Forrest to build £12.6m Manchester resi scheme

Forrest to build £12.6m Manchester resi schemeContractor Forrest has been appointed to deliver M-One Central, a £12.6 million new build development in the heart of Manchester.

The Factory Estates Limited scheme will comprise 119 one and two-bedroom apartments over 12 storeys, in addition to communal spaces including a roof-level terrace, a ground-floor gym for residents and a new landscaped public square.

Designed by architects IDP Group, the building will be clad in oxidised metal panels to complement neighbouring structures, with construction due to begin at the end of May 2016 and completion expected in summer 2017.

M-One Central follows Forrest’s work in delivering both X1 Eastbank and X1 The Plaza, both luxury private rented apartments, also on Great Ancoats Street.

Andrew Leaver, associate director, at IDP Group, which created the design, said: “It’s an exciting time to be working on one of the many new buildings changing the Manchester skyline.

The city’s red brick architecture is iconic and M-One has been designed to recognise the existing look and feel of the area, yet offering buyers modern, open plan living in a vibrant neighbourhood.”

Ted Macdougal, development director at Forrest, said: “As more people embrace city centre living in key locations such as Manchester and London, the demand for developments is rising.”

Chris Bowman, director at Factory Estates Ltd, said: “We’re looking forward to working with Forrest on this exciting project, which is set to be a striking addition to a new movement of residential schemes in Manchester.”

Go-ahead for construction of £2.6bn Scottish windfarm

Go-ahead for construction of £2.6bn Scottish windfarmConstruction work on the £2.6bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project has been given the go-ahead, paving the way for new jobs and boosting economic growth.

The scheme is expected to bring a range of socio-economic benefits to the local, regional, Scottish and UK economies during both the construction and operational phases.

Expected opportunities include job creation, skills training, investment in Scottish ports and harbours, supply chain opportunities and community benefit funding.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd said: “The UK is the world leader in offshore wind; and this industry, backed by the UK Government and benefiting from our access to the EU single market, is a success story going from strength to strength.

“This project will provide home-grown clean energy boosting skills and creating jobs and financial security for working people and their families in Scotland, and across the UK.”

Paul Cooley, Director of Renewables at SSE, stated: “Today’s decision reaffirms SSE’s commitment to offshore wind and we are proud to progress such a flagship project for the Scottish offshore wind industry and the UK’s skilled supply chain.

It shows SSE will continue to play its part in investing in the critical energy infrastructure the country needs to power homes across the UK both today and in the future.”

ISG wins Oxford Uni development scheme

ISG wins Oxford Uni development schemeISG has been awarded a contract to refurbish and extend the University of Oxford’s Tinbergen Building, encompassing around 600,000 sq ft of space.

The contractor will also build and fit out a new three-storey structure to create a suite of highly-specified undergraduate laboratories for the Department of Chemistry, sympathetically designed to reflect the building’s architectural ethos.

The phased refurbishment and upgrade of the existing accommodation includes teaching, research and write up areas.

ISG will deploy silent sheet piling installation methods to enable the basement level to be excavated for the new build element of the scheme.

The new chemistry teaching laboratories will provide undergraduates with world-class practical laboratory facilities, with ISG installing 60 fume cupboards – each with separate extract outlets, medical gas supplies and robust safety systems.

ISG is targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating for the new chemistry teaching laboratory. Sustainable measures include the installation of external solar shading, an extensive roof-mounted photovoltaic panel array, advanced heat recovery system and connection into the university’s combined heat and power (CHP) district heating system.

Paul Sharp, divisional director of ISG’s Engineering Services business, said: “ISG’s niche expertise in this sector and our proven track record delivering new build and operational refurbishments gives us a richly compelling market proposition, which sees us securing an increasing volume of quality opportunities with customers operating some of the most highly engineered and technologically advanced buildings in the UK.”

Miller Homes and Wates announce house building venture

Miller Homes and Wates announce house building ventureMiller Homes and Wates Developments have joined forces to form a new housebuilder joint venture which will boost the construction trades in Southern England.

Two joint ventures between the companies have already been established in Didcot in Oxfordshire and Southwater in West Sussex, paving the way for new business opportunities.

At Didcot, Miller Homes and Wates will create a 163 unit residential development, featuring 114 two, three and four bedroom properties as well as 49 affordable homes and apartments, as part of the Great Western Park consortium project.

Construction has already begun on site with sales due to commence in late summer. Once complete, the project will feature new amenities, including retail and community facilities.

