Posts tagged politics

Planning reform to boost the trades

The Scottish Government

Proposed changes to Scotland’s planning system will put a great emphasis on economic benefits, including creating new jobs, planning Minister Derek Mackay will tell key members of Scotland’s business community this week.

Mr Mackay will meet with Scotland’s business leaders during a series of engagements taking place around the country to support the Scottish Government’s public consultation on Scotland’s third National Planning Framework (NPF3) and a revised Scottish Planning Policy.

The Minister will discuss how proposed changes to the planning system will place a greater weight on economic impact. This includes the creation of new jobs as well as recognising and responding to economic conditions.

Mr Mackay said: “The Scottish Government is focussed on sustainable economic growth, and as Planning Minister I am intent on delivering a planning system that is enabling this objective.

“This is about the culture and practice of planning on the ground. An explicit emphasis on economic impact in planning deliberations is both necessary and timely. I believe we are making good progress.

“During the consultation process I have been meeting with local authorities, developers, environmental groups and members of the public. By meeting with key players from Scotland’s business community I will gain further feedback on the consultation which will assist in our drive to push forward sustainable economic growth.”

Longer HS2 tunnel could create over 7,000 jobs in East Midlands

HS2A tunnel on the proposed route of Britain’s High Speed 2 rail network could be extended to enable plans for a major development next to East Midlands Airport to progress.

The initial preferred route would have seen the new rail line cross the site of the proposed SRFI, which has the potential to create 7,000 jobs in the region, and threaten the feasibility of the proposed development.

During discussions with MPs and local authorities on the proposed route for phase two of HS2 from Birmingham to Leeds, concerns were raised by Leicestershire County Council, and MP for North West Leicestershire, Andrew Bridgen, in conjunction with Roxhill Developments Limited, that the proposed line could affect plans for a strategic rail freight interchange depot (SRFI) next to the airport.

After listening to these concerns, the government has now developed a revised option involving extending the proposed tunnel under the East Midlands Airport, avoiding the majority of the proposed SRFI site.

The Department for Transport will consult on the route later in the year as part of its public consultation on phase two, and after that consultation, a decision will be made. In the meantime, the developer will progress its plans for the proposed depot.

Kate Bedson, Senior Development Director at Roxhill said: “Our proposals for a new SRFI with 6 million square feet of associated warehousing have the potential to create 7,000 jobs, providing a boost to the economy in the region.

“Since the announcement, through our MP and local authority, we have enjoyed an early and positive dialogue with DfT and HS2 Ltd and are very pleased with the decision to amend the proposed route. This now allows us to consult with the public and other bodies on our plans before submitting our application at the end of the year.”

Government commits £1bn investment to build 10,000 new homes

Government reveals £1bn build-to-rent fund set to deliver 10,000 new homesHousing 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.

CH2M Hill to create 500 new jobs and invest £65m into UK operations

CH2M Hill has announced to create 500 new trade jobs in a wide range of high-skilled engineering roles and boost the construction industry.

The new jobs will be created across CH2M Hill’s infrastructure divisions including nuclear; transportation, tunneling and earth engineering; water; environmental services and Industrial & Advanced Technology.

Alongside these new jobs, CH2M Hill will also be creating 40 graduate level positions, as well as offering 30 paid internships, bringing its total investment for the UK for 2013 to £65 million.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The creation of 500 new jobs is a considerable investment into the UK market and is a great vote of confidence for the highly skilled engineers here in Britain.

“Building on our strengths in areas like manufacturing, including engineering, will be crucial to our economic success in the years ahead. Today’s announcement supports our aim of ensuring that the UK can compete with other economies at the highest level by raising the numbers of skilled engineers.”

The company is working on some of the most innovative and challenging infrastructure programmes in the UK including, High Speed 2, Crossrail, Thames Tideway Improvements and the decommissioning of Dounreay, the former fast reactor research centre.

Commenting on its UK investment plans, Lee McIntire, Chairman of CH2M Hill said: “Following the acquisition of Halcrow and its integration in to CH2M Hill over the last year, I am delighted to be able to announce this significant investment into the UK’s labour market with the creation of 500 new jobs this year across a range of high skilled engineering and technical roles.

“I am especially proud that we will be playing such a major role developing future British engineering talent with our graduate, apprenticeship and internship programmes.
The UK remains an attractive place to do business and today’s announcement reflects our commitment to the UK. With the British Government’s clear commitment to deliver new infrastructure and renew aging infrastructure, I am hopeful we will be able to build on this investment today in the years ahead.”

