Minister signs £330m North East Growth Deal

Minister signs £330m North East Growth Deal

Greg Clark, the Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, today visited Science Central in Newcastle to sign the North East Growth Deal, which will see nearly £330 million of government funding invested into the North East.

The minister joined Paul Woolston, Chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), to sign the Growth Deal at Science Central. Over the lifetime of its deal (2015 to 2021) the LEP estimates that up to 5,000 new jobs will be created.

Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, said: “Growth Deals show just what can be achieved when businesses, local leaders and the government work together to build a long-term plan for the local economy.

The Growth Deal is a historic deal between central government and local leaders and businesses, by devolving powers and money from Whitehall to the North East so that local areas can lead their own growth.

The Growth Deal I am signing today builds on the region’s strengths – the projects to improve local transport infrastructure, boost skills and drive innovation will play an important part in the region’s growth in the future.”

An expansion of £40.6 million of government funding was announced on 29 January 2015, on top of £289.3 million when the Growth Deal was originally announced in July 2014.

Growth Deals are a £12 billion long-term programme to revitalise local economies. The deals are the latest and greatest example of the British economy being rebuilt from the bottom up, and sharing the benefits of the recovery around the country.

Local businesses and council leaders have been invited to open discussions immediately on the next set of projects to be funded, building on the momentum that has been established.

Morgan Sindall selected for £5.2m schools contract

Morgan Sindall selected for £5.2m schools contract

Morgan Sindall has been appointed to a £5.2 million contract to rebuild and expand John Ray Infant and Junior Schools in Essex.

The project for Essex County Council is already underway and will see the project team construct a new infant school after the original building suffered extensive fire damage just over a year ago.

The new building will allow the pupils to relocate from temporary class rooms, situated on the adjacent junior school site, to a new, purpose-built facility.

The project includes the construction of a new two-storey infant school with 12 spacious class rooms, a new assembly hall with an adjoining kitchen and a smaller hall.

This new facility will also include a state-of-the-art ICT room and a library. The project team will also construct four brand new class rooms for the junior school, extend the school hall and undertake some external landscaping with the creation of a new sports pitch.

The school building will use sustainable energy in the form of roof-mounted solar panels which will generate electricity for use within the building.

John Ray Infant School is an integral part of the local community, and, as with all Morgan Sindall projects, the construction works will reflect this, with the team sourcing suppliers and subcontractors locally.

Gavin Napper, area director for Morgan Sindall, said: “The re-constructed John Ray Infant School will be a great asset to the local community, providing modernised facilities for the school’s pupils and staff.

The Morgan Sindall team is well versed in delivering education projects and we are looking forward to rebuilding the school for use by the local community.”

VINCI UK gets Yorkshire energy contract

VINCI UK gets Yorkshire energy contract

VINCI UK has been awarded a contract by AmeyCespa to design and build the energy from waste unit in Allerton, North Yorkshire.

Taylor Woodrow will be responsible for overall site development and the civil engineering element of the facility. VINCI Environnement will be responsible for designing and commissioning the processes.

Residual household waste received at Allerton Park will first be mechanically sorted. Some of the waste will then be anaerobically digested to recover energy in the form of biogas.

The remainder, about 320,000 tonnes per year, will be incinerated in two lines, each with a capacity of 20 tonnes per hour, to generate 25 MW of electricity for export to the grid.

The plant will thus be able to provide power from renewables for some 40,000 households located near the site.

To date, 55% of the 520,000 tonnes of waste produced each year by the 760,000 inhabitants of the County of North Yorkshire and the City of York is sent to landfill.

The locally set objective is to reduce the volume of waste going to landfill by 90% and to increase the recycling rate using sustainable waste treatment processes.

Making a significant contribution towards achieving this objective, the Allerton Waste Recovery Park will treat 50% of the household waste generated in the area by 2020.

Right to Buy scheme helps build thousands of new homes

Right to Buy scheme helps build thousands of new homes

More than 33,000 new homeowners have been created through the reinvigorated Right to Buy since 2012, paving the way for jobs in the construction industry.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis welcomed the news as a further sign of how government action is helping people get on and move up the housing ladder.

He announced that Right to Buy discounts will increase again in April 2015, so more people have the chance to buy their home. Right to Buy eligibility is also being extended through a new law before Parliament.

Council house building starts are now at a 23 year high and almost twice as many council homes have been built in the last 4 years than from 1997 to 2009. Previously, councils were not encouraged to build new homes from sales receipts and only 1 new council home was built for every 170 Right to Buy sales completed.

