BAM signs the V&A Museum of Design contract

BAM signs the V&A Museum of Design Dundee contractThe project to build the V&A Museum of Design Dundee has taken a major step forward with the signing of the construction contract between Dundee City Council and BAM Construction.

Work on site will begin next month under the £80.11 million project, with the main building completed by the end of 2017 and opened to the public before June 2018.

Completion of V&A Dundee will help create hundreds of jobs and inject millions of pounds into the economy.

Dundee City Council administration leader Councillor, Ken Guild, said: “I am delighted that work to create a world-class museum and visitor centre will start soon at the heart of our central waterfront.

“This project will help to attract further investment into the city and we are already experiencing unprecedented levels of investor interest in Dundee.

“Construction of V&A Dundee will give our economy a significant boost and help to create hundreds of jobs. The building project itself will also bring considerable attention to Dundee as the vision of architect Kengo Kuma takes shape.”

Regional Director of BAM Construction in Scotland, Doug Keillor, said: “This is the most unique construction project that my team have ever been involved in, both in architectural vision and in the way it will be built. It’s challenging, but in a good way.

Watching it take shape over the next few years using a combination of local, national and international expertise, will be very satisfying.”

Jobs boost for Glasgow’s east end

The Scottish GovernmentMore than 45 jobs will be relocated to Glasgow’s east end, when researchers working to address the city’s poor health, move into Bridgeton’s historic Olympia building.

A team of 15 covering five of the University of Glasgow’s schools and nine of its research centres will share the space with 30 staff from the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH).

The latest move means almost 2,000 office workers have made Bridgeton or Dalmarnock their new home over the last three years.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil welcomed the new tenants on a visit to the Olympia, which was reopened by Clyde Gateway after a £10 million refurbishment.

He said: “Thanks to the legacy of the Commonwealth Games and Clyde Gateway’s commitment to redeveloping the area, the east end of Glasgow has transformed beyond recognition over the last few years.

With the University and GCPH now moving east it’s clear that perceptions are changing and organisations now have the confidence to relocate to this vibrant, evolving area.

We’ve already seen how physical changes are improving the lives of the people and communities who live there, and these new 45 jobs will bring even more benefits to the local economy.

I’m excited to see how the tenants will continue their valuable research in these new surroundings, and establish how we can bridge the poverty gap and tackle inequalities in Glasgow.”

Ian Manson, the Chief Executive of Clyde Gateway said: “These are 45 jobs new to the east end of Glasgow and it means we are now getting close to almost 2000 office workers having made their new home in Bridgeton or Dalmarnock in the past three years alone. The spin-offs to the local economy from such numbers are enormous.

I’m very confident that many more forward-looking and innovative organisations will also be looking to make their presence felt here in the heart of Scotland’s biggest and most ambitious regeneration area.”

O’Rourke housing factory gets £22m grant

Vince Cable MP, Jagjeet Singh Panesar and Ray O'Rourke
Vince Cable MP, Jagjeet Singh Panesar and Ray O’Rourke

The Government has today awarded a £22.1 million grant to a consortium led by construction company, Laing O’Rourke, that will create jobs and boost the building trades .

Administered by Finance Birmingham, the four year grant is towards a £104 million project for the advanced manufacturing of homes, buildings and infrastructure, supporting research and development, investment in new manufacturing facilities and training.

The project work streams will not only address research into modular design and manufacturing, but will also cover structured training initiatives, providing the existing workforce and new recruits with skills around digital engineering, the manufacturing process and installation.

This grant comes at a critical time for the construction and engineering sector and its supply chain,” says Stephen Harley, Director of Advanced Manufacturing at Laing O’Rourke.

We estimate that it will create over 600 new, direct jobs and as many as 1,000 across the diverse supply chain. Our consortium of 22 partners integrates the design, manufacturing and assembly construction supply chain with leading research institutions to create a new platform for collaborative innovation.

The investment is potentially great news for our ability to help address the UK’s housing capacity gap of some 60,000 to 100,000 homes annually, with advanced off-site manufacturing and digital engineering speeding up the provision of affordable, high quality accommodation,” adds Stephen Trusler, Laing O’Rourke’s Accommodation Sector Leader.

It will also contribute to achieving the UK Government’s strategy for construction targets of 33% lower costs, 50% faster delivery, lower emissions and improvement in exports.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “To have any chance of meeting the demand for affordable homes, the industry must embrace the latest house building technologies and techniques. That’s why I’m delighted to grant £22.1 million worth of funding to help the sector do just that.

Whether through smart digital design or off-site manufacturing, it’s excellent to see firms like Laing O’Rourke leading by example and laying the foundations for growth.”

