Posts tagged Sustainable development

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.”

£58m Islington residential scheme to boost the trades

United House Wharf RoadUnited House is set to build 327 homes in a £58 million mixed-use residential scheme in Islington, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.

Architects FraserBrownMacKenna and project designers Stephen Marshall are behind the project, which is being developed by A2Dominion Group. The multi-million development

The canal-side scheme will comprise a mixture of private sale, shared ownership and social rent homes.

The apartments will be built in four blocks from seven to ten storeys tall with rooftop play areas and terraces and including almost 6,000 sq ft of commercial space.

The double storey basement to be built beneath the scheme is between listed buildings and within a conservation area.

All apartments will be built to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and commercial spaces will meet BREEAM Excellent. BIM will be incorporated in the construction.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Industry urges EU policy-makers to build low carbon future

A group of energy giants will today launch a new alliance aiming to stimulate the renewable industry as Europe seeks to advance its low carbon economy and create new trade jobs.

The so-called Energy Partnership will be launched today in Brussels by its founding partners Alpine Energie, Dong Energy, First Solar, GE, and Shell.

The companies said they are aiming to promote the use of gas alongside the growth of renewables by creating policies that effectively integrate the two technologies.

They maintain that both gas and renewables could play a critical role in the European Commission’s 2050 Energy Roadmap, and that the two technologies will be highly complementary until at least 2030.

They argue that gas can provide a low carbon and flexible energy supply that can help balance out the supply of intermittent renewables, such as wind and solar.

Launching the partnership, Stephan Reimelt, chief executive of GE Germany, will say that combining renewables and gas will be the key to building a low carbon economy.

“Companies from different parts of the energy market are launching this new alliance because the evidence is clear that renewables and gas offer the most affordable, reliable, and sustainable pathway for an energy secure Europe,” he will say.

Jörg Gmeinbauer, director of Alpine Energie, will say the alliance can herald a shift in the debate around EU energy policy.

“It’s time for a systems approach to Europe’s energy policy,” he says. “We need integrated policies, market reforms, and investment in generation, transmission, and infrastructure if we are to achieve Europe’s energy goals.

“We have formed the Energy Partnership because together the partners can offer practical pathways to the future based on the synergy between renewables and gas.”

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

£33m Essex College Scheme to Boost the Trades

South Essex College has signed a £33 million contract with Skanska which will see the building of a new 2,500 place student campus in Essex.

Construction of the scheme is set to start immediately with the new learning campus being ready to open in the summer of 2014.

Skanska will be responsible for the construction of three and four storey buildings covering around 150,000 sq ft. It has the target of achieving BREEAM excellent rating and the facility will incorporate rainwater harvesting, air source heat pumps and roof level PV installations.

The project is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the construction sector.

The new college aims to boost local construction skills and will teach welding, brickwork, carpentry, engineering, mechanical, electrical and plumbing skills.

Following the completion of the new facility, Skanska will undertake landscaping and associated works which will include car parking, cycle storage and external landscaping.

Paul Heather, Managing Director of Skanska for London and the South East said: “We have successfully delivered a number of world-class education facilities across Essex in recent years and this has enabled to bring together a wealth of experience, skills and expertise to this project.

“The development of the new Thurrock Campus will provide excellent facilities for the students, teaching staff and the wider community and we are proud to be part of creating this key learning environment”.

Pickles grants the go-ahead for 2,000 new homes

A property development company, Cala Homes, has been given the go-ahead to build 2,000 homes near Winchester which will create new jobs and boost the building industry.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has approved the developer’s plan for building thousands of new homes at the 230-acre Barton Farm site to the north of Winchester.

The scheme is intended to provide 40% affordable housing. It would make a valuable contribution to local businesses and boost the local economy.

The decision by the Communities Secretary paves the way for Cala to begin developing the site. Plans include the building of around 800 affordable homes, with supporting infrastructure and community facilities to help meet Winchester’s housing needs.

