-million project.

Local people can have their say on areas such as the overall proposals for Sizewell C, a rail, sea and road transport strategy including park and ride sites, accommodation for workers, and the socio-economic effects of the power station construction.

Richard Mayson Director of Planning and External Affairs, Nuclear New Build, EDF Energy, said:  “We are looking forward to talking to people in the local communities in Suffolk and with other stakeholders about our proposals.

“Sizewell C would generate enough electricity to supply one in five homes in Britain. It would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for low-carbon, secure and affordable energy. It would also create significant business, training and employment opportunities locally, regionally and throughout the UK.

“I urge you to play an active role in this consultation process. We are committed to giving your feedback serious consideration and will take it into account as we prepare detailed plans for Sizewell C.”

What is your reaction on building a new nuclear power station in Suffolk that will create new jobs and generate enough electricity to supply 5 million homes? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Cameron sets out plans to boost the trades and create new jobs

David Cameron has today unveiled fresh plans to unlock the planning system which will accelerate major construction projects across England and create new jobs.

Speaking at the CBI’s conference in London, the Prime Minister said the Government will embark on radical reforms to speed up key decisions that will boost economic growth and “eliminate bureaucratic rubbish”.

In a wide-ranging keynote speech, Mr Cameron said the UK was in the “economic equivalent of war” but hailed signs that Britain was again “selling to the world”. “Frankly, we need this buccaneering, deal-making, hungry spirit now more than ever,” he said.

The prime minister said he had taken “massive steps towards leaner, faster government” but acknowledged that more needed to be done to speed up decision making.

“We urgently needed to get a grip on this,” he said. “Whitehall had become too risk-averse – too willing to say ‘no’ instead of ‘yes’”.

Mr Cameron said the Government would restrict the use of “time-wasting” judicial review applications and reduce the time limit for people to bring their cases as well as charge more for reviews.

He also pledged to stop a “new torrent of rules and regulations” from Brussels that threatened to slow the development of county’s economy, pledging to ensure that new roads and infrastructure projects are build more quickly and efficiently.

You can read the full speech of Prime Minister David Cameron from here.

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.”

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.

 

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

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.

Vauxhall Student Scheme Reaches Out for New Jobs

Lambeth Borough Council has granted planning permission to Downing Developments to build a 32-storey student accommodation scheme in Vauxhall, South London, which will boost the building industry and create new jobs.

The development will see the building of 553 student accommodation units, a 25-metre swimming pool and leisure facilities which will be open to the public. The scheme will boost local businesses and benefit the construction sector as well as create new jobs in the trades.

The architect for the scheme is Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. Downing is planning to start work on the site immediately as the scheme is set for completion by 2014.

Downing development director, Paul Houghton said: “The scheme represents a significant investment in the area, not only through the £4.5m swimming pool and leisure facility, but also through the in excess of £1.5m of contributions that will benefit the local area.

“The proposals will redevelop a brownfield site and provide a major boost to local businesses through the increased spend that the students will deliver.”

Downing submitted the planning application in November 2011 following consultation on draft plans with the local community.  Following a public exhibition held in September 2011, the size of the swimming pool was increased from 20m to 25m in response to residents’ feedback.

UK cities get Green Deal funding boost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great News for the Trades as Regeneration Scheme in Manchester Gets the Green Light

The Government has given the green light to a massive regeneration scheme that will build new homes and carry out extensive refurbishments to more than 650 council houses in Brunswick,  an area of the inner city of Manchester.  

The 25-year regeneration project will see significant investment to the area, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction sector and trade professionals.

The Homes and Community Agency (HCA), which approved the regeneration plan, said it will include building an improved neighbourhood design with new road layouts and safe open space. The project will also build a new retail area including new shops and amenities coupled with a 60-bed accommodation facility.

Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, Cllr Jim Battle, welcomed the announcement for Brunswick saying that residents have long waited for such good news that will transform their area and deliver new homes.

Mr Battle said: “We have a fantastic community here that will no doubt continue to prosper as the regeneration plans come to fruition. Being so close to the city centre, coupled with the promise of new homes and an improved neighbourhood layout, I can see a bright future for Brunswick.”

The Government’s approval for the project means the Council can now consider a variety of bidders who will be responsible for delivering the regeneration plan. The Council said it will evaluate final bids from both Fern and Solutions 4 Brunswick, before selecting the preferred bidder later this year.

 

What’s your reaction to the approval of the long awaited regeneration plans in Brunswick? How the Government’s decision to refurbish and build new homes will benefit you/ your business?

South Somerset District Council Seeks Residents’ Views on 16,000 New Homes Plan

Somerset District Council has launched a six week consultation period over the plan to build 16, 000 new homes across South Somerset in the next 16 years.

Housing growth has been in the Council’s core development strategy with a strong agenda for boosting employment and creating thousands of new jobs, South Somerset District Council said in a statement.

