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Queens Park development to create new jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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£1bn housing boost reaches out for new jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boris gives the go ahead to £320m regeneration scheme

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Communities Secretary Erick Pickles have given final approval to a £320 million regeneration scheme in Harrow.

The project will turn the 40-acre strip of land, previously used by the camera company Kodak, and build 985 new homes, a primary school, medical centre as well as shops and offices.

Portfolio holder for regeneration at Hallow Council, Keith Ferry, said he was ‘delighted’ that the project, which was granted panning permission in June, had finally been approved by the Government, paving the way for building work to start in early 2014.

Mr Ferry said: “As a council we are determined to deliver on our promise to regenerate and build the most sustainable community in Harrow and to establish a thriving residential and commercial centre.”

Developer Land Securities estimates the project, which also includes a community centre, student accommodation, and a retirement home, will create up to 1,500 jobs in the construction industry.

Harrow Council said that this development is the biggest in the area and it forms part of the wider Heart of Harrow project, which seeks to create 3,000 new jobs and build 2,500 new homes.

What is your reaction to the multi-million development scheme which has been approved by the government? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Get Britain Building to Create 30,000 Jobs

The Homes and Community Agency (HCA) has approved 105 housing schemes that will receive funding as part of the £570 million Get Britain Building fund set to create 30,000 new jobs.

The Government’s fund is set to build around 16,000 new homes and provide financial support for housebuilders on stalled sites across the country, paving the way for employment opportunities in the trades.

The HCA has estimated that the shortlisted schemes could unlock the building of 7,000 homes and create thousands of new jobs in the building construction sector.

HCA chief executive Pat Ritchie said: “The Get Britain Building programme is offering housebuilders the financial support to get stalled developments back on track, and I’m pleased that more than 100 projects can move forward to the due diligence phase.

“We listened to feedback from the sector and reduced the minimum scheme size to 15, and I’m therefore especially pleased that 20 smaller projects have come forward and the majority of bids have come from SMEs.

“These projects must now prove that they can be delivered quickly, provide value for money for the taxpayer and fit with local priorities. As well as building much-needed new homes, the work will create or protect jobs, and boost local economies.”

Around £300 million of recoverable investment has been allocated to more than 130 projects through the first round of the scheme expected to be completed by December 2014. Round two of the scheme, which was announced last week, will continue until March 2015.

Cable Unveils Business Growth Plan to Boost the Trades

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has confirmed plans to create government backed ‘business bank’ which will help companies to invest and create new trade jobs.

Vince Cable’s new institution includes a series of collaborative strategies between businesses and government that are forecast to advance manufacturing and boost the trade industry.

Cable outlined his plans, committing to a long term, strategic partnership that will give businesses clarity about where the Government will be concentrating its efforts.

Speaking at Imperial College, London, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Our first part of that plan is lifting the barrier that poor access to finance puts on growth. By helping firms to invest capital, businesses expand, and create jobs.

“But I am also setting out a clear and ambitious vision, a commitment far beyond the usual political timescale that will continue to bear fruit decades later.

“It will give our businesses certainty, allow them to make their own plans, and know that the full weight of Government is behind them. We will work in a strategic partnership with industry, focusing our support on specific sectors. This is our commitment to growth in action.” 

The speech sets out a number of other actions including:

  • Creating a new institution to help companies invest in capital and drive their expansion. The scale and modus operandi of the institution are still under discussion, but it could operate through alternative providers such as the new challenger banks and non-bank lenders. Not only would this boost their lending capacity, but would also corral existing provision such as co-investment and guarantees to support business expansion.
  • Developing a series of collaborative but challenging sector strategies in advanced manufacturing, knowledge-intensive traded industries, and the enabling industries. This will include building strategic partnerships with industries and targeting support for them to help realise their substantial growth prospects.
  • The Business Secretary announced that 34 bids had been successful in the first round of the Employer Ownership pilot scheme securing £67 million of public funding and generating £98 million in private investment, making sure that employers can access exactly the sort of skills they need. Ensuring our world class skills policy is linked closely to the industrial strategy, in order that industry gets the skills they need to continue growing. This objective underpins the employer ownership pilot scheme where employers have been putting together radical plans to develop their own training programme.
  • Accelerating the journey from pure academic research to a commercial product being brought to market to help boost ground-breaking technologies of the future. The Government has already made £180 million available to support the commercialisation of innovations in the life sciences sector and building on this new approach, there will now be a new Innovation and Knowledge centre in Synthetic biology to explore the opportunities this sector presents.
  • Recognising Government’s role as a customer and developing a more intelligent partnership with its own supply chain by reforming procurement to make sure that businesses have confidence to take long-term investment decisions.

