Posts tagged Economic growth
Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon has announced the creation of an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation (OWIO) to boost levels of inward investment and to further stimulate jobs in the UK offshore wind industry.
The OWIO is expected to boost the UK offshore wind industry alongside Government support for three offshore wind innovation projects as well as pave the way for new employment opportunities in the trades.
Energy Minister, Michael Fallon said: “Offshore wind is a major success story for the UK, and we want to boost levels of inward investment. This will be an important part of our industrial strategy for the sector later this year, and we are creating the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation to drive that activity.
“We already have more installed offshore wind than anywhere else in the world, and this brings enormous economic benefit to our shores, supporting thousands of skilled jobs.
“Through the formation of this industry-led partnership and through our support for innovation projects, we will boost the positive benefits that the offshore wind sector can bring to the UK economy.”
The OWIO is one of the recommendations of the forthcoming industrial strategy and will be headed by a senior industry figure. The organisation will be a partnership between industry and Government, established by UK Trade & Investment, that will complement the work of DECC and BIS in delivering the Government-wide offshore investment objectives.
Michael Fallon also announced three innovation projects that Government will support as part of Offshore Wind Components Technologies Scheme:
- Power Cable Services Limited, based in Kent, have been awarded a £540,000 grant towards their high voltage subsea cable jointing technology project
- Aquasium Technology Ltd with partners Burntisland Fabrications Ltd and TWI have been awarded a grant of £769,600 towards their cost-effective fabrication project.
- Wind Technologies Ltd (Cambridge) have been awarded a £728,355 grant to design, manufacture and test an innovative 5MW medium speed drive train concept.
The Minister announced the support during his keynote speech to Renewable UK’s Offshore Wind 2013 conference in Manchester today.
Industry delegates at the conference are also able to attend the first ‘Share Fair’ session enabling them to hear about investment opportunities from major players in the market. This addresses one of the priorities identified by the offshore wind industrial strategy partnership between Government and industry.
What is your reaction to the Government plans to boost levels of inward investment and create new jobs in the UK offshore wind industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The schemes backed by the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) are in areas where ambitious regeneration plans are in place and where transport infrastructure will help unlock significant economic growth.
These schemes are set to deliver improved rail links between Tottenham Hale and the Upper Lee Valley; major road improvements in Bexley and support Ealing to harness the economic opportunities coming from Crossrail.
Collectively the projects could safeguard existing or create an estimated 45,000 jobs, support the construction of tens of thousands of homes and attract significant private investment into deprived areas.
The LEP’s adoption of these bids is a significant milestone for these projects and the proposals will now progress to a final stage, including more detailed work developing business cases, technical modelling and delivery mechanisms.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Transport links are a vital precursor to economic development. This money is earmarked for investment into transport schemes which have significant potential to stimulate growth and job creation.
“I welcome the London Enterprise Panel’s assessment of which projects are best placed to do this and City Hall will now be working with the bid teams to progress these ambitious proposals.”
The bids approved by the London Enterprise Panel will provide extra services at Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale, improving rail links between Stratford, the Upper Lee Valley and beyond including Stansted Airport.
Collectively with Angel Road Station improvements, this will support the commencement of the Meridian Water development and regeneration at Northumberland Park where there are plans for an estimated 3,500 homes and 500 jobs.
It will also support the development of an estimated 15,700 new homes, 21,900 new jobs in the Lee Valley and up to 15,000 jobs in adjoining areas.
£2.5 million allocated to upgrade Angel Road station and support regeneration in Enfield (bid from Enfield Borough Council). Angel Road station is vital to the regeneration of Enfield and specifically to support the Meridian Water development and regeneration in the Lower Lea Valley more widely.
Station improvements will increase passenger capacity through an enhanced commuter rail service and boost employment across wide range of trades in the building construction industry.
Scotland’s planning system will create new trade jobs and economic benefits to help deliver sustainable economic growth, Planning Minister Derek Mackay has announced today.
The third National Planning Framework (NPF) and draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) will influence development plans across Scotland and guide future planning decisions on a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure.
The NPF is the Scottish Government’s strategy for the long-term development of Scotland’s towns, cities and countryside. It sets out strategic infrastructure needs and priorities over the next 20 to 30 years that will pave the way for new jobs in the construction sector.
Mr Mackay said: “Scotland needs a planning system that has, at its heart, the overriding principle of delivering sustainable economic growth in order to maximise the country’s attraction to investors and visitors in a global economy.
“We want future planning decisions to give significant weight to the economic benefit of proposed developments, particularly the creation of new jobs.”
These draft proposals are supported by on-going measures to improve the overall performance of the planning system, ensuring smoother delivery and a stronger focus on economic recovery.
Planning Minister Derek Mackay added: “The consultation on the National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy will influence development plans across the country for the next thirty years affecting every part of Scotland.”
He said: “We will support our review of Town Centres by insisting that major new developments which attract people – like workplaces, leisure facilities and shops – are in town centres wherever possible. We want to see development which ensures lively, successful and viable town centres.
“I am keen that planning does more to encourage good design, and the creation of the kind of places we would all like to live in or visit. Our forthcoming policy on Architecture and Place will show what we are doing to achieve this.
“Scotland is enriched by a high quality environment and many special places to live in and visit. These physical assets underpin our economy and our quality of life and that is why we need to ensure developments go in the right place, providing positive benefits for our communities and environment.”
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Housing Minister Mark Prisk announced today that up to 10,000 new homes could be built by 2015 that will create new jobs and boost the trades.
The minister announced the first 45 projects to be taken forward using the £1 billion Build to Rent Fund which will provide equity finance to house builders and developers.
Mr Prisk said that the innovative new projects, a quarter of which are for London, will be the first step toward creating a more balanced rental market, driven by quality instead of demand.
The Build to Rent Fund is designed to help developers invest in homes built specifically for private rent by reducing the up-front risk in a relatively untested market.
A first round of projects will now receive a share of £700 million government investment package, with a second round of bids for the remaining fund expected to open later this year.
Projects going forward in this round have the potential to deliver between 8,000 and 10,000 homes, and include:
- Genesis Housing Association, with plans for new rental homes around London
- Place First, along with Together Housing Group, who will be building across Northern England
- Crest Nicholson, who intend to bring a significant number of homes to market over many sites across the country
Mr Prisk said that the varied mix of developers, from brand new organisations and small housing providers to long-established developers, will bring new blood into a market currently dominated by small-scale buy-to-let landlords, and will help to give tenants more choice when choosing a home in the future.
Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This government is determined to get Britain building, and the Build to Rent Fund is set to help us deliver, with up to 10,000 new homes to be built from these projects.
“We’ve seen overwhelming demand for the fund, and it’s become clear that there’s a real appetite for rental investment. We want to support that, which is why we’ve made a £1 billion Budget boost to the fund.
“Now, these new projects will help us map this almost uncharted market, bringing in new blood to improve rental quality and choice, and building the new homes that this country wants and needs.”
What is your reaction to the new £1bn build-to-rent fund that will deliver 10,000 new homes and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Peterborough City Council has approved plans for building 5,300 new homes as part of the Great Haddon development which is set to create thousands of jobs in the construction industry.
Peterborough Planning and Environmental Protection Committee has backed plans to build three primary schools, one secondary school and some 5,300 new homes alongside the 390 hectare site in the south west of Peterborough
The scheme is expected to create 24,600 new jobs in the next 8 years whilst delivering wider economic growth to the Peterborough area and boosting the trades.
The project has been included in the government’s London-Stansted-Cambridge-Peterborough growth area to help meet the UK’s housing shortage and generate economic growth.
The Committee has asked the Consortium to work up further details for certain aspects of the scheme, such as the design of the Yaxley ‘Loop Road’ and the timing of provision of community facilities, to ensure that those aspects of the scheme are fully scrutinised prior to implementation of the consent.
The applicants’ team will be working these details up over the coming weeks prior to a report being presented back to Committee.
Lucia Serluca, the chairman of the planning committee, said it was essential that good and efficient infrastructure is built before people started moving in to the new homes.
