Category: Construction Blogs

Keltbray brings down 198 metre power station chimneys: Video

Keltbray completed the latest major demolition job at the former Ferrybridge ‘C’ Power Station in West Yorkshire on Sunday.

A single ‘blowdown’ saw the removal of the two chimney stacks, the main boiler house, and Bunker Bay.

At 198-metres high, the two chimney stacks were the tallest structures at the Ferrybridge site. This blowdown follows the successful demolition of a cooling tower at the site in July 2019 and four further cooling towers in October of the same year.

Keltbray carried out the blowdown using controlled explosives, with a 250-metre exclusion zone being put in place to ensure safety. In addition, nearby homes were evacuated for a short time with Keltbray and site owner SSE engaging with residents throughout.

Bobby Ellis, Keltbray Senior Project Manager, Demolition & Construction said: “This morning’s blowdown was a success. The demolition was months in planning and marks another major milestone in history, not only in Ferrybridge but in the UK in general.

“Keltbray is committed to being considerate to the communities in which we operate. As well as engaging with local residents, we put in place comprehensive ground monitoring to ensure the surrounding structures were unaffected by the blowdown, and we’re pleased to report that the activity went ahead safely and efficiently.

“The demolition activities are part of SSE and Keltbray’s ongoing commitment to be low-carbon and focus on renewable energy, in line with the UK’s ambition for net zero carbon emissions by 2050. I’d like to say a massive well done and thanks to the project team for all their hard work. Also thanks to the local community for their patience and cooperation.”

SSE Group Energy and Commercial Director, Martin Pibworth said:“This blowdown represents a major milestone in our decommissioning of Ferrybridge ‘C’ and is another special and poignant moment for the local community, with the power station playing a major role in so many people’s lives.

“As the UK looks to lead by example in tackling climate change, SSE is committed to driving the transition to a net zero future with a core focus on renewable energy, backed up by cutting-edge, low-carbon power stations.

“This latest blowdown was many months in planning, and we have worked closely with local residents, Wakefield Council, West Yorkshire Police, the Highways Agency and the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure a safe and efficient demolition.”

Highways England gets new name and CEO

Highways England has changed its name again as its new chief executive was confirmed.

Nick Harris is the new full-time leader of the government company which builds and operates the country’s motorways and major A-roads.

Harris has been acting chief executive since taking over from Jim O’Sullivan in February.

Highways England will also now be known as ‘National Highways’ which “reflects the new focus the company has on delivering the government’s £27bn strategic roads investment programme, while also continuing to set highways standards for the whole UK.”

The last rebranding of the company was from the Highways Agency to Highways England in 2015.

Highways England Chair, Dipesh J Shah said: “Nick’s steady hand throughout the last few months has established a solid foundation to help us on our journey to transform how we work with our supply chain, how we deliver our net zero carbon and how we realise our digitalisation ambitions.”

Harris said: “I am pleased to be taking up the reins at such an exciting time. We have achieved a great deal and there is still more to be done.

“As we deliver the second roads investment strategy ensuring the safety of all road users, the delivery of our work and the benefits to our customers remains at the centre of our organisation.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added: “Nick will be an excellent CEO and I’m looking forward to continuing to work closely with him as we build back better across the country.

“Nick will steer Highways England into an exciting new chapter, as it evolves into National Highways and delivers on our £27bn plan to improve our roads and make journeys safer, smoother and greener.”

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Kier road workers stage sick pay protest

Highways workers at Kier are planning a protest on Wednesday following a row over sick pay.

Construction union Unite is backing the demonstration at Kier’s Basingstoke office following a dispute on its Highways England Area 3 contract which covers Hampshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and parts of Buckinghamshire.

Unite officials said the workers – who have provided a seven day, 24 hour service throughout the pandemic – only receive statutory sick pay (SSP) worth just £96.35 a week when off work.

Office based Kier staff  and workers directly employed by client Highways England receive full sick pay for up to three months.

