Category Archives: Property maintenance busines

Highlands and Islands Enterprise awards property framework contract

Kier 1Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed Kier as one of four construction firms on its new prime contractor framework to deliver the majority of its building projects that will create new jobs.

In the agreement, which will last up to four years, Kier joins Galliford Try Construction, Mansell Construction Services, and Robertson Construction to work on projects estimated to be worth around £6 million per year.

HIE director of regional development, Carroll Buxton, commented: “We are delighted to have agreed a contract with these four highly skilled and respected companies, all of which have strong links to the area.

“This partnership framework approach provides flexibility for the businesses and healthy competition for us which will ensure best value for the public purse.”

From its offices in Aberdeen, Kier is currently working on a number of projects across the region and its appointment on the framework will further strengthen the relationship between Kier and the HIE, established through the delivery of projects via the Scape National Minor Works Framework, on which Kier is the sole contractor.

Kier Construction regional managing director, Brian McQuade, said: “The appointment to HIE’s framework will provide Kier with an excellent opportunity to continue its relationship with local communities delivering employment and training opportunities in various disciplines and professions in the construction industry.

“Kier looks forward to supporting HIE in its role as the economic and community development agency for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

“Our knowledge and relationship with the local supply chain combined with our national buying power will deliver best value construction solutions that will support community benefits and development throughout the highlands.”

HIE is now discussing a number of pipeline projects with the businesses and hopes to award the first projects under the framework later in 2013.

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Willmott Dixon confirmed for £46m Birmingham City campus

Willmott Dixon

The next phase of Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus is set to provide a £28 million boost to local businesses and create new jobs in the trades.

Willmott Dixon was today confirmed as a preferred contractor for the £46 million contract to build phase two of the University’s new campus in the city centre at Eastside, adjacent to Millennium Point in the heart of Birmingham.

The two-year project will also sustain 1,300 jobs and Willmott Dixon has committed to creating 46 new jobs for trainees, apprentices and people currently looking for employment.

With construction starting in June, the company expects £28 million of the build cost to go on sub-contractor packages delivered by firms located within a 20-mile radius of the project.

Phase two is part of the University’s £180 million investment in its estate and will feature a student support hub as well as a new library, teaching and IT space, plus other student-facing support faculties.

The Coleshill-based contractor also built phase one of the University’s masterplan, which features an integrated creative and media hub supported with pioneering technology. This project alone saw over £25 million of contracts spent on companies within a 20-mile radius of the site.

The phase one development has been named The Parkside Building, as it overlooks the newly opened Eastside City Park fronting the University’s flagship city centre campus. The Parkside Building will be open to students from this September.

Peter Owen, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the Midlands, said:  “As a local company we take seriously our responsibility to support growth and sustain jobs in Birmingham.

“Our recent investment in the 4Life Academy is an example of this commitment. Now we have been appointed for phase two of Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus and we’ll work with local companies to ensure they benefit from this huge investment.”

Wales Office Minister: “Green Deal great for consumers and business”

Wales Office Minister Green Deal great for consumers and businessWales Office Minister, Stephen Crabb, has visited the British Gas Training Academy in Tredegar to show his support for the Green Deal initiative that will create thousands of new jobs.

The Green Deal will give homes and businesses a new way of paying for energy efficient improvements, such as insulation and new heating systems.

The scheme is expected to support 60,000 jobs in the insulation sector by 2015, providing a real boost for the expanding market of energy efficiency products and the construction industry.

Mr Crabb said: “Thousands of homes across Britain are wasting energy and money because of poor energy efficiency, yet demand for measures to counter this remains low. The Green Deal gives people the opportunity to make this right.

“And today, we will see that it’s not just consumers that will benefit. The Green Deal is also great for business, creating a new market and new jobs.”

The Greendeal programme provides funding of up to £15,000 for each home which can be used to install one or more officially approved Greendeal measures.

These Greendeal measures have been proven to save energy and therefore help the environment as well as reduce the cost of energy bills.

Green Deal in numbers

  • £125 million is available in the Government funded Cashback Scheme
  • 8 million households could benefit from solid wall insulation
  • 4 million households could benefit from cavity insulation
  • 60,000 jobs are expected to be supported in the insulation sector alone by 2015 – up from 26,000 in 2011
  • £3.5 million of funding to training in key Green Deal skills
  • £270 a year could be saved if a typical three bedroom semi-detached house installed just solid wall insulation
  • 38% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from leaky buildings

What is your opinion about the Green Deal initiative that will create new jobs boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

Exciting £500m Reading scheme gets submitted

Exciting £500m Reading scheme gets submitted

Sackville Developments Reading Limited (SDRL) has submitted plans for the £500 million regeneration scheme of Reading’s town centre that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The regeneration of the Station Hill site in Reading is an employment-led mixed-use redevelopment which will include new homes, shops, cafés and leisure facilities.

