Posts tagged train4tradeskills news

£76.5m infrastructure boost to create jobs and growth

The Welsh GovernmentThe Welsh Government has unveiled a £76.5 million funding package for housing, schools, flood protection and transport that will support around 1,400 jobs and boost the economy.

Finance Minister Jane Hutt outlined that the Welsh Government has delivered additional investment of around £1.1 billion in infrastructure projects across Wales by maximising the use of reduced capital budgets and by generating investment of around £750 million through innovative finance.

Jane Hutt said: “The £76.5 million of additional capital investment I am announcing today supports the priorities set out in the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for Growth and Jobs and ensures every Welsh pound is used to boost jobs and growth.

“The main benefits of investment are gained over the long term. But in present circumstances, the jobs created in constructing new infrastructure are vitally important, and this latest package is expected to support around 1,400 jobs during the construction phase.

“This significant package of investment clearly demonstrates our commitment to stimulating economic growth, creating jobs, mitigating the impact of the UK Government’s Welfare Reforms and reducing poverty in Wales.”

The multi-million package of investment to increase housing supply, including: 

    • An additional £20 million for the Social Housing Grant specifically to target investment in providing housing for individuals and families that may be adversely affected as a result of the UK Government’s reductions in Housing Benefit; and
    • £10 million to expand the pilot of the Houses into Homes initiative to bring empty homes in Wales back into use.
    • A £25 million package of investment in education to further accelerate the 21st Century Schools Programme.
    • £11.5 million for a railway and station in Ebbw Vale town centre, as an initial element of a wider programme to create a more integrated transport network in South East Wales and support the City Region strategy.  This investment will be a further boost to the regeneration of the local area.
    • £10 million additional investment in the Flood and Coastal Risk Management Programme, to protect homes, businesses and communities from the risk of flooding.

What is your reaction to the increased infrastructure investment in Wales that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Building trade given £30m boost to get projects off the ground

Building trade given £30m boost to get projects off the groundThe Government has backed a £30 million investment package to help small construction businesses secure credit from B&Q and Screwfix via their TradeUK credit scheme.

The pilot scheme will help small and sole trader construction businesses to secure credit from B&Q and Screwfix stores that will allow them to bid for bigger construction projects in the future.

Customers of B&Q TradePoint and Screwfix, part of the Kingfisher Group, can now apply for a credit account of up to £25,000, where previously they may have struggled to secure credit due to a lack of security or adequate credit history. Existing trade customers will be able to apply to extend their accounts for credit of up to £50,000.

Previously, these viable businesses would only have been eligible for credit of up to £3,000 from Screwfix or B&Q, making it harder for them to take on projects due to being unable to afford the upfront costs of the materials. Kingfisher is able to support the additional lending as a result of it being backed by a government guarantee.

The pilot is the result of work between the government and Kingfisher to adapt the existing Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme to widen access to funding and provide alternatives to bank lending. Business Minister Michael Fallon will now be writing to other companies offering them an opportunity to take part in the pilot scheme and offer their customers access to this new source of finance.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “Builders and tradesmen are experiencing a real bottleneck when it comes to accessing credit, and projects are being held up unnecessarily. This pilot is an innovative attempt to make a real difference for the sector.

“Britain’s builders have a vital role to play in delivering growth in this country and we’re determined to get behind them.”

Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher, said: “By piloting this new scheme we are backing Britain and backing the country’s professional tradesmen.

“Access to credit and control of cashflow is vital for smaller tradesmen, so we are pleased that Screwfix and B&Q will be able to make it easier for more of their trade customers to get credit through this innovative new scheme. By backing Britain’s tradesmen we can boost spending on the home and help get the economy moving again.”

The pilot allows Kingfisher to give credit to trade businesses it would normally have to turn away, by sharing the risk through providing government guarantees of 75 per cent on its lending. As well as allowing Kingfisher to lend to viable businesses outside its present risk profile, the scheme also allows it to lend more to existing businesses.

The pilot has been designed so there is no new administrative burden to Kingfisher. All credit decisions will be made by Kingfisher based on existing processes, and customers and frontline staff will see no difference to the trade credit application.

Multi-million pound investment reaches out for new jobs in Hull

Multi-million pound investment reaches out for new jobs in Hull

The Government has announced a £20 million investment plan to build a renewable energy factory in Hull that will create 300 new trade jobs.

Energy Works, the technically advanced renewable energy power plant to be built in Hull, will use household waste, and will generate enough energy for more than 25,000 homes.

The funding has been given from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government and is a key part of the financing for the £100 million-plus energy recovery plant that uses an innovative combination of green technologies and will be the first of its kind in the UK.

Communities Minister Baroness Hanham said: “This plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the security and diversity of the energy supply.

“Supporting this Hull-based company with public funding to pioneer these cleaner, more efficient technologies and sharing the learning gained from operating the plant, will help to roll out similar facilities elsewhere in the UK and around the world.

“This investment will create highly skilled jobs and contribute to the Humber area’s growing reputation as one of the best places in the world to develop environmental energy businesses“.

The complete Energy Works development will be built to sort, pre- treat and process different types of waste with several advantages over more conventional technologies, including that it complemented recycling efforts and produced improved air quality.

Spencer Group’s Chief Executive Charlie Spencer said: “We are delighted that the Government and the European Commission have recognised that Energy Works is an innovative, green and clean development which can be replicated elsewhere.

“It has been a pleasure to brief the Minister on the many benefits it offers. This grant is a key element of the funding model and enables the project to move forward.

“As a Hull-based company, we are intensely proud that we will be pioneering a UK first in the city and that our investment will add to the Humber region’s credentials as the UK hub for renewable energy technologies.”

Trade Mission to Singapore and Indonesia to boost economic growth

Trade Mission to Singapore and Indonesia to boost exports

All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Trade & Investment is on a trade mission to Singapore and Indonesia this week to strengthen business ties and create new jobs.

The mission, which will boost UK exports, is led by APPG Chair Margot James and is supported by Barclays, Prudential Plc and the UK ASEAN Business Council (UKABC).

It is the first time that an All-Party Parliamentary Group has taken a trade mission on a visit to a market in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Fifteen British companies from the education and infrastructure sectors will take part, including Warwickshire College, the University of Reading and Spark Architecture.

Infrastructure opportunities are growing rapidly in the South East Asia region, which includes some of the fastest-growing markets. The region is predicted to be the fourth largest market in the world by 2030.

