Browse Author: Tradesworld

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.

House building starts hit 7-year high

The number of starts and completions on new build homes continued to rise last year to the highest level since 2008, new figures released today show.

More than 143,500 new build homes were started up to December 2015 – a rise of 23% on the same quarter a year earlier and up 91% when compared to the low point of the year up to June 2009.

The House building: December quarter 2015 also showed that the number of new build homes completed were up 21% on the previous year.

It means both starts and completions for new build homes are at their highest level since 2008 with more than 700,000 new build homes started since April 2010.

Meanwhile, figures from the Home Builders Federation also published today show a 12% rise in planning permissions on the same quarter last year, paving the way for new jobs in the building trades.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “Aspiring homeowners should get the help they need to turn their dream into a reality – key to that is building the homes our country needs.

Today’s figures show how our reforms to the planning system are delivering the permissions needed and schemes like Help to Buy have given builders the confidence to invest and build, with starts and completions now at their highest since 2008.

But we’re determined to do even more, and fulfil our ambition to deliver 1 million new homes by 2021.”

Housebuilding growth across the country

Today’s figures show that the number of new build homes completed by private housebuilders have risen 20% on the previous year, while those completed by housing associations are up 27% over the same period.

They also show strong regional growth with Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire experiencing high levels of starts along with areas in North Oxfordshire and the Thames estuary.

Figures also released today by the Home Builders Federation show that planning permission for 59,875 homes was granted in England during the third quarter of last year, up 12% from 53,409 permissions in the corresponding quarter the previous year.

Welsh Government to boost energy efficiency

A new Energy Efficiency strategy that will drive economic growth and improve energy efficiency has been launched by Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant.

The new strategy sets out a clear direction for the next 10 years and outlines how the Welsh government can support action across all sectors.

Launching the strategy Carl Sargeant said: “Energy efficiency offers a considerable opportunity to deliver green growth, through new jobs, skills and a flourishing supply chain.

Wales has led the way in successfully delivering a vision for energy efficiency that will deliver multiple benefits across the goals set out in our Well-being of Future Generations Act, reducing energy use and carbon emissions, creating jobs and tackling poverty and its ill effects on a number of fronts.”

Supporting the launch of the energy efficiency strategy, the Finance Minister Jane Hutt has announced the creation of a new Invest to Save Green Growth Fund with over £9 million investment.

The new national initiative will build on the success of the Invest to Save scheme and offer repayable grants for the Welsh public sector to generate energy and cash efficiencies

The following projects will benefit from the new £9 million investment through the Invest to Save Green Growth Fund:

  • £2.7 million for the installation of LED street lighting in Monmouth County Council, Gwynedd Council and Wrexham Council;

  • £333,000 for Natural Resources Wales for the implementation of various energy efficiency measures;

  • £4 million for the installation of LED lighting on sections of the Welsh Government trunk road network; and

  • £2.1 million to support energy efficiency projects across various Cardiff City Council premises.

Plans to drive growth and create jobs for Tees Valley

Plans to drive growth, create jobs and secure the economic future of Tees Valley has taken a major step as local leaders decided to transform the former SSI steelworks site.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine revealed plans would go full-steam ahead for a new Mayoral Development Corporation – the first of its kind outside of London – to drive forward regeneration and local economic growth in the Tees Valley area.

Work will start immediately to form the corporation. This will offer a vehicle for greater powers to be devolved, in areas including regeneration planning and business support.

These powers will be available at the new Mayor’s disposal so the area can quickly take up economic opportunities as they arise.

Since the closure of SSI in October, the government has put in place a multi-million pound package of support for the affected local community.

Lord Heseltine has been tasked with encouraging investment to create new job opportunities across the Tees Valley.

Local business leaders say the investment will play a role in the return of economic vibrancy to the area – something the new corporation will look to deliver by securing investment from the UK and overseas to bring in new jobs and businesses.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “Already, up to £80 million government funding is in place to ensure former SSI workers and local affected businesses get the support they need.