Group land director for Cala, Robert Millar, said: “Local people will benefit greatly from this decision. It will be a major contributor to stimulating the local economy and creating long term jobs.

“It will make a significant contribution to the chronic shortage of affordable housing enabling key workers and other local people to live in their own City.”

Mr Millar said that Cala will be examining the detailed design for each of the phases of this development to ensure the housing scheme is delivered as soon as possible.

Vauxhall Student Scheme Reaches Out for New Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jobs boost in Leeds Thorpe Park expansion plan

Scarborough Development Group has submitted plans to build a £400 million development at Thorpe Park, East Leeds, which could create up to 6,500 new jobs and boost the trades.

The mixed-use development scheme is designed to meet the needs of business occupiers as well as provide a valuable hub for local communities in Leeds.

It comprises 1.2 million sq ft of office space, 130,000 sq ft food storage area, 177,000 sq ft leisure area for hotels and additional 33,000 sq ft for dining outlets.

The project will also bring the delivery of a 113-acre Green Park and Leeds’ first significant new public park in over 100 years.

Commenting on the plans, Mark Jackson, Managing Director of Scarborough Development Group said:  “Our new plans will present a step-change at Thorpe Park with a new offer for established businesses, growing businesses and fledgling business.

“We want Thorpe Park to be an engine for economic growth in the immediate area, and a benefit to the whole City Region.”

Mr Jackson outlined the wider benefits of this development for creating new jobs and boosting the local economy.

He said: “Thorpe Park has the potential not just to boost the economy of the city region and help cement Leeds’ position as a regional capital, but also to provide thousands of new job opportunities for local people built around a more diverse economy and range of uses on the park.”

Ed Balls Goes For New Affordable Homes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

£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.”

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.”

Essex Uni gets £26m student centre

Plans for a £26 million student centre at the University of Essex were given planning permission today, paving the way for building construction work.

The project, which is part of the University’s £200 million-plus capital investment programme, will improve facilities and create new jobs in the building engineering industry.

The University of Essex is now going to look for a contractor to complete the project by the end of 2014.

The state-of-the-art centre will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for a range of student services, putting accommodation, finance, registry and student support functions under one roof to enhance the student experience.

The centre will also be home to an integrated learning centre, new IT facilities, a state-of-the-art media centre and will offer a 24-hour reading room.

Richard Halsall, Deputy Director of the Capital Development Team, said: “We are looking forward to getting work underway on this project as it will improve facilities for our students and staff, and bring student services together more cohesively.”

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.

Acton Gardens Reaches Out for New Homes

The London Borough of Ealing has granted planning permission for the £579 million regeneration scheme in Acton Gardens that will build thousands of homes and pave the way for new jobs in the trades.  

The regeneration of Ealing’s largest housing estate will develop an urban village with around 2,500 homes, half of which will be affordable, as well as tree-lined streets, parks, communal gardens, offices and retail space.

The developer, Acton Gardens LLP, is a joint venture between Countryside Properties and social housing landlord L&Q. It has established Acton Gardens Community Board in conjunction with local residents and stakeholders, to help manage the 15-year regeneration programme.

The new homes will be built to achieve a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 offering low heating, power and water consumption. Non-domestic buildings are aspiring to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’.

David Montague, Chief Executive of L&Q, said: “Securing planning committee approval is a crucial milestone in the transformation of South Acton and we are extremely pleased to have been given the green light by our partners at the London Borough of Ealing.

“The consultation process with residents and local and regional stakeholders involved numerous public exhibitions, workshops with community groups and over 600 face to face interviews with residents.

“The results of this process can be seen in the quality of the design proposals which are very focused on delivering the aspirations of local people. The ground-breaking ‘Future Climate’ work at Acton Gardens will aid us in all our future projects.”

Currently there are 167 dwellings at Acton Gardens which are under construction with first completions expected in January 2013.

