Posts tagged England
Communities Minister Don Foster has announced that towns across England will benefit from £91 million to refurbish and bring back into use over 6,000 empty homes and derelict homes.
The Minister said that regions in the Midlands and North, where the problem is most acute, would especially benefit from the investment that will create new jobs and boost the building industry.
Speaking today whist visiting an empty homes refurbishment project in Stoke on Trent, Mr Foster said: “The government is doing everything possible to tackle the problem of empty homes and urban blight.
“Today I’m announcing we’re going to do even more, with towns across England benefiting from £91 million to refurbish over 6,000 empty properties to get them back into use.
“This will bring people, shops and jobs back to once abandoned areas, and provide extra affordable homes we so badly need.”
The funding will be spent on refurbishment in areas where empty properties have commonly led to problems such as squatting, rat infestation and collapsing house prices, driving remaining residents away.
The funding is being allocated under two programmes:
- £61 million from the second round of the empty homes funding programme, provided to successful bidders eligible from all areas across England (except London, which will be announced separately) with empty homes. Around two thirds of this (£41 million) is allocated by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to registered social landlords; and the remaining money to community and voluntary groups. Together the 187 successful organisations will bring around 3,200 extra homes back into use.
- £30 million second year award of Clusters of Empty Homes programme funding for twenty partnerships in areas of acute problems such as Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Middlesbrough which will bring around 3,500 homes back into use.
Andy Rose, HCA chief executive, said: “We had a very encouraging response to the funding across a wide range of types of property.
“This demonstrates a strong appetite and scope for bringing empty homes and properties back into use, which will help to reinvigorate our communities and towns. We look forward to working with housing providers to bring these homes forward.”
What is your reaction to the £90 million cash boost that will create new jobs and boost the construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Morgan Sindall has begun work on a £3.3 million extension project at The Perse Upper School in Cambridge that will boost the building industry.
The new build development comprises the construction of a three-storey block with a number of associated external works that are due to complete in the summer of 2014.
The new building will significantly expand the school and provide new teaching and classroom facilities for staff and pupils.
Morgan Sindall will construct the building using a traditional concrete frame and a combination of pre-aged zinc cladding, glass curtain walling and render.
The building will be joined to an existing part of the school by an interconnecting covered foot-bridge built to the first floor.
As the project team is working on a busy school site, hoardings have been put into place to ensure that the building works are segregated and that there is minimal disruption to the children’s learning environment.
Ed Elliott, head teacher of The Perse Upper School, said: “We are all delighted to see construction underway. The building will house new classrooms and a large flexible area that can be used for assemblies, rehearsals, exams and meeting space.”
Bob Ensch, Morgan Sindall area director, said: “The new building will bring a wealth of benefits to both pupils and staff at The Perse Upper School and will provide an excellent learning environment for years to come.
“Morgan Sindall has a proven track record in successfully delivering projects on time and within budget and we understand the complexities that are involved when operating within existing educational environments.”
Work on site has begun and will complete following a 60-week programme of development.
The development at The Perse Upper School is the third major project Morgan Sindall has secured in the local area in recent years. The company completed the £9 million redevelopment of office space at Botanic House on Hills Road last year and is currently on site delivering a £1.7 million commercial development at 90 Hills Road.
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.”
The Budget sets out further action to build a stronger economy, with help for UK businesses to create jobs and kick-start major construction projects across England.
Chancellor Osborne said in Parliament today that the government was “already supporting the largest investment in railways since Victorian times and spending more on new roads than in a generation.”
The Government would now boost spending by £3 billion from 2015-16 with the money saved from departmental budgets, amounting to a total of £15 billion of extra capital spending in the next 10 years
The Chancellor has also announced a new Help to Buy scheme involving equity loans on new build houses and £130 billion mortgage guarantee programme that will help people to buy their new homes.
Chancellor George Osborne said that by investing in the arteries of the country’s infrastructure, the Government will get growth “flowing to every part of the country”.
The latest stimulus of financial support to tackle long-term shortage in the housing market will see the building of new homes and boost employment in the construction industry.
Mr Osborne said: “We’ve switched billions of pounds from current to capital spending since the spending review. But on existing plans, capital spending is still due to fall back in 2015-16. I don’t think that’s sensible.
“So by using our extra savings from government departments, we will boost our infrastructure plans by £3 billion a year from 2015-16.
