£25m Scottish fund leads to local economic growth

The Scottish GovernmentScottish Housing Minister Margaret Burgess has announced this week the allocation of a £25-million fund to regenerate deprived areas across Scotland and boost the trades.

In total 22 local projects will benefit from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) which will be developed in partnership with local authorities.

The fund will support projects that will deliver new and improved infrastructure bringing significant positive outcomes for the disadvantaged areas.

Ms Burgess said: “Investment in such transformational regeneration projects is absolutely key for stimulating economic growth throughout Scotland.

“The development of the fund, which will benefit 22 local projects, is a great example of how Scotland’s public bodies can work in partnership to deliver initiatives that help to create more jobs for Scottish people, while bringing our communities closer together and injecting new life into deprived and run down areas.

“Community involvement is integral to the success of the design and delivery of local economic and social regeneration initiatives.

“This Government is absolutely clear about the contribution that regeneration makes to growing our economy and improving the life chances of Scotland’s people.

“I am pleased that COSLA have agreed to work with us on this initiative and that local authorities will play a fundamental role in delivery while ensuring local people are at the heart of the projects that will help transform the spaces around them.”

Councillor Stephen Hagan, COSLA Spokesperson for Development, Economy and Sustainability said: “The Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) will help improve physical, economic, social outcomes across our communities and will result in long term strategic and transformational change.

“Communities want resources focused on delivering large scale regeneration projects which can also deliver wider impacts of job creation, clearing up land as well as regenerating buildings and infrastructure.

“The projects awarded funding from the RCGF will help do this and lever in significant additional funding from a number of other sources.

“Regeneration is a key aspect of the work of local authorities, and this fund will go some way to helping communities realise their aspirations for their local area.

“This fund is another example of strong local democratic processes delivering viable, innovative and sustainable regeneration outcomes for communities across Scotland.”

Morrison Construction gets £48m Scottish school work

Morrison Construction gets £48m Scottish school workMorrison Construction has been appointed as preferred contractor for the building of two new school campuses, potentially worth up to £49.7 million in total.

Both contracts are set to boost the building construction industry and create new jobs in the trades.

Hub South West Scotland appointed the developer, part of the Galliford Try group, that will undertake the construction of the new Greenfaulds High School in Cumbernauld.

Following the financial close this week, Morrison Construction will also build a new Clyde Valley Schools Campus in Wishaw, which represents a potential £23.2 million project.

The new Clyde Valley Campus will cater for circa 1,018 pupils across the full age range from 3-18, while Greenfaulds will see 1,350 pupils accommodated in the new secondary school.

Galliford Try Chief Executive Greg Fitzgerald said: “We are delighted to secure these significant projects which reflect our reputation and strong market presence within the education sector in Scotland.

“We look forward to successfully delivering both projects for our client and wider stakeholders, and in turn providing pupils, teachers and the communities in North Lanarkshire with an enhanced built environment and improved facilities.”

In addition to the preferred contractor appointment, the Facilities Management business has been selected as preferred bidder to provide ongoing hard facilities maintenance and lifecycle management to both schools.

This contract is anticipated to be worth up to a further £17 million over the 25-year concession period.

£1bn Croydon redevelopment to create 5,000 new jobs

£1bn Croydon redevelopment to create 5,000 new jobsThe exciting transformation of Croydon’s town centre has moved a step closer after the council gave the go-ahead to the Westfield and Hammerson outline planning proposal.

The £1 billion scheme is set to create 5,000 permanent jobs, as well as thousands of temporary construction openings.

The development will see the building of up to 600 homes, bringing more than 300 shops, and boosting the local economy.

The council’s planning committee voted unanimously for the ambitious plans at a special meeting of the strategic planning committee on Monday.

Following the council’s decision the application must now be considered by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. The scheme will then be referred to the secretary of state for Communities and Local Government.

Council leader Mike Fisher said: “These are very exciting times for Croydon. This application has brought together two major developers to revitalise Croydon’s town centre. We have been in detailed negotiations for many months to ensure we get the best result for the people of Croydon.

“We anticipate that should this development progress it will act as a magnet for jobs, visitors and investment into Croydon, complementing our plans to revitalise the borough and bring in thousands of new homes, jobs and business opportunities.

“It will be part of the gradual regeneration of the borough and reinvigorate Croydon as the number one shopping destination in south London.”

John Burton, Westfield’s director of development, said: “This is a significant step forward in our plans for the redevelopment of Croydon’s retail town centre and importantly will create 5,000 new local jobs.

“We believe that our proposed £1 billion investment into the transformation of Croydon’s shopping and leisure offer has the potential to act as a major catalyst for the wider physical and social regeneration of the town. The support we received from the council further strengthens that belief.”

Interserve bags £150m Sussex Uni facilities contract

Interserve bags £150m Sussex Uni facilities contractInterserve has formed a new 10-year partnership with the University of Sussex that will see the delivery of major facilities management contract and pave the way for new trade jobs.

The £150 million contract with Sussex Estates and Facilities will commence in January 2014, marking the start of a unique partnership between Interserve and the University.

Sussex Estates and Facilities will provide services across 23 service specifications including cleaning, grounds maintenance, buildings management, portering, mailroom and postal services, security, car parking, waste management, health and safety support, estates project management and energy-saving improvements.

These improvements include a reduction of carbon emissions, new facilities and investments in skills development and employment opportunities.

Bruce Melizan, Executive Director at Interserve added: “At the core of our service is the delivery of effective transformation programmes, which focus on people and processes, to deliver great service in an efficient manner. We look forward to bringing that experience to support the University of Sussex in its ambitious plans for growth and development.

“Our team is particularly keen to help the students gain ‘real-world’ work experience in an environment that they are familiar and comfortable with. Additionally we look forward to helping the university to develop beneficial skills and knowledge for its future development.”

John Duffy, Registrar and Secretary at the University of Sussex, commented: “Through working in partnership with Interserve we will ensure the long-term development of our campus facilities, ensuring that we are benefitting from new technology, best-in-class systems and the sector-leading standards that Interserve works to.

“Sussex Estates and Facilities has been established to provide industry-leading support services that will improve the research and teaching environment for students and staff, as well as supporting the local economy.”

Salford University to build £81m student accommodation campus

Salford University builds £81m student accommodation campusThe construction of a new £81 million student accommodation complex is set to get underway at the University of Salford as part of a multi-million pound investment scheme.  

The apartments at the heart of the campus will provide 1,367 modern study bedrooms with ensuite facilities.

Each apartment will have its own kitchen and lounge and the complex will contain a cinema, gym, TV and games room, group study lounges, onsite shops, restaurants and cafés.

The accommodation will be sustainable and energy-efficient with a target of achieving an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating, the standard environmental assessment method for buildings.

The consortium Salford Village Limited is comprising investment companies Equitix and Kier Project Investment, Graham Investment Projects and student accommodation operator Campus Living Villages.

Sean McKeown, Commercial Director at Campus Living Villages, said: “Campus Living Village’s sole business is student accommodation and as a global provider we have a highly experienced team that understands how to deliver the best in student residences to a highly international market.

“We look forward to strengthening our partnership with the University of Salford to continue to enhance the student experience for our customers.”

Salford Village Limited is set to develop the properties with project finance provided by Standard Life Investments. Graham Construction is carrying out the building works.

The consortium will run the development on behalf of the consortium when it opens to students in September 2015.

Along with its partners, the University is investing a total of £136 million in the Salford campus over the next two and a half years.

Last month BAM Construction started building the state-of-the-art £55 million ‘Gateway Project’ which will have a theatre, recording and photography studios, café areas, performance and rehearsal spaces, computer suites and lecture theatres.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Hall said: “Our new student accommodation will, alongside our other major investments, create a studying and living environment which will be second to none.

“Set next to the historical Peel Park and within walking distance to the centre of the vibrant city of Manchester, students will be catered for like never before.”

Forest of Dean college plans reach out for new jobs

Forest of Dean college plans reach out for new jobsProposed plans for the new £8.6 million Gloucestershire College Forest of Dean campus and other residential commercial development are to be unveiled this week.

The regeneration will unlock more than £100 million in investment to redevelop the site and create new jobs in the building construction industry.   

A two-day exhibition and consultation will run at the Belle Vue Centre in Cinderford town centre from Friday 29 to Saturday 30 November.

The exhibition will give the public an opportunity to see and comment on details of the planning application for these key parts of the Northern Quarter that will bring employment opportunities to the district.

Councillor Graham Morgan from the Cinderford Regeneration Board said: “The exhibition is an exciting step towards bringing new jobs, business and homes to Cinderford, plus a state-of-the art college for the Forest of Dean.

“I urge everyone living or working near to the Northern Quarter to come and see how the designs will transform this former coalfield site into a cutting edge, sustainable centre to study, work and live.”

Greg Morgan, Area Manager for the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “This is an important stage in shaping these important proposals to bring investment, jobs and opportunities to the Forest of Dean.

“We’re really keen to show how the project partners are working together and hear what people think about this vital part of Cinderford’s future.”

Planning consultant appointed for West Guildford scheme

Planning consultant appointed for West Guildford schemeThe University of Surrey has appointed Terence O’Rourke to develop a masterplan for a major, mixed use scheme on Blackwell Farm and remnants of Manor Farm in West Guildford.

Terence O’Rourke will assist the University in exploring the potential of land to the west of its campus in Guildford that could see the building of hundreds of homes and create new jobs in the trades.

The award-winning planning consultancy has delivered high quality housing schemes around the country including Kings Hill, Cambridge and the Clay Country eco-town in Cornwall.

It has worked for the University of Surrey in the past and played a key role in the promotion and delivery of the Manor Park campus and associated projects such as the Post Graduate Medical School, Surrey Sports Park student residences and the proposed Vet School.

The site has already been included in Guildford Borough Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA).

In addition, it will guide the University’s engagement with key local stakeholders to ensure that all issues and concerns are taken into account before putting together a proposal for Guildford Borough Council’s consideration.

Speaking about the appointment, Managing Director, Tim Hancock, said: “We are delighted to extend our working relationship with the University of Surrey through our involvement with this exciting project.

“Building on our success with exemplar housing schemes on the edges of the historic cities of Cambridge and Oxford, we look forward to engaging with Guildford Borough Council, community groups and other stakeholders to explore the full potential of the University’s land.”

Greg Melly, Vice-President at the University of Surrey, added: “The University takes the long-term stewardship of its land seriously and we are therefore really pleased to have such an experienced advisor on hand to assist us in considering how to make the best of use of our site.

“Representatives at Terence O’Rourke have demonstrated that they understand our aspirations to create a sustainable development of which future generations can be proud and we look forward to working with them.”