The mission is set to start in Singapore where the group will meet key figures from the public and private sector education and business communities.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “Getting more companies to export and attracting high-quality investment to the UK are key planks of the government’s Plan for Growth. Indonesia and Singapore are high growth markets and I am delighted to see this mission taking place.”

In 2011 UK goods and services exports to Singapore totalled £7.8 billion (+7.4% on 2010), making Singapore the UK’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia. Opportunities in Singapore include machinery and transport, which is the largest UK goods export sector to Singapore.

MP Margot James said: “I am delighted to be leading this mission, the first by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade and Investment.

“This trade mission is a fantastic opportunity to give British companies access to the exciting and growing markets of Singapore and Indonesia which are vital to delivering the UK’s economic growth agenda.”

The UK is ranked 20th largest exporter to Indonesia and the 3rd largest among EU member states. The UK’s largest exports to Indonesia include power generation equipment; general industrial machinery, road vehicles, pulp and waste paper and specialised machinery.

What is your reaction to the trade delegation in Singapore and Indonesia this week to strengthen business ties and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

Imperial College unveils plans for new London campus

Imperial launches major new research and translation campus

Imperial College London has revealed further details of its plan to build a £150 million campus in White City that will create around 3,200 new jobs and boost the trades.

The centrepiece of the 7-acre new Imperial West campus is the multi-million Research and Translation Hub for academics and business partners that will see the building of new homes, publicly accessible green space, pedestrian subways and leisure and retail facilities.

Imperial West is set to become a major new research quarter for London, reinforcing the capital’s position as a catalyst for scientific development and economic growth

Imperial bought the land for the new campus from the BBC in 2009. The first new building, which provides accommodation for over 600 postgraduates and early career researchers, has been occupied since September 2012.

Terms of the planning permission for the rest of the site were agreed with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in December 2012

Design work on the Hub, which is funded by investor Voreda and from the College’s own resources, is underway. The College plans to complete the construction in 2015.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London is home to some of the world’s leading universities and sharpest business minds.

“This fantastic venture will bring the best of both these worlds together turning brilliant ideas into jobs and economic growth and further bolster our reputation as the must-come destination for research and development.”

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said: “Imperial is one of our country’s great universities and the new Imperial West campus is a really exciting development. It will focus on translational work – on applying the excellent research that Imperial does to bring benefit to the wider world.

“The government strongly supports the vision and plans for the new campus and we look forward to seeing it grow and prosper in the future.”

What is your reaction to the new campus at Imperial College London that is forecast to create thousands of new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

1,200 new homes and further investment for Cornwall

New homes and further investment for CornwallCornwall Council has committed to working with five different housing associations to deliver 1,200 new affordable homes in Cornwell over the next 4 years.

The Council has re-iterated its commitment to meet local housing needs as well as to create hundreds of construction jobs in the building industry and boost the trades.

Joining residents and representatives of Devon & Cornwall Housing (DCH) Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, Mark Kaczmarek, said: “The Council works closely with a number of housing associations to deliver affordable homes for local people.

“The Council supports the delivery of new affordable housing through the planning process, and planning permission for this scheme was granted in 2010.  Cornwall Council also provides funding towards the cost of new affordable housing, including a contribution of £55,000 to this specific scheme.

“But this is not the only investment we are making. Given the desperate housing shortage and the Council’s commitment to meeting local housing needs, the Council has agreed ambitious plans to match pound for pound Government investment in new homes.

“I am pleased to announce that the Council is signing contracts with five housing associations to deliver an additional 1,000 affordable homes in Cornwall over 4 years with investment totalling over £20 million. Few councils have made such a commitment.

“DCH is one of the Council’s key partners and today I am endorsing a contract with DCH which will see them commit to deliver 500 affordable homes for Cornwall. This is a Council fund, in addition to their own schemes and programmes funded through Government. The Council welcome DCH’s commitment and the ambition they are showing in working with us to meet Cornwall’s needs.”

Andy Moore, Chief Executive of Penwith Housing Association, part of DCH said: “There is a huge need for affordable housing across Cornwall. The delivery agreement with Cornwall Council is extremely important in providing vital new homes like the homes at St Stephen and we are pleased to be one of the partners working with them.”

The £2.6 million scheme in St Stephen, which was completed in January 2012, provides 18 homes for rent and 4 for shared ownership.

There are 9 x 2 bedroom homes, 10 x 3 bedroom homes, and 3 x 4-bedroom properties. Support came from a £1,350,000 investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and a grant of £55,000 from Cornwall Council.

The group visited residents’ homes to see how living in their affordable housing has had a positive effect on their lives ensuring they were able to stay within the community where their families were based.

What is your reaction to the new affordable homes that will create jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Nick Clegg backs City Deal for new jobs and growth

Government unveils more ‘City Deals’ to boost growth

Nick Clegg has today transferred greater powers to local authorities across England to drive economic growth, build thousands of new homes and boost employment in the trades.

The Deputy Prime Minister has backed the ‘City Deal’ which aim is to grant more freedom, powers and tools needed for local government to shape their economic future and create new jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said: “Even more places will be free from Whitehall control and have the tools to power their own growth. These deals help cities and their wider areas make once in a generation changes that will be felt by everyone across their region.”

Councils in England need to ease planning regulations and have greater control over funds to accelerate housing and residential developments.

According to Coventry and Warwickshire local authorities, the scheme is estimated to create around 30,000 jobs across the region and boost the trades.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) that led the City Deal bid said it was pleased by the Government’s decision to drive economic development tand create new jobs in the area.

Sir Peter Rigby, chair of the CWLEP said: “This is great news for Coventry and Warwickshire and allows us to put our very exciting plans into place to do just what the LEP was established to do – to create jobs and economic growth and prosperity.”

Deputy Prime Minister 1

The 20 cities and their outline proposals: 

Black Country: want to use a City Deal to grow their high-value manufacturing sector. They want to build on the Black Country’s track record in designing, building and exporting components and products such as aircraft control systems, turbo technology and an extensive range of automotive components.

Bournemouth and Poole: want to use a City Deal to encourage a transition to a more balanced local economy by boosting Advanced Manufacturing (particularly marine and aerospace) as well as digital and creative industries.

Brighton and Hove: want to use a City Deal to realise the economic potential of their eco-tech sector.  This is a new, and growing, sector in Brighton & Hove. The universities have developed specialisms in this area.  Brighton and partners want to build on this and encourage more innovation and business growth.

