The UK government has given the go ahead for the upgrade of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.Estimated to cost up to £1.5bn, the 21-mile project will include a new bypass of Huntingdon between Swavesey and Brampton, the widening of sections of the A1 and A14 roads, and improvements to a number of junctions.The development will also involve improvements in Huntingdon Town Centre to include a new local access road.Highways England director for complex infrastructure Chris Taylor said: “The scheme will provide much needed additional capacity to improve journey times and safety.“We are keen to keep the momentum going and will get preparations for construction underway as soon as possible after the end of the six week statutory challenge period.”Construction work is set to commence in late 2016 with the new bypass and widened A14 opening to traffic in 2020.
Real estate developer British Land has revealed details of a £300M project to expand Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, UK.The 30,000 sq m proposed Leisure Hall will include a wide range of dining and entertainment options, with new restaurants, a new café court, a gym, and other leisure spaces.The new hall and existing centre are set to create a new multi-levelled, landscaped mall with internal and external spaces for promotional and community uses. It has also been designed to accommodate large outdoor events including live music.British Land’s head of retail and leisure Charles Maudsley said: “We are continuing to drive Meadowhall’s evolution to ensure it remains an outstanding place for modern consumer lifestyles. “This significant step change in the scheme’s leisure provision will contribute to Sheffield’s continuation as a driving force behind the Northern Powerhouse. This is a very exciting time and we look forward to working with Sheffield City Council to help ensure Sheffield’s future success.”British Land, the co-owner of Meadowhall, is starting a public consultation on the expansion proposals. If the proposals are approved, construction work will commence in 2018. The hall is expected to open to visitors in late 2020 or early 2021, creating more than 1,000 jobs in the region.
Wind farm infrastructure and communications delivery specialist Vysiion has secured a contract to support the installation of a 108km fibre link for the £1.3bn Rampion wind farm development.UK-based construction services firm Carillion is serving as the main contractor for the onshore connection, a project that will include the installation of cable over a distance of about 26km from landfall near Shoreham-on-Sea to Bolney, West Sussex.Under the contract, Vysiion will support Carillion’s delivery and will supply splice and test the 108km cable link from the onshore substation at Bolney to the beachhead.The wind farm is expected to provide enough energy to power about 300,000 homes annually, with a target capacity of 400MW. Vysiion infrastructure sales manager Michael Grimshaw said: “The Rampion wind farm project contract is another example of how the team at Vysiion is able to support the infrastructure requirements of the UK’s wind power industry.“Throughout the UK and on a number of on-going wind farm developments Vysiion’s fibre, communications and infrastructure expertise is proving to be both an additive and assured element of the construction.”
Fortum Värme has opened its new biomass-fired combined heat and power plant (CHP) in Värtan, Stockholm.The company, owned by Fortum and the city of Stockholm, will use forest residues and wood waste to produce district heat for nearly 200,000 households, requiring about 12,000 cb m of wood chips per day.The €500M project, launched in 2013, will eliminate 126,000t of emissions annually in the Stockholm area.Fortum’s president and CEO Pekka Lundmark said: “High emissions and low efficiency of heating, cooling and electricity production are typical problems in growing urban areas.“Together with the city of Stockholm, we are taking steps towards a circular economy by utilising biomass, waste and recovered heat from data centres in energy production.“Biomass is a renewable, largely local and carbon-neutral energy source. Its use increases the share of domestic energy resources particularly in Northern Europe, and it is an important building block of a sustainable energy system and bio economy.”
UK-based construction firm Laing O’Rourke has secured a £76.2m contract from Imperial College London’s development management partners Voreda to build a residential tower.