SDRL represents a joint venture between Benson Elliot and Stanhope PLC. Between them, Stanhope PLC and Benson Elliot have the expertise and stable financial backing to deliver a first class redevelopment to Station Hill.

The application has been drawn up following extensive consultation with local residents and business owners as well as council representatives.

Jason Margrave, Development Director  of Stanhope said: “This application is the culmination of a considerable amount of consultation with Reading Borough Council as well as the promoters of the neighbouring Thames Tower.

“The designs we have submitted have been widely supported by the public and we believe they will considerably transform  this part of the town, building on the significant investment currently taking place at the station.

“Following consultation, we have included an enlarged public open space in the heart of the scheme, improved the retail offer and incorporated more public art.”

The public exhibition which took place in February last year attracted over 700 people, with over 95% of respondents supporting that the area is in need of regeneration.

The application is due to be decided by Reading Borough Council later in the year. If approved, work will look to commence in 2014.

Whilst redevelopment is taking place, it is the intention of the developers to create a temporary event space outside of Reading Station to be used for a variety of cultural and entertainment events.

What is your reaction to the multi-million residential scheme in Station Hill that will deliver new homes and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Government commits £1bn investment to build 10,000 new homes

Government reveals £1bn build-to-rent fund set to deliver 10,000 new homesHousing Minister Mark Prisk announced today that up to 10,000 new homes could be built by 2015 that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The minister announced the first 45 projects to be taken forward using the £1 billion Build to Rent Fund which will provide equity finance to house builders and developers.

Mr Prisk said that the innovative new projects, a quarter of which are for London, will be the first step toward creating a more balanced rental market, driven by quality instead of demand.

The Build to Rent Fund is designed to help developers invest in homes built specifically for private rent by reducing the up-front risk in a relatively untested market.

A first round of projects will now receive a share of £700 million government investment package, with a second round of bids for the remaining fund expected to open later this year.

Projects going forward in this round have the potential to deliver between 8,000 and 10,000 homes, and include:

  • Genesis Housing Association, with plans for new rental homes around London
  • Place First, along with Together Housing Group, who will be building across Northern England
  • Crest Nicholson, who intend to bring a significant number of homes to market over many sites across the country

Mr Prisk said that the varied mix of developers, from brand new organisations and small housing providers to long-established developers, will bring new blood into a market currently dominated by small-scale buy-to-let landlords, and will help to give tenants more choice when choosing a home in the future.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This government is determined to get Britain building, and the Build to Rent Fund is set to help us deliver, with up to 10,000 new homes to be built from these projects.

“We’ve seen overwhelming demand for the fund, and it’s become clear that there’s a real appetite for rental investment. We want to support that, which is why we’ve made a £1 billion Budget boost to the fund.

“Now, these new projects will help us map this almost uncharted market, bringing in new blood to improve rental quality and choice, and building the new homes that this country wants and needs.”

What is your reaction to the new £1bn build-to-rent fund that will deliver 10,000 new homes and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Costain Joint Ventures Win Two Crossrail Contracts

Costain Joint Ventures Win Two Crossrail ContractsCostain has been awarded a £300 million contract to design, fit-out and commission the railway systems in Crossrail’s tunnel network that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Under the contract, the engineering solutions provider will design and install track, overhead lines and mechanical and electrical equipment to fit out the 21km of twin tunnels currently being bored under the streets of London.

Design work will commence immediately, with the fit-out works starting in 2014, and will be carried out within the entire tunnelled and surface sections of the Crossrail route between Royal Oak, Pudding Mill Lane and Plumstead Portals.

Costain has also announced that in Joint Venture with Alstom it has been awarded the £15 million contract for the design, construction and commissioning of the system that will provide traction power for the trains in the central tunnelled section of the Crossrail scheme.

Work will involve the construction of several auto–transformer stations and a feeder station site at Pudding Mill Lane to provide a 25 kV supply to the overhead line equipment that will power the new Crossrail trains. Costain is also constructing for National Grid the new cable tunnels to provide power to the other Crossrail feeder station at Kensal Green.

Crossrail will open in 2018. The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and will increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent. An estimated 200 million people will travel on Crossrail each year.

Andrew Wyllie, Chief Executive of Costain, said: “The Crossrail scheme is providing a much-needed solution to upgrading a key part of the nation’s travel infrastructure.

“We are delighted to have been awarded these contracts, which follow on from other Crossrail projects we are involved in, including the construction of the Bond Street and Paddington stations and works at Eleanor Street and Mile End Park.

“We believe these further wins demonstrate the successful implementation of our ‘Choosing Costain’ strategy in which we focus group-wide resources on meeting the developing requirements of major blue chip customers.”

Business Secretary launches new Anglia growing business fund

Business Secretary launches new Anglia growing business fund

Business Secretary Vince Cable has launched a new £3 million funding scheme for East Anglia that will kick-start growth for small firms in the trades.