What is your reaction to multi-million regeneration scheme at Acton Gardens that will build new homes and create jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Historic town hall work to bring new trade jobs

Ealing Council has appointed Willmott Dixon to carry out a £16.5 million refurbishment contract that will improve the historic Acton Town Hall and create new trade jobs.

The Acton Town Hall regeneration project will provide new and improved leisure, library, community and civic facilities which will benefit communities and boost the local economy.

The town hall complex was built at the beginning of the last century to serve Acton’s growing population. According to the council, these buildings now need significant repairs and have high maintenance costs.

Ealing Council said that the regeneration of the site will provide new facilities whilst considering the heritage assets of the building as well as preserving the environment.

The project also includes the demolition of Acton’s former baths which will be replaced by a new three-storey building housing-a 25 metre swimming pool and a trainer pool, along with fitness and leisure facilities.

Part of the Town Hall will also be kept and refurbished to create a new library and council offices and the Town Hall’s iconic frontage and the baths chimney, listed Grade II, will also be restored.

Chris Tredget, managing director for Willmott Dixon in North London, said the company was delighted to be working with Ealing.

Mr Tredget said: “We are delighted to be working with Ealing Council to regenerate another part of Acton by redeveloping the Town Hall.

“We have a long track record in Ealing and are looking forward to adding to that with the improved Acton Town Hall that will be a new focal point on the main high street.”

What is your reaction to the multi-million regeneration project in Ealing that will benefit local communities and pave the way for new jobs in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

New jobs as Hammersmith Palais gets £26m boost

Hammersmith Palais, a venue which for generations of Londoner’s meant music and dancing, will be transformed into a £26 million student accommodation development set to bring new trade jobs in the building industry.

Infrastructure group Morgan Sindall will replace all buildings on the site, with the exception of a wall adjacent to the train tracks which still displays some of the original paintings relating to the Palais’ former entertaining history, which includes The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Police, and other music titans throughout its unique 100 years.

Peter Jacobs, managing director of Morgan Sindall’s London office said: “The historic wall which runs the length of the site and contains the building’s iconic artwork is part of the city’s heritage and will remain in place to commemorate the cultural significance of the Palais.

“This will also provide a great reminder of the exciting events that have taken place at this site over the years.”

Construction of the new facility is scheduled to begin this month and reach completion in 2013. It will provide accommodation for 418 students, while the ground floor will create 23,000 sq. ft. of leisure space that will be used by the local community.

The new building has been sustainably designed by Make Architects which have included a central ‘energy centre’ that will provide hot water to all the occupiers of the development as part of a community heating scheme.

This primary plant will comprise of gas fired high efficiency boilers with the facility to connect in the future to a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Unit.

Peter Jacobs said that Morgan Sindall is delighted to be part of the project team giving this key site in London a new lease of life in a contemporary as well as sustainable development.

£110 million university plan reaches out to new trade jobs

The University of Edinburgh has appointed Balfour Beatty as the preferred bidder to build a £110 million student accommodation and outreach centre that will secure new trade jobs.

Balfour Beatty said that the 50-year consortium contract will include building and maintenance work to improve the University’s accommodation facilities.

The multi-million development will also provide accommodation for 1,160 postgraduate students in the city’s Old Town, as well as an outreach centre for community-based teaching activities.

Ian Tyler, Chief Executive at Balfour Beatty, said today:  “We are delighted to have been selected as preferred bidder for this long-term contract in the student accommodation sector, which is a key area of focus for us.

“We have worked with the University of Edinburgh on numerous projects over the past 18 years and look forward to supporting them in realising their long-term aspirations to enhance the postgraduate student experience.”

Nigel Paul, Director of Corporate Services at the University of Edinburgh, said that this is a key milestone in the development of the project that will improve students’ experience.

Mr Paul said: “Balfour Beatty’s involvement can help us create additional opportunities and enhance the experience and engagement of our growing number of postgraduate students by providing a good mix of state-of-the-art accommodation types with excellent support and social spaces.”

