Posts tagged UK economy
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.
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.”
“Development to generate plenty of employment opportunities for people in the trades”
A council has given the go ahead for a £430 million housing regeneration scheme to build 1,600 new homes and refurbish a further 1,200 existing homes, creating hundreds of new jobs in the trades.
After a 4-year consultation period with the local community in Pendleton, the multi-million scheme is going to be delivered by SP+ consortium, which includes Chevin Housing Association, Keepmoat, Harewood Homes and Latham Architects, creating opportunities for local suppliers and trade professionals to benefit from work contracts.
The housing improvement scheme will create 500 new jobs in the building construction sector, many of them in the plumbing, electrical and gas-engineering industry. The huge project is set to create 2,000 work experience placements for apprentices and people looking to enter the trades.
As well as housing, the scheme will also provide new sports pitches, green space, walk ways, cycle paths, an extra care facility, new shopping promenade and new sports pitches at the Fit City development.
Councillor Gena Merrett, Assistant Mayor for Housing and Environment at Salford City Council, said: “Now that we have approved plans the contractors will be able to get on site and start creating a new Pendleton.
“The plans put forward by the preferred bidder not only build new housing, they will also make the most of what is already there, refurbishing some of the existing properties and creating parks and green space that will create a much nicer environment for local residents to enjoy.”- said Councillor Merrett.
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A £65 million deal for student accommodation at the University of Essex is going ahead, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction industry.
Today’s announcement gets the ball rolling for selected building and design contractor Bouygues UK to build over a thousand student-bed accommodation complex.
Construction work has already started on the site adjoining Boundary Road which forms part of the University’s major Knowledge Gateway development.
The three-year scheme includes the construction of 648 new student units and the transfer of 766 existing ones, for which the Bouygues Development will provide the university a capital receipt.
The new build part of the scheme – known as The Meadows – has been designed by Lewis & Hickey architects and comprises 12-bed town houses accommodating 228 students and a further 420 en-suite study bedrooms.
An eye-catching pavilion that will house a student common room, known as ’The Hub’, will be built along the clusters of the study bedrooms.
Director of University of Essex Campus Services, Peter Church, said: “Demand for good quality campus residences remains high and The Meadows will add to student choice, with the town houses ideal for groups who wish to share accommodation.”
Mr Church commented that the combination of Bouygues Development’s extensive building and project management experience will complement and enhance the sense of community for students and local residents
One of the UK’ top sports colleges is about to get a £19 million facelift which is expected to create hundreds of new trade jobs.
Morgan Sindall has been given the go ahead for projects in Hull aspart of the city’s £400 million Schools Future Programme. Part of this will renovate St Mary’s College and will construct a 70, 000 sq. ft. teaching block.
North East construction managing director, Gordon Ray, said: “Construction work of this size and calibre has a huge impact on the economy of the city.
“We always look to support the communities and we hope to bring in a number of jobs to the region including for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.”
The new campus building will also include a new professional-standard 300-seat theatre with a ‘fly’ tower, allowing stage scenery to be raised and lowered during performances, which is one of the first to be installed in a school in the UK.
Mr Ray said that the company will aim to work with 50 building subcontractors from the area and also recruit apprentices throughout the lifetime of the project.
Due to the large amount of glazing and south facing frontage in its design, the new building will use thermal modelling and solar controlled glazing to ensure a steady internal temperature.
The main building will house 12 humanities classrooms, six sixth form classrooms, 14 science laboratories, 7,500 sq. ft. design and art space, a food technology classroom and two ICT suites.
As a specialist sports college, St Mary’s will build a new 11,800 sq. ft. three court sports block with three sports science classrooms, an all-weather pitch and multi-use games area.
What is your reaction to the £19 million building scheme in Hull’s Mary College that will provide employment opportunities for trade professionals? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
Building work on Manchester City’s new £100 million training academy has been given the green light by the government, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction industry.
After clearing objections by previous landlords who refused to sell their plots to the football club, now the Secretary of State has granted a compulsory purchase order, allowing building work to start.
The scheme, which involves building a 7, 000 seat-stadium and 15 small pitches will create new jobs and help the local economy.
Eddie Smith, Chief Executive of urban regeneration company New East Manchester, told the BBC that this development will benefit the people in Manchester and create new jobs
Mr Smith said “Manchester City Football Club’s plans in east Manchester are a hugely important ingredient of the ongoing regeneration of the area, which will see not only world-class leisure and educational facilities for the community, but also jobs for local people.
“We worked with the club to help relocate existing business and sustain existing jobs and are pleased that the Secretary of State has reached a decision in the public interest which will enable this ambitious scheme to move forwards.”