The Council is inviting businesses and the people of South Summerset to express their views about the major development. The consultation period will run from 28th June to 10th August 2012. Once the consultation is completed, the Council’s proposed plans for new housing and jobs are expected to include policies on affordable housing, car parking, shops, open spaces and the environment up to 2028.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Ric Pallister, described the Local Plan as ‘one of the most important issues to come before the people of South Somerset in more than a decade’.

He said: “We need to take a long term view that is more concerned with meeting the needs of future generations than it is about today’s concerns.  Although we are now in the closing stages of the plan being adopted, having taken note of everything the community have said so far, there is this last opportunity to have your say.  Comments, either in support or objection, will then be passed on to a Planning Inspector who will hold a public Examination and make a final decision later this year.”

Current Draft of the Local Plan includes:

Yeovil

  • 40 hectares of employment land already committed
  • 5 new hectares of employment land within the town and 7 new hectares (1,565 jobs) in a Sustainable Urban Extension
  • 2943 new jobs
  • 3,704 homes allocated, proposed a further 4,111, to include a Sustainable Urban Extension of 1,565 homes to the South, rising to 2,500 homes after the year 2028.
  • Green Buffer to protect the villages of East Coker & North Coker

Chard

  • 13 hectares of new employment land
  • 886 new jobs
  • 1,861 homes proposed with a further 1,376 after 2028
  • Strategic growth will be to the east of the town and including town centre regeneration.

Wincanton

  • 5 hectares of new employment land
  • 490 new jobs
  • 692 homes already allocated proposed a further 11
  • Strategic growth will be to the south west of the town, north of Lawrence Hill and west of Wincanton Business Park.

Crewkerne

  • 10.10 hectares of employment land already committed
  • 472 new jobs
  • 901 homes already allocated proposed a further 127
  • Strategic growth will be located at the Crewkerne Key Site.

Ansford / Castle Cary

  • 3 hectares of new employment land
  • 223 new jobs
  • 127 homes already allocated, proposed a further 273
  • Strategic growth will be to the north of Torbay Road and east and west of Station Road.
  • Request for a road link between Station Road and Torbay Road to improve access to employment area.

Somerton

  • 3 hectares of new employment land
  • 251 new jobs
  • 235 homes already allocated, proposed a further 165
  • Strategic growth will be to the west of the town.

Langport / Huish Episcopi

  • 3 hectares of new employment land
  • 233 new jobs
  • 295 homes already allocated, proposed a further 105
  • Strategic growth will be to the north, east, and south east of the town (employment only to the south east to protect nearby wildlife nesting grounds).

Ilminster

  • 23.5 hectares of employment land already committed
  • 343 new jobs
  • 199 homes already allocated, proposed a further 332
  • Strategic growth will be to the south east of the town.

Rural Centres

  • All rural centres to receive 2 hectares of employment land each (828 jobs overall)
  • Bruton – 113 homes already allocated, proposed a further 104
  • Ilchester – 151 new homes
  • Martock  – 101 homes already allocated, proposed a further 145
  • Milborne Port – 210 homes already allocated, proposed a further 89
  • South Petherton – 151 homes already allocated, proposed a further 94
  • Stoke Sub Hamdon – 6 homes already allocated, proposed a further 49

What is your reaction to the major development in Somerset which is expected to build thousands of new homes and boost the building construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voce on our Facebook page.

The Government Will Ease Building of New Homes

A new report published today by MPs has identified enough public land, such as empty offices, unused storage and empty public service buildings, to build more than 100,000 homes.

The report which was prepared by the Commons Communities Select Committee has found that 230,000 households are forming each year, but in 2011 only 110,000 new homes were built, showing that demand had outstripped supply of newly built houses.

Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, welcomed the findings of the committee and agreed that the government needs to take decisive action to support the building of more new homes over the next coming years.

The Conservative Minister commented that the government is the biggest public sector owner of public land and as such, it is fair to make the best use of its assets to help the building of more homes across Britain.

Mr Shapps said: “We’re already on track to smash the Prime Minister’s ambition to release previously-used public land for housing: enough land has already been identified to support more than 102,000 homes. But we’re not stopping there – I’m determined to continue looking for more sites suitable for housebuilding.”

To help developers make the most of the sites on offer, Mr Shapps will also look to extend the use of the innovative “Build Now, Pay Later” deal to as many previously-used sites as possible, allowing them to start work on thousands of new homes without the initial expense of buying the land, the Deportment for Communities and Local Government said today.

The report also states that ministers are committed to make information about surplus public land freely available and help local people see the opportunities which exist in their area.

What is your reaction to the government’s commitment to help the building of more homes across Britain? How would you or your business benefit from these proposals? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

London Greater Authority Invites Firms to Bid for Building Construction Work

In a drive to boost the housing market and accelerate the building of new properties in the capital, the Greater London Authority (GLA) is seeking developers to join a new £5 billion procurement panel which will open more work for external contractors and building developers, Construction News reported today.

