Carillion selected by Centrica for £90m scheme

carillion-selected-by-centrica-for-90m-schemeCarillion has been selected by Centrica plc as its preferred partner to deliver facilities management and project services for an initial period of five years, which can be extended to seven years.

The contract has an estimated value to Carillion of some £90 million over five years with service delivery scheduled to start in December 2016.

Carillion has worked in close partnership with Centrica for over a decade as managing agent, helping to deliver significant value to Centrica’s British Gas business.

The new contract builds on this successful relationship with an extension of scope to a Total Facilities Management (TFM) service.

Under the new contract Carillion will provide a wide range of hard and soft facilities management services, including asset surveys and planning, planned and reactive maintenance, cleaning, security and catering for Centrica’s 115 locations in the UK and Republic of Ireland, together with the delivery of certain construction projects for Centrica.

Carillion’s Chief Executive, Richard Howson, said: “We have worked closely with Centrica since 2005 and built a strong partnership. We are delighted to be extending this relationship, which is based on a one-team approach in which Carillion and Centrica work together to deliver award-winning standards of facilities management and customer service across all Centrica and British Gas sites.”

More affordable housing approved

House building starts hit 7-year highThe number of affordable homes in Scotland has increased by 26% on the previous year, bringing the total number of approvals over the year to 8,067.

Official statistics published this week show that during 2015-16, the number of new house builds started, across the public and private sector, rose to 16,910, a 4% increase on the previous year and the highest number of starts since 2008-9.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said the figures showed good early progress towards delivering the Scottish Government’s ambitious target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes over the next five years.

Speaking ahead of a visit to a new housing development in Edinburgh which will provide 236 affordable homes in the city, Mr Stewart said: “We have an excellent track record on housing. The number of affordable home completions from April 2007 to end March 2016 was 60,704 – on average 24% more per year than the 38,015 delivered between April 2000 and March 2007.

“In the previous session of Parliament, we exceeded our target of delivering 30,000 affordable homes, and our bold and ambitious More Homes Scotland approach will build on that achievement.

“We have committed to investing over £3 billion to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes over the next five years. This is accompanied by increased housing subsidy levels and a new Rural Housing Fund to boost the supply of affordable rural housing.

“We’ve also helped stimulate growing confidence in the private housing market and supported people into home ownership, in particular through our £500 million Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme.”

MediaCityUK set to double in size with £1bn expansion

MediaCityUK set to double in size with £1bn expansionMediaCityUK is to double in size, creating over 1,400 new homes and hundreds of jobs, after city council planners gave the go-ahead this week.

The 10-year building plan will create hundreds of new jobs for the area which is already home to the BBC, ITV, The Lowry, dock10 studios, apartments and hotels, restaurants, cafés and bars, the University of Salford, Salford City College and the UTC.

And, with prime office space, live/work units, small business space, creative studios, a new market square and events hall, cafés, restaurants and shops along with good public transport links to the site, the potential for more jobs is huge.

MediaCityUK is a joint venture between Peel Land and Property and Legal and General Capital.

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett welcomed the news and said it was the second phase of a 20-year plan to transform the former docklands.

Mr Dennett said:“Back in 2006, Salford City Council granted planning permission for 15.1 hectares of development. Phase one has successfully been completed and now we are moving towards the second phase which will see MediaCityUK double in size”

This phase will focus on creating welcoming neighbourhoods where people can live and work, socialise and enjoy events. It’s a very exciting development for Salford.

This is all part of a major building boom in Salford which is bringing thousands of new homes and square metres of business accommodation to our city creating further jobs and opportunities on our doorstep for the people of Salford.”

Phase one of MediaCityUK is now complete, providing office and studio space for the BBC, accommodation for the University of Salford and ITV, further office space in The Landing and the Tomorrow building.

The scheme also consis of two hotels, a multi-storey car park, 378 apartments, shops, restaurants, café and bar premises, new public spaces, a new Metrolink station and a pedestrian footbridge across the Manchester Ship Canal.