Greater Cambridge: want to use a City Deal to unleash the next wave of the “Cambridge Phenomenon”, which is a cluster of high-tech firms that focus on biotechnology, software and electronics around Cambridge, many of which have links with Cambridge University. Greater Cambridge wants to spread the “brand” of Cambridge over a broader area by creating better links between the science and business parks (e.g. Babraham Research Campus), the city centre (where Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities are based), strategic transport routes and key residential sites (including the new town development of Northstowe), as well as the Enterprise Zone at Alconbury.

Coventry and Warwickshire: want to use a City Deal to capitalise on existing strengths in advanced manufacturing and engineering and to support the expansion of this sector. Coventry and Warwickshire want to grow these sectors by raising the skill levels of the workforce by increasing the number of people with intermediate and high level engineering skills and encouraging greater innovation in the sector.

Hull and the Humber: wants to use a City Deal to maximise the potential of the Humber Estuary. The estuary is already a home to a chemicals and processing sector worth £6bn and has the highest tonnage throughput of any UK port.  Humber now wants to grow the “Energy Estuary” by maximising these opportunities and the benefits of offshore wind investment – and to ensure that local people have the necessary skills to take up these opportunities.

Ipswich: want to use a City Deal to equip local people and businesses with the skills they need to take advantage of significant expansion in high value jobs through development of Sizewell and Felixstowe.

Leicester and Leicestershire: want to use a City Deal to accelerate the growth of key sectors in the economy (notably manufacturing and logistics) and to encourage greater commercialisation of research emanating from the three universities in the area (Loughborough, Leicester and De Montfort).

Milton Keynes and the South East Midlands: want to use a City Deal to deliver significant, sustainable growth in housing.   Over the longer term, this will allow the local area, and South East Midlands, to attract and find homes for high-skilled workers to drive economic growth.  In the shorter term, providing confidence to private sector developers will create jobs in construction and industry supply chains.

Greater Norwich: wants to use a City Deal to accelerate the growth of the internationally-recognised environmental and life sciences industry within the Greater Norwich area by focusing on the potential of Norwich Research Park.

Oxford and Oxfordshire: want to use a City Deal to accelerate the growth of the knowledge economy by building on the strong base (including significant clusters in bio-sciences, space technology and cryogenics), two world-class universities (Oxford and Oxford Brookes) and  internationally-recognised ‘Big Science’ research centres (eg Culham Research Centre and Harwell Laboratories).

Plymouth: wants to use a City Deal to build on its strengths in advanced engineering and design, marine renewable energy, maritime and sub-sea operations and supporting technologies.  It seeks to do this by increasing the commercialisation of research in these areas and increasing exports from its high growth companies.

Preston:  has seen significant private sector growth in the last 10 years, largely driven by growth in small and medium sized businesses.  Preston want to build on this and sustain further growth, particularly in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing sector by investing in infrastructure.

Reading and Central Berkshire: want to use a City Deal to ensure that local people have the skills they need to access local job opportunities.  Reading wants to focus on ensuring that people have skills in the growing sectors (particularly construction, logistics and knowledge intensive areas) and to ensure school leavers have the soft “employability” skills businesses need.

Southend and South Essex: want to use a City Deal to increase investor confidence to increase the supply of good quality office space and housing which will accelerate business expansion.

Stoke and Staffordshire: want to use a City Deal to build on strong heritage to become the internationally competitive home for Advanced Materials businesses in Europe.  They want to grow the advanced materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, etc.) sector and to promote the use in advanced manufacturing.

Southampton and Portsmouth: wants to use a City Deal to drive the growth and diversification of the maritime sector in the area. They are seeking to do this by supporting growth in the associated sub-sectors of transport and logistics, defence and advanced manufacturing, the visitor economy and the complex supply chains linked to research and innovation.

Sunderland and the North East: want to use a City Deal to expand their manufacturing base and to diversify and grow the city’s economy.

Swindon and Wiltshire: want to use a City Deal to capitalise on the strong military presence in the area.  They seek to do this by increasing the number of spin-offs firms from developments in military technology and to harness the skills from ex-servicemen/women.

Tees Valley: wants to use a City Deal to establish a global super cluster of petrochemical and processing industries  to compete on the world stage. They want to build on Tees Valley’s current industrial complex, which includes over 50% of the country’s petrochemical and a significant percentage of the pharmaceutical sectors.  Such a super cluster would have at its heart the production of cleaner energy, containing new developing, and associated, sectors such as biofuels from waste and other forms of renewable energy such as offshore wind.

Legal & General get the go-ahead to build new homes in Croydon

Legal & General get the go-ahead for new homes in Croydon

Work is due to start for the building of 288 new homes in Croydon after Legal & General received planning permission to transform Nestlé’s former Croydon headquarters into flats.

The financial investment company was given planning permission for the St George’s House scheme in Croydon that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport, said: “This exciting plan matches the council’s vision for transforming the town centre into a place to live as well as to work, shop and socialise.

“It’s a significant leap forward in the council’s strategy for regenerating the town centre, refreshing its 1960s streetscape and boosting the economic growth of the borough.”

Charlie Walker, director at Legal & General Property, said: “Last night’s decision marks an important step forward for Croydon and is a strong testament to the hard work we have put in over the past year to ensuring our proposals not only complement the existing qualities of the borough but contribute to its wider regeneration, enhancing its position as a desirable residential location.

“We believe that not only will this scheme deliver much needed high quality residential accommodation to the very centre of town, but should bring a new lease of life to the area by significantly improving the public realm, creating a more accessible and attractive civic space for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Legal & Generals plans include community and retail space at ground level and a roof top garden area that will be environmentally sustainable.

There will also be 160 car parking and 313 secure cycle spaces and a café on the corner of Park Street and Park Lane.

The planning committee granted permission to the scheme less than seven months after being presented with the pre-application enquiry.

Stanhope launches masterplan for BBC Television Centre

TELEVISION CENTRE, WHITE CITY

Property developer Stanhope has outlined plans for BBC’s iconic Television Centre in White City that could see the building of 1,000 new homes.

Stanhope and the BBC have launched their vision to transform the Television Centre in West London that will be turned into office and studio space for the BBC, modern housing, complementary entertainment, leisure facilities and a hotel.

Listed buildings are to be retained, while the “inner ring” of the TV Centre will be converted into new apartments that will create new trade jobs as well as boost the construction industry.

