HS2 dig unearths “astounding” Roman statues

Archaeologists working on HS2 project have uncovered a set of rare Roman statues whilst excavating a Norman Church in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire.

The work has been carried out by HS2’s Enabling Works Contractor Fusion JV (Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, BAM Nuttall and Ferrovial Agroman), and its archaeological contactor, L-P Archaeology.

In the final stages of the excavation at the site of the old St Mary’s Norman church in Stoke Mandeville, archaeologists were excavating a circular ditch around what was thought to be the foundations of an Anglo-Saxon tower.

As they dug down, they uncovered three stone busts which are stylistically Roman. Two of the busts comprise of a head and torso which had been split before deposition, and the other just the head. The two complete statues appear to be one female adult and one male adult, with an additional head of a child.

In addition to the statues, an incredibly well-preserved hexagonal glass Roman jug was also discovered. Despite being in the ground for what is thought to be over 1,000 years, the glass jug had large pieces still intact.

The team can only find one comparison for this, a completely intact vessel which is currently on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Other finds include large roof tiles, painted wall plaster, and Roman cremation urns.

Dr Rachel Wood, Lead Archaeologist for Fusion JV, said: “For us to end the dig with these utterly astounding finds is beyond exciting. The statues are exceptionally well preserved, and you really get an impression of the people they depict – literally looking into the faces of the past is a unique experience.

“Of course, it leads us to wonder what else might be buried beneath England’s medieval village churches. This has truly been a once in a lifetime site and we are all looking forward to hearing what more the specialists can tell us about these incredible statues and the history of the site before the construction of the Norman church.”

Mike Court, Lead Archaeologist at HS2 said: “HS2’s unprecedented archaeology programme has given us new insights into Britain’s history, providing evidence of where and how our ancestors lived.

“These extraordinary Roman statues are just some of the incredible artefacts uncovered between London and the West Midlands. As HS2 builds for Britain’s future, we are uncovering and learning about the past, leaving a legacy of knowledge and discovery.”

BAM appoints Createmaster on £192m Sky Studios site

O&Ms and Structured Data specialist Createmaster has won the contract from BAM to provide all the handover information for the new £192m Sky Studios project in Elstree, Hertfordshire.

Createmaster will be responsible for the accurate collation, management and delivery of the project’s asset information covering 11 geographically separate buildings as well as other regulatory required construction deliverables.

Sky Studios Elstree is a new state-of-the art film and TV studio with 13 studios, production offices, screening rooms and set construction workshops. Each building will require a tailored package of handover information.

A critical aspect of Createmaster’s ongoing role will be to manage and liaise with over 70 trades on and off-site to compile and complete accurate handover documentation.

Brian Dodsworth, Createmaster’s Managing Director, said: “Being involved in a project of this prestige and scale will present a welcome challenge for our team of information gathering and managing experts.

“With around 70 different trades to engage with over the course of the build, our signature attention to detail and no-stone-unturned approach will showcase the unrivalled skill of our workforce. We look forward to working with BAM, which has an excellent reputation for quality, accuracy and innovation.”

Gary Winn, Regional Design Manager at BAM added: “Ensuring the highest standards are met across our entire portfolio, through the whole building lifecycle, is paramount to our business. It’s an ethos which has established our reputation for quality across the entire construction journey and during occupancy.

“Aware that digital assets carry an equal importance to the physical, we needed to work with a digital partner which could manage the process of data collation seamlessly and meticulously.

“Createmaster’s reputation for excellence in this field precedes them, making them the obvious choice for this complex and expansive project.”

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Plans in for major overhaul of Surrey pharma campus

Global pharma company UCB is planning a major overhaul of a newly-acquired science campus in Windlesham, Surrey.

The revamp project will include a striking new three-storey timber building at its heart designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick.

The big job forms part of UCB’s plan to investing more than £1bn over five years to expand its research and development capabilities in the UK.

