Balfour to build £42m student housing scheme

Balfour to deliver £42m student housing schemeBalfour Beatty has been awarded a 454-unit student accommodation scheme in Vauxhall, London for Urbanest, a developer and operator of student housing in central London.

Having previously delivered 2,520 units across five central London schemes for Urbanest as part of a long-running partnership, this latest £42 million project at 5 Miles Street, Vauxhall will include 454 apartments at a variety of price points.

The 33-storey building will include a wealth of personal and communal study areas, lounges and a cycle store, together with significant enhancements to the public realm.

With focus on long term sustainability, photovoltaic panels and a green roof will be incorporated in order to minimize carbon emissions and reduce fuel consumption, alongside a combined heat and power (CHP) unit designed to recycle heat and energy within the development.

The scheme will create a number of jobs locally alongside an additional 20 apprenticeships as part of Balfour Beatty’s ongoing commitment to The 5% Club, which aims to have a minimum of 5% of the total workforce made up of apprentices or graduates.

The development will contribute to the wider £400 million regeneration of Vauxhall Square, which will include a significant amount of new office and residential development, alongside a new hotel and cinema complex.

Construction for 5 Miles Street is set to begin imminently and is scheduled to complete in summer 2018.

David Kennedy, Managing Director of London Region for Balfour Beatty said:“We are looking forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with Urbanest.

To date we’ve delivered over 2,500 units of student accommodation for Urbanest and over 20,000 beds for private sector customers and academic institutes as well as significant investment into a number of schemes.

Vauxhall Square is an important part of London’s development by incorporating the local student population into the local community and we’re pleased to be a part of the wider project”.

Wates reaches financial close on £63.5m job

Wates reaches financial close on £63.5m jobWates Construction has signed a contract to deliver a new multi-million pound state-of-the-art food and health research centre at Norwich Research Park, marking a significant step in the business’ growth in East Anglia.

The £63.5 million construction element of this project will see Wates build a new five-storey development that will bring together research teams from the Institute of Food Research (IFR), the University of East Anglia and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Designed by architects, NBBJ, the scheme will comprise a variety of specialist laboratories, lecture theatres and offices. Photovoltaic panels and ground source heat pumps have been incorporated into the building design to enhance energy efficiency.

The work adds to Wates’ growing East Anglia project portfolio and extends the business’ presence in the region’s science and research sector. Current projects also include the University of Cambridge’s North West Cambridge Development.

Wates has made a commitment to create opportunities for on-site industry skills training throughout the work, which is expected to include apprenticeship positions and partnership working with Norwich-based schools and colleges.

Ian Vickers, Managing Director at Wates Construction, said: “This project is undoubtedly significant for the development of science but it is also set to be an incredible catalyst for the region in terms of creating opportunities for local people.

At peak periods our site team will stand at 350 and this, along with our investment in skills training and our engagement with a local supply chain, will further contribute to the local economic benefit of this fantastic scheme.”

More affordable homes for Fort William

The Scottish GovernmentNew affordable homes will be built in the Fort William area as a result of the Scottish Government investing over £2.5 million in charitable bonds.

Charitable bonds are ethical financial products – no profit is taken by Allia, a social investment charity who issues the bonds on the Scottish Government’s behalf. Allia have provided Lochaber Housing Association with a loan of over £2 million.

The interest on the loan, over half a million pounds, is converted into a charitable donation, which the Scottish Government gives to housing associations for the construction of new social housing

There has been considerable success with previous charitable bonds that have been issued with total investments now over £40 million.

This seventh bond provided development finance for 581 affordable homes, and generated over £9 million for charities of which £6.7 million will go towards the construction of new social housing.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:”Good quality, affordable housing is essential to help attract and retain people in Scotland’s remote and rural communities.

We have committed to deliver 50,000 more affordable homes over the next five years, backed up with investment of more than £3 billion. Announcements such as this one today marks another step on road to delivering that pledge.

Innovative financing schemes such as charitable bonds play a major role in helping us deliver this major expansion in housing supply. We invested £25 million last year and have committed to invest the same again this year and we remain the only Government in the UK to do so.

Through these bonds we are also maintaining Scotland’s leadership in financial innovation, working with partners to deliver more for less public investment.”

Vinci gets £35m Cardiff student accommodation job

Vinci gets £35m Cardiff student accommodation jobVinci Construction UK has been awarded a £35 million contract to design and build student accommodation in Cardiff.

