Posts tagged building sector

Super Masterplan for Kings Dock reaches out for new jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bradford resource recovery centre will create new trade jobs

A major new resource recovery facility, that will boost Bradford’s construction industry and create hundreds of trade jobs has been given the go ahead. 

Members of Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee have approved plans to build the state-of-the-art centre that will produce enough electricity to power around 20,000 homes.

Construction giant Skanska will be responsible for delivering the project and will work in a joint venture with AECOM, a global provider of professional technical and management support services, to design, build and commission the Resource Recovery Facility.

FCC Environment (formerly Waste Recycling Group (WRG)), a leading UK waste management and energy recovery company, will operate the facility.

The facility will mechanically extract valuable recyclable materials from Bradford and Calderdale’s household waste before using the remainder to produce electricity to be supplied to the National Grid.

It will divert over 90% of Bradford and Calderdale’s waste away from landfill each year, help the councils increase their recycling rates to over 50% and generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 20,000 homes.

The scheme at Bowling Back Lane will create 80 permanent jobs with a further 300 positions created during construction.

Speaking after the committee’s decision Mark Tribe, Project Director for Pennine Resource Recovery (PRR), said: “Our project will bring great economic and environmental benefits to Bradford and Calderdale and we’re delighted councillors have recognised this.

“No matter how environmentally responsible we are, our society will always generate waste.  The Resource Recovery Facility will ensure we deal with waste in a sustainable way and avoid sending it to environmentally damaging and increasingly costly landfill sites.

“This decision is great news for Bradford and Calderdale.  The scheme has been specifically designed for the area and we will be working very closely with local training and employment agencies to ensure that local people across both districts are able to benefit from the employment and training opportunities on offer.”

Benefits for residents and the economy within the Bradford and Calderdale areas include:

• 300 jobs during construction

• 80 permanent jobs during operations

• 80 apprenticeships

• 124 weeks of work experience for school children

• 1,500 weeks of work experience for unemployed people

• Up to £50,000 a year donated to a Community Fund

• Contracts available for local recycling companies

• £30million in construction contracts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

£22m school expansion programme reaches out for trade jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

£1 billion campus expansion to boost the trades

The University of Manchester has announced an ambitious £1 billion plan that will see the construction of a world-class campus and pave the way for new trade jobs.  

The Estates Master Plan, which was approved by the University’s Board of Governors last week, will create a single campus which will involve the construction of teaching and research buildings as well as new student facilities.

The first phase of the plan, costing around £700 million, will be delivered over the next six years and will throw a lifeline to the building industry and boost the trades.

Plans include building of a new engineering campus, new centres for the school of law and Manchester Business School, a major refurbishment of the university library, a bigger students’ union and new medical school.

Outline plans have been drawn up for a second phase which is expected to cost a further £300 million and is set to begin in 2018.

The second phase of the plan would create a Biomedical Campus around the existing Stopford Building along with other major developments for staff and students, including refurbishments in the Schools of Computer Science.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester, professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “Our long-term aim, as restated in our Manchester 2020 Vision, has been to create a world leading university that would compete with the best universities in the world and would occupy a single, outstanding campus, where some of our beautiful old buildings would stand alongside the very best in modern facilities for our research and our students.”

Boris gives the go-ahead for London jobs boost

Mayor Boris Johnson has approved plans to redevelop a historic building in East London which will create 2,300 new jobs and boost the trades.  

The plans will see the demolition of the London Fruit and Wool Exchange which will make the way for a six-storey building for office and retail use to be build.

The Mayor believes the site and its location are vital to the prosperity of this fast developing part of the capital and to London’s wider economy.

Mayor Johnson used powers granted to him in 2008 to support the application, which had previously been refused planning permission by Tower Hamlets Council.

He said: “The historic London Fruit and Wool Exchange, in the heart of London’s East End, is a former commercial epicentre to which producers and buyers flocked from miles around to do business.

“These plans will not only restore the façade to its former glory, but regenerate the Spitalfields area with thousands of new jobs, and brand new commercial opportunities.

“It will also make a vital contribution to the wider London economy and have a significant impact not just on Tower Hamlets but on surrounding boroughs as well.

