Miller Homes and Wates announce house building venture

Miller Homes and Wates announce house building venture

Miller Homes and Wates Developments have joined forces to form a new housebuilder joint venture which will boost the construction trades in Southern England.

Two joint ventures between the companies have already been established in Didcot in Oxfordshire and Southwater in West Sussex, paving the way for new business opportunities.

At Didcot, Miller Homes and Wates will create a 163 unit residential development, featuring 114 two, three and four bedroom properties as well as 49 affordable homes and apartments, as part of the Great Western Park consortium project.

Construction has already begun on site with sales due to commence in late summer. Once complete, the project will feature new amenities, including retail and community facilities.

At Southwater, a reserved matters application has been submitted for 193 properties in the village, which is located south of Horsham.

The proposals, which currently have outline planning consent, will include 40% affordable homes and have been well considered to help the area meet its housing need.

Tracey Lee, Regional Operations Director for Miller Homes Southern, added: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Wates Developments, combining the strengths of both organisations through an innovative business model to bring forward new residential development in Southern England. We are confident this will provide a platform for developing further opportunities together.”

Government announces record UK employment figures

The employment rate in the UK has hit another record high of 74.2%, and there are more people in work than ever before according to latest figures by the Office for National Statistics.

Official figures released this month by the ONS show there are now 31.58 million people in work – a growth driven by full-time employment – and the unemployment rate remains at 5.1%, the lowest in a decade and below recession levels.

Average wages before bonuses grew 2.1% over the last year and there are around 745,000 vacancies available in the jobs market.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Stephen Crabb said: “These are another record-breaking set of figures, with more people in work than ever before and the unemployment rate is the lowest in a decade at 5.1%.

More people in work means that more families across the UK are benefiting from the security of a regular wage and the fulfilment that employment brings.

But the job is not done, which is why our welfare reforms, such as Universal Credit, are making sure that it always pays to be in work.”

The latest labour market statistics also show:

  • the proportion of people who are economically inactive – those not in work or looking for employment – has never been lower at 21.7%

  • the claimant count rate remains at the lowest since 1975 at 2.1%

  • there are 26.2 million people employed in the private sector – 575,000 more than a year earlier

Horizon appoints builder to deliver Wylfa nuclear power station

Horizon appoints builder to deliver Wylfa nuclear power station

Horizon Nuclear Power has today appointed Menter Newydd to help deliver the company’s lead nuclear new build project, Wylfa Newydd.

Menter Newydd, meaning New Venture in Welsh, is a joint venture which will be responsible for the construction of Wylfa Newydd, overseen by Horizon Nuclear Power.

The appointment comes as Horizon continues to make progress across all areas of the Wylfa Newydd project, having just completed a further stage of public consultation in North Wales and recently launched its apprenticeship scheme.

Duncan Hawthorne, Horizon CEO, said: “This is an important step in any large, complex infrastructure project and it adds to Wylfa Newydd’s growing momentum.

The depth and breadth of expertise Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Bechtel and JGC bring to the Menter Newydd venture will help us ensure the timely delivery of our project, which will be vital for meeting the UK’s energy gap and boosting the local economy in North Wales for decades to come. We look forward to working with the team and continuing to make great strides with our plans.”

Hitachi’s Malcolm Twist, Project Director for Menter Newydd, said: “This is a very strong team. All the partners are proven at the highest level, and I’m delighted we’ve established the balance of expertise to safely deliver for Horizon, on-cost and on-schedule. We expect to begin firming up relationships with our main sub-contractors – many of them British – very soon.”

Bechtel’s Mike Robinson, Deputy Project Director for Menter Newydd, said: “This is an exciting project and a major milestone for low-carbon energy and future jobs across Wales and the UK.

As part of Menter Newydd, Bechtel will bring Wylfa Newydd safely into delivery to cost and budget in collaboration with local communities and our partners.

Britcon wins £13.5m anaerobic digestion plant

Britcon wins £13.5m anaerobic digestion plant

Britcon has secured a £13.5 million contract to deliver the construction works on a new anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Dagenham for food waste recycler ReFood (UK) Ltd.

The plant will be located in the London Sustainable Industries Park (SIP) in Dagenham Dock and is expected to be open in summer 2017. When fully operational, more than 60 jobs will be created.

