London City Airport expansion hailed by the Government

London City Airport expansion hailed by the GovernmentIn a major boost to support British jobs and investment, Chancellor Philip Hammond, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid have today announced the go-ahead for a brand new £344 million expansion programme at London City Airport.        

The three ministers announced the approved plans for an extended terminal, new aircraft taxiway and parking spaces for planes in one of the capital’s fastest growing airports.

Set to improve passengers’ journeys, these new plans will increase connections within the UK and Europe and support business opportunities and investment.

London City Airport also estimates that the scheme will create 1,600 airport jobs for staff, together with 500 construction jobs, and could potentially contribute £1.5 billion to the UK economy by 2025.

There will be new space for planes to taxi to and from the runway, so more planes can use it, and new stands for planes to allow bigger, more modern planes to use the airport.

London City Airport will also make a number of investments in transport links around the airport, including funding the cost of additional DLR rolling stock (£2.6 million), investing in a bus and taxi access scheme and improving walking and cycle routes to the airport.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said: “London City Airport’s ambitious growth plans will boost international connections, strengthening the City of London’s links to destinations across the world, and send a clear signal that Britain is open for business.

“This is a real vote of confidence in the resilience of our economy, creating over a thousand new jobs.”

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is fantastic news for London and Britain as a whole. I am determined to invest in the infrastructure this country needs, to help people get around more easily, boost investment and create opportunities.”

New garden towns to create thousands of new homes

New garden towns to create thousands of new homesTwo new garden towns are being supported with £1.1 million of new funding that will help deliver thousands of homes for aspiring homeowners.

Didcot in Oxfordshire and North Essex will be home to new communities that between them are set to provide up to 50,000 new homes, supported by new infrastructure.

The proposals, which have been supported by local leaders, include plans for an additional 15,000 homes by 2031 in Greater Didcot Garden Town and new Garden Communities in North Essex with up to 35,000 new homes.

The money will fund initial work that will enable high quality homes, new transport improvements, good schools, jobs and community amenities to be delivered in a strategic and sustainable way.

Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis said: “I’ve been really impressed by the level of ambition and vision shown by Didcot and North Essex and their determination to deliver new sustainable communities.

We are determined to support communities that are eager to boost the number of homes in their areas to meet local need and this money will help get work up and running quicker.”

The minister heard first-hand how the money will help kick-start work during a visit to Didcot on Monday.

More people helped into home ownership

The new garden towns announcement comes as the Prime Minister today said that Shared Ownership will open the door to 175,000 more aspiring homeowners.

Radical changes to Shared Ownership rules will remove old fashioned barriers to home ownership.

Those already in a shared ownership property will be able to move to another shared ownership home – putting an end to restrictions that stopped them using the scheme more than once.

The re-invigorated scheme will allow these homeowners to use the capital they have gained to move to a bigger property, as their families grow or circumstances change.

The measures are part of the government’s commitment to creating 1 million more homeowners over the next five years.

ERR scoops 5 awards at E-Learning gala ceremony

Winners announced at E-Learning Awards gala ceremonyEngineering Real Results (ERR) has triumphed at this year’s E-Learning Awards winning 2 golds for Best simulation or virtual environment and Best e-learning project – private sector, as well as a collection of silver and bronze trophies.

ERR, which is an innovative resource for trades training, were among the winners gathered at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London to celebrate the strength and depth of successful e-learning that is taking place worldwide.

The gala was hosted by Deborah Frances-White and Phill Jupitus.

“ERR’s Vocational Virtual Reality (VVR) training has revolutionised the way in which students become fully qualified constructions workers and is contributing to reducing the UK skills shortage.”

“ERR has a track record of an impressive innovative use of technology to improve vocational skills training which is being used in an equally impressive manner to revolutionise the way tradespeople become fully qualified.” – The panel of the Judges said.

The proof of the pudding …

We may have taken the prizes but these are the real winners – our students who, with the benefit of using our award winning technology (5 e-learning prizes in the 5 categories entered) are now fully qualified and going from strength to strength, building a brighter future.

NVQ Success Stories so far in 2015 (up to 30/10 2015)

NVQ Success Stories so far in 2015 up to 30 10 2015

These are some of the companies ERR competed against:

British Army, City&Guilds, Transport for London, Channel 4, Trevis Perkins, Vodafone, pwc, Barclays, University of South Wales, Rentokil Initial, Virtual College, Sponge UK, BP, Tesco, Zurich Insurance, TATA Interactive Systems, TUI, NHS, BSH Hausgerate, TalkTalk, Lloyds Banking Group, Tour de France, M&S, Citibank, Virgin Media Business Virtual Consultant, Home Office, E.on, Rosetta Stone, BT, G4S, LAS, openSAP, Royce Rolls.