BAM Construction has won the main contract after holding off competition with other firms.
Plans at the site on land next to the Etihad stadium include:
- A home for up to 400 young players who will train and study alongside senior players, with a clear development pathway to the first team
- One half size and 11 full size youth development pitches
- One half size and 4 full size first team pitches
- On site sleeping accommodation and classroom facility for 40 young players to allow them to train and study in a safe and secure environment
- A carefully planned first team building with changing rooms, gym, refectory and injury and rehab centre
- A 7,000 capacity stadium for youth matches
- Staff offices and a dedicated media centre
- A bridge linking the site to the Etihad Stadium and the rest of the Etihad Campus
“The new redevelopment is to bring employment opportunities for trade professionals”
A multimillion redevelopment scheme at the University of Hull’s historic library has been given the green light with the appointment of its main contractor that will refurbish the 16,000 square-metre building and provide new employment opportunities for people in the trades.
Today’s appointment of BAM Construction will provide the eight-storey library with new facades, mechanical and engineering services.
Building work is set to start this month, with the main scheme getting underway in November 2012. The project will continue for 3 years and is expected to be completed by 2014.
The project is expected to meet the world’s leading environmental and rating system for buildings, BREEAM.
BAM said in a statement today that it will hold suppliers days to attract local labour and provide employment opportunities for trade professionals, including plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.
BAM’s Construction Director, Kelvin Pollard, said that the company is delighted to bring such impressive library to the forefront of modern design and technology which will encourage economic growth and create new jobs.
Mr Pollard said: “This major project will benefit the local economy and will ensure the library remains operational throughout. When complete, students will benefit from lighter, airier spaces that are more conducive to study and better equipped for modern learning.”
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The University of Bath has announced plans to spend £100 million on improving its campus over the next three years that will enhance student experience and create new jobs in the building trades.
The University’s major refurbishment programme announced today will provide 708 en-suite bedrooms in 75 flats across two buildings and deliver increased space for teaching and research improved facilities, creating employment opportunities for people in the building engineering sector.
A new multimillion Art Centre will be built by the autumn of 2014 including general teaching building facilities with a main 350-seat lecture theatre which is due to open in October 2013
Building plans have been submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council which is expected to reach a decision and give the green light to the improvement scheme by October 2012.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell, said: “Despite continuing economic uncertainty and the changing tuition fee landscape, the University of Bath is facing the future with great confidence.
“Our aim is to further enhance the university’s ability to deliver an outstanding student experience; creating additional facilities for research, and an inspiring working environment, as well as providing cultural and economic benefits for the wider Bath region.”
Changes to subsidies for renewable electricity in Britain could accelerate up to £25 billion of new investment and create thousands of new jobs according to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey.
Bandings for renewable technologies were set last week under the Government’s Renewables Obligation which will support and create new green jobs whilst at the same time minimise energy cost to consumers.
Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, welcomed the decision which will ensure rapid growth in the renewable energy and unlock further green investment.
Mr Davey said: “Renewable energy will create a multi-billion pound boom for the British economy, driving growth and supporting jobs across the country.
“Because value for money is vital, we will bring forward more renewable electricity while reducing the impact on consumer bills between 2013 and 2015, saving £6 off household energy bills next year and £5 the year after.”
The Banding Review (as set out by the DECC) includes:
- Support for onshore wind from 2013-17 will be reduced by 10% to 0.9ROCs, as consulted on in autumn 2011. This level is guaranteed until at least 2014 but could change after then if there is a significant change in generation costs. A call for evidence on onshore wind industry costs will be launched this autumn and report in early 2013.
- Rates of support for offshore wind will reduce as the cost of the technology comes down during the decade;
- Support levels for certain marine energy technologies will more than double from 2ROCs to 5ROCs per MWh, subject to a 30MW limit per generating station;
- There will be a new band to support existing coal plant converting to sustainable biomass fuels. This will increase the amount of renewable energy produced at less cost to consumers; and
- There will be no immediate reduction in support for large-scale solar, but there will be a further consultation this year on reduced support levels given recent dramatic falls in costs.
Global renewable energy developer, Element Power, has sign a deal with the National Grid UK to provide 3,000 megawatts of electricity to Ireland, creating 10, 000 jobs during project’s development and construction phase.
Electricity is expected to be transmitted through two subsea cables connecting wind power generated in the Midlands of Ireland to consumers in the UK.
The deal which is part of a series of projects exporting wind power could save UK consumers £7 billion over the project’s lifetime compared to sourcing the same energy from sea-based offshore wind farms.
Element Power said that the project would also result in the creation of an estimated 3,000 long-term operational and manufacturing jobs in the UK and Ireland.
Chief Executive Officer at Element Power Ireland, Tim Cowhig believes the project will bring substantial benefits to the economy and pave the way for more jobs in the building engineering industry.
Mr Cowhig said: “Greenwire is a particularly timely project which will enable the economy to harness our renewable energy resources to our economic advantage.
“Greenwire is the enabling project that will allow this to happen boosting our national trade and generating considerable employment and benefit to the Midlands region.”
The growing popularity of wind farms has seen an enormous boost for the renewable energy sector, creating more employment opportunities for engineers and trades professionals. It has been reported that the number of people working in this sector has grown significantly in the last two years.
Increased demand from first-time buyers coupled with the government’s increased investment in the housing market are driving new private housebuilding projects to grow by 40 per cent in the second quarter of 2012, resulting in more employment opportunities for people in the trades.
New data published by construction industry analyst Glenigan has revealed significant year-on-year growth in the underlying value of new private housing project starts in the first two quarters of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011.
Glenigan forecasts indicate that the underlying value of project starts will increase by 29% over 2012 providing further employment opportunities for builders and trade professionals, including electricians, plumbers and gas engineers.
Glenigan said the findings are giving a strong indication that confidence is returning to the private housebuilding market, paving the way for more jobs in the building construction industry.
Economics Director at Glenigan, Allan Wilén, said that despite weak economic conditions and a fragile banking sector, housing developers have seen an increased demand from first-time buyers and the government’s incentive schemes which have helped them to make a swift economic recovery.
Commenting on the sector’s future performance Mr Wilén said:“While the threat of an increase in interest rates and the end of the stamp duty holiday have stymied the market to a certain extent, we expect the sector to continue to grow through 2012 and 2013 as the wider economy begins to recover once more.”
The figures from Glenigan, compiled through comprehensive data collation and exhaustive research, reveal that London and the South East continue to dominate the market having accounted for almost a third of the value of all new private housing schemes starting on site in the first half of 2012.
Do you welcome the figures by an industry expert Glenigan indicating significant house-building activity in the second quarter of 2012? Let us know what the implications might be for you or your business by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
Around 7 000 gas engineers, qualified electricians and plumbing professionals could benefit from the £22 billion investment plan announced by Britain’s energy regulator.
Ofgem (the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) has unveiled an ambitious plan to upgrade country’s gas and high voltage electricity networks, ensuring they remain among the most reliable and secure in the world.
Major projects such as new sub-sea electricity cables, linking England, Wales and Scotland, will be also funded as part of the package to renew Britain’s energy networks, currently operated by the National Grid.
The announcement was revealed within minutes after the government’s confirmation for a £9 billion boost investment programme to improve the nation’s railways. Both announcements today represent a total investment of £31 billion which will provide significant employment opportunities for trade qualified professionals.
Ofgem has estimated that £7 billion from the announced investment would help improve low pressure gas networks which deliver gas to homes and businesses across Britain.
In addition, these proposals are expected to enable gas distribution companies to connect around 80, 000 fuel poor households to the gas network.
Ofgem Chairman, Lord Mogg said: “Britain faces an unprecedented need to invest to replace ageing infrastructure, meet environmental targets and deliver secure supplies.
“This needs to be carried out at a time of global financial uncertainty, which makes attracting investment difficult but possible.”
What is your reaction on the £22 billion investment which will upgrade Britain’s energy networks and pave the way for more employment opportunities for gas/electrical engineers? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
Building, Engineering and Construction work of the Olympic Park for London 2012 has raised the public profile of the industry, helping millions of people in Britain to appreciate the importance of civil engineering to society, a survey by a leading engineering body revealed today.
A new survey published by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) showed that over half of the public (53%) no longer just think about bridges when they think of civil engineering in the light of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Nearly half of the 2, 000 people who took part in the ComRes survey said they would consider civil engineering to be a ‘respected’ profession, alongside jobs such as lawyers and teachers.
More than 46,000 jobs have been created as a result of the London 2012 construction project. Post-Olympic work, taking place just after the closing ceremony next month, is expected to create thousands of extra new jobs.
The successful delivery of the £7-billion worth Olympic infrastructure has raised the public profile of civil engineers and people working in the trades.
45% of the people who participated in the survey say they would consider civil engineering to be a ‘respected’ profession, alongside jobs such as lawyers and teachers. Over a third (38%) of the participants said they would encourage their children to pursue a career in civil engineering.
ICE President Richard Coackley said: “Our day-to-day lives depend on the infrastructure around us that is designed, built and maintained by civil engineers – from roads, railways and bridges to energy, water and waste networks.
“It forms the backbone of society and the economy. But unfortunately it is often only when things go wrong that the work of civil engineers is thrust into the media spotlight.
