North Wales projects secure £16m EU funding

More than £16 million of EU funds will be invested in two North Wales projects, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced.

The funding will boost businesses in the marine energy sector and training programmes for people affected by long-term unemployment and economic inactivity.

Around 50 businesses will benefit from specialist research and development collaborations with universities and 2,000 people who are out of work take part in training programmes to develop new skills and improve their job prospects.

Mark Drakeford said: “This is a major investment of EU funding which will finance highly specialised-innovation in an important sector of our economy and target support to people who are finding it difficult to get into work.

These projects are also good examples of how EU funds are being used in Wales to grow businesses, improve people’s lives and strengthen our economy.”

Almost £12 million will support Bangor University‘s £17 million SEACAMS 2 project, which aims to expand Wales’ marine energy sector over the next four years.

Experts at Bangor and Swansea universities will provide specialist research and development programmes to help businesses exploit commercial opportunities and create new products and patents.

The project aims to create new enterprises in the sector and accelerate job creation in existing businesses.

Professor Colin Jago, director of the SEACAMS project, said: “We will build on our five years of work with industry during the first SEACAMS funding phase.

In pooling expertise at Bangor and Swansea universities, we have the scope of knowledge to provide the detailed technical information required to support these exciting developments, which could change the way we resource our energy needs in Wales.”

Hull Uni secures £130m accommodation scheme

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University Partnerships Programme (UPP) has been appointed as preferred bidder to deliver a new student accommodation scheme for the University of Hull valued at around £130 million.

The 43-year partnership between the University and UPP will provide a further 1,450 students with a room, helping to meet the growing demand for high quality, on-campus accommodation.

The scheme will comprise a mixture of new build and estate transfer and UPP will raise the required investment and handle the design, construction and operation of the scheme. The construction value of the project is more than £80 million.

This latest partnership boosts UPP’s portfolio to around 31,500 rooms through long term partnerships with 15 leading universities across the UK.

Once the transaction is complete, UPP will have invested approximately £2.2 billion in universities across the UK since 1998, demonstrating the appetite amongst long term institutional investment for the higher education sector.

Sean O’Shea, Group Chief Executive of UPP, said: “We are committed to driving investment into the UK’s higher education sector and plan to invest a further £1 billion into universities over the next two years that will help deliver world class infrastructure and continue attracting the brightest and best students from across the world.”

Stephen Willis, Chief Finance Officer at the University of Hull, said: “The bold transformation well under-way on campus is a critical element in ensuring an outstanding student experience and a huge statement of confidence in the future of both the University and the city of Hull. We’re proud to be investing so significantly in making Hull a highly desirable place to live, work, study, visit and invest.”

Go-ahead to £110m Midlands shopping village

The building of a new shopping village for the West Midlands was given the go-ahead this week as development partners U+I and Rioja Developments confirmed receipt of full planning permission.

This is the biggest development of its kind in the West Midlands. It will inject a major investment into the area, provide a huge economic boost and put the area firmly on the designer outlet map.

The phased scheme will cost in excess of £110 million and will create over 1,200 jobs.

Nestled in a valley adjacent to a nature reserve the 26,505 sq m outlet village will provide up to 130 designer outlet stores, new restaurants and around 2,000 car parking spaces within easy access of the M6 and M6 Toll road.

Richard Upton, Deputy CEO, U+I, said: “This is a major investment that could generate more than £500 million of socio-economic improvements over the next ten years and create in excess of a thousand jobs, benefitting Cannock and the wider region and putting this outlet in the top five outlet centres nationally.

We intend to create a unique experience in factory outlet retailing which will complement the beautiful environment, including a real focus on sustainability.”

Giles Membrey, Rioja Developments’ Managing Director, said: “This is a key stage on our journey to make our vision for the Mill Green development become reality. It’s a unique location in terms of both the commercial opportunity and surrounding landscape.”

The area will also benefit from considerable investment in off-site improvements, including the widening of Eastern Way and the addition of much-needed pedestrian crossings. Moreover, Cannock will benefit from a further investment of circa £150,000 for town centre improvements.

