Major school rebuild gets underway

Major school rebuild gets underway

Construction work at Mesne Lea Primary School in Salford has started, paving the way for 39 more schools in the North West to be rebuilt under the government’s priority school building programme (PSBP).

The school is 1 of worth £2.4 billion, which will address the needs of 260 of the schools in England in the worst condition.

Thanks to the PSBP, pupils and teachers attending the school are set to benefit from a £3.9 million, fit-for-purpose rebuild that will improve the existing outdated facilities.

The new 2-storey primary school will include a large multi-purpose hall, and a shared teaching space between reception and nursery for combined groups.

Schools Minister David Laws said: “The start of construction work at Mesne Lea Primary School marks a key milestone for the priority school building programme in the North West and an exciting phase in the development of the school.

Delivering great new schools will help to build a stronger economy and a fairer society, so that every young person across the region can get on in life.

Vital building work is taking place at schools in the worst state across the country. We are making good progress with 16 school buildings now open – 55 are under construction and the remaining projects are well into the development or planning stages.”.

Government drives forward development at MIRA Enterprise Zone

Government drives forward development at MIRA Enterprise Zone

MIRA Technology Park will be able to attract even more world-class businesses to the West Midlands after the Government gave the go-ahead to extend its flagship Enterprise Zone.

The move will pave the way for an additional 250,000 square foot of work space for cutting-edge research and development with the potential to create hundreds of new jobs and draw down millions of pounds in private-sector investment.

MIRA is home to some of the biggest names in the automotive business and is central to the Government’s Enterprise Zone programme that is playing a vital role in driving forward our economy.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “MIRA is leading the charge for Enterprise Zones. It’s a fantastic set-up and that’s why world-class companies like GKN, Continental and Goodyear and Haldex are moving there.

This extension will cement its place as the number one site for automotive research and development in the UK. It also has the potential to create up to 300 new jobs and draw down an extra £50 million in private sector investment that will have knock-on benefits for the local economy and community.”

GKN, Continental and Goodyear will move into the recently completed 27,500 square foot Technology Centre that includes secures workshops and office space.

The Government has also invested £12.9m from its Local Infrastructure Fund to support growth of the Enterprise Zone.

The Government opened the Enterprise Zones in April 2012 as part of a 25-year project to rebalance the economy, offering tax incentives, simplified planning and super fast broadband to companies. Latest figures show they have created 12,530 jobs, attracted 434 new businesses and generated over £2 billion worth of private investment since opening for business

Travelodge to create 3,000 new jobs and boost the trades

Travelodge to create 3,000 new jobs and boost the trades

Hotel chain Travelodge has revealed an eight-year plan to 3, 000 jobs across the UK with the opening of 150 new hotels that will boost the construction trades.

The new hotels include four London locations, cementing Travelodge’s position as the capital’s biggest hotel brand; a new central Glasgow property and key regional locations including the Thames Valley tech corridor, Southampton and Bristol.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne visited Birmingham Airport Travelodge had welcomed news that Travelodge is set to create more than 3,000 jobs across the UK as it looks to boost its estate by opening more than 150 new hotels over the next eight years.

George Osborne said: “Our long-term economic plan for the Midlands is to make the area an Engine for Growth by backing business and supporting growth. The expansion of a great British brand like Travelodge within a growing hotel and leisure industry in the UK, is fantastic news.”

“Travelodge’s expansion is not just reliant however on tourists as increased demand from business customers and families have also boosted growth.”

Peter Gowers, Travelodge Chief Executive said: “We are well underway with our plans to build new Travelodge. We’re investing more than £100m in modernising our hotels for our customers and we now have 87% of guest rooms upgraded to our new look. In 2015 we are opening 15 new hotels, creating 400 new jobs and extending our network still further.

“With our modernised hotels and unbeatable value, we are well placed to serve the rapidly growing demand for low-cost travel. We see the potential for more than 150 further hotels across the UK and look forward to creating more great places to stay and thousands more jobs over the years ahead.”

New investment in Welsh housing sector

Welsh Government

The Government is investing a further £20 million to improve the Welsh housing stock and bring thousands of derelict and inhabitable properties back into use.

Communities and Tackling Poverty Minister, Lesley Griffiths, launched the Home Improvement Loans scheme, which will offer loans to home owners and landlords to improve poor quality housing across Wales.

Funding of £10 million will be provided over two years to offer interest-free loans of up to £25,000 per property, which will be recycled by local authorities and provided to homeowners across Wales to maximise the funding and improve the standard of Welsh housing.

The Minister also announced a further £10 million for the Houses into Homes scheme, bringing the total investment in the programme to £30 million.