This new Mayoral Development Corporation is the next step, putting local people who know the area best at the heart of driving regeneration and delivering new businesses and jobs for the community.”

Government support for Tees Valley

The government’s package of up to £80 million support for the Tees Valley includes:

  • a £16.5 million Jobs and Skills Fund to help local firms employ former SSI workers or their spouses in full-time or part-time jobs for a minimum of 3 years

  • £16 million support for firms in the SSI supply chain and wider Tees Valley impacted by the closure

  • £1.7 million to help the 50 former SSI apprentices to continue their apprenticeships with alternative employers – all of whom are now continuing their training and are being paid

Morgan Sindall to build £37.5m education and leisure centre

Morgan Sindall to build £37.5m education and leisure centre

Morgan Sindall has been appointed to construct a £37.5 million education and leisure centre complex in Littleport, Cambridgeshire.

The project for Cambridgeshire County Council is already underway and will include the construction of an early years school, a primary school, a three-storey secondary school, a special needs school, and a community leisure facility.

The project will be completed in three phases. Phase one is already underway and will include the demolition of the existing leisure centre on Camel Road, to make way for the new education and a replacement leisure complex.

The two-storey sports centre will comprise a sports hall, a fitness suite, a multi-use hall, changing facilities, and a social bar area, and will be available for use by the whole community.

Both schools will open in time for the start of the academic year in 2017 while helping the local economy and boosting the building construction industry.

Bob Ensch, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “Designing and constructing quality buildings which provide a positive learning environment and enhance children and young people’s educational experience requires detailed and thoughtful planning.

We’re looking forward to utilising our vast experience of working on world-class schools to deliver this great facility.

Once complete, the Littleport complex will not only be a comprehensive educational centre for children of all ages and abilities, but an inclusive community hub with great leisure facilities.”

Fast track planning to boost house building

Councils are set to process planning applications quicker and be able to offer fast track application services which will boost house builders.

Ministers want the pilots to tackle the lack of incentive for councils to improve and speed up their planning service leading to “drawn out applications and local frustration” for both housebuilders and individual applicants.

The proposals are expected to boost housebuilding and speed up the planning application process.

The proposals will increase local choice by giving applicants the choice of whether to submit their plans to the local council, a competing council or a government approved organisation that would process applications up until the decision point.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “Council planning departments play a vital role in getting local housebuilding off the ground, but for too long they have had no incentive to get things done quickly or better, resulting in drawn out applications and local frustration.

These proposals will be a first time boost for housebuilders looking to build much needed new homes for hard working families and buyers, and for local people looking to get a planning permission for home improvements through their local council quicker.”

Federation of Master Builders Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “The slow processing of planning applications remains one of the greatest barriers to building more new homes.

We welcome the government’s determination to find new and innovative ways of addressing this problem as it could help builders deliver more homes.”

Manufacturing Plan to boost Scotish economy

Government support to help Scotland’s manufacturers innovate and expand have been announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Manufacturing represents over half of Scotland’s international exports and of our investment in research and development, with nearly 190,000 people employed in the industry.

The funding, including £30 million from the European Regional Development Fund, will enable companies to capture new opportunities presented by a move to a more circular economy.

Supported by £70 million of investment, a new strategy for manufacturing – A Manufacturing Future for Scotland – outlines how government will work with industry and with higher and further education institutions to stimulate innovation, improve productivity and increase investment in Scottish manufacturing.

This includes a Circular Economy Investment Fund to help manufacturers develop innovative technologies, business models and infrastructure, from the proof of concept stage through to implementation.

It will also introduce a new Circular Economy Service, offering development support to businesses seeking to redesign their processes and products.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland has a long and proud manufacturing heritage and manufacturing must also be a key driver of our future prosperity.

While manufacturing has undergone a significant transformation in recent decades, with increased globalisation and greater use of digital technology, it remains a high skills and high wage sector, with earnings that are above the Scottish average.”

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.