The British Army football team is heading to Poprad, Slovakia.
They’ll take on their counterparts in the central European country during their visit next May.
It’s been organised to coincide with a visit by the All Star UK legends team, and it’s all taking place in the world’s first geo-thermal heated stadium,
The man who built it, businesman and philanthropist Jan Telensky, is paying for the cost of bringing the teams over and their accommodation, whilst the British Professional Football Association is paying £160,000 to provide the team
Paula Middlehurst asked him why the game was important to him.
I can’t believe I’m writing this. Today, you’ve made an amazing breakthrough in protecting the world’s rainforests.
After a tough campaign that’s lasted 10 years, Asia Pulp & Paper – the company that has been destroying huge areas of Indonesian forest – has been forced to change its ways. It has finally agreed to introduce a new policy that should end the appalling amounts of deforestation it has been responsible for.
The pressure you put on companies like Mattel (makers of Barbie), National Geographic and Xerox – all APP customers – persuaded them that being linked to the destruction of Indonesia’s remaining forests wasn’t good business sense. As a result, they all dropped their contracts with APP, and you were well on the way to persuading KFC to do the same.
So the pressure on APP has been immense and, after months of intense negotiations in Jakarta with our team, they have finally agreed to end their reign of destruction. This means that protecting the habitat of Sumatra’s endangered tigers from illegal and destructive logging is one huge step further forward.
I’ve worked on this campaign for several years and there were times when I thought this would never happen, but your commitment to protecting Indonesia’s rainforests has made this possible. Thank you so much!
So far, this policy is only on paper. Permanent changes need to happen in the rainforest before we can claim victory, so experts from Greenpeace and the Indonesian organisations (who have also worked so hard to achieve this) will be monitoring closely the situation on the ground.
It’s not just APP. Other companies are still rampaging through the forests in the name of profit, turning pristine tiger habitats into paper and palm oil plantations. We’re already planning the next steps and you’ll be the first to know.
But for now, take a moment to celebrate. Even though APP still needs to turn words into action, this is a giant leap forward for Indonesia’s rainforests and the people and wildlife that depend on them.
Together we’ve shown that persistence pays off. Well done.
The number of new homes started by private sector builders in the year to June 2012 was the highest recorded since the banking crisis started in 2008 according to official statistics.
Over that period, 10,827 new homes were started, a 24 per cent increase on the previous year. This increase follows three years of recorded annual decreases in private sector new build starts.
The statistics reflect new starts by house builders building for private sale, alongside other house building activity by construction companies throughout Scotland such as for RSL shared equity developments and self-build.
There was also a continued increase in the number of council houses across Scotland, with local authorities completing 1,206 new homes in the year to September 2012, the highest number since 1990.
Across all sectors 14,032 houses were started to June 2012, up by 4% compared to the same period last year.
Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “Scotland’s construction sector has faced the full force of the economic downturn.
“Times are still very tough, with high deposit requirements and reduced mortgage availability continuing to prove a barrier to recovery in the housing market.
“However, I welcome these latest statistics and hope this increased activity can spark an economic revival for the industry. Every house started supports jobs for bricklayers, joiners, plumbers and the wider supply chain.
“The Scottish Government is doing all it can to support the industry and boost supply. We plan to deliver at least 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of the Parliament, backed by investment of at least £760 million in the next three years.
“We have allocated almost £115 million to local authorities across Scotland, which is helping deliver over 4,400 council homes.
“And we are stimulating growth through the innovative National Housing Trust initiative and our shared equity schemes.
“We have also offered a guarantee to support up to 6,000 new build house purchases through a housing industry-led Mortgage Indemnity Scheme, to help address the banks’ requirements for high deposits.”
Last year, the UN agreed to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change no later than 2015.
That would mean that each country has to cut its carbon emissions and focus on renewable energy resources, boosting the green economy and creating new jobs.
Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “A global effort is needed if we are to achieve our climate goals – we need to pave the way for the new global deal while delivering more action now.
“Many developed and developing countries have already come forward with pledges under the UN framework to reduce their emissions by 2020. I want to encourage more to do so at Doha and beyond.
“The EU has led the way in calling for more ambition and in enshrining emissions reductions in law. I want to encourage it to move to a more ambitious 2020 emissions reduction target of 30%.
“Here in the UK we are driving forward our plans to move to a lower-carbon energy mix, and this week we will be publishing the Energy Bill which will enable this.
“I also want to see progress at Doha on achieving the global deal that all countries agreed to work towards in Durban last year. For the first time all countries agreed to sign up to a legally-binding deal to be adopted by 2015, and at Doha we need to agree a plan for these crucial negotiations.”
The University of Manchester has announced an ambitious £1 billion plan that will see the construction of a world-class campus and pave the way for new trade jobs.