George Osborne reveals £3bn infrastructure fund to boost the trades

George Osborne reveals £3bn extra investment to boost the trades

Chancellor George Osborne has used Budget 2013 to announce an additional £3 billion investment plan to boost infrastructure spending and create new trade jobs.

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.  

Chancellor Should Boost Construction to Drive Growth

The Construction Products Association

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.

David Cameron on India Trade Trip

David Cameron arrives in Mumbai this morning with a British trade delegation

Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived on a three-day British trade delegation in India set to win investment and create thousands of new jobs.

In what looks like the largest UK trade delegation to visit India, the Prime Minister is accompanied by more than 100 business representatives, including senior staff from Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and BP, that are hoping to build long-term partnerships and double exports to the country by 2015.

In 2010, the UK attracted 97 new projects from India generating 6,096 jobs. It is estimated that 700 out of 1200 Indian firms in the European Union operate from the UK.

It is forecast that India will spend $1 trillion in the next five years on infrastructure and Britain is hoping its building construction firms to win some of those contracts. The Prime Minister’s trade delegation also includes 30 small and medium-sized firms.

Speaking at Unilever’s Mumbai HQ, Mr Cameron said: “India’s rise is going to be one of the great phenomena of this century and it is incredibly impressive to see.”

“Britain wants to be your partner of choice. We’ve only just started on the sort of partnership that we could build. As far as I’m concerned, the sky is the limit.”

Between 2001 and 2011, UK goods and services imports from India rose by 220 per cent while exports to India rose by 240 per cent.

Over the same period, India became a more important trading partner for the UK, with a significant rise in total UK exports and imports.

The Prime Minister has blogged on LinkedIn about why he sees British trade delegations as a vital part of his job. Read it from here.

What is your reaction to the trade delegation led by Prime Minister David Cameron to build long-term partnerships, create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

HS2 to recruit local land and property management firms to boost the trades

HS2 to recruit local land and property management firms to boost the trades

High Speed Two Ltd (HS2), the company planning and building Britain’s high-speed rail network is going to recruit local property management companies along the route between London and Leeds to boost the trades and create new jobs.

HS2 is seeking expressions of interest to provide both local as well as wider national expertise in valuation services; estate services; property management and in both urban regeneration and commercial development.

The aim of this is to spread the economic benefits of planning and building the new railway across the country from the earliest opportunity and boost the economy.

Local firms will be able to add to HS2’s knowledge and provide focused local expertise about the area in which they are based and boost confidence among local people.

Commenting, HS2 Ltd.’s Head of Land & Property, Liz Hirst, said: “We are looking for firms with local and national expertise who can help us with property management, surveying, valuation, development and regeneration services.

“We want to create opportunities for local and small business contractors and we are interested in learning more about both large and small companies with the skills that will be needed on HS2.”

An Official Journal of the European Union contract notice has been published inviting expressions of interest for the HS2 Ltd Land and Property Professional Services Framework.

 

Relaxed planning rules will boost the trades

Planning measures will help the tradesThe Government has announced new development rights that will allow office buildings to be converted into homes without the need for planning permission.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles argues that the new planning measures will ensure empty and underused offices can be swiftly converted into much-needed homes for local people.

The proposals are expected to create jobs in the construction industry and provide significant boost for people in the trades.

Further reforms will also help boost rural communities and create jobs by allowing agricultural buildings to be converted for other business uses.

Buildings no longer suitable or needed for agricultural use could be transferred into new growth-boosting ventures that benefit rural areas, such as shops, restaurants, small hotels and leisure facilities.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “We want to promote the use of brownfield land to assist regeneration, and get empty and under-used buildings back into productive use.

“Using previously developed land and buildings will help us promote economic growth, provide more homes and still ensure that we safeguard environmentally protected land.

“We are absolutely determined to support people striving to bring life back to their communities and high streets.”

Planning Minister Nick Boles said: “These new changes ensure the very best use is made of our existing buildings to provide new homes and makes sure we get the most use we can out of our previously developed land.

“These changes are an important step in improving the planning system and making sure it is in the best possible shape to swiftly adapt to changes and opportunities that can provide a big boost to the economy.”

President of the Country Land and Business Association, Harry Cotterell, said: “We are very pleased with this announcement. It is something for which we have campaigned for years.

