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.”

Morgan Sindall to restore Bleaton Hallet bridge

Morgan SindallMorgan Sindall has been appointed by Perth & Kinross Council to design and build a new road bridge over the Black Water with work expected to be completed before the end of this year.

The new £1 million bridge will be constructed using a single-span galvanised steel structure and has been designed to allow all road traffic to cross, with no weight restrictions.

The site team will be working around a four metre vertical face on the east embankment to construct new abutments, pouring 100 cubic metres of concrete.

The design also includes improvements to drainage to defend the bridge from severe weather damage in the future.

As with all of its projects, Morgan Sindall has taken steps to ensure that no damage is caused to the surrounding environment. Measures have been taken to ensure debris from the construction process does not fall into the Black Water and dry stone walling, due to be dismantled during the build, will be salvaged and reconstructed once the bridge is in place.

Morgan Sindall’s area director for infrastructure, Robert Ogg, said: “The C446 road provides a vital link between Alyth and the A93 to Glenshee and the local communities come to depend on the infrastructure network so heavily, often without noticing how vulnerable it can be.

“We are acutely aware of this reliance and are proud to be designing and building a new bridge to restore this critical access; our message to the many people who would usually use this route is that the end is in sight.”

Sewell Group plans major Yorkshire business park

Sewell Group plans major Yorkshire business parkHull based contractor Sewell Group has unveiled plans for construction of a major new business park on the outskirts of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Sewell has joined forces with telecommunications company MS3 Networks and developer the Chiltern Groupon proposals for the Yorkshire Energy Park scheme.

The scheme is earmarked for the former aerodrome site within the boundary of Preston village, to the west of Hedon.

A first stage of pre-application consultation has been undertaken with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and a project team has been appointed to prepare an outline planning application for submission later this year.

Early proposals are exploring the delivery of:

  • A mixture of space for businesses operating in key strategic sectors for the region;

  • A further/higher education space and associated accommodation, connected to the renewable energy and technology sectors;

  • An energy centre providing private wire electricity to the wider Energy Park; and

  • A data centre.

Rob Cawkwell, Project Director at Sewell, who is leading the scheme on behalf of the consortium, said: “It is at the very early stages and we are very keen to engage with all stakeholders, as well as ensuring good dialogue with both East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull local authorities.

This is a strategic site for the Humber Estuary, which is the first of its kind in Yorkshire, bringing together businesses, data, energy and education all in one place.”

ISG wins first scheme on North West Framework

ISG wins first scheme on North West FrameworkISG has secured the first contract to be awarded under the renewed North West Construction Hub Medium Value Framework – a £2 million education scheme for Manchester City Council.

The company was reappointed to the NWCH Medium Value Framework after delivering public sector projects across the North West valued in excess of £124 million on the previous capital works framework.

The scheme involves the refurbishment of a former local authority care home in Longsight, Manchester to create replacement special educational needs (SEN) facilities for Rodney House School.

The refurbishment scheme will enable Rodney House to consolidate its specialist facilities on a single site, as well as providing the expansion space needed for the school to accommodate extra pupils.

The main project sees the existing building extensively remodelled to accommodate the change of use, with structural alterations to form new entrances and reconfiguration of internal walls.

Danny Murray, ISG’s Northern regional managing director, said: “The NWCH Framework has proved instrumental over the past four years in bringing key community projects to site quickly and cost effectively.

The renewed framework continues this forward thinking ethos and we are delighted to be working to deliver purpose-built facilities for Rodney House School, which will enable the school to provide support and education to a greater number of children in the East Manchester area.”

Development Work Commences on Murrays’ Mills

Development Work Commences on Murrays’ MillsManchester Life Development Company and GRAHAM Construction have marked the start of development works in East Manchester that will see the building of 124 one, two and three bedroom homes.

The guiding principle for the development has been to preserve many of the Mills’ 19th-century features and create a unique living experience.

The historic canal basin will form the centre of a landscaped courtyard, with every apartment individually designed to make the most of the building’s features, along with interior layouts, finishes and on-site facilities to create attractive homes in the heart of Ancoats.

GRAHAM Construction is the main contractor for Murrays’ Mills and, with a proven track record of working on high-profile developments of historical importance, is continuing the extensive restoration work already undertaken to protect its character.

Gary Hughes, Regional Director at GRAHAM Construction, said: “As a leader in heritage and restoration projects, we understand the need for balance between creating modern, aspirational homes and keeping the character and history of the building alive.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The transformation of Murrays’ Mills is a significant milestone in Ancoats’ emergence as a desirable and vibrant neighbourhood, it is a brilliant way to address the demand for central accommodation in way that preserves and carefully evolves our former industrial areas.”

As part of Phase One, Manchester Life has developed an Advanced Apprenticeship scheme in partnership with The Manchester College – the Murrays’ Mills construction team will include a number of local apprentices, enabling them to gain substantial industry experience.

Plans to drive growth and create jobs for Tees Valley

Plans to drive growth and create jobs for Tees ValleyPlans to drive growth, create jobs and secure the economic future of Tees Valley has taken a major step as local leaders decided to transform the former SSI steelworks site.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine revealed plans would go full-steam ahead for a new Mayoral Development Corporation – the first of its kind outside of London – to drive forward regeneration and local economic growth in the Tees Valley area.

