Galliford Try secures extra contracts worth £72m

Galliford Try  1

Galliford Try announced today that it has been successfully appointed to four new major contracts in the extra care and affordable housing sectors, worth a combined £72 million.

Partnerships has signed contracts with the ExtraCare Charitable Trust (ECCT) for its new £36 million retirement village set in five acres of land on the former MG Rover plant in Longbridge, south west of Birmingham.

The new development will create 260 apartments (105 one-bed and 155 two-bed apartments) for the over 55s and feature a village centre that includes a village hall, bar, restaurant, gym, IT suite, hair and beauty salon and shop.

Secondly, financial close has been reached on the £18 million scheme to build the new 135-bed ‘Village 135′ extra care facility for Wythenshawe Community Housing Group.

The project consists of two sites connected by a glass-enclosed pedestrian walkway and will provide a range of facilities for residents including a salon, cafeteria and main kitchen, a winter garden and roof terrace with planting area.

The scheme will provide a mix of 66 apartments for affordable rent, 39 apartments for shared ownership and 30 apartments for outright sale.

One Housing Group has appointed Galliford Try to two new contracts that will deliver the Protheroe House (£9.2 million) and Pretoria Road (£9 million) developments in North London.

The Protheroe House scheme will create a 50-bed extra care facility in Haringey including a large communal garden, roof terrace, hobby room and well-being centre as part of the development.

The Pretoria Road project will see the construction of 44 one-bed and eight two-bed properties in Hackney. Eight of the homes are specifically designed to be dementia friendly.

Galliford Try Executive Chairman Greg Fitzgerald said: “Galliford Try’s track record in extra care developments is second to none and we are delighted that the ExtraCare Charitable Trust, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group and One Housing Group have placed their trust in us to deliver the high quality facilities their customers deserve.”

Bouygues UK appointed to deliver £55m Paddington Exchange contract

Bouygues UK appointed to deliver £55m Paddington Exchange contract

A central London development that will provide 150 new homes in the London Borough of Westminster has moved a step closer after Taylor Wimpey appointed Bouygues UK to deliver the project.

Work on Paddington Exchange, which is due to start in January, will see the transformation of a former car park into a new mixed-use, which will provide a combination of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom affordable and private homes in the capital.

The site will consist of four residential blocks varying in height: with the lowest at eight storeys and the largest standing at 14 storeys high.

Four new commercial units will also be included as part of the development, which is expected to take around two years to deliver and will be handed over in three phases.

Ingrid Skinner, Managing Director of Taylor Wimpey Central London, said: “This marks an exciting step forward for our Paddington Exchange development. It is one of the largest and most innovative projects in our portfolio and we are very much looking forward to getting construction underway.

The appointment of Bouygues UK reflects our commitment to forging industry-leading partnerships to create genuinely high quality and sustainable new communities across Central London.”

Bouygues UK‘s Regional Director for Housing in London, John Campion, said: “This latest contract underlines our credentials and solid reputation for working with leading property developers in London.

From our work in Bayswater on The Hempel Collection, to Pontoon Dock and Hallsville Quarter in Newham; from Queens Park Place in Brent to the Ice House Quarter in Barking and Dagenham, we’re working with local authorities and developers to deliver much-needed housing and regeneration for people right across the capital.”

Skanska supports expansion of green initiative

Skanska supports expansion of green initiative

Skanska has been working with Action Sustainability and facilities management providers to develop the Supply Chain Sustainability School to support this sector of the industry.

The new section is being launched today at a special event at the Natural History Museum in London to help construction suppliers and sub-contractors develop their organisations’ sustainability knowledge and competence.

Skanska was a founder member of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, which is a free, online virtual learning environment. The school has over 7,000 members, with 15 of the UK’s top 20 construction firms involved.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills, which is a government body, is investing £285,000 in expanding the school, enabling it to provide materials about the facilities management sector.

The new section will have a range of resources, including e-learning modules and a management system to monitor progress.

The first facilities management supplier day will be hosted by Skanska in Bristol on 4 March.

Facilities Services Managing Director Katy Dowding said: “Bristol is a fitting place for our first supplier day, as Skanska is a sponsor of the city as European Green Capital 2015. Skanska is recognised as being one of the greenest companies in the UK.

Our involvement and support of the facilities management section of the Supply Chain Sustainability School will help suppliers to become even greener. It is an invaluable resource, which offers a huge range of information and expertise.”

Councils will enable more homes to be built

Councils will enable more homes to be built

Councils can play a greater role in getting the country building and create new jobs in the trades, an independent review has shown.

In their report to the government, Natalie Elphicke and Councillor Keith House argue for councils to be put at the heart of providing more homes across all tenures in their local area.

