Category: Construction Blogs

Strucktor lands fit-out package from Ardmore at £111m Whiteleys site

Mechanical engineering specialist Strucktor has won a major package from Ardmore on its £111m redevelopment of the former Whiteleys shopping centre in London’s Bayswater.

Ardmore is currently delivering residential fit-out works at The Whiteley which will be home to 139 luxury residences across 300,000 sq ft of exceptional space.

Strucktor has secured the high end spec fit-out mechanical package and will start on site in Q2 2022 with a workforce of 40 employees,

The deal is a continuation of a five-year relationship between Strucktor and Ardmore and follows their collaboration at the iconic Old War Office project in Whitehall where Strucktor have undertaken the infrastructure works and fit-out mechanical works.

At The Whiteley Ardmore will also deliver up to 20 new shops, cafes and restaurants, a central public courtyard, a cinema, a gym and London’s flagship Six Senses hotel and spa with 110 rooms, as well as a social wellness club, all set behind a retained and restored Grade II-listed façade.

Construction has already commenced on the main works, with fit-out works scheduled to complete for 2023.


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Green light for £80m Merseyside station

Enabling works will start in the New Year on the proposed new £80m Merseyrail train station on Headbolt Lane in Kirkby.

Knowsley Council has granted planning permission for a new station which is planned to open by Spring 2023.

The scheme is being delivered by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in partnership with Knowsley Council, Network Rail, Merseyrail and Northern.

The new station plans include:

Step-free access throughout the stationA bus interchangeCycle parkingLinks to local cycling and walking networksPassenger waiting facilities and toiletsApproximately 300 park and ride spaces

The full scheme includes the extension of the Merseyrail network beyond the existing Kirkby station and will see Merseyrail services run into the new station.

Northern services from Wigan and Manchester will also operate to and from the new three-platform station.

It will be the first station to benefit from battery technology on the new trains for the Merseyrail network, removing the need to extend the third rail beyond the existing Kirkby station.

The scheme is also designed to support future plans to build a new rail link to Skelmersdale, on which the Combined Authority is working closely with Lancashire County Council, West Lancashire Borough Council and Network Rail to support.





CR Construction wins trio of Manchester towers

Developer Far East Consortium (FEC) has confirmed contractor CR Construction (UK) as winner of the latest three-tower phase of Manchester’s largest regeneration project.

The main works contract at Victoria Riverside will see CR Construction deliver three waterfront residential towers at the Victoria Riverside development on the banks of the River Irk.

Victoria Riverside is one of the first developments being brought forward as part of FEC and Manchester City Council’s Victoria North project, which will create 4,000 new homes over the next 15 years.

Anthony Payne, commercial director at FEC, said: “We’re hugely excited to start bringing to life the vision for Victoria North with this landmark development that will bring additional green living to Manchester city centre.

“CR Construction’s experience and 50-strong local team will no doubt stand us in good stead for the delivery of this complex project at the heart of a fast-emerging neighbourhood.”

Mark Peatfield, MD at CR Construction (UK), added: “We are delighted to have been appointed as the preferred contractor to deliver FEC’s Victoria Riverside development, as we look to further grow our portfolio in Manchester.”

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Plans in for 2m sq ft Ilkeston warehouse park

Developer Verdant Regeneration has submitted plans to redevelop the former Stanton Ironworks near Ilkeston in Derbyshire into a vast industrial and warehouse park.

The firm plans to transform the 200-acre site located near J25 of the M1 between Nottingham and Ilkeston, building 2m sq ft of new build warehouse and industrial space, with the ability to deliver a single building of around 1 million sq ft.

As well as extensive remediation and re-use of a large, brownfield site, the plans for New Stanton Park include consolidation of the existing rail line and provision of new rail spur.

David Grier, of Verdant Regeneration, said: “Having acquired the site in 2020, we have worked hard across the team to quickly bring forward an outline planning application on what is one of the largest regeneration projects within the region.

“New Stanton Park offers an excellent strategic location, blending an active rail connection with strong private and public transport connectivity, plentiful labour and large power supply.

“When combined, we are confident this will result in a highly successful development with the next chapter set to positively transform and improve the area, bringing forward large-scale job creation in the process.”

With a direct and operational link to the Midland Mainline railway, the site has potential to become a key distribution point for materials being imported and exported efficiently throughout the UK and beyond.


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Esh Construction lands record housing contract

Esh Construction is set to start work next year on a £26m residential scheme which will bring 185 new homes to Amble in Northumberland.

The Longstone Manor job on behalf of Home Group is the contractor’s largest ever housing win.

P+HS Architects has designed the transformation of the seven-hectare which will be built in phases over the next four-and-a-half years.

Esh’s North East Pre-Construction Director, Chris Hale, said: “Being appointed to deliver this scheme marks a notable milestone for Esh’s housing division and is a major step forward for our overall growth plans. This development has been long in the making and we are delighted to see it come to fruition.

