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Construction of Teesside Biomass Plant gets underway

Construction of Teesside Biomass Plant gets underway

Lagan Construction Group have started construction of a £160 million biomass plant at Port Clarence in Teesside.

The development at Port Clarence will create about 30 direct jobs and support a further 300 jobs at the peak of the build.

The Port Clarence Renewable Energy Plant will have capacity to treat an estimated 325,000 tonnes of waste wood per year.

Danish energy-from-waste specialist Babcock and Wilcox Vølund will operate the plant, with building work being carried out by Lagan Construction Group in partnership with Eco2.

The development was ceremonially started by Councillor Bob Cook, leader of Stockton Borough Council, who broke first ground on the site. Councillor Bob Cook, welcomed the investment in the region.

He said: “Glennmont’s investment in our borough is certainly welcomed as through the introduction of technologies such as biomass they can help grow our economy and create jobs for local people.

I am delighted to see the Port Clarence Energy project begin to come to fruition and I’m looking forward to residents and businesses benefitting from the energy it will produce.”

Uliving reaches financial close on £57m student scheme

Student accommodation provider, Uliving, has achieved financial close on its new scheme, in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire.

The development will transform the university’s Pittville Campus in Cheltenham which, until 2011, was a site for teaching and learning, into a new student village.

The project also includes the construction of 577 new student rooms, as well as the refurbishment of 214 existing rooms, supporting the increased demand for places at the university.

A full design, build, finance and operation scheme, the new village will be operated by Uliving for around 50 years.

The project is set to be completed ready in time for the start of the 2017/18 academic year. Bouygues UK, the main contractor on the project, has already commenced on site.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “Better infrastructure is about improving people’s lives, and that’s why we are determined to get Britain building again.

Our initial deal will deliver a modern, new student village to give the next generation of students the first-class facilities they deserve.

In my Spending Review we announced that we’re extending our UK guarantees scheme to March 2021 to help kickstart other exciting infrastructure projects like this one right across the country.”

Lendlease wins £80m Liverpool university job

LendLease secures £40m Ruskin Square construction contract

Lendlease has signed a new contract with Liverpool John Moores University for building works as principal contractor at the former Royal Mail sorting office at Copperas Hill.

Lendlease is the University’s preferred bidder for the whole project and already has staff on site surveying the existing structure, in order to strip it back to its frame ahead of developing it into a university building.

The Copperas Hill development is expected to create a significant focal point for LJMU, and for the area of Liverpool City Centre where it is located, opposite Lime Street Station.

It will create a gateway to Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter, and bring together the university’s Mount Pleasant and Byrom Street campuses.

Simon Gorski, Executive General Manager of UK Regions for Lendlease, said: “We’re really pleased to be getting underway with our work at Copperas Hill, which has been described as a “transformational” investment for LJMU.

The challenge of retaining the existing and very prominent structure and utilising it to create an iconic and inspirational multi-purpose facility is really exciting. We are delighted to be back in Liverpool”.

The new building will house the University’s three libraries, a central teaching unit with lecture theatres and seminar rooms, and study zones and IT suites.

Sports facilities on the site will include an eight-court sports hall, a gym and dance studios, while the building will also house offices for the Liverpool Students’ Union and spaces for other services including a careers centre and cafes.

Kier gets go-ahead for £79m Cambridge Uni lab

The University of Cambridge has been given the go-ahead for ‘Project Capella’ – a new £79 million research facility that will be delivered by Kier and designed by The Fairhursts Design Group.

The six-storey 18,000sq m centre will be located adjacent to the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute within the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, and will provide state-of-the-art research laboratories in a collaborative environment to stimulate the exchange of ideas.

The facility, which aims to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating, incorporates a variety of laboratory spaces alongside office and meeting suites, all set within a collaborative working environment.

Externally the building features a two-storey glazed box with gold metal detailing and double height entrance foyer, while the spine is to be clad in a flat-faced graphite panel.

Kier project lead, Shak Chowdhury, said: “This open and transparent approach has enabled an £79m complex research facility to progress from having no design to being on site in just 12 months.”

A variety of materials have been selected to define specific elements of the structure and to avoid the blank façades that a building of this scale can create.

Mark Adey, director at The Fairhursts Design Group, said: “The proposed building will provide a cutting edge facility appropriate for the complex research currently being carried out in isolated, outdated facilities across Cambridge.

Our design uses forms and materials that respect the existing built environment, and will further enhance the Cambridge Biomedical Campus through associated realm and landscaping in accordance with the ethos of development including the 2020 vision.”

£20m expansion plan for Aberdeen Airport

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveil a £20 million investment for the expansion of Aberdeen International Airport.

The development will result in a 50% increase in the size of the terminal building and with it, a comprehensive transformation of current passenger facilities.

The first phase of what will be a three year project will get underway in May 2016. This will involve the construction of a two-storey extension to the south of the existing terminal building.

At ground level, the extension will accommodate all facilities for international arriving passengers as well as domestic baggage reclaim. Two business lounges will be located on the upper level.

Carol Benzie, Managing Director of Aberdeen International Airport, said: “We have long recognised the need to expand the terminal and we are doing so with the long term future of the airport in mind. It is one of the most important pieces of transport infrastructure in the North East of Scotland and it plays a crucial role in supporting the wider economy.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This investment by Aberdeen International Airport and its owners shows great ambition and confidence in the Airport’s future in preparing for projected growth. By increasing capacity and improving the passenger experience, the Airport is making a clear statement of intent and the North East and Scotland will see the benefit.

Aberdeen is a fantastic city with lots to offer and the airport is a crucial gateway to the North East. This expansion opens up the city to even more tourists and businesses, which will result in an economic boost for the city and the country as a whole.”