“Let’s not just build the houses and forget about everything else,” she said.
“We need to build the houses in conjunction with the educational centre, the retail centre, to make sure the amenities that those residents will have, they have as soon as they live on the development.”
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has announced plans to build £330 million research centre and corporate HQ in Cambridge that will pave the way for new jobs in the construction industry.
The move is part of the company’s proposals to create strategic global R&D centres in the UK, US and Sweden to improve pipeline productivity and to establish AstraZeneca as a global leader in biopharmaceutical innovation.
Focusing on the company’s UK-based activities at the new centre in Cambridge, the pharmaceutical giant will build on AstraZeneca’s world-leading protein engineering capabilities already based in the city, expanding its operations and boosting employment across a range of industries in the area.
Chief executive of AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot, said: “Our proposed investment is a clear signal of AstraZeneca’s long-term commitment to the UK and highlights the important role Cambridge plays internationally in bioscience research.
“The Government’s Life Sciences Strategy and the meaningful policies they have put in place in recent years to encourage investment help make Britain an attractive location for biopharmaceutical research and development.
“Cambridge, which boasts strong links with London-based research institutions, is a world-renowned bioscience hotspot that rivals the likes of San Francisco and Boston.
“In a world where partnerships and collaborations drive medical progress, becoming an integral part of the Cambridge ecosystem offers compelling advantages for AstraZeneca, giving us easier access to leading-edge academic and industry networks, scientific talent and valuable partnering opportunities.
“I believe that the investment we are announcing today greatly increases the chances that the next generation of innovative medicines will be invented and manufactured in Britain.”
What is your reaction to the £330 million plan to build a new research and corporate centre in Cambridge that will boot the construction industry and the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Construction Products Association (CPA) has called on the Chancellor George Osborne to recognise the potential of the construction industry to drive economic growth and create new jobs in the trades.
According to the Association, it is vital for the government to spend the multi-billion capital investment boost announced in the Autumn Statement that could provide 0.8% additional growth in GDP.
Chief Executive of the CPA, Diana Montgomery said: “With the general economic outlook continuing to look uncertain, we are urging government to do more to drive growth by building on the recent increase in capital investment for repair and maintenance of roads and extending this to other parts of built environment, such as housing, schools and hospitals.
“We also want to see the UK improve on its current ranking of 24th in the world for the quality of its infrastructure. For the UK economy to remain internationally competitive in attracting inward investment, it is essential that there are significant improvements in its infrastructure.
“Government frequently states it is aware of the importance of the construction industry and its product manufacturers and suppliers. In these challenging times for the UK economy, the opportunities that we provide to drive economic growth and build a more sustainable future for the UK need to be prioritised. We can only hope the Chancellor does indeed recognise this.”
To read the full draft of the letter from the Construction Products Association to the Chancellor, click here.
A £59 million Enterprise Zone Fund to help speed up growth and create thousands of new trade jobs has been launched by the Government.
Enterprise Zones across England can now apply for funding to help them ‘turn shovel ready sites into job ready sites’ by completing key infrastructure projects and boosting the trades.
They reflect the Government’s core belief that economic growth and job creation should be led by the private sector. The Zones are focused on removing barriers to private sector growth with lower tax levels for business and a simplified planning regime and a lighter regulatory and administrative burden.
The Fund will help those Zones with real growth potential to put in place the infrastructure required to unlock sites so businesses can set up and take advantage of the offer available in Enterprise Zones, such as business rate discounts, simplified planning and superfast broadband.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles said: “Economic growth is this government’s biggest priority and Enterprise Zones are the engine room of that strategy. They are a fantastic way to attract the jobs and business investment that local areas need. This new £59 million fund will turbo charge that engine by turning shovel ready sites into job ready sites.
“Enterprise Zones have all the raw ingredients and growth incentives – simplified planning, low tax, super fast broadband and inward investment – they need to translate their potential into jobs and growth success. This is an opportunity to lay the infrastructure foundations so they are ‘gift wrapped’ ready to house new businesses.
“It is time for Enterprise Zones to take up the gauntlet of growth. Local Enterprise Partnerships can do more to make zones realise their potential sooner. The government is determined to work flat out with partnerships to clear any roadblocks in their zone’s path so they can forge ahead and deliver the jobs the country’s economy needs.”
The £59 million fund is part of the Government’s Local Infrastructure Fund of £474 million designed for infrastructure investment to support local economic growth, jobs and homes.
What is your reaction to the Enterprise Zone Fund that will support economic growth and create thousands of new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Nick Clegg has today transferred greater powers to local authorities across England to drive economic growth, build thousands of new homes and boost employment in the trades.
The Deputy Prime Minister has backed the ‘City Deal’ which aim is to grant more freedom, powers and tools needed for local government to shape their economic future and create new jobs.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said: “Even more places will be free from Whitehall control and have the tools to power their own growth. These deals help cities and their wider areas make once in a generation changes that will be felt by everyone across their region.”
Councils in England need to ease planning regulations and have greater control over funds to accelerate housing and residential developments.
According to Coventry and Warwickshire local authorities, the scheme is estimated to create around 30,000 jobs across the region and boost the trades.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) that led the City Deal bid said it was pleased by the Government’s decision to drive economic development tand create new jobs in the area.
Sir Peter Rigby, chair of the CWLEP said: “This is great news for Coventry and Warwickshire and allows us to put our very exciting plans into place to do just what the LEP was established to do – to create jobs and economic growth and prosperity.”
The 20 cities and their outline proposals:
Black Country: want to use a City Deal to grow their high-value manufacturing sector. They want to build on the Black Country’s track record in designing, building and exporting components and products such as aircraft control systems, turbo technology and an extensive range of automotive components.
Bournemouth and Poole: want to use a City Deal to encourage a transition to a more balanced local economy by boosting Advanced Manufacturing (particularly marine and aerospace) as well as digital and creative industries.
Brighton and Hove: want to use a City Deal to realise the economic potential of their eco-tech sector. This is a new, and growing, sector in Brighton & Hove. The universities have developed specialisms in this area. Brighton and partners want to build on this and encourage more innovation and business growth.
Greater Cambridge: want to use a City Deal to unleash the next wave of the “Cambridge Phenomenon”, which is a cluster of high-tech firms that focus on biotechnology, software and electronics around Cambridge, many of which have links with Cambridge University. Greater Cambridge wants to spread the “brand” of Cambridge over a broader area by creating better links between the science and business parks (e.g. Babraham Research Campus), the city centre (where Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities are based), strategic transport routes and key residential sites (including the new town development of Northstowe), as well as the Enterprise Zone at Alconbury.
Coventry and Warwickshire: want to use a City Deal to capitalise on existing strengths in advanced manufacturing and engineering and to support the expansion of this sector. Coventry and Warwickshire want to grow these sectors by raising the skill levels of the workforce by increasing the number of people with intermediate and high level engineering skills and encouraging greater innovation in the sector.
Hull and the Humber: wants to use a City Deal to maximise the potential of the Humber Estuary. The estuary is already a home to a chemicals and processing sector worth £6bn and has the highest tonnage throughput of any UK port. Humber now wants to grow the “Energy Estuary” by maximising these opportunities and the benefits of offshore wind investment – and to ensure that local people have the necessary skills to take up these opportunities.
Ipswich: want to use a City Deal to equip local people and businesses with the skills they need to take advantage of significant expansion in high value jobs through development of Sizewell and Felixstowe.
Leicester and Leicestershire: want to use a City Deal to accelerate the growth of key sectors in the economy (notably manufacturing and logistics) and to encourage greater commercialisation of research emanating from the three universities in the area (Loughborough, Leicester and De Montfort).
Milton Keynes and the South East Midlands: want to use a City Deal to deliver significant, sustainable growth in housing. Over the longer term, this will allow the local area, and South East Midlands, to attract and find homes for high-skilled workers to drive economic growth. In the shorter term, providing confidence to private sector developers will create jobs in construction and industry supply chains.
Greater Norwich: wants to use a City Deal to accelerate the growth of the internationally-recognised environmental and life sciences industry within the Greater Norwich area by focusing on the potential of Norwich Research Park.
