Sub-contractors sought for £27m Malvern scheme

Wates Construction

Sub-contractors across the three counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire are being sought to become part of a supply chain that will see the building of a new retirement village in Malvern.

Wates Construction, delivering the project on behalf of Audley retirement villages, is set to host a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event, giving local businesses the chance to tender for the £27 million project.

Richard Scarrott, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction Midlands, said: “Together with Audley, we are cementing our commitment to ensuring local subcontractors are involved in the delivery of this fantastic new retirement development in Malvern.

We anticipate a good turnout and look forward to engaging with local businesses to ensure they maximise this opportunity. The event will ensure that an economic boost is delivered across the region, bringing with it renewed prospects for training and employment.”

The event will be taking place on Thursday 1 October between 8.30am – 4.00pm at the Hilton Puckrup Hall in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

The new village will be constructed on landscaped parkland at the former site of Hillstone School on Abbey Road and will comprise the development of around 90 apartments.

Local sub-contractors will tender for the project, which also includes the refurbishment of two Victorian buildings: Ellerslie House will boast a luxury health facility called Audley Club, whilst Ellerslie Lodge will be renovated for residential purposes.

Interserve wins £16m York Uni lab building job

Interserve wins £16m York Uni lab building job

Interserve has won a contract to design and build a new three-storey building as part of a £16 million development at the University of York‘s Heslington West campus.

The project will feature wet laboratories, interactive spaces for students and a student services and administration centre, as well as an atrium linking it with the nearby Biomedical and Natural Sciences building.

Enabling works started on site in July 2015, and the project is due to complete in autumn 2016.

The University of York has undertaken significant redevelopment in recent years, investing in 20 new buildings on the original Heslington West campus, and undertaking a £750 million campus expansion at Heslington East, to accommodate some 16,000 students and 3,500 staff.

John Gittins, divisional director at Interserve, said: “We are looking forward to building a long-term relationship with the University of York as it continues to invest in world class facilities to attract the very best students, researchers and staff.

Securing this first project with the University highlights Interserve’s growing presence and expertise within the buoyant higher education sector and extends our relationship with the Russell Group, for whom we are currently working for on six universities in the north.”

The university is part of the Russell Group of UK universities, which is committed to the highest levels of academic excellence in both teaching and research.

Professor Ian Graham, the head of department in Biology at York, said: “We are looking forward to working with Interserve in the development of the Bioscience Complex at York. With the doors of this exciting new learning space due to open for the start of the 2016/17 academic year we have a very busy year ahead.”

£2 billion support for Hinkley Point C

£2 billion support for Hinkley Point C

George Osborne has insisted new nuclear power stations are essential to make sure the lights stay on, as he gave the go-ahead to the initial government guarantee for the first such plant in Britain for 20 years.

While on a five day tour of China, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the new government guarantee, provided by Infrastructure UK, for a new nuclear power station planned for Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

The initial deal is set to be worth around £2 billion and will pave the way for a final investment decision by energy company EDF, supported by China General Nuclear Corporation and China National Nuclear Corporation, later this year, and with further amounts potentially available in the longer-term.

The construction and operation of Hinkley Point C will create thousands of jobs in Somerset and more widely in the nuclear industry across the UK, as well as boosting Britain’s energy security.

The new plant is expected to produce enough energy to supply seven per cent of the country’s needs, powering around six million homes.

It is also expected to open the door to unprecedented collaboration in the UK and China on the construction of new nuclear power stations.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “Britain was the home to the very first civil nuclear power stations in the world and I am determined that we now lead the way again.

So I am delighted to announce this guarantee for Hinkley Point today and to be in China to discuss their investments in Britain’s nuclear industry.

It is another move forward for the golden relationship between Britain and China – the world’s oldest civil nuclear power and the world’s fastest growing civil nuclear power.”