The phase two site, for which planning permission has now been granted extends across eight plots on the north eastern part of the site and will provide: over 50,000 sq m of business accommodation, over 4,000 sq m of live/work units, 1,871 residential units including town houses, over 4,400 sq m of retail and leisure space and over 1,800 car parking spaces.

Cheltenham office scheme to create new jobs

Cheltenham office plan to create new jobsA £15 million office development set to bring up to 500 jobs to Cheltenham has been submitted for planning.

Property investor Formal Investments wants to create more than 80,000 square feet of prime offices as the new HQ for a major international business keen to relocate to the town.

Honeybourne Place has been pre-let to the global company and, subject to the plans receiving permission, construction could begin in 2017 with the occupier moving to Cheltenham in 2019.

Previous plans for Honeybourne Place, at Jessop Avenue, have been revised in this new application because the occupier wants more office space than originally envisaged.

The desired office space has been boosted by more than 20 per cent by removing other elements, including residential units. A detailed planning application has this week been made to Cheltenham Borough Council for the high quality six-storey landmark building.

Nicholas King, a director at Formal Investments, said: “The striking landmark building will help deliver economic growth and bring further major inward investment in a location that has cemented itself as a key business district for Cheltenham.”

Jeremy Williamson, managing director of Cheltenham Development Taskforce, said: “It is always pleasing to bring forward a brown field site, but even more so when it has such job creation potential and is promoted by local investors such as Formal Investments.”

Steve Jordan, Cheltenham Borough Council leader, said: “Securing this investment in the centre of Cheltenham is a real coup, given the high value jobs that it will generate.”

Michael Ratcliffe, chief executive of Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted at the investment in town centre office accommodation, as employment is the lifeblood of the economy.”

Increase in number of new homes built and started

Increase in number of new homes built and startedThe number of newly built homes across England has increased 6% in the past year, new figures released today show.

The latest house building data shows that 139,030 new homes were completed in the year to June and have continued to build gradually over the last 2 years.

More than 144,280 homes were started in the year to June 2016.

Meanwhile, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show there are more first-time buyers than at any time since 2007, with 72,800 in England in the second quarter of 2016.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We’ve got the country building again with more new homes started and built than this time last year.

This is real progress but there is much more to do. That’s why we are going further and increasing our investment in house building to ensure many more people can benefit.”

House building across the country

Today’s figures show strong regional growth in London, Swindon and Wakefield, which are all experiencing high levels of completions.

Delivery in London saw 24% more homes being built in the year to June 2016 than the previous year with local authorities in Greenwich and Waltham Forest seeing completions soar 126% and 103% respectively over the same period.

And in Swindon and Wakefield completions were up 104% and 41% respectively.

Figures published last year show that the total number of new homes across the country rose by 25% in 2014 to 2015, when taking in to account all homes, including new builds, houses that have been converted into flats and buildings whose use has been changed to residential.

The government is committed to building the homes this country needs and investing £8 billion to build 400,000 more affordable homes to rent and buy.

The landmark Housing and Planning Act will help deliver on its ambition to build a million more homes by ensuring councils continue to play a key role in delivery, and through new measures that will allow them to deliver more homes more swiftly.

Kier secures £5bn hat-trick of major construction schemes

Kier 2Kier’s construction arm has confirmed it has secured places on a trio of major construction frameworks with a potential spend of £5bn that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

These include:

•    A place on the four-year £4bn Department of Health Procure22 framework as one of six principle supply chain partners which commences in October.  Kier Construction is a leading provider in the health sector having delivered over £170m of health projects over the last twelve months.

•    A place as one of five suppliers on two five-year construction frameworks worth up to £750m at Gatwick Airport. The frameworks cover building and civil engineering projects up to £10m as well as a smaller works framework for building projects up to £1.5m. The award reflects Kier’s increasing profile in the aviation sector with a place recently secured on the framework at Glasgow airport focused on infrastructure improvements.