What is your reaction to the government’s plan to create ‘business bank’ which will help companies to invest and create new trade jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Approved Plans for Building 3,000 Homes in Cambridge to Create New Trade Jobs

The University of Cambridge has been granted planning permission to build 3, 000 new homes as part of its £1 billion development in northwest Cambridge, creating significant employment opportunities for people in the trades.

The planning application for the 150 hectare site was approved by local authorities today, paving the way for residential and development partners to start building construction work in early 2013.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates welcomed the project’s planning consent. He commented that the £1 billion investment will encourage economic growth and create new jobs, showing that Cambridge is truly open for business.

Mr Bates said: “This new development and investment in the University will be a major boost to jobs in the area and help attract even more business.

“A booming Cambridge economy is good for our local communities and the nation as we have the ability to help the country out of recession.”

The University of Cambridge said in a statement today that it will provide 1,500 homes for key University and College employees, 1,500 homes for sale and accommodation for 2,000 students.

New 100,000 square metres research institutes will be built to the University’s wide range of community facilities. Around one third of the site will be used as public open space for sports, informal recreation and ecological use.

“This development is a major part of the University’s long term future,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. “It will provide much of the residential and research accommodation that the University needs as it grows over the next 20 years.”

Councillor for South Cambridgeshire District Council, David Bard, said: “This development is key to the next stage in the development of Cambridge and will be an exemplar of sustainable living. The plans are of a very high quality and will deliver a new community that everyone will be very proud of.”

What is your reaction to the £1 billion investment at the University of Cambridge that will encourage economic growth and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Trade Jobs

Good news for the trades as the University of Hertfordshire selects a major developer to build a new 3, 000 bed student accommodation scheme that will create new jobs in the building engineering sector.

Preferred bidder Uliving Consortium is going to build 2, 511 new student accommodation units and transfer around 500 of the University’s existing residences at the College Lane campus in Hatfield.

In a statement, the Uliving Consortium, which is made up of major developer Bouygues Development and not-for-profit accommodation operator, Derwent Living, said that this will be a remarkable and truly transformational scheme that will improve students’ living standards.

The ambitious scheme will also provide new sports facilities, a campus gym, informal learning and social spaces and a new dedicated bus route.  The University’s vision is to create a fully inclusive living and learning environment will pave the way for employment opportunities for builders, plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

The scheme will be delivered in three phases with the first phase set to commence in May 2013.  Each phase thereafter will be completed in time for the start of the following academic year; the entire scheme scheduled for completion in September 2016.

The new buildings that will be built through the scheme will achieve ‘True’ Zero Carbon accreditation and meet BREEAM Outstanding status.

Stephane Slama-Royer, Managing Director of Uliving and Managing Director of Bouygues Development said: “As student accommodation developers and managers we recognise that the quality of student accommodation has a huge influence on the student experience and that the provision of exceptional living environments is central to the success of these communities.”

What is your reaction to the newly appointed bidder of University of Hertfordshire’s 3,000 Bed Student Accommodation Scheme which create jobs in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Olympic Investment Event to Create Jobs and Bring Economic Boost to Britain

Speaking today at the largest trade and investment event ever held in Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron said that the £8 billion development of the Battersea Power Station in South West London will create 20, 000 jobs during its construction.

The mixed development will contain homes, office space, a hotel and retail space and will see the Northern Line extended with a new transportation hub at the Power Station site.

The Global Investment Conference, launched by the Prime Minister, is the first of a series of global business summits being held in London to showcase the UK during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The event is expected to generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs for people in the trades.

The conference kicks off the largest and most ambitious set of trade events held in Britain. During the six weeks of the Games, the British Business Embassy will host 17 global business summits that will bring over £1 billion of deals and projects.