Unite regional officer Malcom Bonnett said: “Kier’s workers who operate in all weathers to keep the South East’s motorway network fully operational deserve full sick pay, when they are ill.

“The pandemic has exposed the fact that workers simply can’t survive on SSP which is less than £100 a week.

“The lack of sick pay results in workers continuing to come to work when they are ill. In normal times, due to the safety critical work they undertake. this could have tragic consequences. During the Covid pandemic it leads to unnecessary risk of exposure to infection.

“It is simply unjustifiable that office based workers receive full sick pay while those working on the motorway network only receive SSP.”

A Kier spokesperson said: “The terms and conditions of our operational workforce in Highways, including those employed in Area 3, are aligned with the Construction Industry Joint Council, which is a union-supported national agreement.

“The welfare of our employees is a key priority for us and we are therefore committed to working through this matter in collaboration with Unite.”

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McLaren director steps in to help out Sandwell Council

McLaren Construction has seconded its Group Director of Strategic Partnerships Kim Bromley-Derry to become Interim Chief Executive at Sandwell Council.

The Enquirer understands Bromley-Derry will work three days a week at the Labour-run council which has been hit by a series of recent departures.

He has more than 35 years of public sector experience and joined McLaren in 2018 to grow the partnership and joint venture side of the business.

Bromley-Derry remains a McLaren employee and will return full time to the business after helping out at Sandwell Council.

Councillor Rajbir Singh, the Leader of Sandwell Council, said: “I would like to welcome Kim as the new Interim Chief Executive. His experience, understanding and insight will be invaluable to us in delivering on our Vision 2030 for the people and businesses of Sandwell and I thank McLaren for releasing Kim to undertake this role.”

Bromley-Derry said: “I am enthusiastic about supporting Sandwell Council over the coming months as its Interim Chief Executive. I am looking forward to working with the councillors, managers, residents and staff in Sandwell in order to deliver the council’s Vision whilst in the role.”

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Liverpool firm collapsed owing £4.25m to subcontractors

North west building contractor Nobles Construction collapsed into administration leaving subcontractors and suppliers £4.25m out-of-pocket.

The £25m revenue Liverpool contractor employed over 50 staff and had been battling with the impact of Covid on the business and two contract disputes with clients.

Employment claims stand at over £570,000 following the firm’s administration at the end of June.

Early details of the firm’s creditors sent to administrator MB Insolvency reveal nearly 400 firms impacted by the collapse of the Wavertree-based building contractor, which was established in 1995.

A dispute with the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts over time extensions had resulted in three adjudications in Nobles’favour.

It is understood LIPA had contested the adjudications and launched High Court action against the building contractor for around £1.8m.

Nobles was also locked in a payment dispute with developer High Street Group over a £33m contract for a 362-apartment project known as Cheshire Junction in Warrington.


Firms called to register for £3.5bn Kent theme park

The London Resort has opened pre-procurement registration of firms interested in helping to deliver its planned 500-acre theme park on the Swanscombe peninsular in Kent.

Billed as one of the most ambitious theme park projects ever in Europe, the London Resort will be the first European development of its kind to be built from scratch since the opening of Disneyland Paris in 1992.

The ambitious project, which would cover the area of 136 Wembley stadiums, is being delivered by London Resort Company Holdings, which is owned by the Kuwaiti European Holding Company Group.

With over £1bn due to be invested in the scheme, it has been designated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and was accepted for examination by the inspectorate at the start of this year.

Since then London Resort has requested an extension to submit revised proposals following Natural England’s decision to apply to designate 250ha of the Swanscombe Peninsula as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Provided its Development Consent Order application is granted, London Resort said works could start in 2022, with a view to the London Resort opening in 2024.

Click here for supplier registration.

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Rail website launch to improve infrastructure delivery

The Better Value Rail Toolkit has been launched to bring together the best ideas for rail schemes and make the delivery of transport infrastructure projects faster and cheaper.

The website can be used by those sponsoring rail schemes and their advisors to help make the right decisions early on in rail projects.

