Monthly Archives: January 2013

Wates announced as contractor for Midlands Priority Schools

Wates Construction UK

Wates Construction has been appointed by the Department for Education to deliver a £36 million contract in Coventry, paving the way for new trade jobs.

The contract, which is part of the Priority Schools Building Programme, will see Wates deliver building and refurbishment work across one secondary and four primary schools in Coventry.

The Educational Funding Agency (EFA) has launched the procurement exercise for a second batch of schools in the Midlands, paving the way for employment opportunities in the building construction sector.

Phil Harrison, Managing Director for Wates Construction, Midlands and North, commented: “We are delighted to have been named as the main contractor for the first batch of Priority Schools in the Midlands.

“This programme of works calls for a great deal of efficiency without a compromise on quality and our extensive expertise in producing innovative solutions in order to create outstanding education facilities places us as a trusted partner to the EFA.”

The Coventry batch is one of two in the first round of the £2.4 billion capitally funded Priority School Building Programme – the second of which covers the North East and Yorkshire.

Wates is going to work closely with the Education Funding Agency and the schools to develop the designs for the new facilities ahead of the start of building works.

 

£600m Scottish South-West hub deal will boost the trades

Scottish Future TrustThe South-West of Scotland is set to receive more than £600 million infrastructure investment over the next ten year that will create new trade jobs.

Creation of the South-West hubCo has been welcomed by construction firms across the region as a boost for securing future work in the building sector.

The multi-million deal was struck by six local authorities, three health boards, emergency services and other public bodies that will help secure long-term local employment opportunities.

Bill Martin, programme director of the South-West hubCo programme board, explained: “The structure of this relationship means that it will bring real opportunities to local businesses as over 80% of the construction value will be competitively tendered to SMEs on the supply chain.

“We are delighted with the outcome of the agreement which will deliver innovation and better value-for-money on all our construction projects.”

Nick Parker, chief operating officer of Equitix and a Director for Alliance Community Partnerships, stated: “We are very much looking forward to building a successful and long-lasting partnership with all organisations involved in the South-West hubCo, delivering much-needed projects and investment in the local communities.”

“Importantly, the formation of the South-West hubCo will facilitate the creation of new employment and training opportunities for local companies in challenging economic times.”

The Scotland-wide hub initiative is led by the Scottish Futures Trust and reflects a national approach to deliver new community infrastructure valued at more than £1.5bn over the next 10 years.

It brings community planning partners including health boards, local authorities, blue-light services and other public bodies together with a private sector development partner to form a hubCo, to increase joint working and deliver best value.

Glasgow College announces preferred bidder for new super campus

McAlpine wins £228m Glasgow campusSir Robert McAlpine has been named as the preferred bidder to build a £228 million college in Glasgow, paving the way for new trade jobs and boosting the local economy.

The multi-million investment is financed with funding support from the Scottish Government via the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and from the college’s financial reserves.

The European Investment Bank has approved up to £100 million of financing which will kick-start building and construction work in the summer of 2013.

Julia Kennedy, associate director at Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) who has been supporting the college through the procurement process, said:  “Construction is planned to start later this year and will act as an enormous boost to local small and medium enterprises working within the building sector and related supply chains thanks to the preferred bidder’s commitment to supporting local employment and training.”

Douglas Baillie, Chair of the College Board said: “Selecting the preferred bidder is yet another major milestone in our continuing success.

“The announcement is proof of what we can achieve as a beacon of excellence and it is with great excitement and energy that we look ahead to the next chapter in the life of this great college.

“Enhancing our diverse and talented student learning community with brand new, bespoke facilities underlines our passion for learning and desire to meet the needs of Glasgow’s and Scotland’s employers and the wider civic community.”

Both campuses have been designed by Reiach and Hall and Michael Laird Architects. The College represents the single largest estates investment in the educational sector in Scotland and will help transform the city centre landscape for generations to come.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Relaxed planning rules will boost the trades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Norwich £11.5m Research Park development reaches out for new jobs

Morgan Sindall wins £11.5 million Norwich Research Park Centrum developmentMorgan Sindall has won a £11.5 million contract to construct the principal commercial research and development building at Norwich Research Park.

The project is due to complete in March 2014 and will see around 80 people from the local area working on site at the peak of construction.

The development is on track to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating of Excellent.

The four-storey building will provide 4,000 sq m of high quality facilities including laboratory and office space, a business centre and formal and informal meeting rooms.

The Centrum building will also include a restaurant and café, a breakout area and exhibition and circulation space. These social and formal spaces will provide a platform to enable the business community to interact with researchers on the Norwich Research Park.

Alan Giles, Project Director – Norwich Research Park, said “We are pleased to award Morgan Sindall this contract after a rigorous OJEU tender process. This is an important milestone in the development of the Research Park and the Centrum building will be the focal point for business and research to come together.

“Centrum will provide additional commercial laboratory and office accommodation for more established companies wishing to locate to Norwich Research Park. For companies already on the Park, it will provide them with the grow-on space in which to further expand their business.”