Developer Fusion Students is behind the plan for the 686-bedroom complex at the former Cardiff Metropolitan University Howard Gardens site in the city.

The site, off Newport Road behind the Holland House hotel, was formerly occupied by the university’s School of Art and Design until it relocated its operations to its new Llandaff campus in September last year.

Following demolition of the existing buildings, two new accommodation blocks will be constructed along with community facilities including a library, gym and cinema.

Work on the project is due to be completed in time for the 2017 academic year.

Major investment in Wales to support business growth

Welsh GovernmentThe Welsh Government is investing more than £500,000 in site infrastructure works to expand Presteigne’s Broadaxe Business Park that will create new jobs.

The project involves the construction of a new road and the installation of associated services that will open up a 4 acre site and create up to six serviced development plots for businesses.

The expansion follows enquiries from a number of companies, including businesses based on the Park that want to expand.

The contract, which was put out to tender, has been awarded to Jones Bros. (Henllan) Ltd .

Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates said: “We know that the availability of sites and premises is fundamental in attracting new investment and retaining existing investment.

The Powys Local Growth Zone advisory group report also highlighted the need for sites and premises to address economic development in Powys and I am pleased the Welsh Government is responding to local demand and investing to support business growth.

This project will open up opportunities for companies in the area to expand and grow their businesses and also help attract new businesses to the area that will create jobs and support the local economy.”

It is also anticipated it will attract private sector investment from local construction companies that have expressed interest in developing the plots.

Gareth Jones, Director, Jones Bros (Henllan) Ltd said: “As a long established Welsh business, we are naturally delighted to be involved in bringing this development site to fruition by constructing the access road and the installation of associated services and infrastructure.

We have recently been involved with business park expansion projects in Carmarthenshire (Cross Hands Food Park) and hope that this investment will help deliver the same economic and employment opportunities.”

The investment in Broadaxe Business Park is the latest in a number of interventions by the Welsh Government in the mid Wales property market aimed at supporting jobs and growth.

£29m Lincoln investment to boost economic growth

£29m Lincoln investment to boost economic growthA new bus station and 1,000 space car park will be built in Lincoln helping to deliver jobs, growth and opportunity, after the government committed to fund the project.

The £29 million scheme will help improve city centre journeys for people living, working or visiting the town and deliver a boost to the economy.

Delivering transport upgrades that help people get around and get on is a key part of the government’s plan for transport.

The scheme is expected to create up to 200 jobs in the city, and deliver an economic boost worth £9 million a year.

The major investment is being made after the Transport Secretary approved plans for a new eastern bypass earlier this year. The council is now working to secure funding and make the plans a reality.

There will also be improvements to Lincoln Central railway station and a pedestrianised plaza connecting the bus and rail stations.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “A new bus station, car park and upgraded railway station will be a huge benefit to people who live and work in Lincoln, and those who visit the city.

Better transport facilities don’t just help people get around, they help them get on – connecting them to jobs, opportunities and helping deliver economic growth.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) is providing £11 million towards the project, with the City of Lincoln Council providing £16 million and the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership contributing £2 million.

World’s largest windfarm gets the go-ahead

World’s largest windfarm gets the go-aheadThe world’s largest offshore windfarm, Hornsea Project Two has received development consent from Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark.

When complete, the windfarm will deliver up to 1,800 megawatts of low carbon electricity to around 1.8 million UK homes.

The windfarm would create up to 1,960 construction jobs and 580 operational and maintenance jobs.

If built to the full capacity, the investment would total around £6bn providing a great opportunity for economic growth in the Humber region and beyond.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “The UK’s offshore wind industry has grown at an extraordinary rate over the last few years, and is a fundamental part of our plans to build a clean, affordable, secure energy system.

Britain is a global leader in offshore wind, and we’re determined to be one of the leading destinations for investment in renewable energy, which means jobs and economic growth right across the country.”

Located approximately 89km off the Yorkshire coast, the windfarm will comprise up to 300 wind turbines and will connect to the grid at North Killingholme in North Lincolnshire.

The Government is making £730 million of financial support available for renewable electricity generation this Parliament, sending a clear signal that the UK is open for business.

The decision was made on the merits of the scheme based on a report and recommendation from the Planning Inspectorate which is being published this week.