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AstraZeneca to build £330 million Cambridge centre

AstraZeneca to build £330 million Cambridge centre

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has announced plans to build £330 million research centre and corporate HQ in Cambridge that will pave the way for new jobs in the construction industry.

The move is part of the company’s proposals to create strategic global R&D centres in the UK, US and Sweden to improve pipeline productivity and to establish AstraZeneca as a global leader in biopharmaceutical innovation.

Focusing on the company’s UK-based activities at the new centre in Cambridge, the pharmaceutical giant will build on AstraZeneca’s world-leading protein engineering capabilities already based in the city, expanding its operations and boosting employment across a range of industries in the area.

Chief executive of AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot, said: “Our proposed investment is a clear signal of AstraZeneca’s long-term commitment to the UK and highlights the important role Cambridge plays internationally in bioscience research.

“The Government’s Life Sciences Strategy and the meaningful policies they have put in place in recent years to encourage investment help make Britain an attractive location for biopharmaceutical research and development.

“Cambridge, which boasts strong links with London-based research institutions, is a world-renowned bioscience hotspot that rivals the likes of San Francisco and Boston.

“In a world where partnerships and collaborations drive medical progress, becoming an integral part of the Cambridge ecosystem offers compelling advantages for AstraZeneca, giving us easier access to leading-edge academic and industry networks, scientific talent and valuable partnering opportunities.

“I believe that the investment we are announcing today greatly increases the chances that the next generation of innovative medicines will be invented and manufactured in Britain.”

What is your reaction to the £330 million plan to build a new research and corporate centre in Cambridge that will boot the construction industry and the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

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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.

£70m Black Country Housing Scheme Reaches Out for New Jobs

Plans to build hundreds of new homes in Sandwell are closer to breaking ground after three housing developers have been named to deliver the scheme.

Sandwell Council has selected Kier Partnership Homes, Barratt Homes and Compendium Living to build homes in West Bromwich, Smethwick and Wednesbury.

The scheme, partly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, will see the building of 768 new homes by 2015. The developments will include family homes, bungalows for older people as well as properties for private sale and for social rent.

Businesses and jobseekers are set to benefit from the scheme which is expected to generate more than £70 million worth of construction work and create hundreds of new jobs with local employers.

The three developers have signed construction pledges to work with local suppliers and the council’s Think Local and ‘Find It In Sandwell’ initiatives which will boost employment and help people in the trades.

Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for housing, said: “We’re pleased to announce partners who will help turn our vision for the future of housing in Sandwell into reality.

“We’ll be providing residents with an excellent range of affordable homes for local people to buy, part-own and rent and consult with local people about the new homes we plan to build.”

Assad Hamed, area manager for the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “We know through working closely with Sandwell Council that increasing the supply of affordable homes in the borough is a big priority and we are pleased our investment is supporting this.

“Getting all three schemes up and running will be a major boost for local communities in Sandwell as they will see lots of activity happening across the borough and will benefit from the impact of local jobs and economic growth.”

Clean Energy of Northern Seas to Boost the Renewable Industry

Over forty organisations have today joined forces to set out a long-term vision for the development of offshore wind in the northern seas that will boost the green economy and create new jobs.

The new network, called Norstec, includes world leading manufacturers, cutting-edge developers, supply chain firms as well as industry bodies representing the trades.

Its mission is to maximise the energy potential generated across the northern sea region which will benefit businesses in the renewable industry and boost the trades.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who first introduced Norstec at the Clean Energy Ministerial in April, emphasised on the benefits offered by the production of clean energy and encouraged the use of renewable resources.

Mr Cameron said: “I continue to be strongly supportive of the UK offshore renewables sector and am delighted to see Norstec rising from the waves.

“As I said, when I launched this network last April, we are on the cusp of a second, clean energy revolution in the North Sea. Close collaboration between industry and government will be critical to making this happen.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, said: “The offshore wind industry represents a massive growth opportunity for the UK and our neighbours around the northern seas, bringing jobs and re-energising once thriving industrial heartlands on the East Coast and beyond.

Mr Davey said that the Government is determined to work closely with businesses in order to make the most from offshore renewable resources.

He said: “Norstec will help the offshore wind industry in the northern seas to grow and create a new industrial revolution, driving economic growth across this part of Europe. I’m delighted to see the potential for offshore wind deployment in the northern seas set out so clearly and vividly.”

