Morgan Sindall gets £7.3m job at Heathrow

morgan-sindall-gets-7-3m-job-at-heathrowMorgan Sindall has been appointed by Heathrow Airport to carry out £7.3 million of refurbishments and improvements to its infrastructure, runways and stands.

Pre-contract enabling works have been carried out to ensure there is no damage to underground services and the project team has already completed the first phase of the scheme, which involved resurfacing the T5 end of the southern runway.

The runway was re-surfaced with a new polymer modified bitumen (PMB) asphalt, designed specifically for use in airports due to its high strength and resistance to cracking.

The next stage of the project involves working directly in front of the BAE line maintenance base to replace underground stone water-drainage pipes.

The site team is working during the night and has constructed a purpose-built route so that aircraft are able to access the base, ensuring there is minimal disruption to one of the airport’s busiest areas.

The work was awarded to Morgan Sindall due to its place on the Q6 Framework. It is one of four contractors appointed to deliver a £1.5 billion programme of upgrades and improvements at Heathrow Airport by 2019.

Keith Cannin, managing director of aviation at Morgan Sindall, said: “The work is expected to be complete by the end of 2017 and follows the successful refurbishment and resurfacing of the airport’s Sierra Taxiway as part of a £16 million contract completed last year.”

Birmingham signs £2bn scheme with Chinese developer

birmingham-signs-2bn-scheme-with-chinese-developerBirmingham City Council has signed a deal with the fifth-largest property developer in China that could be worth up to £2bn to the local economy.

As part of the agreement, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed company Country Garden will explore large-scale investment opportunities in Birmingham, with particular focus around HS2.

It also agreed to work with the council to deliver large numbers of new homes.

Council leader John Clancy signed the joint statement of investment commitment with Country Garden on a week-long trade mission to China.

Cllr Clancy said: “The landscape has inevitably changed post-Brexit and Birmingham is already out of the starting blocks. That’s why I’m here selling our city to many of China’s leading investors.

This agreement is about bringing good jobs and quality homes to Birmingham.

Country Garden has a proven track record of building homes at pace and scale. They have played a major role over the last 20 years, as housebuilders have met the massive demands of China’s rapidly expanding economy.”

Founded in 1992, Country Garden has developed 300 high-end township developments, 54 five-star hotels and more than 2.5 million properties.

Country Garden founder and chairman Yang Guoqiang added: “I have been impressed with Birmingham’s ambition and huge potential.

We have a proven track record in delivering quality housing at a scale to match Birmingham’s ambitions and with major projects coming to the city, including the forthcoming High Speed two project, these are exciting times for Country Garden and Birmingham.”

UK remains number one investment destination in Europe

UK remains number one investment destination in EuropeNew FDI figures show the UK had a record number of inward investment projects and created second highest number of jobs ever in 2015 to 2016.

Britain has benefitted from record-breaking inward investment by foreign companies, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has announced.

Across the country, 2,213 inward investment projects were secured in 2015 to 2016, an 11% increase on the previous year. This lead to around 116,000 jobs being created or safeguarded – the second highest number on record.

Almost 1,600 new jobs a week were created by foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2015 to 2016.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), now part of the Department for International Trade (DIT), helped to secure 4 out of 5 of the projects that created these jobs.

Since 2010, nearly 390,000 new jobs have been created through foreign direct investment in the UK.

Read DIT inward investment results for the tax year 2015 to 2016.

The department has recorded more foreign direct investment projects than ever before and, according to the EY UK Attractiveness Survey, the UK’s strong performance sees it retain its spot as the number one place in Europe for foreign investment.

Responsible for promoting British trade across the world, DIT helps secure investment from overseas companies for projects in the UK. The department’s annual FDI figures are based on UK job creation and number of projects secured.

International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, said: “These impressive results show the UK continues to be the place to do business.

We’ve broadened our reach with emerging markets across the world to cement our position as the number one destination in Europe for investment.

This continued vote of confidence in the UK will help attract foreign investment to create jobs, security and opportunities for people across the UK.

Dr Adam Marshall, Acting Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Keeping the UK attractive to overseas investors is important for our future success. Last year’s up-tick in foreign direct investment is a welcome boost to business, and a good indicator of underlying confidence in the UK 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.

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.