Blog Archives

More jobs due to South Cambridgeshire District Council go-ahead

Plans for 1,500 much-needed new homes, a primary school and shops at the new town of Northstowe have been given the green light by councillors.

The landmark decision to approve outline planning permission for the first phase of the exemplar new town – which will ultimately see 10,000 new homes built – means developers could begin work in 2013 to address shortages of homes in the area.

As well as new homes, a primary school, and shops, Gallagher’s plans for the first phase also include a sports hub, areas of open space, a local centre, employment opportunities and a site for a household recycling centre.

A further report will now be presented to the Northstowe Joint Development Control Committee early next year with details of how construction of the town would put “quality first” while making sure it is still financially viable to go ahead.

The approval by councillors follows a public consultation in the summer and negotiations with developers, which now mean plans include a cycleway linking Northstowe and Bar Hill during phase one of the town. A network of cycleways and footpaths will also be built to give easy access for Northstowe residents to the Guided Busway and improvements to the Bar Hill junction of the A14 will be funded by the first phase.

The plans for the Bar Hill junction follow recent Government announcements committing £7.7 million to widen the A14 between Girton and Histon in 2014 as a short term measure to alleviate congestion and improve safety, in advance of a major upgrade to the road.

In a letter to Cllr Ray Manning, Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, last week, Housing Minister, Mark Prisk MP, confirmed he was “committed to work in partnership with local authorities and scheme promoters to accelerate delivery” as Northstowe was a “high priority” for the Government.

In the letter he also stated he supported both councils in their bid to deliver a high quality new town with exemplar standards and reiterated renewed commitment to a major upgrade to the A14 and the construction of Cambridge Science Park Railway Station.

“We are committed to working with you and other partners as a matter of urgency to develop a package of support that will help to accelerate delivery and remove barriers to the establishment of a high quality new town demonstrating exemplar standards,” said Mr Prisk.

He added: “I can also confirm that the Government fully recognises the important role that both the proposed A14 upgrade and the creation of a new Cambridge Science Park Station will play in the development of Northstowe. We remain committed to the timely delivery of these schemes.”

Detailed plans containing information on exactly where the homes, roads and facilities will be built on the site, as well as how landscaping and drainage will be features of the development, will now begin to be developed. These are expected to be submitted on a regular basis throughout the next 12 months and council bosses have committed to consult with communities, and a parish forum set up for the town, every step of the way.

Cllr Tim Wotherspoon, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for Northstowe, said:

“The decision today is a huge landmark for Northstowe as the town has been talked about for more than ten years. We are now at the stage of turning a vision into a reality and will begin to look at the fine detail to make sure the town is of the highest quality possible. There is an acute need for new homes in South Cambridgeshire – especially those that are affordable – to support the jobs being created, but we will continue to put residents and quality first to make sure the right facilities are there from day one. Clearly transport is always a concern with any new development and I am very pleased the Government has reaffirmed their commitment to tackling the major upgrade need on the A14 quickly so future phases of the new town can go ahead.”

Cllr Ian Bates, Cambridgeshire County Council’s cabinet member for growth and planning, said:

“This is a really big step forward in building a future community at Northstowe. A lot of hard work has already been carried out with both Gallagher and the Homes and Communities Agency, but this will now continue to make sure the right facilities are in place for everyone. More transport facilities to complement the guided busway will be needed for when residents move in as these are vital to improving health, reducing congestion and boosting the local economy.”

More jobs in Keynsham due to a £36m Willmott Dixon scheme

Builder Willmot Dixon has finally got the green light to start of the regeneration of Keynsham town centre, near Bristol.

Bath and North East Somerset Council was forced to postpone the August start of the project earlier this year after criticism from some local people, and the town’s civic society about the designs .

Now after several design variations to the roofs and cladding, the council planning committee has approved the scheme.

The project involves the £36m redevelopment of the existing council offices site in Keynsham with new shops, a library and new council offices.

The buildings have already been stripped for demolition and the scheme, while the planning wrangle was being sorted out.

Original design

Revised plans

The project will allow the council to reduce the amount of office space it uses from 12 building to four and become more financially efficient.

Reduced running costs will deliver 10% annual savings that will benefit the local taxpayer public purse. The Council carbon footprint specifically in its buildings will reduce by up to 70%.


£52.5m funding package means more trade jobs in Northampton


Listen to Philip Sugarman, our CEO, being interviewed on BBC Radio Northampton.

Click here to download and listen the interview

The award-winning St Andrew’s Healthcare, which is the UK’s largest mental health charity, has confirmed it now has the funding package in place to enable a further major investment in brand new facilities at its Northampton base.

St Andrew’s, the largest charity sector provider of NHS care, has agreed a £52.5m funding package with Lloyds TSB, to include funding the construction of a new 90-bed psychiatric hospital. The new facility will provide secure accommodation for a number of new services and will allow expansion of its existing national services.

Professor Philip Sugarman Chief Executive Officer at St Andrew’s said “In the last ten years we have completed a £200m programme of development and refurbishment across four sites, with our new units achieving high levels of occupancy. We have seen continuous growth and a recent sharp rise in market share.”