“That’s £15 billion of extra capital spending over the next decade. Because by investing in the economic arteries of this country, we will get growth flowing to every part of it.
“And public investment will now be higher on average as a percentage of our national income under our plans than it was in the whole period of the last Government.
“In June, we will set out long term spending plans for that long term capital budget.
“And we will use the expertise of Paul Deighton, the man who delivered the Olympics and who now serves in the Treasury, to improve the capacity of Whitehall to deliver big projects and make greater use of independent advice.”
The British Property Federation has welcomed the Government’s funding increase to kick start the housing market and help a number of build-to-rent schemes.
Director of policy at the British Property Federation, Ian Fletcher, said: “It’s encouraging the Government’s confidence in build to rent has been reciprocated and we are delighted to see that the equity funding was heavily oversubscribed.
“Working in partnership with government the sector should deliver an exciting and quality array of homes for renters.”
What is your reaction to Budget 2013 announced by Chancellor Osborne to boost infrastructure spending and build new homes? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The CPO is set to kick-start the transformation of the area, boosting the construction industry and creating new jobs in the trades. Plans include the building of 40,000 sq metres quality office space and six-storey Innovation Centre, which begins construction this summer.
Councillor David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “Across our town we are seeing exciting Northampton Alive projects breathing new life into areas as we unlock their potential.
“There are real opportunities to invest in Northampton and our Enterprise Zone. This is another positive step as we bring together another site for redevelopment and new employment opportunities.”
WNDC now owns all of the vacant land, 5 commercial properties and 10 residential properties in St Peter’s Waterside. In addition, the Corporation is in advanced discussions with National Grid about the potential to include two adjoining Gasholder sites in the development plans.
The CPO is one of two that the Corporation has launched in the Northampton Enterprise Zone, with the other Order covering the Avon Nunn Mills site. A decision on that CPO is expected later this spring.
Chris Garden, WNDC’s Director of Regeneration said: “With its central location and transport links, St Peter’s Waterside is a perfect location for high profile office development. We have been buying land in the area for some time, but this CPO means we have consolidated various sites and can press ahead with our plans.
“There will be cranes in the skyline this summer, with work starting on the first phases of development and demolition. Meanwhile, directly opposite the site, construction will be underway on Northampton’s new railway station. It is a defining period in the regeneration of the town.”
What is your reaction to the Compulsory Purchase Order given by Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, to pave to way for new businesses as well as boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Communities Minister Don Foster has committed to improving energy efficiency levels in new homes that will save up to £100 per year in bills and boost the trades.
A programme of work between the government, manufacturing and construction industry will look at where some new build homes are failing to match up to expectations, from building materials to construction practices, paving the way for new jobs across key sectors in the trades.
This work will include a programme of testing homes’ energy efficiency and a set of recommendations for making future improvement on the buildings that need additional work.
Speaking at the Eco-build green building conference today Don Foster said: “Home energy bills are one of the biggest costs that people and families face, especially during a really cold winter such as this one.
“I want to do everything to cut bills by making homes in this country the most energy efficient possible. From today government and industry will be working hand in hand to ensure new build homes live up to expectations, and drive energy bills down for householders.
“The alternative would be further regulation of industry but I do not want to add red tape and financial burdens that would just be passed on to already struggling homebuyers. Instead I want to work with industry to improve standards and performance in practice.”
New build homes in England are some of the best quality in the world, with existing high standards on energy efficiency. Today’s deal will be overseen by the Zero Carbon Hub, which brings together industry including the Home Builders Federation, Construction Products Association and the National House-Building Council.
The scheme will run from 2013 to 2020, with the first set of recommendations for improvement due next year. The government will be providing £380,000 with a further £1 million of cash and in-kind support from industry.
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.
The four one-bed semi-detached houses on Chalklands in Linton have been given the go-ahead by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Committee, and will replace an existing block of ten under-utilised garages owned by the Council.
Work is set to start onsite later this year and is due to be completed in 2014.
Up to 1,000 new council-owned and affordable properties are planned in the district over the next 30 years after a change in government housing funding policy.
Cllr Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “I’m delighted that approval has been granted to build these much-needed homes, marking a great start to our plans to build hundreds of new homes in the district.
“For the first time in years we have the option to invest heavily in new council houses, and we’re committed to listening to local people and parish councils to put them where they’re most needed.”
