The European Investment Bank (EIB) is set to offer £500m to improve the power transmission network in Scotland.The project will include a 1,200MW subsea cable between Spittal in Caithness and Blackhillock in Moray. It aims to upgrade connections between wind, wave and tidal renewable energy schemes and the national power network. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SSE, is building the project, which is due for completion in 2018. The company is investing over £1.1bn in the project.Once operational, the new link is expected to supply equivalent electricity to meet the needs of about 2m Scottish residents. The project is anticipated to create 600 construction jobs.EIB vice president Jonathan Taylor said: “Our strong partnership with SSE over many years demonstrates our firm commitment to support ambitious energy investment that creates jobs and benefits local companies.”
A joint venture between Skanska and BAM Nuttall has secured a contract from Network Rail to build the new Ordsall Chord project in Manchester, UK.The project will connect Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly for the first time, helping to deliver faster and more frequent train service. It forms part of the Northern Hub project to enhance railway services across northern England.The contract runs from 2016 to 2019. Skanska’s share in the contract will be more than £74m, which will be included in order bookings for Skanska UK in the first quarter of 2016.BAM Nuttall sector director Alan Cox said: “This alliance continues a long association we have had with the railway in the North West and we are delighted to be creating such an important new link with an iconic structure that will enrich the railway heritage and passenger experience in the whole region.”Skanska managing director James Richardson said: “This is a significant part of Network Rail’s plan to stimulate economic growth in the north of England and Skanska is delighted to be part of the alliance delivery team helping to achieve this goal.”
Westminister Council has approved a £1bn plan to redevelop the Whiteleys shopping centre in west London.A joint venture between a Meyer Bergman-advised fund and Warrior Group has submitted a planning application to Westminster City Council redevelop the former Whiteleys department store in Bayswater.Designed by Foster + Partners, the mixed-use project will include more than 500,000 sq ft of homes and shops built behind the existing 1911 facade.It will include the construction of more than 100 homes, a mixture of apartments and townhouses. These will be arranged around an inner courtyard with new retail units, a boutique hotel, gym and other enhanced leisure facilities, including a new cinema at basement level.
Developers Ashfield Land and local house builder Kirkwood Homes have submitted plans to Aberdeenshire Council for a new £150m mixed-use development.The site for the proposed construction is located five miles north of Aberdeen. It was allocated for future development in the 2012 Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan (LDP). If approved, the plans will bring to life the Blackdog Masterplan that was approved by the council in 2013, calling for a new town centre with business space and substantial additional housing.Ashfield Land and Kirkwood Homes have been refining the proposals since late 2015, and after detailed consultation with local residents and community representatives.The proposed development will include the construction of a new town centre, with around 600 homes, including 150 affordable homes, to accommodate around 2,100 residents.It will also include offices, industrial accommodation, a regional food hall, a supermarket, a petrol station, a hotel, a cinema, shops, a park and ride facility and also a primary school.Subject to Aberdeenshire Council’s approval, construction will begin in early 2017 and will be delivered in partnership with major stakeholders including Aberdeenshire Council and the local community.The project is expected to create 1,200 jobs during construction and 1,500 full time jobs after completion.
Construction work is set to start next month on a £800m new community development in Aberdeen after the UK government pledged £86m in funding for the project.The project, which received in principle planning approval from Aberdeen City Council in October 2014, will be built by Stewart Milne Group over 15 years. Work will involve the construction of new housing, schools, healthcare and parks at the Countesswells site. Mobilisation and compound facilities will commence this month, with infrastructure works expected to begin in April. The first homes are expected to be available later in 2016. The project is anticipated to create 1,000 construction jobs.Stewart Milne group managing director homes John Slater said: “Countesswells is an important project that will deliver a vibrant new community for Aberdeen that will include three new schools, medical facilities, leisure, retail, commercial & business accommodation and a wide range of homes, from first time buyer apartments and young family homes to townhouses and executive villas, all contributing to Aberdeen’s attractiveness as a place in which to live and work.”
