Morgan Sindall starts work for Leeds Trinity University

Morgan Sindall starts work for Leeds Trinity UniversityMorgan Sindall has reached a key milestone in the construction of an £8.5 million student accommodation block at Leeds Trinity University.

The seven-storey building will include 228 en-suite bedrooms within its 29 ‘cluster’ apartments which each share communal amenities such as kitchens and living areas.

The building, which will enclose a private green courtyard, will be set within a newly landscaped environment with improved pedestrian access routes.

Each level of the building will typically include one seven-bedroom, one six-bedroom and three nine-bedroom clusters whilst a reception area, laundry, coffee lounge and games room will be situated on the ground floor. Two wardens’ apartments and 13 disabled access rooms will also be included.

The building will help the University accommodate its expected student growth numbers for the next five years. Existing buildings on the University campus have inspired the new building’s design and have been used as the driving influence on the form of the new accommodation block.

Chris Brown, operations director at Morgan Sindall’s Leeds office, said: “The new student accommodation is really taking shape. Today’s ceremony was a key milestone for us and a proud moment for everyone associated with the project. We have worked extremely hard to get to this point.

This is an important project for us and plays directly to our strengths and experience within the student accommodation market.

Professor Margaret House, Vice-Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, said: “This project highlights Leeds Trinity University’s commitment to developing and sustaining a campus that reflects its ambitions as a growing institution, as well as providing an aesthetically pleasing, sustainable environment that our staff, students and the local community can be proud of.”

Carillion begins works at Paradise Birmingham

Carillion begins works at Paradise BirminghamCarillion has today started the external demolition works at Paradise in Birmingham city centre marking the beginning of the transformation of the 17 acre site.

The site will be cleared in phases over a two year period with the first stage concentrating on the east side of the site including the old Central Library.

The Paradise scheme is one of the biggest redevelopment projects Birmingham has seen in a generation and will dramatically transform a whole area of the city around Centenary and Chamberlain Squares.

The mixed use development includes; offices, shops, leisure and cultural facilities, a hotel and civic amenities. In total the development will comprise a gross internal area of some 1.8million sq ft.

Earlier this year, in preparation for the start of the demolition works, Carillion removed the statues of Joseph Priestly, James Watt and Thomas Attwood from Chamberlain Square which have been carefully stored before being returned later in the development.

Carillion operations director Simon Dingle said: “Today is a momentous day for Birmingham as we start the demolition which marks the beginning of a new phase for this part of the city centre. Paradise is a crucial project for Birmingham and Carillion is very proud to be part of the team working on the transformation.”

£10m renewable energy benefits

RenewablesScotland is set to benefot from a £10 million inverstmet every year thanks to renewable energy projects, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The £10 million milestone is recorded in the latest update of the Scottish Government’s Community Benefit Register, which records the income communities receive from renewable energy projects.

These range from large scale wind farms such as Whitelee, the UK’s largest onshore wind farm, to small farm and community projects.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Our national guidance has encouraged developers to increase the value of the community benefits they offer. Communities across Scotland are now receiving over £10 million a year from onshore renewable projects. That figure is set to rise.

Local energy now helps to fund energy efficiency schemes, fuel poverty alleviation programmes and befriending projects which reduce isolation for elderly people. They meet local priorities because they are run by local communities.”

Chris Morris, Local Energy Scotland manager said: “We are delighted to see that the income communities receive from renewable energy projects is now over £10 million per year and the register is available on our website.

We provide a range of support through the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme to help communities to maximise the local benefit from renewable energy whether that’s support to a community to build their own small hydro power scheme or help them to invest in a commercial wind farm.”

Welsh Government announces extra Help to Buy a home

Welsh GovernmentThe Welsh Government has announced it is investing up to £290 million in the second phase of Help to Buy.

Between 2016 – 2021, the funding will aim to support the construction of more than 6,000 additional new Welsh homes, significantly boosting Wales’ building industry and making home ownership achievable for thousands more families.

This second phase of Help to Buy – Wales builds on the success of the current £174 million scheme, which has already helped around 2,400 people buy their home, with another 650 applications in the pipeline.

Wales’ housing sector continues to go from strength to strength, with recent statistics showing that during 2014-15, a total of 6,955 new homes were started, which is a rise of 20 per cent on the previous year.

Announcing the scheme at St Lythans Park in Cardiff, Communities Minister, Lesley Griffiths, said:”Today’s £290 million investment clearly demonstrates this Government’s commitment to encouraging housebuilding and helping people achieve their goal of owning their own home.

“We are seeing sustained growth in Wales’ house building industry and today’s announcement will strengthen this further by increasing the supply of low-deposit mortgages available to people looking to buy a new home.

This is a huge boost to the Welsh construction industry, and our economy as a whole, which will provide thousands of new jobs and training opportunities for people across Wales.”

Lovell appointed to £100m maintenance framework

Lovell appointed to £100m housing frameworkLovell has been appointed to carry out Whole House Framework, worth up to £100 million over a four-year period.

Through the framework – which adopts a whole house approach to planned maintenance – Lovell will be eligible to bid to carry out housing repair programmes for public sector organisations across the UK, including local authorities and housing associations.

Drawing on a strong record of achievement in planned maintenance and housing regeneration work, Lovell has been appointed to nine out of the national framework’s eleven lots.

The maintenance work covered includes the installation of new kitchens, bathrooms, windows and doors, roofing work, heating, and internal and external repairs.

Gary Stanfield, framework manager at Fusion21, says: “It’s fantastic that Lovell has been appointed to nine lots on this popular framework – joining other contractors who have successfully passed rigorous cost and quality assessments as part of the tender process.

The framework now offers customers the opportunity to call off multiple lots, and will generate greater efficiency savings for public sector organisations across the country.”

The appointment is the latest in a number of high-profile housing maintenance successes for Lovell this year, including its appointment by Chevin Housing Association, a member of the Together Housing Group, to carry out £20 million of improvement work for homes across Yorkshire over the next two years.

New Housing Zones and jobs planned for London

New Housing Zones planned for LondonHousing Zones will bring accelerated house building to areas across London with high potential for growth and new jobs in the construction trades.

About Housing Zones

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, invited bids for the development of 20 Housing Zones from London boroughs as part of his Housing Strategy.

A total of £400 million in funding was made available by the Mayor and government for the construction of 50,000 new homes.

The programme will also provide 100,000 associated jobs over the next ten years.

The building of homes in these areas will be supported by a range of planning and financial measures. All Housing Zones will be set up by an agreement which shares the duty of building these homes between partners. This will ensure the numbers of planned new homes are built.

How the funding will benefit the zones

These 20 zones will collectively provide:

  • more than £21 billion of investment

  • over 120,000 construction jobs

  • over 53,000 new homes, of which around a third will be affordable

  • major station upgrades

  • new schools 

  • new bridges

  • new community amenities such as sports centres, libraries, parks and health centres 

More information on the first 20 Housing Zones can be found in the London Housing Zones document from this link.

Carillion announces new business worth around £1bn

Carillion logoCarillion has been awarded new contracts with an estimated total value of around £1 billion that will boost exonmic growth and create new jobs.

These include new facilities management contracts or contract extensions in the UK for Direct Line Group, Verizon and Virgin Media.

Carillion Joint Ventures are also in one-to-one negotiations to deliver further support services work for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and for Openreach to deliver a substantial proportion of its Superfast Extension Programme to extend Superfast Broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2017.

In construction, Carillion has secured preferred delivery partner positions and new contracts worth over £550 million.

These include further projects for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, together with projects for the Paradise Circus Limited Partnership in Birmingham and the Kings Cross Central Limited Partnership in London.

Commenting, Carillion Chief Executive, Richard Howson, said: ”I am pleased to say that the pace of work winning in the second half of the year has continued to pick up, as we expected.

Much of the £1 billion of new work announced today reflects our continuing success in winning repeat work for long-term customers, consistent with our selective approach to contracts and margins.

We also continue to see some improvements in market conditions, especially in the UK, and following the UK Government’s spending review, we expect to see further opportunities for outsourcing and capital projects over the medium term”.