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Venian has learnt that plans have been submitted for the first phase of a £300m themed leisure development off the Golden Mile in Blackpool. Developer Nikal has teamed up with entertainment business Media Invest Entertainment to develop the Blackpool Central scheme, which will include three indoor entertainment centres, a hotel and restaurants. The new indoor theme park will include a flying theatre, rides for all the family and the latest immersive virtual reality experiences. It will also feature a new major public square for live events, such as music concerts and sporting events. The first phase of development includes a 1,300 space multi-storey car park, set to be build by Dutch firm Ballast Needam, which will free up land for future phases. This phase will also restore the existing heritage buildings to create a thriving new Heritage Quarter. The site is located on the south western edge of Blackpool town centre just off the Golden Mile Norbert Reichart, chief executive at Media Invest Entertainment, said: “We have taken a major step towards creating one of the UK’s most exciting destinations with this application submission. “The scheme has a crucial role to play in enhancing Blackpool’s tourism offer and attracting more visitors to the town.” The scheme is a key part of the Blackpool Town Deal supported by £39.5m of government funding. Written by Aaron Morby
Plans for a new court and police complex on Fleet Street have been approved by City of London planners. The proposals would see construction of an eighteen courtroom facility and new base for the City of London Police alongside an office building that will help fund the scheme. Known as ‘The Salisbury Square Development’, it plans to re-establish and reinvigorate the area once famous as the former home of the newspaper industry. Eight buildings off Fleet Street are due to be demolished to make way for the new development, dubbed a Justice Quarter. This new single court building replaces the ageing Mayor’s and City of London Court, the City of London Magistrates’ Court and will also contain eight Crown courtrooms. The new City of London Police headquarters will improve efficiency by bringing together staff in the purpose-built building to deal with national cases of fraud and economic crime. The plans will be financed entirely by the City of London Corporation through the redevelopment of the existing courts – Mayor’s and City of London Country Court and City of London Magistrates Court – and the sale of Wood Street Police Station and Snow Hill Police Station. Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness, said: “As a lawyer myself, I know first-hand that the Square Mile is home to a unique cluster of legal expertise and services. Maintaining this position..
St Cecilia Place is a proposed development on the site of the former Quarry Hill flats that were demolished in the 1970s. DLA Architecture has secured planning consent for 352 build-to-rent (BTR) residential apartments across three towers, along with amenity spaces and commercial units. The interlinked tower blocks are 19, 20 and 22 storeys high, with each connected by a pair of eight storey structures. The developer is Metropolitan & District Securities (MDS), a vehicle of nursing home magnates Ramesh and Pratibha Sachdev. Sue Sparling, director at DLA Architecture, said: “The development will form the final piece of the wider Quarry Hill masterplan, which is known as the cultural quarter of Leeds and includes Leeds Playhouse, the Northern Ballet and Leeds College of Music Auditorium. “Our design approach recognises the historic building fabric and characteristics of the island site whilst also complementing the more recent developments in the area. A significant level of both internal and external amenity space is incorporated with large communal roof gardens creating vibrant spaces with far reaching views of the wider city. The building forms create two south facing landscaped courtyards, along with ecological and visual enhancement of the retained landscape corridor to the north of the site which is part of the wider Leeds Habitat Network.”
Construction activity is back on the rise after a stutter in output growth at the end of last year. Construction output resumes growth after 2.6% fall at the end of 2020 New work increased by 1.7% in January driven by private commercial and infrastructure, which grew by 4.5% and 3.1% respectively, according to fresh data from the Office of National Statistics. But small falls in repair and maintenance activity reduced the overall monthly growth rate to 0.9%. Construction is the only sector of the economy still growing according to the new economic data. The industry still has some ground to cover to return to pre-Covid new work levels, which are 6.4% down on the benchmark February 2020 level, although the infrastructure sector passed this point last August. Commercial activity starts to rise from its slumber Mark Robinson, group chief executive at public procurement specialist SCAPE, said: “The construction industry continues to cement its position at the forefront of the UK’s economic recovery, with the latest output figures hopefully confirming the dips seen in previous months were a temporary setback. “In contrast to previous economic crises, the next few years represent an opportunity to accelerate public investment in transformative, urban regeneration projects that will ultimately improve communities. “With the Chancellor’s Budget having set the agenda – including a sustained commitment to infrastructure investment – the public sector and construction industry must work..