UCB bought the 19-hectare site in Windlesham from Eli Lilly and Company last year with plans to create a major new R&D hub supporting cutting-edge research and development, early manufacturing and commercialisation of medicines.

The scheme includes refurbishment and alterations to the Manor House at the site, internal refurbishment of  existing R&D buildings and the demolition of one wing and courtyard of the R&D building.


Existing former Eli Lilly campus in Windlesham and overhauled HQ campus for UCB

The central new 30,000 sq ft glulam collaboration hub is sunken one floor into the landscape to allow it to connect to the adjacent Chemistry East building at lower ground level.


Interior of central collaboration hub

Cambridge science park major expansion approved

Cambridge council planners has given the go-ahead for for two new buildings, a transport hub and gym at St John’s Innovation Park.

St John’s College and development manager Turnstone Estates are planning a two-phased development of two 85,000 sq ft office and R&D buildings and a new transport hub.

The transport hub will provide a gym available for all Park occupiers to use, extensive cycle storage, showers and a cycle repair facility.

Designed with ‘intelligent building’ and ‘smart office’ best practice principles in mind, the development is targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. It has already achieved a WiredScore Platinum Certification.

It is anticipated that the first phase of development – the construction of the Dirac Building and transport hub – will be delivered ready for occupation in 2023.

Chris Goldsmith, Managing Director, Turnstone said: “These new architecturally striking workspaces will resonate with the next generation of innovators in technology and R&D and attract those looking for accessible, well-connected, best-in-class buildings in the northern Cambridge Cluster”.

 

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Surgo Construction slips into red

North east builder Surgo Construction fell into the red last year after revenue slumped 40% to just under £13m.

The builder is now in revenue terms a third of the size it was when it was rebranded in 2004, following a demerger from the Bowey group.

James Walker, managing director, said the Newcastle firm’s fall to a loss of £400,000 from a £300,000 profit last year reflected the challenges of Covid during an already challenging period.

Net funds stood at £1.1m dowm from £3.7m in 2019.

Dedspite the revenue fall, staff levels remain steady at around 80 as the firm received £370,000 for the Government job retention scheme.

Walker said: “We currently have a strong order book with total budgeted turnover for 2021/22 representing a strong performance. At this level we will once again be profitable in 2021 despite the ongoing effects from Covid-19.

“We are continuing to tender for further work to enable us to achieve our budget and are confident this will be exceeded by the end of the year.”

Surgo’s commercial director, Dave Blyth, said: “We are enjoying a steady flow of new opportunities thanks to the buoyant market which looks set to continue for some time with increased levels of investment in the region and as more projects that had previously been put on hold because of Brexit uncertainly and more recently the pandemic, are resurrected

 

Chancellor levels up with extra spending boost

Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his levelling up Budget hailing a raft of countrywide local projects benefitting from targeted regional funding.

At least 105 local projects will benefit from £1.7bn of funding from the first round of the Levelling Up Fund.

This will range from regeneration in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, to a sustainable transport project in Renfrewshire and cultural assets in Powys.

He added that infrastructure would benefit from the Budget, which actually offered more limited actual extra capital spending announcements than the headlines suggested.

Sunak also fell short of announcing the outcome of the Government’s long-awaited Integrated Rail Plan promising this would be published soon. This will deliver the verdict on the future of HS2’s phase 2 eastern leg to Leeds.

Among real extra spending, £1.5bn more was committed to local transport projects taking the spend for the eight English city regions to £5.7bn.

