Morgan Sindall wins £2.2m contract

morgan-sindall-wins-2-2m-contractMorgan Sindall has been appointed to construct a £2.2 million storage facility in Exeter that will be completed for the start of spring 2017.

The project for Britannia Lanes Storage and Removals Ltd is already underway and includes the demolition of two buildings on Hennock Road East to make way for a five-storey storage facility.

The warehouse-style building will include over 700 storage containers; ten individual self-storage drive up units and three trade counter units, all with 24/7 number plate recognition access.

The self-store facility will provide 30,000 sq. ft. of storage space and be available for both commercial and residential usage.

Morgan Sindall will also deliver external works as part of the project, including a car parking area and an on-site washing facility for large vehicles.

Rob Lane, director at Britannia Lanes Storage and Removals Ltd, said: “Since Britannia Lanes of Devon commenced operations in 1992, we have enjoyed great success and expanded our existing warehouse as well as renting additional storage space to fit with the growing demand.

Within the same period we’ve expanded our other branches in Cornwall and Somerset, as well as acquiring a new branch in Bristol. With our continued success, we thought now was the right time to reinvest in our Exeter location.

We have been looking for a new site for many years in order to create the first purpose-built removal and self-storage facility within the South West and are proud to be months away from realising our objectives with a state of the art modern facility. ”

Nigel Whelan, area manager at Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re very pleased to have been appointed to deliver this important scheme. The new building will provide 30,000 sq. ft. of much needed storage space for businesses and residents in Exeter and makes the best use of the space.”

Morgan Sindall has recently been appointed to deliver a £800,000 digital humanities laboratory for the University of Exeter. The project is already underway and includes a two-storey extension of the existing Queen’s Building. The project will also include a range of refurbishment works at the Thornlea Building.

Contract secured under Southern Construction Framework

Contract secured under Southern Construction FrameworkWillmott Dixon has secured new contract under the Southern Construction Framework (SCF) to build a vehicle depot in the London Borough of Barnet.

The £12 million contract will see Willmott Dixon deliver a new base for Barnet’s fleet of household waste collection and collection vehicles to replace the current depot in Mill Hill which will be developed for housing.

The Oakleigh Road South Vehicle Depot (formerly known as Abbots Depot) will provide a range of facilities for Barnet’s waste collection service.

Alongside parking facilities for refuse and recycling collection vehicles, the new depot will house a vehicle maintenance building and cleaning bay, refuelling facilities and a covered bulking facility allowing recyclables to be put into larger vehicles for processing outside the borough.

Chris Tredget, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the northern Home Counties said: “This is a milestone moment for an important new framework that will provide an excellent means of best value procurement for public projects across the whole region.

As with all our projects, the site will be registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme which is the industry standard for how construction companies care about appearance, respect the community, protect the environment and provide a safe working environment. We are proud to be Founding Members of the Considerate Constructors Scheme.”

Last year, the SCF replaced three frameworks in London, the southeast and southwest of England as a means for local authorities to access a pool of up to 11 contractors to bid for projects to create new public assets that ranges from fire stations and primary schools to offices and leisure centres. It has a target spend of £4bn between 2015 and 2019.

Go-ahead for construction of £2.6bn Scottish windfarm

Go-ahead for construction of £2.6bn Scottish windfarmConstruction work on the £2.6bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project has been given the go-ahead, paving the way for new jobs and boosting economic growth.

The scheme is expected to bring a range of socio-economic benefits to the local, regional, Scottish and UK economies during both the construction and operational phases.

Expected opportunities include job creation, skills training, investment in Scottish ports and harbours, supply chain opportunities and community benefit funding.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd said: “The UK is the world leader in offshore wind; and this industry, backed by the UK Government and benefiting from our access to the EU single market, is a success story going from strength to strength.

“This project will provide home-grown clean energy boosting skills and creating jobs and financial security for working people and their families in Scotland, and across the UK.”

Paul Cooley, Director of Renewables at SSE, stated: “Today’s decision reaffirms SSE’s commitment to offshore wind and we are proud to progress such a flagship project for the Scottish offshore wind industry and the UK’s skilled supply chain.

It shows SSE will continue to play its part in investing in the critical energy infrastructure the country needs to power homes across the UK both today and in the future.”