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled the UK’s first freeport areas as part of his push to drive investment-led regeneration in the regions. Teesside freeport alone could create18,000 jobs over the next five years and increase inward investment by £1.4bn. New freeport hub plans can now move forward at East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe and Harwich, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside. The free trade zones are designated areas where the normal tax and tariff rules do not apply. This allows goods to be imported, manufactured and re-exported without being subject to checks, paperwork, or import taxes. The wide package of tax reliefs also apply to purchasing land, constructing or renovating buildings, investing in new plant and machinery assets and on employer national insurance contributions. Streamlined planning processes and government funding will also boost redevelopment and promote regeneration and innovation. Sunak said the move would stimulate construction and transport links bringing big regional benefits. He also announced £1bn for 45 New Town deals and committed to move part of the Treasury to a new campus in Darlington. New Town deals The Government also confirmed £135m to progress the A66 Trans-Pennine upgrade to get spades in the ground by 2024. Regional spending pledges To support Government’s Build Back Better plans across the country, Leeds will become home to the UK’s first infrastructure investment bank. The bank will have £12bn to release,..
Proposals for the second half of a new town in Waterbeach, north of Cambridge, have secured planning approval. South Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee voted to support outline proposals from RLW Estates for up to 4,500 more homes. The application covers land between the former Waterbeach airfield and barracks to the west, and the Fen Line railway that links Cambridge to Ely and the east. 30% of the new homes will be for affordable rent, shared ownership or intermediate rent. The plans also show community facilities including a secondary school, primary schools, community centres and playing fields. RLW Estates is a consortium comprising Royal London, St John’s College Cambridge and Turnstone Estates. Their plans are associated with improvements to public transport, including a relocated Waterbeach Railway Station. Proposals to move the station onto the site were approved by the council in 2018. A separate planning application from Urban & Civic, for 6,500 homes on the western part of the site closest to the A10, was given outline planning permission in May 2019. The district council is working with neighbouring authorities on transport planning. An upgrade of the A10 between Milton and Waterbeach is one of the options on the table. South Cambridgeshire District Council’s lead cabinet member for planning, Tumi Hawkins, said: “We know traffic on the A10 is a concern and financial contributions from this development will support measures..
The government is setting up a new regulatory body to oversee the safety of construction materials. The construction products regulator will be a division of the Office for Product Safety & Standards within the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and have an initial £10m to get going. The introduction of a new tier of bureaucracy has been deemed necessary because of the failure of the construction industry to regulate itself, as proven by the nationwide scandal that was exposed by the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire. Time and again products have been used in buildings, including high-rise residential buildings, that have supposedly been independently certified as fit for purpose, only for the whole system of certification to have been exposed as a sham. The job of the new national construction products regulator is to make sure that structures are built only from safe materials. The announcement follows recommendations in the Dame Judith Hackitt Review that industry and government must ensure that construction products are properly tested, certified, labelled and marketed. That review was commissioned in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017. The regulator for construction products will have the power to remove any product from the market that presents a significant safety risk and prosecute any companies who flout the rules on product safety, the government said. The Ministry of Housing said: “This follows recent..
Planning permission has been granted for development of a major industrial and commercial development in Bowling, West Dunbartonshire. The £34m Glasgow City Region City Deal project will see the former ExxonMobil site transformed into a mixed-use development that will include storage, distribution, industrial, business and office space. Plans detail office and industrial development located in Eastfield, business in Centrefield and storage and distribution in the Westfield areas. The project is expected to generate 670 jobs during the construction and to provide up to 980 full-time jobs when complete. Granting of the application by the council’s planning committee follows an agreement reached with ExxonMobil last October under which the site will be remediated and then transferred to the Council. The 150-acre site is currently undergoing extensive remediation by ExxonMobil to prepare it, and the council will start work when this is complete. In addition, the works will also include a number of road improvements connecting to the site, including the creation of a new 1.95km relief link road in West Dunbartonshire; 1.32km of upgrades to the A814; a new junction on the A82 at Dumbuck; a remodelled junction on the A82 at Dunglass; a new under-bridge of the Glasgow-Dumbarton Railway at the west access to the site with a new railway over bridge for eastern access; and enhanced routing of the National Cycle Network Route 7. The Council will also undertake..
Glasgow City Council has approved an investment plan aimed at building over 4,400 affordable homes over the next five years. The city’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) for 2021-26 will see grant funding of £469.71m made available with the aim of building the additional homes. The Glasgow SHIP outlines the city's priorities and resources available for investing in housing to achieve the ambitions and housing supply targets of the Glasgow Housing Strategy (GHS). The GHS has two main themes: increasing the supply and improving the quality of housing available to the people of Glasgow, and improving access to appropriate housing. The strategy also has six strategic priorities: new-build housing and area regeneration; the management, maintenance and improvement of existing housing; raising standards in the private rented sector; the tackling of fuel poverty, energy inefficiency and climate change; improved access to housing across all tenures; and the promotion of health and wellbeing. The new SHIP takes into account the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular the 36 affordable housing development sites that were closed temporarily during the initial lockdown, with a subsequent average project delay of around three months. A key focus of the SHIP is to ensure the delivery of those sites in Glasgow identified as having strategic importance. The 2021-26 SHIP for Glasgow was developed through consultation in October 2020 with the council's housing partners, including housing associations,..
