Go-ahead for three London river crossings

go-ahead-for-three-london-river-crossingsThe Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has outlined his commitment to providing greener and more public transport-focused river crossings in the East and South East of London.

The Mayor has set out a package of new river crossings to be built in the next five to 10 years that will vastly improve travel across the capital, while supporting new affordable homes and business opportunities in East London.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s no secret that London has long needed more river crossings in the east. With new homes and economic growth across East London, it becomes even more important that we deliver new greener transport links that allow Londoners to cross the river quickly and more easily.

“But we don’t want these to have a damaging impact on our environment, and that’s why I’ve reviewed and improved plans for Silvertown Tunnel and why I’m pushing forward with crossings that encourage public transport, walking and cycling.

“As we continue to unlock the massive economic potential of East London, we must secure the very best transport infrastructure that improves the quality of life for everyone living and working in the area.”

North Wales projects secure £16m EU funding

Welsh GovernmentMore than £16 million of EU funds will be invested in two North Wales projects, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced.

The funding will boost businesses in the marine energy sector and training programmes for people affected by long-term unemployment and economic inactivity.

Around 50 businesses will benefit from specialist research and development collaborations with universities and 2,000 people who are out of work take part in training programmes to develop new skills and improve their job prospects.

Mark Drakeford said: “This is a major investment of EU funding which will finance highly specialised-innovation in an important sector of our economy and target support to people who are finding it difficult to get into work.

These projects are also good examples of how EU funds are being used in Wales to grow businesses, improve people’s lives and strengthen our economy.”

Almost £12 million will support Bangor University’s £17 million SEACAMS 2 project, which aims to expand Wales’ marine energy sector over the next four years.

Experts at Bangor and Swansea universities will provide specialist research and development programmes to help businesses exploit commercial opportunities and create new products and patents.

The project aims to create new enterprises in the sector and accelerate job creation in existing businesses.

Professor Colin Jago, director of the SEACAMS project, said: “We will build on our five years of work with industry during the first SEACAMS funding phase.

In pooling expertise at Bangor and Swansea universities, we have the scope of knowledge to provide the detailed technical information required to support these exciting developments, which could change the way we resource our energy needs in Wales.”

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.”

Wates starts work on Hoxton towers

wates-starts-work-on-hoxton-towersWates Construction has signed a £70.9 million contract to build Anthology’s new Hoxton Press residential development.

The Hackney project will see Wates create two towers of 20 and 16 storeys, comprising 198 one and two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom penthouses for private sale.

Designed by Karakusevic Carson Architects and David Chipperfield Architects, the new development will include a single storey basement car park, ancillary services and a ground-floor café in one of the towers.

The new development, which will overlook Shoreditch Park and Regents Canal, forms part of the ongoing regeneration of Hackney Council’s Colville Estate in Hoxton, which will also help fund investment in new council homes for social rent and shared ownership.

Building work has now commenced at Anthology Hoxton Press and completion of the two towers, Mono and Duo, is expected by summer 2018.

David Newey, Project Director for Anthology Hoxton Press said: “We are thrilled to be working in collaboration with Wates on the exciting regeneration of the Colville Estate. At Anthology, we put community into the heart of everything we do and with Wates’ support at Hoxton Press, we will be providing a community café for all local residents to enjoy.

Hoxton is cemented as a key London destination for buyers, renters and tourists alike. By working with Wates, we are able to bring our vision to life with a development that sits in the heart of Hackney and has good travel connections, markets, shops and design studios just a stone’s throw away. Anthology will continue to work closely with Wates to deliver homes that provide the community with a location for creativity to flourish.”

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.”