English city regions local transport commitments

£830m to West Yorkshire for schemes such as the A61 improvements for buses, cyclists and pedestrians between Leeds and Wakefield£1bn to Greater Manchester for schemes such as the next generation Metrolink tram-train vehicles£1 bn to the West Midlands for schemes such as completing the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill metro extension and Sprint Phase 2£710m to Liverpool City Region for schemes such as battery power for new Merseyrail trains to expand the reach of the existing network£570m to South Yorkshire for schemes such as starting the renewal of the Supertram£310m to the Tees Valley for schemes such as upgrading Middlesbrough and Darlington stations and improving local rail links£540m to the West of England for schemes such as a fully prioritised bus route between Bristol and Bath.>

Sunak said: “Today, we’re providing £5.7bn for London-style transport settlements and we’re helping local transport, everywhere:

“With £2.6bn for a long-term pipeline of over 50 local roads upgrade. Over £5bn for local roads maintenance, enough to fill 1 million more potholes a year.”

“The Prime Minister promised an infrastructure revolution. This Budget delivers an infrastructure revolution.”

Among the local road upgrades the A509 Isham Bypass, A259 Bognor Regis and A350 Chippenham Bypass will progress to the next stage of development.

Over the Parliament, Sunak said the Government had committed to:

Headline spending commitments to 24/25

£1.8bn fund to deliver 160,000 more homes on brownfield sites£11.5bn for 180,000 affordable homes up 20% on last settlement£6.9bn for English city regions to spend on train, tram, bus and cycle projects£2.6bn set aside for 50 roads projects£5bn for local roads maintenance works,  repairing an extra 1m potholes per year£3.8bn to fund the largest prison building programme in a generation£5bn to retrofit defective cladding, funded by Residential Property Developers Tax levied on developers with profits over £25m at a rate of 4%.£850m to restore museums, galleries, libraries, and local culture in England.£205m to fund 8,000 community sports pitchesUp to £1.7bn to enable a large-scale nuclear project to reach a final investment decision this parliament

He also pledged to modernise R&D tax credits regime and a business rate holiday for businesses making building improvements.

Levelling up funding packages

 

 

Regional levelling-up projects – full list

Levelling up fund allocations by UK regions

North East

City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements:

£310m over five years to transform local transport networks in the Tees Valley, such as upgrading Middlesbrough and Darlington stations and improving local rail links.

Levelling Up Fund: £100m for 5 projects

Reopening the UK’s oldest road suspension bridge – Whorlton Bridge over the River Tees.Restoring Grainger Market in Newcastle.New Housing Innovation and Construction Skills Academy in Sunderland.Regenerating Yarm and Eaglescliffe town centres.New sports facility in West Denton.

Community Ownership Fund: £600,000 for 2 projects in North Shields and Whitley Bay

£300,000 for the North East Homeless Hub, North Shields.£300,000  for the Whitley Bay Big Local Community Building, Whitley Bay.

Other announcements include:

£210m funding for new Nexus trains to improve journeys for passengersAlmost £690,000 for regeneration of Church Lane North estate in Redcar and Cleveland from the £14 million estates regeneration share of the Brownfield Land Release Fund.Up to £50,000 through the Restoring Your Railway ‘Ideas Fund’ to develop an early-stage proposal to reinstate passenger rail links between Darlington and Weardale.Selecting East Coast Cluster (combining Teesside and Humberside) as one of two Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage clusters to be deployed by the mid- 2020s.UK Infrastructure Bank £107m loan to Tees Valley Combined Authority to develop a site for the manufacturing of wind turbine blades

North West

City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements: £1.07 bn to Greater Manchester and £710m to Liverpool City Region over five years for schemes such as next generation Metrolink tram-train vehicles, and battery power for rolling stock to expand the Merseyrail network.

Levelling Up Fund:£232m in total for 12 projects

Creating the Bolton College of Medical Sciences.Expanding the University of Central Lancashire’s Burnley campus.Rescuing the Ferry across the Mersey service in Woodside.New Civic Hub in Radcliffe to improve adult education.Renovating one of Britain’s favourite markets in Bury.Repurposing two dilapidated buildings in Manchester City Centre,Continuing the regeneration of Liverpool’s docks.Investing in three theatres in Colne Town Centre.Modernising Barrow-in-Furness’ Market Hall.Restoring the Grade II listed Ashton Town Hall.Building high-quality segregated walking and cycling routes across the Liverpool City Region.Delivering the Salford Rise project in Greater Manchester.

