GRAHAM Selected for Thames Valley Science Park

The University of Reading has selected Graham Construction as preferred contractor on the £22.7 million first phase of Thames Valley Science Park in Reading.

GRAHAM Construction will lead on the delivery of the three-storey commercial building, known as the Gateway Building, which will include high-quality laboratories and flexible office spaces aimed at attracting small to medium-sized technology companies, alongside associated amenities including a café and conference suite.

The Thames Valley Science Park will be a springboard for emerging technology companies brought together in a campus-style setting to encourage interaction and foster positive relationships between businesses and academia.

Director of the Thames Valley Science Park at the University of Reading, David Gillham said: “We are delighted to appoint GRAHAM Construction who have shown that they have the skills and expertise to deliver this prestigious project.”

GRAHAM Construction’s London office director, Rob Joyce said: “The Thames Valley Science Park Gateway Building is the first project to be tendered for and announced under the University of Reading’s £250m capital works programme and marks a significant milestone.

Our focus will be on constructing buildings of the highest quality to support the university’s aim in attracting leading SMEs specialising in technology.”

Willmott Dixon to improve thousands of homes in Hull

More than 2,000 homes in Hull will benefit from cheaper energy bills and better homes after Willmott Dixon was appointed by Hull City Council as its new citywide energy partner.

The company will deliver a package of energy saving measures across the city to make homes warmer and improve living conditions for thousands of residents. It follows similar deals the company has in Oxford, Leeds and Bristol.

Refurbishment works will include improvements to 329 homes in the Preston Road area and 1,668 properties in Orchard Park, including external solid wall insulation similar to that delivered in other areas of the city.

Energy efficiency and frontage improvement works will also be delivered to 136 properties in Granville Street and Walliker Street as part of the contract.

Councillor John Black, Portfolio Holder for Council Infrastructure with responsibility for housing, said: “While specific reductions to housing revenue has had serious implications on schemes like this, we are continuing with this important investment and these energy improvements recognise our commitment in Hull’s 10-year City Plan to become a leading UK Energy City.”

Robert Lambe, managing director of Willmott Dixon Energy Services said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Hull City Council. Over the next five years we will deliver improvements which will help improve the health and well-being of thousands of people.”

Kier to build £26m Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter

Kier to build £26m Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter

Kier has been appointed by University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) to deliver the initial £26m phase of its new £300 million Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter.

The £26m contract to oversee the design & build of the first phase of UWTSD’s new waterfront development will also see the creation of 25 local jobs and 250 weeks of apprenticeship training, as Kier has collaborated with the University in its mission to ensure the community benefits from the scheme.

Kier will be responsible for managing the detailed and technical design of the University’s new buildings, as well as handling the entire construction process.

The 12,200sq m first phase of the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter will comprise the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering and a new library building, together with external public spaces.

Working closely with the University, Kier will begin construction on Phase One in autumn 2016 to ensure the site is operational for the start of the academic year in 2018.

Jason Taylor, Kier operations director for South Wales, comments: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and our early involvement in the project helps us develop a true understanding of the University’s aspirations and challenges.”

As principal contractor on the project, Kier will be based in SA1 for the duration of the build and will be responsible for establishing a collaborative working approach with all other contractors, including Stride Treglown, which continues to be involved in the design process.

ISG Wins £11m Aviva Pinnacle Scheme

ISG Wins £11m Aviva Pinnacle Scheme

ISG has secured its latest win with Aviva Investors, taking an £11 million scheme to refurbish Pinnacle House in Wimbledon.

ISG will transform the outdated façade of the existing building, replacing the roadside brickwork and glazed elevation with a striking scalloped curtain walling design.

Internally, the building will be comprehensively stripped back to a shell and core state, with ISG carrying out extensive structural works, replacing cores, creating a new central staircase, installing lifts and delivering new mechanical and electrical services infrastructure.

Significant alterations will be made to the main entrance and public realm space, with a new ground floor reception area created.

Stuart Deverill, ISG’s Southern regional managing director, commented: “This transformational scheme will revitalise an outdated property asset in the centre of Wimbledon into a stand out office development, with a significant increase in rentable space and a striking new exterior.

This latest scheme both strengthens our existing relationship with Aviva Investors and reinforces our specialist credentials delivering complex, structural office refurbishment projects in logistically challenging environments.”

Balfour Beatty awarded £55m highways works

Balfour Beatty awarded £55m highways works

Balfour Beatty Living Places has been awarded a £55 million contract by West Sussex County Council to continue its highways maintenance and improvement scheme works.

The contract includes highways improvements such as resurfacing, safety fencing, footway, cycleway and carriageway reconstruction; highways maintenance including defect repair, grass cutting and reactive emergency response.

Balfour Beatty Living Places has been West Sussex County Council’s Highways Alliance Partner since July 2011.

The 2014/15 Annual Performance Report demonstrates that West Sussex Highways is a successful Highways Alliance.

With improvements in safety and asset management Service Provider Indicators (SPIs), the report also showed that the 2014/15 SPIs in Highway safety, works delivery, network availability and customer satisfaction were consistently above target.

West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, John O’Brien, said: “We are pleased to continue our relationship with our partner Balfour Beatty Living Places.

We look forward to working closely with them again over the next two years. Together we will maintain and improve the road infrastructure in West Sussex on behalf of our residents and businesses.”

Amanda Fisher, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty Living Places said “I am thrilled with the two year contract extension for West Sussex which is testament to the excellent service delivery provided by the industry-leading Highways Alliance.

Our expert teams will continue to work closely with West Sussex County Council to create great places to live, work and play for local residents”.

