Eric Wright wins Burnley free school contract

Eric Wright wins Burnley free school contract

Eric Wright Construction has been given a multi-million building contract to construct a two-form entry high school and sixth form in Burnley.

Commissioned through the Education Funding Authority (EFA) Regional Contractors Framework and on behalf of Chapel Street Community Schools Trust, the free school scheme will provide accommodation for 450 secondary and 200 sixth form students.

The new ‘Super Block’ designed by JM Architects will be constructed on the site of the former Habergham High School, which has already been demolished.

The contract award follows the decision not to refurbish and extend the existing premises due to the discovery of shallow worked coal seams below the site.

John Wilson, managing director at Eric Wright Construction, added: “We have leveraged the experience and technical expertise within the Eric Wright Group to take a pragmatic approach to designing this scheme that addresses the EFA’s requirements, the Trust’s preferences and the challenges of the site.

“Once completed, the school will be an important addition to the education choices available to families in Burnley and we look forward to handing the building over in April 2017.”

Carillion to build Lambeth College centre

Carillion to build Lambeth College centre

Carillion has today been selected as the preferred bidder to build a new skill centre for Lambeth College, London.

The £167 million project will be carried out on the college’s Vauxhall site, creating up to 600 jobs during the construction phase. Work is planned to start in 2016 and be completed by 2018.

The development will include a construction skills academy which will be operated by the college and Carillion, a four star training hotel plus 176 apartments.

Carillion will manage the delivery of the development, including construction, from which it expects to generate £167 million revenue.

The flagship scheme will provide learners with direct routes to sustainable employment, apprenticeships and higher-level progression opportunities in the construction and hotel sector.

This exposure to a real work environment will ensure that learners emerge as “work ready.” The new Skills Centre will also support Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Learners alongside construction and hospitality.

Carillion chief executive Richard Howson said: “This is a very exciting development which will provide state-of-the-art training facilities which will prepare thousands of young people for exciting careers.

We are pleased to be able to extend our apprenticeship programme to work with Lambeth College. Our apprenticeships not only equip people with valuable skills but enables them to work on construction projects, such as our work at Battersea Power Station and Kings Cross, during their training. The programmes are designed so apprentices can earn-while-they-learn.”

Help to Buy scheme boosts house building

New research has found that 43% of new homes built under the Help to Buy, equity loan scheme for aspiring homeowners, would have not been built without introduction of the scheme.

A report published today also found that 82% of buyers under Help to Buy: equity loan would not have been able to purchase their home without the scheme helping them meet their ownership aspirations.

Launched in 2013, the Help to Buy scheme was set up to support hard-working people who could pay a mortgage but struggle to save the deposits required by lenders.

Now more than 130,000 people have now been able to become homeowners since the launch.

The report found no evidence that the scheme has driven up house prices but did find that housebuilders have much more confidence in the housing market.

Help to Buy scheme boosts house buildingHousing Minister Brandon Lewis said: Anyone who works hard and aspires to own their own home should have the opportunity to do so and this report shows how the government’s Help to Buy scheme continues to turn those dreams into a reality.

We’ve got the country building again and seen the number of new homes increase by 25% in the last year alone with thousands of people across the country helped by the scheme.”

The number of owners assisted by other government schemes is also expected to continue rising through London Help to Buy and the Help to Buy: ISA, which has now been opened by more than 250,000 people.

Confidence in the market

Help to Buy is supporting the country’s economy by getting Britain building again.

The report shows that builders have seen improved confidence in the market because of the scheme and that it has encouraged more lenders to enter the market. It is also helping people move up to bigger homes.

The research found that the average price of homes under the scheme is £212,000, £55,000 below the UK average of £267,000 and that it has brought down the average deposit needed.

Help to Buy: equity loan has been extended to 2021 through a further £8.6 billion and will help up to 145,000 more people take steps towards owning their own home.

£16.9m Dixon House Scheme gets underway

£16.9m Dixon House Scheme gets underway

ISG has been awarded a £16.9 million refurbishment project by independent property investment company, GreenOak, at Dixon House, 72-75 Fenchurch Street.

Located in the heart of the City of London, the seven-storey Grade II listed office building will undergo partial demolition and the addition of three new floors as part of an ambitious programme to transform and upgrade the property.

ISG will deliver 60,000 sq ft of contemporary Cat A open plan office accommodation. The contractor will systematically demolish the existing building down to the fourth floor slab and remove two staircases across the lower part of the building.

The contractor will also demolish a significant central area of the remaining structure down to basement level to enable complete reconfiguration of the building core. A new triple lift shaft will then be constructed within this central area.

Stuart Deverill, ISG’s Southern regional managing director, said: “This latest scheme plays to our significant strengths delivering highly complex structural refurbishments in logistically challenging and busy locations. Dixon House is set to become an excellent showcase for those visionary owners looking to transform their outdated property assets to maximise demand and commercial value.”

ISG Wins £12.4m Derwent Office Scheme


ISG has been awarded a £12.4 million fast-track project to refurbish a prominent office building on Whitechapel High Street for Derwent London.

The former RBS office will be extensively remodelled internally to provide 200,000 sq ft of high-specification Cat A space, including provision of a new entrance and open plan reception area.

The eight-storey building in London’s fast-growing Tech Belt area will be systematically stripped out, enabling ISG to reconfigure the ground floor space and seven levels of office accommodation.

Structural alterations will be made at ground floor level, with the partial infill of the existing atrium, to create a spacious and contemporary reception, with open plan break out areas, informal meeting space and new retail units. A feature entrance with a new steel portal is set to enhance the building’s visual appeal.

