Browse Author: Tradesworld

Private investors set to boost green energy projects

The process of transferring the Green Investment Bank (GIB) into private ownership will begin today as the government invites private sector investors to register their interest, Business Secretary Sajid Javid has announced.

A transfer to the private sector will allow the GIB to maximise investment into green energy projects by attracting greater private sector investment, which has so far been constrained by rules governing how public bodies can raise capital.

The launch of the sale comes as GIB announced it has supported a new £10 million investment to acquire and expand the renewable energy plant and district heating network in Wick, on the far north coast of Scotland.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The Green Investment Bank is a world first, and it is a sign of its success that the idea is being copied globally. Having proven the business model works, we now want it to make an even greater impact.”

Lord Smith of Kelvin, independent chair of GIB said: “Attracting new investors is vital if GIB is to fund its ambitious plans to double the size of its business, expand into new parts of the UK green economy and deliver a growing green impact.

I am confident that the sale process will provide GIB with good new owners who will support GIB’s continued growth and leadership role in the global green economy long into the future.”

The government is now inviting Expressions of Interest from bidders to be evaluated as part of the first phase of the sale process. This will be followed by a bidding process later this year.

Keepmoat to build 172 new homes in Hulme

Keepmoat to build 172 new homes in Hulme

One Manchester has appointed building contractor Keepmoat to build 172 new homes for market rent in Hulme, following recent planning approval from Manchester City Council.

The mixture of two-bed apartments and three-bed townhouses, named ‘Hulme Living’, will be delivered by One Manchester.

Keepmoat were chosen for the build having demonstrated major commitment to apprentice and training schemes, which will add significant social value to the project from the very start.

During the 18 month build period, the employment and training programme will see a significant number of full- time apprenticeships, across a range of disciplines, offered to the local community.

In addition Keepmoat will offer a range of work placements to local people to help raise awareness of the opportunities the construction industry can offer.

Keepmoat will also be adopting a local supply chain policy, ensuring local companies are given the opportunity to benefit from the works, whilst community funding will be available to support local third sector organisations and community groups.

Work to clear the sites is set to begin this month with construction starting in the spring.

Dave Power, chief executive of One Manchester, said: “Hulme Living is an extremely exciting project for One Manchester as for the first time we will be building new market rent homes and all the revenue generated will be reinvested into our work in the local area and our communities.

With new apprentices, work placements and many other direct community benefits, Hulme Living will have a long-lasting, positive impact on this part of the city and we are looking forward to work getting underway.”

Frank Mondino, area director for Keepmoat in the North West said: “Securing this project demonstrates our knowledge and expertise across the sector.

Keepmoat is committed to regenerating and transforming local communities, and this scheme will allow us to ensure that local people benefit from the investment being made in Hulme.”

Kier appointed to £50m Bristol housing development

Kier 2

Kier Living has been appointed Bristol City Council‘s development partner for a major new £50 million housing development in south Bristol, which could see hundreds of properties being built.

The development of the 12.7 hectare site at Hengrove Park, off Whitchurch Lane for housing is part of phase one of the Park’s regeneration – the first three elements of which included the City of Bristol Academy, the South Bristol Community Hospital, completed in 2011; and the Hengrove Leisure Centre, which was delivered by Kier Construction in 2012.

Kier Living’s successful bid includes a proposal for 259 homes, ranging from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom houses, with 30% affordable housing.

Chris King, managing director of Kier Living’s central operations, commented: “Kier has a proud history in delivering regeneration projects in Hengrove Park, having previously worked with Bristol City Council on the successful Hengrove Leisure Centre scheme, and we are delighted to continue this relationship as the developer partner for this priority strategic development opportunity.”

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: “This is great news and finally unlocks Bristol’s biggest remaining opportunity for new family homes in the south of the city.

I’m delighted that we are going to be working in partnership with the private sector to deliver over 250 houses and flats, including 78 much-needed affordable homes.”

The scheme is subject to public consultation and planning consent. Designs for the site will be developed over the next few months with a target of April 2016 to submit the scheme for planning permission.

Developer appointed for new Science Park

The building of a new multi-million pound science park at Harlow Enterprise Zone has moved a step closer with Harlow Council appointing VINCI UK Developments as its preferred development partner.

Harlow Council and VINCI have joined forces to finalise plans for a state-of-the-art new science park on 25 acres of development land at London Road North owned by the Council.

A full development agreement is expected to be signed in early summer with building work starting by the end of the year.

Harlow Council’s vision for London Road North is to create a high quality science park in an attractive campus style environment that brings high technology companies to Harlow with a good proportion of high value jobs.