The latest phase of another Cambridgeshire’s drive to build almost 25, 000 new homes and create thousands of construction jobs has last week gone on display for public consultation.
A new town at Northstowe recently had its first phase approved. The scheme may eventually see thousands of new homes built, making it one of the biggest new towns in Britain since Milton Keynes.
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.”
Building UK’s fifth Center Parcs will boost the construction industry
Work will begin this month and is expected to take 72 weeks – with completion in spring 2014.
The build will provide employment for 1,200 construction workers in the run up to opening in spring 2013, when an additional 1,500 jobs will be created.
The £93m contract includes construction of the buildings for the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, restaurants, spa, 75-bedroom hotel, sports hall, conference spaces, supermarket and other associated buildings.
The project builds on an existing relationship between Center Parcs and Bowmer & Kirkland, which has completed a number of refurbishments at Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.
Bowmer & Kirkland Construction Director, Paul Lomas, said: “This latest award by Center Parcs for a fifth UK village is fantastic news for us. We are proud to be associated with Center Parcs and this will enhance our already impressive record in the leisure sector.”
What is your reaction to the new Center Parcs in Woburn Forest that will create thousands of new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The University of Bath has awarded a £16m contract to VINCI Construction UK for the design and construction of a new, five-storey teaching building.
The General Teaching Accommodation (GTA) will include a range of high quality learning facilities, including group lecture rooms, two 350-space lectures theatres, and social spaces.
Glass walls spanning three storeys will provide high levels of natural light into a five-storey high circulation space. A ‘skywalk’ bridge will also connect the building with the main campus parade.
Once completed, the 8,000m2 building will double the number of large scale lecture theatres on campus, allowing up to 2,000 students to use the building at any one time.
The contract is part of the University Masterplan which provides a framework for the development of the campus until 2026.
Martyn Whalley, University of Bath’s Director of Estates, said: “The Masterplan sets out how we plan to provide state of the art facilities and with the new GTA we will have a wonderful resource to match the high quality of our teaching and learning.”
Steve Vorres, Regional Director, VINCI Construction UK, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by the University of Bath to deliver the new GTA building which forms part of the University’s three year major capital works investment programme. This scheme will provide an exemplar teaching facility for the University’s staff and growing student population and we are extremely proud to be part of its construction and legacy. The GTA project award continues the region’s recent successes of working with University clients. These relationships form an essential part of our key account strategy and stand us in good stead for our future pipeline”.
Completion is due in September 2013 with an opening date set for the following October. The project aims to further enhance the reputation of the university, which already boasts a top ten ranking in The Guardian’s 2013 university guide.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Cleg has announced an investment of £1 billion under the Regional Growth Fund which will kick-start 130 projects across England.
The Government has estimated that today’s latest round of spending could create 240,000 jobs, many of those in the building construction industry.
The fund will help manufacturing firms, small businesses and local partnerships to expand their operations, create new jobs and stimulate economic growth.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: “This £1 billion boost for growth in towns and cities across England is creating jobs that will last in the parts of the country that need it most.
“In tough economic times the Regional Growth Fund is good value for taxpayers’ money – this £1 billion round of the fund is pulling in £6 billion of private sector investment.”
CBI chief policy director Katja Hall said: “The Regional Growth Fund is helping to meet businesses’ needs for growth capital up and down the country, enabling the successful companies to get projects off the ground.”
Commenting on the new initiative, business minister Michael Fallon, said that this is a significant investment which will help different sectors and provide strong economic boost for businesses across the country.
Mr Fallon said: “The selection process has been very fast – from companies applying to allocating funds in only five months.
“So we are keen to get a move on which is why this time, those selected have now only three months to agree final offers, and three months to complete due diligence. We want to ensure good value for the taxpayer and to get these projects started as soon as possible.”
South Essex College has signed a £33 million contract with Skanska which will see the building of a new 2,500 place student campus in Essex.
Construction of the scheme is set to start immediately with the new learning campus being ready to open in the summer of 2014.
Skanska will be responsible for the construction of three and four storey buildings covering around 150,000 sq ft. It has the target of achieving BREEAM excellent rating and the facility will incorporate rainwater harvesting, air source heat pumps and roof level PV installations.
The project is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the construction sector.
The new college aims to boost local construction skills and will teach welding, brickwork, carpentry, engineering, mechanical, electrical and plumbing skills.
Following the completion of the new facility, Skanska will undertake landscaping and associated works which will include car parking, cycle storage and external landscaping.
Paul Heather, Managing Director of Skanska for London and the South East said: “We have successfully delivered a number of world-class education facilities across Essex in recent years and this has enabled to bring together a wealth of experience, skills and expertise to this project.
“The development of the new Thurrock Campus will provide excellent facilities for the students, teaching staff and the wider community and we are proud to be part of creating this key learning environment”.
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has called for the building of 100,000 affordable homes that will boost the economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the construction industry.
Today’s announcement comes as the shadow chancellor used his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester to demand radical measures to kick-start the economy and increase infrastructure spending.
Ed Balls said that a windfall of up to £4 billion is to come from the sale of the 4G mobile phone spectrum. This money could be used to fund the building of more affordable homes which will boost the trades and help people get on the property ladder.
Mr Balls said: “Let’s use that money from the 4G sale and build over the next two years 100,000 new homes – affordable homes to rent and to buy – creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and getting our construction industry moving again.”
According to the shadow chancellor, plans to boost long-term investment and skills are the only way to rising living standards and getting people into employment.
He said: “Conference, a clear and costed plan to kick-start the economy and get people back to work is to build the homes that we need now and for the long-term, building our way out of recession and re-building Britain for the future.”
What is your reaction to the proposal by the shadow chancellor Ed Balls to use the £4 billion from the 4G mobile phone network sale to build 100,000 affordable homes and boost the economy? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Housing minister Mark Prisk has announced a £1 billion investment package to improve council homes across England that will provide work for thousands of tradesmen.
The new funding could bring over 86,000 homes up to a decent standard, paving the way for new trade jobs in the building construction industry.
It is the latest round of funding under the Decent Homes Programme which aim is to help councils bring their homes up to a decent standard, from fitting new roofs and windows to updating kitchens or heating systems.
Mr Prisk said that this new construction and skilled work would provide a shot in the arm for thousands of local businesses and tradesmen, supporting the Government’s measures to boost British jobs and the economy.
The Minister said that spending money earlier would help boost local employment as early as possible, as well as delivering home improvements for tenants ahead of schedule.
Mr Prisk said: “By improving this country’s council homes we will transform many families’ lives for the better, bringing their living standards up to scratch ensuring that their home is the safe haven it is meant to be.
“But the benefits of the £1 billion I’ve confirmed today reach far beyond tenants themselves and into the local economy.
“With every pound spent on improvements boosting local business, creating new jobs and supporting local spending, I want to see councils realising the benefits of this cash as soon as possible.”
What is your reaction to the newly announced £1 billion investment programme set to improve thousands of council homes, boost the trades and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.”
A plan to boost housebuilding in Manchester and make new homes more affordable has been agreed this week which will generate new employment opportunities in the trades.
Manchester City Council has signed an agreement with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to bring together a completely new way of funding homebuilding in the city.
The scheme is set to build more than 240 new affordable homes and create thousands of jobs in the construction industry.
Land for the development will be provided by the city council, including one site offered by the HCA, while the Greater Manchester Pension Fund will finance the building of the homes.
The partnership will choose a contractor to build the homes whilst the city council supports the buyer, by taking an equity share in the property, making the new homes more affordable and mortgage costs lower.
Cllr Jim Battle, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester’s growing population and forecasted economic growth will mean we will continue to need more homes in the near future.
“The economic climate has severely slowed home building in recent years and levels of development are not keeping up with the city’s demand.
“This new innovative model tackles these issues, pushing forward development opportunities while ensuring a supply of new attractive homes are available to residents at affordable prices.”
Deborah McLaughlin, North West Executive Director at the HCA, said: “At the HCA our focus is to employ new and innovative ways of working to use public land assets to more quickly deliver homes and economic growth. This new concept marks a major milestone for house building in Manchester and has the potential to attract major investment to the city.”
Plans to regenerate a former factory site into the building of affordable housing and a social care home have been submitted to Leeds City Council.
The site sits on a former tannery and soft drinks factory which hasn’t been used for a number of years and is now run down and overgrown. The building work will be carried out by Mansell and LNT Construction.
The £10 million regeneration scheme has been partially funded by the Homes and Communities Agency. It is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the building sector and boost the trades.
Home Group’s head of development, Teresa Snaith, said: “The current site is overgrown and hasn’t been used for a number of years. At a consultation event we held with local residents they have said that they are keen to see the area regenerated and put to good use.