ISG wins Oxford Uni development scheme

ISG wins Oxford Uni development schemeISG has been awarded a contract to refurbish and extend the University of Oxford’s Tinbergen Building, encompassing around 600,000 sq ft of space.

The contractor will also build and fit out a new three-storey structure to create a suite of highly-specified undergraduate laboratories for the Department of Chemistry, sympathetically designed to reflect the building’s architectural ethos.

The phased refurbishment and upgrade of the existing accommodation includes teaching, research and write up areas.

ISG will deploy silent sheet piling installation methods to enable the basement level to be excavated for the new build element of the scheme.

The new chemistry teaching laboratories will provide undergraduates with world-class practical laboratory facilities, with ISG installing 60 fume cupboards – each with separate extract outlets, medical gas supplies and robust safety systems.

ISG is targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating for the new chemistry teaching laboratory. Sustainable measures include the installation of external solar shading, an extensive roof-mounted photovoltaic panel array, advanced heat recovery system and connection into the university’s combined heat and power (CHP) district heating system.

Paul Sharp, divisional director of ISG’s Engineering Services business, said: “ISG’s niche expertise in this sector and our proven track record delivering new build and operational refurbishments gives us a richly compelling market proposition, which sees us securing an increasing volume of quality opportunities with customers operating some of the most highly engineered and technologically advanced buildings in the UK.”

Government announces record UK employment figures

Government announces record UK employment figuresThe employment rate in the UK has hit another record high of 74.2%, and there are more people in work than ever before according to latest figures by the Office for National Statistics.

Official figures released this month by the ONS show there are now 31.58 million people in work – a growth driven by full-time employment – and the unemployment rate remains at 5.1%, the lowest in a decade and below recession levels.

Average wages before bonuses grew 2.1% over the last year and there are around 745,000 vacancies available in the jobs market.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Stephen Crabb said: “These are another record-breaking set of figures, with more people in work than ever before and the unemployment rate is the lowest in a decade at 5.1%.

More people in work means that more families across the UK are benefiting from the security of a regular wage and the fulfilment that employment brings.

But the job is not done, which is why our welfare reforms, such as Universal Credit, are making sure that it always pays to be in work.”

The latest labour market statistics also show:

  • the proportion of people who are economically inactive – those not in work or looking for employment – has never been lower at 21.7%

  • the claimant count rate remains at the lowest since 1975 at 2.1%

  • there are 26.2 million people employed in the private sector – 575,000 more than a year earlier

£55.7m infrastructure contract signed for upgrades at Mount Pleasant

£55.7m infrastructure contract signed for upgrades at Mount PleasantA multi-million contract to upgrade the power station, boiler house and district heating system at the Mount Pleasant complex on the Falkland Islands has been signed.

The announcement comes after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visited the Falkland Islands in February, and forms part of his commitment of £180 million investment over the next decade to modernise the military infrastructure on the Islands.

The contract is for the upgrade of the main power station, main boiler house and district heating system, which have been in service for a number of years and will ensure that the facilities continue to provide a safe and reliable means of supplying electrical power and hot water for many years to come.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “The upgrading of these facilities is an important part of our major investment plan to deliver better infrastructure for our armed forces. Alongside our recent contract to improve Mare harbour, we are boosting our defensive capability and supporting the Islands.”

This latest contract is expected to be followed by investment to improve new services accommodation at the 3 Radar Heads.

Simon Trant, Managing Director International at Trant Engineering said: “It will be a privilege and honour to utilise our expertise to upgrade Mount Pleasant power station.”

Developer wanted for 8,000-home Basingstoke site

Thousands of homes to be built in planning shake upLocal authorities in Hampshire are starting the tender process for the first 3,400 homes of 8,000 planned for a 843-hectare residential site that will boost economic growth and create new construction jobs.

Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council have issued a prior information notice (PIN) for the first 3,400 homes on the Manydown development.

The site could ultimately see the delivery of 8,000 homes over two local plan periods. The PIN outlines the first phase of the project of approximately 3,400 homes.

The authorities are inviting developers and investors to attend an event on 13 June to find out more. The OJEU notice will be served in July 2016.

Manydown project director Richard Bayley said: “Manydown offers one of the best residential development opportunities in England. We are looking for an organisation or a consortium of developers and investors who have a solid track record in placemaking and infrastructure to deliver this large-scale residential project.”