David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope Plc, said: “Stanhope is working in partnership with the BBC to deliver a publicly accessible mixed use remodelling of these iconic buildings and redevelopment of the adjoining land.

“We will be introducing a vibrant and exciting mix of new retail, leisure, office and residential uses whilst keeping and enhancing the famous original BBC buildings and retaining key operational BBC studio and office facilities on site.”

  • The listed buildings and the remodelled forecourt, frontage and elevation of Television Centre from Wood Lane will be retained
  • The ‘inner ring’ of Television Centre will be refurbished to provide space for a hotel and residential apartments
  • The current ‘Stage 4 and 5′ buildings will also be refurbished to provide speculative office space, targeted at being a new media or creative hub for businesses in the area
  • The ‘Drama Block’, ‘Restaurant Block’ and Multi Storey Car Park on Wood Lane will be replaced with new residential buildings and townhouses and the ‘East Tower’ will be replaced with a more slender and appropriately positioned residential building
  • A ‘Village Green’ of town houses for families with private rear gardens will be created to the south of the site
  • There will be approximately 1,000 new residential units and townhouses in total, including affordable housing
  • RIBA award winning practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris are Stanhope’s lead architects on the project, supported by Macreanor Lavington and Duggan Morris

 

What is your reaction to the transformation of the BBC Television Centre in White City that will be turned in to offices and new housing? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

£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.”

Bam Construct to start a £50m Glasgow job

Bam Construction Glasgow JobA £50 million funding package will see an empty building in Glasgow City Centre transformed into high quality retail and office space, creating 250 new constructing jobs and boosting the trades.

From January, construction work will get underway at 110 Queen Street – a former bank – to create 143,000 sq ft of Grade A offices and 20,000 sq ft of retail space accommodating up to 1,500 workers.

The project, which is being developed and built by BAM, will receive a £9.6 million loan from the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) Fund, which has been established with Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund money.

The news of the development comes after a recent research report published by Ryden outlined a demand in Glasgow for new office space to enable it to compete effectively with other UK regional cities.

Speaking after making the announcement at the Queen Street site, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Significant city centre developments like today’s £50 million boost for Glasgow are central to stimulating economic growth across Scotland.

“This is absolutely imperative in these tough economic times.  It is vital that we support opportunities for new business to help create new jobs and also encourage inward investment to Scotland.

“The transformation of this building, due for completion in 2015, will provide much needed high spec office space for Glasgow, which will enable it to compete more effectively with other large cities – and help to attract companies from across the globe.”

John Burke, Executive Director, BAM Construct UK, said: “This is terrific news for Glasgow and the wider construction sector, and is testament to the confidence investors have that BAM can deliver the largest office development to be built outside of London in a number of years.

“BAM is also investing £40.4m in this project which will generate spin-off economic activity, both short and long term in the construction sector and supply chain as well as a number of new apprenticeships.  The team is keen to get started and will be moving on site on 7 January.

“It is our firm belief that this significant development will give Glasgow a competitive advantage by providing new quality office space, which is scarce, to established companies looking for long term growth, and help to attract inward investors to the city”.

£100m repairs contract to create new jobs

Interserve to create new jobsSocial housing landlord East Thames has awarded a £100 million repairs and maintenance contract to Interserve, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.

The seven-year contract will provide repairs service to more than 13,500 households and create new jobs for local residents and the wider community.

Bruce Melizan, executive director at Interserve, said: “Delivering front-line services for East Thames is strategically important to us at Interserve, as it affects local residents’ homes and their quality of life.

“The fact that East Thames has given us an opportunity to share our knowledge and experience in delivering residential repairs and maintenance with them is a strong endorsement of the value and quality we can bring to their estates.

“The benefits of our approach have already been evidenced by the 22 per cent saving we have already achieved for East Thames on their outsourcing model, which is just the start of a partnership that will enable East Thames and their residents to benefit from our intelligent approach to delivering services over the coming years.”

The contract will also see benefits extended to the wider community via local recruitment targets, training and employment opportunities and a unique package of support for local long term unemployed residents who have found it difficult to find work.

Interserve will deliver estate services to local areas, including cyclical works, building refurbishment, planned and responsive repairs and maintenance to corporate buildings.

East Thames director of development and property Geoff Pearce said: “We are very much looking forward to working with our new partners Interserve and welcome their customer-centred approach to delivering our repairs service.

“Thanks to the feedback we’ve received from our residents, we have been able to work, together with Interserve, to design a service that better meets the needs of our customers, while delivering value for money and a significant contribution to East Thames’ local employment aims.”

What is your reaction to the new £100 million repairs and maintenance contract 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. 

 

£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.

 

 

Mace to kick-start £250m Greenwich regeneration scheme

Developer Hadley Mace has finalised a deal with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Royal Borough of Greenwich to deliver a £250 million mixed-use scheme in east Greenwich that will create new jobs.

It is anticipated that the first phase of homes and community facilities will be completed by late 2014, with the entire development completed approximately three years later, paving the way for employment in the trades.

David Grover, director of Hadley Mace, said: “This leading scheme will demonstrate the benefits of public private consortium and its impact on a community that has been anticipating investment and re-development for more than 10 years.”

“The partnership between Hadley and Mace came about as a response to the Home and Communities Agency’s quest to find a new way of regenerating neighbourhoods with fresh, innovative thinking and creative investment.

“Acting as delivery partner for the client, and taking control of funding and risk aspects of the scheme, we are offering a full turn-key solution that can be replicated throughout the UK on all public land and any stalled public regeneration scheme.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This landmark regeneration scheme is a key part of my commitment to provide much-needed housing and jobs for Londoners by bringing forward public land for development.

“The East Greenwich project will see nearly 30% of homes built with families in mind and the construction of some fantastic new amenities that will help to create a thriving and vibrant community.

“I am delighted the scheme is now storming ahead and is another step closer to delivering what I have no doubt will be an exciting new place for Londoners to live, work and visit.”

Lanarkshire building schemes reach out for new jobs

Morgan Sindall is set to start work on the construction of six primary schools in South Lanarkshire, paving the way for new jobs and boosting the building industry.  

The firm is about to start the latest phase in the £150 million Primary School Modernisation Programme in the region that would provide employment opportunities in the trades. .

Work is set to start imminently on the new £4.8 million Carstairs Village Primary School campus on Avenue Road as well as the new £4.6 million Carstairs Junction Primary School on Coronation Street.

Both schools are due to complete in summer 2013 and have been designed to give children a top specification learning environment using sustainable green technology such as biomass boilers.