Funding boost for proposed station at Robroyston

The Scottish Government has given a huge boost to plans for a new railway station for Robroyston.

The new station proposals, which include a park & ride car park, are designed to provide local residents with a sustainable travel option, as well as catering for additional future demand from the 1,600 new households planned for the Robroyston area.

The Scottish Government has committed to meet 50% of the station`s currently estimated construction costs – over £7 million – through the Scottish Stations Fund. The remainder is expected to be met by the scheme promoters Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), Glasgow City Council, and private developers.

This investment reaffirms the Scottish Government’s commitment to investing in Scotland`s railways, ensuring that more people are able to access the rail network.

Minister for Transport, Humza Yousaf said: “I am very pleased to announce this substantial funding package for a new station for Robroyston.

This is a significant announcement, with Robroyston the first new station project to be funded by the Scottish Stations Fund, which was introduced to improve and increase access to rail across Scotland.

This announcement highlights the Scottish Government`s continued investment in rail infrastructure and services to better connect our communities and support sustainable economic growth and jobs across the country, with £5 billion of funding for infrastructure and services committed to 2019.”

Wates starts work on Hoxton towers

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Wates Construction has signed a £70.9 million contract to build Anthology’s new Hoxton Press residential development.

The Hackney project will see Wates create two towers of 20 and 16 storeys, comprising 198 one and two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom penthouses for private sale.

Designed by Karakusevic Carson Architects and David Chipperfield Architects, the new development will include a single storey basement car park, ancillary services and a ground-floor café in one of the towers.

The new development, which will overlook Shoreditch Park and Regents Canal, forms part of the ongoing regeneration of Hackney Council’s Colville Estate in Hoxton, which will also help fund investment in new council homes for social rent and shared ownership.

Building work has now commenced at Anthology Hoxton Press and completion of the two towers, Mono and Duo, is expected by summer 2018.

David Newey, Project Director for Anthology Hoxton Press said: “We are thrilled to be working in collaboration with Wates on the exciting regeneration of the Colville Estate. At Anthology, we put community into the heart of everything we do and with Wates’ support at Hoxton Press, we will be providing a community café for all local residents to enjoy.

Hoxton is cemented as a key London destination for buyers, renters and tourists alike. By working with Wates, we are able to bring our vision to life with a development that sits in the heart of Hackney and has good travel connections, markets, shops and design studios just a stone’s throw away. Anthology will continue to work closely with Wates to deliver homes that provide the community with a location for creativity to flourish.”

Lovell gets £2.5m housing refurb scheme

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Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council (NBBC) in Warwickshire has appointed Lovell to carry out £2.5 million of housing improvement work for local council homes over the next three years.

The large-scale refurbishment programme will see Lovell transforming homes with new kitchens and bathrooms, as well as carrying out other improvements including installing level-access showers.

In the first phase of the work, 300 homes at the Grove Farm estate, Nuneaton, will be refurbished by May 2017.

Councillor Julie Jackson, Housing and Communities portfolio holder, said: “This is fantastic news for our tenants. NBBC will be delivering around 350 kitchen and bathroom replacements this year, an increase of approximately 40 properties on previous years. It has been possible to achieve so much as a result of a successful re-procurement process and reduced tender costs.”

Lovell has moved into new premises at the Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate in Nuneaton, which will be the project depot for the contract. Forty people are employed to work on the project with 90 per cent local to the Nuneaton area.

We’re delighted to bring our expertise in undertaking successful large-scale housing improvement programmes to this important scheme for Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council” said Lovell regional director Steve Davis.

Our focus is always on ensuring that residents are at the heart of what we do. We have a strong record of delivering improvement work carried out to the highest standard and with the utmost consideration for householders.”

Capital & Centric unveils Manchester residential scheme

capital-centric-unveils-manchester-residential-scheme

Capital & Centric has revealed plans for a £50 million residential scheme in central Manchester that will see the building of new homes.

The developer has submitted a planning application to convert a grade II listed mill complex near Piccadilly station into a residential scheme providing 201 one, two and three bed apartments.

The cluster of buildings is situated on Fair Street, Chapeltown Street, Congou Street and Baird Street around a central courtyard area.