Developer Gazeley has secured approval from North West Leicestershire District Council to develop the 68-acre site. Until 2004 the site was a coal lounge, coal preparation and disposal point but is now disused. Most of it is identified as suitable for employment provision in the district’s local plan. Representations against the application included concerns about the size and scale of the building, the traffic and the impact on air quality. Councillor Nigel Smith, chair of the council’s planning committee, said: “This was a difficult decision for the committee but on balance the opportunity to bring new jobs to North West Leicestershire on land already earmarked for employment provision proved decisive. “The last nine months have been very difficult nationally, but this development offers a real economic boost for our district and new jobs for local people in the coming years of recovery from Covid-19.”
The party wants to build a modern, zero-carbon network that is affordable and accessible to all. The Rail for All programme should be a central part of Scotland’s green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, said the party’s transport spokesperson John Finnie. “The Scottish Greens are proposing the biggest rail investment programme Scotland has ever seen,” he said. “Our fully-costed £22 billion plan would transform Scotland’s railway, building a modern, zero-carbon network that is affordable and accessible to all. Rail for All is about making rail the natural choice for every journey, whether you’re commuting, travelling for business or leisure.” The key principle of the Rail for All programme is to make the rail network accessible to everyone. The party’s aim is, as far as realistically possible, for every town with a population of over 5,000 to be connected to the network. That would see new stations developed across the country, with existing lines upgraded, and previously closed lines given a new lease of life. “The investment would also be a central component of Scotland’s green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, creating thousands of quality, unionised jobs whilst delivering the infrastructure so necessary to tackle the climate emergency,” he said. In addition, the Scottish Greens are proposing that one publicly owned rail operator is formed, by re-integrating ScotRail and Network Rail (Scotland). Government decision-making processes – which the party said are..
Up to 60 students will be accommodated in the new development’s studio flats, which will be built over three and four storeys, and feature several communal areas and facilities. The £6m development is targeted at students at Brighton’s Screen & Film School – Alumno plans a movie theme for the building to appeal to them – but other students will also be accepted. Sustainability measures will include solar panels, low-energy lighting and high-efficiency heating. Construction is scheduled to start in spring 2021 with completion planned for summer 2022. “This project, which has been beautifully designed by Greenaway Architects, went through a thorough and lengthy consultation process with Brighton and Hove council in terms of the overall design, streetscape elevation treatment, layouts and amenities for the students,” said Alumno managing director David Campbell. “Lewes Road is known as Brighton’s Academic Corridor due to its strategic location near to a number of higher education establishments, including Brighton and Sussex Universities, making it the ideal site for a student residence.”
The new funding includes £760m for the next phase of East West Rail to reinstate direct rail services between Bicester and Bletchley for the first time since 1968. It also includes £34m to progress plans to reopen the Northumberland line between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Ashington, which closed to passengers in 1964 as part of the Beeching cuts. The works between Bicester and Bletchley in this phase of the project (Western Section Phase 2) will include the construction of a new stations at Winslow, as well as enhancements to existing stations along the route, including Bletchley. By 2025, two trains per hour will run between Oxford and Milton Keynes via Bletchley, the Department for Transport said. Simon Blanchflower, chief executive of the East West Railway Company, said: “This funding will enable us to get on with the construction work that will connect communities who live on the East West Rail link. We are committed to improving connectivity across the Oxford-Cambridge arc, and fully recognise our responsibility to ensure that it is delivered in a way that minimises disruption, supports the regional economy, maximises benefits and supports jobs across the region.” The first section of the East West Rail, between Oxford and Bicester (Western Section Phase 1), was completed in December 2016 and saw an upgrade of the existing rail line between Oxford and Bicester to facilitate future East West Rail services. It..
The surge in build to rent projects looks set to continue with the number of homes presently in the planning pipeline 22% ahead of last year. Research from the British Property Federation shows the sector remained particularly resilient during the Covid pandemic last year. The number of completed build-to-rent homes increased by 23% in 2020 with build-to-rent accounting for 4% of all new homes, and around a fifth of all new homes in London, in the final quarter of 2020. Build to rent continues to accelerate new housing supply outside of London, outstripping the capital in both current and future supply. But the number of new homes in planning has stabilised in the capital with just a 2% rise as it competes with the regions for investment. Every region of the UK recorded positive growth in future supply, with the planning pipeline in Northern Ireland increasing the most significantly. The East of England and Scotland ranked second and third, respectively. With 32,395 build-to-rent homes – complete, under construction or in planning – the North West still boasts the largest number of build-to-rent homes outside of London. While build-to-rent homes under construction in the North East, North West and South West slowed in the final quarter significant increases in the number of homes in planning, suggests a healthy future pipeline for the sector in these regions. Ian Fletcher, Director of Real Estate..