German automobile manufacturer Daimler has unveiled plans to build a new €500m production facility in Poland.The new plant will be located in Jawor, about 70km west of Wroclaw, and will manufacture four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. Markus Schäfer, member of the divisional board Mercedes-Benz Cars, production and supply chain management, said: “The planned establishment of a new engine plant in Poland is a further step in our global growth strategy.“Capacity expansion in Eastern Europe reflects the increasingly international orientation of our powertrain production compound. This will lead to more flexibility and efficiency in our worldwide production network.”Frank Deiß, head of production powertrain Mercedes-Benz Cars and site manager of the Mercedes-Benz plant at Untertürkheim, said: “With the new facility in Jawor, we want to start the second engine production of Mercedes-Benz Cars outside Germany.“This allows us to react flexibly to market changes across several plants. The powertrain production compound is managed by the lead plant in Untertürkheim.”The plant is scheduled to commence production in 2019.
UK-based Caddick Construction has been selected by Derwent Group to develop a £100m retail and leisure site on Edge Lane in Liverpool.To be known as Liverpool Shopping Park, the 727,000sq ft mixed-use commercial development will include 41 retail units, parking for 1,500 cars and leisure space.The project, designed by AEW Architects, also involves the construction of industrial units and two large retail units.Phase one of the development, known as Western Quarter, will feature 92,500sq ft of retail space.Derwent Group’s managing director David Lyons said: “This is a transformative project and the final piece of Liverpool’s retail puzzle. Liverpool Shopping Park will bring branded fashion retailers, restaurants and leisure operators together in an out-of-town location, complete with plenty of free parking and great access in and out of the city.“This is a sizeable and strategic £100m investment for the Derwent Group and it will deliver much needed regeneration and jobs in this part of the city. “It’s taken some time to get this project on the table but everything is now in place for work to begin in earnest in April. We are delighted to be working with Caddick Construction again.”
London-based residential developer Anthology has submitted plans to Brent Council to transform Amex House in Wembley into contemporary apartments. The developer wants to convert the 16-acre site, which formerly served as an office base for a civil engineering firm, into 195 housing units.Designed by GRID Architects, the project will feature a mixed tenure of affordable and private homes.Anthology’s executive director Adam Gaymer said: “We have worked closely with local residents and the council to ensure that our proposals offer a positive benefit to the local area. Aside with creating a unique space for people to live, work and play, these plans will create jobs, provide a boost the local economy and deliver much needed homes.“Amex House which will be known as ‘Anthology Wembley Parade’ forms part of our growing London portfolio and reflects our policy of investing in prime regeneration sites. We look forward to enhancing communities and unlocking the potential of other sites around London in the near future.”Anthology expects to secure planning approval in summer 2016 and construction work is set to commence in autumn 2016 with homes for sale in 2017. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.
Hochtief has been selected as the general contractor by the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) for the construction of the €200m Mercedes Platz public space in Berlin. The construction site, which is located in front of the Mercedes-Benz Arena next to the East Side Gallery, will be handed over to Hochtief this month and its ground-breaking will take place on 6 June 2016.AEG’s real estate and development vice president Michael Kötter said: “We are delighted that in Hochtief we have acquired a reliable partner with great experience of major projects for the construction of Mercedes Platz. Our agreement ensures that the project will be completed on time and within budget.”Hochtief Building Berlin branch manager Thilo Warlich said: “We are honored by the trust Anschutz has placed in us to build Mercedes Platz.“We have already prepared thoroughly for the project in an effective pre-construction phase, and implemented technical optimizations. We look forward to this exciting construction challenge and an excellent working relationship with Anschutz.”The project is set to be completed in late 2018.
Scottish Water has commenced construction of phase one of a £120m project to upgrade the drinking water network in Ayrshire and parts of East Renfrewshire in Scotland. The water main’s route begins at Waulkmill Glen reservoir near Newton Mearns in the north and goes south via Drumboy Hill to Amlaird Water Treatment Works near Fenwick, with branches to the South Moorhouse and Corsehouse water treatment works.Preparatory works on the 13-mile long strategic water main have been carried out and the firm has now started work to install the pipes.Stewart Davis, Scottish Water programme manager, said: “This is a major piece of work on the first phase of Scottish Water’s overall investment in improvements to connect the system in Ayrshire with the Greater Glasgow area’s network.“We have worked closely with many different stakeholders, including landowners and statutory bodies, and we would like to thank them for their help and co-operation which has enabled us to complete the preparatory work and now move on to the construction phase.“This involves installing a new water main from Waulkmill Glen reservoir to the Fenwick Waterside area, which we estimate will be completed this autumn.”