The other schools to be constructed by Morgan Sindall in the second tranche of Phase 2 of the building programme are Woodside Primary School, Newton Primary School, Machanhill Primary School and Forth Primary School.

South Lanarkshire Council appointed Morgan Sindall to its Primary School Modernisation Programme in 2007. The construction firm is working with two others in constructing 30 primary schools over a four year period; with an anticipated total spend of up to £150 million.

It is part of South Lanarkshire Council’s wider £812 million Schools Modernisation Programme which will rebuild all 129 of the area’s primary schools by 2016.

The framework provides a simple transparent process to manage and deliver primary school construction projects across South Lanarkshire.

Eddie Carr, area director for Morgan Sindall in Scotland, says: “We are delighted to be starting work on another portion of activity as part of the South Lanarkshire Primary School Modernisation Programme.

“Our appointment to the framework is a real reflection of our experience and expertise in the sector, which follows our work on 19 secondary schools for the same Council as part of their £320 million Schools Modernisation Programme which completed in 2009.”

Updates on the projects and programme for the schools can be found at the dedicated South Lanarkshire Council website.

Terrace Hill to build £30m Darlington leisure development

Developer Terrace Hill has signed an agreement with Darlington Borough Council to build a £30 million leisure centre that will boost the trades and create new jobs.       

The 140,000 sq ft leisure scheme in Feethams, Darlington, will be anchored by a nine screen multiplex cinema and include an 80-bedroom hotel, as well as a number of restaurants, bars and shops.

Terrace Hill has secured an agreement with VUE Entertainment to operate the cinema, and is in advanced discussions with Whitbread who want to operate the 80-bedroom Premier Inn hotel.

The property group has already received strong interest from a number of national restaurant and leisure chains. At present, the operators are not represented in the town, with the multi-million scheme providing an opportunity to bring their brand to Darlington and help the local economy.

Philip Leech, Chief Executive of Terrace Hill, said: “Having made the strategic decision to increase Terrace Hill’s focus on development, thereby better utilising our core expertise, we are very pleased to have been appointed by Darlington Borough Council to develop this important new scheme.

Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council said: “This is excellent news for the Borough. There has been a lot of detailed negotiation around this development and I believe that the Council has chosen the best scheme for the site.

“The news is clear evidence that Darlington can attract a first class development of this kind and that there is confidence in the business world in what the Borough has to offer. Once complete it will be a welcome addition to the already strong culture and leisure offer in the town centre.”

What is your reaction the latest announcement by developer Terrace Hill to build a £30 million leisure centre in Darlington? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

£25m Scottish repairs contract reaches out for new jobs

Scotland’s second largest housing association is set to grant a £25 million contract that will see the repairs of more than 10,200 households and create new trade jobs.

Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) has chosen housebuilder Lovell as preferred bidder to provide repairs service for thousands of households as well to refurbish void properties.

The new contract will run for five years with the option of a further two-year extension which is expected to boost the building construction industry.

Lovell will create jobs and training opportunities for local people as part of its commitment to deliver long-term community benefits.

The company has committed to employ apprentices throughout the contract with new apprentices to be taken on as existing apprentices finish their training.

Future improvements planned through the new contract, in line with tenants’ wishes, will include more flexible appointment times for repairs visits, including early morning and evening and Saturday morning appointments.

Simon Medler, managing director for the Lovell repairs and maintenance business, said: “Providing a high-quality repairs service which puts tenants’ needs first has been our priority since taking over the contract and it’s very rewarding to see the success of our approach recognised by our selection as preferred bidder to deliver the repairs service on a long-term basis.”

“We have worked very closely with DGHP and tenants to identify how the service could be improved and have then implemented the changes needed. That process is ongoing and we will build on our achievements through further improvements, ensuring that tenants continue to receive a truly excellent repairs service.”

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.

 

Bradford resource recovery centre will create new trade jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• 300 jobs during construction

• 80 permanent jobs during operations

• 80 apprenticeships

• 124 weeks of work experience for school children

• 1,500 weeks of work experience for unemployed people

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

• Contracts available for local recycling companies

• £30million in construction contracts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

£1bn University Olympic Park Set to Create New Jobs

University College London has been given the go-ahead to build a £1 billion campus next to the Olympic site in east London that would create 3,300 new jobs and boost the trades.

The decision means that Newham Council will now enter into detailed negotiations with the University regarding the proposed redevelopment of the Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood, a 23-acre site in Stratford set to create and sustain thousands of trade jobs.

UCL’s proposals for the site include academic and research facilities as well as new residential accommodation for students.

The decision by Newham Council enables UCL to start construction work on the Stratford site in 2016, paving the way for new jobs in the construction industry.

The £1 billion investment is forecast to lead to significant capital investment into the borough with new employment, and a permanent major boost to the local economy.
The proposed development would also provide world class architecture, public spaces and an academic gateway to the Olympic Park complementing the existing higher education offer in Newham.

This development would play a major part in delivering real improvements in the quality of life for Newham’s residents and opening up opportunities for future generations.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham said: “This important scheme will also inspire our youngsters to look at what prospects are available to them as well as creating fantastic long term economic benefits for residents and creating jobs and opportunities for years to come.”

John Burton, Director of Development at Westfield said: “We are delighted that UCL plans to establish its new university campus in Stratford. This announcement demonstrates that Stratford’s regeneration is accelerating – with over 10,000 new jobs already and many thousands more set to come with UCL Stratford and further development both in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Stratford town centre.

“We are seeing an astonishing transformation take place, and bringing one of the world’s top universities to Stratford will only strengthen its offer as one of the best connected and exciting development areas anywhere in Europe.”

More jobs due to South Cambridgeshire District Council go-ahead

Plans for 1,500 much-needed new homes, a primary school and shops at the new town of Northstowe have been given the green light by councillors.

The landmark decision to approve outline planning permission for the first phase of the exemplar new town – which will ultimately see 10,000 new homes built – means developers could begin work in 2013 to address shortages of homes in the area.

As well as new homes, a primary school, and shops, Gallagher’s plans for the first phase also include a sports hub, areas of open space, a local centre, employment opportunities and a site for a household recycling centre.

A further report will now be presented to the Northstowe Joint Development Control Committee early next year with details of how construction of the town would put “quality first” while making sure it is still financially viable to go ahead.