The Department for Education has named the schools projects that will be brought forward in the first wave of its £1bn rebuilding and improvement programme. The first round will include 50 school rebuilding projects plus 21 new free schools. The schools include primary, secondary and specials as well as a sixth form college in West Yorkshire, with more than 70% of the schools in the North and Midlands. 50 rebuild and improvement projects Birmingham King Edward VI Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Oak Academy Cambridgeshire Sawston Village College Coventry Cardinal Newman Catholic School Coundon Court West Coventry Academy Derbyshire Somerlea Park Junior School Wilsthorpe School Doncaster Ash Hill Academy Ridgewood School Essex The King Edmund School Gloucestershire Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School Thomas Keble School Hammersmith and Fulham Fulham Cross Academy Hampshire Bay House School Hertfordshire Pinewood School Kingston Upon Thames Coombe Boys’ School Kirklees Greenhead College Lancashire Lytham St Annes High School Tarleton Academy Whitworth Community High School Leicester Catherine Infant School Leicestershire The Castle Rock School Manchester Sandilands Primary School North Tyneside Whitley Bay High School Nottinghamshire Sutton Bonington Primary School Yeoman Park Academy Rochdale Kingsway Park High School Littleborough Community Primary School Newhouse Academy Sefton Deyes High School Shropshire Belvidere School St. Helens Longton Lane Community Primary School Wombourne High School Sunderland Farringdon Community Academy Sutton Greenshaw High School Trafford St John Vianney School Wakefield..
It's reported that rising workloads mean civils contractors are now “recruiting for recovery.” The latest Civil Engineering Contractors Association’s quarterly workload trends survey shows that after two successive quarters of falls, workloads rose in 2020 Q4. Order books increased for 20% of firms in the last quarter of 2020 – the highest balance in three years. And nearly half of all firms expect headcount to rise in the coming year – the highest balance in almost six years. CECA Chief Executive Alasdair Reisner said: “These survey results show that the infrastructure sector is primed to drive the recovery from Covid-19 in 2021. “As one of the few sectors that has been able to continue working safely throughout the pandemic, we have already seen the strategic importance of the construction and infrastructure sectors to the whole economy. “Now that CECA members’ workloads are increasing and order books are growing, we will see the sector deliver much-needed job creation in all parts of the UK. “Given the UK Government’s stated intention to ‘Build, Build, Build’, coupled with its aspiration to ‘level up’ the economy, there has perhaps never been a better time to enter our industry, which will be at the vanguard of our national recovery from Covid-19 as our members deliver the key infrastructure businesses and communities rely upon.”
CODE Co-Living has submitted plans for three building elements: one of 12 storeys, a second of 16 storeys, and the tallest reaching 36 storeys. At almost 117m tall, the main tower would be 16m taller than Sheffield’s current title holder and edge above a 114m tall student scheme currently under construction in Leeds – which is set to be the county’s tallest. The co-living development will provide 1,370 private studio flats for rent, available for both students and non-students. Substantial communal spaces are also incorporated, including dining and café facilities, a 50-piece gymnasium, cinema room, private study spaces and a large first floor south-facing outdoor roof terrace. The building will be operated on a build-to-rent basis, owned and operated by the developer. Nearly 140 flats will be affordable rent for non-students – more than the number of affordable homes delivered across the entire city last year. It will be located on a prominent site to the side of the Vita building, just off Charter Row and close to The Light Cinema complex. Jamie Lewis of CODE, said: “We have been looking for a site in Sheffield for several years. From the outside, it is clear that the city is going places with Heart of the City II and developments on The Moor transforming the city centre. We want to be a part of this.” He added: “We have worked hard..
Construction safety test centre workers have been caught giving answers to candidates for cash. The cheating ring was exposed during counter-fraud raids by CITB, police and the Home Office. Three men involved in the delivery of CITB tests were arrested for Fraud Act offences while seven construction workers were detained on suspicion of working in Britain illegally. Staff at safety test centres in Cheshire, Essex and London were found giving the answers to candidates, some of whom are believed to be working in the country illegally. At the Cheshire centre a staff member admitted helping candidates choose correct answers, while a considerable amount of cash was found without a plausible explanation. In Essex, staff members admitted being supplied with a large number of candidates, many of whom the administrators were paid to give the right answers to during the test. Candidates admitted paying up to £500 to take the £21 HS&E test. Six candidates were suspected of being in the country illegally and were detained, while the centre was suspended from carrying out further tests. In London, the Metropolitan Police arrested a man suspected of facilitating corrupt tests for other candidates. A quantity of fake documentation and card making equipment was seized from a number of locations. The man has been released under investigation pending further enquiries. CITB will now review just over 2,500 tests conducted by these centres in..