 

A £110 Million mixed-use Regeneration Scheme to go ahead in Greenwich

Leading property developers, Development Securities and the Cathedral Group, have confirmed today they have bought a 2.2-acre site in Greenwich town centre which will enable the development of a 350,000 sq. ft. mixed-use regeneration scheme, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction industry.

Following completed acquisition of the site for £16 million, both companies are now able to begin infrastructure work in order to prepare the land for the £110 million scheme which will include 25,000 sq. ft. mixed-use leisure and retail space.

From an earlier announcement it became clear that Development Securities has exchanged contracts for a £50 million residential element of the scheme with Willmott Dixon.

In addition, contracts for sale have been exchanged with McLaren at £8.3 million for the building of a 358-bed ‘student village’; the deal is expected to complete in August this year.

Chief Executive at Development Securities, Michael Marx, said: “This is a good example of the successful implementation of our strategy to create value by repositioning secondary or tertiary real estate into prime or near-prime development via the process of regeneration.”

If you are living in Greenwich, what’s your reaction on the substantial development which will transform the area? Share your thoughts about the future implications of the scheme by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

Green Deal to Improve Energy Efficiency and Create New Jobs

 

As part of the Green Deal, the Government has set out a new legislation which will help the energy industry enhance customer protection and improve energy efficiency in the UK, the Department of Energy and Climate Change revealed this week. 

The rising cost of gas and electricity as well as millions of energy inefficient homes across the UK have urged the Government to bring the second phase of the Green Deal into operation, boosting the low carbon economy and supporting up to 60, 000 jobs in the insulation industry.

An additional investment of £1.3 billion a year to develop heating measures across the UK is expected to be announced by Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, later this week.

Commenting on the new legislation Mr Davey said: “I am determined to make sure that, in addition to creating huge opportunities for Green Deal providers and businesses along with thousands of new jobs, this new market in energy efficiency will deliver the very best deal for consumers.”

He explained that the new legislation will allow the energy industry to implement the Green Deal and improve energy efficiency, making sure that the most vulnerable homes are benefiting from the scheme.

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary said: “We have listened very carefully to what industry, consumer groups, and other organisations have told us. Broad support for a managed, tested and careful introduction of the Green Deal fits exactly with our objective to provide an excellent customer experience from day one and a market where a range of new players can readily participate.”

What is your reaction to the new legislation of the Green Dean that will improve energy efficiency and boost employment across the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page. 

The Mayor of London Will Build 100, 000 Affordable Homes


The Homes and Community Agency (HCA) published new figures today revealing that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is on track to build 100, 000 affordable homes by 2015.

More than 54, 000 homes were built in Mayor’s first term, exceeding Mayor Johnson’s pledge to provide 50, 000 affordable homes for Londoners over the four-year period of his term. In the past year 16,000 homes were built in London, which means Boris Johnson has exceeded his initial target by 4, 000 homes.

The government has given new powers to Mayor’s office in order to boost housing delivery in the capital. Mr Johnson has now pledged to build up to 100, 000 affordable homes with potential to create 100, 000 new jobs

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Four years ago I said that if we were going to improve Londoners’ lives it was going to be essential that we boost affordable housing supply in the capital. The hard work is by no means over but despite some of the most challenging economic conditions for decades we have delivered more than 54,000 affordable homes over the past four years.

“By 2015 we will have delivered over 100,000 affordable homes for London, which will give a vital boost for jobs and the wider economy, as well as providing decent places that people actually want to live in.”- added Mr Johnson.

Share your experiences about finding affordable homes in the London area? What is your reaction to the Mayor’s plan to deliver more affordable homes for Londoners? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

Energy Partnership between Norway and the UK to Create New Jobs

Prime Minister David Cameron and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg agreed last week a major partnership between the UK and Norway that will boost energy activities between the two countries and bring investment of millions of pounds that will create thousands of new jobs, the Department of Energy and Climate Change revealed.

The partnership between Norway and the UK is designed to secure sustainable long-term energy supplies, improve a wide range of energy activities between the two countries and encourage economic growth.

 
Prime Minister Cameron, who attended a breakfast meeting with ten leading energy companies from Norway and the UK, highlighted the importance of this partnership for closer collaboration between the two countries that will improve energy security and help economic growth.

Mr Cameron said: “The jobs and investments announced today highlight how vital the strong relationship between Norway and the United Kingdom is for our energy security and economic growth. We look forward to strengthening our partnership further, driving investment into a diverse, sustainable energy mix that delivers affordable long term supplies for consumers.”