“Extensive work from all parties has gone into making this scheme viable over the past three years – collaborative working at its best – and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in getting to this point. We look forward to getting underway in the new year.”

Simon Williams, Head of Development and Delivery at Home Group, said: “We’re excited for work to get underway at Longstone Manor which is set to create a brand-new community and deliver much needed housing in Northumberland.

“The development is a fantastic example of collaborative working as it will not only see the construction of affordable homes for rent, but outright sale and shared ownership properties through Persona Homes as well.”

The neighbourhood design has a key focus on public open space with a rich biodiversity to maintain and encourage wildlife. A Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme will also be constructed.

Esh has been appointed as the design and build contractor and will work in partnership with Curtins, P+HS Architects, Storm Tempest, AA Projects Ltd and Southern Green to deliver the scheme.

SMEs dominate £650m northern housing upkeep framework

EN:Procure, the procurement arm of regional social housing consortium Efficiency North, has awarded spots on its new housing installation, servicing, maintenance and repairs framework to 37 contractors.

Nearly nine out of 10 firms winning places on over 50 lots are SMEs. An estimated £650m work pipeline will be shared among these firms over the four-year lifetime of the framework.

Efficiency North is growing its social housing landlord membership across the whole of the North of England and now counts over 30 social housing landlords among its members.

Firms picking up multiple lots across the North West and East Midlands regions are: Bell Decorating, A Connolly, P Casey, Engie Regneration, Jackson Jackson & Sons and J Tomlinson.

The lots for schemes under £1m provide opportunities for smaller and medium-sized local firms.

Around 86% of those appointed are SMEs with half locally based and have been given the chance to work on social housing construction projects in their  neighbourhoods.

Installation, Servicing, Maintenance and Repair Works winners

EN Procure housing repair framework

The new framework is predominantly for social housing but may extend to other public buildings such as schools and offices and other areas of the UK.

The new framework will build on the success of EN:Procure’s previous installation, repairs and maintenance frameworks, which, between 2016-2021, helped members procure and deliver various elemental replacement works for local communities with an overall underlying contract value in excess of £200m.

Emma Mottram, EN:Procure Head of Operations, said: “With this diverse range of small and large contractors operating across Northern England, it will provide an intelligent procurement solution with maximum flexibility via the range of contract options and processes.”


Plan for £2bn Edinburgh West Town

A development consortium is advancing plans for a 7,000-home new town on a 200-acre site beside Edinburgh Airport.

Developer West Town Edinburgh is now moving forward with its plans for the £2bn ‘West Town’ following guidelines set out by the proposed Edinburgh City Plan 2030.

Oil and property magnate Sir Bill Gammell will head the ambitious plans after Drum Property Group made a significant equity investment in the development company taking on a key management and development role.

Sir Bill, Chairman of West Town Edinburgh, said:  “We see a wonderful opportunity and important responsibility working alongside all stakeholders to create a pioneering, innovative and sustainable legacy for the future West Town community of Edinburgh.”

The West Town site, located between Ingliston Park & Ride and the Gogar Roundabout, is regarded as one of the most strategically important development areas in Scotland.

Graeme Bone, Group Managing Director of Drum, said: “Drum has a proven track record of delivering high-quality large-scale communities across Scotland.

“This is a once-in-a generation opportunity to deliver the transformation of the west of Edinburgh while playing a critical role in Scotland’s economic recovery and ongoing development for decades to come.

“As well as the close proximity to the airport, the site has direct access to some of the best public transport in Scotland.

“The tram line travels directly through the site and there are integrated rail, cycle and road connections creating a strategic gateway to the city.”

Graeme Bone (L) Group Managing Director of Drum Property Group and Sir Bill Gammel (R) Chairman of West Town Edinburgh unveil the New Vision for West Town


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New chief named for O’Connor Utilities group

OCU Group, parent company of O’Connor Utilities and Instalcom, has appointed Michael Hughes as chief executive officer.

Hughes, 53, takes up the role in January at the £300m revenue business, joining from petrol station and food retailer EG Group where he helped grow that business to revenues of over £20bn, firstly in his capacity as chief financial officer and more latterly as chief strategy officer.

Before that he was previously group chief financial officer of recycling company EMR, and prior to that worked in the Caudwell Group and HomeServe businesses.

Hughes will grow the OCU group, which was formed in 1994 and has main offices in Manchester, and London, and 15 strategically located operating centres, operating with a work force in excess of 2,400 staff.

Tim and Tom O’Connor, owners of OCU Group, will remain in the business in the capacity of chairman and chief operating officer respectively.

Hughes will work closely with John McVeigh, executive director of Instalcom, Adrian O’Sullivan and Vince Bowler, managing directors of OCU Group’s operating businesses O’Connor Utilities and Instalcom, to grow the businesses.