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston has unveiled plans to create a £250m digital city in the city’s Boho district. The plans include building the highest office and residential towers for 30 miles as part of an initial £45m phase of the project that will transform Teesside’s skyline. Digital city plan for Middlesbrough with one office and two residential towers and a 750-seat indoor amphitheatre Construction of the first phase, which will include three 20 storey-towers, will start next summer and create up to 400 construction jobs. It will see the creation of a digital campus, a 750-seat indoor amphitheatre beneath a glass atrium and a 400-seat outdoor amphitheatre to host events such as lectures, cultural events and entertainment. Mayor Preston said: “For the next few years my obsession, my mission, my purpose on this planet is to get Middlesbrough on track as the digital city for the UK. “This is a £45m first step of a quarter of a billion pounds scheme that will propel Middlesbrough on a journey to become the UK’s digital capital – bringing investment, jobs and prosperity to the town. “This isn’t another pipe dream that might happen in two, four or ten years’ time. This is happening now. “We have the money and investors in place. Planning consent will be sought within weeks and construction will start next summer.” The £30m office element is being joint..
Latest figures collected by the Joint Industry Board on behalf of trade body ECA and Unite the Union show the rate of RIDDOR-reportable accidents fell once again last year to 164 per 100,000 employees. No fatalities were reported during 2018 and the rate of major accidents was also lower than in 2017 at just over 52/100,000. The main causes of injury were falls, slips and trips and there was one reportable injury due to electric shock. Steve Brawley, Chief Executive of the JIB said: It's very encouraging to report that the rate of reportable accidents in our industry continues to fall, and it means that the rate of these accidents is now, remarkably, only slightly more than 10% of what it was in 2001, the year we started to collect data. The 2018 figures mean that the accident rate has fallen nearly 90% since 2001, which is a great achievement. In fact, the number of RIDDOR-reportable “ in a sample of over 13,500 operatives “ is now so low that in 2019 we will be asking companies for additional details of any â€˜over one day accidents. While these accidents are not RIDDOR-reportable, this will give us more data to work with in future.
Thousands of construction companies are facing a 20% drop in cash flow when VAT changes come into force in October. Government experts believe 150,000 firms could be hit by the reverse charge. The changes mean companies in the construction supply chain will no longer receive their 20% VAT payment when they submit bills, the VAT cash will instead be paid direct to HMRC by the customer receiving the service who will reclaim it in the normal way. One worried specialist with a Â£50m turnover told the reporters: We've estimated that for us as a tier two contractor this will have a negative impact on cash of £2.3m. If you are already running at the limit of lending and can't get more money from your bank and HMRC just plough on as they usually do you could be screwed. Tier twos are already net providers of free credit to Tier one contractors and now we won't be getting that VAT cash in from Tier ones. HMRC has introduced the change to combat missing trader fraud where companies charge and collect VAT payments then disappear owing the tax man. Payroll companies were braced to be hit hard by the changes but they have now been granted an exemption. HMRC said: Employment businesses who supply staff and who are responsible for paying the temporary workers they supply, are not subject to the reverse charge.
A revolving door of senior managers is being blamed for causing financial problems at major construction companies. Industry experts believe the merry-go-round of senior staff is often the root cause of contract problems. One senior figure told reporters: definitely a pattern we are seeing more and more of. You get these people who come in to roles like regional directors who then start chasing work to make their division look healthy to the main board. Experienced staff below them will have their reservations but no-one can really stop the new person in charge. The directors are often incentivised with bonuses for winning new work so the order books fill up with jobs which aren't purely focused on the bottom line. The nature of construction is that those schemes take years to work through and often by that time the directors have moved on to another company. They often leave behind a pile of problems but just walk into a new job. It's a bit like being a football manager. Once that's on your CV you always seem to get a new job no matter how poor your track record is. Obviously it's not the only issue causing problems in construction but it's a real factor and something which will continue to be a problem until a new generation of talent comes through. We've hired supposedly big names from major..
Officials from the Cabinet Office have written to firms to remind them of the new rules on prompt payment, which come into force this autumn. Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, said: “Prompt payment is critical for all companies helping to deliver public services, particularly small businesses which are the backbone of our economy. “That’s why, from September, if government contractors are late with supplier payments, they could be prevented from winning public contracts until they clean up their act.” Under the new rules, suppliers who bid for government contracts above £5m per annum, who cannot show they are paying 95% of invoices within 60 days, risk being prevented from securing government contracts. The new measures follow further moves to level the playing field for small businesses, including an ambition to pay 90% of the government’s undisputed invoices from SMEs within five days. Suppliers that are not being paid on time are also able to raise complaints and concerns directly to the government through the Public Procurement Review Service.