The approval by councillors follows a public consultation in the summer and negotiations with developers, which now mean plans include a cycleway linking Northstowe and Bar Hill during phase one of the town. A network of cycleways and footpaths will also be built to give easy access for Northstowe residents to the Guided Busway and improvements to the Bar Hill junction of the A14 will be funded by the first phase.

The plans for the Bar Hill junction follow recent Government announcements committing £7.7 million to widen the A14 between Girton and Histon in 2014 as a short term measure to alleviate congestion and improve safety, in advance of a major upgrade to the road.

In a letter to Cllr Ray Manning, Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, last week, Housing Minister, Mark Prisk MP, confirmed he was “committed to work in partnership with local authorities and scheme promoters to accelerate delivery” as Northstowe was a “high priority” for the Government.

In the letter he also stated he supported both councils in their bid to deliver a high quality new town with exemplar standards and reiterated renewed commitment to a major upgrade to the A14 and the construction of Cambridge Science Park Railway Station.

“We are committed to working with you and other partners as a matter of urgency to develop a package of support that will help to accelerate delivery and remove barriers to the establishment of a high quality new town demonstrating exemplar standards,” said Mr Prisk.

He added: “I can also confirm that the Government fully recognises the important role that both the proposed A14 upgrade and the creation of a new Cambridge Science Park Station will play in the development of Northstowe. We remain committed to the timely delivery of these schemes.”

Detailed plans containing information on exactly where the homes, roads and facilities will be built on the site, as well as how landscaping and drainage will be features of the development, will now begin to be developed. These are expected to be submitted on a regular basis throughout the next 12 months and council bosses have committed to consult with communities, and a parish forum set up for the town, every step of the way.

Cllr Tim Wotherspoon, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for Northstowe, said:

“The decision today is a huge landmark for Northstowe as the town has been talked about for more than ten years. We are now at the stage of turning a vision into a reality and will begin to look at the fine detail to make sure the town is of the highest quality possible. There is an acute need for new homes in South Cambridgeshire – especially those that are affordable – to support the jobs being created, but we will continue to put residents and quality first to make sure the right facilities are there from day one. Clearly transport is always a concern with any new development and I am very pleased the Government has reaffirmed their commitment to tackling the major upgrade need on the A14 quickly so future phases of the new town can go ahead.”

Cllr Ian Bates, Cambridgeshire County Council’s cabinet member for growth and planning, said:

“This is a really big step forward in building a future community at Northstowe. A lot of hard work has already been carried out with both Gallagher and the Homes and Communities Agency, but this will now continue to make sure the right facilities are in place for everyone. More transport facilities to complement the guided busway will be needed for when residents move in as these are vital to improving health, reducing congestion and boosting the local economy.”

£52.5m funding package means more trade jobs in Northampton

 

Listen to Philip Sugarman, our CEO, being interviewed on BBC Radio Northampton.

Click here to download and listen the interview

The award-winning St Andrew’s Healthcare, which is the UK’s largest mental health charity, has confirmed it now has the funding package in place to enable a further major investment in brand new facilities at its Northampton base.

St Andrew’s, the largest charity sector provider of NHS care, has agreed a £52.5m funding package with Lloyds TSB, to include funding the construction of a new 90-bed psychiatric hospital. The new facility will provide secure accommodation for a number of new services and will allow expansion of its existing national services.

Professor Philip Sugarman Chief Executive Officer at St Andrew’s said “In the last ten years we have completed a £200m programme of development and refurbishment across four sites, with our new units achieving high levels of occupancy. We have seen continuous growth and a recent sharp rise in market share.”

“We are now ready to plan the next phase of growth, with new facilities for service users placed with us by our NHS customers. These developments will strengthen our position as the UK’s leading provider of specialist secure care and as the country’s only independent national teaching hospital.”

Chief Finance Officer Nigel Alcock says: “Despite challenging financial forecasts for independent mental healthcare providers, St Andrew’s saw turnover increase by over 5% last year, to £169m.  As a charity it is essential that any financial agreements we enter into are right for our long-term commitment to care for as many people as possible.  We are in a very different position to some private companies, and that’s why we believe that the charitable model offers huge potential for the sector.

“This funding agreement will help St Andrew’s maintain the great results we have achieved by reinvesting in the future of mental healthcare over the last few years.  We are delighted to have finalised the deal with Lloyds, who have been fantastic to work with.”

David Hykin, Relationship Director at Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets said: “St Andrew’s Healthcare has delivered a strong track record of growth in recent years, demonstrating the strength of its balance sheet and its future potential. We are working closely with the management team to support the growth ambitions of the charity, which is a well-established and impressive enterprise in the healthcare sector.”

Train4TradeSkills News – Job Opportunites in Stockport

Stockport Council and Muse Developments have signed and sealed a Development Agreement, marking an important milestone in the development of a high-specification office quarter, next to the train station in the town centre.

The Council bought the site – known as Grand Central – last year to bring forward the office-led development, including hotel and improved car parking, as well as an attractive new gateway to the town centre. National development and regeneration specialist Muse Developments wasappointed by the Council as development partner to deliver the project.

Phase One consists of a new 1,000 space multi-story car park and a range of highway improvements, due to be completed at the beginning of 2014. The new car park will meet increasing demand for parking next to the railway station and encourage more people to take the train. A temporary parking solution for commuters will be provided during its construction.

Phase Two has been masterplanned to deliver the first commercial office building, new public space, a hotel and highway improvements by 2015.  Phase Three will include further office buildings, extension of the open space and further improved accessibility for pedestrians, and will be delivered on a phased basis up to 2020.

Councillor Iain Roberts, executive member for economic development and regeneration at Stockport Council, said: “The signing of the Development Agreement confirms both parties’ commitment to delivering a cutting-edge new office quarter and commuter destination for Stockport. It is a crucial part of our overall vision for the town centre – attracting jobs, investment and footfall. We’ve worked hard to make sure that it’s self-financing and at no extra cost to the Council-tax payer.”

Matt Crompton, joint managing director ofMuse Developments said: “Today marks an important milestone in the transformation of this key gateway to Stockport town centre. We can now look forward to working with our partners at the Council to build on Stockport’s commercial appeal to deliver this stunning new office quarter.”