 
Charles Hendry, UK Minister of State for Energy, said: “For many decades Norway has been one of our most trusted and valuable partners, working with us to develop North Sea resources that underpin our energy security. Mr Hendry added: “The investments and jobs announced today by British and Norwegian companies are a clear signal of the benefits of this partnership.”

Some of the commercial announcements include:
  • “Norwegian global oil services firm Aker Solutions will create 1,300 new highly skilled jobs by 2015 at its engineering hub in Chiswick. This comes on top of 1,000 new jobs it has already created in the UK over the past two years.
  • Statoil intends to invest a further £12 billion over the lifetime of the UK’s Mariner-Bressay North Sea oil fields in addition to the £6 billion they have already announced. This will lead to the creation of up to 300 new jobs in the UK in the next few years, including at a new operations base in Aberdeen, in addition to 700 UK jobs from this investment that have already been announced.
  • A new Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed between Statoil and Centrica to continue cooperation on gas supply and exploration. This builds on the £13 billion, ten year gas supply deal agreed between the two companies last November and follows the recent completion of a £1billion asset deal between the two companies that will increase Centrica’s oil and gas reserves by 29 percent.
  • The Forewind Consortium, which includes Norwegian companies Statoil and Statkraft, has confirmed its intention to develop the 9GW Dogger Bank offshore wind project off the East coast of Yorkshire, which could require up to £30 billion of investment. This project could provide more than 10% of the UK’s electricity needs. In addition to this project Statoil and Statkraft are investing around £1billion in developing the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm off the coast of Norfolk, which is already generating power and will be completed later this year. It will provide power to more than 200,000 UK homes when fully operational. The project employs 500 workers in the field and provides significant secondary employment.
  • Good progress is being made in two projects to build one of the world’s longest subsea electricity interconnectors between the UK and Norway, which will enable the UK and Norway to share renewable energy resources, with each project worth over £1 billion: NSN (National Grid and Statnett) and NorthConnect (SSE, Vattenfall, Agder Energei, E-CO and Lyse).
  • A deal between Shell and Gassco to strengthen UK energy security by providing British customers with more gas from Norway. By making better use of spare capacity in the UK gas transport system, Norwegian gas owners and transporters, including Shell, will be able to transport more gas from Norwegian fields via the Tampen Link to the FLAGS pipeline into St Fergus.”
What is your reaction on the established Norway-UK partnership for sustainable growth that will create thousands of new jobs in the energy industry? Share your thoughts by raising your voice here or on our Facebook page

Persimmon Boss Unveils Plans to Build 5,000 New Homes in Wales

 

Housebuilder Persimmon Homes has revealed a £800 million investment plan to build 5,000 new homes across Wales that could create and support 10,000 jobs in the supply chain according to government estimates.

The announcement comes immediately after the company’s newly appointed Managing Director for Wales, Glyn Mabey, showed a sheer determination and strong commitment to head up the £800 million plan to build thousands of new homes in Wales.

The significant investment is expected to boost the building construction industry, create new jobs and provide employment for people in the trades. Mr Mabey believes that building new homes needs to be taken seriously by politicians and local government.

He said: “Aside from providing homes for a great number of people, which is important in its own right, we create a huge number of jobs on site and through our supply chain. The more we do the more jobs we create. It really is that simple”

Following the appointment of Mr Mabey, who will also be responsible for the Charles Church and Westbury Partnership brands in Wales, Persimmon is planning to open a new head office for the West Wales region, making an additional investment around the Swansea area that will benefit communities and boost the local economy.

Mr Mabey believes this additional expansion to company’s already strong presence in East Wales will continue to grow, becoming part of the fabric of the communities in which the company operates.

Mr Mabey said: “Having covered both England and Wales in my career I remember a time when Welsh Local Authorities and politicians were hugely proactive, creative and welcomed development with open arms, recognising the wider economic benefits it brought and the wealth creation generated by the economic activity. “

“We need to get back to that and Politicians and Officers need to show leadership and bravery to kick down hurdles preventing development from happening, rather than constantly allowing new layers of regulation and bureaucracy which slows everything down.” added Mr Mabey.

What is your reaction to the £800 million investment plan to build 5,000 new homes in Wales? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.


CBI Urges the Government to Boost Infrastructure

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.

Do you welcome the recent report by the CBI that urges the government to make significant improvements to infrastructure schemes in the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or adding your voice on our Facebook Page