•    A place on the two-year £500m University of Cambridge Framework to provide a range of facilities including laboratories, teaching and lecture spaces and sport facilities. This construction framework provides opportunity to build on our established working relationship with the University.

Kier Group chief executive, Haydn Mursell, said: “These awards demonstrate the breadth of our offering and the strength of our relationships with clients across a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, aviation and education.

Such awards, which account for approximately half of our UK regional building revenues, enable us to work closely with our clients to deliver on their long-term requirements and they further bolster our strong Construction order book.”

£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.

Go-ahead for 188 homes at major Mill Hill development

Go-ahead for 188 homes at major Mill Hill developmentWillmott Residential’s expansion in London continues with Barnet Council giving its residential brand Prime Place the go-ahead to build 188 new homes in Mill Hill.

The company secured approval on a reserved matters application for its development called Prime Place, Millbrook Park, which will create 159 homes for private sale, together with 29 homes for affordable rent.

The wider 2.7 acre scheme at Millbrook Park, a popular new community, will provide 2,174 high-quality homes in a superb landscaped parkland setting, together with shops, offices and a new primary school.

Designed by renowned architects Broadway Malyan, Prime Place, Millbrook Park will be in a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments and penthouses, together with a small number of three and four-bedroom houses.

Maximising the use of the naturally sloping terrain, the design includes a large terraced parkland garden at the heart of the scheme for all residents to enjoy.

Residents also benefit from underground parking and a low carbon district heating system. The homes are a short walk from Mill Hill East underground station and less than nine miles from central London.

Brian Brady, managing director Prime Place: “Millbrook Park is an ideal fit for Prime Place’s strategy of providing outstanding homes in popular locations and close to excellent transport links. We are delighted to achieve approval from Barnet Council and anticipate starting work on site very soon.”

Prime Place, Millbrook Park underlines further Willmott Residential’s growing presence, developing homes for sale through Prime Place and for private rent through be:here, with 5,000 units on site or in planning.

In addition, Willmott Partnership Homes builds 2,000 homes a year with an expanding geographic presence and strong client base that includes housing associations, developers and local authorities.

Morgan Sindall gets place on National Grid’s framework

Morgan SindallMorgan Sindall has secured £800 million contract on National Grid’s onshore electricity cable framework that will continue over four years.

The framework is effective from June 2016 and will involve the design, construction and commissioning of 11kV to 400kV cable systems across National Grid’s network.

Morgan Sindall is one of four companies to have been appointed to the Engineer, Procure and Construct (EPC) framework.

Projects awarded under the framework will typically vary in value from between £2 million and £50 million.

Simon Smith, managing director of Utility Services at Morgan Sindall, said: “We are delighted to have secured a position on this framework.

Morgan Sindall has been working in the electricity transmission market for a number of years and this opportunity further enhances our growing capability with National Grid and in this specialist sector.”

Faster planning helps the building trades

Regeneration scheme to deliver thousands of new properties and jobsThe average time for a planning decision to be made on major developments has fallen by 17% on the previous year, paving the way for the building trades.

Annual statistics published this week show decision times for local and major applications have reduced, meaning more housing and business developments can start to build sooner.

Planning Minister Kevin Stewart welcomed the statistics, but said more must be done to improve planning performance.

The average decision time for major developments in 2015-16 reduced by more than 6 weeks on the previous year, while major housing development decisions are now almost two weeks faster than in 2013-14.

Decisions made on local housing applications also reduced by almost a week compared to the previous year.

Mr Stewart said:“Effective planning is crucial to promoting sustainable economic growth and ultimately to helping build more homes. Speeding up the planning system is a vital part of this.

“These statistics are very encouraging, particularly at a time where we are looking at the best ways to reform and improve our planning system.

“The reduction in decision making timescales can only be a good thing – it means we are open for business and helping create certainty within the building sector.”