At Southwater, a reserved matters application has been submitted for 193 properties in the village, which is located south of Horsham.

The proposals, which currently have outline planning consent, will include 40% affordable homes and have been well considered to help the area meet its housing need.

Tracey Lee, Regional Operations Director for Miller Homes Southern, added: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Wates Developments, combining the strengths of both organisations through an innovative business model to bring forward new residential development in Southern England. We are confident this will provide a platform for developing further opportunities together.”

Government announces record UK employment figures

Government announces record UK employment figuresThe employment rate in the UK has hit another record high of 74.2%, and there are more people in work than ever before according to latest figures by the Office for National Statistics.

Official figures released this month by the ONS show there are now 31.58 million people in work – a growth driven by full-time employment – and the unemployment rate remains at 5.1%, the lowest in a decade and below recession levels.

Average wages before bonuses grew 2.1% over the last year and there are around 745,000 vacancies available in the jobs market.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Stephen Crabb said: “These are another record-breaking set of figures, with more people in work than ever before and the unemployment rate is the lowest in a decade at 5.1%.

More people in work means that more families across the UK are benefiting from the security of a regular wage and the fulfilment that employment brings.

But the job is not done, which is why our welfare reforms, such as Universal Credit, are making sure that it always pays to be in work.”

The latest labour market statistics also show:

  • the proportion of people who are economically inactive – those not in work or looking for employment – has never been lower at 21.7%

  • the claimant count rate remains at the lowest since 1975 at 2.1%

  • there are 26.2 million people employed in the private sector – 575,000 more than a year earlier

Horizon appoints builder to deliver Wylfa nuclear power station

Horizon appoints builder to deliver Wylfa nuclear power stationHorizon Nuclear Power has today appointed Menter Newydd to help deliver the company’s lead nuclear new build project, Wylfa Newydd.

Menter Newydd, meaning New Venture in Welsh, is a joint venture which will be responsible for the construction of Wylfa Newydd, overseen by Horizon Nuclear Power.

The appointment comes as Horizon continues to make progress across all areas of the Wylfa Newydd project, having just completed a further stage of public consultation in North Wales and recently launched its apprenticeship scheme.

Duncan Hawthorne, Horizon CEO, said: “This is an important step in any large, complex infrastructure project and it adds to Wylfa Newydd’s growing momentum.

The depth and breadth of expertise Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Bechtel and JGC bring to the Menter Newydd venture will help us ensure the timely delivery of our project, which will be vital for meeting the UK’s energy gap and boosting the local economy in North Wales for decades to come. We look forward to working with the team and continuing to make great strides with our plans.”

Hitachi’s Malcolm Twist, Project Director for Menter Newydd, said: “This is a very strong team. All the partners are proven at the highest level, and I’m delighted we’ve established the balance of expertise to safely deliver for Horizon, on-cost and on-schedule. We expect to begin firming up relationships with our main sub-contractors – many of them British – very soon.”

Bechtel’s Mike Robinson, Deputy Project Director for Menter Newydd, said: “This is an exciting project and a major milestone for low-carbon energy and future jobs across Wales and the UK.

As part of Menter Newydd, Bechtel will bring Wylfa Newydd safely into delivery to cost and budget in collaboration with local communities and our partners.

Britcon wins £13.5m anaerobic digestion plant

Britcon wins £13.5m anaerobic digestion plantBritcon has secured a £13.5 million contract to deliver the construction works on a new anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Dagenham for food waste recycler ReFood (UK) Ltd.

The plant will be located in the London Sustainable Industries Park (SIP) in Dagenham Dock and is expected to be open in summer 2017. When fully operational, more than 60 jobs will be created.

ReFood, which specialises in the recycling of food chain by-products, has a portfolio of 11 AD plants across Europe that generate enough renewable energy to power over 50,000 homes every year.

Using G2G technology this will be upgraded to reflect the qualities of natural gas – allowing it to be injected directly into the national grid and used to power more than 10,000 homes across the region.

The programme also includes delivery of a carbon neutral, high specification office complex, and state of the art depackaging building with deep basement, numerous process structures and external and landscaping works.

John Whitmore, director at Britcon, said: “Through our previous projects we have demonstrated a highly experienced approach throughout procurement, delivery, flexibility and post management together with an exemplary health and safety record.

“We have built a strong and trusting relationship with ReFood (UK) Ltd together with Doncaster based John Hill Architects as lead designer and are delighted to be considered a valued partner as it seeks to further expand its operations in the UK.”