Our plan is to enable the selected partner to facilitate the delivery of the first phase of 3,400 homes, but they will also be encouraged to fulfil the longer-term opportunity of the project which could comprise further development phases. The whole of the project could ultimately deliver 8,000 homes.”

Interested developers and investors will have the chance to discuss the project with the Manydown team at a partner engagement event on Monday 13 June to find out more about the opportunity. The OJEU notice will be served in July 2016.

Kier gets £53.5m student accommodation scheme

Kier 2Kier has been named as preferred bidder to deliver a new £53.5m student accommodation scheme for the University of Northampton.

Forming part of the University’s new £330 million Waterside campus, the development will provide 1,166 student bedrooms through a mix of four-storey townhouses and five-storey cluster flats. It will also house a 32-bed teaching hotel, commercial and ancillary space.

Construction on the scheme is due to begin later this year with completion scheduled for 2017. The first students are expected to move into the houses and flats at the start of the academic year in September.

This contract is the latest in a number of projects Kier has delivered in the area recently, and extends its excellent relationship with the University of Northampton.

Kier also recently completed the ‘Lincoln Gateway’ scheme for the University of Lincoln which provides accommodation for 519 students.

Mark Dady, managing director at Kier, said: “Being awarded this scheme is testament to the relationship we’ve built with the University over the past few years and we’re pleased to see this continue.

We have a strong presence in Northampton and we’re looking forward to delivering another important scheme in the area. Kier has extensive experience in providing student accommodation across the country and this project gives us the opportunity to further enhance that.”

University of Northampton Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Petford, said: “The University are delighted to announce the appointment of Kier to build the residential area at the Waterside Campus.

Kier understands the local area and the way in which this will be a catalyst for regeneration in Northampton. The University, Kier and the other contractors developing the campus, are determined to create the maximum positive social impact for communities across the town and county.”

Laing O’Rourke set to build residential tower at Imperial College London

Laing O’RourkeLaing O’Rourke has been awarded a contract by Imperial College London’s development management partners Voreda to construct a residential tower on behalf of the College.

Once completed, the tower will provide 192 new homes, including 59 earmarked for Imperial key workers at below market rents.

The £76.2 million contract award is the third project on the White City Campus to be awarded to Laing O’Rourke.

The developer is now only a few months away from completing the construction of the 270,000 sq ft Molecular Science Research Hub and 250,000 sq ft Translation and Innovation Hub, also on behalf of Voreda and Imperial.

The 215,000 sq ft tower is the next milestone in the development of Imperial’s White City Campus , the College’s major new campus, co-locating world-class researchers, businesses and higher education partners to create value from ideas on a global scale.

Paul Sheffield, Managing Director of Laing O’Rourke’s Europe Hub said: “We are delighted to be continuing our ongoing relationship with both Imperial College London and Voreda and look forward to delivering a residential building which will create a landmark building for the White City Campus”

Graham Stark, Imperial’s Development Director for the White City Campus said: “This new residential tower is another exciting step for Imperial in White City. It demonstrates our long-term commitment to delivering a vibrant mixed use community.

The tower is an integral part of our new 25 acre innovation campus and further establishes Imperial’s presence in the area for generations to come. The Campus itself is the largest single development in the College’s history and offers huge potential for the local area.”

The Laing O’Rourke team is due on site in May with completion expected in 2019.

Go-ahead for Yorkshire Schools Building Programme

Go-ahead for Yorkshire Schools Building ProgrammeLaing O’Rourke has reached financial close on the Yorkshire Batch of the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme that will pave the way for construction works.

With a value of £120 million the project involves the building of seven secondary schools in the West and North Yorkshire areas.

The school buildings are designed around double and triple height spaces for communal areas such as the halls and dining areas, giving the students an abundance of natural daylighting.

Each school will also have its own standalone sports centre with integral changing facilities.The project will be financed under the PF2 model, by a consortium of lenders secured through an Aggregator Vehicle.

The first three schools will move into the new buildings in the early part of 2017, a further three schools following in September 2017, with the largest school becoming available in the Spring of 2018.

The DfMA approach will also offer benefits in the delivery of quality and compliance, with factory standards of quality control being applied to major components such as external wall panels.

This will achieve a consistently high standard of installation which has resulted in the FM service charges, being some of the lowest seen in comparison to similar projects.