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.”

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.”

Milestone for South Shields regeneration

Milestone for South Shields regenerationThe £100 million South Shields town centre regeneration project has reached another important milestone that will boost the local economy and create new jobs.

As the main contractor, B&K and its client Muse Developments, in partnership with South Tyneside Council, are engaged in the regeneration of the town centre.

Matt Crompton, Joint Managing Director of Muse Developments said: “Today marks an important step in the regeneration of South Shields town centre. The Word will be an iconic, state-of-the-art building that sets the bar for the quality of development and architecture that people of South Tyneside deserve.”

This is just the first stage of the overall regeneration project that will have a positive impact on residents and everyone who visits the town and we are very proud to be partnering with South Tyneside Council in such a bold scheme.”

The Word development forms part of a phased regeneration scheme jointly funded by Muse Developments and South Tyneside Council and is due to open Autumn 2016.

Phase One of the £100m regeneration project is a part of a 10-year master plan. Work is now complete on improvements to the local Market Place, an integral part of the town’s identity.

The regeneration scheme will improve the town’s public spaces to improve internal and external access and connectivity whilst also respecting the rich urban heritage of the town and includes an ample amount of outdoor seating, tree-lined avenues with new level paving accessible to all.

Andy Kinnear, Bowmer & Kirkland’s Construction Director in the North East, said: “Bowmer and Kirkland is delighted to be involved in such a prestigious landmark scheme.

The building is set to become an iconic feature of the South Shields landscape and we are extremely proud to be involved.”

Bouygues gets Canterbury riverside scheme

Bouygues gets Canterbury riverside schemeCanterbury City Council has selected Bouygues as its preferred contractor to build a major leisure scheme in Kingsmead area of the city that will boost the local economy.

A multiplex cinema, restaurants and other indoor leisure outlets are on their way following the selection Bouygues Development as the city council’s preferred builder.

The project, which is on the site of the former coach park, current Serco depot and other parcels of land, will also include student accommodation and other residential development. There will be a mix of national and local occupiers.

In addition, Bouygues Development has designed a public area that is intended to become the heart of the leisure aspect of the scheme, hosting a variety of events including markets, an outdoor skating rink at Christmas and local theatre productions.

Canterbury City Council’s Chief Executive, Colin Carmichael, said: “The standard of all the bids was very high, and we’re delighted to have selected such an experienced company as our partner for this exciting regeneration project for Canterbury.

Bouygues Development has an excellent track record of developing large-scale, complex mixed-use regeneration projects such as the one we envisage for Kingsmead.”

Axel Boutrolle, Regional Director at Bouygues Development, said: “We were delighted to be selected as the council’s preferred development partner. After eight months of hard work, we are confident that we have designed a viable scheme which keeps to the council’s project scope and respects the surrounding area.

We have put together a very competent professional team and we look forward to realising this important strategic site for Canterbury.”

College campus on Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone gets the go-ahead

College campus on Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone gets the go-aheadThe new Wirral Met College Campus at Wirral Waters has taken another step forward this week with the project approved by Wirral Council planning officials.

The approval comes as The Peel Group, the developers behind Wirral Waters, reveal the new designs for the waterfront campus.

The campus will be the first capital building on Wirral Waters, one half of the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone, and will be a dedicated Built Environment, Skills and Enterprise Centre.

Peel and Wirral Met have been collaborating for some time in order that the college courses are aligned to the workforce needs of Wirral Waters and the wider economy, with courses in the renewable energy and construction sectors.

The joint Mersey Water Enterprise Zone plans in Wirral and Liverpool forms one of only 24 Enterprise Zones in the country. Enterprise Zone status gives businesses tax incentives to support growth and job creation.

Richard Mawdsley, Project Director at Peel said: “Wirral Met College will be the first new building within Wirral Waters. Since we received planning permission for Wirral Waters back in May 2012, we’ve been focussed on site preparation, remediation and infrastructure – all of which take time and all are needed to enable us to start delivery.

“The new College is all about putting skills and training at the centre of Wirral Waters. Wirral Met are an exemplar FE college and will be training young adults with relevant skills aligned to local industries.

Deborah McLaughlin, Executive Director for the North West at the HCA, said: “We’ve been working closely with partners to help develop plans for Wirral Waters, so it is excellent news that we’ve been able to invest in Tower Road South.

“This work should act as a catalyst for future development, helping to make the wider area more appealing for investors and in turn having a great impact on jobs and the local economy.”

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.”

Council creates development company to build new homes

Building IndustryThe London Borough of Sutton is setting up its own house building company to develop much needed homes in the borough that will boost the local economy and create new jobs.

With people struggling to get on and move up the housing ladder, the Council is taking action to build new housing itself for the first time in 25 years.

As part of the scheme, there will also be a focus on job creation and apprenticeships in the building construction industry.

The development company can build all kinds of council and private rented homes which will include affordable housing and a focus on family homes.

It will also look to unlock sites where development has stalled because of land hoarding or complex development issues.

Councillor Jayne McCoy, Chair of Sutton Council’s Housing, Economy, Business Committee, said: “There is a huge demand for new homes that isn’t being met in our borough and we are determined to do something about it.

“We want to build new council housing and new private housing with a social purpose at its heart. It will give people more choice and a greater chance of getting on or moving up the housing ladder.

“By being involved in the development of new homes, we can stipulate that they are only for Sutton residents and make sure there is a focus on the housing we want such as family homes, rather than expensive studio flats.

“We can also ensure high standards of development, generate funds to reinvest in housing and create new employment and training opportunities in the construction sector. It shows what a council can do, despite ongoing government cuts.”