Construction industry

Nuclear plan to create jobs and boost economic growth

Sellafield nuclear siteThe nuclear industry will play a major role in driving economic growth, securing the nation’s energy suppliers and creating new jobs, Energy Minister John Hayes announced today.

The comments come as a campaign is launched to fill around 500 skilled jobs at the Sellafield nuclear site in West Cumbria.

The roles will include operations and maintenance staff, engineers, project managers and back-office functions.

They will be filled by a mixture of apprentices, graduates, and trainees and ex-military personnel will be specifically targeted in the recruitment process.

Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon confirmed the Government’s commitment to expand its global nuclear market as part of the published Nuclear Supply Chain Action Plan.

He said: “This action plan is an important part of our work with industry to shape a vibrant UK nuclear industry, and to ensure the UK exploits the commercial opportunities that exist and is a leading player in the expanding global nuclear market.

“We are determined to exploit our strengths and believe this is a sector where a partnership between government and industry can help give the UK a competitive edge in the global race. It’s a key sector in our industrial strategy.”

John Hayes, Energy Minister, said: “Energy is central to our economic future and at the heart of all we do as a nation.

“Just as atoms collide in a nuclear reactor, the economic benefits of our nuclear renaissance will reverberate far and wide across the country.

“The announcement of 500 jobs at Sellafield today shows the immense contribution of the nuclear sector to the UK economy, in particular that of West Cumbria.

“Our Action Plan for the nuclear supply chain will set out how the UK can make the most of future opportunities presented by around £60bn of new investment.”

Boost for Scotland’s construction industry

The Scottish GovernmentThe 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.”

Conygar submits plans for huge south Wales housing scheme

Developers have submitted plans to build hundreds of homes and a new Sainsbury’s superstore near Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire that will pave the way for new jobs in the trades.

Investment company Conygar which owns 93 acres of land off Thomas Parry Way near the town centre, has applied to Pembrokeshire County Council for planning permission to build 835 residential properties and a 60,000 square foot Sainsbury’s retail food store.

A further application has been submitted which envisages the re-development of the riverside area of the town centre near to the main development. This mixed-use development would see offices and residential units above a row of new shops and create 74,000 square feet of retail, office and residential space.

Robert Ware, Chief Executive of Conygar said: “This is further evidence of Conygar’s confidence in Pembrokeshire as an excellent place to live and work. We believe these schemes will rejuvenate the town centre and its attractions as a regional shopping centre.

“The 93 acre site currently has outline consent for residential development, a primary school and other facilities as well as providing for improvements to the roads in the area and the proposal accommodates a new superstore at the corner of the site nearest to the town centre and is a vital catalyst to development at the site to bring the residential development forward.

“We believe our proposals will bring an excellent new store providing the public with quality and choice close to the town centre and the innovative scheme will provide a strong link to the existing shopping streets. It will also provide the most modern retail units to attract top quality retailers back to the town.”

Independent suppliers’ summit to boost the trades

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey is to chair a summit for independent energy suppliers that could generate investment in the energy industry and create new jobs.

Mr Davey will host the meeting at the Department of Energy and Climate Change with representatives expected to attend from Co-operative Energy, Cornwall Energy Associates, Ecotricity, First Utility, Good Energy, Haven Power, Loco2 Energy, Opus Energy, Smartest Energy, Spark Energy, Utilita, and Ofgem.

Edward Davey said: “I want our energy market to be as competitive as possible. That is central to ensuring that our households and businesses can get the best deals for their gas and electricity,

“And that’s why I want to be sure that we make it as easy as possible for new players to break into the UK market, and that if there are any barriers to that, we do everything we can to remove them.

“As a long-time proponent of collective purchasing, I am delighted to see some of the smaller suppliers already winning customers through early collective switching initiatives, and that such schemes are helping them grow their customer base more rapidly.”

Areas of discussion are likely to focus on the obstacles facing independent suppliers to breaking into the UK energy market and growing their market share.

The Secretary of State also wants to take the opportunity to sound out independent suppliers on the Department’s proposals to reform the electricity market and proposals to legislate in the Energy Bill to ensure customers are on the cheapest tariffs.

On 23 November 2012 the Government announced, ahead of publication of the Energy Bill later this week, a landmark agreement on energy policy that will deliver a clear, durable signal to investors .

Davey calls for clean development at the United Nations

Speaking in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Edward Davey said urgent actions need to be taken to combat climate change and help the green economy.

