Hull Uni secures £130m accommodation scheme

hull-uni-secures-130m-accommodation-schemeUniversity Partnerships Programme (UPP) has been appointed as preferred bidder to deliver a new student accommodation scheme for the University of Hull valued at around £130 million.

The 43-year partnership between the University and UPP will provide a further 1,450 students with a room, helping to meet the growing demand for high quality, on-campus accommodation.

The scheme will comprise a mixture of new build and estate transfer and UPP will raise the required investment and handle the design, construction and operation of the scheme. The construction value of the project is more than £80 million.

This latest partnership boosts UPP’s portfolio to around 31,500 rooms through long term partnerships with 15 leading universities across the UK.

Once the transaction is complete, UPP will have invested approximately £2.2 billion in universities across the UK since 1998, demonstrating the appetite amongst long term institutional investment for the higher education sector.

Sean O’Shea, Group Chief Executive of UPP, said: “We are committed to driving investment into the UK’s higher education sector and plan to invest a further £1 billion into universities over the next two years that will help deliver world class infrastructure and continue attracting the brightest and best students from across the world.”

Stephen Willis, Chief Finance Officer at the University of Hull, said: “The bold transformation well under-way on campus is a critical element in ensuring an outstanding student experience and a huge statement of confidence in the future of both the University and the city of Hull. We’re proud to be investing so significantly in making Hull a highly desirable place to live, work, study, visit and invest.”

Go-ahead to £110m Midlands shopping village

go-ahead-to-110m-midlands-shopping-villageThe building of a new shopping village for the West Midlands was given the go-ahead this week as development partners U+I and Rioja Developments confirmed receipt of full planning permission.

This is the biggest development of its kind in the West Midlands. It will inject a major investment into the area, provide a huge economic boost and put the area firmly on the designer outlet map.

The phased scheme will cost in excess of £110 million and will create over 1,200 jobs.

Nestled in a valley adjacent to a nature reserve the 26,505 sq m outlet village will provide up to 130 designer outlet stores, new restaurants and around 2,000 car parking spaces within easy access of the M6 and M6 Toll road.

Richard Upton, Deputy CEO, U+I, said: “This is a major investment that could generate more than £500 million of socio-economic improvements over the next ten years and create in excess of a thousand jobs, benefitting Cannock and the wider region and putting this outlet in the top five outlet centres nationally.

We intend to create a unique experience in factory outlet retailing which will complement the beautiful environment, including a real focus on sustainability.”

Giles Membrey, Rioja Developments’ Managing Director, said: “This is a key stage on our journey to make our vision for the Mill Green development become reality. It’s a unique location in terms of both the commercial opportunity and surrounding landscape.”

The area will also benefit from considerable investment in off-site improvements, including the widening of Eastern Way and the addition of much-needed pedestrian crossings. Moreover, Cannock will benefit from a further investment of circa £150,000 for town centre improvements.

Funding boost for proposed station at Robroyston

The Scottish GovernmentThe Scottish Government has given a huge boost to plans for a new railway station for Robroyston.

The new station proposals, which include a park & ride car park, are designed to provide local residents with a sustainable travel option, as well as catering for additional future demand from the 1,600 new households planned for the Robroyston area.

The Scottish Government has committed to meet 50% of the station`s currently estimated construction costs – over £7 million – through the Scottish Stations Fund. The remainder is expected to be met by the scheme promoters Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), Glasgow City Council, and private developers.

This investment reaffirms the Scottish Government’s commitment to investing in Scotland`s railways, ensuring that more people are able to access the rail network.

Minister for Transport, Humza Yousaf said: “I am very pleased to announce this substantial funding package for a new station for Robroyston.

This is a significant announcement, with Robroyston the first new station project to be funded by the Scottish Stations Fund, which was introduced to improve and increase access to rail across Scotland.

This announcement highlights the Scottish Government`s continued investment in rail infrastructure and services to better connect our communities and support sustainable economic growth and jobs across the country, with £5 billion of funding for infrastructure and services committed to 2019.”

Lovell gets £2.5m housing refurb scheme

lovell-gets-2-5m-housing-refurb-schemeNuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council (NBBC) in Warwickshire has appointed Lovell to carry out £2.5 million of housing improvement work for local council homes over the next three years.

The large-scale refurbishment programme will see Lovell transforming homes with new kitchens and bathrooms, as well as carrying out other improvements including installing level-access showers.

In the first phase of the work, 300 homes at the Grove Farm estate, Nuneaton, will be refurbished by May 2017.