“We are now ready to plan the next phase of growth, with new facilities for service users placed with us by our NHS customers. These developments will strengthen our position as the UK’s leading provider of specialist secure care and as the country’s only independent national teaching hospital.”

Chief Finance Officer Nigel Alcock says: “Despite challenging financial forecasts for independent mental healthcare providers, St Andrew’s saw turnover increase by over 5% last year, to £169m.  As a charity it is essential that any financial agreements we enter into are right for our long-term commitment to care for as many people as possible.  We are in a very different position to some private companies, and that’s why we believe that the charitable model offers huge potential for the sector.

“This funding agreement will help St Andrew’s maintain the great results we have achieved by reinvesting in the future of mental healthcare over the last few years.  We are delighted to have finalised the deal with Lloyds, who have been fantastic to work with.”

David Hykin, Relationship Director at Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets said: “St Andrew’s Healthcare has delivered a strong track record of growth in recent years, demonstrating the strength of its balance sheet and its future potential. We are working closely with the management team to support the growth ambitions of the charity, which is a well-established and impressive enterprise in the healthcare sector.”

Train4TradeSkills News – Job Opportunites in Stockport

Stockport Council and Muse Developments have signed and sealed a Development Agreement, marking an important milestone in the development of a high-specification office quarter, next to the train station in the town centre.

The Council bought the site – known as Grand Central – last year to bring forward the office-led development, including hotel and improved car parking, as well as an attractive new gateway to the town centre. National development and regeneration specialist Muse Developments wasappointed by the Council as development partner to deliver the project.

Phase One consists of a new 1,000 space multi-story car park and a range of highway improvements, due to be completed at the beginning of 2014. The new car park will meet increasing demand for parking next to the railway station and encourage more people to take the train. A temporary parking solution for commuters will be provided during its construction.

Phase Two has been masterplanned to deliver the first commercial office building, new public space, a hotel and highway improvements by 2015.  Phase Three will include further office buildings, extension of the open space and further improved accessibility for pedestrians, and will be delivered on a phased basis up to 2020.

Councillor Iain Roberts, executive member for economic development and regeneration at Stockport Council, said: “The signing of the Development Agreement confirms both parties’ commitment to delivering a cutting-edge new office quarter and commuter destination for Stockport. It is a crucial part of our overall vision for the town centre – attracting jobs, investment and footfall. We’ve worked hard to make sure that it’s self-financing and at no extra cost to the Council-tax payer.”

Matt Crompton, joint managing director ofMuse Developments said: “Today marks an important milestone in the transformation of this key gateway to Stockport town centre. We can now look forward to working with our partners at the Council to build on Stockport’s commercial appeal to deliver this stunning new office quarter.”

Get a job with Kier

Kier Supplier Day– Sign Up

Construction workers from Merseyside and West Lancashire, are being invited to meet prospective client Kier Construction at a Constructionline ‘Meet the Buyer’ event on Wednesday 24th October 2012. Kier’s Construction division have secured the contract to deliver a joint Command and Control Centre for Mersey Fire and Rescue Services and Merseyside Police

Event Details

Date: 24th October 2012
Time: 8:30am and 1:30pm.
Venue: Merseyside Fire & Rescue Services HQ, Bridle Road, Bootle, L30 1NY

The event, being held at Mersey Fire & Rescue Services HQ, will see small and medium sized construction companies meet face to face with Kier Construction to discuss working on this project. Kier is looking to build a local supply chain of contractors.

Please note this work is being carried out as part of the North West Construction Hub and as part of Kier’s commitment to the Construction Hub payments terms to all subcontractors have been set at 35 days, to ease the cash flow pressures on SME’s.

The works are due for completion in early 2014 with an overall projected contract value of £6M and will cover the following:

  • > Groundworks
  • > Structural Steelwork
  • > Metal Decking
  • > Brick & Blockwork
  • > External Render
  • > Membrane Roofing
  • > Single Ply Roofing
  • > Curtain Walling
  • > Windows
  • > Roof & Wall Cladding
  • > Electrical & Mechanical related trades
  • > Fire Protection
  • > Metalwork
  • > Lifts
  • > Handrails & Balustrades.
  • > Raised Access Flooring
  • > Labour-only Joinery
  • > Bespoke Joinery
  • > WC Cubicles
  • > Partitions
  • > Ceramic Wall Tiling
  • > Flooring
  • > Suspended Ceilings
  • > Floor Finishings
  • > Vinyl and Carpets
  • > Glazed screens
  • > Movable Walls
  • > Kitchen/Catering Equipment
  • > Steel Doors
  • > Landscaping
  • > Final Clean
  • > Scaffolding
  • > Macadam
  • > Fencing
  • > White Lining
  • > Mastic Pointing
  • > Signage
  • > Painting & Decorating
  • > Demolition & Alterations

By attending our event, you will have the opportunity to Meet face to face with Kier Construction Key personnel and find out about our upcoming opportunity

For more details and registration

More construction jobs in Bath

The University of Bath has awarded a £16m contract to VINCI Construction UK for the design and construction of a new, five-storey teaching building.

The General Teaching Accommodation (GTA) will include a range of high quality learning facilities, including group lecture rooms, two 350-space lectures theatres, and social spaces.

Glass walls spanning three storeys will provide high levels of natural light into a five-storey high circulation space. A ‘skywalk’ bridge will also connect the building with the main campus parade.

Once completed, the 8,000m2 building will double the number of large scale lecture theatres on campus, allowing up to 2,000 students to use the building at any one time.

The contract is part of the University Masterplan which provides a framework for the development of the campus until 2026.

Martyn Whalley, University of Bath’s Director of Estates, said: “The Masterplan sets out how we plan to provide state of the art facilities and with the new GTA we will have a wonderful resource to match the high quality of our teaching and learning.”

Steve Vorres, Regional Director, VINCI Construction UK, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by the University of Bath to deliver the new GTA building which forms part of the University’s three year major capital works investment programme. This scheme will provide an exemplar teaching facility for the University’s staff and growing student population and we are extremely proud to be part of its construction and legacy. The GTA project award continues the region’s recent successes of working with University clients. These relationships form an essential part of our key account strategy and stand us in good stead for our future pipeline”.

Completion is due in September 2013 with an opening date set for the following October. The project aims to further enhance the reputation of the university, which already boasts a top ten ranking in The Guardian’s 2013 university guide.

£220m police station framework up for grabs

Contractors are being invited to tender for a framework to revamp police stations and buildings across London and the Home Counties worth up to £220m.

An OJEU notice has been published for the three-year deal which will see up to 12 contractors win a place to work for the Mayors’ Office for Policing and Crime.

The framework will be split into two lots – general works and M&E works.

Contracts will be awarded across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Essex, Surrey, Thames Valley and the Transport for London region.

Firms should register their interest by November 26 with Mayors’ Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) c/o Metropolitan Police Service Property, 11th Floor, Empress State, Empress Approach, Lillie Road, West Brompton Mr Richard Davies Mr Richard Davies SW6 1TR London UNITED KINGDOM +44 2071611503

Source here

Hollywood film giant Paramount plans huge theme park in Swanscombe

A computer-generated image showing the proposed design for the site.
A computer-generated image showing the proposed design for the site.

HOLLYWOOD film giant Paramount has unveiled £2 billion proposals to build one of Europe’s largest theme parks in Swanscombe.

Planning to create 27,000 jobs, the 872-acre development planned for the Swanscombe Peninsula is bigger than the Olympic Park.

At the core of the development will be a Paramount-branded entertainment resort, boasting attractions including Europe’s largest indoor water park.

Theatres, live music venues, cinemas, restaurants and hotels are also planned to open in just six years time on the currently derelict brownfield site.

Top-secret talks have been held almost daily between developer London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) and Dartford and Gravesham Councils during the past year.

Gravesham Council leader Councillor John Burden said: “This scheme is as imaginative as it is vast.

“It has the potential to re-energise the entire north Kent economy, wipe out unemployment at a stroke and resolve the long-standing regeneration issues surrounding this peninsula.

“It’s a landmark announcement which could transform the area at super-heroic speed.”

A new country park, the biggest performing arts centre in Europe and apartments for the site’s employees are also in the pipeline.

The developer says a study suggests the huge attraction will draw in thousands of tourists to the north Kent area annually, adding significantly to the economy.

LRCH project leader Tony Sefton said: “Our vision is to create a world class entertainment destination, the first of its kind in the UK.

“We’re at the start of a long journey, but have been encouraged by the support and buy-in we have had to date.

“We are particularly pleased with the appetite we are seeing from investors, who consider this a compelling investment proposition.”

Ebbsfleet International station is at the core of access plans for the site, while the M25, M20 and A20 will provide road access.

Source This Is London

“No Fees” Incentive for Green Deal Installers

Assessors, installers and providers of Green Deal services will face no fees for registration or oversight during the scheme’s first two years, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced. 

The DECC is going to fund all costs associated with the registration and oversight service in order to help those participating in the scheme, with the intention of moving to a fee-based approach from year three onwards, when the Green Deal has become established.

Speaking at Wolseley, UK’s Plumb Centre Green Deal open day in Leamington Spa, Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker welcomed the announcement of “no registration fees” which will encourage participation in the scheme and give businesses the confidence they need.

Mr Barker said: “No registration fees for the first two years will remove burdensome admin costs at a time when many can least afford them, helping encourage organisations to get on-board and offering more freedom of choice for consumers.”

The announcement follows the appointment of a multi-service provider Gemserv to run the new Green Deal oversight body which will be responsible for the registration of assessors, installers and providers, the DECC confirmed today.

Commenting on the recent appointment the Energy Minister said: “We need to make sure all the Green Deal assessors, installers and providers get our stamp of approval to ensure the highest level of consumer protection for householders and businesses under this scheme. I am delighted that Gemserv has risen to the challenge and is going to take on this very important role.”

Do you welcome the announcement of “no fees” for installers and Green Deal providers? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment 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. 


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