The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership is specifically aimed at helping firms that want to grow but have been held back by a lack of finance.

The £3 million fund will provide cash grants to businesses looking to expand their operations

and create new jobs. Funding for the scheme has come from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The fund will provide grants of up to 20%, between £25,000 and £100,000, to business that have a shortfall in their investment plan and are able to create at least one job for every £10,000 provided by the fund.

The Business Secretary launched the fund at Redpack in Norwich, a company which hopes to benefit from the new fund and expand its existing operations in the city.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “A lack of finance is one of the biggest barriers facing firms that want to grow. The government is already taking big steps to help companies bridge that gap and now, thanks to this new fund, businesses across East Anglia will get that helping hand they need.

“Through programmes like the New Anglia ‘Growing Business Fund’, the government’s Regional Growth Fund has supported around 1,200 small and medium sized companies across the country, helping them create jobs, increase skills and grow their business.”

What is your reaction to the new funding scheme for East Anglia that will kick-start growth for small businesses and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

British Land reaches key milestone in London redevelopment

British Land reaches key milestone in the redevelopment of Harmsworth Quays

The first step has been taken to allow the redevelopment of the 14.57 acre Harmsworth Quays printing works site in Canada Water, South East London, to go ahead.

Southwark Council has given its approval for the Daily Mail General Trust (DMGT) to assign its leasehold interest in the site to British Land.

The decision is a key milestone for the development which has the potential to deliver significant improvements to the local area and create new trade jobs.

Cllr Fiona Colley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Southwark Council, said: “In addition to new homes, the redevelopment of Harmsworth Quays has the potential to deliver the town centre and jobs that Rotherhithe really needs.”

British Land will now begin working up proposals in consultation with Southwark Council and the local community to realise the full potential of this important site. Vacant possession of the site will be available later this year following the relocation of DMGT’s printing operations to Thurrock.

Southwark Council, which is currently developing policy to guide the redevelopment, will be adopting a preferred option of its Area Action Plan in May for consultation. This will emphasise the council’s and community’s vision to create a mixed-use town centre at Canada Water.

Both Southwark Council and British Land have committed to exploring the potential to create a new campus for Kings College as part of the scheme, to complement their proposals for the adjoining site at the Mulberry Business Park.

Nigel Webb, Head of Development for British Land, said: “We are delighted that the London Borough of Southwark has agreed the assignment for Harmsworth Quays. We can now begin the process of working with the local community, the London Borough of Southwark and other key stakeholders to bring forward a new, mixed use development in the heart of Canada Water.”

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.

George Osborne reveals £3bn infrastructure fund to boost the trades

George Osborne reveals £3bn extra investment to boost the trades

Chancellor George Osborne has used Budget 2013 to announce an additional £3 billion investment plan to boost infrastructure spending and create new trade jobs.

The Budget sets out further action to build a stronger economy, with help for UK businesses to create jobs and kick-start major construction projects across England.

Chancellor Osborne said in Parliament today that the government was “already supporting the largest investment in railways since Victorian times and spending more on new roads than in a generation.”

The Government would now boost spending by £3 billion from 2015-16 with the money saved from departmental budgets, amounting to a total of £15 billion of extra capital spending in the next 10 years

The Chancellor has also announced a new Help to Buy scheme involving equity loans on new build houses and £130 billion mortgage guarantee programme that will help people to buy their new homes.

Chancellor George Osborne said that by investing in the arteries of the country’s infrastructure, the Government will get growth “flowing to every part of the country”.

The latest stimulus of financial support to tackle long-term shortage in the housing market will see the building of new homes and boost employment in the construction industry.

Mr Osborne said: “We’ve switched billions of pounds from current to capital spending since the spending review. But on existing plans, capital spending is still due to fall back in 2015-16. I don’t think that’s sensible.

“So by using our extra savings from government departments, we will boost our infrastructure plans by £3 billion a year from 2015-16.

“That’s £15 billion of extra capital spending over the next decade. Because by investing in the economic arteries of this country, we will get growth flowing to every part of it.

“And public investment will now be higher on average as a percentage of our national income under our plans than it was in the whole period of the last Government.

“In June, we will set out long term spending plans for that long term capital budget.

“And we will use the expertise of Paul Deighton, the man who delivered the Olympics and who now serves in the Treasury, to improve the capacity of Whitehall to deliver big projects and make greater use of independent advice.”

The British Property Federation has welcomed the Government’s funding increase to kick start the housing market and help a number of build-to-rent schemes.

Director of policy at the British Property Federation, Ian Fletcher, said: “It’s encouraging the Government’s confidence in build to rent has been reciprocated and we are delighted to see that the equity funding was heavily oversubscribed.

“Working in partnership with government the sector should deliver an exciting and quality array of homes for renters.”

What is your reaction to Budget 2013 announced by Chancellor Osborne to boost infrastructure spending and build new homes? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.