“I can find no reason to refuse permission and am of the firm view that this ambitious and important redevelopment should go ahead.”

£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”.

Construction of New Power Plant Gets Approved

The Government has granted planning consent for the building of a 60MW power plant in Cheshire which will create 500 new jobs during its 3-year construction period.

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, has given the go-ahead for E.ON Energy and Tata Chemicals Europe to build a new power plant at Northwich which will generate enough power to supply 80,000 homes and boost the local economy.

The plant will be built and operated by EEW. It will use pre-treated waste from economically recyclable materials that would otherwise be destined for landfill.

A spokesman from the Department for Energy and Climate Change said: “It is essential we have a balanced energy mix in the future to provide low cost, efficient energy to households and businesses.”

Commenting on the development, Director at E.ON, Nader Bahri said: “This decision is a milestone for EEW in the UK as it is our second UK plant to be granted planning consent.

“As a result, many tonnes of waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill could now be used to create sustainable energy.”

Tata Chemicals Europe Managing Director, Martin Ashcroft, welcomed the decision by Government to approve construction of the plant which will bring more competitiveness in the energy market.

Mr Ashcroft said: “As an energy intensive business, we are faced with ever-rising gas prices which are increasingly difficult to absorb. The new plant will give us fuel price stability which will allow us to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and to plan our long-term future.”

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.”

Ed Balls Goes For New Affordable Homes

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has called for the building of 100,000 affordable homes that will boost the economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the construction industry.  

Today’s announcement comes as the shadow chancellor used his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester to demand radical measures to kick-start the economy and increase infrastructure spending.

Ed Balls said that a windfall of up to £4 billion is to come from the sale of the 4G mobile phone spectrum. This money could be used to fund the building of more affordable homes which will boost the trades and help people get on the property ladder.

Mr Balls said: “Let’s use that money from the 4G sale and build over the next two years 100,000 new homes – affordable homes to rent and to buy – creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and getting our construction industry moving again.”

According to the shadow chancellor, plans to boost long-term investment and skills are the only way to rising living standards and getting people into employment.

He said: “Conference, a clear and costed plan to kick-start the economy and get people back to work is to build the homes  that we need now and for the long-term, building our way out of recession and re-building Britain for the future.”

What is your reaction to the proposal by the shadow chancellor Ed Balls to use the £4 billion from the 4G mobile phone network sale to build 100,000 affordable homes and boost the economy? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

London Mayor Unveils £100m Housing Boost

London Mayor Boris Johnson has launched a £100 million fund to help a range of housing projects across the capital and boost the trades.

House builders will have the chance to put their bids forward to deliver major building work which could boost the London economy by £2 billion and create new jobs in the construction industry.

According to the Mayor, injecting such significant investment in the housing market could contribute £1 billion worth of construction projects across the city.

The Mayor has said that all ‘reusable investment’ from this funding boost will be reinvested for the building of more affordable homes over the next decade.

Motor Johnson said “To improve the housing choices of those who work to make this city the fantastic place that it is, I am opening up the market, cutting red-tape and injecting £100million  worth of investment to stimulate supply.

“The programme we are announcing will not just unlock the door to home ownership for thousands more Londoners, it will give a welcome shot in the arm for jobs in the capital’s construction industry and spur wider economic growth too.”

The first homes are expected to be available for sale in early 2013 with completions ranging up until March 2016.

Go Ahead for Building £58m Kensington Academy

Plans for building a £58 million academy and leisure centre in the North Kensington area of London have been approved, paving the way for work to start next month.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea granted yesterday a planning consent for the development which will see the building of a new school, state-of the-art leisure centre and hundreds of new homes.

Developer Leadbitter has been selected to deliver the scheme which will create new jobs in the construction industry and boost the trades.

Building of the leisure centre will run in parallel with the academy which will allow for both buildings to open together in 2014. The existing Kensington Leisure Centre is expected to close this December.

Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Merrick Cockell, said: “This is a landmark day for the North Kensington community and represents our ongoing commitment to investing in great facilities for our residents.

“Despite the challenging economic climate we are proud to be able to build a new academy and leisure centre which are going to make a vital contribution to local life for decades to come.”

