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.”

Funding boost for the manufacturing industry

Funding boost for the manufacturing industryBusinesses can apply for funding to support a range of innovation projects that tackle commercial challenges in manufacturing and materials.

Innovate UK has up to £15 million to invest in projects that support innovation in manufacturing and materials and lead to improvements in productivity, competitiveness and growth.

We are seeking to support feasibility studies, industrial research and experimental development. Projects may span more than one category of research.

The competition is the first of Innovate UK’s new simplified competitions focused on the 4 key sectors of manufacturing and materials; emerging and enabling technologies; health and life sciences; and infrastructure systems.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “The UK is a global leader in many areas of specialist manufacturing, and we are committed to supporting industry to grow, develop innovative ideas and boost productivity.

This £15m competition is a milestone in our approach to support large and small companies as well as researchers to get their ideas off the drawing board.”

Funding for low carbon heating scheme

The Scottish GovernmentThree innovative heating projects have been awarded £1.75 million by the Scottish Government.

The schemes, in Shetland, Clydebank and Glasgow, will use water source heat pump technology to extract heat from water – even on the coldest days – to supply low carbon heat efficiently.

These are:

  • A £1.6 million loan for a large scale sea-water source heat pump scheme in Lerwick, to allow 225 more households to join the existing heat network

  • Funding of £75,000 for the Queens Quay Development on the site of the former John Brown Shipyard, to develop an investment prospectus for a district heating network using a water source heat pump in the River Clyde basin

  • Funding of £75,000 for the University of Glasgow Western Campus to develop an investment grade proposal to install a water source heat pump in the River Kelvin to ensure the existing district heating network can service new buildings planned for the site of the former Western Infirmary hospital.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing made the announcement at the Scottish Renewables annual conference in Edinburgh today.

Mr Ewing said:“Supporting the development of district heating and wider low carbon technologies will help maximise the economic opportunities from Scotland’s low carbon sector.

Heat is estimated to account for over half of Scotland’s total energy use and is responsible for nearly half of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions, so the imperative to take action is very clear.”

New Housing Zones and jobs planned for London

New Housing Zones planned for LondonHousing Zones will bring accelerated house building to areas across London with high potential for growth and new jobs in the construction trades.

About Housing Zones

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, invited bids for the development of 20 Housing Zones from London boroughs as part of his Housing Strategy.

A total of £400 million in funding was made available by the Mayor and government for the construction of 50,000 new homes.

The programme will also provide 100,000 associated jobs over the next ten years.

The building of homes in these areas will be supported by a range of planning and financial measures. All Housing Zones will be set up by an agreement which shares the duty of building these homes between partners. This will ensure the numbers of planned new homes are built.

How the funding will benefit the zones

These 20 zones will collectively provide:

  • more than £21 billion of investment

  • over 120,000 construction jobs

  • over 53,000 new homes, of which around a third will be affordable

  • major station upgrades

  • new schools 

  • new bridges

  • new community amenities such as sports centres, libraries, parks and health centres 

More information on the first 20 Housing Zones can be found in the London Housing Zones document from this link.

£400m boost for small businesses across the North

Chancellor George OsborneSmall business across the north of England could benefit from funds of over £400 million thanks to a new wave of European funding, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

Just days after delivering his Summer Budget, where he set out the next steps in building the Northern Powerhouse, Mr Osborne visited a number of local businesses to discuss how the government is delivering for the whole of the north.

While there, he announced that government is working with Local Enterprise Partnerships and local authorities to secure fresh funding for small businesses in the north from EU Regional Funds, which would be made available for northern SMEs later this year.

The new funding would come on top of £382.5 million already being invested in the region through an existing similar scheme.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: “Small business are the lifeblood of the Northern Powerhouse and this funding has the potential to make an enormous difference to hundreds of SMEs right across the north.

From supporting thousands of northern companies through increasing the Annual Investment Allowance and giving businesses an extra £1,000 with an increase in the Employment Allowance, my Budget last week backed businesses across the north and this funding has the potential to do even more.”