The project includes the upgrade of mechanical and electrical infrastructure and the installation of new generators to ensure resilience for new tenants. The project location is close to ISG’s head office in Aldgate and reflects the continuing demand for high-specification office accommodation in this strategic location.

Stuart Deverill, ISG’s Southern regional managing director, commented: “Office construction activity within the immediate vicinity of our head office has significantly increased over the past six months and really highlights the strong levels of occupier demand in this area.

This latest win reinforces our market leading position in complex office refurbishment and fit out, and we’re delighted to be working with Derwent London to maximise the value of this key property asset.”

Crossrail gets the go-ahead for Farringdon offices

New development opposite Smithfield Market will bring 120,000 square feet to the City office market.

Crossrail now has planning consent for 10 over site developments that will pave the way for new jobs and boost local growth.

Crossrail has gained planning approval for a new office development above Farringdon Crossrail station, following an appeal decision by the Planning Inspectorate.

Sitting above the station’s eastern ticket hall in Lindsey Street, the ground floor plus five storey scheme designed by PLP Architecture, will offer 120,000 square feet of high-quality, column-free office space with a large reception and retail units.

Crossrail will now consider development options for the scheme. Construction could begin in 2017 once major work on Farringdon Crossrail station is complete.

Ian Lindsay, Land & Property Director at Crossrail said: “The Lindsey Street scheme is part of Crossrail’s plan to bring over 3 million square feet of new, high-quality office, retail and residential space to central London, and reinvest every pound made back into the project.”

The Lindsey Street scheme is one of two Crossrail developments planned above Farringdon station. Crossrail also has planning permission for the 187,000 square feet Cardinal House office scheme, located above Crossrail’s western ticket hall on the corner of Cowcross Street and Farringdon Road.

Milestone for South Shields regeneration

The £100 million South Shields town centre regeneration project has reached another important milestone that will boost the local economy and create new jobs.

As the main contractor, B&K and its client Muse Developments, in partnership with South Tyneside Council, are engaged in the regeneration of the town centre.

Matt Crompton, Joint Managing Director of Muse Developments said: “Today marks an important step in the regeneration of South Shields town centre. The Word will be an iconic, state-of-the-art building that sets the bar for the quality of development and architecture that people of South Tyneside deserve.”

This is just the first stage of the overall regeneration project that will have a positive impact on residents and everyone who visits the town and we are very proud to be partnering with South Tyneside Council in such a bold scheme.”

The Word development forms part of a phased regeneration scheme jointly funded by Muse Developments and South Tyneside Council and is due to open Autumn 2016.

Phase One of the £100m regeneration project is a part of a 10-year master plan. Work is now complete on improvements to the local Market Place, an integral part of the town’s identity.

The regeneration scheme will improve the town’s public spaces to improve internal and external access and connectivity whilst also respecting the rich urban heritage of the town and includes an ample amount of outdoor seating, tree-lined avenues with new level paving accessible to all.

Andy Kinnear, Bowmer & Kirkland’s Construction Director in the North East, said: “Bowmer and Kirkland is delighted to be involved in such a prestigious landmark scheme.

The building is set to become an iconic feature of the South Shields landscape and we are extremely proud to be involved.”

Jobs boost thanks to £120m infrastructure scheme

Up to 2,000 jobs are set to be created thanks to a £120 million capital investment for infrastructure projects across Wales during 2016-17, Finance Minister Jane Hutt announced this week.

Ahead of a debate on the Welsh Government Draft Budget 2016-17, the Minister confirmed a range of pan-Wales projects will benefit from the additional capital investment in line with the priorities set out in the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan.

Jane Hutt said: “Investing in infrastructure is key to our approach to supporting sustained economic growth. Every part of Wales will benefit from this £120m investment of Capital funding in our infrastructure, and my announcement today has the potential to create around 2,000 jobs during the construction phase, boosting growth and supporting the delivery of more efficient public services.”

These include:

  • £50m for priority transport projects;

  • £10m for the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme to support projects that will enhance skills for post-16 students;

  • £10m for Intermediate Care Fund, focusing on ‘step-down’ and re-ablement facilities for people with complex needs to support independent living and reduce demand on health services;

  • £10m for the Wales Ambulance Service Trust for the replacement of vehicles;

  • £5m for Green Growth Wales, providing repayable energy efficiency grants across health, local authorities and education; and

  • £3m for Warm Homes / Arbed, to tackle fuel poverty through green growth by investing in domestic energy efficiency measures.

A further £10m will be allocated towards neonatal investment in developments across West, South and North Wales.

Work underway on £4m oil and gas facility

Minister for Business Fergus Ewing has broken ground on a new £4 million testing facility created by oil and gas supply chain firm Sonomatic in Aberdeen.

The overall investment will maintain 50 jobs within the construction industry to build the facility.

It is likely to create around 15 full time jobs in the short term with a predicted 70 full-time jobs in the longer term.

Sonomatic is a market leader in the development and provision of automated non-destructive (NDT) ultrasonic inspection and related integrity services for the oil and gas, power generation and defence sectors.

Sonomatic’s direct investment in the NDT and Rope Access facility is in excess of £4 million, including the land, building and fit-out costs.

Mr Ewing said:“While it is clear that the oil and gas industry faces severe challenges from a low global oil price, today’s investment from Sonomatic underlines the many opportunities which remain through our world class supply chain and I look forward to seeing this exciting project develop.

“Earlier today, the oil and gas industry leadership group – of which I am co-chair – published a refreshed oil and gas strategy offering a shared path for industry, governments and the Oil and Gas Authority to follow in working together to support the industry and its world class supply chain.”