ReFood, which specialises in the recycling of food chain by-products, has a portfolio of 11 AD plants across Europe that generate enough renewable energy to power over 50,000 homes every year.

Using G2G technology this will be upgraded to reflect the qualities of natural gas – allowing it to be injected directly into the national grid and used to power more than 10,000 homes across the region.

The programme also includes delivery of a carbon neutral, high specification office complex, and state of the art depackaging building with deep basement, numerous process structures and external and landscaping works.

John Whitmore, director at Britcon, said: “Through our previous projects we have demonstrated a highly experienced approach throughout procurement, delivery, flexibility and post management together with an exemplary health and safety record.

“We have built a strong and trusting relationship with ReFood (UK) Ltd together with Doncaster based John Hill Architects as lead designer and are delighted to be considered a valued partner as it seeks to further expand its operations in the UK.”

Unite acquires £30m accommodation scheme in Portsmouth

Student accommodation builder Unite has exchanged contracts with Portsmouth City Council, on a subject to planning basis, to acquire a new development site in Portsmouth.

It is envisaged that the Chaucer House site on Isambard Brunel Road will provide a home for around 480 students while helping the local economy and boosting the trades.

The development is expected to achieve returns in line with Unite’s targets for regional development and is anticipated to be delivered by 2018. Total development costs, including the cost of the land, are expected to be around £30 million.

Richard Simpson, Managing Director of Property for Unite Students, said: “The acquisition demonstrates our ability to continue to secure high-quality sites in line with our target returns.

Unite has a strong understanding of the market in Portsmouth and a very positive working relationship with the City Council which has been built over a number of years.

Students continue to be important contributors to the local economy and this new development will help to meet the high demand for student accommodation in the city.”

Galliford Try selected for multi-million student accommodation schemes

Galliford Try selected for multi-million student accommodation schemes

Galliford Try announced that its Building division has been selected as preferred bidder for two new major contracts in the student accommodation sector.

Firstly, Building has been chosen by Newcastle University to construct the new £62 million Park View Student Village.

The scheme replaces the existing 1970s buildings in Richardson Road, Newcastle and will feature a total of 1,279 study bedrooms across six buildings, ranging from four to 10 storeys.

The project will also create associated infrastructure, including a new energy centre for the village.

Secondly, developer Regents Godiva has selected Galliford Try to build a new £40 million scheme for Coventry University.

The 24,500 sqm scheme at Godiva Place in Coventry will create a 770-bedroom facility together with ancillary support facilities and car and cycle parking for students on the city centre site.

Peter Truscott, Chief Executive of Galliford Try, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Newcastle University and Regents Godiva to deliver such significant schemes.

Higher education is a key sector for us and our success here in being selected for these contracts is a reflection of the capability we have demonstrated in producing high-quality accommodation and housing for a range of clients across the country.”

Interserve wins £25m Hampshire Leisure Centre contract

Interserve wins £25m Hampshire Leisure Centre contract

Interserve has won a £25 million contract to build one of the south of England’s biggest leisure developments, the Fleming Park Leisure Centre in Eastleigh.

The centre, which is being designed and built by Interserve in collaboration with AHR Architects for Eastleigh Borough Council, is next to the existing leisure facility that will remain in full use during the 85-week build programme.

Work has already started on the project, which will see the old leisure centre will be demolished after the new building is handed over.

The new centre will boast bigger facilities, including a sports hall with room for 15 badminton courts; an eight-lane, 25-metre swimming pool; a learning pool with adjustable floor depth; three multi-purpose studios and a group spinning studio. It will also be family-friendly with a crèche and a large soft-play area including party rooms.

Interserve’s UK Operations Director for Regional Building, Richard Ellis, said: “We are looking forward to delivering a modern and sustainable new leisure centre that will be a focal point for the local community, improving the health and well-being of residents for many generations to come. As part of the project we will be creating local jobs and using many members of our trusted local supply chain.”

The building will be constructed with a steel frame and pre-stressed concrete floors, while the pool will be made with reinforced concrete. Externally it will be clad in brickwork, aluminium and zinc rainscreen.

PM: UK infrastructure stronger within the EU

A vote to remain within the European Union will result in the UK continuing to boost up billions of pounds in infrastructure investment every year, Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed.

