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.”

New funding to improve energy performance in Wales

Welsh GovernmentNatural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant has secured £1.5 million from the European Investment Bank to improve the energy performance of public bodies in Wales.

Giving an update on the lead the Welsh Government has taken in delivering local energy generation, Carl Sargeant said the wider public sector also has an important leadership role to play in this area.

Mr Sargeant said: “We are working with local authorities to develop smart, innovative solutions to support local homes, businesses and communities through effective and sustainable use of our resources.

The extra £1.5m we have secured from the European Investment Bank’s ELENA will deliver over £30 million of low risk investment in energy efficiency over the next three years.”

The Minister added that there is an increasing role for local generation and supply, based on renewable sources, smart storage and local grid management.

He said that local generation and use of energy will have many benefits, creating decent jobs as well as keeping costs down through local ownership.

He highlighted the Welsh Government’s vision for local energy in Wales, the key benefits of which include investment in smarter technologies, supporting jobs, generating clean energy to meet climate change commitments and supporting projects that provide funding directly to communities.

Go-ahead for Bournemouth town centre homes

Go-ahead for Bournemouth town centre homesPlans for more than 100 new homes to rent in Bournemouth town centre have been approved.

The Berry Court scheme involves the replacement of the council-owned surface car park in St Peter’s Road with a development of 113 high-quality apartments for the private rental market.

The scheme is being led by the Bournemouth Development Company, a regeneration partnership delivering Bournemouth Council’s Town Centre Vision.

Councillor John Beesley, Leader of Bournemouth Council, said: “The Berry Court scheme is a creative solution to help address housing needs. It supports the aims of our Town Centre Vision in attracting new residents to come and live in in the heart of Bournemouth. By providing much needed, high-quality homes, the scheme will boost the vibrancy of the town centre.”

Duncan Johnston, Director, Bournemouth Development Company, said: “The Berry Court scheme will enable more people to live in high-quality accommodation in the town centre, so stimulating the local economy.”

Mr Johnston added that public feedback from an exhibition of plans in May 2015 had helped to develop the original design ahead of the detailed planning application being submitted in September. 

Welsh Government announces extra Help to Buy a home

Welsh GovernmentThe Welsh Government has announced it is investing up to £290 million in the second phase of Help to Buy.

Between 2016 – 2021, the funding will aim to support the construction of more than 6,000 additional new Welsh homes, significantly boosting Wales’ building industry and making home ownership achievable for thousands more families.

This second phase of Help to Buy – Wales builds on the success of the current £174 million scheme, which has already helped around 2,400 people buy their home, with another 650 applications in the pipeline.

Wales’ housing sector continues to go from strength to strength, with recent statistics showing that during 2014-15, a total of 6,955 new homes were started, which is a rise of 20 per cent on the previous year.

Announcing the scheme at St Lythans Park in Cardiff, Communities Minister, Lesley Griffiths, said:”Today’s £290 million investment clearly demonstrates this Government’s commitment to encouraging housebuilding and helping people achieve their goal of owning their own home.

“We are seeing sustained growth in Wales’ house building industry and today’s announcement will strengthen this further by increasing the supply of low-deposit mortgages available to people looking to buy a new home.

This is a huge boost to the Welsh construction industry, and our economy as a whole, which will provide thousands of new jobs and training opportunities for people across Wales.”

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.”