Oxford and Oxfordshire: want to use a City Deal to accelerate the growth of the knowledge economy by building on the strong base (including significant clusters in bio-sciences, space technology and cryogenics), two world-class universities (Oxford and Oxford Brookes) and internationally-recognised ‘Big Science’ research centres (eg Culham Research Centre and Harwell Laboratories).
Plymouth: wants to use a City Deal to build on its strengths in advanced engineering and design, marine renewable energy, maritime and sub-sea operations and supporting technologies. It seeks to do this by increasing the commercialisation of research in these areas and increasing exports from its high growth companies.
Preston: has seen significant private sector growth in the last 10 years, largely driven by growth in small and medium sized businesses. Preston want to build on this and sustain further growth, particularly in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing sector by investing in infrastructure.
Reading and Central Berkshire: want to use a City Deal to ensure that local people have the skills they need to access local job opportunities. Reading wants to focus on ensuring that people have skills in the growing sectors (particularly construction, logistics and knowledge intensive areas) and to ensure school leavers have the soft “employability” skills businesses need.
Southend and South Essex: want to use a City Deal to increase investor confidence to increase the supply of good quality office space and housing which will accelerate business expansion.
Stoke and Staffordshire: want to use a City Deal to build on strong heritage to become the internationally competitive home for Advanced Materials businesses in Europe. They want to grow the advanced materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, etc.) sector and to promote the use in advanced manufacturing.
Southampton and Portsmouth: wants to use a City Deal to drive the growth and diversification of the maritime sector in the area. They are seeking to do this by supporting growth in the associated sub-sectors of transport and logistics, defence and advanced manufacturing, the visitor economy and the complex supply chains linked to research and innovation.
Sunderland and the North East: want to use a City Deal to expand their manufacturing base and to diversify and grow the city’s economy.
Swindon and Wiltshire: want to use a City Deal to capitalise on the strong military presence in the area. They seek to do this by increasing the number of spin-offs firms from developments in military technology and to harness the skills from ex-servicemen/women.
Tees Valley: wants to use a City Deal to establish a global super cluster of petrochemical and processing industries to compete on the world stage. They want to build on Tees Valley’s current industrial complex, which includes over 50% of the country’s petrochemical and a significant percentage of the pharmaceutical sectors. Such a super cluster would have at its heart the production of cleaner energy, containing new developing, and associated, sectors such as biofuels from waste and other forms of renewable energy such as offshore wind.
The European Investment Bank has approved up to £100 million of financing which will kick-start building and construction work in the summer of 2013.
Julia Kennedy, associate director at Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) who has been supporting the college through the procurement process, said: “Construction is planned to start later this year and will act as an enormous boost to local small and medium enterprises working within the building sector and related supply chains thanks to the preferred bidder’s commitment to supporting local employment and training.”
Douglas Baillie, Chair of the College Board said: “Selecting the preferred bidder is yet another major milestone in our continuing success.
“The announcement is proof of what we can achieve as a beacon of excellence and it is with great excitement and energy that we look ahead to the next chapter in the life of this great college.
“Enhancing our diverse and talented student learning community with brand new, bespoke facilities underlines our passion for learning and desire to meet the needs of Glasgow’s and Scotland’s employers and the wider civic community.”
Both campuses have been designed by Reiach and Hall and Michael Laird Architects. The College represents the single largest estates investment in the educational sector in Scotland and will help transform the city centre landscape for generations to come.
With over 30 rep cent additional housing investment this year, compared to the 2011 Spending Review, the building construction sector is set to benefit from the recent funding which could create new jobs and boost the trades.
Decisions on the allocation of another £50 million investment package for the housing industry are expected to be announced later this month.
Speaking ahead of a debate on the Scottish Government’s Budget Bill, Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government has been absolutely clear that we aim to deliver at least 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this parliament and this funding will help ensure this commitment will be met.
“Despite Westminster cuts to our capital budgets the Scottish Government is delivering just as much new social housing – and more new affordable housing – as in the period up to 2007 when budgets were rising every year.
“The extra £50 million is our fourth tranche of extra housing spending announced over the last year, and is in addition to announcements made in February, June and September.
“The overall increase totals almost £200 million over the spending review period – demonstrating that where we have an opportunity to invest, this Government does exactly that.
“Housing is just one element of the Budget Bill which will be debated in Parliament this week. Parliament will be debating a Budget for Scotland’s economy. This Government is doing everything within its limited power to protect households, business and front line services, and this Budget provides further investment in construction, skills and the green economy.
“We are investing money to create and maintain jobs. Increased support for affordable homes will provide a much needed boost to the construction industry as well as improving the lives of the families who live in them.
“We are providing an immediate capital stimulus through support for shovel ready projects and we are helping businesses with a tax relief package worth over £540 million this year.
“This has to be seen against a 26 per cent real terms cut by the UK Coalition Government to Scotland’s capital budget in a failed attempt to reduce public sector borrowing.
“We have listened to the Scottish Parliament by bringing forward further investment in housing and we will continue to work with all parties to deliver a budget for growth.
“Only with the full levers of independence can Scotland properly capture economic opportunity and tackle inequality and poverty and we can do so more efficiently and effectively than currently happens in the UK.”
The nuclear industry will play a major role in driving economic growth, securing the nation’s energy suppliers and creating new jobs, Energy Minister John Hayes announced today.
The comments come as a campaign is launched to fill around 500 skilled jobs at the Sellafield nuclear site in West Cumbria.
The roles will include operations and maintenance staff, engineers, project managers and back-office functions.
They will be filled by a mixture of apprentices, graduates, and trainees and ex-military personnel will be specifically targeted in the recruitment process.
He said: “This action plan is an important part of our work with industry to shape a vibrant UK nuclear industry, and to ensure the UK exploits the commercial opportunities that exist and is a leading player in the expanding global nuclear market.
“We are determined to exploit our strengths and believe this is a sector where a partnership between government and industry can help give the UK a competitive edge in the global race. It’s a key sector in our industrial strategy.”
John Hayes, Energy Minister, said: “Energy is central to our economic future and at the heart of all we do as a nation.
“Just as atoms collide in a nuclear reactor, the economic benefits of our nuclear renaissance will reverberate far and wide across the country.
“The announcement of 500 jobs at Sellafield today shows the immense contribution of the nuclear sector to the UK economy, in particular that of West Cumbria.
“Our Action Plan for the nuclear supply chain will set out how the UK can make the most of future opportunities presented by around £60bn of new investment.”
The list of key projects will be passed on to the Scottish Government for their consideration as part of the review of the National Planning Framework (NPF3) which is expected to unlock investment for national developments of strategic importance for Scotland.
The projects that will be put forward by Highland Council are all considered to be of national significance and have the potential to make a significant contribution to the country’s sustainable economic growth.
The projects being promoted by the Council to the Government include strategic road improvements to the A9. A82 and A96 trunk roads that connect Highland communities to the rest of Scotland, enhancements to Highland ports and harbours including Nigg and Kishorn, enhancements at all Highland airports, the provision of superfast broadband and the upgrading of the existing electricity transmission network to realise the growth potential in renewable energy generation.
The Council is also taking the opportunity to raise other issues it feels that are of national importance such as the decommissioning of Dounreay, faster train journey times on the mainline, coastal development including the harnessing of wind, wave and tidal energy, waste management and natural heritage.
Vice Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Councillor George Farlow said: “All the projects we are putting forward could potentially bring huge benefits to Highland businesses and residents as well as bringing wider prospective socio-economic growth to the whole of Scotland.
“Our response will highlight the need to ensure we have the best infrastructure in place to make the most of every opportunity and will recognise the work we are doing to promote sustainable development and economic growth.
“Our plans are ambitious and they reflect the confidence we have in the Highlands as great place to live, work and do business in.”
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.”
The scheme, partly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, will see the building of 768 new homes by 2015. The developments will include family homes, bungalows for older people as well as properties for private sale and for social rent.
Businesses and jobseekers are set to benefit from the scheme which is expected to generate more than £70 million worth of construction work and create hundreds of new jobs with local employers.
The three developers have signed construction pledges to work with local suppliers and the council’s Think Local and ‘Find It In Sandwell’ initiatives which will boost employment and help people in the trades.
Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for housing, said: “We’re pleased to announce partners who will help turn our vision for the future of housing in Sandwell into reality.
“We’ll be providing residents with an excellent range of affordable homes for local people to buy, part-own and rent and consult with local people about the new homes we plan to build.”
Assad Hamed, area manager for the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “We know through working closely with Sandwell Council that increasing the supply of affordable homes in the borough is a big priority and we are pleased our investment is supporting this.
“Getting all three schemes up and running will be a major boost for local communities in Sandwell as they will see lots of activity happening across the borough and will benefit from the impact of local jobs and economic growth.”
Over forty organisations have today joined forces to set out a long-term vision for the development of offshore wind in the northern seas that will boost the green economy and create new jobs.
The new network, called Norstec, includes world leading manufacturers, cutting-edge developers, supply chain firms as well as industry bodies representing the trades.
Its mission is to maximise the energy potential generated across the northern sea region which will benefit businesses in the renewable industry and boost the trades.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who first introduced Norstec at the Clean Energy Ministerial in April, emphasised on the benefits offered by the production of clean energy and encouraged the use of renewable resources.
Mr Cameron said: “I continue to be strongly supportive of the UK offshore renewables sector and am delighted to see Norstec rising from the waves.
“As I said, when I launched this network last April, we are on the cusp of a second, clean energy revolution in the North Sea. Close collaboration between industry and government will be critical to making this happen.”
Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, said: “The offshore wind industry represents a massive growth opportunity for the UK and our neighbours around the northern seas, bringing jobs and re-energising once thriving industrial heartlands on the East Coast and beyond.
Mr Davey said that the Government is determined to work closely with businesses in order to make the most from offshore renewable resources.
He said: “Norstec will help the offshore wind industry in the northern seas to grow and create a new industrial revolution, driving economic growth across this part of Europe. I’m delighted to see the potential for offshore wind deployment in the northern seas set out so clearly and vividly.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Norman Lamb has used the Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton to announce an extra £100 million investment for the construction of new care homes.
The care services minister revealed that the government fund for specialised housing will be increased from £200 million to £300 million which could see the building of 9,000 new homes and boost the trades.
Norman Lamb said: “Staying independent and having the choice to live in your own home as you get older is something we know most people want.”
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) welcomed the announcement by the care services minister, describing it as a great opportunity to build safe and improved homes across the country.
Domini Gunn, director of health and wellbeing at the CIH, said: “We are delighted to see the Department of Health making a commitment to help support greater health and independence for older people and to provide safe homes.
“The investment will create new opportunities to deliver additional and improved services through collaboration with housing and health professionals as well as planning departments.
“This is a great opportunity for housing to be recognised as an important function in the effective delivery of care provision.”
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.
The expansion programme also includes the regeneration of Swansea University’s Singleton Park Campus which will see further 6,000 indirect jobs supported in the wider economy.
Developer St Modwen will work closely in collaboration with its construction partner, Vinci, for building work to start in early 2013. The new campus and new student residences will be completed by autumn 2015.
Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Simon Brooks, said: “This scheme will not only benefit future generations of students, but develop specialist skills, drive innovation and enhance economic growth in Wales.
“The European Investment Bank is committed to funding leading research and educational excellence across Europe and is pleased to support this landmark investment.”
Swansea University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Davies said the University was grateful to the European Investment Bank and the Welsh Government for the investment which will create new jobs and boost the economy.
Professor Davies said: “The new Science and Innovation Campus is a transformational project for Wales and for the University.
“It promises to become a global exemplar for how a research intensive university can work effectively with industry, helping to drive economic regeneration and creating exciting employment opportunities for its graduates.”
The “Jobs for Growth” programme, which was officially launched today, is now the UK’s biggest coalition of companies making the case for investment in the building of new homes to quickly stimulate growth and generate jobs.
The organisation is targeting specific areas in the UK construction sector, reaffirming that there are significant benefits for investing in housebuilding and infrastructure projects.
For example, every £1 spent in construction generates £2.84 in economic activity, whilst 92% of the investment is retained in the UK, supporting manufacturing and the skills which the country needs.
Jobs for Growth founder Mike Leonard said: “The UK needs jobs and growth, and building our way out of recession is now the only solution left to Government.
“After a golden summer of sporting achievement, we need to capture some of that Olympic spirit, positivity and determination and go for gold in Jobs and Growth.”
Mr Leonard said: “Over the coming months we will work closely with all our local and national politicians, banks and other decision influencers to build the case for Jobs and Growth.
“We have the demand, the will, the land, the materials and the skills to make this happen. With the same level of focus, commitment and pride demonstrated by our athletes this summer, the building industry can lead Britain out of recession.”
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has today granted planning permission to Capital and Counties Properties to develop a new urban district including 7,500 new homes across four residential districts.
The Council have estimated that more than £1 billion worth of community benefits will be generated in the local area, creating 9,500 permanent jobs. It will also include 760 replacement council homes.
The scheme will also include the building of 1,500 affordable homes, offices, educational, cultural and community facilities as well as a new five acre green park.
Residents living on the estates would be offered the chance to build new skills in preparation for the thousands of employment opportunities which will be created.
Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, Cllr Nicholas Botterill, said: “This major regeneration could lead the way in lifting the country out of recession – ploughing hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment into London’s economy and bringing thousands of new homes and jobs.
Ian Hawksworth, Chief Executive of Capco welcomed the Council’s decision to grant a planning consent for the Earls Court Masterplan which work is expected to start next year.
He said: “The proposed scheme will offer a multi-billion pound investment in both London and the local community creating thousands of new homes and jobs.”
The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has confirmed plans to create government backed ‘business bank’ which will help companies to invest and create new trade jobs.
Vince Cable’s new institution includes a series of collaborative strategies between businesses and government that are forecast to advance manufacturing and boost the trade industry.
Cable outlined his plans, committing to a long term, strategic partnership that will give businesses clarity about where the Government will be concentrating its efforts.
Speaking at Imperial College, London, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Our first part of that plan is lifting the barrier that poor access to finance puts on growth. By helping firms to invest capital, businesses expand, and create jobs.
“But I am also setting out a clear and ambitious vision, a commitment far beyond the usual political timescale that will continue to bear fruit decades later.
“It will give our businesses certainty, allow them to make their own plans, and know that the full weight of Government is behind them. We will work in a strategic partnership with industry, focusing our support on specific sectors. This is our commitment to growth in action.”
The speech sets out a number of other actions including:
- Creating a new institution to help companies invest in capital and drive their expansion. The scale and modus operandi of the institution are still under discussion, but it could operate through alternative providers such as the new challenger banks and non-bank lenders. Not only would this boost their lending capacity, but would also corral existing provision such as co-investment and guarantees to support business expansion.
- Developing a series of collaborative but challenging sector strategies in advanced manufacturing, knowledge-intensive traded industries, and the enabling industries. This will include building strategic partnerships with industries and targeting support for them to help realise their substantial growth prospects.
- The Business Secretary announced that 34 bids had been successful in the first round of the Employer Ownership pilot scheme securing £67 million of public funding and generating £98 million in private investment, making sure that employers can access exactly the sort of skills they need. Ensuring our world class skills policy is linked closely to the industrial strategy, in order that industry gets the skills they need to continue growing. This objective underpins the employer ownership pilot scheme where employers have been putting together radical plans to develop their own training programme.
- Accelerating the journey from pure academic research to a commercial product being brought to market to help boost ground-breaking technologies of the future. The Government has already made £180 million available to support the commercialisation of innovations in the life sciences sector and building on this new approach, there will now be a new Innovation and Knowledge centre in Synthetic biology to explore the opportunities this sector presents.
- Recognising Government’s role as a customer and developing a more intelligent partnership with its own supply chain by reforming procurement to make sure that businesses have confidence to take long-term investment decisions.
What is your reaction to the government’s plan to create ‘business bank’ which will help companies to invest and create new trade jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
“Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says on TV that the Government’s planning changes are boost to solo traders in the trades”
The government is easing the planning rules on extending homes in England as part of a package to boost housebuilding and stimulate economic growth.
The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have announced a major housing and planning package which is set to build 70,000 new homes and create up to 140,000 construction jobs.
Speaking to BBC News this morning Nick Clegg said that people will be allowed to build up to 8-metre larger extensions to their houses without needing a planning permission. He argued that the relaxation of the planning regulations will create jobs and boost those professionals who are already working in the trades.
Clegg said: “The planning changes mean that people will get the local builder to extend their kitchen or conservatory which will create jobs and stimulate economic activity.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said that the package announced today includes investing hundreds of millions of pounds into building more affordable homes as well as a £40 billion guarantee for infrastructure projects to support the building construction industry.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said in a statement that the Government’s announcement will help people to build new homes and ‘kick-start’ the economy.
Mr Cameron said: “We’re determined to cut through the bureaucracy that holds us back. That starts with getting the planners off our backs, getting behind the businesses that have the ambition to expand and meeting the aspirations of families that want to buy or improve a home.”
- Removing restrictions on house builders to help unlock 75 000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable. Developers who can prove that council’s costly affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed.
- New legislation for Government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers.
- Up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use using new capital funding of £300m and the infrastructure guarantee
- An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report to Government on boosting the private rented sector
- Thousands of big commercial and residential applications to be directed to a major infrastructure fast track and where councils are poor developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate.
- Calling time on poor performing town hall planning departments, putting the worst into ‘special measures’ if they have failed to improve the speed and quality of their work and allowing developers to bypass councils. More applications also will go into a fast track appeal process.
- 16,500 first-time buyers helped with a £280m extension of the successful ‘FirstBuy’ scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much-needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder.
- For a time limited period, slashing planning red tape, including sweeping away the rules and bureaucracy that prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties, helping tens of thousands of home owners and companies.
The University of Cambridge has been granted planning permission to build 3, 000 new homes as part of its £1 billion development in northwest Cambridge, creating significant employment opportunities for people in the trades.
The planning application for the 150 hectare site was approved by local authorities today, paving the way for residential and development partners to start building construction work in early 2013.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates welcomed the project’s planning consent. He commented that the £1 billion investment will encourage economic growth and create new jobs, showing that Cambridge is truly open for business.
Mr Bates said: “This new development and investment in the University will be a major boost to jobs in the area and help attract even more business.
“A booming Cambridge economy is good for our local communities and the nation as we have the ability to help the country out of recession.”
The University of Cambridge said in a statement today that it will provide 1,500 homes for key University and College employees, 1,500 homes for sale and accommodation for 2,000 students.
New 100,000 square metres research institutes will be built to the University’s wide range of community facilities. Around one third of the site will be used as public open space for sports, informal recreation and ecological use.
“This development is a major part of the University’s long term future,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. “It will provide much of the residential and research accommodation that the University needs as it grows over the next 20 years.”
Councillor for South Cambridgeshire District Council, David Bard, said: “This development is key to the next stage in the development of Cambridge and will be an exemplar of sustainable living. The plans are of a very high quality and will deliver a new community that everyone will be very proud of.”
What is your reaction to the £1 billion investment at the University of Cambridge that will encourage economic growth and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
The scheme will deliver economic growth and increase infrastructure investment to the UK which will create jobs for trade professionals including electricians, plumbers and gas engineers.
Mr Osborne said: “Today’s announcement aims to make mortgages and loans cheaper and more easily available, providing welcome support to businesses that want to expand and families aspiring to own their home.”
It is expected that banks currently offering loans through the National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS) will continue to offer their NLGS branded product.
The Chancellor said: “The NLGS has made a real difference, with over 16,000 cheaper loans worth over £2.5bn already offered to businesses across the UK. In many cases, the money saved has meant an extra person employed who otherwise still might be looking for work.
“The more generous FLS has officially opened for business and will in time effectively take over from the NLGS, delivering credit easing to the whole economy.”
Do your predictions correspond to Chancellor’s indications for economic growth and more jobs? What do you think about the FLS? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
Speaking today at the largest trade and investment event ever held in Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron said that the £8 billion development of the Battersea Power Station in South West London will create 20, 000 jobs during its construction.
The mixed development will contain homes, office space, a hotel and retail space and will see the Northern Line extended with a new transportation hub at the Power Station site.
The Global Investment Conference, launched by the Prime Minister, is the first of a series of global business summits being held in London to showcase the UK during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The event is expected to generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs for people in the trades.
The conference kicks off the largest and most ambitious set of trade events held in Britain. During the six weeks of the Games, the British Business Embassy will host 17 global business summits that will bring over £1 billion of deals and projects.
These events will allow more than 4,000 business leaders and politicians to exchange views and ideas, discuss local and international economic challenges as well as develop strong global partnerships for future growth and showcase the best of British business to the world.
Chancellor George Osborne said: “Britain has always been a country that is open to the world. In hosting the Olympic Games, we are showcasing that openness. As we welcome the world’s best athletes, we also welcome the world’s best companies – so that they can succeed, invest, and create jobs in Britain.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Tomorrow we welcome the world to London as the 2012 Olympic Games get underway. This summer is more than just a great sporting spectacle – it is an unrivalled opportunity to promote the best of British industry and make the most of our openness to foreign trade and investment.”
This month, the UN’s World Investment Report showed that the UK had retained its place as the number one destination in Europe for inward investment. The report showed that there were almost 60,000 new jobs created last year as a result of inward investment.
What is your reaction to the Global Investment Conference that could bring billions of pounds to the UK economy? How much of an impact will the Olympics have on your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
Plans to build a new £600 million shopping centre in Leeds will create thousands of jobs in the building engineering industry as one of the of Britain’s biggest high street retailers, John Lewis, has secured a deal to build a 258,000 sq ft anchor store near the development of Eastgate Quarters in Leeds city centre.
The first phase of the development, which is called Harewood, would also create two new shopping streets leading to the Victoria Quarter which will include 30 shops, six restaurants, and a multi-storey car park on the site of Leeds’ former police station.
Work on first phase of the development is expected to start in spring 2014 and it could be open by 2016, if plans submitted to the city council next year are approved.
A low-carbon energy centre for the scheme has been consented which will provide heating, cooling and electricity required by the development, with the opportunity to also support neighbouring homes and businesses.
As a result of the multi-million development, the retail led scheme could generate up to 4,000 jobs in the building engineering sector, providing more employment opportunities for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.
Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, welcomed the announcement describing it as excellent news for the city centre and the people from Leeds as a whole.
Mr Wakefield said: “All the parties have been working behind the scenes for some months now to facilitate an agreement which enables work to begin on this important development. So to know that we now have a clear timetable from Hammerson is really exciting.
He added: “Eastgate Quarters is a hugely significant development for the city which will enable our retail sector to compete with other British cities and attract international visitors and investors. It will bring thousands of new visitors to the city as well as creating a significant number of jobs for local people.”
What is your reaction to the £600 million development in Leeds that will pave the way for more jobs in the building engineering sector and people working in the trades? Share your thoughts with us by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
Global renewable energy developer, Element Power, has sign a deal with the National Grid UK to provide 3,000 megawatts of electricity to Ireland, creating 10, 000 jobs during project’s development and construction phase.
Electricity is expected to be transmitted through two subsea cables connecting wind power generated in the Midlands of Ireland to consumers in the UK.
The deal which is part of a series of projects exporting wind power could save UK consumers £7 billion over the project’s lifetime compared to sourcing the same energy from sea-based offshore wind farms.
Element Power said that the project would also result in the creation of an estimated 3,000 long-term operational and manufacturing jobs in the UK and Ireland.
Chief Executive Officer at Element Power Ireland, Tim Cowhig believes the project will bring substantial benefits to the economy and pave the way for more jobs in the building engineering industry.
Mr Cowhig said: “Greenwire is a particularly timely project which will enable the economy to harness our renewable energy resources to our economic advantage.
“Greenwire is the enabling project that will allow this to happen boosting our national trade and generating considerable employment and benefit to the Midlands region.”
The growing popularity of wind farms has seen an enormous boost for the renewable energy sector, creating more employment opportunities for engineers and trades professionals. It has been reported that the number of people working in this sector has grown significantly in the last two years.
The UK has been ranked as the most energy efficient country in the world according to a new study which calculates countries’ efforts to reduce energy use and shows the overall effect of green policies, contributing for the creation of thousands of new jobs in the renewable engineering industry.
The study was published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) which ranked the UK first among the world’s 12 largest economies, closely followed by Germany, Italy, and Japan, for reducing pollution in industry, transport and buildings.
British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, welcomed the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard by the ACEEE, emphasising the importance of low-carbon and renewable initiatives in the UK for future economic growth and sustainable development.
Mr Davey said: “The UK and the leading economies of Europe are now well ahead of the United States when it comes to energy efficiency. This is significant because countries that use energy more efficiently require fewer resources to achieve the same goals, thus reducing costs, preserving valuable natural resources, and creating jobs.”
The 12 largest economies, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union represent over 78 per cent of Global Gross Domestic Product; 63 per cent of global energy consumption; 62 percent of the global carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions.
Author of the report and ACEEE Senior Researcher, Sara Hayes, said that investment in cost- effective energy efficiency can help many countries to strengthen their economic competitiveness and create new jobs in the renewable industry.
Ms Hayes said: “While energy efficiency has played a major role in the economies of developed nations for decades, cost-effective energy efficiency remains a massively underutilized energy resource. Fortunately, there is a lot countries can do to strengthen their economic competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency.”
What is your reaction to the new report by the ACEEE that rates the UK as the world’s most energy efficient country? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
“Growth-boosting railway projects to help for the creation of new electrical, plumbing and engineering jobs”
The Government has announced a £9.4 billion infrastructure investment package that will deliver sustainable economic growth and pave the way for thousands of new jobs for people in the trades, the Department for Transport revealed today.
The plan includes the electrification of a number of railway schemes including the Midland Main Line between Bedford and Sheffield creating new jobs in the electrical engineering sector.
Other rail improvements contributing for the creation of more employment opportunities for trade professionals including electricians and engineers, have been announced for the Manchester area, south Wales and East Coast Main Line
Prime Minister David Cameron called it the “biggest modernisation of our railways since the Victorian era” with the deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, naming it as “the biggest expansion in railways in over 150 years”.
The £9 billion investment of growth-boosting railway upgrades across England and Wales will mean faster journey, more reliable services and an increased capacity for 140,000 extra daily commutes, Transport Secretary Justine Greening said in a statement.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “From Crossrail, high speed rail and now the billions of pounds of investment we are announcing today, this government is committed to taking the long term decisions to deliver growth and jobs.
“In what is the biggest modernisation of our railways since the Victorian era this investment will mean faster journeys, more seats, better access to stations, greater freight links and a truly world class rail network.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne commented he was pleased with the government’s decision to fund in full the Northern Hub which will help rebalance the UK economy and enable future economic growth throughout the regions.
Mr Osborne said: “This government is making more funds available to invest in rail projects than at any time since the Victorian era, and shows that the government is committed to delivering on its promises to support investment in public infrastructure that will support economic growth.”
As reported on the BBC website some of the newly announced major improvements include:
- Electrification – completion of the Midland Main Line from Bedford to Sheffield costing £800m, local lines in the Welsh Valleys, costing £600m, and an extension of the already-announced electrification between Manchester and Leeds
- The Northern Hub – a series of projects around Manchester worth £322m that improve northern rail capacity to get more and faster trains across the north of England
- Upgrades to the East Coast Main Line from London to Leeds and Newcastle worth £240m to create faster journeys and capacity
- The reopening of the east-west link from Oxford and Aylesbury to Milton Keynes
- Electrification of the lines from London to Bristol and Cardiff, and from Manchester to Liverpool, Blackpool and Leeds
- Upgrades to stations and tracks creating capacity for an additional 140,000 daily rail commutes at peak times, including £350m for lengthening platforms at London’s Waterloo station
What’s your reaction to the huge investment in rail infrastructure projects across England and Wales which is expected to boost the economy and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
The Government will enable businesses across Britain to access more and cheaper loans which will boost the economy and create new jobs, the BBC has reported.
Chancellor George Osborne announced the new £ 80 billion scheme, describing it as “a huge help for the British economy” which will give businesses the confidence to grow.
Under the Funding for Lending Scheme British banks will be able to lend money to businesses at a low interest rate, enabling the expansion of smaller businesses and the creation of new employment opportunities.
The Chancellor said: “Today’s announcement aims to make mortgages and loans cheaper and more easily available, providing welcome support to businesses that want to expand and families aspiring to own their home.”
Mr Osborne added the initiative would “inject new confidence into our financial system and support the flow of credit to where it is needed in the real economy – showing that we are not powerless to act in the face of the Eurozone debt storm”.
Welcoming the government’s announcement Director-General at the CBI, John Cridland, said: “This new scheme should provide a real incentive for banks and building societies to increase their lending to businesses and individuals, if possible at lower rates of interest.”
What is your reaction to the Funding for Lending scheme and how do you think you will be able to benefit from the £80 billion investment? Let us know what you think by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
“The CBI is urging the government to get its act together and accelerate infrastructure investment”
The CBI Director General, John Cridland, has urged the government in a Financial Times interview to speed up the implementation of its plan for economic growth by accelerating housing and infrastructure projects across the UK.
The head of Britain’s top business lobbying organisation criticised the government over some delays in road improvement plans and the failure to agree renewable energy subsidies, which according to the CBI are vitally important for boosting economic growth.
“I think it is really disappointing how long it is taking to get momentum and urgency into the growth plan.” The Director General told the Financial Times.
Meanwhile, CBI Director for Business and Environment, Rhian Kelly launched, Creating Britain’s future, a new campaign for the UK’s Contractors Group, highlighting the crucial role that the construction sector plays for the creation of new jobs.
Ms Kelly said: “Our analysis shows that the construction sector has the potential to create 215,000 jobs across the UK and throughout the supply chain.
“It is more important than ever that we recognise the role of construction, both as a catalyst for local job creation across the UK in the short-term, and as the lead mover in the £250bn infrastructure renewal needed to underpin economic growth in the long-term.
“To get spades in the ground on infrastructure delivery, there must be an urgent focus across the UK on bringing forward repair, maintenance and improvement projects, for example on roads, to deliver immediate and tangible results in terms of local jobs and growth.”
Do you share the view of the CBI about the huge potential for growth and the creation of new jobs in the construction industry? How viable do you think is this statement for your business?
BCC suggests in its Quarterly Economic Survey that businesses are growing but the the pace of activity is too slow for a sustainable recovery. Director General of the BCC, John Longworth, urged the government to take a bolder approach to boosting economic growth. He recommended measures including the creation of a state-backed business bank, and investment in infrastructure as critical to get the economy growing.
Mr Longworth said: “Growth cannot wait. The government must take an imaginative and brave approach to stimulating the economy and helping businesses thrive.”
The survey found manufacturing home orders has edged up two points, to +8%, the strongest level since the second quarter of 2011. The service employment balance increased six points, to +10%, representing the highest level since the recession began in 2008.
The report indicates a surprising growth over manufacturers’ intentions to invest in training which rose to +18%, the best level for the last four years.
Although, business confidence is still below its 2007 level, manufacturers’ profitability is reported to have increased three points, to +24%, also the strongest level since the last quarter of 2010.
What’s your reaction on the findings by the BCC which suggest the manufacturing and the service industry are growing in times of austerity? If you are working in one of those sectors, share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.
One of the largest providers of affordable housing in the South of England, Sovereign Housing Association, has announced it will build more than 3, 000 new homes over the next four years, paving the way for jobs in the building construction industry.
The ambitious plan will see 1, 064 new homes built by the end of this financial year, 865 of which have been already identified, the housing association confirmed last week. Under Sovereign’s new development strategy at least 276 of the new homes will be for affordable home ownership, forecasting a similar number of homes to be completed in 2013/14.