Community Ownership Fund: £635,088 will be allocated to 3 projects in Leigh, Marple and Clayton-le-Moors

£250,000 total funding for the Leigh Spinners Mill, Leigh.£200,000 total funding for the Wharf Community Hub, Marple.£185,088 total funding for the Clayton Community Wellbeing Hub, Clayton-le-Moors.

Other announcements include:

Brownfield Land Release Fund estate regeneration: £700,000 towards Sutton Way estate in Ellesmere Port, £1.49m towards Lower Falinge Area in Central Rochdale; and almost £975,000 towards Sale West estate in Trafford.Up to £50,000 each through the Restoring Your Railway ‘Ideas Fund’ to develop three early-stage proposals to reinstate passenger rail links between: Ashton and Stockport; Middlewich and Gadbrook Park; and Buckley Wells and Rawtenstall.£249m for local roads maintenance funding between 2022-23 and 2024-25 (enough to fill over 3 million potholes over the next 3 years), and over £50m for smaller transport improvement priorities through the Integrated Transport Block, to local authorities in the North West not receiving City region settlements.£14.7m investment through the Transforming Cities Fund to regenerate the Friargate North and Ringway area in Preston.Up to £2m for Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to develop a business case for a new waterfront attraction celebrating the work and legacy of the Beatles,Selecting HyNet North West as one of two CCUS clusters to be deployed by the mid-2020s, spanning Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and Warrington.

Yorkshire and the Humber

City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements: £830m to West Yorkshire and £570m to South Yorkshire over five years for schemes such as A61 improvements for buses, cyclists and pedestrians between Leeds and Wakefield and the renewal of the Sheffield Supertram.

Levelling Up Fund:£187m in total for 10 projects

Building a major waterfront extension in Doncaster.Refurbishment of Halifax Swimming Pool.New hospitality and visitor centres at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham.Finishing the Culture and Leisure Quarter in Rotherham Town Centre.Improving transport connections across West Leeds.Converting a derelict site in Wakefield into a new museum and gallery.Delivering the long-planned Centre for Child Health Technology in Attercliffe.Regenerating Whitefriargate and Albion Square in Hull City Centre.Developing Squire Lane Leisure, Wellbeing and Enterprise Centre in Bradford.Regenerating Castlegate Quarter in Sheffield.

Community Ownership Fund: £225,000 will be allocated to the Jubilee Centre in Bradford from the first round of the Fund to protect valued community assets.

Other announcementsinclude:

• Over £171m of local roads maintenance funding between 2022-23 and 2024-25 (enough to fill over 2 million potholes over the next 3 years) and over £33m for smaller transport improvement priorities through the Integrated Transport Block to Local Authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber not receiving City region settlements.

£16m for the Northern Forest to support new woodland creation.£31m to improve stations and walking/cycling access in Selby, Skipton and Harrogate.£390,000 will be allocated towards the regeneration of the Beech Hill estate in Halifax, Calderdale, from the £14 million estates regeneration share of the Brownfield Land Release Fund.Up to £50,000 each through the Restore Your Railway ‘Ideas Fund’ to develop three early-stage proposals to reinstate passenger rail links between Beverley and York, Stocksbridge and Sheffield Victoria (Don Valley Line) and on the Askern Branch Line.£77m for the redevelopment of the British Library Boston Spa.

East Midlands

Levelling Up Fund:£203m in total for 10 projects

A new science centre at Twycross Zoo.Revitalising Leicester Railway Station.Building a four-screen cinema in Gainsborough Town Centre.Completing the Southern Link Road between Farndon and Balderton.Building a new junction on the A50 in Derbyshire.Transforming the dilapidated Pilot House in Leicester into high-quality accommodation.Remodelling Stephenson Memorial Hall in Chesterfield.Repairing streets across Nottingham.Improving the A16 corridor in Lincolnshire.Developing Pioneer Park in Leicester for space and satellite technology sector.