The park will focus on high technology businesses in the Life Science, ICT and Advanced Manufacturing sectors and provide more than 500,000 square feet of space with the potential to employ between 2,500 and 3,000 people. The park will also be the home of Anglia Ruskin University’s Med-Tech Innovation Centre.

Bruno Dupety, CEO of VINCI PLC said: “VINCI and Discovery Park will set out to deliver a unique scheme for Harlow that is a step change from what currently exists in the town. We will achieve this through delivering a consistent, yet flexible building design that will appeal to modern occupiers and offer maximum flexibility throughout their occupancy. This masterplan will be built around a central heart which will provide a vibrant hub for people to meet, form partnerships and exchange ideas.”

Councillor Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Waste and Recycling, said: “The Harlow Enterprise Zone is set to become a focal point of growth for the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor, attracting businesses particularly in the medical technology and life sciences sector, which will create jobs and boost economic growth in Harlow.”

David Higgins: “HS2 already changing Britain”

The chairman of HS2 has said that the project is already changing the way private investors, as well as local and central government plan for the future in Britain.

But David Higgins said HS2 must also help change the way we deliver infrastructure in this country so as we can reap the benefits for future projects such as Hinckley Point.

David Higgins made his comments in a speech in Manchester marking the second anniversary of the launch of his first report in the city.

In that two years, he said, not only had the concept of re-balancing the British economy taken root, people were beginning the process of making it a reality, helped by the moves towards devolution.

Local authorities and enterprise partnerships not just in Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds, but also in the North West, the East and West Midlands, and Yorkshire were using HS2 not just to re-think their transport systems, but also how they attract private investment to their areas – and business has responded.

They were taking responsibility for transforming both their local economies and the overall balance of the national economy.

Companies such as Burberry in Leeds, HSBC in Birmingham, Interserve in Solihull are beginning to recognise the benefits of the extra connectivity and capacity that HS2 will deliver – as are potential investors elsewhere.

The potential for that transformation is outlined in a report published by HS2 today – HS2: Changing Britain.

A series of factors, he said, made the UK industry less cost effective: a history of stop/go which prevented firms investing in skills, innovation and technology; fragmentation leading to multiple overhead costs plus a lack of co-ordination between design and construction.

HS2, he said, was determined to adopt a new approach which would bear down on those factors and transform the way we deliver infrastructure in this country, without compromising HS2’s strategic objective to re-balance the British economy.

That approach would include:

  • early contractor involvement to drive innovation and efficiencies in design and methodology;

  • adopting enabling works contracts to clear the line of route ahead of the main civils works;

  • incentivising companies to out-perform;

  • adopting techniques new to this country such as linear construction, which uses the newly constructed route as a supply chain access.

As a twenty year project we have no excuse not to become more streamlined in our approach and not to innovate.

Measures unveiled to accelerate house building

A new £50 million infrastructure fund will speed up construction of thousands of new affordable and private homes, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has announced.

The flexible grant and loan fund will help unlock strategic housing sites of importance to local authorities to increase the scale of housing delivery.

The fund forms part of a package of measures to support the increase in supply of homes across all tenures.

Key to this overall approach is the Scottish Government’s five year commitment to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes, 70 per cent for social rent, backed by investment of over £3 billion.

Building on the success of the National Housing Trust new financing mechanisms are also being explored to expand mid-market rent developments.

All planning appeals for housing proposals of more than 100 units will now be recalled to ensure housing land supply issues are given ministerial scrutiny.

During a visit to Clyde Valley Housing Association’s new development in Kilsyth, Mr Neil said: “Today’s announcement underlines this Government’s determination to increase the pace and scale of development to deliver more homes across all tenures.

The £50 million infrastructure fund will help unblock sites that are strategically important to councils and that have the potential to accelerate the delivery of thousands of new homes across the country.”

Tom Barclay, co-chair of the Joint Housing Policy Delivery Group, said: “This announcement by the Cabinet Secretary on infrastructure support is one of a series of actions that is signalling a step change in Scotland to prioritise the building of new homes.

“As Co-Chair I hope I can speak for all the Group members in saying that we stand ready to work in partnership with the Scottish Government to take up the challenge in providing the much needed additional, affordable and high quality housing, that will not only help revitalise communities across the country, but will also make a significant contribution to the Scottish economy and our long term prosperity.”

Wates gets Phoenix office revamp in Birmingham

Ardstone Capital’s planned multi-million pound refurbishment of Phoenix House is striding ahead with the appointment of Wates Construction to create the new speculative office scheme on Newhall Street.

Set against a back drop of increased demand for prime office space in Birmingham, Wates’ appointment will see the contractor deliver a package of works valued at £8.4 million.

The new development has been designed by architects, AHR, and will comprise 50,000 sq ft. of Grade A office space across nine floors.