Since the Right to Buy was reinvigorated, £730 million in sales receipts is being re-invested in house building; levering a further £1.7 billion of investment over the next 2 years. This means that in total, over £2.4 billion will be raised to invest in affordable house building as a result of the as a result of Right to Buy.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “The Right to Buy gives something back to families who worked hard, paid their rent and played by the rules.

It allows them to do up their home, change their front door, improve their garden – without getting permission from the council. It gives people a sense of pride and ownership not just in their home, but in their street and neighbourhood.

Thanks to this government’s long-term economic plan, we have created over 33,000 homeowners through the Right to Buy, which has generated £2.4 billion of additional investment in new affordable housing.”

Willmott Dixon to deliver £25m Lincoln Transport Hub

Willmott Dixon

Willmott Dixon has been appointed to deliver the £25 million transport hub in Lincoln which was recently announced by the City of Lincoln Council.

The company is already building a new University Technical College in the city and will further increase its presence when it starts work on the hub, which will improve the city’s transport infrastructure and modernise the city-scape.

The project will see Willmott Dixon construct a new bus station, improve the current train station, create a dual-purpose footbridge to link St Mary’s Street and Tentercroft Street and deliver a space multi-storey car park.

Nick Heath, operations director for the East Midlands at Willmott Dixon said: “This is another significant project for Lincoln that we are pleased to be delivering.

The transport hub is a crucial aspect to the city centre’s regeneration, which will benefit residents, businesses and visitors – and importantly help to prepare the growing city for further development.”

Willmott Dixon will deliver the hub through the Scape National framework, and one key focus will be using local labour throughout the project, with materials also sourced locally whenever possible.

A site team of approximately 80 will deliver the project, including the demolition of existing structures surrounding the bus and rail stations.

This includes removing the current pedestrian footbridge and platform footbridge over the railway – both currently unfit for purpose – in preparation for construction of the transport hub’s dual purpose footbridge.

15,500 jobs created across enterprise zones

Enterprise Zones

Enterprise zones are playing a vital role in delivering greater prosperity to the UK economy and have now created more than 15,500 jobs, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced.

Figures released today show the government’s 24 enterprise zones have created thousands of jobs, attracted over 480 businesses and more than £2.1 billion in private investment.

There is now activity on all enterprise zones, whether it is continued growth on established sites or former derelict sites being brought back to life thanks to the government’s vision and funding.

The growth has also provided a significant boost to the UK’s construction sector and wider supply chain.

The Communities Secretary heard first-hand how the sites are creating highly skilled jobs during a visit to Cosworth’s brand new £22 million advanced manufacturing centre at Northampton’s Enterprise Zone last week.

The facility will allow the company to fulfil £75 million of new contracts to produce high end machine components for high performance road vehicles, creating an additional 70 jobs and apprentices.

The enterprise zone is building a deserved reputation as a centre for automotive and manufacturing excellence with more than 130 businesses on site.

The University of Northampton is also embarking upon an ambitious £330 million move to the business park, creating a modern, purpose-build campus for more than 14,000 students.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “Enterprise zones are now picking up the pace and really starting to deliver for the economy. We’re seeing activity across the country from established sites attracting some of the biggest names in business to derelict sites being brought back to life. That’s because our long-term economic plan is giving businesses the confidence to invest.

They know that enterprise zones work and are making the most of the top-class incentives and world-class infrastructure on offer. And that’s great news for local economies and communities because it’s these kinds of businesses that have the vision to grow, creating thousands more jobs for hard-working people.”

Hundreds of jobs to be created by a major wind farm

Hundreds of jobs to be created by a major wind farm

An offshore wind project has today been given the go-ahead by the Government and is expected to support up to 900 green jobs in Yorkshire and Humberside.

Dogger Bank Creyke Beck A and B wind project will include up to 400 wind turbines, around 130km off the coast of the East Riding of Yorkshire. With a maximum capacity of 2400MW it will generate enough electricity to power almost 2 million homes once built.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “This is another great boost for Yorkshire and Humberside. This development has the potential to support hundreds of green jobs and power up to 2 million homes.

Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is creating jobs and businesses in the UK, getting the best deal for consumers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports. Wind power is vital to this plan, with £14.5 billion invested since 2010 into an industry which supports 35,400 jobs.”

Almost half of the costs associated with building and operating a wind farm are spent buying services and products from UK businesses. This translates into real jobs, particularly in areas like Yorkshire which is becoming an energy hub.

Siemens and ABP announced a combined investment of £310 million to develop new wind turbine production and installation facilities in Hull last year, creating over 1,000 new jobs.

This is one of the largest investments in the Humberside area in the last 50 years and clearly demonstrates that the UK is the leading market for the sector.

Mayor names London’s first Housing Zones

London Mayor Boris Johnson

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has today named London’s first Housing Zones that will pave the way for thousands of new jobs in the construction industry.