Solent Enterprise Zone Reaches Out For New Trade Jobs

Plans to invest £25 million in the Solent Enterprise Zone that will create 1,200 new jobs have been finalised by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.  

The proposed investment would also support the development of a new 25,000 sq ft manufacturing business centre which will pave the way for new employment in the trades.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles, who visited the Enterprise Zone at Daedalus yesterday, revealed that £15 million of the investment will be used for building new homes and a community centre.

Hampshire County Council and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which are funding the project, have forecast that the development could create 1,182 jobs, of which 828 will be permanent.

Secretary of State Eric Pickles said: “This over £25m boost for the Solent Enterprise Zone will unlock its huge potential to deliver growth, homes and jobs and make a real difference to Gosport.

“It is local business and commerce that creates the growth and jobs this country needs and it’s this Government’s job to foster the conditions for those businesses to thrive.

“That is why through the Government’s Growing Places Fund and the setting up of Enterprise Zones, we have empowered local enterprise partnerships to drive forward their own local economic development.”

Colin Molton from the Homes and Communities Agency said: “This package of investment is great news for the local economy, which stands to benefit significantly from the ripple effect of new jobs and businesses coming to the Solent Enterprise Zone.

“This has been the result of partners working closely together to devise an innovative package which will maximise the use of the funds available to have a real positive impact on the ground.”

£200m housing development reaches out for new jobs

Crest Nicholson and the Homes and Communities Agency announced today the commencement of a £200 million housing scheme which will build 1,100 homes and pave the way for new trade jobs.

The mixed-use housing scheme at Oakgrove, Melton Keynes, is set to stimulate economic growth and meet high demand for new homes in the area as well as boost employment in the construction industry.

Oakgrove will form a new community with varied sized homes in a parkland setting clustered around a new neighbourhood centre, which will include retail and restaurant facilities.

The development is designed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and it will deliver achieve energy efficiency of a modern home. It will also include affordable housing for those unable to get onto the housing ladder.

Crest’s Executive Board Director, Chris Tinker, said: “Crest Nicholson is delighted to be commencing the delivery of this landmark and much anticipated development at such a critical time in the economic cycle.

“We would like to pay testimony to the officers and members of Milton Keynes Council who have worked hard with the Crest and HCA project team to bring this scheme forward.

“I have no doubt that through the jobs created and quality new homes it will both stimulate growth and meet pent-up housing need.”

Liverpool accommodation scheme reaches out for new jobs

Two student accommodation schemes at the University of Liverpool have been submitted for planning approval, paving the way for developers to start building work.

The £50 million project, part of an overall £600 million campus investment announced last year, will build 621 en-suite rooms and create new jobs in the trades.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said that this regeneration will not only improve the facilities at the University of Liverpool, but will also provide economic boost to the city and bring new employment opportunities for local people.

Mr Anderson said: “This development will increase the appeal of the University of Liverpool to potential students right across the country and the world, contributing to Liverpool’s growing status as a distinctive global city.

“It will also provide a much needed boost to the city in terms of jobs and training opportunities for local people.”

Preston based developer Worthington Properties, which was selected as a building contractor for the two sites in Liverpool city centre, is planning to demolish five accommodation blocks in Philharmonic Court and construct two six-storey buildings which will contain 354 student rooms.

The second proposed development in Great Newton Street will see Worthington build on a former car park and disused university property. The building will be between four and seven storeys and is expected to have 267 student rooms. Architect on the scheme is Manchester-based Leach Rhodes Walker.

Development director at Worthington Properties, Russell Worthington, said: “We are proud to work in partnership with Liverpool University and Liverpool City Council to design a product that will help the university attract national and international students to the city.

“In addition, the investment by Liverpool University will help to create employment as we will be looking to work with suppliers and recruit from the area.”

What is your reaction to the student accommodation scheme at the University of Liverpool which will boost the local economy and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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 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: 

£50 Million Construction Project to Boost the Building Sector

A new £50 million building scheme, close to already proposed Vauxhall Square Development worth £400 million in South West London, has attracted bids from major building contractors including Sir Robert McAlpine, Shepherd, Vinci and Watkins Jones, Construction Enquirer reported today.