These events will allow more than 4,000 business leaders and politicians to exchange views and ideas, discuss local and international economic challenges as well as develop strong global partnerships for future growth and showcase the best of British business to the world.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “Britain has always been a country that is open to the world. In hosting the Olympic Games, we are showcasing that openness. As we welcome the world’s best athletes, we also welcome the world’s best companies – so that they can succeed, invest, and create jobs in Britain.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Tomorrow we welcome the world to London as the 2012 Olympic Games get underway. This summer is more than just a great sporting spectacle – it is an unrivalled opportunity to promote the best of British industry and make the most of our openness to foreign trade and investment.”

This month, the UN’s World Investment Report showed that the UK had retained its place as the number one destination in Europe for inward investment. The report showed that there were almost 60,000 new jobs created last year as a result of inward investment.

 

What is your reaction to the Global Investment Conference that could bring billions of pounds to the UK economy?  How much of an impact will the Olympics have on your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

John Lewis kick-starts a £600 million development in Leeds that will create new jobs

Plans to build a new £600 million shopping centre in Leeds will create thousands of jobs in the building engineering industry as one of the of Britain’s biggest high street retailers, John Lewis, has secured a deal to build a 258,000 sq ft anchor store near the development of Eastgate Quarters in Leeds city centre.

The first phase of the development, which is called Harewood, would also create two new shopping streets leading to the Victoria Quarter which will include 30 shops, six restaurants, and a multi-storey car park on the site of Leeds’ former police station.

Work on first phase of the development is expected to start in spring 2014 and it could be open by 2016, if plans submitted to the city council next year are approved.

A low-carbon energy centre for the scheme has been consented which will provide heating, cooling and electricity required by the development, with the opportunity to also support neighbouring homes and businesses.

As a result of the multi-million development, the retail led scheme could generate up to 4,000 jobs in the building engineering sector, providing more employment opportunities for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, welcomed the announcement describing it as excellent news for the city centre and the people from Leeds as a whole.

Mr Wakefield said: “All the parties have been working behind the scenes for some months now to facilitate an agreement which enables work to begin on this important development. So to know that we now have a clear timetable from Hammerson is really exciting.

He added: “Eastgate Quarters is a hugely significant development for the city which will enable our retail sector to compete with other British cities and attract international visitors and investors. It will bring thousands of new visitors to the city as well as creating a significant number of jobs for local people.”

What is your reaction to the £600 million development in Leeds that will pave the way for more jobs in the building engineering sector and people working in the trades? Share your thoughts with us by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Support for Self-Build Homes Will Help Builders

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has given the green light to a £30 million investment programme which will enable aspiring builders to build their own homes, offering exclusive access to funding and Government-owned land in seven locations across England.

The announcement is an attempt by the government to tackle country’s housing crisis and boost economic growth. The £30 million scheme will offer short-term loans and funding to builders, community groups and other small organisations looking to start self-build projects.

Commenting on the building investment programme, Housing Minister Shapps said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce the first seven sites with plots available exclusively for self-builders, as well as £30 million to offer short-term loans to help communities get their projects off the ground.

“This first-ever package of self-build support will help to achieve our goal to double the size of the industry over the next few years, but I want us to go further still. The new national planning rules require councils to consider the needs of self-builders in their area, and I would urge authorities across the country to look to Cherwell and the innovative work there as an exciting example of how this can be achieved.”

Public sector land for up to 60 homes will be made available in Cornwall – making it the nation’s first-ever large-scale self-build plot.

Mr Shapps praised the work of councils across the country that are looking to give as many local people as possible the opportunity to build their own homes – including on dedicated sites.

The Planning Minister also confirmed the rest of the sites which will be made available for builders to bid. They are:

  • Kingsweir and Torpoint, Bristol
  • Spencers Park, Hemel Hempstead
  • Pleasley Colliery, Bolsover
  • Upper Tuesley Milford, Surrey
  • Wilson Road, Hanford, Stoke-on-Trent
  • Chase Avenue, Walton Park, Milton Keynes

What is your reaction on the £30 million investment programme which will enable builders to build their own building projects? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page: