Category Archives: Infrastructure
The investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is intended to unlock the development of the long-awaited new community of Sherford, which is anticipated to bring 5,500 new homes and create 5,000 jobs.
The development is expected to generate around £1billion in development expenditure to the area and provide an economic boost worth around £2billion.
Subject to the agreement of legal terms, the investment would be used by a development consortium led by Red Tree to start work on the development and begin a series of important road and utilities improvements to accommodate the early phases of house building.
The funding, unveiled by housing minister Mark Prisk, is set to kick-start construction of houses and community facilities at the new town of Sherford.
The scheme will also include 893,000 sq ft of employment space as well as schools, a town hall, swimming hall and community park.
Colin Molton, HCA executive director for the South and South West, said: “The new community of Sherford is an incredibly important project, because it will go a long way towards meeting the significant need for new homes in Devon and Plymouth and provide a major boost for the economy.
“It is a complex development, which has taken years to bring to this stage. It is fantastic news that investment has been approved which will support the development of the sustainable new community of Sherford. I look forward to seeing work start on the project soon.”
Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans added: “For every home built, one and a half permanent jobs are created. This is not just good news for the construction industry, it’s good for the wider supply chains and the businesses and shops that will all begin to see new customers as this new community begins to take shape.”
Speaking at the conference, Mr Davey called on Scotland to remain in the UK to protect current high levels of renewable investment in the trades and safeguard additional employment opportunities for people in the trades.
Mr Davey said: “The UK offers a uniquely attractive, stable, transparent and supportive environment for investment in low carbon generation.
“Between now and 2020, the support we give to low carbon electricity will increase year-on-year to £7.6 billion – a tripling of the support for renewable energy.
“New research by my Department estimates that, since 2010, across the UK, over £29 billion of private sector investment in renewables has been announced supporting almost 30,000 jobs.
“Many of these jobs are highly-skilled and well-paid positions and employees can be proud to be a part of securing the UK’s energy supply.
“The commitment of the UK Government to a vision of a low carbon future is building up a bow wave of new jobs and investment in the economy.”
Renewables jobs and investment
New research shows that since 2010 more than £29 billion worth of investment has been announced in renewable energy with the potential to support around 30,000 jobs.
The figures produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that between January 2010 and April 2013 industry has announced:
- 18,613 jobs and £14.5 billion investment in England,
- 9,143 jobs and £13.1 billion investment in Scotland,
- 1,952 jobs and £1.4 billion investment in Wales,
- 239 jobs and £304 million investment in Northern Ireland.
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Morgan Sindall has begun work on a £3.3 million extension project at The Perse Upper School in Cambridge that will boost the building industry.
The new build development comprises the construction of a three-storey block with a number of associated external works that are due to complete in the summer of 2014.
The new building will significantly expand the school and provide new teaching and classroom facilities for staff and pupils.
Morgan Sindall will construct the building using a traditional concrete frame and a combination of pre-aged zinc cladding, glass curtain walling and render.
The building will be joined to an existing part of the school by an interconnecting covered foot-bridge built to the first floor.
As the project team is working on a busy school site, hoardings have been put into place to ensure that the building works are segregated and that there is minimal disruption to the children’s learning environment.
Ed Elliott, head teacher of The Perse Upper School, said: “We are all delighted to see construction underway. The building will house new classrooms and a large flexible area that can be used for assemblies, rehearsals, exams and meeting space.”
Bob Ensch, Morgan Sindall area director, said: “The new building will bring a wealth of benefits to both pupils and staff at The Perse Upper School and will provide an excellent learning environment for years to come.
“Morgan Sindall has a proven track record in successfully delivering projects on time and within budget and we understand the complexities that are involved when operating within existing educational environments.”
Work on site has begun and will complete following a 60-week programme of development.
The development at The Perse Upper School is the third major project Morgan Sindall has secured in the local area in recent years. The company completed the £9 million redevelopment of office space at Botanic House on Hills Road last year and is currently on site delivering a £1.7 million commercial development at 90 Hills Road.
Householders across Great Britain will be able to get even more cash for renewable heating kit, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced today.
The money off vouchers available under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme have been increased to £2,300 for ground source heat pumps, £2,000 for biomass boilers, £1,300 for air source heat pumps and £600 for solar thermal systems.
The RHPP scheme, first launched in July 2011, is designed to encourage householders to switch to renewable heat from traditional heating systems by offering money off the cost of the equipment. The scheme is targeted at those living off the gas grid, where most money on bills and carbon can be saved.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Over 10,000 householders have already taken advantage of money off renewable heating kit and we want to see even more consumers stepping up to the plate and getting on board.
“But I want to go even further. I want to kick start this exciting new market for consumer renewable heat technologies.
“This time limited, big increase in the value of vouchers for hardworking people who want to do something positive to install money saving green heating in their homes, should be a real boost for this growing green sector.”
The scheme was extended in March this year until the end of March 2014 ahead of the launch of a Renewable Heat Incentive for householders, with around £12 million up for grabs.
Alongside changes to the voucher values, householders will now be required to undertake a Green Deal assessment before submitting a claim to the Energy Saving Trust to redeem their voucher.
This will help householders think about how renewable heat could fit with energy efficiency improvements for their home and ensure they are advised on choosing the right technology for them.
The additional voucher values are intended to reflect the cost of a Green Deal assessment, as well as the cost of getting these technologies installed in homes. Householders can also use the Green Deal to pay for some of the cost through savings on their energy bill.
The increased voucher values and Green Deal assessment requirement will kick in for any applications submitted today onwards.
Willmott Dixon has announced to use its re-appointment as sole contractor on Scape’s major works framework to create jobs and boost opportunities for local companies over the next four years.
Willmott Dixon estimates that under the previous Scape framework, where it was the incumbent contractor, local authorities saved a minimum of 14p in every £1 they spent on projects procured through Scape.
The construction company is planning to increase that saving to 20p in every £1, while ensuring 60 per cent of project budgets are spent on companies within a 20 mile radius of each Scape site, and raising employment and skills targets by 1,400 per cent.
Mark Robinson, CEO of Scape said: “Scape’s frameworks are becoming increasingly sought after with the number of public bodies using Scape’s services doubling over the last two years. It is important that this new framework focuses more than ever before on supporting local people and local businesses in a tough economic climate.”
Scape’s frameworks are worth £3 billion and over the last decade Scape has delivered over 1,200 projects on time and in budget for 250 public sector clients.
Scape specialises in providing a range of national and regional procurement frameworks enabling the UK public sector to procure construction services quicker and more efficiently, without having to go through lengthy and costly OJEU processes each time.
Scape’s new major works framework, which Willmott Dixon won after a seven-month re-procurement process, is expected to generate £1.25bn of construction work over the next four years. It comes as public sector budget cuts and reduced spending on capital projects put the spotlight on contractors generating even more value and efficiency in their construction output.
The benefits to clients of using Scape, including the reduced procurement time it brings, was underlined by Willmott Dixon delivering all 157 projects under the previous framework on time and in budget.
A tunnel on the proposed route of Britain’s High Speed 2 rail network could be extended to enable plans for a major development next to East Midlands Airport to progress.
The initial preferred route would have seen the new rail line cross the site of the proposed SRFI, which has the potential to create 7,000 jobs in the region, and threaten the feasibility of the proposed development.
During discussions with MPs and local authorities on the proposed route for phase two of HS2 from Birmingham to Leeds, concerns were raised by Leicestershire County Council, and MP for North West Leicestershire, Andrew Bridgen, in conjunction with Roxhill Developments Limited, that the proposed line could affect plans for a strategic rail freight interchange depot (SRFI) next to the airport.
After listening to these concerns, the government has now developed a revised option involving extending the proposed tunnel under the East Midlands Airport, avoiding the majority of the proposed SRFI site.
The Department for Transport will consult on the route later in the year as part of its public consultation on phase two, and after that consultation, a decision will be made. In the meantime, the developer will progress its plans for the proposed depot.
Kate Bedson, Senior Development Director at Roxhill said: “Our proposals for a new SRFI with 6 million square feet of associated warehousing have the potential to create 7,000 jobs, providing a boost to the economy in the region.
“Since the announcement, through our MP and local authority, we have enjoyed an early and positive dialogue with DfT and HS2 Ltd and are very pleased with the decision to amend the proposed route. This now allows us to consult with the public and other bodies on our plans before submitting our application at the end of the year.”
The European Commission (EC) has adopted a new Action Plan for encouraging the use of green infrastructure, and for ensuring that the enhancement of natural processes becomes a systematic part of spatial planning.
It aims to show how the EU’s Atlantic Member States, their regions and the Commission can help create sustainable growth in coastal regions and drive forward the “blue economy”, which has the potential to provide 7 million jobs in Europe by 2020
Environment commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “Building green infrastructure is often a good investment for nature, for the economy and for jobs. We should provide solutions that work with nature instead of against it, where that makes economic and environmental sense.”