Bournemouth Uni unveils £100m landmark development

New plans have been launched for £100 million worth of landmark developments to create world class facilities at Bournemouth University (BU).

The schemes aim to create striking gateway buildings at BU’s Lansdowne and Talbot sites, bringing significant investment into Bournemouth and Poole.

Proposals include state-of-the-art facilities for BU’s highly regarded faculties of Media and Communication, Management, Science and Technology and Health and Social Sciences (HSS).

The plans for Talbot include a landmark Poole Gateway Building for the Media and Communication, Management, and Science and Technology faculties.

There will also be transport and accessibility benefits for the wider community including a bus hub on the campus and a new link road off the Boundary roundabout.

Professor John Vinney, BU Vice-Chancellor, said: “Bournemouth University has recently been recognised in the top 200 most international universities in the world.

Our staff and students contribute more than £1 million a day to the south west economy and support just less than one full-time equivalent (FTE) job in the local conurbation for every 7.4 students.”

Countryside and L&Q to build 3,000 homes

Countryside and L&Q to build 3,000 homes

Countryside and L&Q have been selected by the GLA to build up to 3,000 homes on the currently-derelict 29 hectare site at Beam Park in Dagenham, east London.

Under the development agreement, 35% of the new homes at Beam Park will be mixed-tenure, with a significant proportion of shared ownership properties marketed to the local community first.

A new railway station on the C2C line, a primary school, swimming pool and other community facilities are also proposed.

Countryside and L&Q were selected from a shortlist of four developers as part of the London Development Panel procurement process, which was set up by the Mayor of London to accelerate the delivery of housing in the capital.

Construction is expected to begin in 2017. Countryside’s Partnerships division will build all of the private and affordable homes on the development.

Richard Cherry, CEO of Partnerships at Countryside said: “Countryside is delighted to have been selected for this hugely important new scheme which will spearhead the regeneration of the London Riverside Opportunity Area.”

Jerome Geoghegan, Group Director, Development and Sales at L&Q said: “Housing supply is the critical issue affecting the growth of London and the quality of life enjoyed by Londoners, so we are very excited to have been selected by the GLA as a delivery partner on such an important strategic site as Beam Park where we can do so much to meet that need.

L&Q is aiming to build 50,000 new homes over the next decade and we plan to reach that goal by creating quality homes in places where people want to live.”

The Mayor of London,

Sheffield homes to undergo £5.4m makeover

Up to 3,500 homes in Sheffield are to receive an external makeover following the appointment of Wates Living Space Maintenance by Sheffield City Council.

Wates Living Space Maintenance will now commence delivery of the £5.4 million refurbishment programme, which will see approximately 5,000 new doors and 2,000 new windows fitted to homes across the city.

The project will also see Wates Living Space Maintenance offer employment and training opportunities for local people and employ a locally based supply chain of suppliers and subcontractors, including social enterprises.

In addition, Wates has a dedicated community engagement team on site that will be working closely with residents.

These collaborative efforts form part of Wates’ commitment to create a legacy of social and economic benefits through its presence in the area.

Sheffield City Council is currently responsible for approximately 40,300 council homes across the city.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for housing at Sheffield City Council, said: “We’re investing in our council homes to make sure they are safe, secure and warm. We’re also making them more energy efficient to save people money as well as being better for the environment.

This work will be a boost for our homes and for the local area, as it will create local jobs and apprenticeship opportunities. I look forward to seeing the results which are part of our £300 million investment plans into council homes.”

Fresh help for house building in Scotland

More than £160 million of new funding will be targeted in 2016/17 on home ownership schemes to support 5000 households to buy their own home.

More than £80 million will go to our established Open Market Shared Equity Scheme (OMSE) helping up to 2,000 eligible first-time buyers on low to moderate incomes.

The Help to Buy (Scotland): Affordable Home Ownership scheme will help up to 3,000 households next year, backed by £80 million equity support towards the purchase price.

The three year £195 million Help to Buy scheme, which will help thousands of lower income households buy a new-build home, will open for applications on March 1.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said: “I am delighted that we can help 5000 home buyers into affordable home ownership in the coming financial year, underpinned by £160 million, which is £35 million more than originally planned for this year.

Importantly, this new funding is specifically targeted to support thousands of low income individuals and families across Scotland get on or up the housing ladder.

Since 2007, OMSE has helped over 6,000 first time buyers who would not otherwise be able to afford to buy their first home to get a foot on the housing ladder; and this year we will help another 2000.

Through Help to Buy, we have already helped 7,500 households buy a new build home and over the next three years our successor Help to Buy Scheme will help another 7,500 as well as boosting the home building industry, and support jobs across Scotland.”

BAM secures Enterprise Zone for UWE in Bristol

The University of the West of England has appointed BAM Construction to deliver a £16 million Enterprise Zone that will boost growth and support new jobs.

The scheme is a refurbishment and remodelling of an existing 4250-square metre building including an internal fit-out and M&E upgrades and installations.

The new building will provide incubation space for start-up businesses and contain the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

It was procured against competition through the Construction Framework for the South West. Parsons Brinckerhoff is the architect.

BAM’s Construction Director, Craig Allen, said: ”We are delighted to have secured the new enterprise zone project with the University of the West of England.

We look forward to building on existing relationships with the University having successfully delivered their new students union building earlier in the year.

The Enterprise Zone will be a great place to do business for new firms which will create jobs and be boost to the local economy”

Professor Martin Boddy, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Business Engagement at UWE said: “We are delighted to have BAM help us develop the first University Enterprise Zone supported by the government, just one of four in the country.

Construction is now underway for this development on the Frenchay Campus which will provide significant support to the region’s innovation and business growth.”