“It offers farmers and land managers the chance to find alternative sources of income by using their redundant agricultural buildings in new ways.

“This will underpin their farming businesses and boost the rural economy by helping to create new jobs and businesses at a time when they are greatly needed.”

£200 million extra investment for housing in Scotland

The Scottish GovernmentScotland’s housing budget has increased by almost £200 million over the last year, paving the way for new homes to be built across the country.

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.”

Major investment in Whitehill & Bordon to provide new jobs and homes

A Ministry of Defence site in Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town has been bought by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to provide much-needed homes and create new trade jobs.

The Quebec Barracks site will see 100 new homes built and employment space for up to 100 new jobs created as result of a £3 million investment for East Hampshire.

The funding will transform the former barracks into a high quality sustainable neighbourhood as part of the ambitious Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town project.

The overall plan for the regeneration of the town is set to build 4,000 environmentally sustainable homes and create 5,500 jobs.

The new homes will meet official zero carbon standards and be attractively designed to set the benchmark for new homes in the rest of the town.

HCA investment supports sustainable new homes and jobs in HampshireKevin Bourner, HCA Head of Area, said: “This investment enables partners to take the first steps towards regenerating Whitehill & Bordon in an environmentally and economically sustainable way.

“The homes will be built to a much higher standard than originally envisaged, which will raise the bar in terms of the development of the rest of the project and act as a catalyst for lasting change here. There is a lot of work that needs to be done over the next year, but it is exciting to have got to this stage and see that progress is going to happen in the months ahead.”

Cllr Glynis Watts, East Hampshire District Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Whitehill and Bordon, said: “This investment is a great step forward for the town. The focus of this and future development is on enabling residents to have a really good quality of life.

“The homes that will be built will meet local aspirations because they will be attractive, cheap to run and in a great environment. We are going to pull out all the stops to make this something really special.”

John Walker, the Independent Chairman of the Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town Delivery Board, said: “The regeneration of Quebec Barracks is a small example of what we are trying to achieve across the town.

“Our aim is to deliver exceptionally good design that sets the standard for future Eco-town development. This is a tremendous opportunity to create a really attractive and sought-after place to live and work.”

What is your reaction to the new funding announced by the Homes and Community Agency that will create new jobs and build new homes? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Clegg unlocks more cash to help businesses

Nick Clegg Regional Growth FundAs part of the Regional Growth Fund, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced a £350 million cash pot that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The Regional Growth Fund is a £2.6 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2016. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.

The first three rounds will leverage over £13 billion of private sector investment and create or safeguard over 500,000 jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “The Regional Growth Fund is already proving a shrewd investment by providing a welcome boost to jobs and growth across the country, with thousands of jobs created, businesses expanding into new markets and manufacturing new products. With this next round of funding, I would urge England’s budding businesses to produce top quality bids to access the money that can help them grow.

“There’ll be stiff competition, and we can only invest in those projects that will lead to sustainable jobs and the best value for money.

“Boosting jobs and growth is our number one priority for Britain right now. That is why I am so pleased to be opening a fourth round of the Regional Growth Fund which supports growth across a range of industries.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The additional £350 million for the Regional Growth Fund is a big boost for those parts of the country facing structural problems.

“The fund has already supported a variety of industries – from motor vehicles to life sciences. This goes hand in hand with our industrial strategy.

“But it’s not just about big industry and household names. To date we have supported over a thousand SMEs through Regional Growth Fund programmes which is giving small business the impetus to expand, employ more staff or start exporting.

“This is the Government’s commitment to growth in action to encourage investment and lead to a more balanced economy.”

What is your reaction to the new funding announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Nuclear plan to create jobs and boost economic growth

Sellafield nuclear siteThe 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.

Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon confirmed the Government’s commitment to expand its global nuclear market as part of the published Nuclear Supply Chain Action Plan.

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.”

Green Deal energy contract gets signed

Carillion has signed a contract with the Birmingham Energy Savers (BES) scheme to deliver energy services as part of the Green Deal and create new jobs.

Carillion has committed to create and sustain at least 360 jobs and also encourage its business partners to invest locally in a range of new green energy projects.

Under the BES scheme, Carillion will work with Birmingham City Council as its exclusive delivery partner to improve the energy and carbon efficiency of up to 60,000 households across the city, together with schools and other non-domestic council properties.

The scheme will give households affordable ways of improving their properties by fitting energy efficiency measures, such as insulation and new boilers, under the Government’s Green Deal.