Building work is now underway, with project completion scheduled for November this year.

The project will include the improvement of the building’s existing floor plates as well as a new extension at the front and rear of the development to create increased office space.

Work will also comprise removal of the external façade, which will be replaced with full height glazing, and the creation of a new reception area and modernised entrance on Newhall Street, in the heart of the Colmore Business District.

Richard Scarrott, Business Unit Director at Wates Construction, Midlands said: After experiencing significant growth over recent years, Birmingham is seeing increased investment in new commercial developments, with the city’s market heading towards a record 1m square feet of activity in the past year.

We are extremely proud to be playing a central role in catering for the city’s thriving business landscape and look forward to pushing ahead with the project this year.”

HS2 moves closer to construction thanks to Birmingham headquarters

HS2 Ltd’s headquarters in Birmingham were officially opened by the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin this month, paving the way for the next construction phase of the scheme that will create new jobs.

Up to 1,000 staff will be employed at HS2 Ltd’s offices in Birmingham’s Colmore Business District, from engineers who will help design the railway to procurement specialists.

The official opening coincided with the final week of petitions in relation to the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill being heard in the House of Commons Select Committee.

This marks a significant step towards the Bill, which will provide the planning permission for Phase One of the High Speed 2 (HS2) route between London and the West Midlands, being passed and construction starting on the line.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “HS2 will rebalance our economy, helping make the Midlands an ‘engine for growth’.

The official opening of the headquarters here in Birmingham is proof that HS2 is already boosting jobs and skills, and will continue to do so as we head towards construction.”

Birmingham will be at the heart of the HS2 network, with new stations at Curzon Street and Birmingham Interchange when the Phase One route opens in 2026. Connections north to Crewe will open in 2027, with the lines to Leeds and Manchester due to be completed by 2033.

Phase One of HS2 between London and the West Midlands is estimated to support up to 14,600 construction jobs, 2,200 permanent operations and maintenance jobs, and 30,300 jobs supported by development around HS2 stations in Euston, Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Curzon Street.

HS2 Ltd Chairman Sir David Higgins, said: “The arrival of HS2 in Birmingham will play a vital role in boosting jobs, skills, economic growth and regeneration across the city.

Britain’s second city is at the heart of the HS2 network and I am delighted that the Secretary of State has today officially opened our headquarters at 2 Snowhill, as the project moves towards construction.”

Balfour Beatty appointed to TfL’s Framework

Balfour Beatty secures landmark care scheme in Ireland

Balfour Beatty has been selected by Transport for London (TfL) to be a member of its Property Partnership Framework which will carry major building works across the Capital.

Balfour Beatty has been selected alongside other property development companies and consortiums to the development framework which will help the delivery of thousands of homes, offices and retail spaces across 300 acres of TfL land.

The company’s Its current Eastwick and Sweetwater housing development project for the London Legacy Development Corporation, also part of the GLA family, will deliver 1500 homes and supporting infrastructure including a new nursery, library and health centre and a range of shops, restaurants, offices, workshops and new public open spaces.

Laura Porter, Investment Director, Balfour Beatty Investments, said: “Following an extremely competitive procurement process, our appointment as a key partner to TfL demonstrates our credentials as a leading London developer.

We look forward to working with TfL to bring forward the thousands of homes needed for London’s growing population and to supporting the Capital’s continued growth with the commercial space and jobs the developments will create.

The London developer market remains strong and provides attractive opportunities for investment. The TfL property framework provides a fantastic opportunity to invest in the development of London in partnership with the public sector.”

Skanska wins £45m Derwent scheme

Skanska wins £45m Derwent scheme

Derwent London has awarded Skanska a £45 million fixed price contract to design and build a commercial development in the West End of London.

The scheme is targeting the BREEAM Excellent environmental standard, using sustainable approaches throughout the construction phase.

Works are expected to be completed in autumn 2017.

Designed by Piercy & Company, the 9,800sqm scheme will be a mixture of retail and offices. The ground floor will provide 1,850sqm of retail space. There will be 7,950sqm of fully fitted out category ‘A’ offices across seven floors with two floors of roof terraces.

Skanska Managing Director Paul Heather said: “We are delighted to have been awarded our first project for Derwent London, a developer which Skanska has wanted to work with for many years. We look forward to developing our working relationship through the successful delivery of the Copyright Building.”

Derwent London Head of Development Richard Baldwin said: “We are very pleased to have appointed Skanska as the main contractor on the Copyright Building. Together we will deliver a first class office and retail scheme in one of London’s most attractive areas.”

To deliver this project, Skanska has put together a specialist in-house team to combine its skills in design, construction, mechanical and electrical engineering and ceiling installation.