Get a job with Kier

Kier Supplier Day– Sign Up

Construction workers from Merseyside and West Lancashire, are being invited to meet prospective client Kier Construction at a Constructionline ‘Meet the Buyer’ event on Wednesday 24th October 2012. Kier’s Construction division have secured the contract to deliver a joint Command and Control Centre for Mersey Fire and Rescue Services and Merseyside Police

Event Details

Date: 24th October 2012
Time: 8:30am and 1:30pm.
Venue: Merseyside Fire & Rescue Services HQ, Bridle Road, Bootle, L30 1NY

The event, being held at Mersey Fire & Rescue Services HQ, will see small and medium sized construction companies meet face to face with Kier Construction to discuss working on this project. Kier is looking to build a local supply chain of contractors.

Please note this work is being carried out as part of the North West Construction Hub and as part of Kier’s commitment to the Construction Hub payments terms to all subcontractors have been set at 35 days, to ease the cash flow pressures on SME’s.

The works are due for completion in early 2014 with an overall projected contract value of £6M and will cover the following:

  • > Groundworks
  • > Structural Steelwork
  • > Metal Decking
  • > Brick & Blockwork
  • > External Render
  • > Membrane Roofing
  • > Single Ply Roofing
  • > Curtain Walling
  • > Windows
  • > Roof & Wall Cladding
  • > Electrical & Mechanical related trades
  • > Fire Protection
  • > Metalwork
  • > Lifts
  • > Handrails & Balustrades.
  • > Raised Access Flooring
  • > Labour-only Joinery
  • > Bespoke Joinery
  • > WC Cubicles
  • > Partitions
  • > Ceramic Wall Tiling
  • > Flooring
  • > Suspended Ceilings
  • > Floor Finishings
  • > Vinyl and Carpets
  • > Glazed screens
  • > Movable Walls
  • > Kitchen/Catering Equipment
  • > Steel Doors
  • > Landscaping
  • > Final Clean
  • > Scaffolding
  • > Macadam
  • > Fencing
  • > White Lining
  • > Mastic Pointing
  • > Signage
  • > Painting & Decorating
  • > Demolition & Alterations

By attending our event, you will have the opportunity to Meet face to face with Kier Construction Key personnel and find out about our upcoming opportunity

For more details and registration

More construction jobs in Bath

The University of Bath has awarded a £16m contract to VINCI Construction UK for the design and construction of a new, five-storey teaching building.

The General Teaching Accommodation (GTA) will include a range of high quality learning facilities, including group lecture rooms, two 350-space lectures theatres, and social spaces.

Glass walls spanning three storeys will provide high levels of natural light into a five-storey high circulation space. A ‘skywalk’ bridge will also connect the building with the main campus parade.

Once completed, the 8,000m2 building will double the number of large scale lecture theatres on campus, allowing up to 2,000 students to use the building at any one time.

The contract is part of the University Masterplan which provides a framework for the development of the campus until 2026.

Martyn Whalley, University of Bath’s Director of Estates, said: “The Masterplan sets out how we plan to provide state of the art facilities and with the new GTA we will have a wonderful resource to match the high quality of our teaching and learning.”

Steve Vorres, Regional Director, VINCI Construction UK, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by the University of Bath to deliver the new GTA building which forms part of the University’s three year major capital works investment programme. This scheme will provide an exemplar teaching facility for the University’s staff and growing student population and we are extremely proud to be part of its construction and legacy. The GTA project award continues the region’s recent successes of working with University clients. These relationships form an essential part of our key account strategy and stand us in good stead for our future pipeline”.

Completion is due in September 2013 with an opening date set for the following October. The project aims to further enhance the reputation of the university, which already boasts a top ten ranking in The Guardian’s 2013 university guide.

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.

Europe approves £3bn funding for UK’s Green Investment Bank

EU regulators have approved the creation of the UK’s £3 billion Green Investment Bank which will pave the way for investments in the low carbon economy and create new jobs.

The European Commission found sufficient safeguards to avoid “crowding out of private investment” and ensure fair competition whilst the bank is offering funding to accelerate the development of the UK’s green economy.

The bank’s mission is to invest in innovative and environmentally friendly projects for which a market failure has been identified. It is set to help offshore wind, waste and non-domestic energy efficiency sectors.

The Commission said the Green Bank will be capitalised with £3 billion and will intervene by syndicating and underwriting junior, mezzanine and senior debt, by taking equity stakes or granting guarantees.

According to the Commission, the new initiative will allow green projects to materialise while minimising potential distortions of competition.

The bank is seen as a crucial element in funding the country’s transition to a low carbon economy and it began investing directly in projects earlier this year.

Green Investment Bank chairman Lord Smith said: “This is excellent news and a very important milestone as we transition to a low carbon economy and work to boost investment across the industry.

“We have already made significant progress in building our teams and the necessary infrastructure for the bank and we expect to be fully operational in the next few weeks.

“We clearly have challenges ahead but we have the people, the expertise and the capability to deliver on our priorities and create the foundation for a new climate of green investment.”

What is your reaction to the UK’s £3 billion Green Investment Bank that is set to boost the green economy? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

£1 billion campus expansion to boost the trades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Queens Park development to create new jobs

Plans to deliver a £17 million multi-use leisure centre for Queens Park residents in London have been given the go-ahead by Westminster City Council.

The scheme, which has cross value of £60 million, will see the building of 120 new homes developed by Regen on two sites within 0.6 miles of each other.

The new sport centre will be located on the existing Moberly site will be developed at no cost to the taxpayer. It will be funded by a private developer, Willmott Dixon, in exchange for building residential properties on both sites.

The Council is expected to benefit from uplift in sales values of the homes during construction which will create new jobs and boost the trades industry.

This type of land arrangement is set to become more widespread as councils look for innovative funding methods from private sector developers to unlock value and increase funds to build new facilities.

Westminster councillor and a deputy cabinet member for sport and the Olympics, Steve Summers, said: “Few councils are in the position of being able to build multi-million new sports facilities in the current financial climate.

“But together with Willmott Dixon, we look forward to working on proposals which will create a £17m sports centre for residents of Queen’s Park together with a smaller sports facility at the Jubilee site. This will all be done at absolutely no cost to the taxpayer, so represents incredible value for money.”

The new leisure facility will have a 25-metre swimming pool, eight court sports hall, health and fitness facility, exercise studios, a health spa plus boxing and gymnastics halls.

Andrew Telfer, CEO at Regen, said: “I am delighted to be working with Westminster City Council on this exciting and ground-breaking scheme.

“With both current leisure centres in need of modernisation, this solution provides a bigger, state-of-the-art property for the local community offering high quality sporting facilities for many generations to come along with much needed quality new homes.”

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.”