Network Rail has unveiled an investment programme worth more than £800m to develop London Waterloo station over the next three years.The project will include the reconstruction of the former Waterloo International Terminal that will enable platforms 20-24 to be brought back into use with modern facilities, new track and signalling, as well as a construction of a spacious concourse near the platforms.Plans also include longer platforms at ten stations, upgrades to depots and maintenance facilities, a new fleet of Siemens-built Class 707 trains, and installation of new technology in trains.The project is anticipated to increase peak time capacity by 30% by 2019. Majority of the upgrades are being financed by the Department for Transport as part of Network Rail’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan.Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We are investing £40 billion in our nation’s railway infrastructure - the biggest upgrade since the Victorian times.“From 2017, passengers will benefit from a bigger and better London Waterloo station and 150 new train carriages providing more space for passengers arriving at London Waterloo over the three-hour morning peak - this is in addition to the 108 extra carriages that have already been added since 2013.”
Balfour Beatty has received a £170m two-year extension to its Track Partnership contract for London Underground.Balfour Beatty Rail secured the original Track Partnership contract in 2010 to provide essential track renewal work across the London Underground network. The extension will take the contract to March 2018.The company will continue to offer design, labour, plant, and materials, alongside surveying, supervision and management of the works.The scope of the contract will include the installation of points and crossings, as well as ballasted track renewal. The company will also be responsible for associated drainage, signalling, traction power and conductor rail works.Balfour Beatty Group Leo Quinn CEO said: “With world-class expertise in track, electrification and power supply systems, Balfour Beatty Rail is a significant player in the UK rail infrastructure market.“We have utilised these market-leading skills and expertise working with London Underground over the last 13 years. This extension is a clear sign of London Underground’s confidence in the capability of Balfour Beatty within the Track Partnership.”
Network Rail has announced plans for a £340m project to upgrade railway in Liverpool City Region over the next three years.The project will include new and longer platforms at Liverpool Lime Street station, a new station at Maghull North, renovation of the Newton-le-Willows station, track renewal on the Merseyrail underground loop, laying of additional track between Huyton and Roby, and upgrading the Halton Curve to support new services between Liverpool and Chester.It will also include the construction of a new bus interchange, extended car park facilities, a new booking hall on the south side of the station, as well as new lifts, subway and stairs.The majority - £229m - of the funding for the project will be provided by Network Rail, while the remaining will be funded by the Liverpool City Region.The upgrades form part of Network Rail's nationwide Railway Upgrade Plan in response to rise in demand for rail services.Network Rail route managing director Martin Frobisher said: “Our aim over the next three years is to give the people of Liverpool the high-quality rail services they deserve.“With demand for rail travel expected to rise by 100 per cent over the coming years, these improvements are vital for the future growth and prosperity of this great city region.”
The mayor of London has given the green light to the London Overground extension to the Barking Riverside project.Following the approval, Transport for London (TfL) will now apply to the government for a Transport and Works Act Order to start construction on the £263m project.Work will involve a 4.5km extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking line, delivering London Overground services to a new station at the Barking Riverside community.The project will be developed by Barking Riverside, which is a newly reformed joint venture between the GLA and London & Quadrant.The developers will provide £172m of the project costs, while the rest will be provided by TfL. Construction work is expected to start in late 2017, with train services starting in 2021.TfL managing director of planning Richard de Cani said: “Overwhelming support has been demonstrated throughout the consultation process for this extension of London Overground network to Barking Riverside.“We will now be moving this to the next step so that we can get construction underway. This vital new railway will breathe life into this area, enabling up to 11,000 vital new homes, along with healthcare and leisure services, to be delivered.”
A Bouygues-led consortium has won a design-build contract from the Dover Strait Ports Company (Société des Ports du Détroit) for the Port of Calais extension project in France.Apart from Bouygues Travaux Publics, the consortium includes Colas Nord-Picardie, Spie Batignolles and Jan De Nul.The contract is valued at about €675m, with Bouygues Construction having a share of about €300m. The project will involve the construction of a new 3km seawall, a new 100-hectare harbour basin to the north of the existing facilities, three new ferry berths and a roll-on/roll-off berth inside the harbour basin.Work will also include 4m cubic metres of marine dredging for the new quays, development of new cross-Channel traffic reception capacities such as 44 hectares of parking facilities and roads and around twenty operational and reception buildings. Bouygues Travaux Publics CEO Philippe Amequin said: "We are very pleased to have the opportunity to play a part in the economic development of Nord - Pas de Calais - Picardie region with this project, which will provide it with a port infrastructure corresponding to its ambitions, both in terms of functionality and of quality of service."Our teams have been at work since the contract was signed, and they are already at the site carrying out the engineering studies that will result in the construction of a state-of-the-art port."