Venian Recruitment are very pleased to announce the signing of Garry Schofield to the Venian Recruitment Team. Garry Joins as Business Development Executive with the remit to develop new accounts and assist with the management of existing relationships. Welcome Garry!!
The government could bar main contractors from winning public work if they fail to pay their supply chain on time. New rules will come into force next Autumn to ensure the government only does business with companies who pay their suppliers promptly. Cabinet Office Minister, Oliver Dowden said: “Companies providing crucial services to the public sector ,like delivering road infrastructure projects, must be paid on time. “Paying invoices promptly is vital in providing healthy cash flow, particularly for smaller businesses who are the backbone of the UK economy, to help them survive and thrive. “From next year, if government contractors are late with supplier payments, they could stop winning public contracts altogether – until they clean up their act.”
UK construction output is expected to bounce back to 2.3% growth in 2019 after dipping by 0.6% this year. The growth hiatus this year ends the five-year run enjoyed by the industry, fed mainly by private sector home building and strong commercial and industrial activity. While forecast 2019 and 2020 growth will boost civils contractors and trade contractors working for house builders, commercial building contractors are expected to continue to feel the squeeze in both commercial and retail work opportunities. The latest forecast from economists at the Construction Products Association, revises 2018 output down from stagnation to contraction, due mainly to bad weather and the fall-out from Carillion. Forecasters predict growth will bounce back in 2019 and then expand by 1.9% in 2020. Strong house building activity outside London will drive up activity in this sector by 5% in 2018 and 2% in 2019. Infrastructure will also become a primary driver of growth for the whole industry, with output forecast to hit a historic high of £23.6bn by 2020, driven by large projects such as HS2 and Hinkley Point C. CPA summer 2018 forecast Construction output to fall by 0.6% in 2018 before growth of 2.3% in 2019 and 1.9% in 2020 Private housing starts to rise by 2.0% in 2018 and 2019 Commercial offices output to fall by 20.0% in 2018 and by 10.0% in 2019 Commercial retail output to..
Construction buyers have reported the strongest rise in construction activity since November 2017. The latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index for June registered 53.1 in June – up from 52.5 in April. The rise represents the sharpest increase in overall construction output since last November. New orders also rose at their fastest pace since May 2017. Residential and commercial work were the main drives as civil engineering continued to plod along. Tim Moore, Associate Directorat IHSMarkit and author of the IHSMarkit/CIPS Construction PMI said: “The latest increase in UK construction output marks three months of sustained recovery from the snow-related disruption seen back in March. “A solid contribution from house building helped to drive up overall construction activity in June, while a lack of new work to replace completed civil engineering projects continued to hold back growth. “Of the three main categories of construction work, commercial building was sandwiched in the middle of the performance table during June. “Survey respondents suggested that improved opportunities for industrial and distribution work were the main bright spots, which helpedto offset some of the slowdown in retail and office development. “Stretched supply chains and stronger input buying resulted in longer delivery times for construction materials during June. “At the same time, higher transportation costs and rising prices for steel-related inputs led to the fastest increase in cost burdens across the construction sector..
Construction T level students will not be “site ready” The Government must be realistic about the capabilities and work-readiness of students who have completed construction T Levels. That is the warning from the Federation of Master Builders after plans for the practical alternative to A Levels were confirmed this week. The first schools and colleges to teach the new technical qualifications will offer courses from 2020 with construction among the first subjects. FMB Chief Eexecutive Brian Berry said: “The idea that a student who has completed a T Level in bricklaying is able to call themselves a qualified bricklayer is not credible. “The Government must be realistic about how much can be achieved in two years of largely college-based learning. “Although T Levels include a three-month work placement, when the rest of the individual’s knowledge and skills are acquired in the classroom, in construction they will need more time onsite, post-T Level, before they can and should describe themselves as being qualified in that trade. “Small and medium-sized construction firms, which do the bulk of training in our industry, would rather view T Levels as a rich pool of talent through which to find apprentices.” Berry added: “More positively, the Government has listened to the concerns of the construction industry and stated its intention to make work placements as flexible as possible. “In construction, work placements are not popular or..