The eight-year contract is estimated to be initially worth up to £600 million, but has the potential to be extended to the wider West Midlands area under a framework agreement worth up to £1.5 billion over eight years.

Now that the contract has been finalised, Carillion is embarking on a recruitment programme to hire locally-based energy assessors, who will evaluate properties and provide advice on the energy efficiency improvements they require.

Commenting on the newly signed deal, Carillion’s Chief Executive Richard Howson, said:”Birmingham Energy Savers is a genuinely ground-breaking scheme and we are delighted to have agreed this contract with Birmingham City Council.

“We believe that in order to reach its full potential, the programme must fully engage with the community and this is why the next stage will focus on recruiting local people and businesses to deliver the scheme.”

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart city at Birmingham City Council, added: “This programme represents a major milestone in Birmingham’s green ambitions, and demonstrates that the social justice and environmental agendas go hand-in-hand with each other.

“It will reduce energy bills for citizens by up to £300 per year – taking up to 40,000 people out of fuel poverty by 2015 – create jobs in the technology supply chain and ensure that there are less carbon emissions from the city.”

 

Independent suppliers’ summit to boost the trades

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey is to chair a summit for independent energy suppliers that could generate investment in the energy industry and create new jobs.

Mr Davey will host the meeting at the Department of Energy and Climate Change with representatives expected to attend from Co-operative Energy, Cornwall Energy Associates, Ecotricity, First Utility, Good Energy, Haven Power, Loco2 Energy, Opus Energy, Smartest Energy, Spark Energy, Utilita, and Ofgem.

Edward Davey said: “I want our energy market to be as competitive as possible. That is central to ensuring that our households and businesses can get the best deals for their gas and electricity,

“And that’s why I want to be sure that we make it as easy as possible for new players to break into the UK market, and that if there are any barriers to that, we do everything we can to remove them.

“As a long-time proponent of collective purchasing, I am delighted to see some of the smaller suppliers already winning customers through early collective switching initiatives, and that such schemes are helping them grow their customer base more rapidly.”

Areas of discussion are likely to focus on the obstacles facing independent suppliers to breaking into the UK energy market and growing their market share.

The Secretary of State also wants to take the opportunity to sound out independent suppliers on the Department’s proposals to reform the electricity market and proposals to legislate in the Energy Bill to ensure customers are on the cheapest tariffs.

On 23 November 2012 the Government announced, ahead of publication of the Energy Bill later this week, a landmark agreement on energy policy that will deliver a clear, durable signal to investors .

Davey calls for clean development at the United Nations

Speaking in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Edward Davey said urgent actions need to be taken to combat climate change and help the green economy.

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary said that countries around the world had to make their contribution to reach closer to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the Bali Action Plan, and the Cancun Agreements.

Last year, the UN agreed to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change no later than 2015.

That would mean that each country has to cut its carbon emissions and focus on renewable energy resources, boosting the green economy and creating new jobs.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “A global effort is needed if we are to achieve our climate goals – we need to pave the way for the new global deal while delivering more action now.

“Many developed and developing countries have already come forward with pledges under the UN framework to reduce their emissions by 2020. I want to encourage more to do so at Doha and beyond.

“The EU has led the way in calling for more ambition and in enshrining emissions reductions in law. I want to encourage it to move to a more ambitious 2020 emissions reduction target of 30%.

“Here in the UK we are driving forward our plans to move to a lower-carbon energy mix, and this week we will be publishing the Energy Bill which will enable this.

“I also want to see progress at Doha on achieving the global deal that all countries agreed to work towards in Durban last year. For the first time all countries agreed to sign up to a legally-binding deal to be adopted by 2015, and at Doha we need to agree a plan for these crucial negotiations.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cridland calls for ‘industrial Olympics’ to boost growth and jobs

John Cridland, the CBI director-general, has urged the government to invest £1.5 billion into major infrastructure projects that will boost the economy and create new jobs.

The CBI says that the government should back the construction sector, by introducing measures including investment tax breaks, and business rate reductions.

Such measures will encourage further financial investments and pave the way for more employment opportunities in the trades.

But the CBI chief also called for a focus on projects such as the Thames Tideway “super sewer” tunnel in London and the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset to give the economy an ‘Olympic-style shot’ in the arm.

“We need an industrial Olympics, with big schemes which can make a real difference,” Mr Cridland told the Evening Standard.