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary said that countries around the world had to make their contribution to reach closer to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the Bali Action Plan, and the Cancun Agreements.

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.”

Mace to kick-start £250m Greenwich regeneration scheme

Developer Hadley Mace has finalised a deal with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Royal Borough of Greenwich to deliver a £250 million mixed-use scheme in east Greenwich that will create new jobs.

It is anticipated that the first phase of homes and community facilities will be completed by late 2014, with the entire development completed approximately three years later, paving the way for employment in the trades.

David Grover, director of Hadley Mace, said: “This leading scheme will demonstrate the benefits of public private consortium and its impact on a community that has been anticipating investment and re-development for more than 10 years.”

“The partnership between Hadley and Mace came about as a response to the Home and Communities Agency’s quest to find a new way of regenerating neighbourhoods with fresh, innovative thinking and creative investment.

“Acting as delivery partner for the client, and taking control of funding and risk aspects of the scheme, we are offering a full turn-key solution that can be replicated throughout the UK on all public land and any stalled public regeneration scheme.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This landmark regeneration scheme is a key part of my commitment to provide much-needed housing and jobs for Londoners by bringing forward public land for development.

“The East Greenwich project will see nearly 30% of homes built with families in mind and the construction of some fantastic new amenities that will help to create a thriving and vibrant community.

“I am delighted the scheme is now storming ahead and is another step closer to delivering what I have no doubt will be an exciting new place for Londoners to live, work and visit.”

Sizewell nuclear project to create 5,600 new jobs

EDF Energy has today started a public consultation for building a nuclear power station in Suffolk that will create 5,600 jobs in the trades.

Over the next eleven weeks EDF Energy will be consulting on the company’s initial proposals to build the Sizewell C nuclear station next to an existing plant at Leiston

The project is expected to take nine years to complete. EDF said that the scheme could create 25,000 ‘employment opportunities’, with 5,600 workers on site at the peak of construction.

EDF also wants to create two park and ride sites, intended for construction staff that will be employed to deliver the multi-million project.

Local people can have their say on areas such as the overall proposals for Sizewell C, a rail, sea and road transport strategy including park and ride sites, accommodation for workers, and the socio-economic effects of the power station construction.

Richard Mayson Director of Planning and External Affairs, Nuclear New Build, EDF Energy, said:  “We are looking forward to talking to people in the local communities in Suffolk and with other stakeholders about our proposals.

“Sizewell C would generate enough electricity to supply one in five homes in Britain. It would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for low-carbon, secure and affordable energy. It would also create significant business, training and employment opportunities locally, regionally and throughout the UK.

“I urge you to play an active role in this consultation process. We are committed to giving your feedback serious consideration and will take it into account as we prepare detailed plans for Sizewell C.”

Highland Council to boost infrastructure and development projects

The Highland Council will highlight to the Scottish Government a series of infrastructure and development projects that would boost economic growth and create new trade jobs.

The list of key projects will be passed on to the Scottish Government for their consideration as part of the review of the National Planning Framework (NPF3) which is expected to unlock investment for national developments of strategic importance for Scotland.

The projects that will be put forward by Highland Council are all considered to be of national significance and have the potential to make a significant contribution to the country’s sustainable economic growth.

The projects being promoted by the Council to the Government include strategic road improvements to the A9. A82 and A96 trunk roads that connect Highland communities to the rest of Scotland, enhancements to Highland ports and harbours including Nigg and Kishorn, enhancements at all Highland airports, the provision of  superfast broadband and the upgrading of the existing electricity transmission network to realise the growth potential in renewable energy generation.

The Council is also taking the opportunity to raise other issues it feels that are of national importance such as the decommissioning of Dounreay, faster train journey times on the mainline, coastal development including the harnessing of wind, wave and tidal energy, waste management and natural heritage.

Vice Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Councillor George Farlow said: “All the projects we are putting forward could potentially bring huge benefits to Highland businesses and residents as well as bringing wider prospective socio-economic growth to the whole of Scotland.

“Our response will highlight the need to ensure we have the best infrastructure in place to make the most of every opportunity and will recognise the work we are doing to promote sustainable development and economic growth.

“Our plans are ambitious and they reflect the confidence we have in the Highlands as great place to live, work and do business in.”

New Trades Jobs in Darlington

 

Developer Terrace Hill has signed an agreement with Darlington Borough Council to build a £30 million leisure centre that will boost the trades and create new jobs.       

