Balfour Beatty gets £180m Heathrow contract

Balfour Beatty gets £180m Heathrow contractBalfour Beatty has been appointed to deliver up to £180 million of infrastructure works for Heathrow Airport that will upgrade Terminals 1, 2 and 4.

This is the first of four framework contracts awarded by Heathrow, as part of a total investment package of £1.5 billion, which will boost the construction industry and create new jobs.

These new frameworks, which appoint a single contractor to deliver a programme of projects, are intended to enable Heathrow to realise year-on-year savings on its capital investment programme.

Balfour Beatty will be acting as programme manager and contractor at various stages throughout the lifecycle of the framework, delivering individual projects worth between £500,000 and £70 million.

Projects will range from structural improvements to multiple asset replacements such as escalators and passenger conveyors, passenger and goods lifts, air conditioning systems, retail areas, CCTV, access and security systems.

At the end of 2016 there is an option to extend the framework for a further two years, which will be worth up to an additional £70 million.

Balfour Beatty will bring its substantial range of in-house expertise to deliver the framework including design, engineering, construction, mechanical and electrical capabilities, and Building Information Modelling (BIM) which will allow full 4D design specification for Heathrow.

Steve Marshall, Balfour Beatty Executive Chairman, said: “I am delighted Balfour Beatty has been appointed to Heathrow’s new style of framework contracts.

“We have worked in partnership with Heathrow for fifteen years and we will continue to bring our leading capabilities in areas such as Building Information Modelling and safety to our work at Terminals 1, 2 and 4; and play our part in helping Heathrow maintain its position as a leading travel hub.”

Regeneration schemes to boost local growth

Regeneration schemes to boost local growthConstructing Excellence in the North East (CENE) is holding a briefing session on 4 June for companies in the regeneration and construction supply chains.

Companies in the building trades will learn at first-hand about the opportunities that are being created by regeneration projects in the region.

Neil Graham, Head of North East Economic Assets at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is among the speakers. He will provide insights into the potential for local economic growth created by regeneration projects which are kick-started through public investment.

The HCA is driving the development and regeneration of land, including that owned by the former RDAs, and is working with local partners to create communities where people want to live by providing homes, businesses and jobs on the sites.

The HCA has an existing portfolio of land and has also been confirmed as the preferred agency to dispose of surplus public sector land throughout the North East and has already worked on sites previously owned by Network Rail and the Ministry of Justice.

It is driving development and regeneration plans by working with local partners to help create local economic growth on the sites.

The other speakers will be Trudie McCormick, Southdale’s Managing Director for the North East region, and Damien Wilson, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Assistant Director (Regeneration).

Southdale, a construction and development specialist, is looking to put almost £28 million of new work into the local supply chain after winning a number of significant contracts across the region. The firm, which is based in Darlington, is about to start work at sites in Gateshead, South Tyneside and Teesside.

The event takes place at 8.30am on Wednesday June 4 2014 at CENE’s offices in Belmont Business Park, Durham. Anyone interested in attending should email Leanne McAngus on

First Minister announces multi-million pound regeneration boost

The Scottish GovernmentCommunities in Rutherglen and Dalmarnock are to benefit from a £4.48 million funding boost which will extend the legacy of the Commonwealth Games, First Minister Alex Salmond announced today.

The Scottish Government has provided the funding to Clyde Gateway URC to support the physical regeneration of the area and help create new jobs for the local area.

Projects funded are based near 2014 Commonwealth Games venues and Athletes’ Village and include a £4 million investment in safe and attractive pedestrian and cycle routes, as well as schemes to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of people in the area.

New pedestrian routes will connect Glasgow’s SMART bridge with new commercial development plots at Shawfield’s National Business District, and South Dalmarnock with public transport at the upgraded Dalmarnock railway station.

These pathways will also enhance and improve the main pedestrian and vehicle routes serving the Commonwealth Games.

The investment will ensure necessary regeneration work is undertaken before the Commonwealth Games begin.

The First Minister made today’s announcement during a visit to the Aspire Church building, which is currently rented by the Healthy n Happy Community Development Trust, which has received £436,000 in funding.

The Trust aims to convert the building from its previous use as a housing office into a community space which will house a range of services and projects including health, IT and employment advice.

Mr Salmond made the visit with the Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Shona Robison, after the Scottish Cabinet’s public referendum Q&A event in Rutherglen.

He said: “The impact of the Commonwealth Games will reach across Scotland but the epicentre is here in the Clyde Gateway area. This is why additional funding for community regeneration initiatives in this area are vital.”

Scottish Government on track for affordable housing target

Scottish Government on track for affordable housing targetNew housing statistics show the Scottish Government is ahead of its target of 30,000 new affordable homes by 2016 while boosting the building trades and creating new jobs.

According to new figures published today 7,012 affordable homes were delivered over the last year and 19,900 homes have now been delivered by the Scottish Government through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme since 2011.

The number of homes completed and delivered through the programme in the year to March 2014 was up 17 per cent on the previous 12 months while approvals were up by 43 per cent.

The latest figures also show that in the final quarter of 2013, 3,046 private sector new builds were completed. This is the first time in four years the quarterly figure has been above 3,000.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “These statistics show that our commitment to increasing the supply of affordable homes in Scotland is paying off and I am delighted to say we are well on track to deliver our target of 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this Parliament.

“But we cannot rest on our laurels. The supply of affordable housing continues to be a high priority for us and we are working with the entire housing sector to increase the supply of affordable homes and deliver vital support for construction and house building companies throughout Scotland . And to back this up we are investing over £1.35 billion in affordable housing in the four years to March 2016.

“Our £275 million investment in Help to Buy will bring much needed economic growth to Scotland by supporting our housing industry and creating employment opportunities.

“It’s clear we are making progress but we could do so much more with the full powers of independence. We would have full flexibility over budgets, investment and innovative financing to further support the supply of much needed new homes.”

Interserve gets Wolverhampton Uni job

Interserve gets Wolverhampton Uni jobInterserve has won a contract to build a new £13.5 million Business School for the University of Wolverhampton in partnership with Gardiner & Theobald and the structural and M&E consultants Arup.

The new facility, due to open in August 2015, is designed by architects Sheppard Robson and will serve as a gateway to the University’s Molineux Campus.

Work is due to start on site in early June 2014 and is to be completed late August 2015.

The six-storey building will be embedded on one side into a seven metre high embankment. At approximately 6,000 square metres gross internal area, the building will house teaching facilities for the Business School, including undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education, plus offices, meeting rooms and a café.

Interserve’s Regional Director, Simon Butler, said: “We are delighted to have secured another significant project within the Higher Education sector, an area where we already have a formidable track record.

“We are looking forward to re-establishing our relationship with the University of Wolverhampton where we were previously involved on the School of Health and Wellbeing project.

“The new Business School demonstrates the University’s commitment in providing the best facilities for students and the private sector.”

Dr Anthea Gregory, Head of the University of Wolverhampton’s Business School and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “After many months of planning it is wonderful news that work on the new building is imminent. It has been a competitive process and we were very impressed with the bid that Interserve put together and are looking forward to working with them on this project.

“This will cement the Business School’s reputation in the region and nationally, not just with students but with the business community. It is also great news for Wolverhampton and shows confidence in the local economy and the City.”

Wind farm to generate £4m for local community

Welsh wind farmEnergy Minister, Fergus Ewing has granted planning consent for a new 26-turbine wind farm in South Lanarkshire that will generate approximately £4 million to the local community and boost the trades.

The wind farm will power the equivalent of up to 49,000 homes in the area. The construction phase of the development is estimated to create around 50 jobs on site.

It will be developed by Banks Renewables (Kype Muir Wind Farm) Limited will have a maximum generating capacity of 104MW in the South Lanarkshire Council area.

Mr Ewing said: “The Kype Muir wind farm will create jobs both in its construction and during its lifetime. Once it is up and running, the wind farm will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and will be able to produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 49,000 homes.

“It’s also encouraging to see that this consent will mean that this development will be at the forefront of driving a solution to deal with the aviation radar issues that exist with wind development in the area.

“Wind farms, like Kype Muir, provide considerable benefits to their local community and play an important part in helping Scotland reach its target of the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity demand generated from renewables.

“Scotland is leading the way across UK in how we support local and community ownership of renewable energy. We have been supporting communities to develop renewable projects for over a decade and, over that time, our support has adapted to meet the needs of communities.”

Unite gets planning approval for development in North West London

UNITE announces new London developmentDeveloper of student accommodation, Unite Students, has received a planning approval for the development of a one acre site in Wembley, North West London.

The site, which is targeted to open in 2016, will provide a home for 699 students alongside 10,000 sq ft of retail space as well as boost economic growth and create new jobs.

The site was acquired from Schroders Real Estate Investment Trust in September 2013 for £7.56 million, an increase from the £7.4 million acquisition cost previously announced due to overage calculated following the grant of planning.

It has an estimated development cost of £47 million and a projected development yield of 9%, in line with Unite’s target levels. The scheme will be developed by the London Student Accommodation Vehicle (LSAV), UNITE’s 50:50 joint venture with GIC.

Alongside Unite’s existing Islington and Angel Lane (Stratford) developments, this scheme in Wembley achieves 60% of LSAV’s target pipeline.

The Zone 4 site is just 13 minutes from Central London via Wembley Park Underground Station, with easy access to the capital’s universities.

It sits within the Wembley Park regeneration area which will see new offices, shops and homes built around the iconic Wembley Stadium to create a dynamic new neighbourhood and community.

The site is adjacent to the recently opened London Designer Outlet and when it opens, the student accommodation will be marketed at a competitive price point.

Richard Simpson, Managing Director of Property, said: “We are pleased to have secured planning for our Wembley development in this strong London location.

“The site works well for students as it is within easy access of the capital’s universities and close to the amenities, and excellent transport links of Wembley Park, including the recently opened London Designer Outlet.”

The property will include communal space designed to enhance students’ living and learning experience, en-suite shared flats, high speed Wi-Fi and LED lighting, throughout.