Fife College has secured the option to buy land for the construction of a new college campus on the Shepherd Offshore site on Dunlin Drive, Dunfermline, Scotland.The project, which forms part of a broader plan announced to improve College estates across Fife, is estimated to cost about £90m ($130.1m).Principal Hugh Logan said: “Our students’ needs are paramount when making decisions about our new campus. The new state-of-the-art college will be built around the requirements of our students, from location and accessibility to the layout, design and resources required.”Scottish government’s NPD Programme will provide £70m of the project funding, while the remaining amount will be procured from Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and college resources.SFC has already given the go-ahead to an outline business case for the use of the site for the college build. A full business case for the college project is expected to be considered later in 2016. “Transport links will also be an important factor and we will work with Fife Council and partners to ensure the new campus benefits from excellent transport links,” Logan added.
Birmingham City Council has revealed details of the £500m Birmingham Smithfield redevelopment project.Spanning 14 hectares, the development will include over 300,000 sq m of commercial floor space, as well as 2,000 new homes in a mix of two-, three- and four-bed apartments.The project will also feature new squares, parks and gardens, retail markets, leisure facilities, cafes, independent shops, restaurants and hotels, buildings for cultural events, and pedestrian boulevards. It is expected to create 3,000 jobs in the region.Birmingham City Council chief executive Mark Rogers said: “Birmingham Smithfield will have a transformational impact that capitalises on the area’s unique heritage and focus for markets.“It will radically enhance the city’s retail, visitor and residential offer, as well as unlocking the growth potential of a much wider area.”
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a €175m long-term loan for the construction of a new industrial combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Kilpilahti, Finland. Estimated to cost €400m, the project will be developed by a joint venture between Borealis and Neste, alongside energy service company Veolia. Veolia will oversee the operation and maintenance of the plant. The project is being funded by the Nordic Investment Bank, BTMU, ING, Nordea, SEB and UniCredit. The new plant will supply heat to the oil refinery and chemicals plant on the site, and provide electricity to the grid.A total of four new steam and power generation assets will offer an installed capacity of 450MW thermal and 30MW electrical power. The new units will replace the old ones, enhance their environmental performance, as well as utilise industrial side streams such as asphaltene that would not be otherwise recovered for energy production. The facility will comply with the latest environmental regulations, and is projected to minimise carbon dioxide emissions by 20% after becoming operational during 2018.EIB vice president Jan Vapaavuori said: “The European Investment Bank strongly promotes energy efficiency and security of energy supply. Therefore, we are glad to foster the construction of the Kilpilahti power plant, which will offer long-term sustainable support to the largest concentration of oil refinery and petrochemical industries in the Nordic region. “The new plant will not only produce electricity and heat with higher efficiency and lower environmental impact, but also ensure a reliable supply of heat to on-site industrial consumers.”
Heathrow Airport has awarded contracts to Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend to help deliver its £16bn expansion project.The government’s independent Airports Commission recommended the expansion of the airport last July, stating that it could be done within environmental limits. “Heathrow’s expansion programme will focus on creating a world class, sustainable hub airport which is commercially attractive to both Heathrow’s shareholders and the airlines,” Heathrow said in a statement.The project is anticipated to boost UK economy by up to £211bn, as well as create 180,000 jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships.The expansion is expected to commence soon after securing the go-ahead from the government.Heathrow director of procurement Ian Ballentine said: “I’m delighted that our client partners are now on board and I look forward to working with them to give the UK a truly world-class, sustainable hub airport. This privately-financed, £16bn project will benefit the whole UK as we work to widen the supply-chain right across the nation.”
Developer Ballymore has received funding from British property investor M&G Real Estate for the construction of the £200m Three Snowhill development in Birmingham, UK.The office development, which will cover an area of 420,000 sq ft, is due to be the largest ever speculative city centre office project built outside London.The property will feature 385,000 sq ft of office space, 35,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, accommodating nearly 4,000 workers.BAM Construction was appointed as preferred contractor for the project in June 2015. The project is expected to be completed at the end of 2018.Ballymore CEO Sean Mulryan said: “Ballymore is delighted to announce a start on the third and final phase of our Snowhill scheme. “Working with the city, our funding partner, M&G Real Estate, and our main contractor, BAM, we will deliver a landmark building and the final element of what is one of the largest and most prestigious commercial developments in central Birmingham.”