What is your reaction to the multi-million accommodation scheme at the University of Edinburgh? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Multi-million ‘village green’ homes plan would create new trade jobs

A multi-million planning application to build 5,750 new homes and create thousands of new trade jobs has been submitted to Ashford Borough Council.

The major development programme will take place at the 415 hectare site at Chilmington Green, building thousands of new homes arranged in three distinctive neighbourhoods with a high street, a secondary school, four primary schools, a park and extensive areas of green space.

The planning application has been prepared for the developer consortium, Hodson Developments, Jarvis Homes, Pentland Homes and Ward Home, to deal with UK’s current housing shortage.

Project manager for the consortium, Ian Bull, said that as one of the largest developments in Ashford, the housing scheme will set benchmark for new communities and increase employment opportunities in the area.

Mr Bull said: “Those well-designed places offer communities a lifestyle of wellbeing through a range of employment opportunities, cultural facilities and services, a mix of housing tenures including affordable housing, well-connected and walkable neighbourhoods, and the chance for people to connect with nature through carefully landscaped streets, parks, private gardens and allotments.”

Richard Hutchings, project director at engineering consultancy WSP, who prepared all the engineering and environmental designs and documentation to support the application, said that that developing effective transport, utilities and drainage strategies to ensure efficient delivery of the major urban extension have been the biggest challenges of the project

Mr Hutchings said: “Perhaps most significant was the development of a sustainable transport strategy that resolved existing capacity problems on the A28 corridor by reducing reliance on private vehicle travel and promoting alternative options such as walking, cycling and public transport.”

What is your reaction on the major housing scheme in Ashford that will pave the way for jobs on the building engineering industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

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.

 

Approved Plans for Building 3,000 Homes in Cambridge to Create New Trade Jobs

The University of Cambridge has been granted planning permission to build 3, 000 new homes as part of its £1 billion development in northwest Cambridge, creating significant employment opportunities for people in the trades.

The planning application for the 150 hectare site was approved by local authorities today, paving the way for residential and development partners to start building construction work in early 2013.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates welcomed the project’s planning consent. He commented that the £1 billion investment will encourage economic growth and create new jobs, showing that Cambridge is truly open for business.

Mr Bates said: “This new development and investment in the University will be a major boost to jobs in the area and help attract even more business.

“A booming Cambridge economy is good for our local communities and the nation as we have the ability to help the country out of recession.”

The University of Cambridge said in a statement today that it will provide 1,500 homes for key University and College employees, 1,500 homes for sale and accommodation for 2,000 students.

New 100,000 square metres research institutes will be built to the University’s wide range of community facilities. Around one third of the site will be used as public open space for sports, informal recreation and ecological use.

“This development is a major part of the University’s long term future,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. “It will provide much of the residential and research accommodation that the University needs as it grows over the next 20 years.”

Councillor for South Cambridgeshire District Council, David Bard, said: “This development is key to the next stage in the development of Cambridge and will be an exemplar of sustainable living. The plans are of a very high quality and will deliver a new community that everyone will be very proud of.”

What is your reaction to the £1 billion investment at the University of Cambridge that will encourage economic growth and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

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.

Green Investment is set to Create New Jobs in the Trades

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced a £100 million fund for green investment which will create new jobs in the renewable energy industry.

Speaking to an energy conference in London’s Lancaster House today, Mr Clegg defended the Government’s commitment to support the renewable energy sector, outlining lasting benefits to the UK low-carbon economy.

He announced multi-million contracts by UK Green Investments (UKGI) with fund managers Equitix and Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL) to provide initial capital to encourage foreign and domestic investment in non-domestic energy efficiency.

The Deputy Minister’s announcement was hailed with a £12 million expansion by a recycling firm Closed Loop in Dagenham, East London, that will create and safeguard 100 jobs.

The UK is the sixth largest market in low carbon goods and environmental services in the world. It contributes 3.9 per cent of the UK’s GDP and employs 173,000 people.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the Coalition Government is ‘unreservedly committed’ to help Britain’s low carbon sector thrive, providing a clean and green economy.