Community Ownership Fund: £250,000 will be allocated to the Hub Community Centre and Café in Thurnby from the first round of the Fund to protect valued community assets.

Other announcements include:

£1.3m will be allocated towards the regeneration of two estates in the East Midlands: £250,000 towards the social club at the Hurst Farm Estate in Derbyshire Dales; and £1.05m towards the Yorke Drive and Lincoln Road Playing Fields in Newark and Sherwood.Over £342m between 2022-23 and 2024-25 (enough to fill over 4m potholes over the next 3 years) and over £75m for smaller transport improvement priorities through the Integrated Transport Block.£40m investment in Leicester for a city centre Electric Bus Link to connect rail and bus stations£7m for the National Forest to support woodland creation in the East Midlands.

West Midlands

City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements: £1.05bn over five years for schemes such as the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill metro expansion and Sprint Phase 2.

Levelling Up Fund:£196m in total for 11 projects

Regenerating the Goods Yard in Stoke-on-Trent.Improving the A457 Dudley Road in Birmingham.Developing a City Learning Quarter in Wolverhampton.Improving the Canal Towpath in Kidderminster.Regenerating the Moseley Road Baths in Birmingham.Redeveloping Stoke-on-Trent City Centre to create 250 new homes and a 2500-seater venue.Refurbishing the Prince of Wales Theatre in Cannock.Building a Physical Activity Hub in Bedworth.Redeveloping three sites across Stoke-on-Trent, creating over 200 new homes and community space.Regenerating two prime brownfield sites in Bromsgrove Town Centre into commercial and cultural spaceRemediating 20 hectares of unusable land in East Birmingham and North Solihull.

Other announcements include:

Over £270m of local roads maintenance funding between 2022-23 and 2024-25 (enough to fill over 3m potholes over the next 3 years) and over £40mfor smaller transport improvement priorities through the Integrated Transport Block for Local Authorities in the West Midlands not receiving City region settlements.£35m for Stoke-on-Trent, which includes funding to revamp the area around Stoke-on-Trent train station.£2.6m to amplify Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture 2021.£2.22m will be allocated towards the regeneration of 2 estates in the WestMidlands: over £410,000 towards Cross Street in Newcastle-under- Lyme; and £1.81m towards Kinghurst Village Centre in Solihull.Up to £50,000 each through the Restoring Your Railway ‘Ideas Fund’ to develop two early-stage proposals to reinstate passenger rail links between Stoke and Leek and Oswestry and Gobowen.

East of England

Levelling Up Fund: £87m in total for 5 projects

Upgrading coastal attractions at Southend-on-Sea.Building a new interactive science lab in Peterborough.Building over 300 new homes and 2,000 sq m community space in Luton.Upgrading the Clophill Roundabout in Central Bedfordshire.Developing a Community Wellbeing Hub in Houghton Regis.

Community Ownership Fund: £96,600 will be allocated to the Racehorse Inn in Westhall

Other announcements include:

Over £411m of local roads maintenance funding between 2022-23 and 2024-25 (enough to fill over 5m potholes over the next 3 years) and over £87m for smaller transport improvement priorities through the Integrated Transport Block.£39m of investment for Norwich, including funding for a new mobility hub at Norwich Rail Station£3.16m will be allocated towards the regeneration of 2 estates in the East of England: £2.3m towards the ‘Heart of Greenstead’ regeneration project in Colchester; and almost £860,000 towards the Middlegate Estate in Great Yarmouth.

London

Levelling Up Fund: £65m for 6 projects

Connecting Northolt Station to White Hart Roundabout.Transforming Whitechapel Road.Creating a new music education centre and concert venue in Nine Elms.Refurbishing the Carlton and Grenville Centres in South Kilburn.Building a new bridge over the River Lea in Newham.Connecting 75,000 of Newham’s residents to vital infrastructure by a 15-minute walk or cycle.