Dublin City University (DCU) has unveiled a €230m capital development plan to transform the multi-campus university. The five-year development will improve the university’s capacity in research and innovation. The construction of a new student centre, new sports facilities, additional on-campus accommodation and 21st century digital teaching spaces are also part of the transformation.€54m of funding provided by Ireland Strategic Investment Fund will be used to improve facilities on the All Hallows Campus and the construction of student accommodation.It will also facilitate the construction of two new floors on the F Building on the St Patrick’s College campus.On the Glasnevin campus, the finance will allow a buy-back of existing campus residences and construction of an additional on-campus student housing project.
Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary is set to expand its activities in Hungary by investing HUF185bn (€594m) in its Kecskemét factory.The investment includes the construction of a new HUF80bn (about €265m) bodywork plant.The project will also include the development and expansion of the company's existing capacities, with the 99,000 sq m facility due to be fitted with the latest technology.Hungary Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó pointed out that this is the largest investment in Hungary to be announced within the past 18 months.Szijjártó added: "Hungary and every Hungarian can be rightfully proud of the fact that one of the world's largest and most innovative automotive industry companies has manufactured more than half a million cars in Kecskemét during the past four years."Construction is already underway and is projected to be completed by 2018.Kecskemét Fidesz mayor Klaudia Pataki Szemereyné said: "The new investment is a message that Mercedes, which in addition to its 4,000 direct employees also provides a living for a further 10,000 people, is also proud of Kecskemét and is not only one of the city's largest employers but is also a partner, ally and friend to the city."
Construction work is set to commence shortly on the £100m Shieldhall Tunnel project in Glasgow. The Costain-Vinci Construction Grands Projets Joint Venture project is a key part of Scottish Water's £250m five-year programme of work that began in 2013 with the aim to improve river water quality and the natural environment and tackle flooding in the Greater Glasgow area.The tunnel, between Craigton and Queen's Park, will follow a 3.1-mile long route. The front sections of the 1,000t TBM, to be used in the construction, have already arrived in Glasgow from Germany and its remaining parts will be delivered and assembled in the next few weeks. The complete TBM will measure 180m in length.Construction of the trench is already underway and is scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2016. The Shieldhall Tunnel is projected to take more than a year to complete.
Braeburn Estates, a joint venture between Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, has broken ground on the £1bn Southbank Place mixed-use development at London's Shell Centre tower site.The Shell Tower will anchor the development that will feature five residential buildings and two buildings for business use.Canary Wharf Group said that 80% of the apartments, equating to 800 units, in five buildings are already sold. The two business buildings will total up to 530,000sq ft. Southbank Place will also house 48,000sq ft of retail outlets, restaurants and cafés.The project is expected to create over 13,000 construction and supply chain jobs in total and when completed, Southbank Place is expected to employ over 6,000 workers.Canary Wharf Group CEO Sir George Iacobescu said: "This is an area that has long been neglected, but will offer the best of all worlds, from the bustling culture of the South Bank to some spectacular views of the most recognised landmarks in the Capital, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben."Southbank Place is also playing a major role in the development of the local community by creating new jobs, providing affordable housing and stimulating the growth of local businesses through our South London Procurement Network initiative."Construction work is slated to be complete by 2019.