Permanent staff appointments increase at weakest pace for four months Key points: Softer rise in perm placements contrasts with steeper increase in temp billings Growth of demand for staff picks up for first time in nine months Steeper decline in overall candidate availability leads to sharper rises in paySummary:The IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs – published today – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies. Permanent placements growth softens to four-month lowThe number of people placed into permanent job roles continued to rise markedly in April. That said, the pace of expansion was the softest seen in 2018 so far. In contrast, growth of temp billings picked up from March’s 13-month low.Candidate availability continues to fall markedlyCandidate availability for both permanent and temporary roles declined further at the start of the second quarter. Furthermore, the rates of reduction quickened to three- and five-month records, respectively.Demand for staff strengthensGrowth of overall job vacancies picked up to a three-month high in April. Permanent staff demand grew at a sharper pace compared to the previous month, while short-term staff vacancies expanded at a slightly softer (but still marked) pace. Pay growth gathers paceStarting salaries for permanent workers continued to rise sharply in April, with the rate of inflation picking up from March. Concurrently, rates of pay for contract/temporary staff..
Construction workloads in Yorkshire and the Humber remained resilient, despite bad weather and a pessimistic economic outlook, in the first quarter of 2018. According to the Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey from ROCS, in the first quarter of the year (Q1 2018), 25% more chartered surveyors in Yorkshire and Humber reported that their workloads had risen as opposed to fallen. While 63% of respondents noted bad weather conditions as a limiting factor, the ‘Beast from the East’ was not enough to slow the pace of growth. Looking at workloads across all subsectors; both new work and repair and maintenance activity rose steadily in the early months of 2018. Infrastructure saw the strongest rise in workloads with 24% more respondents seeing an increase in activity (up from 19% in Q4 2017) – the most positive reading since the beginning of 2017. In the public housing sector, 20% more contributors reported a rise in workloads (up from 18% in Q4 2017), whilst in the Private Housing sector activity also increased, with 39% of respondents seeing a rise in workloads (up from 37% in Q4 2017). However, in the private industrial sector, workloads dropped quite considerably, with 8% of respondents reporting a rise in work on such projects (down from 28% back in Q4 2017). Contributors also noted a fall in workloads in the private commercial sector, with 21% reporting an increase in..
Laing O’Rourke has recorded the lowest inequality in pay between men and women among Britain’s top 30 main contractors. The firm’s record on equal pay was revealed as thousands of employers with over 250 staff were forced to published their gender pay gap figures for the first time. The Government hopes this will help to shine a light on the barriers preventing women from reaching the top. Construction ranks as one of the worst industries for pay inequality with women paid 36% less than men on average. The first returns by leading main contractors reveals Laing O’Rourke is way ahead on pay equality with women on average paid just under 9% less than men. Companies had to file data based on a “snapshot” of their payroll taken on 5 April 2017. The discrepancy among major players is widened because fewer women are among the top earners in the industry. This appears to have impacted BAM Construct which recorded the highest pay gap and women accounting for 68% of the lowest quartile of earners in its workforce. The listing of the top 30 main contractors recently compiled is ranked by the median, which gives a good sense of where a company is overall, the mean figures will include the outliers with large salaries. Main contractor pay gap reports Hourly rate % lower than men % of women in pay quartile Mean..
The average salary in construction management has hit £81,609 according to the latest pay survey of UK property professionals by RICS. And that is topped-up by an average annual bonus of £22,252. Construction management was one of the best paid professions in the survey which covered 42 disciplines. Across all property professions base salaries grew on average by 12% to £58,633. Quantity surveyors earned an average of £56,212 with an annual bonus of £5,754. RICS qualified professionals are earning 21% more than their counterparts and 14.2% of those who received a pay rise in the last year did so through gaining professional qualifications. Barry Cullen, RICS Diversity & Inclusion Director said: “The latest results from this survey show the built environment continues to be an attractive sector to work in with professionals’ pay hitting highs not seen since the financial crisis. “As headcount is once again expected to increase in 2018, more employers are placing greater focus on attracting and retaining talent, with attractive pay and benefit packages. “However, organisations must embrace an offering beyond an attractive salary and benefits package if we are going to truly diversify the profession and meets the needs of our future. “In 2018, the gender pay gap still remains evident and whilst it is significantly less for those under 26, more still needs to be done.”
Construction apprentices will earn thousands of pounds more than many university graduates. Latest research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) quizzed small contractors on how much they pay tradespeople. The highest reported ammual salary for a London bricklayer was £90,0000. The average annual salaries were: Site managers earn £51,266 Plumbers earn £48,675 Supervisors earn £48,407 Electricians earn £47,265 Civil engineering operatives earn £44,253 Steel fixers earn £44,174 Roofers earn £42,303 Bricklayers earn £42,034 Carpenters and joiners earn £41,413 Plasterers earn £41,045 Scaffolders earn £40,942 Floorers earn £39,131 Plant operatives earn £38,409 Painters and decorators earn £34,587 General construction operatives earn £32,392 In comparison government figures show the UK’s university graduates earn the following average annual salaries: Pharmacists earn £42,252 Dental practitioners earn £40,268 Architects earn £38,228 Teachers earn £37,805 Chartered and certified accountants earn £37,748 Midwives earn £36,188 Veterinarians earn £36,446 Physiotherapists earn £32,065 Nurses earn £31,867 FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “Money talks and when it comes to annual salaries, a career in construction trumps many university graduate roles. “The average university graduate in England earns £32,000 a year whereas our latest research shows that your average bricky or roofer is earning £42,000 a year across the UK. In London, a bricklayer is commanding wages of up to £90,000 a year. “Pursuing a career in construction is therefore becoming an increasingly savvy move. University students in..