And in the Guardian he is quoted as saying: “Kennedy said at the start of the 60s that America would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and it did, even though sadly Kennedy was not around to see it. We need the sense that we are just going to do these projects.”

Mr Cridland highlighted the need for improvements in the UK’s rail and road networks that are vital for strong economy and future growth.

 

Highland Council to boost infrastructure and development projects

 The Highland Council will highlight to the Scottish Government a series of infrastructure and development projects that would boost economic growth and create new trade jobs.

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.”

New EU support for jobs and vocational training in the trades

The European Commission has approved a new work programme for Egypt that would create 82,000 new jobs and enhance country’s Technical and Vocational Education Training system.

The new scheme will provide immediate employment for workers in small infrastructure projects located in the poorest areas of Egypt.

Projects will include construction work and the provision of community services. The EU said it will improve living conditions for the most vulnerable population and boost Egypt’s poor economy.

The support to the TVET system will enhance the skills of young people to meet the labour market’s demands, with particular attention to the tourism sector. Two million pupils in the secondary technical education are expected to benefit from this EU support.

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, said: “Our new support is responding directly to the crucial demands expressed by young people in Egypt during the Arab Spring last year and we are committed to helping to provide Egyptian citizens with new job opportunities, which is one of the top priorities of the new Egyptian leadership”.

The total value of both programmes is €120 million, where €70 million is marked for programme to create jobs and €50 million for vocational training.

These programmes are part of the overall financial assistance package that the EU is mobilising in support to Egypt’s development and the country’s new socio-economic needs.

What is your reaction to the EU investment programme that aims to enhance Vocational Education Training worldwide and create new trade jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Multi-million highway job and two framework lots get the go ahead

The Welsh Government has granted a four-year technology contract for the maintenance of infrastructure schemes that will boost the trades and create new jobs.

Costain, a leading engineering solutions provider, has confirmed a £15 million technology contract as well as two lots of the Highways Agency Asset Support Framework that are expected to start in early 2013.

Work packages would include surfacing works, structures works, technology related works, and general highway improvements across the whole of the Highways Agency motorway and trunk road network.

While there is no commitment by the Agency to spend under the framework, over £750 million of work packages are expected to be awarded through the framework over the next three years.

Costain is one of five contractors on each framework that will operate for three years, with scope for an extension of up to a further 12 months.

Andrew Wyllie, Chief Executive of Costain, commented: “We are delighted with these additional appointments from existing customers, which demonstrate the ongoing success of the implementation of our ‘Choosing Costain’ strategy: providing a broader service offering to the major customers who are making significant investment in the UK’s national infrastructure needs.”

 

Invergarry wind farm gets the go-ahead

A wind farm that will create new jobs and generate £30 million for the Highland economy has been approved by the Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.

The 85-megawatt project will have 25 turbines and generate up to the equivalent of the energy needs of 40,000 homes.

The wind farm, by developers RidgeWind, will employ 90 people for its two-year construction and three people directly and three indirectly once up and running.

Mr Ewing said: “The construction will provide a valuable boost to the local economy, injecting £30 million and creating 90 jobs.

“Once it is up and running it will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and it is expected that the savings made will ‘pay off’ the carbon footprint of constructing the site in less than two years.”

The developer is set to provide five £1000 scholarships for local young people going on into university or technical college.

What is your reaction to the approval of the Invergarry wind farm that is set to bring economic boost to the region and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

£1 billion growth fund reaches out for new trade jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Land Securities’ boost for UK jobs and the trades

Land Securities has been given the go-ahead to start a £350 million Kingsgate redevelopment that will create 2,500 jobs throughout its construction and boost the trades.

The announcement comes after the Prime Minister, David Cameron, visited the site and showed his support for the project in an attempt to prevent planning levy for local infrastructure being double-charged and cut red tape.

David Cameron said: “Already the changes we are making to the planning system are having an impact, with Land Securities giving the go-ahead to a major multi-million pound investment, supporting thousands of jobs in our construction industry.”

The scheme is designed by Lynch Architects and it comprises of two new buildings: The Zig Zag Building, a 190,000 sq ft office building over 14 floors with a staggered façade; and Kings Gate, a 12 storey residential building comprising 100 apartments.

Both buildings will provide a new and enhanced retail space with 45,000 sq ft of space, together with considerable improvements to the public realm benefitting the wider Victoria area. The buildings are planned to complete in summer 2015.