The 140,000 sq ft leisure scheme in Feethams, Darlington, will be anchored by a nine screen multiplex cinema and include an 80-bedroom hotel, as well as a number of restaurants, bars and shops.

Terrace Hill has secured an agreement with VUE Entertainment to operate the cinema, and is in advanced discussions with Whitbread who want to operate the 80-bedroom Premier Inn hotel.

The property group has already received strong interest from a number of national restaurant and leisure chains. At present, the operators are not represented in the town, with the multi-million scheme providing an opportunity to bring their brand to Darlington and help the local economy.

Philip Leech, Chief Executive of Terrace Hill, said: “Having made the strategic decision to increase Terrace Hill’s focus on development, thereby better utilising our core expertise, we are very pleased to have been appointed by Darlington Borough Council to develop this important new scheme.

Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council said: “This is excellent news for the Borough. There has been a lot of detailed negotiation around this development and I believe that the Council has chosen the best scheme for the site.

“The news is clear evidence that Darlington can attract a first class development of this kind and that there is confidence in the business world in what the Borough has to offer. Once complete it will be a welcome addition to the already strong culture and leisure offer in the town centre.”

Energy efficiency revolution to boost growth and jobs?

A transformation in the way energy is used across the UK economy could help boost growth and jobs, and investing in energy efficiency could save up to 22 power stations-worth of energy by 2020, according to the Government’s Energy Efficiency Strategy published today.

The new Strategy is aimed at changing the way energy is used in sectors such as housing, transport and manufacturing over the coming decades. It also includes immediate action to kick start a revolution in UK energy efficiency, including:

  • £39 million to fund five centres examining business and household energy demand. The five End Use Energy Demand Centres, funded by the Research Councils UK and project partners and led by leading universities, will look at what drives energy demand and how to change future behaviour.
  • An energy efficiency labelling trial with John Lewis. DECC and John Lewis will introduce a product-labelling trial next year that shows the lifetime running costs of household appliances. A similar trial in Norway showed this information led to consumers purchasing goods that are more energy efficient.
  • A drive on financing energy efficiency for business and the public sector. As well as a guide to help public sector organisations cut their energy use, the Government will fund a nationwide rollout of RE:FIT, the Mayor of London’s award winning programme to improve public sector energy efficiency. Government is also working with ENWORKS in the North West to understand how best to finance and upgrade to more energy efficient equipment in commercial and manufacturing businesses.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “We have put energy efficiency at the very heart of the Government’s energy policy. Using energy more wisely is absolutely vital in a world of increased pressure on resources and rising prices. Not only can energy efficiency help save money on bills and cut emissions, it can support green jobs, innovation and enterprise.

“This is Britain’s first comprehensive Energy Efficiency Strategy and sets out the action we are taking now, as well as what we will do in the future to ensure the UK continues to be a global leader in reducing energy use.”

The energy efficiency sector in the UK already accounts for around 136,000 jobs, and had sales of £17.6 billion in 2010/11. Sales in this sector have grown by over 4% per year in the UK since 2007/08, and are projected to grow by around 5% per year between 2010/11 and 2014/15.

The Energy Efficiency Strategy, which draws on a Call for Evidence published by DECC in February this year, sets out the Government’s mission to seize the energy efficiency opportunity, boosting growth in the economy, creating jobs, helping households and businesses save money and working towards our climate change goals. The UK could be saving 196TWh in 2020, equivalent to 22 power stations, through cost-effective investment in energy efficiency.

The strategy highlights energy efficiency potential, the benefits of achieving it and reflects on barriers to uptake. It includes new householder behaviour reports which examine the key factors influencing energy use in the UK’s homes and businesses. There are significant community benefits around energy efficiency and community based interventions have been shown to save households up to 10% of their energy.

UK commercial and industrial sectors have made good progress in improving their energy efficiency and in many cases lead the world.  But there is still huge potential and this strategy signals renewed efforts to help all businesses improve their efficiency and cut their costs.

Three Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs) have also been published as part of the strategy, looking into energy efficiency innovation required at a household, commercial and industrial scale.

In addition, DECC will continue publishing a series of consultations to guide the implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, which needs to be fully implemented by Spring 2014. The Directive is a significant step forward by the EU as it looks to meet its target to reduce primary energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2020 against its 2007 business as usual projections.