The Plan will contribute to the EU’s “Blue Growth” strategy (IP/12/955) and is consistent with the Commission’s focus on regional collaboration to encourage sustainable growth and create jobs.
The strategy will focus on:
- Promoting green infrastructure in the main policy areas, such as agriculture, forestry, nature, water, marine and fisheries, regional and cohesion policy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, transport, energy, disaster prevention and land use policies. By the end of 2013, the commission will develop guidance to show how green infrastructure can be integrated into the implementation of these policies from 2014 to 2020
- Improving research and data, strengthening the knowledge base and promoting innovative technologies that support green infrastructure
- Improving access to finance for green infrastructure projects – the commission will set up an EU financing facility by 2014, together with the European Investment Bank, to support green infrastructure projects
- Supporting EU-level green infrastructure projects – by the end of 2015, the commission will carry out a study to assess the opportunities for developing an EU-wide network of green infrastructure.
The Education Funding Agency (EFA) has announced that 46 schools will be rebuilt using private finance under the next steps of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) that will boost the trades and create jobs.
46 schools in 5 batches will be rebuilt under the government’s new approach to public private partnerships, known as PF2. These schools have a total funding requirement of approximately £700 million.
The funding is set to be raised using an innovative new ‘aggregator’ model. The ‘aggregator’ will be able to access both the bank debt and capital markets in order to secure the best deals for the taxpayer.
The Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading batch will be launched at a bidder’s day due to be held by the EFA on 28 May 2013. A notice inviting bids from firms interested in constructing and maintaining the schools will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union in June.
The other batches, to be released over the next 12 months, will see the creation of more jobs in the building engineering industry as well as benefit from the future investment fund.
The announcement underlines the government’s commitment to using public private partnerships to deliver investment in new public infrastructure and assets.
Ministers are also announcing the allocation of a further £300 million of capital funding in the current spending review period to enable an early start for 27 further schools in the programme. These schools will be procured in 4 batches.
The investment is part of the government’s commitment to give children the best possible start in life and to make sure schools are a place where children can fulfil their aspirations.
The remaining schools in the programme are intended to be delivered using capital funding, subject to the next spending review settlement. The timetable for the remaining schools in the programme will be announced after the settlement is made in June.
Peter Lauener, Chief Executive of the EFA, said: “I am delighted we can confirm the schools to be rebuilt through private finance. The government’s new approach to public private partnerships provides a great opportunity for industry to step up to the mark and I am looking forward to seeing innovative and cost-effective proposals.”
“These 5 privately-financed batches, plus the additional 4 capital-funded batches also announced today, will help us overhaul the schools with the greatest need, ensuring young people can learn in buildings that are up to scratch.”
Building work is set to start today on the Swansea University’s second campus that will create 4,000 construction jobs with a further 6,000 indirect posts supported in the wider economy.
The First Minister made the announcement whilst on site to mark the start of construction of the new campus which took place on Europe Day.
First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said: “I welcome the opportunity to be here on this significant day not only to mark the start of construction but also, crucially, to acknowledge the benefits to Wales of our relationship with Europe, including EU funding.
“This EU investment will help drive forward the development of the new Science and innovation Campus, creating a cornerstone for world-leading research and employment opportunities in the construction industry as work gets underway.”
The EMC will include state-of-the-art facilities to enable Swansea University to carry out research and development, particularly through collaborative projects with industry. It will support a range of collaborations with businesses in sectors such as advanced engineering, the digital economy and low carbon technologies.
Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, said: “I am delighted we have been able to invest EU funds to pioneer innovation and deliver state-of-the-art education facilities, benefiting Swansea and beyond.
“We have a key commitment through our Programme for Government to enhance research and innovation to help increase Wales’ global competitiveness, and create jobs and growth. The European Structural Funds programmes in Wales are helping us to achieve this goal, having already generated a total project investment of around £400 million in R&D and innovation alone.”
EMC will accommodate the University’s Civil and Computational Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Materials and Mechanical Engineering as well as Printing and Coating activities.
The Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, Professor Richard B. Davies, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded funding from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government for the Engineering Manufacturing Centre.
“The EMC will provide world-class research facilities and a resource for industry to access world-leading expertise to help improve manufacturing products and processes and develop new ones, thus contributing to the economic regeneration of the region.”
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.
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