The brainchild of the Department for Transport, Network Rail and Office of Rail and Road is designed to help deliver infrastrucrure more quickly, save money and make sure that rail is the best fit for any given project.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “This is a brilliant new website that brings together the best thinking and ideas from across the rail industry and allows everyone to access it.

“We have created a toolkit for early-stage thinking that will make the delivery of transport infrastructure projects faster and cheaper as we build back better on our railways.”

Network Rail’s chief executive Andrew Haines said: “The Better Value Rail toolkit has been developed based on listening extensively to stakeholders about how we can provide clear advice and support, be easier to do business with and help ensure focus on schemes that have a good chance of being delivered.

“That’s why we believe the toolkit will help us turn good ideas into great schemes, delivering for passengers, local communities and the taxpayer.”

John Larkinson, chief executive at ORR, said: “We have to make sure that money available to develop new rail schemes is used wisely. I’m pleased that the rail industry has worked closely together here, and as a joint team, to help people develop projects.

“The toolkit is a one-stop shop to help make better decisions earlier and identify the right solutions to drive better value by saving time and money.”

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Construction Career Paths

Construction involves much more than what you could see on a construction job site. A construction career is much more than being a construction worker or a handyman. With the proper qualifications under your belt, there are many job opportunities in a wide range of supervisory, hands-on, or even managerial roles. Many construction careers require many years of schooling and training to qualify for. But regardless of your previous experience, a career in construction is one that is worth taking a look at.


Career options for individuals with no prior experience in the construction field are quite varied. High school graduates and individuals with GEDs seeking a position in the building industry can take advantage of available jobs in the construction industry. With a high school diploma or GED, there are construction jobs available for individuals with a high school diploma. Construction careers require skilled workers with a wide variety of abilities. It is important to have a broad range of skills to succeed in any career, but this is especially important when considering construction jobs.

Careers in construction offer very well earning potential for college students interested in pursuing a career path in the construction industry. There are also career paths available for those who have completed college and are looking to advance their education. College graduates may enter the construction job market as entry-level workers. These workers typically are required to start at the bottom of the ladder and work their way up, working their way up until a job is available at the top of the ladder.

Those who have completed college and are interested in advanced positions within the construction industry often turn to project management. Project management is a key skill in all construction jobs because government standards define project management as the supervision of a project from its inception to completion. Project management is an important skill because it involves the supervision of projects from conception to completion. Without project management, many construction jobs would not be complete. However, those who have completed a four-year degree in the field often find that a career in project management is one of the most satisfying and lucrative fields of construction jobs available.

Another skill needed in the construction industry is electrical and mechanical engineering. As construction jobs progress, more complex equipment needs to be used in the construction process. Electrical and mechanical engineers are responsible for designing, building, and maintaining these machines so that construction projects can proceed as smoothly as possible. With an engineering degree, you may even be able to move into different types of administration.

Those who want to work in different types of industries are also interested in the construction project managers of today. The construction project managers of days past rarely had degrees in any field other than construction. However, because the technology involved in today’s construction projects is so vastly different from what was used in years past, there has been a need to develop specialized construction career paths. There are currently career paths available that allow those without a science degree in science, mathematics, or computer science to enter into the construction industry. These careers require a combination of math, science, computer skills, and interpersonal skills.

One of the easiest career paths to follow is the construction project manager with business management and building estimating skills. A construction project manager is responsible for ensuring that all necessary materials, tools, materials, and equipment are available on-site for work. He is also in charge of making sure that the job is being done promptly. To work as a project manager, a person must have an advanced degree in business or a related field. Some of the typical degrees obtained in this career path include a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Information Systems, and an MBA.

One of the most popular careers in the construction field involves being a civil engineer. Civil engineers are responsible for analyzing large-scale construction projects. They are responsible for determining the safety and efficiency of the project by evaluating the impact of various changes on the surrounding environment. Most of these civil engineers normally hold a master’s degree in civil engineering. Some of the typical degrees obtained in this career path include a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering, and a Master’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering.