Carillion consortium achieves financial close on £550m scheme

Carillion consortium achieves financial close on £550m schemeCarillion, Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try have been appointed as the preferred bidder to finance, design build and operate the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.

The project, which is estimated to be worth in the region of £550 million, is being delivered in partnership with Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council and is being procured under the Scottish Government’s Non-Profit Distribution (NPD) model.

Carillion expects to invest up to £20 million of equity (one third share) in the project and to have a one third share of the construction revenue.

Following the completion of construction in winter 2017, the route will be managed and maintained by Aberdeen Roads Limited for 30 years.

Carillion Chief Executive, Richard Howson said: We are delighted that our consortium has achieved financial close on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty project, which is the largest of its kind in Scotland to date.

The project is firmly in line with Carillion’s selective approach to construction, namely of focusing on large, high quality projects, notably those involving integrated solutions.

We look forward to working closely with Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council to deliver this major improvement to the transport network around Aberdeen.”

Stamp duty reform accelerates hundreds of new homes

Stamp duty reforms – factsheetSouthampton house builder Crest Nicholson has announced it will bring forward the next phase of development at Centenary Quay and build 280 new homes – 128 of them in the next year – following government reforms to stamp duty.

New analysis by the company also revealed today that the reforms will save buyers in Southampton over £1,660 per transaction and increase demand for new homes.

In addition, since 2013 44% of sales at Centenary Quay were made through the government’s Help to Buy scheme and a further 101 apartments were sold for Build to Rent.

The news comes as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne met homebuyers at Crest Nicholson’s Centenary Quay development in Southampton.

Read the government’s stamp duty factsheet, for information on the changes.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: “This is great news for Southampton – not only are Crest Nicholson building more homes quicker but buyers will also see real cash saving when they purchase a house.

Stamp duty was one of the worst designed taxes and acted as a brake on aspiration for those who wanted to get on or move up the housing ladder. The new system means there will be tax cut for 98% of homebuyers who pay stamp duty.

Together with the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which has helped more than 10,000 people in the South-East and over 71,000 people across the country buy their new home, we’re taking action to help hard-working taxpayers achieve their goals – and for many, their biggest goal is owning their own home. It’s a key part of our long term economic plan.”

Debbie Aplin, Managing Director of Crest Nicholson Regeneration, said: “The recent changes to the stamp duty system are extremely welcome. These reforms will undoubtedly boost activity in the housing market, re-stimulating building rates and enable us to drive the rate of sales back to pre-recessionary levels.

This will in turn support further job creation and have a positive overall impact on the entire economy. Most importantly though, the impact of changes to stamp duty will remove a lot of uncertainty for consumers over the coming months, helping to solve the affordability challenge so many purchasers are facing. “

HS2 signs construction pledge

HS2The HS2 scheme has signed up to the Construction and civil engineering industries pledges as part of its ongoing commitment to support the health, safety and well being of its employees.

Through signing up to these pledges HS2 aims to break new ground to establish innovative, world-class ways of working that set the standard for the rest of the industry, by committing to the promotion of health in construction and setting challenging performance standards for its supply chain.

HS2 Chief Executive, Simon Kirby said: “Thoughtful and inclusive management of our employees’ health, safety and well being can bring real benefits including better staff engagement, improved productivity and reduced staff turnover.

The pledges we are making today are for all members of our staff and our supply chain.

Through signing the Responsibility Deal, we recognize the importance the workplace plays in maintaining the mental and physical well-being of our staff.”

Dame Carol Black, Chair of the Responsibility Deal health at work network, said: “Over the past year, the Public Health Responsibility Deal has been engaging in a sector-specific way. Working with the construction industry, we have developed a construction pledge with 99 construction companies now signed up to it.

We are delighted to have high-profile rail companies like Crossrail and now HS2 joining the Responsibility Deal and we feel sure that this will encourage other rail companies to do the same.”

735 partners have now joined the Responsibility Deal and HS2 is the 100th organisation to sign the Construction and Civil engineering pledge.

The six pledges cover a range of areas including:

A health and well being strategy for staff and contractors as the project moves towards construction;

Use of accredited occupational health providers;

Implementing regular staff health checks ;

Procedures to support staff with chronic conditions;

A programme of activities relating to mental health and well being;

Facilities for cyclists and runners;

McAlpine wins £70m WestQuay contract in Southampton

Hammerson appoints contractor for WestQuay Watermark in SouthamptonHammerson has appointed Sir Robert McAlpine to undertake the main construction works for its £70 million WestQuay Watermark development in Southampton’s city centre.

The mixed-use, leisure led scheme, which received detailed planning consent earlier in the year, will create up to 500 new construction job opportunities and boost the local economy.

The project will deliver a landmark 10 screen cinema, up to 20 restaurants and a new high quality public plaza for the city supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Located immediately adjacent to Hammerson’s jointly owned WestQuay Shopping Centre, which is anchored by John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, the development is set to become Southampton’s new city centre leisure hub providing the area with a vibrant new dining and leisure destination.