Councillor Julie Jackson, Housing and Communities portfolio holder, said: “This is fantastic news for our tenants. NBBC will be delivering around 350 kitchen and bathroom replacements this year, an increase of approximately 40 properties on previous years. It has been possible to achieve so much as a result of a successful re-procurement process and reduced tender costs.”

Lovell has moved into new premises at the Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate in Nuneaton, which will be the project depot for the contract. Forty people are employed to work on the project with 90 per cent local to the Nuneaton area.

We’re delighted to bring our expertise in undertaking successful large-scale housing improvement programmes to this important scheme for Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council” said Lovell regional director Steve Davis.

Our focus is always on ensuring that residents are at the heart of what we do. We have a strong record of delivering improvement work carried out to the highest standard and with the utmost consideration for householders.”

First Minister gives new building boost for Wales

mr-carwyn-jonesThe First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has set out his government’s five-year plan to deliver more jobs through a stronger economy while building a united and sustainable Wales.

The First Minister said the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government, Taking Wales Forward, makes clear that the government’s focus will be on driving improvement in the Welsh economy.

The First Minister also confirmed that the Welsh Government’s key pledges have been maintained despite the uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote, including the commitment to create at least 100,000 all-age apprenticeships and the development of the South Wales Metro.

Mr Jones said: “Taking Wales Forward outlines our key priorities for delivering those improvements. They are ambitious measures, aimed at making a difference for everyone, at every stage in their lives.

Together we can build a Wales that is more confident, more equal, better skilled and more resilient. As a country we have punched above our weight, and now we are ready to do more.

I want to see a Wales which is prosperous and secure, healthy and active, ambitious and learning, united and connected. This is the Wales we are determined to build over the coming five years.”

Morgan Sindall gets £5.6m Ashford school contract

morgan-sindall-gets-5-6m-ashford-school-contractMorgan Sindall has been appointed to design and build the first phase of the new £5.6 million Finberry Primary School in the heart of Ashford, Kent.

The project for Kent County Council is already underway and will see the school transformed from a one, to a two-form entry facility accommodating 450 pupils, once the second phase of the project is complete.

The new school will be built at the Finberry housing development site at Cheeseman’s Green and is the seventh school within The Stour Academy Trust, a primary sector-only Trust.

Morgan Sindall will deliver the first phase of works at the school which will include the construction of nine classrooms, a nursery area and an SEN resource room. The firm will also deliver a main reception admin area, school hall facility and kitchen area.

The school will comprise a steel frame structure and its brickwork skin will be partially clad in bright orange. Morgan Sindall will also deliver external landscaping as part of the project including; a new sports pitch, a multi-use games area, a soft play area, a habitat area and a covered outdoor learning area.

Julien Jones, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re delighted to have been appointed to this important scheme which will help to alleviate demand for primary and nursery school places in Ashford.

Finberry Primary School will be unique in design and provide a modern learning space for pupils and teachers to enjoy. Morgan Sindall is well versed in delivering innovative and exciting learning environments and we look forward to handing over the new school in time for the start of the academic school year in 2017.”

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.”

Go-ahead to £300m Chester Northgate development

go-ahead-to-300m-chester-northgate-developmentCheshire West and Chester Council unanimously accepted plans to develop the Northgate area of the city centre for a retail-led, mixed-use development that will boost economic growth.

The £300 million Chester Northgate scheme is set to deliver around 500,000 sqft of new retail, restaurant and leisure facilities over two phases of construction.

The first Phase will start in autumn 2017. Picturehouse will be the operators of a six-screen cinema providing more than 715 seats, on the upper levels of the scheme, with a ground-level foyer and café bar opening onto the new Market Square and Hunter Street.

A new market hall will replace the current Chester Market and a new, 167-bedroom, 4-star hotel and conference centre will be built as a replacement for the existing Crowne Plaza hotel.

Councillor Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member, Economic Development and Infrastructure said: “The development of Northgate has been a long held ambition.

When it became clear that the private sector was not going to deliver what the city needed, the Council took control with the view to progressing proposals to a stage where the private sector is willing to invest.  Obtaining planning consent is a major component.

This proposal delivers a new development that will feel like Chester and not just like any other city.”

Councillor Stuart Parker, Shadow Cabinet Member, Communities and Wellbeing added: “Northgate is the most significant regeneration opportunity to impact on Chester in many decades.

It will transform the city from its present state of retail and leisure decline. Granting consent today will send a powerful message that Chester is open for business in a truly spectacular style.”