In nine boroughs, the new Zones will bring forward enormous regeneration and transform key areas of the capital, with £260 million of new investment to deliver 28,000 much needed new homes across the capital.

London’s first Housing Zones will unlock the redevelopment of 1897.42 hectares of brownfield land across the capital, the equivalent of 2,656 football pitches.

The special status has been awarded to areas identified by London boroughs as key opportunity sites, to maximise development, fast track homes and deliver much needed infrastructure to boost development. The Housing Zone status will remain until 2025.

Part of the Mayor’s commitment to double housebuilding as London’s population continues to boom, the first of the new Zones will create more than 56,000 construction jobs on 52 schemes across the capital.

Creating first class new neighbourhoods, measures agreed within the Zones include: 5 station upgrades; 5 new schools; 4 new bridges, 2 new civic centres; a new park, a new ‘3G’ football pitch, shops, restaurants, and libraries. They will also include more than 9,000 low cost homes, for some of the capital’s most essential workers.

The Mayor’s announcement comes on the day he and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, outlined a package of measures to boost the city’s economy and support infrastructure including housing.

London’s first Housing Zones will be in the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Ealing, Royal Borough of Greenwich, Haringey, Harrow, Hounslow, Lewisham, Wandsworth. More across London are currently being considered with around 20 expected to be designated by later his year. Together they will provide over 50,000 new homes across London.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “As London’s population continues to boom, already at its highest since records began and with more growth predicted, housing is a huge challenge. We need to double housebuilding and provide a million more homes by 2025.

These innovative new Housing Zones, the first of their kind in the UK, will trigger regeneration and turbo boost the transformation of the capital’s brownfield sites, creating tens of thousands of new homes for hard working Londoner in first class new neighbourhoods.”

House building continues to climb

House building continues to climb

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has welcomed new figures showing a rise in the numbers of homes being built across the country.

The latest house building figures show starts on new homes in 2014 totalled 137,010 – 10% higher than in 2013 and at their highest annual total since 2007.

New figures show that overall 700,000 new homes have been delivered since the end of 2009 – and over 200,000 of which have been since the launch of the Help to Buy scheme.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We inherited a broken housing market in which builders couldn’t build, lenders wouldn’t lend and buyers couldn’t buy. We’ve done a lot to help get the housing industry back on its legs, but there’s more to do.

Today’s figures show we’re on track and turning this around. Now, house building levels are at their highest annual total since 2007, and first-time buyers are getting on the property ladder in record numbers.

This is thanks to our long-term economic plan and efforts to tackle the deficit we inherited, which are keeping interest rates at their record low and mean now is the best time on record to take out a mortgage.”

Homes built across the country

Croydon, where starts increased by 251% from 593 in 2013 to 2084 last year

Cornwall, where starts increased by 58% from 2,465 in 2013 to 3,892 last year

Leeds, where starts increased by 84% from 1,349 in 2013 to 2,480 last year

Bradford, where starts increased by 171% from 523 in 2013 to 1,417 last year

Selby, where starts increased by 296% from 279 in 2013 to 1,106 last year

Morgan Sindall to build new Wirral Met College

Morgan Sindall to build new Wirral Met College

Morgan Sindall has been appointed by Peel Group as the principal contractor of the new Wirral Met College Campus in Birkenhead that will create jobs and boost the trades.

The new campus will be dedicated to delivering training and education for construction and the built environment, embracing renewable energy and training the future workforce that will create the transformational Wirral Waters.

Richard Mawdsley, project director at Peel, said: “We’re delighted to be working with an experienced contractor with local Wirral connections. This is the first of a number of building projects we are progressing under the Wirral Waters umbrella.

This project aligns with our skills agenda, to create a place with local jobs for local people.”

Wirral Waters is a 30 year vision by Peel Group to transform 500 acres of Birkenhead dockland, and is one half of the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone. When completed in September 2015, the Wirral Met College will be the first key landmark in the Wirral Waters scheme. It will also provide a Skills and Enterprise Centre for local employers.

Barry Roberts, area director at Morgan Sindall said: “We are proud to be working with Peel Group on this fantastic new campus for the college at Wirral Waters. This is my home town and the college has enhanced the prospects of Wirralians for generations and it is gratifying to help them continue their work. We hope to leave a long-term legacy by introducing local economic benefits and opportunities for local people at the college.”

Sue Higginson, Principal of Wirral Met, said: “This project will create life changing opportunities for thousands of people, as we establish a Centre of Excellence for Enterprise and the Built Environment. We will provide a pipeline of skills for employers who will be investing in Wirral by locating into the new Enterprise Zone.”