From 2013 the new housing procurement panel will replace the current Homes and Communities’ Agency, the London Delivery Partner (LDP). It is going to be managed directly by the GLA, speeding up the process for building private and social houses as well as improving the development of properties in the public sector.

The new panel will recruit up to 28 building firms that employ thousands of workers in the building construction engineering sector. This could provide more employment opportunities for trade professionals.

A bidding process is currently open to any firms that are capable of delivering housing developments, raising sufficient finance and improving community facilities. Interested developers need to apply before 4th May 2012 and successful bidders will be awarded by 1st April 2013.

The scheme is expected to increase competition between contractors and improve current housing standards as well as optimise the process of marketing and selling new homes in the capital.

What’s your reaction to the £5 billion fund which will give the Greater London Authority more control over future housing developments in the capital? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

 

Significant Investment to Boost the Manufacturing Industry

The pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has confirmed an investment of £500 million across its manufacturing sites to increase production of its products whilst providing a major boost for the UK’s construction and manufacturing industry.

 

The company announced today it will build a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Cumbria, North of England. An investment of £350 million for building the new facility would create hundreds of jobs and provide work opportunities for people in the building sector.

Building construction work is anticipated to begin within the next two years depending on obtaining the necessary planning consents. It is likely to take up to 6 years before the new facility is entirely completed.

The significant investment comes after Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, confirmed yesterday in Budget 2012, the government’s commitment to introduce a lower rate of corporation tax on profits generated from UK-owned intellectual property.

Chief Executive at GSK, Sir Andrew Witty, said: “The introduction of the patent box has transformed the way in which we view the UK as a location for new investments, ensuring that the medicines of the future will not only be discovered, but can also continue to be made here in Britain.”

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the investment as “excellent news” for businesses saying that cutting business tax will attract further investment to the British economy.

“It shows why we are right to cut business tax and focus on making the UK a dynamic and competitive place that can attract exactly this type of high tech investment.”- Mr Cameron said.

Additional investment of more than £100 million was also confirmed for GSK’s two manufacturing sites in Irvine and Montrose, Scotland. The company also said that it will invest in sustainable green energy production and environmentally friendly manufacturing technologies in the future.

What is your reaction to the significant investment to build new manufacturing facilities across the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’  Facebook and Twitter pages:

Construction Industry Proud of Building the Olympic Venue for London 2012

The man in charge of building the Olympic venue for London 2012, John Armitt, has told Reuters News that this summer’s Olympics will be a great advertisement for Britain’s construction sector.

The Olympic venue was successfully completed both on time and within the £7 billion budget. This serves as an excellent stimulus for boosting British construction and as an example to building companies around the globe.

Armitt, who is a chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and responsible for the Games infrastructure, believes the Olympic Park in East London will be a great showcase for courtiers around the world to look at the knowledge and the skills of Britain’s building engineering construction industry.

Talking about the legacy of British construction and pointing out the great achievements in the building sector, Mr Armitt said: “British contractors and consultants have been delivering infrastructure around the world for the past 200 years.”

“What this enables them to do is reinforce those credentials in the overseas markets. The Olympics is an opportunity for us to build our self-confidence as a country.”- added Mr Armitt.

What is your opinion on the successful completion of the Olympic Park for London 2012? Do you think it will help British construction businesses to get work abroad? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

 

Building Work for New UBS’s London HQ to Go Ahead

Swiss investment bank UBS has been granted permission for its new 700, 000 square foot building in the City of London.

The new £340 million headquarters of UBS in London’s financial district is expected to be completed by 2014, meaning it could create more jobs for people in the building construction sector.

The Swiss bank has signed a pre-letting agreement with developers British Land and Blackstone for the construction work to start in April this year. Demolition and site preparation work near Liverpool Street station is currently underway, leading publication, Construction Enquirer, reported today.

UBS is the largest tenant in the 30-acre Broadgate development in London’s City financial district which will include four trading floors that can be adapted into normal office space.

The new building will pay attention to sustainability using photovoltaics and solar thermal panels to generate green energy while rainwater harvesting will reduce water consumption.

British Land said: “Demolition of the existing 4 & 6 Broadgate buildings is well underway and will be completed in April; with delivery of the new bespoke building on schedule for the first quarter in 2014.

“The joint venture has already placed or tendered around 60% of the project’s construction costs within budget and programme.”

Tim Roberts, Head of Offices for British Land, told Construction Enquirer: “This is another significant milestone in the development of the new UBS building at 5 Broadgate and a real boost for the City.

“The Broadgate estate continues to evolve to serve the needs of a range of city occupiers and the 30,000 people based there.” – Mr Roberts added.

The two developers, British Land and Blackstone, said UBS will occupy the new building for period of around 18 years.

Do you welcome the move of the Swiss bank giant UBS to build its headquarters in London? What does the £340 million investment mean for the building construction sector? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below:

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