“We hope to build 51 homes which will be available for affordable rent and our partners Ideal Care Homes will also build a 64-bed care home specialising in residential and dementia care if the planning is approved.”
Craig Houston, Regional Director for Mansell’s Yorkshire Business Unit commented “We are excited to be involved with this major regeneration scheme, hopefully one of the first of many site-led opportunities to come to fruition in the coming months.”
Two student accommodation schemes at the University of Liverpool have been submitted for planning approval, paving the way for developers to start building work.
The £50 million project, part of an overall £600 million campus investment announced last year, will build 621 en-suite rooms and create new jobs in the trades.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said that this regeneration will not only improve the facilities at the University of Liverpool, but will also provide economic boost to the city and bring new employment opportunities for local people.
Mr Anderson said: “This development will increase the appeal of the University of Liverpool to potential students right across the country and the world, contributing to Liverpool’s growing status as a distinctive global city.
“It will also provide a much needed boost to the city in terms of jobs and training opportunities for local people.”
Preston based developer Worthington Properties, which was selected as a building contractor for the two sites in Liverpool city centre, is planning to demolish five accommodation blocks in Philharmonic Court and construct two six-storey buildings which will contain 354 student rooms.
The second proposed development in Great Newton Street will see Worthington build on a former car park and disused university property. The building will be between four and seven storeys and is expected to have 267 student rooms. Architect on the scheme is Manchester-based Leach Rhodes Walker.
Development director at Worthington Properties, Russell Worthington, said: “We are proud to work in partnership with Liverpool University and Liverpool City Council to design a product that will help the university attract national and international students to the city.
“In addition, the investment by Liverpool University will help to create employment as we will be looking to work with suppliers and recruit from the area.”
What is your reaction to the student accommodation scheme at the University of Liverpool which will boost the local economy and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Citizens Advice Bureau and TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality body, have joined forces to help homeowners find reputable tradesmen when they are looking to repair or maintain their properties.
Consumers from across the UK will now be able to search and select a TrustMark registered and inspected tradesman from the Citizens Advice website.
Homeowners in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have the assurance that all the firm’s competences and their fair trading practices have been independently inspected and checked.
Stuart Carter, Head of Marketing at TrustMark, said: “We are always looking for better ways to increase visibility for this quality mark so we are delighted that Citizens Advice is now signposting consumers to our TrustMark registered tradesmen.
“It is important that we continue to do more joined-up working with the key agencies, independent third sector organisations, trade bodies and advisory services to help consumers make more informed decisions when hiring tradesmen to improve or repair their homes.”
Gillian Guy, chief executive at Citizens Advice, said: “TrustMark is an excellent example of the kind of creative problem prevention initiatives that we really value at Citizens Advice.”
What is your reaction to the partnership which aim is to help consumers make the right choice when they are looking to repair, maintain or improve their homes. Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Plans for a £26 million student centre at the University of Essex were given planning permission today, paving the way for building construction work.
The project, which is part of the University’s £200 million-plus capital investment programme, will improve facilities and create new jobs in the building engineering industry.
The University of Essex is now going to look for a contractor to complete the project by the end of 2014.
The state-of-the-art centre will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for a range of student services, putting accommodation, finance, registry and student support functions under one roof to enhance the student experience.
The centre will also be home to an integrated learning centre, new IT facilities, a state-of-the-art media centre and will offer a 24-hour reading room.
Richard Halsall, Deputy Director of the Capital Development Team, said: “We are looking forward to getting work underway on this project as it will improve facilities for our students and staff, and bring student services together more cohesively.”
The London Borough of Ealing has granted planning permission for the £579 million regeneration scheme in Acton Gardens that will build thousands of homes and pave the way for new jobs in the trades.
The regeneration of Ealing’s largest housing estate will develop an urban village with around 2,500 homes, half of which will be affordable, as well as tree-lined streets, parks, communal gardens, offices and retail space.
The developer, Acton Gardens LLP, is a joint venture between Countryside Properties and social housing landlord L&Q. It has established Acton Gardens Community Board in conjunction with local residents and stakeholders, to help manage the 15-year regeneration programme.
The new homes will be built to achieve a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 offering low heating, power and water consumption. Non-domestic buildings are aspiring to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’.
David Montague, Chief Executive of L&Q, said: “Securing planning committee approval is a crucial milestone in the transformation of South Acton and we are extremely pleased to have been given the green light by our partners at the London Borough of Ealing.
“The consultation process with residents and local and regional stakeholders involved numerous public exhibitions, workshops with community groups and over 600 face to face interviews with residents.
“The results of this process can be seen in the quality of the design proposals which are very focused on delivering the aspirations of local people. The ground-breaking ‘Future Climate’ work at Acton Gardens will aid us in all our future projects.”
Currently there are 167 dwellings at Acton Gardens which are under construction with first completions expected in January 2013.
What is your reaction to multi-million regeneration scheme at Acton Gardens that will build new homes and create jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.
You can listen to the full interview with Babatunde via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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“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.
You can listen to the full interview with George via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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You can listen to the full interview with Justin via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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You can listen to the full interview with Danny via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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You can listen to the full interview with Lincoln via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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You can listen to the full interview with Lincoln via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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Many Victorian homes across England which were used for social housing in the slump are to be sold off to raise a £4.5 billion investment to fund the largest social house building programme in England since the 1970s.
Selling social houses worth more than £177,000, the median house price in England, will raise billions of pounds that could be used to build more than 100,000 new homes every year, creating up to 340,000 new jobs in the building engineering industry, a new report by the UK’s leading think tank, Policy Exchange, revealed today.
The think tank says that selling off social housing worth more than the average property in each region* could create an unprecedented housing building scheme which will generate thousands of jobs for trade professionals, including electricians, plumbers and gas-engineers.
According to the report, named “Ending Expensive Social Tenancies”, urging the sale of social housing in more expensive areas and the reinvestment of funds to build more homes will bring economic growth and raise significant financial investment each year.
The scheme is set to reduce the housing waiting list by between 250,000 to 600,000 households in five years.
The report found:
- Expensive social housing accounts for over a fifth (21.8%) of the total social housing stock in the UK. This equates to 816,000 out of a total of 3.78 million properties.
- London has the highest proportion of stock (30.7%) and the North East contains the lowest (14.8%)*
- The total value of expensive social housing is £159 billion. London contains social housing worth £71.9bn while the North East has £4.4bn worth of expensive social housing stock
- Approximately 3.5% of this stock becomes vacant a year due to people moving out or dying. This means that the government could sell a total of 28,500 properties on the open market each year. This raises £5.5 billion a year.
- After paying off the debt held against the stock, the total figure raised is £4.5billion.
*The percentage of expensive social housing above the median value varies by region (adjusted by bedroom size)
|Region||Total Number||Percentage||Value of properties above median|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||79,516||19.3||£9.23bn|
|East of England||97,760||26.0||£17.bn|
What is your reaction to the new proposals to sell off expensive social housing and build hundreds of thousands new homes every year? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
Thousands of new trade jobs could be created as the Prime Minister, David Cameron, encouraged officials to reconsider plans to build a £30 billion barrage across the Severn estuary between England and Wales.
After a meeting with Peter Hain, who left his post as shadow Welsh Secretary in 2010 to back the project, David Cameron has asked ministers to take another look at the multi-million scheme which will create 20, 000 construction jobs and diversify the country’s energy supply.
It has been estimated that the 10-mile barrage from the Vale of Glamorgan to Somerset would provide 5% of the UK’s electricity demand, creating tens of thousands of additional jobs in activity around the barrage.
Hain told BBC Wales that it was a “more productive meeting than might have been expected”, revealing that “Number 10 are taking the barrage much more seriously than has been the case over the last few years”.
It is understood that much of the funding for the scheme would come from global private investors and taxpayers’ money will not be spent. According to Mr Hain, ‘several’ sovereign wealth funds have already come forward to finance the project, including investors from Kuwait and Qatar.
Mr Hain said: “Government support is an absolute pre-requisite for getting the whole project underway.
“Not a penny of taxpayers’ money would be needed for this £30bn investment, which would be transformative for Wales.
“It would create 20,000 jobs in construction and another 30,000 in activity around the barrage.”
What is your reaction to the Prime Minister’s support to urge ministers to reconsider building plans for the £30 billion barrage that will create thousands of new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.
You can listen to the full interview with Colin via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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You can listen to the full interview with Colin via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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You can listen to the full interview with Simon via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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You can listen to the full interview with Simon via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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“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?