In December 2013 the Council purchased the Forum Shopping Centre and now owns around 85 per cent of the 5.8-hectare site. Rivington Land is the development managers overseeing the development.

David Lewis, Chief Executive of Rivington Land, said: “Obtaining this resolution to grant planning consent for Chester Northgate is a massive achievement on the path to delivery of this significant scheme.

In combination with the level of occupier demand we are witnessing and the recent exchange of contacts with Picturehouse, this consent represents real progress and a major corner piece of the overall jigsaw.

The application on such a sensitive site was very complex and this decision is a huge compliment to the talented design team involved.”

It is anticipated that the whole development will be completed and opened during 2021.

Apache in joint venture with Moda Living

apache-in-joint-venture-with-moda-livingApache Capital Partners has announced a joint venture with Moda Living to plan and build projects of approximately 5,000 homes and a gross development value of £1 billion.

This strategic joint venture makes Apache Capital the long term funding partner of Moda Living. The partnership is expected to create the largest owner of regional purpose-built PRS and one of the largest owners of PRS overall in the UK.

The portfolio concentrates on regional centres where population growth and an undersupply of residential accommodation looks set to trigger rental and capital growth over the next few years.

A focus on prime locations attracting the ideal tenant profile for PRS developments; 20-44 year olds with disposable income who demand locations and buildings that come with high quality services and amenities.

Richard Jackson, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Apache Capital Partners, said: “We at Apache Capital have seen a strong demand from our Middle Eastern investors in the UK’s Private Rented Sector.

This is partly because PRS is already an established sector in the region, the sector’s continuing supply/demand imbalance in the UK, but also coupled with the prevailing lifestyle shift toward flexible living that delivers high quality amenities and services.

“The 5,000 unit secured portfolio provides us immediate scale and Apache Capital and Moda Living will currently be the largest owner of regional purpose-built PRS and the second largest owner overall in the UK.

“This strategy builds on the success of Apache Capital’s Social Infrastructure investment platform, where we have aggregated an institutional grade portfolio of assets in the student accommodation and healthcare sectors.”

Birmingham unveils £1bn investment plans for growth and jobs

birmingham-unveils-1bn-investment-plans-for-growthAlmost £1 billion of investment is being committed to redevelop a part of Birmingham that will pave the way for thousands of new jobs and homes.

The Curzon Investment Plan is an ambitious 30-year strategy to unlock and regenerate the 141 hectares of land around the planned HS2 Curzon Street Station, led by the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) and Birmingham City Council.

Creating 36,000 jobs, 4,000 new homes, unlocking 600,000 sqm of commercial floor space and connecting the eastside of Birmingham to the rest of the city and beyond; the investment is the first major financial commitment by any local area in the country to use HS2’s arrival as a catalyst for regeneration. It also has the potential to add £1.4 billion to the local economy.

Plans include the development of Curzon Street Station itself, several new neighbourhoods, offices and retail spaces. The creation of stunning public places such as the Curzon Promenade and Curzon Square – which will incorporate the original Curzon Station, a Grade I listed building.

In total £907 million is being allocated to a variety of projects, and is made up of £586.8 million from the GBSLEP, which draws funds from business rates within the Enterprise Zone and £137.2 million from the newly formed devolved government, West Midlands Combined Authority.

A further £183.3 million towards the cost of delivering Metro extension projects, connecting the eastside of the city to central Birmingham and out to Birmingham International Airport and Solihull, where another HS2 station, an interchange, is planned.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I’m delighted that Greater Birmingham is making this investment in the future, working to maximise the potential of HS2 by investing in jobs and housing – and encouraging more business investment.

It was in Birmingham where I outlined my plan to build an economy that works for all, with a proper industrial strategy that delivers prosperity, job creation and higher wages across the country, not just in London.”

Steve Hollis, Deputy Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP (GBSLEP), said: “The Curzon Investment Plan is the first major commitment by a local area to maximise the impact of HS2.

It outlines how we will use HS2 as a trigger to transform an area of untapped potential in Birmingham’s city core and create thousands of new jobs, homes and places for businesses to thrive.

This demonstrates clearly what we can achieve in this region by being given the right tools by central government, to unlock our own future economic success.

Our commitment to invest is a bold statement of intent for how we will utilise HS2 as a catalyst for growth at every step. By setting out our plans and investing now, we will begin to realise the economic benefits of HS2 far sooner.”

Councillor John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “It is an unprecedented time for Birmingham and the wider region. By working with partners from across the region, we have fuelled an economic renaissance with significant inward investment and the implementation of major infrastructure schemes.”