The proposed scheme – known as Crusader Works – was designed by Shedkm and will provide 126 apartments in the existing mill and a further 75 apartments in an adjacent 10 storey building.

Adam Higgins, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “Crusader Works is one of Manchester’s forgotten treasures and has been neglected for too long.

Our unique design led scheme will see the sensitive restoration of the mill using creative conservation designs to provide efficient and attractive living spaces and ensure the long term sustainability of the listed buildings.”

The developer is also responsible for Kampus – the £200 million mixed-use scheme on nearby Aytoun Street which is being delivered with joint venture partner, Henry Boot.

Work on Crusader Works is due to start on site next May, with the first phase of the apartments to be ready for occupation towards the end of 2018.

Capital & Centric unveils Manchester residential scheme

capital-centric-unveils-manchester-residential-scheme

Capital & Centric has revealed plans for a £50 million residential scheme in central Manchester that will see the building of new homes.

The developer has submitted a planning application to convert a grade II listed mill complex near Piccadilly station into a residential scheme providing 201 one, two and three bed apartments.

The cluster of buildings is situated on Fair Street, Chapeltown Street, Congou Street and Baird Street around a central courtyard area.

The proposed scheme – known as Crusader Works – was designed by Shedkm and will provide 126 apartments in the existing mill and a further 75 apartments in an adjacent 10 storey building.

Adam Higgins, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “Crusader Works is one of Manchester’s forgotten treasures and has been neglected for too long.

Our unique design led scheme will see the sensitive restoration of the mill using creative conservation designs to provide efficient and attractive living spaces and ensure the long term sustainability of the listed buildings.”

The developer is also responsible for Kampus – the £200 million mixed-use scheme on nearby Aytoun Street which is being delivered with joint venture partner, Henry Boot.

Work on Crusader Works is due to start on site next May, with the first phase of the apartments to be ready for occupation towards the end of 2018.

First Minister gives new building boost for Wales

The First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has set out his government’s five-year plan to deliver more jobs through a stronger economy while building a united and sustainable Wales.

The First Minister said the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government, Taking Wales Forward, makes clear that the government’s focus will be on driving improvement in the Welsh economy.

The First Minister also confirmed that the Welsh Government’s key pledges have been maintained despite the uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote, including the commitment to create at least 100,000 all-age apprenticeships and the development of the South Wales Metro.

Mr Jones said: “Taking Wales Forward outlines our key priorities for delivering those improvements. They are ambitious measures, aimed at making a difference for everyone, at every stage in their lives.

Together we can build a Wales that is more confident, more equal, better skilled and more resilient. As a country we have punched above our weight, and now we are ready to do more.

I want to see a Wales which is prosperous and secure, healthy and active, ambitious and learning, united and connected. This is the Wales we are determined to build over the coming five years.”

Morgan Sindall gets £5.6m Ashford school contract

morgan-sindall-gets-5-6m-ashford-school-contract

Morgan Sindall has been appointed to design and build the first phase of the new £5.6 million Finberry Primary School in the heart of Ashford, Kent.

The project for Kent County Council is already underway and will see the school transformed from a one, to a two-form entry facility accommodating 450 pupils, once the second phase of the project is complete.

The new school will be built at the Finberry housing development site at Cheeseman’s Green and is the seventh school within The Stour Academy Trust, a primary sector-only Trust.

Morgan Sindall will deliver the first phase of works at the school which will include the construction of nine classrooms, a nursery area and an SEN resource room. The firm will also deliver a main reception admin area, school hall facility and kitchen area.

The school will comprise a steel frame structure and its brickwork skin will be partially clad in bright orange. Morgan Sindall will also deliver external landscaping as part of the project including; a new sports pitch, a multi-use games area, a soft play area, a habitat area and a covered outdoor learning area.

Julien Jones, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re delighted to have been appointed to this important scheme which will help to alleviate demand for primary and nursery school places in Ashford.

Finberry Primary School will be unique in design and provide a modern learning space for pupils and teachers to enjoy. Morgan Sindall is well versed in delivering innovative and exciting learning environments and we look forward to handing over the new school in time for the start of the academic school year in 2017.”