Barratt London and L&Q sign major partnership to redevelop Fulham Wharf
Barratt London have announced that, in partnership with L&Q, it has acquired an 8.5 acre site in Fulham from Sainsbury plc. The site, which is on the north bank of the Thames, has a gross development value of £420m with planning permission for 463 riverside apartments and a new Sainsbury’s supermarket.
This is the third major JV Barratt is undertaking in conjunction with L&Q in London which in total will supply more than 1,000 homes in the Capital. Fulham Wharf follows on from the 50/50 JVs at the Ashburton regeneration project adjacent to the Emirates stadium in North London, and the 27 story Alie Street project on the eastern edge of the City.
The Fulham site has been bought on an unconditional basis with planning permission. In addition to the supermarket and housing, it will include restaurants, cafes and bars, a crèche, a gym, landscaped gardens, a riverside walk and the use of a jetty to create an ecological area for riverside wildlife.
The development will be delivered in two phases with phase one comprising the construction of the new 9,395m2 supermarket for Sainsbury’s together with 267 residential units of which 52 will be shared ownership. The residential blocks wrap around the new supermarket as well as extending above the building and range from 2-17 storeys. Phase two comprises the demolition of the existing superstore and the construction of 196 units, including 14 social rented homes.
Alastair Baird, Regional Managing Director of Barratt London said: “We are delighted to have secured this high profile project on the west London water front. Barratt has a strong track record of delivering complex London schemes including Dalston Junction and Canada Water and this gave us a strong competitive advantage. Our London portfolio is expanding fast – we now have over 3,000 units under construction across the Capital in 17 boroughs providing homes ranging from £120,000 to £3.5m.”
Jerome Geoghegan, Group Director of Development and Sales at L&Q, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Barratt London. We are now working together on three high profile sites that will deliver over 1000 new homes across the Capital.”
The scheme has been designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and construction is scheduled to start this month.
Barratt London is now working on 21 sites across London including Maple Quays at Canada Water, Queensland Road, Arsenal and the Court House in Westminster.
What is your reaction to the major regeneration projects which will pave the way for more employment opportunities for people in the building engineering sector? Let us know what you think by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
You can listen to the full interview with Malcolm via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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Housing Minister Grant Shapps has given the green light to a £30 million investment programme which will enable aspiring builders to build their own homes, offering exclusive access to funding and Government-owned land in seven locations across England.
The announcement is an attempt by the government to tackle country’s housing crisis and boost economic growth. The £30 million scheme will offer short-term loans and funding to builders, community groups and other small organisations looking to start self-build projects.
Commenting on the building investment programme, Housing Minister Shapps said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce the first seven sites with plots available exclusively for self-builders, as well as £30 million to offer short-term loans to help communities get their projects off the ground.
“This first-ever package of self-build support will help to achieve our goal to double the size of the industry over the next few years, but I want us to go further still. The new national planning rules require councils to consider the needs of self-builders in their area, and I would urge authorities across the country to look to Cherwell and the innovative work there as an exciting example of how this can be achieved.”
Public sector land for up to 60 homes will be made available in Cornwall – making it the nation’s first-ever large-scale self-build plot.
Mr Shapps praised the work of councils across the country that are looking to give as many local people as possible the opportunity to build their own homes – including on dedicated sites.
The Planning Minister also confirmed the rest of the sites which will be made available for builders to bid. They are:
- Kingsweir and Torpoint, Bristol
- Spencers Park, Hemel Hempstead
- Pleasley Colliery, Bolsover
- Upper Tuesley Milford, Surrey
- Wilson Road, Hanford, Stoke-on-Trent
- Chase Avenue, Walton Park, Milton Keynes
What is your reaction on the £30 million investment programme which will enable builders to build their own building projects? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page:
You can listen to the full interview with Malcolm via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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You can listen to the full interview with Jamie via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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Planning Minister Greg Clark has announced further steps to improve England’s planning system and support sustainable development which will pave the way for more jobs in the building construction sector.
The package of proposals includes measures to make it easier for businesses to re-use existing buildings without needing planning permission which will reduce the volume of planning guidelines and cut red tape, the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed.
According to the government, previous measures to improve the planning system such as the National Planning Policy Framework and the Localism Act have supported a swifter decision making and sped up the application process by allowing more planning applications to go ahead.
The new proposals are expected to cut unnecessary information in the application process, stream up the amount of paperwork needed for planning applications and improve co-ordination between local authorities and building developers.