The plans would form the next round of JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises) funding for the Northern Powerhouse.

The funding provides equity and loan finance to start-ups, growing early stage companies and larger companies with ambitions for strong growth.

There are three existing JEREMIE projects covering the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.

BAM gets £23m University of Liverpool contract

Bam ConstructionThe University of Liverpool has selected BAM Construction as its preferred contractor for the £23 million build contract for the new Materials Innovation Factory (MIF) at the heart of the university campus.

The project includes the demolition of an existing lecture theatre and the construction of the four storey 11,600 sq m BREEAM Excellent rated facility that will incorporate research laboratories, 126 bespoke fume cupboards, office accommodation and associated ancillary spaces.

Work is scheduled to start on site in November 2014 with practical completion of this 90 week build in July 2016.

When completed MIF will be occupied by 240 researchers, including 140 university staff, a team of Unilever scientists from their global Research and Development (R&D) Centre for Home Care and Personal Care products in Port Sunlight, and a broad range of other industrial and academic partners.

Supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, as part of the UK Government’s Research Partnership Investment Fund, the MIF is a unique public/private partnership between the University and Unilever.

BAM Construction has previously built the BioSciences building and completed the Engineering Restructuring Project for The University of Liverpool.

Anthony Mulhearn, project manager at The University of Liverpool said: “We are delighted to be moving the MIF project to the next stage with the appointment of BAM Construction to build this world-class facility and one which we are very proud to bring to Liverpool.

“This contemporary building clearly reflects our aspirations and provides the ideal environment to further our relationships with industry partners”.

Ged Flanagan, construction director, BAM Construction said: “This is an exciting project with a high technical specification and we are looking forward to starting on site and working with the project team to deliver this leading research facility for the University of Liverpool.”

Work starts on site at new £3m global HQ in Telford

Work starts on site at new £3m global HQ in TelfordOil mist extraction specialist, Filtermist International, has marked the start of work on its new £3 million global HQ in Telford that will boost growth and help the economy.

The T54 site, which is owned by the HCA is part of a wider regeneration programme encouraging both national and international businesses to invest in the development of the region.

It was recently listed by the National Building Group and Building Magazine as one of the top 10% of local authorities providing a positive economic and planning environment for investment.

The site’s proximity to the current large-scale development of the Jaguar Land Rover site at i54 in Wolverhampton as well as its position on the M54 and nearby M6, makes it a priority site for Telford and Wrekin Council and the HCA.

Nick Bird, Area Manager for the HCA, Midlands, which owns 31ha of development land at T54 as well as land at Hortonwood and Halesfield business parks in Telford said: “We have been working closely with Telford Council’s Estates Team to market our land and win more new business investment into the Borough.

Filtermist’s announcement is a big breakthrough for T54 and is stimulating more interest in the site, with a further two agreements in the pipeline.”  

Councillor Bill McClements, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Finance and Enterprise, added: “Telford is home to over 150 international companies and we’re delighted to add Filtermist to the ever growing list.

The town and surrounding areas benefit from a number of inward investment incentives and we pride ourselves on the aftercare we offer to businesses that choose to locate here.”

Midland Metropolitan Hospital given the go-ahead

Midland Metropolitan Hospital given the go-aheadChancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has today announced approval for a £353 million new acute hospital in Smethwick that will create new jobs and boost the local economy.

The announcement comes as the Chancellor visited Rowley Regis Hospital – part of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust – where he met with senior executives to hear how they are moving care closer to the community and ensuring the continued delivery of high-quality acute services.

The new Midland Metropolitan Hospital will bring together acute services on to one site, promoting better patient safety and a patient experience while ensuring the best value for money for the taxpayer.

The Chancellor said: “This ambitious package will ensure that patients across the West Midlands continue to benefit from access to world-class acute treatment and cutting edge facilities.

“It is because of the difficult decisions we have taken as a government that we have been able to protect healthcare spending, and announce new facilities like the Midland Metropolitan Hospital.”