£1bn housing boost reaches out for new jobs

Yorkshire Building Society has announced plans to increase lending in social housing by £200 million each year which will boost the trades and create new jobs. 

The building society made the decision to increase lending to housing associations up and down the country for the next five years, paving the way for new employment opportunities in the construction sector.

The society, which won several mandates in 2012 including a £12 million deal to upgrade environmental and heating facilities for 1,800 properties on the Byker estate in Newcastle, has also  taken part in a £14.5m ‘Lending for Leasing’ facility for four new clients.

Head of social housing at Yorkshire Building Society, John Inglesfield, said: “We continue to see a stable and well-managed sector notwithstanding recent changes to the grant and benefit systems.

“As a mutual with the objective of helping our customers into homes, we feel comfortable with working with not for profit housing organisations which also aim to provide the housing people want and need.

“This increased allocation will provide the sector with access to lines of term credit to complement other sources of finance. We hope to work with new customers large and small in lot sizes from £5m to £50m.”

What is your reaction to the increase in social housing investment by the Yorkshire Building Society set to bring economic boost and help the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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

Hollywood film giant Paramount plans huge theme park in Swanscombe

A computer-generated image showing the proposed design for the site.
A computer-generated image showing the proposed design for the site.

HOLLYWOOD film giant Paramount has unveiled £2 billion proposals to build one of Europe’s largest theme parks in Swanscombe.

Planning to create 27,000 jobs, the 872-acre development planned for the Swanscombe Peninsula is bigger than the Olympic Park.

At the core of the development will be a Paramount-branded entertainment resort, boasting attractions including Europe’s largest indoor water park.

Theatres, live music venues, cinemas, restaurants and hotels are also planned to open in just six years time on the currently derelict brownfield site.

Top-secret talks have been held almost daily between developer London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) and Dartford and Gravesham Councils during the past year.

Gravesham Council leader Councillor John Burden said: “This scheme is as imaginative as it is vast.

“It has the potential to re-energise the entire north Kent economy, wipe out unemployment at a stroke and resolve the long-standing regeneration issues surrounding this peninsula.

“It’s a landmark announcement which could transform the area at super-heroic speed.”

A new country park, the biggest performing arts centre in Europe and apartments for the site’s employees are also in the pipeline.

The developer says a study suggests the huge attraction will draw in thousands of tourists to the north Kent area annually, adding significantly to the economy.

LRCH project leader Tony Sefton said: “Our vision is to create a world class entertainment destination, the first of its kind in the UK.

“We’re at the start of a long journey, but have been encouraged by the support and buy-in we have had to date.

“We are particularly pleased with the appetite we are seeing from investors, who consider this a compelling investment proposition.”

Ebbsfleet International station is at the core of access plans for the site, while the M25, M20 and A20 will provide road access.

Source This Is London

£70m Black Country Housing Scheme Reaches Out for New Jobs

Plans to build hundreds of new homes in Sandwell are closer to breaking ground after three housing developers have been named to deliver the scheme.

Sandwell Council has selected Kier Partnership Homes, Barratt Homes and Compendium Living to build homes in West Bromwich, Smethwick and Wednesbury.

The scheme, partly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, will see the building of 768 new homes by 2015. The developments will include family homes, bungalows for older people as well as properties for private sale and for social rent.

Businesses and jobseekers are set to benefit from the scheme which is expected to generate more than £70 million worth of construction work and create hundreds of new jobs with local employers.

The three developers have signed construction pledges to work with local suppliers and the council’s Think Local and ‘Find It In Sandwell’ initiatives which will boost employment and help people in the trades.

Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for housing, said: “We’re pleased to announce partners who will help turn our vision for the future of housing in Sandwell into reality.

“We’ll be providing residents with an excellent range of affordable homes for local people to buy, part-own and rent and consult with local people about the new homes we plan to build.”

Assad Hamed, area manager for the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “We know through working closely with Sandwell Council that increasing the supply of affordable homes in the borough is a big priority and we are pleased our investment is supporting this.

“Getting all three schemes up and running will be a major boost for local communities in Sandwell as they will see lots of activity happening across the borough and will benefit from the impact of local jobs and economic growth.”

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.”

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.

Ed Balls Goes For New Affordable Homes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

London Mayor Unveils £100m Housing Boost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

£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.

Go Ahead for Building £58m Kensington Academy

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

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

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

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

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

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

£200m housing development reaches out for new jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

Liverpool accommodation scheme reaches out for new jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK cities get Green Deal funding boost

Today, seven cities across England are set to receive a share of the £12 million fund which will kick-start the Green Deal and boost the trades.

Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield are the cities which have put proposals to lower their carbon emissions.

The Green Deal is a Government-backed scheme which offers loans to people to help make their homes more energy efficient.

The money will enable professional builders and trade firms to try certain elements of the scheme including assessment and installation of energy efficient measures.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “These cities have really ambitious plans to lower their emissions, reduce energy use and help people save money on their bills.

“This funding will help them get up and running and I look forward to seeing a number of properties across whole communities get the energy efficient improvements they need.”

Earlier in the year, the Government announced that cities would be given greater freedoms, powers and tools to help them go for growth.

The new funding will test elements of the Green Deal framework and provide early feedback for the scheme’s future implementation.

It is expected to deliver around 2,500 retrofits to households and non-domestic properties across the seven major cities, providing support to local supply chains and registered installers.

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.”

Government to offer bigger benefits to the wind farm industry

Communities that host onshore wind farms could benefit from reduced electricity bills and investment in local infrastructure, Energy Secretary Edward Davey said today.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has launched a consultation into how communities could benefit from having wind farms near them which could boost the green industry and create new jobs.

The community benefits consultation will seek new information on how wind farms could deliver wider environmental and social benefits to communities.

It is aimed at encouraging participation by local businesses in the economic supply chain for wind projects as well as providing new employment opportunities for the renewable industry.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “This new call for evidence will look at ways to reward host communities and ensure that wider investment, employment and social benefits are felt locally.

“We must also ensure that our policies are based on the best available evidence, so that consumers are not over-subsidising any one technology. That’s why we are seeking new evidence on the cost of onshore wind.”

Energy Minister John Hayes said that the new consultation is evidence that both parties in the Coalition are alive to the need for fresh thinking about the green economy.

Mr Hayes said: “Appropriately sited onshore wind has a role to play, but if we’re to make this work in a way that garners popular support, we’ve got to see a big improvement in how developers engage with local communities, new ways of ensuring a sense of local ownership and more obvious local economic benefits.”

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