Other announcements include:

£3.27m towards the regeneration of 3 estates in London: over £470,000 towards the Bacton Low Rise Estate in Camden; £1m towards the Broadwater Farm Estate in Haringey; and £1.8m towards the regeneration of Beech Tree Place in Sutton.

South East

Levelling Up Fund: £151m in total for 11 projects from the first tranche of allocations from the Fund:

Widening Exceat Bridge in Seaford.Improving the iconic Columbine Building in the Isle of Wight shipyard.Transforming five hectares of brownfield into Ashford International Film Studios.Revitalising Hove’s seafront.Establishing Margate Digital to deliver technical qualifications to 200 learners a year.Revitalising the Alexandra Theatre in Bognor Regis.Creating the longest urban Linear Park in the UK in North Portsmouth.Redeveloping the Port and Royal Harbour in Ramsgate.Pedestrianising Victoria Place in Eastbourne.Building two new Fish Stage Landings and a Centre of Excellence at Newhaven.Repairing the Brook Theatre in Chatham Town Centre.

Community Ownership Fund: £1.48m will be allocated to 3 projects in Portsmouth, East Boldre and Bethersden from the first round of the Fund to protect valued community assets.

£986,000 total funding for the John Jenkins Stadium, Portsmouth.£250,000 total funding for the Community Stores, East Boldre.£250,000 total funding for the George pub, Bethersden.

Other announcements include:

Over £495m of local roads maintenance funding between 2022-23 and 2024-25 (enough to fill over 7m potholes over the next 3 years) and over 16

£141m for smaller transport improvement priorities through the Integrated Transport Block.£7m development funding to restore passenger rail links between Tottonand Fawley.£63m investment in Southampton through the Transforming Cities Fund,including for developing new rapid bus links.£125m for construction of the Natural History Museum research centre at Harwell in Oxfordshire South West

South West

City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements: £540m over five years for schemes such as a fully prioritised bus route between Bristol and Bath.

Levelling Up Fund: £131m in total for 6 projects from the first tranche of allocations from the Fund:

Upgrading ferries to the Isles of Scilly.University of Gloucestershire to bring empty buildings back into use.Regenerating Cinderford Town Centre.Expanding the George Park and Ride site in Plymouth.Linking Gloucester City Centre with its docklands.

A package of improvements along the A38 corridor north of Bridgwater.

Community Ownership Fund: £175,000 will be allocated to the Rising Sun pub in Woodcroft

Other announcements include:

Over £495m of local roads maintenance funding between 2022-23 and 2024-25 (enough to fund over 7m potholes over the next 3 years) and over £75mfor smaller transport improvement priorities through the Integrated Transport Bloc for Local Authorities in the South West not receiving City region settlements.£5m development funding to reopen rail stations in Wellington, Somerset and Cullompton, Devon.Up to £50,000 each through the Restoring Your Railway ‘Ideas Fund’ to develop three early-stage proposals to reinstate passenger rail links between Tavistock and Plymouth, reopen Corsham station and reopen Stonehouse Bristol Road station.£200m of new funding to continue the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly investment fund and support its expansion across the South West.

Scotland

Levelling Up Fund:£172m in total for 8 projects

Redevelopment of Inverness Castle.A new marketplace in Aberdeen City Centre.A direct route between Glasgow and the Three Towns in North Ayrshire.Transforming Pollok Stables and Sawmill in Glasgow into a net-zero heritage living centre.Redeveloping Granton Waterfront Northwest of Edinburgh.Upgrading Westfield Roundabout in Falkirk.Remodelling the Artizan Shopping Centre in West Dunbartonshire.Connecting the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District to Paisley, Renfrew and Inchinnan.