ERR is proud to announce to be the only company to get 5 awards out of 5 entriesERR is proud to announce to be the only company to get 5 awards out of 5 entries.

Britain leads the way in training ambitions

A survey of private sector companies in Europe has revealed that British managers are the most ambitious when it comes to training their workforce.

The Observatory’s Barometer, carried out by the Cegos Group, found that 57% of British managers consider that attracting and retaining talent was a “very high priority” compared with 38% of French and German managers.

Around 600 human resources directors and training managers, and 2,500 employees were interviewed, across France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK. The findings of the survey seem to suggest that many companies do not think of training as a priority, with the UK being the apparent exception.

The report highlighted differences found in UK companies, showing that almost 50% of UK HR professionals regard supporting their employees’ career progress as a “very high priority” compared with 28% for Germany. Francis Marshall, managing director of Cegos Ltd took the results as good news for UK businesses.

He said: “The UK results show some very positive signs – clearly there is a significant difference in approach in Britain. Effective, high-quality training that truly engages staff is essential to the good health of any organisation – and to the development and retention of talented and committed employees.”


Go-ahead for Leeds West End office scheme

Go-ahead for Leeds West End office schemeBAM Properties has secured planning permission for Latitude Yellow, its £70 million office development in the West End of Leeds that will boost growth and jobs.

The fully glazed contemporary ten-storey building with an impressive double height colonnade fronting Wellington Road will comprise157,000 sq ft of Grade A office space with floor plates of 16,759 sq ft. The basement will provide parking for 69 cars plus 92 bike spaces.

The developer also has planning permission on its five acre Wellington Road site for Latitude Blue, a 119,000 sq ft seven-storey office building, Potential occupiers with a requirement for substantial space and larger floor plates will have the option of considering the two buildings.

BAM Properties northern development manager, Paul Smith, said: “There is currently a high level of demand for quality office space in the market and we believe these two buildings will provide everything cutting-edge companies are looking for in Grade A office space in the heart of a thriving international city.

“These high-spec office schemes are designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, with a raft of energy efficient features that will deliver outstanding buildings for occupiers and contribute to lower running costs”.

The projects will be built by North East division of BAM Construction which is based in Leeds, and has delivered many successful projects in the City including the First Direct Arena in the City centre.

Mace gets £400m Spurs stadium job

Mace gets £400m Spurs stadium jobTottenham Hotspur has appointed Mace as Construction Partner for the new stadium scheme.

Mace will become an integrated member of the Project Team and develop the pre construction plans, detailed construction programmes and work with the Club to procure specialist sub contract tenders for the new stadium works.

Commenting on the appointment, Daniel Levy, Chairman, said: “This is another step towards the delivery of one of the best stadiums in the world.

We are delighted to have Mace on board. They bring a wealth of experience and I know they share our commitment to ensuring that the development will be first class in every aspect. We now await Haringey Council’s Planning Committee decision on 8 December 2015.”

Mark Reynolds, Mace Chief Executive said:“We are privileged and thrilled to join the team to take the new stadium to its next stage of development. We look forward to working with the Club and its consultants to make sure the project is a success.

It is of critical importance as it is the flagship development that will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of this area.”

Mace employs over 5,100 people, across five continents. Mace have been involved in delivering a number of significant projects, such as The Shard, Birmingham New Street Station, Heathrow Terminal 5, and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games stadium and venues.

Contractor appointed for £16m project in Warrington

Contractor appointed for £16m project in WarringtonLiveWire have appointed BAM Construction as the preferred contractor to carry out work to transform the existing Great Sankey Leisure Centre in Warrington into a neighbourhood hub.

Construction, which is set to begin on phase 1 of the £16 million project at the start of next month, will revamp the centre into a state-of-the-art integrated facility which will provide leisure, health and cultural services for the people of west Warrington.

The dementia friendly facility will include a fitness suite, swimming pools, sports hall, tennis courts, 3G pitch, GP surgeries, library, cafe and health and wellbeing facilities including a spa, with phase 1 set to open to the public in Autumn 2016.

BAM’s national charity partner is the Alzheimer’s Society and the partnership provides opportunities for the team to fully embrace with, and create, a true dementia friendly environment for local people.

Managing Director at LiveWire, Jan Souness, said: “We are pleased to announce the appointment of BAM as the contractor to carry out the development of the existing Great Sankey Leisure Centre to transform it into a modern integrated facility for the whole community.”

Construction Director at BAM, Ian Fleming, said:“It’s very important to us to deliver this project successfully for the whole community, and not just to build a fantastic facility but to make the opportunity of the build itself into a positive experience for them.

We’re really looking forward to engaging people and creating something that will truly enhance the lives of everybody who lives here.”

Businesses to drive up innovation investment

The Scottish GovernmentA shared vision on innovation will help Scotland become a world-leading entrepreneurial nation, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said today.