WestQuay Watermark will be delivered in two phases. Phase one initial enabling works on the site have begun and the main start on site is scheduled for first thing in the New Year, with WestQuay Watermark set to open in autumn 2016. The second phase has the potential to include a hotel, residential tower with flexibility for retail and office space.

Hammerson is currently working with Southampton City Council’s Economic Development Team and Sir Robert McAlpine to ensure employment opportunities are available to the local Southampton workforce with skills and training opportunities.

Guy Wells, Hammerson Development Manager, commented: “Sir Robert McAlpine is a welcome addition to the WestQuay Watermark team. Their extensive experience of delivering high-quality schemes will be fundamental to the timely delivery and quality of the development.”

Mark Williamson, Regional Manager for Sir Robert McAlpine said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Hammerson to deliver this exciting new project for Southampton.”

Councillor Simon Letts, Leader of Southampton City Council, said: “This scheme forms part of our Heart of the City’s VIP project to invigorate the city centre, creating over 500 jobs and providing outstanding leisure facilities for residents and visitors to enjoy.

This is a vital first phase in linking the city centre to the Waterfront via a world class piece of public open space.”

Regional growth fund investment reaches £4bn

Regional growth fund investment reaches £4 billionThe government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has now put more than £1 billion in the hands of businesses, which in turn has leveraged nearly £3 billion in private sector investment, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced today.

The fund has also created and safeguarded more than 100,000 direct jobs in the English regions to-date. The news means the fund is now on track to deliver the 573,000 jobs it is projected to deliver by the end of the decade.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “So far, the Regional Growth Fund has secured £4 billion investment in companies across England – this is a great achievement, helping people and businesses across the country and there is still more to come.

It is proof that RGF is playing a pivotal role in developing innovative technologies; providing highly skilled jobs and giving businesses the confidence to invest in the UK.”

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said: “RGF is a great example of how business and government can work together to create the long-term, highly skilled jobs that are fuelling our recovery and growing our economy.

So far we have supported over 8,000 companies across the country to help them expand, take advantage of new markets and reach their full potential.”

Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm to create 2,500 jobs

Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm to create 2,500 jobsAn offshore wind project that is expected to bring up to 2,500 local jobs and millions of pounds’ worth of investment to the UK’s economy has been given the go-ahead from the Government.

Hornsea Project One will be made up of three offshore wind farms with a maximum capacity of 1200MW. Once built, it will generate enough electricity to power more than 800,000 homes.

The decision underlines how the Government’s policies have made the UK the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said:“With around 2,500 local green jobs on the horizon, this is another great boost for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is crucial to creating job and business opportunities in the UK, getting the best deal for consumers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports. Wind power is vital to this plan, with £14.5 billion invested since 2010 into an industry which supports 35,400 jobs.”

Based 64 miles off the coast of Yorkshire, the project was one of eight renewable energy projects awarded an early Contract for Difference (CFD) in April 2014.

These investment contracts are a major part of the Government’s world leading Electricity Market Reform programme – reforms which will see competition and markets attract tens of billions of pounds of vital energy investment whilst reducing the costs of clean energy to consumers.

Consent was provided on the condition that the project has an employment and skills plan approved by North Lincolnshire Council, which includes local advertising of jobs and supply chain opportunities and outreach employment presentations.

This is one of the largest investments in the Humberside area in the last 50 years and clearly demonstrates that the UK is the leading market for the sector.

Carillion wins £190m Midlands schools contract

Carillion logoCarillion‘s joint venture with Equitix has been appointed to deliver the Midlands Private Finance Batch under the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).

The Selected Bidder will finance, design, build and provide hard facilities management for the eight schools under a £190 million Public Private Partnership scheme.

This programme forms part of the Government’s £750 million Priority School Building Programme through which the Education Funding Agency is procuring projects to renew those parts of the schools estate in England that have been prioritised for replacement or upgrading.

Carillion expects to invest up to approximately £9 million of equity in the project from which we also expect to generate construction and services revenues of approximately £190 million over the life of the 27-year construction and concession contract.

The Midlands Priority Schools Building Programme will improve education facilities and outcomes for the pupils and staff in the eight schools listed below, by replacing substandard buildings and providing excellent facilities to support teaching and learning.

Schools:

Alfreton Grange Arts College, Derbyshire

ARK Kings Academy, Birmingham

Greenwood Academy, Birmingham

Plantsbrook School, Birmingham

President Kennedy School, Coventry

The Phoenix Collegiate, Sandwell

The Queen Elizabeth Academy, Warwickshire

Top Valley Academy, Nottingham

Carillion Chief Executive, Richard Howson said: “We are delighted that we have been appointed as the Selected  Bidder for the Midlands Private Finance Batch under the Priority School Building Programme.

“This is the second major PPP project in the UK for which we have been selected as the preferred bidder this year, following  our success in being selected for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route in which we will invest some £20 million of equity and from which we expect to generate around £175 million of construction revenue.”