Community Ownership Fund: £1.07m will be allocated to five projects in Whithorn, Inverie, New Galloway, Kinloch Rannoch and Callander from the first round of the Fund to protect valued community assets.

£300,000 total funding for the Old Town Hall, Whithorn.£250,000 total funding for the Rannoch Hub, Kinloch Rannoch.£219,096 total funding for the Old Forge pub, Inverie.£175,000 total funding for the Town Hall, New Galloway.£124,800 total funding for the Callander Visitor Information Centre, Callander.

Other announcements include:

Providing the Scottish Government with £1.9bn for farmers and land managers and £42m to support fisheriesExpanding the existing trade and investment hub in EdinburghA £150m investment fund for Scotland through new funding for the British Business BankA further £8m from Project Gigabit to deliver full-fibre to 3,600 premises in Scotland including Aberdeenshire, Angus, Highland, Moray and Perth and Kinross.The government will provide up to £1 million, subject to business case, to support the delivery of an Extreme E race in Scotland – the 2022 Hebrides X- Prix. The event would highlight the climate challenges faced by different ecosystems and showcase Hebridean Green Hydrogen to a global audience.Up to £3m over three years to boost Glasgow’s cultural offer, subject to a business case. This funding will be directed to the Burrell Collection, recognising its important cultural and economic contribution to Scotland and the UK. It will enable the museum – which has undergone a major transformation – to bring its collections to life and attract new audiences as it reopens.

Wales

Levelling Up Fund: £121m in total for 10 projects

Revitalising the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site.The redevelopment of the Theatr Brycheiniog Arts Centre in Wrexham.Revitalising a disused section of the Montgomery Canal in North Powys.Cutting a 20km path from Carmarthen to Llandeilo.Regenerating the Old College and Marina in Aberystwyth.Re-opening the Muni Arts Centre in Pontypridd.Transforming the 900-year-old Haverfordwest Castle into an all-weather attraction.Establishing the Carmarthen Hwb.Building the Porth Transport Hub.Dualling 1.3km of the A4119.

Community Ownership Fund: £464,258 will be allocated to three projects in Llandwrog, Pen-y-Waun, and Tredegar

£250,000 total funding for the Ty’n Llan pub, Llandwrog.£124,258 total funding for the CANA Resource and Training Centre, Pen-y-Waun.£90,000 total funding for the Queen’s Ballroom, Tredegar.

Other announcements include:

Providing the Welsh Government with £0.9bn for farmers and land managers and £6.2mto support fisheriesUp to £50,000 through the Restoring Your Railway ‘Ideas Fund’ to develop an early-stage proposal to reinstate passenger rail links between Gaerwen and Amlwch in Anglesey.Accelerated funding for the Cardiff City Region Deal, bringing forward £105 million for the remaining 9 years of the Deal from 2022-23 onwards. This will fast-track support across Deal projects, including in advanced manufacturing capability in the region.A £130m investment fund for Wales through new funding for the British Business BankEstablishing a new trade and investment hub in CardiffThe establishment of a Veterans Commissioner for Wales, who will work to improve the lives and opportunities of the Welsh veterans’ community, recognising their contribution to UK Armed Forces.

Northern Ireland

Levelling Up Fund:£49m in total for 11 projects

Upgrading the electric vehicle charging network across Northern Ireland.The redevelopment of a derelict Ministry of Defence site in Derry/Londonderryinto an urban community farm.Creating a new bioscience research centre at Ulster University.Redeveloping Portrush Recreation Grounds.Redeveloping the Dundonald International Ice Bowl.Replacing a former police station in Glengormley with a new business hub.Extending Antrim’s boardwalk into the town centre.Regenerating Daisyfield Community Sports Hub.Regenerating Omagh Health Centre.Extending cycle routes across the Belfast City Region.Providing new and upgraded sports facilities in Castlederg.