Commenting on the proposals, Planning Minister Greg Clark said: “Our reforms to the planning system are making it simpler, clearer and more accessible to people in communities.
“Following the simplification of the national planning policy in the National Planning Policy Framework, these proposed changes streamline the process of applying for planning permission.
“Our aim is to have a system that applicants and members of communities can be confident will give a reliable, swift and fair outcome.”
What’s your reaction on the new proposals by the government aiming to improve the planning system in England? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.
You can listen to the full interview with Jamie via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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Nick Clegg has announced plans to give some of England’s biggest cities new powers and extra cash in an attempt to boost employment and restore economic growth, the BBC reported today.
During a visit to Yorkshire, the Deputy Prime Minister revealed the government will transfer more economic controls to local authorities under city schemes which he called ‘groundbreaking deals… freeing cities from Whitehall control’.
Extra powers will be given to the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham and Sheffield as deals for Liverpool and Manchester were already agreed earlier this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Clegg said: “Everyone in these eight core cities will feel the benefits – from young people looking for jobs, to businesses looking to expand.”
Under the current system, councils running England’s major cities have to lobby central governments if they want additional investment to fund major infrastructure projects.
However, under the new city deals, guaranteed funding will be provided for the city authorities to spend as they choose. This is expected to will cut red tape and make it easier for businesses to deliver major development projects in the future.
Hilary Benn, Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, said: “Labour strongly supports local communities being given more powers – indeed I have been calling for this for some time.
“These city deals represent an important victory for local people and local government. And many people think that local government will do a better job at looking after their local economies and boosting skills than the Tory-led government is doing nationally.”
If you live in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham or Sheffield, how do you think the new deals could help you/ your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raining your voice on our Facebook page.
You can listen to the full interview with Stephen via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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Leading property developers, Development Securities and the Cathedral Group, have confirmed today they have bought a 2.2-acre site in Greenwich town centre which will enable the development of a 350,000 sq. ft. mixed-use regeneration scheme, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction industry.
Following completed acquisition of the site for £16 million, both companies are now able to begin infrastructure work in order to prepare the land for the £110 million scheme which will include 25,000 sq. ft. mixed-use leisure and retail space.
From an earlier announcement it became clear that Development Securities has exchanged contracts for a £50 million residential element of the scheme with Willmott Dixon.
In addition, contracts for sale have been exchanged with McLaren at £8.3 million for the building of a 358-bed ‘student village’; the deal is expected to complete in August this year.
Chief Executive at Development Securities, Michael Marx, said: “This is a good example of the successful implementation of our strategy to create value by repositioning secondary or tertiary real estate into prime or near-prime development via the process of regeneration.”
If you are living in Greenwich, what’s your reaction on the substantial development which will transform the area? Share your thoughts about the future implications of the scheme by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.
You can listen to the full interview with Stephen via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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The Government has given the green light to a massive regeneration scheme that will build new homes and carry out extensive refurbishments to more than 650 council houses in Brunswick, an area of the inner city of Manchester.
The 25-year regeneration project will see significant investment to the area, paving the way for new jobs in thesector and trade professionals.
The Homes and Community Agency (HCA), which approved the regeneration plan, said it will include building an improved neighbourhood design with new road layouts and safe open space. The project will also build a new retail area including new shops and amenities coupled with a 60-bed accommodation facility.
Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, Cllr Jim Battle, welcomed the announcement for Brunswick saying that residents have long waited for such good news that will transform their area and deliver new homes.
Mr Battle said: “We have a fantastic community here that will no doubt continue to prosper as the regeneration plans come to fruition. Being so close to the city centre, coupled with the promise of new homes and an improved neighbourhood layout, I can see a bright future for Brunswick.”
The Government’s approval for the project means the Council can now consider a variety of bidders who will be responsible for delivering the regeneration plan. The Council said it will evaluate final bids from both Fern and Solutions 4 Brunswick, before selecting the preferred bidder later this year.
What’s your reaction to the approval of the long awaited regeneration plans in Brunswick? How the Government’s decision to refurbish and build new homes will benefit you/ your business?
Royal Marine and a policeman Paul O’Neill from Plymouth, is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. We interviewed Paul to find out more about his future career and his plan to set up his own electrical business after he retires from the Police Force.
You can listen to the full interview with Paul via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
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