Meeting for the first time the newly appointed members of the Scotland CAN DO Innovation Forum will be the leading force in creating greater levels of demand for, and investment in, business innovation for the benefit of the whole Scottish economy.

Following the publication of the Scottish Government’s Scotland CAN DO framework, the Forum will stimulate demand for innovation from business and boost economic growth.

Speaking ahead of the first meeting at Edinburgh University Business School, Scotland CAN DO Innovation Forum, Chair Mr Swinney said: “Scotland CAN DO is a platform for all sectors to further sharpen our focus on creating sustainable economic growth. Our vision is to make a Scotland as a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation – a CAN DO place for business.

This Government is focused on growing our economy and this new Forum will help to ensure that Scotland’s economy is one where growth is based on innovation, change and openness to new ways of doing things.

The sheer diversity of innovation that already exists in Scotland is something to be commended. Scottish EDGE already stands as an exemplar of this approach and shows what can happen when public, private and third sector partners work as one for the benefit of growth orientated entrepreneurs across our country.”

Bouygues gets Canterbury riverside scheme

Bouygues gets Canterbury riverside schemeCanterbury City Council has selected Bouygues as its preferred contractor to build a major leisure scheme in Kingsmead area of the city that will boost the local economy.

A multiplex cinema, restaurants and other indoor leisure outlets are on their way following the selection Bouygues Development as the city council’s preferred builder.

The project, which is on the site of the former coach park, current Serco depot and other parcels of land, will also include student accommodation and other residential development. There will be a mix of national and local occupiers.

In addition, Bouygues Development has designed a public area that is intended to become the heart of the leisure aspect of the scheme, hosting a variety of events including markets, an outdoor skating rink at Christmas and local theatre productions.

Canterbury City Council’s Chief Executive, Colin Carmichael, said: “The standard of all the bids was very high, and we’re delighted to have selected such an experienced company as our partner for this exciting regeneration project for Canterbury.

Bouygues Development has an excellent track record of developing large-scale, complex mixed-use regeneration projects such as the one we envisage for Kingsmead.”

Axel Boutrolle, Regional Director at Bouygues Development, said: “We were delighted to be selected as the council’s preferred development partner. After eight months of hard work, we are confident that we have designed a viable scheme which keeps to the council’s project scope and respects the surrounding area.

We have put together a very competent professional team and we look forward to realising this important strategic site for Canterbury.”

Sewell Construction wins £30m Hull Uni contract

Sewell Construction wins £30m Hull Uni contractLocal Hull contractor Sewell Construction has been given the go-ahead to build a £30 million student accommodation complex for the city’s university.

A series of five storey blocks will provide rooms for 560 students while boosting economic growth and helping create new jobs in the building trades.

The project represents the latest investment in the University’s campus master plan, following the £28m refurbishment of the Brynmor Jones Library, completed last year, and the current redevelopment of the Middleton Hall theatre and conference space.

Professor Pistorius said: “Improving the campus – including the provision of more accommodation – is pivotal to the University’s future. In order to be competitive in higher education and be well placed to attract quality students and staff from the UK and around the world, we must ensure that the estate meets our academic and business needs.

Students are at the heart of everything we do here at the University and this new accommodation demonstrates our commitment to providing an outstanding student experience.”

Paul Sewell, Managing Director of Sewell Group said: “It is a pleasure and a privilege to be carrying out such a significant and prestigious project for our own University, in our own city. The benefit of the completed project to the University will match the benefit to the local economy.”

The project has been designed in partnership with GSS Architecture.

Shepherd Group transfers housing assets to Galliford Try

Shepherd transfers housing assets to Galliford TryShepherd Group has agreed to sell its Shepherd Homes business to Galliford Try in order to take advantage of future trading opportunities that will boost the housing sector.

Shepherd Group and Galliford Try have exchanged contracts and expect to complete the sale of Shepherd Homes’ assets, comprising six current sites and five sites in planning, at the end of May.

Shepherd Homes employs around 60 people who are expected to transfer to Linden Homes once the deal is completed.

Shepherd Group chairman David Williams said: “This was not an easy decision for the Group Board, particularly given the recent strong performance of Shepherd Homes, but this transaction represents an exciting opportunity for both the business and its employees for the long-term. Galliford Try, through Linden Homes, is exceptionally well placed to build on Shepherd Homes’ considerable progress and achievements.

Growth and continuing success in the homes market demands ongoing large-scale capital investment which it was felt would be better achieved with a Group which has significant scale in the housing sector as well as a desire to grow its presence in the North.

Galliford Try was a natural partner for Shepherd Homes and the Group Board considers that this decision will prove beneficial for Shepherd Homes and its employees while enabling the wider Shepherd Group to continue to pursue its strategy of focusing future investment on distinct areas of the Group, including the development and further expansion of our successful Portakabin business.”