Developer of the project, CLS Holdings, will build a new hotel and flats which will include 408-bed student accommodation, shopping units and a community centre.

Building construction work on the project is expected to begin this summer. The 180,000 sq. ft. mixed-use development scheme will encourage business investment in the area and boost the local economy, creating new jobs in the building construction industry.

Executive Chairman of CLS Holdings, Sten Mortstedt, said that the £50 million investment will offer great opportunities to meet the existing demand for student and hotel accommodation as well as improve the current infrastructure of the Vauxhall area.

Mr Mortstedt told Construction Enquirer: “These mixed-use proposals can provide substantial investment and regeneration into the Vauxhall area whilst meeting the significant demand for student accommodation and hotel rooms in central London.

“As a long-standing local Vauxhall based company, we are pleased to be able to work together with the Vauxhall Garden Community Centre to provide a brand new community centre facility within these plans.”

What is your reaction to the £50 million development programme in Vauxhall London? If you live locally, how could this investment help you/your business? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Higher Education a Major Source of Work for the Construction Industry

Britain’s largest privately owned Housebuilding and Construction Company, Miller, has won building contracts worth £51 million at Bangor and Durham universities. Building and construction work at Bangor University will begin in May this year, continuing until 2014, whilst work in Durham will begin this month and is expected to be completed by September 2013.

Miller will build a £40 million art centre at Bangor University and carry out extension work at Durham University’s Business School.  As part of the £40 million investment at Bangor University, the construction firm will also build a studio theatre, cinema, restaurant, bars, a new students’ union building as well as additional learning and teaching space.

Chris Webster, Chief Executive of Miller Construction, told Construction News: “We are building a strong portfolio of projects in Higher Education and the contracts at Bangor University and Durham University provide us with the opportunity to reinforce our expertise and skills in this market.”

Research by the building firm Wates revealed last week that 79% of UK universities are planning to expand or make significant improvements to their existing buildings. Two thirds of universities are willing to spend more than £5 million on construction work in the future; the Higher Education Sector will be a major source of work for trade professionals and building contractors.

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NewBuy Scheme to Help the Building Construction Sector

Prime Minister, David Cameron, has today launched a new housing scheme for England which will boost demand for newly built homes and increase employment in the building construction sector.

Under the new loan guarantee programme, NewBuy, the government is investing £1 billion into an affordable mortgage guarantee scheme which will help up to 100,000 people across England to buy their own home by paying a lower deposit rate.

Andy Gray, head of mortgages for Barclays, said: “We believe this will boost housing market confidence and support the flow of new housing, providing positive consequences for jobs and the economy as a whole.”

Speaking at a construction site in South London today, Mr Cameron said that the government will do everything it can to help those who want to buy their own home. The Prime Minister believes the new scheme will boost the construction industry and unlock the housing market.

Mr Cameron said: “The problem today is that we have lenders who are not lending, so builders cannot build, so the buyers cannot buy and it needs the government to step in and help unblock the market.”

The NewBuy housing scheme will boost the supply of properties, increase employment opportunities for people in the construction industry and provide affordable mortgages to those with lower incomes. The scheme is also expected to boost the national economy by the construction of additional homes.

What is your reaction to the NewBuy scheme announced by Prime Minister Cameron today? Do you think it will help home buyers with lower incomes to secure their first home? Share with us what the benefits will be for the construction sector by leaving a comment below: 

Stockton Council Boosts the Building Construction Sector

A new regeneration scheme in Billingham will pave the way for more construction work as Stockton Council gives the green light to build a new library worth £2.5 million.

Stockton Council is planning to build a new state-of-the-art library and customer service centre to match similar complexes in surrounding areas of Stockton and Thornaby.

The project is one of the largest improvement schemes among other construction projects in town. It brings the council’s investment in the area to more than £23 million in recent years with significant numbers of redevelopment projects and affordable housing schemes.

Stockton Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and transport, Councillor Mike Smith, welcomed the decision of the council to build new facilities in town which will boost the local economy and create new jobs whilst offering a good service.

Mr Smith said: “This is tremendous news for Billingham and honours the council’s commitment to create such a facility in the town.