The Estates Master Plan, which was approved by the University’s Board of Governors last week, will create a single campus which will involve the construction of teaching and research buildings as well as new student facilities.
The first phase of the plan, costing around £700 million, will be delivered over the next six years and will throw a lifeline to the building industry and boost the trades.
Plans include building of a new engineering campus, new centres for the school of law and Manchester Business School, a major refurbishment of the university library, a bigger students’ union and new medical school.
Outline plans have been drawn up for a second phase which is expected to cost a further £300 million and is set to begin in 2018.
The second phase of the plan would create a Biomedical Campus around the existing Stopford Building along with other major developments for staff and students, including refurbishments in the Schools of Computer Science.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester, professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “Our long-term aim, as restated in our Manchester 2020 Vision, has been to create a world leading university that would compete with the best universities in the world and would occupy a single, outstanding campus, where some of our beautiful old buildings would stand alongside the very best in modern facilities for our research and our students.”
Plans to deliver a £17 million multi-use leisure centre for Queens Park residents in London have been given the go-ahead by Westminster City Council.
The scheme, which has cross value of £60 million, will see the building of 120 new homes developed by Regen on two sites within 0.6 miles of each other.
The new sport centre will be located on the existing Moberly site will be developed at no cost to the taxpayer. It will be funded by a private developer, Willmott Dixon, in exchange for building residential properties on both sites.
The Council is expected to benefit from uplift in sales values of the homes during construction which will create new jobs and boost the trades industry.
This type of land arrangement is set to become more widespread as councils look for innovative funding methods from private sector developers to unlock value and increase funds to build new facilities.
Westminster councillor and a deputy cabinet member for sport and the Olympics, Steve Summers, said: “Few councils are in the position of being able to build multi-million new sports facilities in the current financial climate.
“But together with Willmott Dixon, we look forward to working on proposals which will create a £17m sports centre for residents of Queen’s Park together with a smaller sports facility at the Jubilee site. This will all be done at absolutely no cost to the taxpayer, so represents incredible value for money.”
The new leisure facility will have a 25-metre swimming pool, eight court sports hall, health and fitness facility, exercise studios, a health spa plus boxing and gymnastics halls.
Andrew Telfer, CEO at Regen, said: “I am delighted to be working with Westminster City Council on this exciting and ground-breaking scheme.
“With both current leisure centres in need of modernisation, this solution provides a bigger, state-of-the-art property for the local community offering high quality sporting facilities for many generations to come along with much needed quality new homes.”
Speaking alongside climate change minister Greg Barker at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, UKGBC’s chief executive Paul King welcomed the implementation of the scheme and outlined its potential for stimulating economic growth.
Mr King praised the Government’s commitment to the scheme, but warned that it needed adequate support to accelerate the level of uptake and implement its objectives.
He said: “The Green Deal still has the potential to be truly revolutionary in driving mass home retrofit. This new market could, if nurtured properly, create jobs, stimulate economic growth and protect consumers from ever-rising energy prices”.
Diana Montgomery, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, which is supporting the new project, said that despite the strong industry support for the Green Deal, more needed to be done to encourage households to take it up.
Dr Montgomery said: “Collaborating with the UK-GBC on this Green Deal Task Group project will help us to ensure that we can help Government effectively navigate the options they have available to them for capitalising on that opportunity.”
Incentives to be included:
Stamp duty banding/rebates
Council tax banding/rebates
Energy efficiency feed in tariff
Subsidised interest rates for Green Deal
Low interest loans (outside Green Deal)/ Green mortgages (underwritten by Government)
Lump sum grant/payment (cashback/vouchers)
Progressively tightening minimum standards, inc. extending to owner-occupied sector
Salary sacrifice (tax free scheme) through work/tax credits
The scheme, partly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, will see the building of 768 new homes by 2015. The developments will include family homes, bungalows for older people as well as properties for private sale and for social rent.
Businesses and jobseekers are set to benefit from the scheme which is expected to generate more than £70 million worth of construction work and create hundreds of new jobs with local employers.
The three developers have signed construction pledges to work with local suppliers and the council’s Think Local and ‘Find It In Sandwell’ initiatives which will boost employment and help people in the trades.
Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for housing, said: “We’re pleased to announce partners who will help turn our vision for the future of housing in Sandwell into reality.
“We’ll be providing residents with an excellent range of affordable homes for local people to buy, part-own and rent and consult with local people about the new homes we plan to build.”
Assad Hamed, area manager for the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “We know through working closely with Sandwell Council that increasing the supply of affordable homes in the borough is a big priority and we are pleased our investment is supporting this.
“Getting all three schemes up and running will be a major boost for local communities in Sandwell as they will see lots of activity happening across the borough and will benefit from the impact of local jobs and economic growth.”