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said: “We will continue to work with EDF to finalise the Hinkley deal, which will power nearly six million homes and create more than 25,000 jobs – providing more financial security for working people and their families as we transition to a low-carbon future.”

Go-ahead for £70m Manchester office block

Go-ahead for £70m Manchester office block

Plans for a new £70 million office scheme in the heart of Manchester have been submitted by Worthington Properties, part of the Lancashire-based Marcus Worthington Group.

The landmark office scheme will occupy a prime office location on Deansgate strategically positioned between the gateway to Spinningfields and Manchester’s civic core.

It will deliver 113,500 sq ft of Grade A office space and a further 12,100 sq ft of retail space over two units that will pave the way for new jobs and boost the building trades.

Replacing 123-127 Deansgate, it will form an integral part of the wider redevelopment of Brazenose Street and Lincoln Square. Construction is expected to start in summer 2016.

Director Russell Worthington said: “This BREEAM Excellent scheme will deliver 113,500 sq ft Grade A office floorplates on one of the busiest and most sought after locations in Manchester. It will make a welcome addition to this area of the city and will complement what is happening in Lincoln Square and its immediate surrounds”

The proposed development will bring a new commercial address to Deansgate, ideally placed to meet occupiers’ requirements for Grade A office space and help fill what is currently a missing link between Spinningfields and the Civic Quarter around Lincoln Square.”

Go-ahead for Birmingham’s £500m Paradise Scheme

Go-ahead for Birmingham's £500m Paradise Scheme

Three construction projects in the £500 milliom Paradise development in central Birmingham have been given the go-ahead, paving the way for building work to start within weeks.

Three planning applications were passed for two new office buildings – One and Two Chamberlain Square – along with the major enhancement of public space.

The applications comprise two office-led developments overlooking Chamberlain Square, which will also undergo improvements, including the creation of a new pedestrian street linking to Centenary Square.

Carillion was appointed last year to deliver phase one enabling and infrastructure works.

Senior projects director of Argent, Rob Groves, said: “Now we have the City’s permission, we will move forward on delivering these two exceptional office buildings and public space enhancements and bring our plans to create this prestigious business address at the civic heart of Birmingham into reality.

As well as the two new office buildings, the attractive wide streets and squares will enhance the remarkable historic setting, which has one of the UK’s finest collections of Victorian civic buildings.”

Sir Albert Bore, leader of the city council, said: “As the city sees an unprecedented amount of construction projects and celebrates a series of major transformational events, including the opening of the multi-million pound New Street Station and Grand Central, Paradise further consolidates Birmingham’s position as a city that is on the up, attracting investment from some of the world’s biggest firms, creating jobs and enjoying more growth and prosperity.”

When complete, the £500 million Paradise scheme will include 1.8 million sq ft of office and shops and will also include a hotel.

Work Commences on West Sussex Solar Farm

Work Commences on West Sussex Solar Farm

Work has now commenced on site for the new 4.85MWp Solar Farm on Tangmere Airfield, West Sussex, providing enough clean energy to power more than 1,500 local homes.

The solar farm is the first of its kind to be delivered by Your Energy Sussex and Carillion, and marks the start of a large-scale programmethat will include further solar farm developments and solar installations on business premises and social housing to provide low-cost, low-carbon electricity to tenants.

Stephen Hodgson, project director at Carillion said: “This is an exciting time for our partnership with Your Energy Sussex. We have spent the last few months ensuring the ground is clear of unexploded ordnance as this site was previously an active wartime airfield.

We are now working closely with our partner Solarcentury who are leading on the construction of the project and have extensive experience delivering solar projects for councils, community energy groups and private businesses.”

Construction commenced on site this week, and the project will take around three months to build and connect to the local grid. During this time Solarcentury will be planting 300m of trees and hedgerows to infill existing hedges; this will ensure the site is well screened and therefore that it is aesthetically pleasing for local residents.

Right to Buy creates nearly 40,000 new homeowners

Ministers welcomed this as further evidence of how government-led efforts are supporting homeowners and the house building industry.

Today’s figures also show that 3,644 new starts and acquisitions have been made since the Right to Buy was reinvigorated in 2012.

This means that the 3,054 additional homes sold in the first year of the scheme are already being replaced on a one-for-one basis nationally.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “For years, the discounts available under the Right to Buy were left to dwindle, denying thousands of people the opportunity to own their own home.

This reinvigorated scheme has turned that around, and means nearly 40,000 people have been able to buy the home they love – many of whom might otherwise never have had the chance to become homeowners.

On top of that, it’s getting homes built, with councils replacing the additional homes sold on a one-for-one basis.”

Since the reinvigoration of the Right to Buy scheme, nearly £964 million in sales receipts are being re-invested into building new homes; levering a further £2.2 billion of investment over the next 3 years.

This means that in total, over £3.2 billion will be raised to invest in affordable house building as a result of the as a result of Right to Buy.

In the 3 months to June, 2,779 households bought their homes under Right to Buy.

Local authorities received approximately £223 million from Right to Buy sales, 5% higher than the £212 million in the same quarter of 2014 to 2015.

HS2 to create 25,000 construction jobs

HS2 talks business to boost the trades

The Government has deposited a proposed set of changes to the High Speed 2 railway that will boost phase one of the project between London and the West Midlands.

Government experts are predicting the High Speed 2 railway connecting London with Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester will create 25,000 construction jobs.

Procurement has already started on the scheme with building work set to get under way in 2017.

Transport secretary Robert Goodwill said: “We are starting the procurement process by preparing the contracts that will be signed as soon as the bill has passed; some of the largest value contracts in UK construction history.

Generating tens of thousands of opportunities, sixty percent of which we expect to be awarded to small- and medium-sized businesses.

We need everything from architects to aggregates, steel and surveyors, to engineers and environmental consultants.

We estimate that HS2 will create 25,000 jobs during construction and 3,000 jobs when in operation.”

Thousands of new jobs expected in Enterprise Areas by 2020

The Scottish Government

Scotland’s latest proposed Enterprise Area – the Biocity industrial tech incubator – could see employment boosted by another 180 new jobs in the next five years.

And based on growth rates already seen across the existing 15 Enterprise Areas (EAs) across Scotland, a potential 1800 jobs could be supported by the extension of the EA status until 2020.

First Minister announced plans to designate Biocity as an Enterprise Area in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government earlier this month, together with the extension of existing Enterprise Areas to 2020.

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon and Deputy First Minister, John Swinney toured the site today as part of a visit to neighbouring Coatbridge for the latest in the Scottish Government’s series of travelling Cabinets.

Ms Sturgeon said:“Enterprise Areas in Scotland at sites like Irvine and Edinburgh’s Bioquarter are already doing a terrific job creating new economic opportunities, new partnerships with education and – most importantly – new jobs across the country.

Based on patterns of growth already seen at these existing sites, we expect potentially 1800 new jobs in Scotland’s Enterprise Areas between now and 2020.

Here at Biocity we expect to see up to 180 new jobs – highly skilled and high-value jobs in an area where we are continuing to work hard with partners to make sure the benefits of economic growth are felt across the board.”

New gas power station in Lincolnshire given the go-ahead

New gas power station in Lincolnshire given the go-ahead

EDF Energy has today been granted planning consent to construct a new gas power plant in Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, that will boost the trades and create new jobs.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Bourne approved the development, which during construction will bring around 1,500 jobs to the area, with around 50 permanent positions once operational.

The station will produce up to 1800MW of electricity and will be capable of operating continuously throughout the year for up to 35 years.

Energy Minister Lord Bourne said:“We are working to deliver clean, affordable and secure energy supplies for hardworking families and businesses.

Continued investment in this vital industry – such as this new power plant – creates jobs but also helps keep the lights on as we move towards a cleaner energy future.”