“The service centres have been hugely successful and popular elsewhere in the borough and also help attract many people to go into the town centres.” added Councillor Smith.

Recent investments in building and construction projects have been crucial measures for the government to secure economic growth and create new jobs.

What is your opinion to the decision of Stockton Council to build a new £2.5 million library? Do you think it will boost the local economy and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:

CBI Says Infrastructure Industry Should be a Priority for The Government

The UK’s largest employers group, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), has appealed to the government to stimulate economic growth by investing more into infrastructure projects.

Although the building construction sector remains one of the most stable industries in the UK, the CBI thinks greater investment is needed for infrastructure projects to encourage continual growth and business confidence.

The CBI has proposed a number of measures for the government as an opportunity to provide real boost for private sector investments in infrastructure schemes and give more support to small and medium businesses.

General Director at CBI, John Cridland, explained that the government should use Chancellor’s budget statement next month to deliver significant financial stimulus to make mortgages more affordable to the housing market.

Mr Cridland thinks future growth through reforms of the UK’s tax system is essential for businesses to invest in Britain. He is calling on the government to make some changes into the current system which will create new opportunities for growth.

Mr Cridland highlighted the significance of infrastructure investment as one of the most important priorities which the government needs to support in order to encourage industry’s growth and create permanent jobs.

He said: “Delivering private sector investment in infrastructure, supporting mid-sized businesses, hammering out the details on credit easing, extending the Youth Contract to 16 and 17-year-olds, and introducing the New Build Indemnity Scheme for mortgages at the earliest opportunity will all provide a real boost for UK growth and jobs.”

Do you agree with the CBI that the infrastructure industry is a key factor for economic growth and creating new jobs? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

Building Plans for Oxford Shopping Centre gets Approved

Oxford City Council has given the green light to construction work at Westgate Shopping Centre which will create as many as 2,500 new jobs, many of them in the building construction sector. 

The investment of £330 million for redevelopment of the 750,000 sq. ft. shopping area will create 90 new shops, bars, restaurants and cafes. Building work towards fulfilling the project is expected to boost the economy and create more jobs in Oxford.

Councillor Deputy Leader, Ed Turner, described the decision for the project as “fantastic news for Oxford” in regards to the positive contribution the redevelopment plans would have on the City of Oxford.

Nigel Wild, president of Oxfordshire’s Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the improvements saying that such investment would benefit Oxford with raising more business revenue and higher income.

Mr Wild said: “Shopping in Oxford has been traditionally poor and we need that kind of development in order to attract people to make it a destination city.”

Although, there has been some opposition to the project from environmental groups and some non-government organisations, building work is likely to begin in 2014; this will also include construction work of an underground car park and extension of existing shopping establishments.

Do you welcome the decision of Oxford City Council to approve the £330 million redevelopment of Westgate Shopping Centre? How is the investment going to benefit you or your business? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:

Construction Engineering Workers on Demand

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has revealed a survey today showing engineering and construction professionals have become the most sought workers in the UK.

Overall, the survey, which is co-produced by KPMG, showed that companies are spending more on hiring permanent employees as opposed to part-time employment.

However, the highest increase in hiring full-time employees has been in the construction engineering sector which hired more people due to recent infrastructure projects and the substantial government investment into such projects.

The survey also reported that the rise in full-time recruitment was linked to higher client activity as well as the government’s commitment to cut red tape for small and medium businesses.

Head of business services at KPMG, Bernard Brown, welcomed the positive findings of the survey explaining that the rise of demand in permanent staff suggest the economy is recovering from the financial crises at 2008.

Mr Brown said: “There are signs within some industries that things are looking up. Amongst the engineering, construction and IT sectors demand for permanent staff has increased since the turn of the year. With so much attention being paid to these sectors at the moment, close attention should be paid to see if this is a trend set to continue as the year progresses.”

 

What do you think of the survey showing high demand for workers in the construction engineering sector? If you are in one of these sectors, do you think you will find employment easier due to the high demand? Share your thoughts by commenting here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building Olympic Terminal at Heathrow Airport Will Create New Jobs

Heathrow Airport has unveiled its plans for dealing with high volume of extra passengers expected to arrive ahead of this summer’s London Olympics, which could fuel civil engineering recruitment.