A joint venture (JV) of Bouygues Travaux Publics and Cimolai has signed a construction contract with the Garden Bridge Trust to deliver the Garden Bridge project in London. The JV’s scope of the work will include the completion of the detailed design, construction and planting the trees and shrubbery for the project, which is estimated to cost £175m. In April 2015, the JV won the contract for preconstruction services.The project has been designed by Flint and Neil and Moxon Architects. Arup, Heatherwick Studio and Dan Pearson Studios will offer advice to the trust on the bridge design and construction.Construction work on the project is expected to start in mid-2016 and will be completed in late 2018.Garden Bridge Trust chairman Lord Mervyn Davies said: “The Garden Bridge is a reality. We are on course with our fundraising targets, we are meeting the requirements of our planning conditions.“We have huge public support for the project and we look forward to working with Bouygues TP and Cimolai and all our partners to make this a special place to be enjoyed by Londoners and visitors in the heart of the city for years to come.”
Ground has been broken on the first phase of the £400m Kirkstall Forge mixed-use project in Leeds, UK.Located on 57 acres, the development will include 1,050 new homes, 300,000 sq ft of office space, as well as 100,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and community space. Wates will serve as the project’s principal contractor. Phase one of the project will involve the creation of a Grade A office building, covering an area of 110,000 sq ft. The seven-storey building is expected to be ready for occupation in the third quarter of 2017.With the ground breaking, Zenith, a leasing, fleet management and vehicle outsourcing business, has signed a pre-let agreement to occupy a new flagship headquarter office building at the development. Under the deal, the company will occupy over 45,000 sq ft net over the three upper stories that include a roof level meeting room suite.In addition, developer CEG has announced plans to relocate its northern office to the new development. The developer will occupy nearly 10,000 sq ft on the ground floor, with the remaining ground floor and three remaining floors of 18,500 sq ft each to be made available to the market.CEG director Jon Kenny said: “Kirkstall Forge is unique, it will deliver fresh, sustainable new ways of living and working amongst acres of green space in a wooded riverside setting. With schools, contemporary housing, restaurants, cafés and light-filled offices, it will provide the vibrancy of city life as well as the tranquillity of the outdoors.“Ultimately, this will not only be an ambitious and innovative development for Leeds, but will establish a new benchmark for office developments across the rest of the UK.”
Implenia has secured a contract valued at over CHF100m ($101.2m) to construct a new landmark for North Zurich, Switzerland.The company has won the total contractor mandate by making use of digital 4D Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the tender phase. The scope of the contract, awarded by SBB Immobilien, will include the construction of the Andreasturm building. The 80m high building, located next to the railway station in Oerlikon, Zurich, has been designed by architects Gigon/Guyer.The development will include about 20,000 sq m of office space, ample room for shops, cafés and restaurants, and a direct link to the platforms and station underpass. It will also be energy efficient, and will comply with the DGNB Platinum label standards adapted by the Swiss Sustainable Building Council. Construction work on the project is expected to commence in April 2016.
Town Centre Securities (TCS) and GMI Construction Holdings have formed a joint venture company known as Belgravia Living Group to deliver a residential project in Piccadilly Basin, Manchester.Phase one of the residential project, which has already received planning approval, will include the construction of the 90,000 sq ft Burlington House building. Designed by architect Simpson Haugh, Burlington House will feature 91 apartments.The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has approved a £9.741m loan from the Greater Manchester Housing Fund to support the first phase on Tariff Street. Preparatory site work is expected to begin in April 2016, with an 18-month development programme expected to commence in June 2016.Overall, the project will deliver 900 homes over the next six years. The development of all phases of the project is expected to entail an investment of nearly £300m.GMI Construction Holdings group managing director Jarrod Best said: “We are delighted to have joined forces with TCS to deliver what will be a high quality residential scheme to suit discerning owners and occupiers within the key Manchester M1 postcode.”
Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has secured planning consent for transformation of the former Royal Mail sorting office at Copperas Hill in Liverpool, UK into a new £100m building for the university.