The additional funding will expand the programme which provides re-usable, interest-free loans to owners of empty run-down properties, to bring them back into use for sale or rent.

To date, 4471 empty and run-down properties have been turned into homes so far this Assembly term, only 529 short of the Welsh Government’s ambitious 5,000 target for the whole term.

Lesley Griffiths said: “The success of our flagship Houses into Homes scheme must also be acknowledged. As well as bringing 4471 properties back into use, the scheme is also creating jobs in our construction industry.”

Kier gets five-year contract extension with Barnsley Council

Kier 2

Kier has extended its repairs and maintenance contract with Barnsley Council for another five years with Berneslai Homes Construction Services.

The extension, which was approved by Barnsley Council’s cabinet members, has a value to Kier of £55 million over the five years.

PRIP carries out all repairs and maintenance works to 19,000 homes on behalf of Barnsley Council and since it was established in 2010, tenant satisfaction with repairs and maintenance has increased to 98%.

The contract extension follows a robust review by Barnsley Council, where performance and value for money were some of the key subjects, and also included members of the Barnsley Federation of Tenants and Residents.

As part of the new contract, Kier has committed to further developing its Employment and Skills Training Programme, which will increase the number of apprentices employed by the programme by 25%. This adds to the partnership’s existing policy of investing heavily in the training and development of local people.

It currently employs 21 apprentices and holds over 4,000 training events per year for staff engaging with local communities to deliver training and education programmes. Of the 366 people directly employed by PRIP, 80% of them live within the borough, which brings an estimated £7.4m into the local economy each year.

Phil Oades, Kier operations director, said: “It is extremely rewarding to secure this extension with Barnsley Council, following the past five years of successfully working together. The extension means we can further deepen and develop our partnership with Berneslai Homes and the Council to deliver an even more efficient service to tenants across Barnsley.”

Cllr Roy Miller, cabinet spokesperson for Place, said: “Barnsley Council is delighted to continue its partnership with Kier and Berneslai. They have delivered an excellent service to our customers over the past four years and are committed to improving both the economic prosperity of this town, and its residents, by using local labour and supplies wherever possible.”

ISG secures £10m Cambridge Community Centre

ISG secures £10m Cambridge Community Centre

ISG has secured a £10 million project to build a multi-use community facility at the new Clay Farm development that will boost the local economy and create new jobs.

Positioned at the heart of Cambridge’s Southern Fringe growth area, the centre will ultimately serve a community of around 4,000 homes, with a new secondary school and two primary schools.

The five-storey, mixed-use building will provide a comprehensive range of public services for local residents, including a medical centre, library, community rooms and 20 flats.

At ground floor level of the concrete frame structure, ISG will create a spacious and light reception area, leading into the lower level of the two-storey library, a café and social space.

A large double-height multi-use hall and a smaller community room are also located on this level, along with offices and a secure internal bicycle storage area.

Liam Duffy, ISG’s regional director – East, said: “The extension of Cambridge’s guided busway and the creation of public realm space at Clay Farm has paved the way for this next stage in the development of the city’s Southern Fringe growth area.

This new facility is a signature building and a major investment by the council in the creation of a vibrant and sustainable new community and we are delighted to be playing a key role in the realisation of this exciting vision for Cambridge’s future.”

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Community, Arts and Recreation at Cambridge City Council, said: “The Clay Farm multi-use community facility is an ambitious project that will be the jewel in the crown of the new Southern Fringe development, bringing together a new neighbourhood under one roof.

Cambridge City Council is proud to take a leading role in the development, investing in a facility that will be sustainable and of very high quality – and will deliver a long-lasting benefit to the community and the city of Cambridge at large.”

Long term growth and jobs boost for the Midlands

Long term growth and jobs boost for the Midlands

Jobs, skills, transport, science, and quality of life are at the heart of the six-point long term economic plan to make the Midlands the Engine for Growth in the UK, announced today by the Prime Minister and Chancellor.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor today set out their six-point long term economic plan for the Midlands showing what has been delivered, what is underway and what more can be done to make the Midlands an engine for growth.

In a speech at Bombardier in Derby, David Cameron and George Osborne set out the detailed plan as part of a two day tour of the region.

The plan aims to raise the long term growth rate of the Midlands to at least the forecast long term growth rate of the whole UK – adding an extra £34 billion to the Midlands economy in real terms by 2030, equivalent to over £3,000 per person.

It will also create 300,000 extra jobs in the Midlands by backing the core strengths of the local economy like advanced manufacturing and engineering.