As reported earlier this week, Heathrow Airport has announced to build a new terminal for the London Olympic Games to ease the increased traffic of people at one of the busiest airports in the world.

Building work at London Heathrow will create new jobs, transport networks and regenerate 6th runway in Heathrow Airport, which expects nearly 50% more passengers arriving on July 26, the day before the opening ceremony.

As part of preparations for the new terminal at Heathrow, building construction work will take place to build specialist lifts for Paralympians and improve facilities from which participating athletes will depart.

Nick Cole, Heathrow’s head of Olympic and Paralympic planning, asserted: “The London 2012 Games will be a unique operational task and a massive challenge for Heathrow.

“The airport is one of the most popular international airports in the world and already operates close to capacity.”- Mr Cole added.

Work is also currently underway on Heathrow’s new £2.2 billion terminal two, which will replace its existing terminals one and two once completed in 2014, with around 5,000 people to be employed on the site of this project.

 

What is your opinion about the plan of building a new Olympic Terminal at Heathrow Airport? If you are working in the building construction sector, do you think that could be a good opportunity for you/your business?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:

 

 

 

Bids for £22 million London NHS Unit Open for Builders

King’s College NHS Trust is looking for a building contractor to build a three-storey critical care unit at one of its campuses in South London – a leading publication in the building sector, Construction Engineer, has announced today.

Firms are invited to express an interest in the redevelopment of King’s College NHS Trust until 22nd February for invitation to tender a month later.

The winning contractor will build a new steel frame building over an existing block, which will remain operational, and complete the shell before demolishing elements of the existing structure.

It is not clear yet how many builders will be employed as a result of King’s College renovation, but the scale of the project suggests it will create new jobs in the building sector.

International construction and property consultancy Sweett will attain the building through a two stage process which further details will be revealed in March.

The scheme has been designed to allow the existing theatre block to continue to operate whilst building work is being carried out.

The project will deliver a consolidated critical care facility at Kings College Hospital Denmark Hill Campus in line with current Department of Health guidelines and will develop the hospital as a Major Trauma Centre.

King’s expects the contract will be at its final stage by August this year.

For more information on how you can express an interest and put your bid forward please visit Tenders website.

 

Do you think that your (business’s) bid could be a successful one? If you are working in the building sector are you more optimistic about finding a job? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment here:  

Boris Johnson Approves a Huge Housing Boost for London

 The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced the first phase of a major housing redevelopment for the Greenwich Peninsula, South London, which will see 10, 000 homes built in the next three years.

Boris Johnson and the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, visited the Peninsula on Wednesday. They shared optimism about the regeneration of the area and all the benefits the project will bring to businesses and the Building Construction Industry.

Some 1,300 homes and 600 student accommodation units will be built later this year. The Building Sector is expected to benefit immensely from the project as a result of the building work which will be undertaken this year – Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles suggested.

Mr Pickles said: “Today the Mayor and I can announce we’ve unlocked this once stalled site in Greenwich that will now get workers back on site, construction back on track and help get our city building in 2012 the new homes Londoners needs.”

The Mayor of London said he is delighted for the project to be given green light. Mr Johnson said: “The transformation of Greenwich Peninsula is undoubtedly one of the most exciting development opportunities in London.”

He added: “This latest phase of regeneration will seal its future as a thriving, well-connected new district, combining vibrant new residential areas and fantastic leisure facilities.”

After detailed planning applications are submitted to Greenwich Council in April, construction work on the first phase of the project is set to begin in autumn later this year.

 

What is your reaction on the housing boost given to Greenwich Peninsula in South London? How beneficial for you or your business the project is going to be? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below:

 

Building Sector is Booming as Unemployment Goes Up

As reported on Train4TradeSkills blog this week, Premier Inn, the England’s biggest budget hotel chain, has announced further investments for the building industry as it paves the way for more hotels to be built across the UK.

In addition to the £5.9 million investment in Camborne announced yesterday, Premier Inn brings £4.1 million investment to Coventry, as it opens a new hotel later this month.

