Willmott Dixon wins Uni of London accommodation scheme

Willmott Dixon wins Uni of London accommodation schemeWillmott Dixon is to create ‘new model for student accommodation’ at Royal Holloway, University of London, after being awarded a contract to provide rooms for 621 students on its North Campus.

The project involves construction of 56 three and four storey townhouses that will provide housing and student accommodation.

Michael Berry, Director of Estates at Royal Holloway, said: “This provides an exciting new model for student accommodation to serve Royal Holloway for years to come.

Townhouses encourage communal living, with shared facilities and common areas, and our development among mature trees will include green spaces and sheltered paths connecting residences to the main campus.”

The project forms part of a masterplan which will develop Royal Holloway’s historic estate into a 21st-century campus that meets the needs of people studying and working at the university.

The project underlines Willmott Dixon’s role as a leader in the housing sector, with it building over 2,000 new homes each year, as well as developing a further 500 homes through its private sale brand Prime Place and PRS company Be:here.

Charlie Scherer, Chief Operating Officer of Willmott Dixon Housing said: “This is an excellent template for providing student accommodation and plays well into our housebuilding skill-sets. We look forward to providing future students of the Royal Holloway University with first-class places to live while they study.”

Kier appointed to £750m highways framework

Kier 2Kier has been selected for a new £750 million highways framework in the East of England that will save millions of pounds over the next four years.

It is one of six contractors appointed to the major works Lot of the Eastern Highways Framework 2 which will provide an efficient way to procure investment in highways.

The project is set to reduce the time and costs involved in delivering highway maintenance and improvement schemes.

The lot Kier has been appointed to will focus on the delivery of larger capital-funded schemes and improvements such as link roads, bypasses, public transport investment and new structures, and may also include larger-scale maintenance works.

Jag Paddam, Kier Infrastructure managing director with responsibility for this work, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have won a place on the Eastern Highways Framework.

We have extensive experience of providing highways services throughout the country and this award further reinforces our position as the UK’s leading highways construction, management and maintenance provider.

It’s great to have our comprehensive health & safety processes, regional presence and experience, collaborative style and positive approach – all of which were given as reasons for the award – recognised.”

Work starts on Cinderford’s Northern scheme

Work starts on Cinderford's Northern schemeGloucestershire County Council has appointed Buckingham Group Contracting to build phase one of the spine road for the Cinderford Northern Quarter scheme.

Phase one of the £400 million project will see construction begin this spring and pave the way for a new Northern Quarter spine road.

David Owen Chief Executive of GFirst LEP said: “The funding received in the Gloucestershire Growth Deal that was allocated to the Cinderford Northern Quarter is crucial to the development of the road infrastructure, the development will sustain the Forest of Dean’s economy opening up this area of the county to a boost in jobs creation locally.”

This new road for Cinderford will start near the junction of Newton Road and Broadmoor Road, and head off towards the Northern United Industrial Estate and through to the A4136.

The first phase of the road will create access for the new college once it is built.

Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said: “I’m delighted to announce that work will start to build the new spine road this spring.

The Cinderford Northern Quarter scheme will unlock more than £100 million in investment for Cinderford and the Forest of Dean, and this brand new road is a key part of the overall project.”

Ian McSeveney, Managing Director, Civil Engineering at Buckingham Group Contracting said, “We’re delighted to have secured this high-profile, important, project that will contribute significantly towards future investment and job creation for the area.”

Housing decisions in Scotland faster than previous year

Housing decisions in Scotland faster than previous yearLatest quarterly statistics show faster average decision times for major and local housing developments compared to the equivalent quarter last year.

Local developments include applications for household extensions and loft conversions etc, smaller housing and retail developments, as well as various other types of local developments.

Major developments include applications for developments of 50 or more homes, as well as certain waste, water, transport and energy-related developments, larger retail developments, and other types of major developments.