The development forms a key part of ‘Project 26′, which refers to the £26 million funding awarded through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in the 2011 Government Budget. The funding has been awarded to Norwich Research Park to improve the Park’s IT infrastructure, road network and provide new flagship buildings.

The Centrum development will be located centrally on the Norwich Research Park adjacent to the existing Recreation Centre and Conference Centre on the John Innes Centre site. It will provide a hub for the local science and business community, and will also facilitate collaboration amongst the Research Park’s occupants.

£200 million extra investment for housing in Scotland

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

With over 30 rep cent additional housing investment this year, compared to the 2011 Spending Review, the building construction sector is set to benefit from the recent funding which could create new jobs and boost the trades.

Decisions on the allocation of another £50 million investment package for the housing industry are expected to be announced later this month.

Speaking ahead of a debate on the Scottish Government’s Budget Bill, Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government has been absolutely clear that we aim to deliver at least 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this parliament and this funding will help ensure this commitment will be met.

“Despite Westminster cuts to our capital budgets the Scottish Government is delivering just as much new social housing – and more new affordable housing – as in the period up to 2007 when budgets were rising every year.

“The extra £50 million is our fourth tranche of extra housing spending announced over the last year, and is in addition to announcements made in February, June and September.

“The overall increase totals almost £200 million over the spending review period – demonstrating that where we have an opportunity to invest, this Government does exactly that.

“Housing is just one element of the Budget Bill which will be debated in Parliament this week. Parliament will be debating a Budget for Scotland’s economy. This Government is doing everything within its limited power to protect households, business and front line services, and this Budget provides further investment in construction, skills and the green economy.

“We are investing money to create and maintain jobs. Increased support for affordable homes will provide a much needed boost to the construction industry as well as improving the lives of the families who live in them.

“We are providing an immediate capital stimulus through support for shovel ready projects and we are helping businesses with a tax relief package worth over £540 million this year.

“This has to be seen against a 26 per cent real terms cut by the UK Coalition Government to Scotland’s capital budget in a failed attempt to reduce public sector borrowing.

“We have listened to the Scottish Parliament by bringing forward further investment in housing and we will continue to work with all parties to deliver a budget for growth.

“Only with the full levers of independence can Scotland properly capture economic opportunity and tackle inequality and poverty and we can do so more efficiently and effectively than currently happens in the UK.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go-ahead for new council houses in Linton

South Cambridshire District CouncilPlans for the first new properties in South Cambridgeshire’s biggest building programme have been approved, paving the way for new jobs and boosting the trades.

The four one-bed semi-detached houses on Chalklands in Linton have been given the go-ahead by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Committee, and will replace an existing block of ten under-utilised garages owned by the Council.

Work is set to start onsite later this year and is due to be completed in 2014.

Up to 1,000 new council-owned and affordable properties are planned in the district over the next 30 years after a change in government housing funding policy.

Cllr Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “I’m delighted that approval has been granted to build these much-needed homes, marking a great start to our plans to build hundreds of new homes in the district.

“For the first time in years we have the option to invest heavily in new council houses, and we’re committed to listening to local people and parish councils to put them where they’re most needed.”

The latest phase of another Cambridgeshire’s drive to build almost 25, 000 new homes and create thousands of construction jobs has last week gone on display for public consultation.

A new town at Northstowe recently had its first phase approved. The scheme may eventually see thousands of new homes built, making it one of the biggest new towns in Britain since Milton Keynes.

Elephant & Castle regeneration to create 6,000 new jobs

Planning permission granted for Elephant & Castle masterplanSouthwark Council has given the go-ahead for a transformed Elephant & Castle, representing significant milestone in the regeneration of Central London that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Lend Lease, the integrated property and Infrastructure Company, will work with the Council to deliver a masterplan that will see the creation of one of the largest new housing developments in London.

By 2025, the scheme is expected to deliver 2,500 new homes, shops, restaurants and community facilities, paving the way for over 6,000 new jobs in the construction industry.

Mark Dickinson, Managing Director of Lend Lease’s Development business in EMEA, said: “The £1.5bn regeneration of Elephant & Castle is now underway.

“The approval of our masterplan vision sets in motion our long-term plans and our commitment to the area. We’ve set out our blueprint for the future but there is a lot of detailed work to undertake and we’ll continue working with the community at every step.

“At the heart of everything we do is the desire to create a sustainable place to live. A truly sustainable environment needs to bring economic benefits, support business growth and local job creation.”

The  new neighbourhood will be a low carbon energy development and the masterplan is currently one of just 18 global projects to be accepted as part of the Clinton Climate Positive Development Programme, designed to showcase and support large-scale urban projects that are ‘climate positive’.

There will also be significant improvements and investment in public transport, along with new pedestrian and cycle paths that will create one of the best connected locations in London.

Chancellor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “We now have the opportunity, working with local people and our partners Lend Lease, to continue the transformation of the area as a place where people want to live, work, shop and relax.

“The regeneration of Elephant & Castle will take time, but this announcement, and the starting of work on a brand new leisure centre, are all crucial steps towards a greener, safer and more attractive place in central London that people will be proud to call their home.

“It is so exciting to see this vital project gain momentum so that people will finally begin to see those much needed improvements being made on the ground.”