“The London 2012 Games have changed this – showcasing and celebrating the work of these often ‘unsung heroes’ while at the same time helping the public understand more about what civil engineers do and what a diverse and exciting career it is.
“If anything could excite and inspire young people to pursue civil engineering as a career it’s the Olympic and Paralympic Games – a true feat of engineering in every sense.”
What’s your reaction to the survey by the ICE indicating a bright future for civil engineers and people in the building construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has urged the government to boost economic growth by giving a greater emphasis on infrastructure projects in the UK.
In a new report published today, the CBI has recommended to the Treasury to enhance the credit rating of government construction schemes and raise public funds that will secure private business investment, unlocking billions of pounds to the UK economy.
According to the CBI Director-General, John Cridland, infrastructure investment will offer the UK a sustainable growth development that businesses need.
Mr Cridland said: “As this report makes clear, if we want to see the billions of pounds needed to upgrade our ageing infrastructure and secure jobs and growth for the long-term, the Government must make smarter use of limited public finances. By underpinning and lifting the credit rating of certain infrastructure assets, it can make them less risky and more attractive to investors.
The CBI says that harnessing just a 1 per cent increase from the UK’s pension fund will give a ‘vital boost’ to the UK’s underfunded infrastructure networks and make them more attractive to investors.
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The UK’s Green Business Building Council (UK-GBC) has urged the government to show renewed leadership on green issues which will create more jobs and encourage economic growth.
Appropriate government intervention in energy schemes, more incentives for the development of green infrastructure and strong support for businesses across Britain should be the key priorities for the government to get Britain’s economy back on track, according to the Chief Executive of UK-GBC, Paul King.
The CEO thinks that despite the current economic difficulties in the construction industry, the government could do more to help economic recovery by making sustainable investment into the green economy.
He said: “The construction sector is suffering at the moment but it could play a key role in getting the UK’s economy back on track – with energy efficiency and green infrastructure central to economic recovery. Unfortunately, deregulation is not a miracle cure – in fact we probably need greater intervention from Government – for example bringing in incentives like reduced Stamp Duty to encourage households to take up the Green Deal, and helping the commercial sector cut energy use.”
Responding to the Queen’s Speech to Parliament, Mr King said: “We really need to see the Energy Bill announced today provide a vehicle for the long-awaited roll-out of Display Energy Certificates, which would help UK businesses save money.”
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The Renewable Energy Association (REA) published a report today showing that meeting the UK’s renewable energy targets by the end of 2020 could create 400,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector.
The report ‘Renewable Energy: Made in Britain’, looks at employment figures for the entire UK’s renewable sector. It has estimated that the renewable industry was worth £12.5 billion in 2010/11 and supported 110,000 jobs. The new report suggests that employment across the renewable sector would rise significantly, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs by the end of this decade.
Launching the report, REA’s Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell welcomed the findings of the report by saying that it is vital for the UK to keep on track with its commitments to meet the renewable energy targets by the end of 2020 as well as encourage economic growth and create more green jobs.
Ms Hartnell said: “Harnessing our renewables creates employment and means that rather than spending money on energy imports we can keep it circulating in the UK economy. Government needs to take steps to build the skills base and keep the UK on track to meet its renewables targets. When it comes to the employment, economic and energy challenges we face, the answer is clear – make it renewable and make it in Britain.”
Gregory Barker, Minister of State for Climate Change, said: “Renewable energy not only provides us with clean and secure energy that cuts our reliance on imported fossil fuels – it generates billions of pounds of investment and potentially hundreds and thousands of jobs and is a key growth sector for the UK economy.”
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Although the building construction sector remains one of the most stable industries in the UK, the CBI thinks greater investment is needed for infrastructure projects to encourage continual growth and business confidence.
The CBI has proposed a number of measures for the government as an opportunity to provide real boost for private sector investments in infrastructure schemes and give more support to small and medium businesses.
General Director at CBI, John Cridland, explained that the government should use Chancellor’s budget statement next month to deliver significant financial stimulus to make mortgages more affordable to the housing market.
Mr Cridland thinks future growth through reforms of the UK’s tax system is essential for businesses to invest in Britain. He is calling on the government to make some changes into the current system which will create new opportunities for growth.
Mr Cridland highlighted the significance of infrastructure investment as one of the most important priorities which the government needs to support in order to encourage industry’s growth and create permanent jobs.
He said: “Delivering private sector investment in infrastructure, supporting mid-sized businesses, hammering out the details on credit easing, extending the Youth Contract to 16 and 17-year-olds, and introducing the New Build Indemnity Scheme for mortgages at the earliest opportunity will all provide a real boost for UK growth and jobs.”
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