The overall rate of approvals for all types of application was 94.0% in the period October to December 2015, the same as the previous quarter (94.0%) but an increase compared to the equivalent quarter three in 2014/15 (93.1%).

For the 1,432 decisions made on local housing developments the average decision time of 13.6 weeks was almost 4 days slower than the previous quarter (13.1 weeks) but 2 days quicker than the equivalent quarter in 2014/15 (13.9 weeks).

There were a further nine major housing applications concluded that were subject to separate processing agreements, of which eight (89%) met the agreed timescale that had been set between the developer and the local authority.

There were also a further 39 local housing applications concluded that were subject to separate processing agreements, of which 23 (59%) met the agreed timescale.

The figures released were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Contracts exchanged for Durham riverside regeneration

Contracts exchanged for Durham riverside regenerationThe developers of Milburngate in Durham City have exchanged contracts for building a new cinema that will form a significant element of its major riverside regeneration scheme.

The development consortium includes Carillion, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP that will pave the way for economic growth and boost the construction trades.

They are in advanced discussions with a number of premium restaurant and bar operators, who like Everyman are keen to secure space within high-quality schemes such as Milburngate.

Neil McMillan, development director at Carillion, said: “This agreement confirms our vision for Milburngate meets the aspirations of premium leisure operators. Everyman Cinema’s high-quality boutique offering will attract visitors to Durham from across the North East and enhance the city’s position as a key destination in the region.”

Alongside the leisure offering will be 400 high-specification apartments, the majority of which will be available for long-term rental with the remainder available for private sale thereafter.

Milburngate will be complemented by up to 150,000 sq. ft. of high-quality office space, incorporating sustainable and energy efficient design in keeping with its sister development at Freemans Reach.

Allan Cook, managing director of Arlington Real Estate, said: “Durham City is undoubtedly a jewel in the North East crown and Milburngate will further reinforce its position as a premier destination.

As a County Durham-based developer we are committed to driving regeneration in our region. Milburngate is one of a number of large-scale projects we are delivering through our successful joint venture with Carillon, which includes sister development Freemans Reach and the 60-acre mixed use scheme, DurhamGate.”

NG Bailey gets £20m Land Securities contract

NG Bailey gets £20m Land Securities contractNG Bailey has won a three-year maintenance contract with Land Securities for eight shopping centres in the company’s retail portfolio that will boost economic growth.

The £20 million contract is a retention of five shopping centres that had been managed by NG Bailey for five years and, an extension of a further three centres, which went live on the 1st April 2016.

As part of the remit, NG Bailey will provide mechanical, electrical and building fabric maintenance, including HVAC, security, fire detection and protection, drainage and energy consumption management.

Seven of the shopping centres will be maintained by resident NG Bailey staff, including skilled engineers, apprentices and contract management support staff. Whilst a smaller centre in West London will be serviced and supported by the firm’s fleet of mobile engineers.

Stuart Linington, managing director of NG Bailey’s Facilities Services division said of the contract win: “We’re delighted to have been awarded this significant contract, which builds on the strength of our existing relationship with Land Securities.

As part of the new contract, we proposed an innovative energy saving solution that will introduce significant savings and further improve Land Securities’ impressive sustainability record.”

Tony Hemmings, Head of Engineering at Land Securities, added: “NG Bailey has proven that they can exceed our expectations, while being cost-effective and delivering measurable results.

We are pleased to be working with the company for another three years, potentially six and, to have added three more centres to its remit.”

Willmott Dixon targets growth in South West

Willmott Dixon targets growth in South WestWillmott Dixon has signalled its expansion plans for the South West by opening an office in Exeter as a platform for growth and new jobs in the region.

It follows a series of major projects recently secured in the region, including building a new home for the Met Office’s multi-million pound ‘super computer’ at Exeter Science Park that will ensure it remains the world’s foremost meteorological forecaster.

The company’s presence in the region started less than three years ago and in that time Willmott Dixon has delivered four schools in Plymouth and a free school in Exeter.