Social housing sector remains attractive to investors

Social housing sector remains attractive to investorsThe social housing sector remains attractive to lenders, with significant amounts of cash available for building work, according to the latest quarterly survey published by the Homes and Communities Agency.

The regulator monitors and reports on the financial health of the sector as part of a robust approach to protecting social housing assets and helping ensure providers’ contribution to new housing supply.

The 2014 to 2015 Q3 survey reports that the sector’s borrowing facilities total £74.5 billion – of which 75% is bank loans – with £12.3 billion of undrawn facilities. The vast majority of providers anticipate that debt facilities are sufficient for more than 12 months.

Jonathan Walters, Deputy Director of Regulation at the HCA, said: “We continue to monitor the sector’s financial health, and that of individual providers, closely. Overall, the sector remains financially strong and the sector’s position on meeting mark-to-market exposures, for example, remains positive.

However, providers will be aware that economic conditions remain relatively favourable with low interest rates and increasing sales values, and should monitor their business plan assumptions accordingly. We have recently seen the swap curve fall below 2012 levels; a development that we will continue to monitor. Providers should do the same.

The regulator’s message remains that the sector is increasingly complex and providers must have a firm grip on the risks they face, with appropriate management strategies in place to mitigate those risks.”

Minister signs £330m North East Growth Deal

Minister signs £330m North East Growth DealGreg Clark, the Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, today visited Science Central in Newcastle to sign the North East Growth Deal, which will see nearly £330 million of government funding invested into the North East.

The minister joined Paul Woolston, Chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), to sign the Growth Deal at Science Central. Over the lifetime of its deal (2015 to 2021) the LEP estimates that up to 5,000 new jobs will be created.

Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, said: “Growth Deals show just what can be achieved when businesses, local leaders and the government work together to build a long-term plan for the local economy.

The Growth Deal is a historic deal between central government and local leaders and businesses, by devolving powers and money from Whitehall to the North East so that local areas can lead their own growth.

The Growth Deal I am signing today builds on the region’s strengths – the projects to improve local transport infrastructure, boost skills and drive innovation will play an important part in the region’s growth in the future.”

An expansion of £40.6 million of government funding was announced on 29 January 2015, on top of £289.3 million when the Growth Deal was originally announced in July 2014.

Growth Deals are a £12 billion long-term programme to revitalise local economies. The deals are the latest and greatest example of the British economy being rebuilt from the bottom up, and sharing the benefits of the recovery around the country.

Local businesses and council leaders have been invited to open discussions immediately on the next set of projects to be funded, building on the momentum that has been established.

Morgan Sindall selected for £5.2m schools contract

Morgan Sindall selected for £5.2m schools contractMorgan Sindall has been appointed to a £5.2 million contract to rebuild and expand John Ray Infant and Junior Schools in Essex.

The project for Essex County Council is already underway and will see the project team construct a new infant school after the original building suffered extensive fire damage just over a year ago.

The new building will allow the pupils to relocate from temporary class rooms, situated on the adjacent junior school site, to a new, purpose-built facility.

The project includes the construction of a new two-storey infant school with 12 spacious class rooms, a new assembly hall with an adjoining kitchen and a smaller hall.

This new facility will also include a state-of-the-art ICT room and a library. The project team will also construct four brand new class rooms for the junior school, extend the school hall and undertake some external landscaping with the creation of a new sports pitch.

The school building will use sustainable energy in the form of roof-mounted solar panels which will generate electricity for use within the building.

John Ray Infant School is an integral part of the local community, and, as with all Morgan Sindall projects, the construction works will reflect this, with the team sourcing suppliers and subcontractors locally.

Gavin Napper, area director for Morgan Sindall, said: “The re-constructed John Ray Infant School will be a great asset to the local community, providing modernised facilities for the school’s pupils and staff.

The Morgan Sindall team is well versed in delivering education projects and we are looking forward to rebuilding the school for use by the local community.”

VINCI UK gets Yorkshire energy contract

VINCI UK gets Yorkshire energy contractVINCI UK has been awarded a contract by AmeyCespa to design and build the energy from waste unit in Allerton, North Yorkshire.

Taylor Woodrow will be responsible for overall site development and the civil engineering element of the facility. VINCI Environnement will be responsible for designing and commissioning the processes.

Residual household waste received at Allerton Park will first be mechanically sorted. Some of the waste will then be anaerobically digested to recover energy in the form of biogas.

The remainder, about 320,000 tonnes per year, will be incinerated in two lines, each with a capacity of 20 tonnes per hour, to generate 25 MW of electricity for export to the grid.

The plant will thus be able to provide power from renewables for some 40,000 households located near the site.