Richard Samuda, Chairman of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals said: “This is a vote of confidence in 7,500 staff at the Trust. The Chancellor’s announcement at Rowley Regis Hospital reinforces our strategy of local care for long term conditions and a single specialist acute centre at the Midland Met.”

Chief Executive, Toby Lewis added: “This is a decisive moment for healthcare in the West Midlands. We welcome the determination of the Chancellor to support the regeneration of Smethwick with this vital project for patients.

“Construction of the new hospital is expected to commence in 2016 and be completed by 2018-19. Plans will be finalised over the coming months, with all funding subject to final approvals as usual.”

Major sea defence construction starts

Major sea defence construction startsConstruction work on two new major sea defences in Rossall and Anchorsholme, Lancashire, is set to get underway thanks to £85 million of government funding.

Both sea defences are starting construction ahead of schedule, paving the way for new jobs in the building trades.

In total, they will protect 12,000 homes and businesses as well as vital infrastructure like roads and railways.

The new sea defences near Blackpool form part of one of the UK’s biggest coastal defence schemes.

The sea defence in Rossall will be 2km long, from Rossall Hospital to Rossall Point. The Anchorsholme sea defence will stretch 1km from Kingsway to Little Bispham.

Speaking at the launch of the construction in Blackpool, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: “These new sea defences will provide vital protection to homes and the local economy and I’m delighted to see construction starting today.

“This winter’s extraordinary weather showed just how important it is to invest in infrastructure to build a stronger economy.

“We are spending more than ever before to protect homes and businesses from the risk of flooding and build a more resilient country for the future.

“Partnership funding contributions from Wyre Council, Fleetwood Town Council and Regenda Housing have also helped to fund the works.”

The government is spending £2.4 billion on flood management and protection from coastal erosion. That is more than ever before and the record investment will continue.

By the end of the decade, at least 465,000 households will be better protected from the risk of flooding.

Across the country, 55 flood defence schemes will begin construction this year, delivering better protection to 43,000 properties.

Communities get Green Deal funding boost

Streamlining and improving the Green DealThe Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker, has this week announced that the first six schemes supported under the Green Deal Communities initiative are:

  • Cambridgeshire
  • Ashfield
  • Suffolk
  • Peterborough
  • 6 north London boroughs led by Haringey, and
  • Bracknell Forest

Together they represent a total of £19.5 million and aim to deliver over 5,500 Green Deal Plans, to over 7,000 households, paving the way for new jobs in the trades industry.

DECC is inviting local authorities (LAs), working with their partners, to come forward with ambitious and innovative street/area based proposals for funding.

These proposals should aim to deliver Green Deal plans to as many households as possible. DECC funding can also be used to support households who choose to self-finance measures.

Proposals will be judged on:

  • the number and total value of Green Deal plans that will be delivered
  • their credibility eg LAs will need to demonstrate that they have secured Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) funding to compliment Green Deal financed plans and to have specifically identified the streets/areas targeted
  • their creativity in offering local incentives to drive demand
  • their sustainability in the long term (ie beyond the DECC funding) and
  • being consistent with state aid and procurement rules

Available funding

Following the announcement on 2 December 2013, there is now £80 million of capital funding available. Applications may be submitted at any time from September 2013 up to 31 December 2013 for a minimum of £1 million. LAs will be strongly encouraged to work together and with local partners to deliver.

What DECC might fund

Within the parameters above, LAs will have flexibility in how to deliver Green Deal plans with this capital funding. We would expect the following to be included:

  • proposals to deliver solid wall insulation to private households with a strong blend of Green Deal finance/ECO subsidy
  • a comprehensive offer to as many households as possible: some households in a street may fund measures by blending Green Deal finance and ECO, some may choose to self-fund measures, while others may be eligible for 100% ECO subsidy
  • creative approaches eg local incentives, working with local community partners, or refunding Green Deal assessments where a household installs measures using Green Deal financing or self-finance
  • show homes to launch activity in an area, and
  • proposals that deliver long term public value eg plans/templates for how to retrofit local home types