Mark McDonald, MSP for Aberdeen Donside said: “This investment in Aberdeen Airport is another welcome boost to the local economy, following closely on the back of the City Region Deal.

I am delighted to see this investment and believe that it gives further reason to be optimistic for the future of the airport and the local economy.”

Costain selected for £110m Preston scheme


for the Preston Western Distributor and associated Link Roads.

The contract is worth an anticipated £110 million to Costain, and follows on from the M6–Heysham project which the Group is currently delivering for this customer.

The scheme, awarded via the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, will link the A583/A584 to a new junction on the M55 via a 4km dual carriageway, with link roads to new housing areas at Cottam and North West Preston.

The road is a key element of the City Deal Partnership’s plans to support new development and economic growth in the region.

The contract includes supporting the Council in delivering the scheme through the statutory process, including planning and design development prior to project delivery.

Early Contractor work will start immediately, with main project delivery taking place from 2017 to 2019.

Andrew Wyllie CBE, Chief Executive of Costain, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this ECI contract which further underlines our position as a market leader in the delivery of critical highways schemes which support regional economic growth.”

Lovell gets Islington regeneration scheme

has appointed housing developer Lovell for a £21.8 million regeneration programme which will transform part of the Dover Court estate in North London.

The regeneration programme will create new homes for social rent and homes for sale on council-owned land as well as provide an improved ball court, open spaces, estates paths, play areas and community facilities.

The new housing scheme will be built on nine sites at the estate, including former garages and car parking.

Lovell is set to start work on the three-year construction programme next month.

Fifty-one of the new homes – 25 one-bedroom and nine two-bedroom apartments and 15 three-bedroom and two five-bedroom houses – will be for council rent.

Nineteen of the new homes – 17 two-bedroom houses, one one-bedroom and one two-bedroom apartment – will be for sale through the council.

In addition, the scheme, designed by Pollard Thomas Edwards architects and developed in close consultation with estate residents, includes extensive improvements to the estate’s open spaces and community facilities including increased planting and green spaces and the redesign of Mitchison Baxter Park with children’s play areas, new paths, new trees and a replacement ball games space.

Lovell regional director Michael O’Farrell says: “We’re delighted to have been appointed by Islington Council to this major scheme which is also our first contract awarded through Islington’s New Build Contractor Framework.

We look forward to using the company’s expertise in delivering high-quality mixed tenure estate regeneration programmes to bring these quality homes and enhanced public spaces and community facilities to Dover Court.”

All homes will meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, incorporating sustainable, energy-efficient technology designed to keep energy bills down.

GRAHAM Selected for Thames Valley Science Park

The University of Reading has selected Graham Construction as preferred contractor on the £22.7 million first phase of Thames Valley Science Park in Reading.

GRAHAM Construction will lead on the delivery of the three-storey commercial building, known as the Gateway Building, which will include high-quality laboratories and flexible office spaces aimed at attracting small to medium-sized technology companies, alongside associated amenities including a café and conference suite.

The Thames Valley Science Park will be a springboard for emerging technology companies brought together in a campus-style setting to encourage interaction and foster positive relationships between businesses and academia.

Director of the Thames Valley Science Park at the University of Reading, David Gillham said: “We are delighted to appoint GRAHAM Construction who have shown that they have the skills and expertise to deliver this prestigious project.”

GRAHAM Construction’s London office director, Rob Joyce said: “The Thames Valley Science Park Gateway Building is the first project to be tendered for and announced under the University of Reading’s £250m capital works programme and marks a significant milestone.

Our focus will be on constructing buildings of the highest quality to support the university’s aim in attracting leading SMEs specialising in technology.”

Willmott Dixon to improve thousands of homes in Hull

More than 2,000 homes in Hull will benefit from cheaper energy bills and better homes after Willmott Dixon was appointed by Hull City Council as its new citywide energy partner.

The company will deliver a package of energy saving measures across the city to make homes warmer and improve living conditions for thousands of residents. It follows similar deals the company has in Oxford, Leeds and Bristol.

Refurbishment works will include improvements to 329 homes in the Preston Road area and 1,668 properties in Orchard Park, including external solid wall insulation similar to that delivered in other areas of the city.

Energy efficiency and frontage improvement works will also be delivered to 136 properties in Granville Street and Walliker Street as part of the contract.

Councillor John Black, Portfolio Holder for Council Infrastructure with responsibility for housing, said: “While specific reductions to housing revenue has had serious implications on schemes like this, we are continuing with this important investment and these energy improvements recognise our commitment in Hull’s 10-year City Plan to become a leading UK Energy City.”

Robert Lambe, managing director of Willmott Dixon Energy Services said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Hull City Council. Over the next five years we will deliver improvements which will help improve the health and well-being of thousands of people.”

Kier to build £26m Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter

Kier to build £26m Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter

Kier has been appointed by University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) to deliver the initial £26m phase of its new £300 million Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter.

The £26m contract to oversee the design & build of the first phase of UWTSD’s new waterfront development will also see the creation of 25 local jobs and 250 weeks of apprenticeship training, as Kier has collaborated with the University in its mission to ensure the community benefits from the scheme.

Kier will be responsible for managing the detailed and technical design of the University’s new buildings, as well as handling the entire construction process.

The 12,200sq m first phase of the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter will comprise the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering and a new library building, together with external public spaces.

Working closely with the University, Kier will begin construction on Phase One in autumn 2016 to ensure the site is operational for the start of the academic year in 2018.

Jason Taylor, Kier operations director for South Wales, comments: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and our early involvement in the project helps us develop a true understanding of the University’s aspirations and challenges.”

As principal contractor on the project, Kier will be based in SA1 for the duration of the build and will be responsible for establishing a collaborative working approach with all other contractors, including Stride Treglown, which continues to be involved in the design process.