Robert Noel, Chief Executive of Land Securities said: “It is heartening to know that the Government has listened to the industry and acted to remove some of the uncertainty in the planning process.

“It enables us to progress with developing the former Kingsgate House site and continue to transform Victoria into a distinct and vibrant West End hub where people choose to live, work and visit.

“Our experience with our current developments demonstrates that Victoria is proving attractive to potential occupiers. This project will further add to its appeal.”

The scheme will also provide an affordable housing contribution of £11.6 million which will be directed towards the provision of affordable development in the Westminster area.

What is your reaction to the multi-million development that will pave the way for new trade jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Boris gives the go-ahead for London jobs boost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New incentives to drive Green Deal uptake

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has announced the launch of a new project that will kick-start the Green Deal and creates new jobs.  

Speaking alongside climate change minister Greg Barker at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, UKGBC’s chief executive Paul King welcomed the implementation of the scheme and outlined its potential for stimulating economic growth.

Mr King praised the Government’s commitment to the scheme, but warned that it needed adequate support to accelerate the level of uptake and implement its objectives.

He said: “The Green Deal still has the potential to be truly revolutionary in driving mass home retrofit. This new market could, if nurtured properly, create jobs, stimulate economic growth and protect consumers from ever-rising energy prices”.

Among those taking part in the UKGBC task group are Saint-Gobain UK, the Association for the Conservation of Energy, the CBI, Sweett Group, L&Q, Marks & Spencer, Willmott Dixon and Travis Perkins.

Diana Montgomery, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, which is supporting the new project, said that despite the strong industry support for the Green Deal, more needed to be done to encourage households to take it up.

Dr Montgomery said: “Collaborating with the UK-GBC on this Green Deal Task Group project will help us to ensure that we can help Government effectively navigate the options they have available to them for capitalising on that opportunity.”

Incentives to be included:

  • Stamp duty banding/rebates
  • Council tax banding/rebates
  • Energy efficiency feed in tariff
  • Subsidised interest rates for Green Deal
  • Low interest loans (outside Green Deal)/ Green mortgages (underwritten by Government)
  • Lump sum grant/payment (cashback/vouchers)
  • Progressively tightening minimum standards, inc. extending to owner-occupied sector
  • Salary sacrifice (tax free scheme) through work/tax credits
  • VAT cut extension to a wider range of measure

Clean Energy of Northern Seas to Boost the Renewable Industry

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.”

 

Construction of New Power Plant Gets Approved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ed Balls Goes For New Affordable Homes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solent Enterprise Zone Reaches Out For New Trade Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government boost for building 9,000 new homes

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

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

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

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

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

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

New partnership to boost homebuilding in Manchester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swansea Uni £90m expansion to bring 4,000 trade jobs

Some 4,000 jobs are set to be created during the construction of a new science and innovation campus for Swansea University.

The University announced yesterday it has secured £90 million funding from the European Investment Bank and the Welsh Government towards its campus development programme.

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.”

Citizens Advice signposts consumers to find reliable tradesmen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boris gives the go ahead to £320m regeneration scheme

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Communities Secretary Erick Pickles have given final approval to a £320 million regeneration scheme in Harrow.

The project will turn the 40-acre strip of land, previously used by the camera company Kodak, and build 985 new homes, a primary school, medical centre as well as shops and offices.

Portfolio holder for regeneration at Hallow Council, Keith Ferry, said he was ‘delighted’ that the project, which was granted panning permission in June, had finally been approved by the Government, paving the way for building work to start in early 2014.

Mr Ferry said: “As a council we are determined to deliver on our promise to regenerate and build the most sustainable community in Harrow and to establish a thriving residential and commercial centre.”

Developer Land Securities estimates the project, which also includes a community centre, student accommodation, and a retirement home, will create up to 1,500 jobs in the construction industry.

Harrow Council said that this development is the biggest in the area and it forms part of the wider Heart of Harrow project, which seeks to create 3,000 new jobs and build 2,500 new homes.

What is your reaction to the multi-million development scheme which has been approved by the government? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Government Approves £650m Chatham Docks Scheme

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get Britain Building to Create 30,000 Jobs

The Homes and Community Agency (HCA) has approved 105 housing schemes that will receive funding as part of the £570 million Get Britain Building fund set to create 30,000 new jobs.

The Government’s fund is set to build around 16,000 new homes and provide financial support for housebuilders on stalled sites across the country, paving the way for employment opportunities in the trades.