Prime Minister, David Cameron said: “We are building a more resilient economy to benefit hard working people across the Midlands, from its great cities to the stunning countryside of the Derbyshire Dales.

We are already seeing more jobs and greater growth in the region, but we want to see more. That’s what our long term economic plan will do – it will help the region build on its success and create new opportunities through massive investment in infrastructure and housing.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said: “Our long term economic plan for the Midlands aims to make it an engine for growth in the UK to ensure that we have a truly national recovery.

Under this government, the Midlands has been growing and creating jobs faster than the average for the whole of the UK.

The challenge now is to sustain this which is why the Prime Minister and I are here today setting out our long-term plan to create 300,000 new jobs, boost the Midland’s growth by over £30 billion and significantly improve the quality of life.”

Eric Wright wins 20m building job for McLaren

Eric Wright wins 20m building job for McLaren

Eric Wright has been given a new contract to build 326-unit student accommodation scheme in York for McLaren Property.

The deal follows the sale of the city-centre site by previous owners Maple Grove Developments and Yorvale to McLaren Construction Group’s property arm.

Work will start on the site in Hallfield Road next month to build two blocks, each with four storeys.

The 18-month build programme is due to complete in time for the 2016/17 academic year student intake.

Chris Evenson, managing director of Maple Grove Developments said: “We knew that this site had significant potential for development as student living and, by delivering the public consultation and securing planning consent prior to negotiations, we were able to maximise its value.

We are delighted to have attracted a developer of McLaren’s stature to the project and the deal demonstrates our ability to acquire sites that can attract interest from major property development and investment names, feeding our continued growth.”

John Gatley of McLaren Property said: “We are pleased to announce the acquisition of the site in Hallfield Road which adds another strong location to our portfolio of student accommodation.

We continue to search for development opportunities in similar top tier university towns and cities.”

John Wilson, managing director, Eric Wright Construction added: “This deal demonstrates how the breadth of disciplines within the Eric Wright Group can be leveraged to drive growth across our business units.

The Hallfield Road scheme will build on our portfolio of successful student accommodation projects, which also includes the £18 million Opal Court Phase 2 in Leeds, reiterating our expansion in Yorkshire.”

New homes set to be built in Manchester

New homes for rent in Greater Manchester

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has announced a multi-million pound deal that will provide nearly 800 homes specifically for private rent in Greater Manchester.

The minister welcomed this latest deal through the government’s £1 billion Build to Rent scheme, which is well on track to build 10,000 new homes for private rent.

The move is the latest in a series of steps this government has taken to get Britain building – creating jobs and providing homes while boosting the building trades.

New homes in Manchester and Salford

The Build to Rent fund is designed to help developers produce large-scale, quality homes, specifically for the private rented sector.

Under the terms of today’s agreement, developers Renaker will receive £55 million to build 779 new homes across 2 sites in Manchester and Salford.

Each site will include a mix of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom properties. Work is already underway, and is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Millions of people use the flexible option of renting so I’m determined to create a bigger, better private rental market offering greater choice for tenants.

This extra money will not only create 800 more homes for the people of Manchester and Salford, it will also create jobs and security for hardworking people – a vital part of our long term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain.”

Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency Andy Rose said: “This is a major investment in the private rented sector in Manchester. It demonstrates how the HCA, working closely with partners, is combining financial and local expertise to increase the private rented choice in areas where there is a high demand for homes.”

Boris Johnson unveils £220m homes funding boost

London Mayor Boris Johnson

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced funding for two new schemes to help Londoners into affordable home ownership and accelerate the building of new homes.

The Fund aims to accelerate the delivery of 4,000 new homes between 2015 and 2020 and is being made available on a recoverable basis so that money can be reinvested to provide more opportunities for affordable home seekers.

The Mayor is also giving up to £40 million of loan finance to Gentoo’s Genie for a new innovative housing product where buyers will need no deposit or mortgage to purchase their home and at the end of the agreement customers own 100 per cent of the home outright.

The scheme aims to deliver 2,000 new homes over the next 10 years, helping people who would struggle to get on the property ladder while boosting the building trades.

The Mayor has already made considerable efforts to help Londoners to own their own home with over 50,000 people expected to be helped into home ownership through his First Steps scheme over the course of his two Mayoral terms.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Shared ownership is crucial in helping the unprecedented numbers of people in London desperate for good quality low cost housing.

Families need larger properties and Erith Park is testament to the number of well-designed affordable three bedroom family homes with gardens that can be delivered with good planning, major regeneration and investment.

I want the funding announced today to help thousands more Londoners own homes and create more developments like Erith Park delivering excellent affordable properties.”