Community Ownership Fund: £300,000 will be allocated to the Glens Digital Hub in Cushendall

Other announcements include:

Providing the Northern Ireland Executive with £1bn for farmers and land managers and £9.3m to support fisheries £70m for the British Business Bank to build on its existing programmes in Northern IrelandEstablishing a new trade and investment hub in BelfastContinuing to provide funding from the £400 million New Deal for Northern Ireland

Create Construction goes into administration

Blackpool based contractor Create Construction has called in administrators from RSM after challenging trading conditions made the company unviable.

Create Construction specialised in the hotel and student accommodation sectors on projects from £10-50m and was working on sites in Swansea, Liverpool, Leicester, Coventry and Salford.

Other companies within the Create group -the developments, homes and interiors arms – are unaffected by the administration.

Latest accounts for Create Construction for the year to February 29 2020 showed a turnover of £92.9m generating a pretax profit of £536,274 with the company employing 78 staff.

A statement from the firm said: “Following a very challenging trading period for the company, the directors of Create Construction have taken the difficult decision to appoint administrators, having exhausted other options.  Other companies within the Create Group are unaffected.

“The pandemic has severely affected both our clients and our supply chain’s ability to meet their contractual arrangements. An overrun in projects in both time and cost, a number of supply chain failures and delays to a secured pipeline of projects, has ultimately made the company unviable.

“We have been working with advisors, clients and funders to facilitate, where possible, the transfer of the contractual position of schemes on site, to allow the completion of these projects and to protect the creditors position as best we can.

“The pandemic has effected every area of our business, from delays in pipeline projects achieving planning approval and concluding funding, to access being restricted or denied into completed operational student accommodation buildings to allow us to complete 12 months defects works and to release significant retention monies owed to our supply chain.

“Having set the business up in 2006, we have worked hard to build our reputation in a competitive sector and we are proud of the fabulous schemes that we have delivered over the years.

“The construction industry continues to be hit hard as a result of the pandemic, with significant rising costs and limited resources available. As a consequence, we have seen the failure of some reputable and established companies like ourselves.

“At the heart of Create Construction, was a very talented and loyal workforce, which very much formed the DNA of the business. We take some comfort that the majority of our staff have found new positions and we have no doubt that they will be valuable assets to those companies.

“We would like to thank our wonderful staff, colleagues, clients, consultants and supply chain members with whom we have worked with over the last 16 years.

“The directors will be assisting the administrators to try and obtain the best possible outcome for all parties affected.”


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Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick MD departs

Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick managing director Simon Lafferty is leaving the business.

His departure ends a 35-year career at Balfour Beatty, which saw him rise through the ranks after starting out as an apprentice electrician back in 1986.

Lafferty is rumoured to be heading for a top job at another large M&E contractor.

A Balfour Beatty spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Simon Lafferty has decided to leave the business to pursue an opportunity outside of the group.

“We would like to thank Simon for his outstanding contribution over the last 35 years and we look forward to welcoming his replacement in due course.”

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Castleoak was taking on staff seven days before going under

Collapsed retirement and care homes builder Castleoak was taking on new employees just seven days before bosses filed for administration.

Stunned staff were given the bad news on Monday with more than 100 people losing their jobs.

Among them was the new Head of Supply Chain who was only taken on the week before after leaving his previous employer of 13 years.

He wrote on LinkedIn: “Somewhat unbelievably, my employer of just seven days has today gone into administration. Not the best career move I have ever made!”

Reacting to the post another Castleoak worker made redundant said: “Never got to meet you but I’m sorry for the chaos you came to.

“Appalling that they let you start knowing what was going on, and yes they knew before you arrived… hope you find something soon.”

Castleoak was a Cardiff based developer with its own design and build division and offsite manufacturing facility.

Latest accounts filed at Companies House for Castleoak Holdings Ltd show that in the year to March 31 2019 the group made a pre-tax profit of £496,527 from a turnover of £67.2m and employed 152 staff.