He said: “There is a global energy revolution underway and the UK is not going to be left behind. We’re leading from the front.

“Together we find ourselves at the vanguard of one of the most dynamic, most innovative, most important industries of our time; an industry whose breakthroughs and endeavours will shape our societies for years to come; an industry that will help us build a more stable, more sustainable, more prosperous world.”

What is your reaction to the Government’s £100 million fund that will accelerate investment in the renewable industry and create new jobs?  Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Renewable Energy Projects to Bring Billions of Investment into the UK

Changes to subsidies for renewable electricity in Britain could accelerate up to £25 billion of new investment and create thousands of new jobs according to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey.

Bandings for renewable technologies were set last week under the Government’s Renewables Obligation which will support and create new green jobs whilst at the same time minimise energy cost to consumers.

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, welcomed the decision which will ensure rapid growth in the renewable energy and unlock further green investment.

Mr Davey said: “Renewable energy will create a multi-billion pound boom for the British economy, driving growth and supporting jobs across the country.

“Because value for money is vital, we will bring forward more renewable electricity while reducing the impact on consumer bills between 2013 and 2015, saving £6 off household energy bills next year and £5 the year after.”

The Banding Review (as set out by the DECC) includes:

  • Support for onshore wind from 2013-17 will be reduced by 10% to 0.9ROCs, as consulted on in autumn 2011. This level is guaranteed until at least 2014 but could change after then if there is a significant change in generation costs. A call for evidence on onshore wind industry costs will be launched this autumn and report in early 2013.
  • Rates of support for offshore wind will reduce as the cost of the technology comes down during the decade;
  • Support levels for certain marine energy technologies will more than double from 2ROCs to 5ROCs per MWh, subject to a 30MW limit per generating station;
  • There will be a new band to support existing coal plant converting to sustainable biomass fuels. This will increase the amount of renewable energy produced at less cost to consumers; and
  • There will be no immediate reduction in support for large-scale solar, but there will be a further consultation this year on reduced support levels given recent dramatic falls in costs.

Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Trade Jobs

Good news for the trades as the University of Hertfordshire selects a major developer to build a new 3, 000 bed student accommodation scheme that will create new jobs in the building engineering sector.

Preferred bidder Uliving Consortium is going to build 2, 511 new student accommodation units and transfer around 500 of the University’s existing residences at the College Lane campus in Hatfield.

In a statement, the Uliving Consortium, which is made up of major developer Bouygues Development and not-for-profit accommodation operator, Derwent Living, said that this will be a remarkable and truly transformational scheme that will improve students’ living standards.

The ambitious scheme will also provide new sports facilities, a campus gym, informal learning and social spaces and a new dedicated bus route.  The University’s vision is to create a fully inclusive living and learning environment will pave the way for employment opportunities for builders, plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

The scheme will be delivered in three phases with the first phase set to commence in May 2013.  Each phase thereafter will be completed in time for the start of the following academic year; the entire scheme scheduled for completion in September 2016.

The new buildings that will be built through the scheme will achieve ‘True’ Zero Carbon accreditation and meet BREEAM Outstanding status.

Stephane Slama-Royer, Managing Director of Uliving and Managing Director of Bouygues Development said: “As student accommodation developers and managers we recognise that the quality of student accommodation has a huge influence on the student experience and that the provision of exceptional living environments is central to the success of these communities.”

What is your reaction to the newly appointed bidder of University of Hertfordshire’s 3,000 Bed Student Accommodation Scheme which create jobs in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Green Jobs are Vital for UK’s Energy Efficiency

The UK has been ranked as the most energy efficient country in the world according to a new study which calculates countries’ efforts to reduce energy use and shows the overall effect of green policies, contributing for the creation of thousands of new jobs in the renewable engineering industry.

The study was published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) which ranked the UK first among the world’s 12 largest economies, closely followed by Germany, Italy, and Japan, for reducing pollution in industry, transport and buildings.