Construction has started on phase one of the £107m Warrington Time Square regeneration project that will transform the centre of the UK town into a contemporary marketplace. The development will house a Cineworld Cinema, a new 42,000sq ft market hall, restaurants, retail units, new council offices, a 1,100-space multi-storey car park and a new public square. The new 25,000sq ft retail shell will temporarily house the town's market while the £10m market hall is built.During the construction phase, about 400 workers will be employed and when completed, Warrington's Time Square regeneration project will create 400 new permanent jobs in the leisure, retail and hospitality sectors.Steve Green, director for the North West region at Gleeds, which is providing cost management services to the project, said: "We are really excited to see work begin on the Time Square development and believe the project is pivotal in regenerating and revitalising Warrington town centre."Not only will Time Square create hundreds of jobs for the community and help boost the local economy, it also will help attract inward investment to the region."The project, undertaken by Muse Developments and Warrington & Co. on behalf of Warrington Borough Council, is expected to be completed in 2019.
UK-based property developer Nikal has received planning approval to build a £100m 603-unit residential project in Birmingham, UK. The development, known as Exchange Square, will be located between Birmingham's central business district and Eastside City Park, close to the proposed HS2 railway terminal in Birmingham City Centre.Designed by Stephenson Studio, the development will feature a range of one- and two-bedroom units alongside a small number of studios, and will be built across three blocks of 27, 16 and nine levels.It will also include 27,500sq ft of ground floor retail and leisure space; 186 car parking slots; a 5,000sq ft members' club-style hub and a landscaped rooftop garden covering over 20,000sq ft.Nikal’s managing director Nick Payne said: "Exchange Square is a development of both regional and national importance due to its location within a major area of investment and regeneration right next door to the proposed HS2 terminal."Now that planning consent has been secured we are in a position to bring forward the first phase of what we are sure will be an exemplar scheme for Birmingham's residential market."Construction work is expected to begin in mid-2016, with completion of the first block scheduled in 2018 and the final block before the end of 2019.
Royal Bam Group subsidiary Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau has secured a contract for the construction of a €220m subway tunnel in Frankfurt. The 2km double-track tunnel will be built in the city centre, in the new Gateway Gardens district.The cut and cover tunnel will be about 11m wide and 6m high. Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau will move approximately 900,000 sq m of land and will process 180,000 sq m of concrete.Gateway Gardens is a new development situated close to Frankfurt Airport and houses offices, service areas, hotels, conference and exhibition spaces,, and restaurant and retail facilities.The Gateway Gardens Tunnel is expected to be operational at the end of 2019.
European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a loan worth £280m to the University College of London (UCL) for the development of its Bloomsbury and UCL East campuses.UCL is investing £1.25bn over 10 years to implement its Transforming UCL programme, which includes the development of two campuses as well as other projects across London.The 30-year loan follows the investment of £25m in January in the new UCL Technology Fund by the European Investment Fund, part of the EIB group.The project in Bloomsbury is worth about £740m and will include the refurbishment and expansion of Bartlett School of Architecture, which will house nearly 1,000 staff and students. Construction of a new student centre is also set to start this year.The loan will also finance the construction of UCL East university's new campus at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London.UCL East’s first phase is due to be finished during the 2019/20 academic year.EIB’s vice president Jonathan Taylor said: "This new £280m 30-year loan represents the largest ever EIB backing for investment at a European University, and reflects the EIB's commitment to strengthen the local and global role of leading universities."
Britain’s Network Rail has assigned two separate contracts worth £90m for the final stage of the Reading and Paddington signalling system, and for the signalling power works between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington.
North Point Global has begun construction work on a £200m project to transform Liverpool’s Chinatown. Designed by BLOK Architecture, the project to revamp Europe’s oldest Chinese community will include the creation of 850 new homes, 150,000 sq ft of new commercial and retail space, and a new hotel.The commercial and retail space will house China-based businesses, and a significant number of units have already been bought by Chinese businesses seeking a foothold in the UK.North Point global chairman David Choules said: "From the outset we wanted this scheme to be an authentic Chinese development that brought new commercial energy and entrepreneurialism into the heart of an historic Chinatown."This is not only something unique in the UK, it will be something unique outside China itself."Phase 1 of the Chinatown’s transformation will be built by BILT Group and Scottish Power and is expected to be complete before the end of 2017, while the entire project is slated to be complete in 2019.