Development and Commercial Director at Sovereign, Phil Stephens, said: “The top priorities of our development strategy are to ensure that we deliver the HCA Affordable Homes Programme and to play our part in achieving Sovereign’s aim of reaching 50,000 homes by 2015,”
“Our recent successful bond issue has given us the financial strength and flexibility to continue delivering a substantial programme of new homes in our core operating areas in the coming years.”- added Mr Stephens.
It was revealed that Sovereign’s development will include a significant number of shared ownership homes as well as a growing number of market rent properties in key locations.
Mr Stephens commented that there is a definite gap in the market rent properties due to the rising demand from people unable to buy their own homes.
He said: “We will be looking to build on the positive experiences we have had so far letting homes at market rates in the West Country, and not only develop a broader portfolio of properties, but also diversify our revenue streams to enable us to continue providing affordable homes into the future.”
What’s your reaction to Sovereign’s announcement to build 3,000 new homes in the next four years? How do you think this revelation could help your business? Let us know by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has urged the government to boost economic growth by giving a greater emphasis on infrastructure projects in the UK.
In a new report published today, the CBI has recommended to the Treasury to enhance the credit rating of government construction schemes and raise public funds that will secure private business investment, unlocking billions of pounds to the UK economy.
According to the CBI Director-General, John Cridland, infrastructure investment will offer the UK a sustainable growth development that businesses need.
Mr Cridland said: “As this report makes clear, if we want to see the billions of pounds needed to upgrade our ageing infrastructure and secure jobs and growth for the long-term, the Government must make smarter use of limited public finances. By underpinning and lifting the credit rating of certain infrastructure assets, it can make them less risky and more attractive to investors.
The CBI says that harnessing just a 1 per cent increase from the UK’s pension fund will give a ‘vital boost’ to the UK’s underfunded infrastructure networks and make them more attractive to investors.
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The Halite Energy Group is planning to develop an underground gas storage facility in Lancashire that will create thousands of new jobs in the construction engineering industry, a report by economic development and regeneration consultants says.
The Preesall Gas Storage Economic Impact Report shows that the £660 million investment at Preessall, Lancashire, could create over 3,000 jobs at its peak and support additional employment across the UK. Building the proposed gas storage facility, which will almost double UK’s storage capacity, is expected create 1200 jobs every year with total duration of construction work of 8 years.
Halite Energy Group is seeking permission by the Planning Inspectorate to build 19 caverns for the storage of natural gas as the final decision is expected to be made by the Secretary of State early next year.
Commenting on the report Dr John Roberts CBE, chairman of Halite said: “There is an urgent need to bring forward major infrastructure schemes such as the one we are proposing to stimulate growth and provide much needed jobs in the UK.”
Tony Attard OBE, Chairman of the Institute of Directors for the North West, said: “This project will improve our energy security, create jobs and provide a boost to businesses in Lancashire and the North West. Britain needs more gas storage, and it’s essential that projects such as these go ahead at full speed to reduce the likelihood of damaging gas price spikes. We simply can’t take risks with the security of our energy supplies.”
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“Green Investment should play a key role in the UK’s economic recovery” states a new report by the Environment Audit Committee published today.
The new report, “A Green Economy” reinforces calls by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) for the Government to put renewable energy at the heart of its economic recovery and employment strategy.
The Report on employment and skills in the UK renewable energy published last month showed that there were over 100,000 people employed in renewable sector across Britain, generating a turnover of £12.5 billion last year alone.
However, the REA is warning that there is a danger for Britain not to fulfil its full potential because of serious skills shortages and uncertainties in the policy framework.
The organisation which represents renewable energy producers in the UK, says that 400,000 people will be needed in the sector by 2020 to meet binding EU targets, suggesting that the renewable industry will need a skilful workforce to deal with continually increasing demand.
Chief Executive of the REA, Gaynor Hartnell, said that the government needs to understand the potential benefits of renewable energy investment.
Ms Hartnell said: “Several countries, from America to Japan to Germany, have realised that taking the long-term view and investing in renewables is a significant step on the route out of economic malaise. The UK renewables industry wants to work with the Coalition Government to realise the huge contribution our sector can make to jobs, growth and prosperity.”
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The UK’s renewable industry has welcomed the announcement by Energy Secretary Ed Davey not to go ahead with scheduled reduction in solar tariffs which would have badly hit the solar PV sector.
Solar does not only protect homeowners from rising energy bills, but it also delivers a great return on investment. The cost of solar power has been coming down faster than any other energy generation technology, the Renewable Energy Association confirmed.
Commenting on the decision to help the renewable industry, Energy Minister Greg Barker said the Government is “listening carefully to industry” and that this delay gives industry the opportunity to reignite the solar market and grow further.
“It is very encouraging for the future that Government is listening to industry concerns, but we need certainty as soon as possible on the details of when and what the next tariff adjustments will be.”- Chief Executive of the Solar Trade Association (STA), Paul Barwell, said.
Juliet Davenport, Founder and CEO of Good Energy which is the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier commented that solar is a great opportunity for the generation of renewable energy and a powerful way of giving households greater control over their energy bills.
Ms Davenport said: “Already we’re seeing how solar makes a natural partner for more intermittent forms of renewable generation, like wind. That’s going to become more and more important in years to come, and it’s time to invest today for the energy market of tomorrow.”
What’s your reaction to the announcement by Energy Secretary Ed Davey not to go ahead with scheduled reduction in solar tariffs which will help the renewable industry? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:
William Hague has told ministers that the government should do more to help green industries in order to boost economic growth in Britain, the Guardian Newspaper reported today.
The Guardian has seen a private letter to the Prime Minister in which the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, called upon his cabinet colleagues to place a “stronger political emphasis” and show global leadership on the low carbon economy that will deliver green growth and create new jobs.
The letter argues that government ministers should keep a greater focus on environmental issues, boost the renewable industry which will boost economic growth and deliver modern infrastructure.
Mr Hague said: “I believe we should reframe our response to climate change as an imperative for growth rather than merely being a way of being green or meeting environmental commitments.
“The low carbon economy is at the leading edge of a structural shift now taking place globally, we need to stay abreast of this, given our need for an export-led recovery and for inward investment in modern infrastructure and advanced manufacturing.” added the Foreign Secretary.
He said: “We will not secure a binding agreement in 2015 unless the idea of low carbon growth becomes dominant across the major economies before then,” but the foreign secretary adds that “We can leverage this. But our diplomacy will only succeed if it is rooted in our own domestic narrative.”
According to the Guardian, the letter does not specifically criticise the coalition’s green agenda, and actively praises policies such as the Green Investment Bank and imminent electricity market reforms.
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Former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne wrote in the Guardian newspaper yesterday that Britain has to stimulate future economic growth by investing in the renewable energy sector.
Economic recovery from double dip recession will work only if the government pursue ‘green growth’ because energy saving is a win-win situation for both businesses and households, the Former Cabinet Minister stated.
Mr Huhne is confident that green growth is sustainable because it has the potential for creating new jobs, cutting energy bills and increasing spending incomes of households. He also encouraged more vigorous debate on the wider agenda for natural resources and energy efficiency.
Mr Huhne said “Much of our economic debate implies we must choose between going green or going for growth. That view may be the opposite of the truth. There is now hard evidence that the real choice is between green growth or no growth at all.”
Although the Former Liberal Democrat Minister didn’t criticise the government and declined to name those who are portraying green policies as a barrier to growth. Some senior Liberal Democrats in the coalition government have previously complained that Tory MPs have been obstructing green policies relating to energy efficiency.
What is your reaction to the article by former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne? Do you share his opinion that investing more in energy projects will boost the UK economy? Let us know by leaving a comment below:
As reported by BBC News today, homebuilder Redrow has announced plans to raise £80 million of new shares to fund its expansion plans, which will create growth opportunities for the building construction sector.