With more work opportunities in the pipeline it underlines the growth opportunities in the South West.

The move will create a number of local jobs over the next 12 months, with nearly ten people based full time in the office and a further nine using the office when working on local sites.

Willmott Dixon’s managing director for the region, Neal Stephens: “With many projects already delivered and more in the pipeline, we feel now is the right time to establish an Exeter base to serve our customers and work with our local supply chain.

We’re making a strong commitment to local spend, with over 65% of project budgets designated to companies within 35 mile radius of a scheme, ensuring investment stays local to sustain jobs and support regional prosperity.”

Work starts on new army family homes at Tidworth

Work starts on new army family homes at TidworthConstruction has started on a £70 million housing development for army families at Tidworth in Wiltshire that could create jobs and boost economic growth.

Working on behalf of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), award winning housebuilder Hill will construct 322 new 3 and 4 bedroom homes for service personnel and their families based at barracks on and around Salisbury Plain.

The homes have been designed to complement existing properties in the area, incorporating red bricks and traditional roof styles that feature in surrounding villages. The development will also include 5 open green spaces.

Neal Walters, DIO Project Manager, said: “This major housing project is one example of how we’re investing in quality accommodation for our armed forces and their families.

This development also complements our wider plans for the area which will support the return of British troops from Germany in 2019.”

Kieran Larkin, Deputy Chief Executive at Hill, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in what will be our largest single contract to date.

This is not only a completely new sector for us at Hill, but it’s also our first project in Wiltshire, and is a fantastic opportunity to create homes for service personnel. It is a project that the whole team are very proud to be working on.”

Construction on the homes is due to complete in spring 2018.

Major West London refurbishment for Stanhope

Major West London refurbishment for StanhopeLendlease’s construction business has been selected for a major refurbishment project at White City Place – formerly known as the BBC’s Media Village – on Wood Lane in West London.

The project is to refurbish three buildings at White City Place – WestWorks, Mediaworks, and Garden House – in order to create state-of-the-art commercial office facilities and help drive regeneration of the local area.

Contracts for the three buildings have now been signed with a total value of £80 million, and further works are currently being finalised for £7 million of landscaping.

The developers are Stanhope – a longstanding client of Lendlease’s construction business – together with Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo.

Neil Martin, Managing Director of Lendlease’s construction business, said: “We’re excited to be working with our longstanding client Stanhope as well as Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo on White City Place.”

Stanhope is also transforming Television Centre into a vibrant mixed-use development, featuring a total of 950 new homes, office space for the creative industries, restaurants and cafes, state-of-the-art studios for the BBC and a Soho House members club and hotel.

White City Place sits on 17 acres of land adjacent to the Imperial College campus, and is very close to White City and Wood Lane tube stations.

Plans for the area include up to 2,500 high quality homes, over two million sq ft of offices, new public spaces, an enhanced world-class shopping offer and a hub for academia, innovation and start-ups.

HS2 launches regional Supply Chain Roadshows 2016

HS2 talks business to boost the tradesHS2 Ltd, the company responsible for the construction of Britain’s new high speed rail network, has announced dates and locations for its regional Supply Chain Roadshows 2016.

Starting in May, HS2 Ltd will visit 11 regions across Britain to meet businesses large and small, to explain the types of work packages that will be available and to advise firms on how to get in the best position to bid for billions of pounds worth of contracts with HS2.

Beth West, HS2 Ltd Commercial Director, said: “Building on the success of last year’s events, attended by around 250 companies, I am delighted to announce this year’s HS2 Supply Chain Roadshows, where we hope to speak to as many businesses as possible from all over Britain.

Building HS2 is a massive long-term project, one that offers a huge opportunity for British businesses to bid for billions of pounds worth of contracts.

To construct HS2 and bring it to life will require a vast range of skills and expertise.

Put simply, HS2 is an investment in our infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs and drive regional regeneration.”