To date, 55% of the 520,000 tonnes of waste produced each year by the 760,000 inhabitants of the County of North Yorkshire and the City of York is sent to landfill.

The locally set objective is to reduce the volume of waste going to landfill by 90% and to increase the recycling rate using sustainable waste treatment processes.

Making a significant contribution towards achieving this objective, the Allerton Waste Recovery Park will treat 50% of the household waste generated in the area by 2020.

Right to Buy scheme helps build thousands of new homes

Right to Buy scheme helps build thousands of new homesMore than 33,000 new homeowners have been created through the reinvigorated Right to Buy since 2012, paving the way for jobs in the construction industry.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis welcomed the news as a further sign of how government action is helping people get on and move up the housing ladder.

He announced that Right to Buy discounts will increase again in April 2015, so more people have the chance to buy their home. Right to Buy eligibility is also being extended through a new law before Parliament.

Council house building starts are now at a 23 year high and almost twice as many council homes have been built in the last 4 years than from 1997 to 2009. Previously, councils were not encouraged to build new homes from sales receipts and only 1 new council home was built for every 170 Right to Buy sales completed.

Since the Right to Buy was reinvigorated, £730 million in sales receipts is being re-invested in house building; levering a further £1.7 billion of investment over the next 2 years. This means that in total, over £2.4 billion will be raised to invest in affordable house building as a result of the as a result of Right to Buy.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “The Right to Buy gives something back to families who worked hard, paid their rent and played by the rules.

It allows them to do up their home, change their front door, improve their garden – without getting permission from the council. It gives people a sense of pride and ownership not just in their home, but in their street and neighbourhood.

Thanks to this government’s long-term economic plan, we have created over 33,000 homeowners through the Right to Buy, which has generated £2.4 billion of additional investment in new affordable housing.”

Willmott Dixon to deliver £25m Lincoln Transport Hub

Willmott Dixon to deliver £25m Lincoln Transport HubWillmott Dixon has been appointed to deliver the £25 million transport hub in Lincoln which was recently announced by the City of Lincoln Council.

The company is already building a new University Technical College in the city and will further increase its presence when it starts work on the hub, which will improve the city’s transport infrastructure and modernise the city-scape.

The project will see Willmott Dixon construct a new bus station, improve the current train station, create a dual-purpose footbridge to link St Mary’s Street and Tentercroft Street and deliver a space multi-storey car park.

Nick Heath, operations director for the East Midlands at Willmott Dixon said: “This is another significant project for Lincoln that we are pleased to be delivering.

The transport hub is a crucial aspect to the city centre’s regeneration, which will benefit residents, businesses and visitors – and importantly help to prepare the growing city for further development.”

Willmott Dixon will deliver the hub through the Scape National framework, and one key focus will be using local labour throughout the project, with materials also sourced locally whenever possible.

A site team of approximately 80 will deliver the project, including the demolition of existing structures surrounding the bus and rail stations.

This includes removing the current pedestrian footbridge and platform footbridge over the railway – both currently unfit for purpose – in preparation for construction of the transport hub’s dual purpose footbridge.

15,500 jobs created across enterprise zones

Enterprise ZonesEnterprise zones are playing a vital role in delivering greater prosperity to the UK economy and have now created more than 15,500 jobs, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced.

Figures released today show the government’s 24 enterprise zones have created thousands of jobs, attracted over 480 businesses and more than £2.1 billion in private investment.

There is now activity on all enterprise zones, whether it is continued growth on established sites or former derelict sites being brought back to life thanks to the government’s vision and funding.

The growth has also provided a significant boost to the UK’s construction sector and wider supply chain.

The Communities Secretary heard first-hand how the sites are creating highly skilled jobs during a visit to Cosworth’s brand new £22 million advanced manufacturing centre at Northampton’s Enterprise Zone last week.

The facility will allow the company to fulfil £75 million of new contracts to produce high end machine components for high performance road vehicles, creating an additional 70 jobs and apprentices.

The enterprise zone is building a deserved reputation as a centre for automotive and manufacturing excellence with more than 130 businesses on site.

The University of Northampton is also embarking upon an ambitious £330 million move to the business park, creating a modern, purpose-build campus for more than 14,000 students.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “Enterprise zones are now picking up the pace and really starting to deliver for the economy. We’re seeing activity across the country from established sites attracting some of the biggest names in business to derelict sites being brought back to life. That’s because our long-term economic plan is giving businesses the confidence to invest.

They know that enterprise zones work and are making the most of the top-class incentives and world-class infrastructure on offer. And that’s great news for local economies and communities because it’s these kinds of businesses that have the vision to grow, creating thousands more jobs for hard-working people.”