British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, welcomed the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard by the ACEEE, emphasising the importance of low-carbon and renewable initiatives in the UK for future economic growth and sustainable development.

Mr Davey said: “The UK and the leading economies of Europe are now well ahead of the United States when it comes to energy efficiency. This is significant because countries that use energy more efficiently require fewer resources to achieve the same goals, thus reducing costs, preserving valuable natural resources, and creating jobs.”

The 12 largest economies, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union represent over 78 per cent of Global Gross Domestic Product;  63 per cent of global energy consumption; 62 percent of the global carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions.

Author of the report and ACEEE Senior Researcher, Sara Hayes, said that investment in cost- effective energy efficiency can help many countries to strengthen their economic competitiveness and create new jobs in the renewable industry.

Ms Hayes said: “While energy efficiency has played a major role in the economies of developed nations for decades, cost-effective energy efficiency remains a massively underutilized energy resource. Fortunately, there is a lot countries can do to strengthen their economic competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency.”

What is your reaction to the new report by the ACEEE that rates the UK as the world’s most energy efficient country? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Good News for Trades as the Government Eases the Planning System in England

Planning Minister Greg Clark has announced further steps to improve England’s planning system and support sustainable development which will pave the way for more jobs in the building construction sector.  

The package of proposals includes measures to make it easier for businesses to re-use existing buildings without needing planning permission which will reduce the volume of planning guidelines and cut red tape, the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed.

According to the government, previous measures to improve the planning system such as the National Planning Policy Framework and the Localism Act have supported a swifter decision making and sped up the application process by allowing more planning applications to go ahead.

The new proposals are expected to cut unnecessary information in the application process, stream up the amount of paperwork needed for planning applications and improve co-ordination between local authorities and building developers.

Commenting on the proposals, Planning Minister Greg Clark said: “Our reforms to the planning system are making it simpler, clearer and more accessible to people in communities.

“Following the simplification of the national planning policy in the National Planning Policy Framework, these proposed changes streamline the process of applying for planning permission.

“Our aim is to have a system that applicants and members of communities can be confident will give a reliable, swift and fair outcome.”

What’s your reaction on the new proposals by the government aiming to improve the planning system in England? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

Apple to Power Data Centres with Renewable Energy

 

Apple has announced plans to power its main data centre in North Carolina entirely with renewable energy by the end of 2012, Reuters has reported.

The announcement comes after long-lasting environmental concerns by Greenpeace about Apple’s rapid expansion of high-consuming computer server farms in the US.  Greenpeace activists drew significant attention last week on Apple’s use of coal at the data centre that powers its iCloud.

The maker of the iPhone and the iPad confirmed on Thursday that it was buying equipment from SunPower Corp and startup Bloom Energy to build two solar array installations near its core data centre in North Carolina. The sites will employ high-efficiency solar cells and an advanced solar tracking system.

“Apple’s announcement today is a great sign that Apple is taking seriously the hundreds of thousands of its customers who have asked for an iCloud powered by clean energy, not dirty coal.” said Greenpeace International Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook.

The solar farm is expected to supply 84 million kWh of energy annually and it will cover 250 acres of land around Apple’s main data centre.

“The plan we are releasing today includes two solar farms and together they will be twice as big as we previously announced, thanks to the purchase of some land very near to the data centre in Maiden, which will help us meet this goal.” Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer told Reuters.

Mr Oppenheimer outlined company’s ambition to continue its environmental approach along with its expansion in services and provide sustainable development for its products.

“Our next facility will be in Prineville, Oregon. This is still in the planning stages and we have already identified plenty of renewable sources nearby,” Oppenheimer said.

What is your reaction to the decision by Apple to power its main data centres with 100% renewable energy? Do you think that other high-tech companies will follow its environmental approach? Share your thought with us by leaving a comment below: 

MP Mark Garnier: Training is Vital for Economic Prosperity in England

Member of Parliament (MP) Mark Garnier has been helping businesses across the West Midlands and his constituency of the Wyre Forest to bring more economic prosperity and create new jobs.

