High Speed 2 offers new jobs and economic growth

High Speed 2 offers new jobs and economic growthWork continues apace on the development of the second phase of the planned high speed rail network that will create 100,000 jobs and boost the economy.

Temple, together with RSK has been awarded a £1.5 million contract to provide environmental services to HS2 Ltd.

As part of the contract Temple/RSK will assist HS2 Ltd in the completion of the Appraisal of Sustainability for routes north from the West Midlands to Manchester and Leeds.  This involves:

  • Supporting HS2 Ltd during consultation events
  • Logging consultation issues and responses
  • Undertaking environmental appraisals of scheme refinements
  • Supporting HS2 Ltd with activities post-consultation leading to final scheme selection

Beth West, HS2 Ltd commercial director said: “HS2 is one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK and it will give a significant boost to the engineering and environmental sectors through developing the expertise needed to work on such large projects.

“This contract award is a positive sign of the progress that continues to be made on phase two beyond Birmingham as we move toward the public consultation later in the summer on the initial preferred route that was published at the end of January.”

Temple and RSK Project Director, Chris Fry said: “We are delighted to be able to assist HS2 Ltd with further refinement of the scheme and welcome our new partner, RSK who bring additional specialist knowledge to expand our established appraisal team.”

Government awards £11m fund to boost Bristol Enterprise Zone

Government awards £11m fund to boost Bristol Enterprise Zone

Plans to create thousands of jobs in Bristol by preparing derelict land for major development have been backed by a Government approval to invest £11 million in the project.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) will begin work to prepare the Diesel Depot for development after the Treasury signed off its proposals to fund a vital phase of work on the site.

The investment from the HCA will be used to provide a new access route from nearby Cattle Market Road and install a three lane bridge over the River Avon to improve links with Temple Meads station.

The approval marks a significant step for Bristol City Council and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), who want to build an 11,000-seater indoor Arena on part of the site in the heart of Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

It has been estimated that £500,000 will also be invested in structural improvements in the area that will boost employment and help the local economy.

The Diesel Depot has huge economic potential: studies show that a major development there could bring nearly 65,000 sq m of new employment space, 300 homes, around 2,600 jobs and £200m in private sector investment to the city.

The whole project will also be supported by infrastructure investment of around £7.5m from the LEP’s Revolving Infrastructure Fund, as part of a £21m package of funding announced last year to pay for new highways, roads and improved pedestrian access in the Enterprise Zone.

David Warburton HCA head of Area said: “Our investment will address this issue and make the site a more viable proposition for the council and LEP. It has the potential to generate a huge number of jobs for the enterprise zone and it is great news for the city that the investment is in place to allow work to start.”

The proposed Arena project is being led by the council and the LEP, who welcomed the funding news today.

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson said: “Building an arena is hugely important for Bristol and the region and is a key catalyst for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. This £11 million investment by the HCA to ‘unlock’ the ‘arena island’ site is great news and we are delighted to have their support and confidence in the project.”

Government prioritises long-term infrastructure investment

Government prioritises long-term infrastructure investmentIn a speech to the House of Commons, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander outlined a pipeline of over £100 billion worth of public investment in infrastructure projects, to 2020.

The government has announced an increase in capital spending plans by £3 billion a year, from 2015, which means an additional £18 billion of investment over the next parliament.

The Chief Secretary maintained the need for a long-term infrastructure investment plan, to ensure that Britain can compete in the global race by looking at infrastructure investment priorities beyond 2015.

View the Government’s map which sets out infrastructure investment in your area.

Government is taking a long-term approach to infrastructure, to overcome decades of short-term decision making and uncertainty in funding, financing and failures in delivery.

Plans include over £70 billion of investment in transport, over £20 billion in schools and £10 billion in science, housing and flood defences.

Specific commitments include funding for HS2, a new nationwide rail network that will put two-thirds of northern England within 2 hours of London.

Action is being taken to provide the support needed to enable up to £100 billion of private sector energy investment, including through the further roll-out and extension of the UK guarantees scheme.

The Chief Secretary also announced the government’s plans to strengthen infrastructure project delivery through learning from successful approaches taken in the Olympics and elsewhere.

South Kilburn scheme set to deliver new homes

South Kilburn second phase MRNetwork Housing Group has won a £600 million construction contract to develop the second phase of South Kilburn’s regeneration project that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Brent Council awarded the contract to the Network Housing Group to build 229 apartments, with a gross development value of £66.5 million, after a bid process within the South Kilburn Regeneration Developer Framework.

This latest development is designed by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Alison Brooks Architects. Network Housing will be retaining these architects to deliver the detailed design of this next phase, which will ensure that the spirit and ethos of the original vision is retained.

The phase comprises of 126 private properties and 103 rented properties, and the designs are inspired by the local traditional mansion block facades.

The four blocks will create a courtyard of high quality landscaped gardens, together with a new pedestrian link to Kilburn Park Road.

The high-quality design will be guaranteed through a Design Compliance Forum chaired by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and the scheme has already been shortlisted for the 2013 London Housing Design Awards.

Helen Evans, Chief Executive of Network Housing Group, said: “This is an extremely important regeneration project in the borough of Brent which has incredible vision at its heart. Brent Council has steered this project through despite difficult market conditions and we can now see a vibrant and desirable new community taking shape.”

Susmita Sen, Executive Director of Network Stadium Housing Association who will own and manage the scheme, said: “The creation of the South Kilburn Steward role demonstrates our commitment to the ongoing success of the scheme and our investment in developing strong relationships between landlords, tenants and stakeholders.”

Brent Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration and Major Projects said: “The Council will continue to invest in its residents and the borough’s future and this project is testament to the council’s commitment to work with partners to ensure our residents have access to quality housing despite these hard financial times.”

The overarching South Kilburn masterplan will create 2,400 homes, of which around 1,200 will be made available to existing South Kilburn residents through Brent Council and their development partners.

A wealth of new infrastructure will also be developed, including a new larger urban park, a local primary school, health facilities and a sustainable energy network, which is expected to attract further significant regeneration investment to the area.

Planning reform to boost the trades

The Scottish Government

Proposed changes to Scotland’s planning system will put a great emphasis on economic benefits, including creating new jobs, planning Minister Derek Mackay will tell key members of Scotland’s business community this week.

Mr Mackay will meet with Scotland’s business leaders during a series of engagements taking place around the country to support the Scottish Government’s public consultation on Scotland’s third National Planning Framework (NPF3) and a revised Scottish Planning Policy.

The Minister will discuss how proposed changes to the planning system will place a greater weight on economic impact. This includes the creation of new jobs as well as recognising and responding to economic conditions.

Mr Mackay said: “The Scottish Government is focussed on sustainable economic growth, and as Planning Minister I am intent on delivering a planning system that is enabling this objective.

“This is about the culture and practice of planning on the ground. An explicit emphasis on economic impact in planning deliberations is both necessary and timely. I believe we are making good progress.

“During the consultation process I have been meeting with local authorities, developers, environmental groups and members of the public. By meeting with key players from Scotland’s business community I will gain further feedback on the consultation which will assist in our drive to push forward sustainable economic growth.”

Fast-track planning boost to help the trades

Fast-track planning boost to help the trades

Football stadiums, car plants and exhibition centres are some of the developments that can now benefit from a fast-track planning process designed to create jobs and boost economy.

Planning Minister Nick Boles has announced that the fast-track system, used for deciding nationally significant infrastructure projects, will be widened to cover the most significant business and commercial projects that safeguard and deliver new jobs in the trades.

Previously the scheme was only open to nationally significant infrastructure projects in the transport, energy, water, waste and waste water sectors.

Under the proposed changes developers can ask for their application to be determined at a national level through the infrastructure planning system. This will ensure decisions are made within 12 months from the beginning of examination.

The government proposes to include a wider range of developments including:

  • manufacturing and processing: eg car factories and food processing plants
  • leisure, tourism, sports and recreation: eg sports stadiums, theme parks and hotel complexes
  • offices and research and development centres
  • warehousing, storage and distribution sites
  • conference and exhibition centres
  • aggregate and industrial minerals: eg sand, gravel.

Planning Minister Nick Boles said: “We are determined to help bring about new investment and jobs. Making sure businesses can have confidence in quicker and better planning decisions is an important part of that.

“Opening up the fast-track system will help get sustainable development underway sooner and minimise delays that only bring uncertainty for local people and businesses looking to create jobs.”