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Go Ahead for Building £58m Kensington Academy

Plans for building a £58 million academy and leisure centre in the North Kensington area of London have been approved, paving the way for work to start next month.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea granted yesterday a planning consent for the development which will see the building of a new school, state-of the-art leisure centre and hundreds of new homes.

Developer Leadbitter has been selected to deliver the scheme which will create new jobs in the construction industry and boost the trades.

Building of the leisure centre will run in parallel with the academy which will allow for both buildings to open together in 2014. The existing Kensington Leisure Centre is expected to close this December.

Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Merrick Cockell, said: “This is a landmark day for the North Kensington community and represents our ongoing commitment to investing in great facilities for our residents.

“Despite the challenging economic climate we are proud to be able to build a new academy and leisure centre which are going to make a vital contribution to local life for decades to come.”

Train4TradeSkills News: Brighter future for thousands of people in the Building Engineering Sector

Following the government’s announcement on Monday to invest £400 million to build 16, 000 new homes across England and deal with the shortage of affordable houses, leading industry trade bodies have joint forces to boost construction growth ahead of the Autumn Statement which will be announced next week by Chancellor George Osborne.

Industry leaders want to see a rebalancing of public expenditure in favour of capital investment, a cut in VAT for making homes greener and new models for financing major infrastructure which will help the building industry help generate more revenue and boost growth.

The report, Unlocking Growth in UK Construction, outlines the necessary measures which need to be taken for a wider economic recovery and growth in the building sector. It also identifies planning delays, burdensome bureaucracy and weak customer confidence as well as other major barriers to growth in the industry.

The report has been compiled by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the Construction Products Association, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Federation of Master Builders, the National Federation of Builders and the Scottish Building Federation.

The Prime Minister and his deputy announced a number of measures aiming to stimulate the housing market and boost the building sector at the beginning of the week.

Some 32 000 jobs will be created, as building work is expected to begin in July next year to help the housing sector. This will help reverse the slow rate of house building at the moment and help growth.

The fund is aimed to help schemes that are “ready to go” but lack the necessary funding, according to David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

Mr Cameron said: “With this strategy we will unlock the housing market, get Britain building again, and give many more people the satisfaction and security that comes from stepping over their own threshold. These plans are ambitious – but we are determined to deliver on them.”

The report reveals a number of recommendations to unlock growth in the UK construction industry. Some of these are to reduce VAT for sustainable domestic upgrades to 5 per cent, rebalance public expenditure between capital and current spending and ensure banking support to the construction industry to give businesses confidence for growth.

Alasdair Reisner, on behalf of the industry group said: “This report shows that there are concrete measures the government can take to unlock growth in the construction sector, which is itself responsible for more than 7% of all UK economic output.

“It is of crucial importance that the government acts now to reduce bureaucracy in our sector, remove blockages in the pipeline, identify new funding models for infrastructure and ensure that banks are lending sufficiently to both businesses and first time buyers.

What is your opinion on government’s plan to help the building sector? What measures would you like to see in Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Tuesday? Let us know what you think and comment below:

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