Under their proposals, councils would become “housing delivery enablers” – assessing the housing need of their area, working with businesses, housing associations and others to provide the homes their residents want and need to build strong and sustainable communities.

In particular, the report urges councils to consider how they can actively support smaller and start-up housing businesses locally – whether with land, finance or training.

Ms Elphicke and Councillor House also urge the government to take steps to support councils as they take on this new role.

Natalie Elphicke said: “All hands are needed on deck. Unlocking councils will help to deliver the homes we need and get more young people onto the housing ladder.

We have talked for a decade. There have been many great reforms. Now it’s time for councils to foster a home-building revolution.”

Councillor Keith House said: “We have seen some inspiring examples of councils driving housing for their areas, particularly where they have set up housing companies to drive forward housebuilding. With skills and confidence, more councils can help to deliver that step-change in housing supply.

Councils will be central to a successful step-change in housebuilding. It’s now time for action not words. Our report sets out how that can happen.”

Win a share of £100k and cut your energy bills

Win a share of £100k and cut your energy bills

A share of £100,000 is up for grabs as part of a new community energy competition launched today by Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey.

Community groups and other eligible organisations across England are invited to apply for the funding to develop innovative energy-saving ideas that could help slash energy bills.

Ideas can be anything from hosting an energy advice stall in your local shopping centre, to crowd-funding solar panels for your local church or running a ‘buddy’ programme to help vulnerable households get to grips with their energy bills, switch energy suppliers and save money.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said: “We’re looking for communities to tell us how they want to take control of the energy they use so they can cut their bills.

Local people will know what works best in their areas, and their ideas will help driving even more investment into local energy projects.”

The competition is open to all community groups that are registered as legal entities – such as local authorities or parish councils, charities, faith groups, social landlords, trusts, community interest companies or co-operatives.

The successful applications will be able to demonstrate the biggest potential drop in energy consumption and bills.

Applications close on 10 February 2015, with the winners due to be announced shortly afterwards. Successful applicants will need to deliver their idea by the end of March 2015.

Visit the Community energy webpage for more information or to apply.

Record funding for seaside towns to kick-start jobs and boost the trades

Record funding for seaside towns to kick-start jobs and boost the trades

Seaside attractions across England are to benefit from a record £36 million government investment to boost growth in coastal areas.

Blackpool’s iconic illuminations are one of many seaside attractions across England to benefit from a record £36 million government investment to boost growth in coastal areas.

The money – from the Coastal Communities Fund – will support projects that will create nearly 3,000 jobs and almost 1,500 apprenticeships and training places.

Coastal Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “Backing our coastal towns so they can rise up and drive forward their local economies is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain.

This money will help create jobs, boost skills and open up new business opportunities, benefitting hard-working people in coastal communities across the country.

These fantastic projects demonstrate the creativity, enterprise and passion needed to help seaside towns become year round destinations that people are proud to live and work in.”

Supporting coastal communities to unlock their enormous potential, boost local economies and contribute to the wider area is an important part of the government’s long-term economic plan.

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “I created the Coastal Communities Fund because, as someone who grew up on a small island, I know how much difference targeted investment can make to people’s lives.

Overall, hundreds of communities across the UK will benefit, creating jobs and making sure that some of our most remote and fragile communities share in the economic recovery.”

Projects to benefit include:

Blackpool’s world famous illuminations receive nearly £2 million to help create new light shows that will become a major tourist attraction and create and support nearly 550 new jobs

Tate St Ives will get £3.8 million to help extend the art gallery so it can welcome 76,000 new visitors a year to the area and create more than 200 local jobs

a cycle and walking path in Dawlish linking the town centre with the iconic Exe Estuary Trail tourist route and designed to increase visitor numbers will receive £1.3 million and create more than 35 local jobs

Scarborough’s historic market will get £2.7 million to refurbish the market and create space for 30 new businesses creating more than 80 jobs and apprenticeships

Balfour Beatty appointed for £120m Essex Uni housing project

Balfour Beatty appointed preferred bidder for £120m Essex Uni housing project

Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, announces today that it has been appointed preferred bidder for the University of Sussex‘s East Slope Residences project.

In partnership, alongside the University, Balfour Beatty will design, build, finance and operate the project under a 50 year contract that will boost the local economy and create new jobs.

Subject to planning approval, the project will replace an existing 600 bed facility on the University’s campus with a new living space comprising 2,000 new bedrooms in a range of formats including townhouses and some with ensuite facilities.

It will also incorporate innovative student amenities such as social hubs and new student union facilities. Construction is anticipated to start in 2016, and would be delivered by Balfour Beatty’s UK construction services business.

Balfour Beatty’s investment business has achieved considerable success in the student accommodation market, developing a portfolio of 15 projects (including those currently at preferred bidder), across the UK, US and Australia.

Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, said: “Following the revaluation of the portfolio last week, this project demonstrates the continued value our Investments business brings to the whole Group. We look forward to supporting the University with their growth ambitions and delivering on their sustainability targets.”

Government and industry creating growth for the UK

Government and industry creating pipeline of growth for the UK

Skills Minister Nick Boles has announced £1.1 million of government funding to match £1.7 million of industry investment to help create a legacy of engineering jobs and skills from major projects.

The project brings together industry leaders, including Crossrail-linked employers, working on major tunnelling and underground construction projects. It follows a successful bid from the group for funding through the government’s Employer Ownership Pilot.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “Our investment in major infrastructure projects has established the UK as a world-leader in tunnelling and underground construction.

Crossrail alone is supporting in the region of 55,000 jobs and with other major projects planned we want to go even further, to create a jobs legacy for future generations and give the industry the skills it needs to dig deeper and further.”

This project will create a new industry partnership involving tunnelling and underground construction employers, to generate lasting benefits for current and future engineers.

Part of the partnership’s work will see the creation of a new Industry Advisory Panel (IAP), representing all Crossrail-linked employers and future large tunnelling employers, working together to identify ways to grow the industry.

Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman said: The volume of tunnelling and underground construction work taking place in the UK over the next decade is unprecedented.

Crossrail, in partnership with its principal contractors, has delivered the most significant injection of new skills in a generation. It is essential that we continue to grow the industry’s talent base to ensure Britain remains at the forefront of major infrastructure delivery.”

More than £460 billion of public and private investment will be made into the UK’s economic infrastructure by 2020.

Government schemes make winter warmer for one million homes

Government schemes make winter warmer for one million homes

By the end of November, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Green Deal package had delivered new boilers, windows and insulation to 1,021,000 homes.

A substantial part of work under ECO helped people with chilly, damp homes at risk of fuel poverty and also had an impact in rural areas where leaky properties can cost over the odds to heat.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey said: “Helping to make one million homes in Britain warmer through energy efficiency is great news – and to hit our target early is even better.

One million extra homes already have permanently lower energy bills – whether that’s thanks to better insulation or more effective boilers. The challenge now is to continue this drive – and our next instalment of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is coming soon.”

Energy and Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd said:“More than one million homes across the country – including over 28,000 homes in rural areas – are enjoying a warmer, cheaper and greener winter thanks to our policies.

I want to see energy companies continue to deliver their obligations so more people can reap the benefits and stay warm this winter and every winter.”

The new figures were revealed in today’s statistical report on the government’s home energy efficiency programmes, covering the period up to the end of November.

On top of extending ECO to 2017, the 1 million milestone comes a month after the government allocated £24 million to help over 5,000 homes receive up to £4000 back for installing solid wall insulation, through the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

Up to a further £6 million is still up for grabs – homeowners can apply for up to £1600 if they install two measures from a list of home improvements under the fund.

This £30 million fund is part of an additional £100 million pot announced in October 2014, with the next release expected in February 2015. This is all on top of the £450 million already set aside for household energy efficiency over 2014-7.

In addition, a new £25 million grant announced as part of the Autumn Statement will see an extra 8000 low-income households benefit from first-time central heating for off gas grid homes.

Government kick-starts building of new business centre

Government kick-starts building of new business centre

An iconic former flour mill at the heart of London’s Royal Docks Enterprise Zone is set to be transformed into a vibrant centre for business and enterprise , Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt announced this week.

The transformation will deliver 5 million square feet of business and retail space, more than 20,000 new jobs, 3,000 new homes and contribute £260 million each year to the London economy.

The Millennium Mills site has been out of use since the early 1980s but work has now begun to demolish parts of the interiors and rid the building of asbestos contamination. The funding will fast track its renovation by five years and make it ready to welcome the next generation of start-up businesses by 2017.

Redevelopment of the 450,000 square feet land-mark, one of the last remaining heritage buildings on the River Thames, forms the centrepiece of a wider £3.5 billion project to transform the Silvertown Quays part of the Royal Docks from the industrial to the digital age.

It is the latest in a string of exciting investments at London’s Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, including plans to create the UK’s largest floating village at Royal Victoria Dock and the ABP business port at Royal Albert Dock.

The Local Growth Minister visited the site with London’s Deputy Mayor for housing and Land, Richard Blakeway, to see how work was progressing.

She said: “It’s great to see work starting on Millennium Mills at London’s Enterprise Zone. This iconic building, once a symbol of decline, will be the centrepiece of a thriving new business district that will create thousands of new jobs and bring prosperity back to the docks.

That’s why we are investing £12 million to kick-start this project. It’s all part of a long-term economic plan that is driving business forward and delivering real benefits to hard-working people.”

The £12m funding has granted through the Government’s Building Foundations for Growth Enterprise Zones Capital Grant fund.