An exit from the EU would terminate Britain’s membership of the European Investment Bank (EIB), an organisation which has invested more than £16 billion in UK projects over the past 3 years.

Just over a week ago the EIB announced funding of £280 million for the expansion of facilities at University College London and just yesterday it confirmed a £700 million injection of finance for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a major new sewer which will help clean up the River Thames.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We know leaving the EU would result in an economic shock in the UK, after which we would be permanently poorer. We also know businesses would lose access to the single market of over 500 million people, and the contraction of our economy would mean less money for public services.

But something less remarked upon is the devastating impact on future infrastructure investment of our expulsion from the European Investment Bank.

Vital projects across every region of the UK have been financed by the EIB. These make a huge difference locally, nationally, and sometimes globally – from the purchase of 65 new Super Express Trains for the East Coast Main Line; to investment in development of emission control technologies in Hertfordshire; to extension of the M8 motorway between Edinburgh and Glasgow; to the expansion of Oxford University’s research and teaching facilities.

Not only would leaving the EU see us wave goodbye to this crucial funding – but, with a smaller economy hit by new trading barriers and job losses, it’s unlikely we’d be able to find that money from alternative sources.

Infrastructure affects the competitiveness of every business and the prosperity of every family in the country – but a leave vote on 23rd June risks putting the brakes on the infrastructure investment we need and shifting our economy into reverse.”

The UK has more than doubled the volume of investment it receives from the EIB since 2012, and in 2015 EIB lending in the UK totalled a record €7.77 billion, representing 11.2% of its overall lending to EU countries.

In 2015, the UK was also one or the largest beneficiaries of the EIB’s new special investment facility, the

Morgan Sindall wins £1.7m school expansion

Morgan Sindall

Morgan Sindall has been appointed to deliver the £1.7 million expansion of Southtown Primary School in Great Yarmouth.

The school is extending its offering to cater for primary school children, in addition to the infant school facilities it currently offers. The school will be undergoing a number of alterations to enable it to achieve full primary school status.

The new space will comprise an ICT facility, a school library and a teaching area for food technology. The project team will also build two new classrooms, toilets and changing facilities to accommodate older children joining the school.

The second phase of the project will begin during the summer holidays and include the relocation of the staffroom and the expansion of several classrooms in the school. Temporary class spaces will be made available while the remodeling and extension work is being completed.

Gavin Napper, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re delighted to have been appointed to this ambitious and important scheme which will help Southtown Primary School continue its journey to full primary status. The school is an integral part of the local community and this expansion will help to alleviate demand for school places in the rapidly-growing area.

The project team will be operating in a live school environment and have ensured a number of measures are in place to guarantee minimal disruption to classes. The team will also be hosting several interaction classes and participating in school assemblies to make sure the children are aware of the works going on around the school as the brickwork starts to grow.”

Lovell and Link to build new homes in North Lanarkshire

Lovell and Link to build new homes in North Lanarkshire

Link Group Ltd has chosen Glasgow housing developer Lovell for a £6 million development which will create 55 high-quality affordable and open market homes in Moodiesburn, North Lanarkshire.

The Lovell team recently began construction work at Mollins Gate, on the former site of the Moodiesburn House Hotel in Cumbernauld Road, that will boost economic growth and create local jobs.

Planned for completion in summer 2017, it will comprise 17 homes – nine one- and two-bedroom flats and eight two- and three-bedroom houses – for social rent for Link; 15 two-bedroom flats for shared equity sale by Link and 23 two- and three-bedroom houses for private sale by Lovell.

As well as answering the need for brand-new quality affordable and open market homes, the development will create valuable training opportunities for residents, including an apprenticeship, five jobs and seven work placements for local people.

Link Group chair Roy Stirrat said: “We look forward to working with Lovell throughout the course of the development to build these new, high-quality affordable homes in Moodiesburn. We would like to thank North Lanarkshire Council for its support and the Scottish Government for funding for this development.”

Lovell regional director Alan Taylor said: “Our team has a strong record in the delivery of mixed tenure housing developments delivering quality affordable homes and homes for sale.

The area will also benefit from Lovell’s belief in creating legacy benefits for communities, with the project set to provide potentially life-changing job and training opportunities.”