With low availability of affordable hotel places in some parts of the UK and pressure to reduce costs, more smaller hotels are being built – especially such offering affordable prices to customers. Premier Inn has invested millions of pounds across the country in building and renovating new hotels across the UK. Recent developments include hotels in Worcestershire, Barry, Dartford and Camborne.

Although UK unemployment rose by 118,000, in the past three months since November, the building sector doesn’t seem to be affected due to the governments’ extensive investment to create thousands of jobs in the building construction sector.

The Prime Minister announced in the Commons today that whilst unemployment is rising, there is an increase in the number of people working; another 18, 000 people are in work.

“We need more private sector employment and we need to move further and faster on that agenda.” – Mr Cameron said.

Chris Grayling, the Work and Pensions Minister said in a BBC interview this morning that the recent figures on unemployment are more complex than they first appear.

Mr Grayling said that the government has lots of work to do in regards to improving employment opportunities and getting more people back to work. He said: “The private sector is creating jobs faster than the changes in the public sector.”

Mr Grayling said that there were more to the statistics than what first met the eye, but he admitted unemployment level was much too high.

If you are in the building sector, do you feel safer with your job than people in other industries? Tell us why? Do you think that enough is being done to tackle the unemployment? 

 

Rogue Builders Pair Jailed for “Bad Work”

Two builders have been jailed today for engaging in unfair commercial practices and carrying out overpriced or unnecessary building work in Oxfordshire.

More than ten people have become victims of Trevor Bateman, 54, from Swindon and David Merriman, 49, from Nottingham who were convicted for various fraud-related charges at Oxford Crown Court.

The pair ran a business called AS Contractors; It has conned elderly homeowners out of thousands of pounds over period of two years.

David Marriman has been sent to prison for three-and-a-half years after being found guilty of 18 charges of fraud, misleading homeowners and performing poorly and simply unnecessary building work. Trevor Bateman was sentenced to four years for similar charges and transferring criminal property.

Judge Anthony King told the pair they had “proved themselves wholly unworthy to trade in any way in the building industry and run an extremely obnoxious scam.”

One of their clients, Mrs Thomas, was charged more than £6,000 for an unfinished bathroom. She told the Oxford Mail that she hoped this verdict will stop the two men from doing such things to other people in future. However, Mrs Thomas admitted she was not entirely convinced about this.

“I cannot tell you what a plausible sort of villain Mr Bateman is. He sounds so pleasant and would really do his best to assure you that you are going to be all right. I’m not surprised people were taken in.” Mrs Thomas said.

Many of victims were old women who lived alone, including Jean Price, who paid £47,000 for work valued at less than £10,000.

How do you feel about people who have become victims of building fraud? Is there any advice you would like to give to people to avoid such disappointments?  Share your thoughts by commenting here:

 

 

High-Speed Rail Line is Given Green Light

The government has backed up £32 billion plan today for high-speed railway which will create hundreds of thousands long term jobs in the building engineering sector, help the economy and cut the journey time from London to Birmingham to 49 minutes.

As reported this week, top business leaders and economists pushed the government to give green light to the high-speed rail (HS2) between London and Birmingham.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening backed up the first phase of HS2 in the Commons today, a 100-mile link, which will be built for 10 years and high-speed trains will start running by 2026.

“High Speed 2 is a scheme to deliver hugely enhanced rail capacity and connectivity between Britain’s major conurbations,” the Transport Secretary said.

“It is the largest transport infrastructure investment in the UK for a generation, and, with the exception of High Speed 1, is the first major new railway line since the Victorian era.”-Mrs Greening added.

The government has also argued that the project will generate £44bn of benefits to the economy over 60 years. The line is considered to be extended further north to Scotland in future decades.

Cities in the north of England such as Manchester and Leeds would also see reduced journey times and will be equally accessible when the whole project is finalised in 2032.

In a statement today, The Department for Transport said: “HS2 is not just about getting between London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester more quickly, but bringing faster services and many more seats to towns and cities well beyond the HS2 network.

“It would work just like a motorway. No one uses a motorway to get all the way from their front door to their final destination, but they use it because it offers high capacity and faster services – precisely what HS2 will offer rail passengers.”

 

Are you for or against the new high-speed rail line and what difference do you think it would make to you and your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here:  

 

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