The HCA has estimated that the shortlisted schemes could unlock the building of 7,000 homes and create thousands of new jobs in the building construction sector.

HCA chief executive Pat Ritchie said: “The Get Britain Building programme is offering housebuilders the financial support to get stalled developments back on track, and I’m pleased that more than 100 projects can move forward to the due diligence phase.

“We listened to feedback from the sector and reduced the minimum scheme size to 15, and I’m therefore especially pleased that 20 smaller projects have come forward and the majority of bids have come from SMEs.

“These projects must now prove that they can be delivered quickly, provide value for money for the taxpayer and fit with local priorities. As well as building much-needed new homes, the work will create or protect jobs, and boost local economies.”

Around £300 million of recoverable investment has been allocated to more than 130 projects through the first round of the scheme expected to be completed by December 2014. Round two of the scheme, which was announced last week, will continue until March 2015.

Cable Unveils Business Growth Plan to Boost the Trades

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.

A social way to raise £4.5bn 340,000 New Trade Jobs

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
North East 40,552 14.8 £4.44bn
East Midlands 43,924 15.8 £5.4bn
West Midlands 70,290 16.5 £9.73bn
North West 103,044 18.6 £11.8bn
Yorkshire and the Humber 79,516 19.3 £9.23bn
South West 56,883 20.1 £8.83bn
South East 97,019 22.1 £19.bn
East of England 97,760 26.0 £17.bn
London 227,794 30.7 £71.97bn
Total 816,000 21.6 £159.3bn

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.

Cameron says dive in for £30bn jobs boost on the Severn

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.

Council to Create 500 New Trade Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Multi-million Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

University Regeneration Scheme to Create New Jobs in the Trades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Good News for the Trades: Millions of Funding to Create New Jobs

“Hundreds of plumbers, electricians and gas engineers to benefit from the investment”

Millions of funding to get low carbon heating into peoples’ homes, including into hundreds of social houses across the nation, is still up for grabs according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Local authorities, housing associations and registered providers of social housing are being urged to benefit from the millions of pounds available from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP).

The scheme will replace more renewable heating systems, including biomass boilers, solar hot water panels and heat pumps, creating new employment opportunities for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

The RHPP has reopened thanks to the high value for money of projects already allocated funding under the scheme which will make tenants’ homes warmer, cosier and far more energy efficient.

Today, the DECC announced that up to £2.5 million of additional funding will be allocated under this element of the scheme.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “We have already awarded nearly £5 million to 72 projects under this year’s scheme, helping householders stay warm this winter and move away from expensive old heating systems to new clean renewable ones.

“But the high value for money of the bids we have received to date means that there is still money up for grabs and I would urge social landlords across the nation to apply and take advantage of all this scheme has to offer.”

The closing date for applications is 9 October 2012 and successful bidders will be announced shortly afterwards. You can find out more about the scheme and how to apply from here.

What is your reaction to the reopening the of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme which will bring financial investment to the trades and create new jobs in the industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

The Trades Praise Clegg’s Commitment to Renewable Energy

The largest trade association in Britain, the Renewable Energy Association (REA), has welcomed Nick Clegg’s announcement to provide a £100 million fund for green investment that will boost the renewable energy industry and create new jobs.

Making the announcement today, Deputy Prime Minister Clegg said that the multimillion fund will enable the UK Green Investments team (UKGI) to see more domestic and foreign investments to the renewable industry.

Chief Executive of the REA, Gaynor Hartnell, praised the Deputy Prime Minister for his leadership and commitment to the renewable energy sector.

He said: “We need clear leadership from the top of Government on renewable energy, so the Deputy Prime Minister’s unequivocal commitment to renewable energy is very welcome and timely.

“He is quite right that a global energy revolution is underway and we look forward to working with him to ensure the UK fulfills its extraordinary potential.”

However, Mr Hartnell said that the Coalition Government needed a more stable policy framework to make sure the UK’s renewable industry continues to expand, paving the way for green jobs in the future.

Mr Hartnell said: “The Coalition Government needs to do much better on providing a clear and stable policy framework to make sure the UK isn’t left further behind.

“Recent decisions on support levels for renewable power technologies, which have failed to provide the expected certainty out to 2017, together with the uncertain status of the Electricity Market Reform package, do not provide the stable framework that industry needs.”

Do you also welcome Nick Clegg’s intervention to boost the green economy? What else the Government could do to further accelerate green investment and create more jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

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