The latest event, organised by MP Garnier, was held in Kidderminster last week. The Wyre Forest Jobs Fair helped hundreds of people attending to connect with potential employers and find a job.  Mr Garnier, who entered politics because of his desire to contribute to peoples’ lives, explained that this event will make a significant difference to his constituency and boost economic growth.

Speaking at the event, Mr Garnier emphasised on the importance of having a skilful workforce that meets the demands and the expectations of private business investors. He described training as ‘vital’ for the future economic prosperity across Britain and its ability to compete with countries from the rest of the world, including Europe.

Mr Garnier said: “I think that the single most important thing we need to do is upskill the whole of our country. Our engineering legacy in this country is absolutely second to none. We have a fantastic legacy, but we have to recognise the fact that our competitors around the world are becoming to surpass us. Particularly in China, their engineering expertise is becoming far greater than ours which is a significant event in terms of our country’s development.”

Speaking about the manufacturing industry, which currently represents only 12% of country’s Gross Domestic Product, Mr Garnier said that there needs to be more training in order to equip people with the necessary skills and help the industry’s sustainable development.

He said: “Any successful economy will have a workforce that its training level meets the expectation of these private sector investors. Those private sector investors who are making the financial commitment, it is vital that when they make this financial commitment to their businesses, that the people who are employing are skilled enough in order to make that mix of capital skill work. ”

What the government could do to encourage people to train and upgrade their existing qualification in order to be more skilful and employable? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

You can listen to the full interview with MP Mark Garnier via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills   

Cameron Supports the Renewable Industry

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has written to 100 Conservative MPs, who recently complained about wind farm subsidies and demanded cuts to the £500 million a year, paid to the wind power industry.

The 100 MPs, who wrote to the Prime Minister last month, expressed concerns that wind farm proposals are not welcomed by local residents and that they might damage the natural landscape of Britain.

The Prime Minister shared a robust defence of the government’s plans to continue with its commitment to support renewable energy projects across the UK. Mr Cameron echoed strong support for wind farm subsidies, describing them as vital investment for the creation of green jobs and reducing carbon emissions.

Mr Cameron said: “On-shore wind plays a role in a balanced UK electricity mix, alongside gas, nuclear, cleaner coal and other forms of renewable energy, a portfolio of different supplies enhances energy security and prevents the UK from becoming over-reliant on gas imports.”

However, Mr Cameron said he sympathised with local residents’ concerns but the national interest of Britain had to be considered in order to fulfil its commitment to meet targets for renewable energy and to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

 

What is your reaction to the Prime Minister’s support for the renewable industry? Are you more optimistic about the future of wind farms after Cameron’s backing?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Chancellor Osborne Urged to Help UK Businesses

The Chancellor George Osborne has been urged by business leaders to allocate more investment on capital projects rather than on the current expenditure which will give boost to the construction industry and encourage economic growth.

Improved access to government funds, cutting red tape for businesses and giving greater investment to infrastructure projects are the key demands by business leaders. The call comes ahead of the Chancellor’s budget statement next month which is expected to make significant announcements for creating new jobs and boosting the national economy.

The Construction Products Association (CPA) has urged the Chancellor to cut VAT for domestic projects that will improve energy efficiency for thousands of homes across the UK.

Chief Executive at CPA, Michael Ankers, said that the Chancellor needs to allocate in the budget more capital spending for housing and infrastructure projects because it will give confidence to businesses and provide sustainable investment for growth.

Mr Ankers said: “The 2012 Budget provides the Chancellor with the opportunity to introduce a package of measures to stimulate the economy and deliver growth. This should include a further rebalancing of public spending away from current expenditure and into capital investment, as this will not only generate economic activity and employment but will increase long term productivity as a result of improving the infrastructure of this country.”

What would your suggestions be to the Chancellor Osborne to help businesses across the UK? Is capital investment the best way to create jobs and sustainable development for growth? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

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