The latest figures from the ONS indicate the construction sector in the UK declined by 0.7% between Quarter 3 and Quarter 4 2017. This followed a decline of 0.7% between Quarter 2 and Quarter 3. Two consecutive quarters of decline is defi ned as a technical recession, so this is the interpretation from these fi gures. However, it should be noted that in December 2017 the industry grew by 1.6% (see fi g. 2.1). The main reason for the quarterly decrease in output are falls in all types of repair and maintenance as well as private commercial work. Non housing repair and maintenance declined by 2.4% in the quarter while the corresponding private housing fi gure showed a decline of 1.7%. New work in the private commercial sector declined by 4.4% between Q3 and Q4. Over the same period output in the industrial sector fell by 3.1%. The one sector which continues to grow is new private residential. This sector increased by 5% in Q4 compared to Q3 2017. The challenge will be whether continued growth in housing can off set the declines in the other large sectors such as commercial. CPA/Barbour ABI Index The CPA/Barbour ABI Index which measures the level of contracts awarded using January 2010 as its base month recorded a reading of 127 for January (see fi g. 2.2). This is a slight increase from..
House builders are being hampered by a shortage of construction materials including roof tiles, bricks and blocks. It has been reported that sites across the country are flagging-up shortages as an increasing problem. One industry source said: “Bricks and blocks are in short supply but the real problem is sourcing enough roof tiles. “Firms are having to look further afield to Europe for potential suppliers now because the domestic supply is stretched to the limit.” The issue was flagged-up by Taylor Wimpey in its results yesterday. The firm said: “Availability of materials is generally in line with demand but there remain pinch points with key products such as bricks, blocks and roof tiles. “The cost of these key products has risen significantly and whilst other material costs have been stable in 2017 we are experiencing more cost pressure coming into 2018. “The Group has agreed product lines and volumes with key suppliers to mitigate long lead times and shortages.” Persimmon also announced this week that it is building an in-house roof tile production plant which is expected to come on stream later this year. The UK’s largest house builder already has its own brick manufacturing plant. Persimmon said: “We recognise that with the continued increase in industry output the availability of skilled trade resources and some key materials to support further growth continues to be a constraint.”
24-hour protest against IR35 proposed A national day of action against is being proposed by a campaigner. Contractor Mike Gibson, of Changeir35.com, believes a 24-hour event should be used to protest against the of the being extended to the private sector. “[At this early] planning stage”, he said “[the event involves] a march to the Houses of Parliament, a few speeches and a petition [delivered]….to 10 Downing Street.” “The intent is to show the volume of support for and send a clear message that .” Gibson will also build and upload a directory of MPs’ responses to , to record their stance on the rule and create a log of the arguments for and against . But another IR35 critic, Graham Fisher, thinks that despite a consultation on the extension being , officials have likely already decided that it will go ahead. “Our general view is that HM Treasury and HMRC are not accepting any evidence pointing to the public sector changes being anything other than a . “If HMRC continues on their current course we should expect the same to be introduced into the ”. Fisher, who is managing director of accountants Orange Genie added: “In the unlikely event that they recognise the failure of the public sector implementation, any changes might be delayed to 2020.”
CCTV used to require installation by specialist security engineers, but modern small-scale camera systems can now be rigged up by almost anyone. Pam Loch, managing partner of Loch Employment Law, looks at the legal implications of surveillance cameras in the workplace. Research in recent years has estimated that the average person in the UK is likely to be caught on CCTV surveillance cameras 70 times a day. In London it is estimated to be much higher. Employee fairly dismissed after taking bribe contrary to Bribery Act 2010 Inevitably much of this footage is caught in a location that is – for somebody – his or her workplace. CCTV use at work is becoming increasingly controversial, as some feel the motivation behind it has developed from being used to promote safety and security to being used to monitor staff. The use of body-worn cameras is now emerging within organisations, such as the NHS and the police, principally in the interest of staff safety, but also for use as evidence in court. Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust recorded 850 assaults on staff between April and September 2016 and, as a preventative measure, it introduced body-worn cameras for security guards. Logistics companies are also increasingly using “dash cams” in drivers’ cabs or on couriers’ bikes to protect staff and to use potential footage as evidence. Fly on the wall Surveillance cameras..