Redrow has secured planning for more than 3,000 plots across the UK and acquired new sites totalling £50 million which are likely to create more employment opportunities for trade professionals. The housebuilder told the Financial Times that it intended to acquire more land ‘as and when opportunities arose’, as well as developing land bought cheaply during the recession.
Steve Morgan, Executive Chairman at Redrow, outlined the significant growth opportunities for the London area and other regions by saying that the firm will continue to follow its existing strategy for growth.
Mr Morgan, who is also the owner of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, said Redrow has made good progress in selling high-quality family homes and that the firm will continue to pave the way for more work in the future, increasing confidence in the housing market.
He said: “We now believe the time is right to accelerate that strategy by taking advantage of the development opportunities we see.”
What is your reaction to the announcement by housebuilder Redrow to raise significant investment and boost the housing market? How do you think trade professionals could benefit from this? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) published a report today showing that meeting the UK’s renewable energy targets by the end of 2020 could create 400,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector.
The report ‘Renewable Energy: Made in Britain’, looks at employment figures for the entire UK’s renewable sector. It has estimated that the renewable industry was worth £12.5 billion in 2010/11 and supported 110,000 jobs. The new report suggests that employment across the renewable sector would rise significantly, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs by the end of this decade.
Launching the report, REA’s Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell welcomed the findings of the report by saying that it is vital for the UK to keep on track with its commitments to meet the renewable energy targets by the end of 2020 as well as encourage economic growth and create more green jobs.
Ms Hartnell said: “Harnessing our renewables creates employment and means that rather than spending money on energy imports we can keep it circulating in the UK economy. Government needs to take steps to build the skills base and keep the UK on track to meet its renewables targets. When it comes to the employment, economic and energy challenges we face, the answer is clear – make it renewable and make it in Britain.”
Gregory Barker, Minister of State for Climate Change, said: “Renewable energy not only provides us with clean and secure energy that cuts our reliance on imported fossil fuels – it generates billions of pounds of investment and potentially hundreds and thousands of jobs and is a key growth sector for the UK economy.”
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The Building Construction Industry will receive an £80 million boost as the government approves Hinckley’s regeneration scheme which will be a major source of work for contractors and people in the building engineering sector.
The news about the significant redevelopment of Hinckley’s town centre, Leicestershire, comes after 12 years of discussions about the future of the project.
As reported on BBC News today, the regeneration scheme will build 24 new retail and restaurant units, 111,000 square foot Sainsbury’s store and a new bus station.
Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council welcomed the decision of the government to give the green light for the project which will encourage future economic growth and create new jobs.
Stuart Bray, the leader of Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, said: “This is fantastic news for the town and means we shall soon start to see things happening. The exciting new shopping and commercial scheme will give the town centre a further boost, thanks to a superstore, cinema, fashion shops, family restaurants and a major new shoppers’ car park alongside a re-designed bus station. We are now looking forward to working with the developer on the construction programme.”
Although, an exact date wasn’t given for the start of the projects, the two developers behind the scheme, Wilson Bowden Developments and Ashcroft Estates, are to complete construction work in 2014.
Director for the joint venture, Tony Baker, said: “This is a crucial step in securing the delivery of this important project for the future of Hinckley. It will not only improve the retail provision in the town centre but provide much-needed new employment. Whilst there are a number of steps to be completed before work starts on site we are now able to move forward with confidence knowing that the entire site can be delivered.”
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Member of Parliament (MP) Mark Garnier has been helping businesses across the West Midlands and his constituency of the Wyre Forest to bring more economic prosperity and create new jobs.
The latest event, organised by MP Garnier, was held in Kidderminster last week. The Wyre Forest Jobs Fair helped hundreds of people attending to connect with potential employers and find a job. Mr Garnier, who entered politics because of his desire to contribute to peoples’ lives, explained that this event will make a significant difference to his constituency and boost economic growth.
Speaking at the event, Mr Garnier emphasised on the importance of having a skilful workforce that meets the demands and the expectations of private business investors. He described training as ‘vital’ for the future economic prosperity across Britain and its ability to compete with countries from the rest of the world, including Europe.
Mr Garnier said: “I think that the single most important thing we need to do is upskill the whole of our country. Our engineering legacy in this country is absolutely second to none. We have a fantastic legacy, but we have to recognise the fact that our competitors around the world are becoming to surpass us. Particularly in China, their engineering expertise is becoming far greater than ours which is a significant event in terms of our country’s development.”
Speaking about the manufacturing industry, which currently represents only 12% of country’s Gross Domestic Product, Mr Garnier said that there needs to be more training in order to equip people with the necessary skills and help the industry’s sustainable development.
He said: “Any successful economy will have a workforce that its training level meets the expectation of these private sector investors. Those private sector investors who are making the financial commitment, it is vital that when they make this financial commitment to their businesses, that the people who are employing are skilled enough in order to make that mix of capital skill work. ”
What the government could do to encourage people to train and upgrade their existing qualification in order to be more skilful and employable? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:
You can listen to the full interview with MP Mark Garnier via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
Homebuilders and property developers will benefit from a new £5 million investment for Bristol’s Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone which will bring thousands of new jobs in the area, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) revealed today.
Bristol City Council will invest £3.8 million to buy Brunel’s Old Station building and bring the property to public ownership whilst detailed plans for reconstruction and building work are taking place.
The HCA said part of the building could be used for the rail industry to improve services between Bristol and London, with the remaining space used to build conference facilities to support the growth of creative industries within the Enterprise.
Network Rail Western’s route Managing Director, Patrick Hallgate, welcomed the move by the HCA and Bristol City Council to improve railway facilities in Bristol and deal with the continually increasing demand.
Mr Hallgate said: “We need to grow the railway to cater for this boom and there is potential to do so by redeveloping the land, buildings and railway in the Bristol area. A shared vision and firm support from key players such as HCA and the council will be instrumental in helping us shape a successful rail strategy that also fits in with the enterprise zone’s vision for the future of Bristol.”
With the remaining £1.2 million, HCA announced it will support the relocation of Pest Control Depot and its existing facilities to a new purpose build depot elsewhere in the city. It has been forecasted that both projects will create 17,000 jobs over the next 25 years and deliver sustainable economic growth within the area.
HCA Head of Area, David Warburton, said this vital investment will create great opportunities for a number of organisations, provide improved workplace for thousands of individuals and improve public facilities.
Mr Warburton said: “It’s vital that Brunel’s Old Station is used to its full potential, whether that be to support Network Rail Western’s plans for improved transport links, or provide improved workspace and facilities for companies who want to be based here. Working with the City Council to acquire the building will allow us to do that.”
What is your reaction to the investment by HCA to improve facilities in Bristol and encourage economic growth? If you live locally, how are you going to benefit from this investment? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:
Plans to increase airport capacity in Britain and build a third runway at London Heathrow are likely to be supported by the government despite environmentalists’ concerns.
Both David Cameron and George Osborne, have reviewed their initial decision to rule out future expansion for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. It will deal with increased trade capacity and high volume of extra passengers –the Guardian reported yesterday.
Business leaders have expressed concerns that if a third runway at London Heathrow is not built, trade might move elsewhere in Europe which could have a negative effect on future economic growth in Britain.
Expansion in some of Britain’s largest airports would create work opportunities for thousands of people in the building construction industry, creating new jobs and boosting civil engineering recruitment.
In the Budget Statement last Wednesday, Chancellor George Osborne, said the government will optimise air capacity. It is expected a report on aviation policy to be published, aiming to help businesses to trade better and make further improvement into airport capacity.
Tim Yeo, the Tory Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, told the Guardian that he had “completely changed” his mind on the Heathrow expansion plans and now believed there was no option but to build a third runway; this will ensure that the south of England will remain a worldwide aviation hub.
The Prime Minister said that he recognises the need for expanding airport capacity in Britain and that the government is looking at ways of helping businesses to make the most of country’s aviation capacity.
Mr Cameron said: “I’m not blind to the need to increase airport capacity, particularly in the South-East” adding, “Gatwick is emerging as a business airport for London under a new owner, competing with Heathrow.”
What is your reaction to the expansion of airport capacity at London Heathrow? Do you think construction work at Britain’s major airports will help your business? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:
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.