Work will start immediately to form the corporation. This will offer a vehicle for greater powers to be devolved, in areas including regeneration planning and business support.

These powers will be available at the new Mayor’s disposal so the area can quickly take up economic opportunities as they arise.

Since the closure of SSI in October, the government has put in place a multi-million pound package of support for the affected local community.

Lord Heseltine has been tasked with encouraging investment to create new job opportunities across the Tees Valley.

Local business leaders say the investment will play a role in the return of economic vibrancy to the area – something the new corporation will look to deliver by securing investment from the UK and overseas to bring in new jobs and businesses.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “Already, up to £80 million government funding is in place to ensure former SSI workers and local affected businesses get the support they need.

This new Mayoral Development Corporation is the next step, putting local people who know the area best at the heart of driving regeneration and delivering new businesses and jobs for the community.”

Government support for Tees Valley

The government’s package of up to £80 million support for the Tees Valley includes:

  • a £16.5 million Jobs and Skills Fund to help local firms employ former SSI workers or their spouses in full-time or part-time jobs for a minimum of 3 years

  • £16 million support for firms in the SSI supply chain and wider Tees Valley impacted by the closure

  • £1.7 million to help the 50 former SSI apprentices to continue their apprenticeships with alternative employers – all of whom are now continuing their training and are being paid

ISG Wins £12.4m Derwent Office Scheme

ISGISG has been awarded a £12.4 million fast-track project to refurbish a prominent office building on Whitechapel High Street for Derwent London.

The former RBS office will be extensively remodelled internally to provide 200,000 sq ft of high-specification Cat A space, including provision of a new entrance and open plan reception area.

The eight-storey building in London’s fast-growing Tech Belt area will be systematically stripped out, enabling ISG to reconfigure the ground floor space and seven levels of office accommodation.

Structural alterations will be made at ground floor level, with the partial infill of the existing atrium, to create a spacious and contemporary reception, with open plan break out areas, informal meeting space and new retail units. A feature entrance with a new steel portal is set to enhance the building’s visual appeal.

The project includes the upgrade of mechanical and electrical infrastructure and the installation of new generators to ensure resilience for new tenants. The project location is close to ISG’s head office in Aldgate and reflects the continuing demand for high-specification office accommodation in this strategic location.

Stuart Deverill, ISG’s Southern regional managing director, commented: “Office construction activity within the immediate vicinity of our head office has significantly increased over the past six months and really highlights the strong levels of occupier demand in this area.

This latest win reinforces our market leading position in complex office refurbishment and fit out, and we’re delighted to be working with Derwent London to maximise the value of this key property asset.”

Lovell gets Islington regeneration scheme

Lovell appointed to £8.5m housing schemeIslington Council has appointed housing developer Lovell for a £21.8 million regeneration programme which will transform part of the Dover Court estate in North London.

The regeneration programme will create new homes for social rent and homes for sale on council-owned land as well as provide an improved ball court, open spaces, estates paths, play areas and community facilities.

The new housing scheme will be built on nine sites at the estate, including former garages and car parking.

Lovell is set to start work on the three-year construction programme next month.

Fifty-one of the new homes – 25 one-bedroom and nine two-bedroom apartments and 15 three-bedroom and two five-bedroom houses – will be for council rent.

Nineteen of the new homes – 17 two-bedroom houses, one one-bedroom and one two-bedroom apartment – will be for sale through the council.

In addition, the scheme, designed by Pollard Thomas Edwards architects and developed in close consultation with estate residents, includes extensive improvements to the estate’s open spaces and community facilities including increased planting and green spaces and the redesign of Mitchison Baxter Park with children’s play areas, new paths, new trees and a replacement ball games space.

Lovell regional director Michael O’Farrell says: “We’re delighted to have been appointed by Islington Council to this major scheme which is also our first contract awarded through Islington’s New Build Contractor Framework.

We look forward to using the company’s expertise in delivering high-quality mixed tenure estate regeneration programmes to bring these quality homes and enhanced public spaces and community facilities to Dover Court.”

All homes will meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, incorporating sustainable, energy-efficient technology designed to keep energy bills down.

Willmott Dixon to improve thousands of homes in Hull

Willmott Dixon to improve thousands of homes in HullMore than 2,000 homes in Hull will benefit from cheaper energy bills and better homes after Willmott Dixon was appointed by Hull City Council as its new citywide energy partner.

The company will deliver a package of energy saving measures across the city to make homes warmer and improve living conditions for thousands of residents. It follows similar deals the company has in Oxford, Leeds and Bristol.

Refurbishment works will include improvements to 329 homes in the Preston Road area and 1,668 properties in Orchard Park, including external solid wall insulation similar to that delivered in other areas of the city.

Energy efficiency and frontage improvement works will also be delivered to 136 properties in Granville Street and Walliker Street as part of the contract.

Councillor John Black, Portfolio Holder for Council Infrastructure with responsibility for housing, said: “While specific reductions to housing revenue has had serious implications on schemes like this, we are continuing with this important investment and these energy improvements recognise our commitment in Hull’s 10-year City Plan to become a leading UK Energy City.”

Robert Lambe, managing director of Willmott Dixon Energy Services said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Hull City Council. Over the next five years we will deliver improvements which will help improve the health and well-being of thousands of people.”