Tim O’Connor said: “We are excited to welcome Michael to the OCU Group business. Michael has a proven track record in developing and executing growth strategies across a number of industries, and we believe Michael will work well with our existing management teams in supporting our future development and ambitious growth plans”.



British Gypsum upgrades website to improve product data info

British Gypsum has launched its new website as part of its wider commitment to continue to provide better data, tools and support for its partner construction customers.

The website delivers a range of new features and is one of the steps that British Gypsum is taking following an in depth review of its approach to data and marketing integrity, to help raise building standards across the industry and facilitate better building outcomes.

In order to ensure that it provides users with access to the most accurate and up-to-date tested product and specification information, the new website is fed by a Product Information Management (PIM) system, which provides all the performance data on British Gypsum’s drylining products, systems and specifications from a single source.

This is in line with the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI), giving partner construction customers total confidence in the accuracy of product information, making it easier to specify systems and products.

The new website will automatically serve EN, rather than BS standards across the site, meaning that all product performance data provided has been tested to the more rigorous EN standards. While the White Book Specification Selector will now be prioritising EN standards going forwards, British Gypsum’s bank of BS standards data will still be available on the website for customers specifying to the latter.

As part of British Gypsum’s commitment to providing its partner construction customers with complete transparency and all the information required to support the ‘golden thread’, the new website has a dedicated project area which allows users to set up separate ‘projects’ and gain access to additional documents including test reports and BIM files.

In addition, British Gypsum’s industry-leading online White Book Specification Selector has been revamped to improve functionality and make it easier for users to find exactly what they are looking for based on their criteria. With the ability to compare up to three specifications and remove any ambiguity, users are able to easily identify the right specification for every project.

Stacey Temprell, Marketing Director at British Gypsum, said: “We are proud to have launched our new website and do our bit to provide complete transparency of our product and system data. The website has been developed to provide certainty when it comes to fire safety and technical competency, and ultimately help our partner construction customers build better.

“The construction industry has been faced with a high level of scrutiny in previous years and it is our responsibility as the UK’s leading manufacturer of high performance drylining and finishing solutions, to tackle this head on and continue to improve our own standards, whilst encouraging our partner construction customers to do the same.

“Having reviewed the way in which we manage data and marketing integrity at British Gypsum, it is clear that the only way to achieve lasting and tangible results for the business and our customer’s, is to provide clear and accurate product, system and specification information that can always be relied upon.

“The new website is just one of the measures that we have implemented to ensure that we continue to provide our partner construction customers with clear, accurate and up-to-date information, and we are proud to be doing our bit in helping the industry build better.”

Further features on the new website include the new digital training prospectus which showcases the training courses that British Gypsum provides, as well as an online chat feature, QBot, which has been built into the website to provide answers to some of British Gypsum’s most commonly asked technical questions 24/7.

A Thistle Plaster Coverage Calculator allows customers to calculate the exact amount of plaster needed for a project, and a Thermal Calculator to help measure thermal performance.

26 firms win £7bn school building framework

Twenty six firms have chalked up places on the Department for Education’s £7bn school and further education building programme over the next four years.

The firms are spread across 22 lots covering over three value bands and key English regions.

High-value projects over £12m


Bowmer and KirklandWillmott Dixon ConstructionBAM ConstructionKier ConstructionWates Construction


Bowmer and KirklandWillmott Dixon ConstructionBAM ConstructionKier ConstructionWates ConstructionSkanska Construction UKGrahamBouygues UK

Projects between £6m and £12m

North East and Yorkshire

Tilbury DouglasGalliford Try BuildingMorgan SindallISG ConstructionHenry Boot Construction

East Midlands

Tilbury DouglasGalliford Try BuildingMorgan SindallISG ConstructionGrahamHenry Boot Construction

East of England

Tilbury DouglasGalliford Try BuildingMorgan SindallISG ConstructionHenry BrothersMcLaren Construction


Tilbury DouglasGalliford Try BuildingMorgan SindallISG ConstructionGeoffrey OsborneBaxall constructionMcLaren Construction

South East

Tilbury DouglasGalliford Try BuildingMorgan SindallISG ConstructionGeoffrey OsborneMcLaren Construction

South West

Tilbury DouglasGalliford Try BuildingMorgan SindallISG ConstructionSpatial InitiativeGoldbeck

West Midlands

Tilbury DouglasGalliford Try BuildingMorgan SindallISG ConstructionBouygues UK

North West

Tilbury DouglasGalliford Try BuildingMorgan SindallISG Construction

Projects up to £4.5m

North East

Bowmer and KirklandKier ConstructionWates ConstructionVINCI Construction- Building Division

Yorkshire and the Humber

Bowmer and KirklandKier ConstructionWates ConstructionENGIE RegenerationSpatial InitiativeRayner Rowen

East Midlands

Bowmer and KirklandKier ConstructionWillmott Dixon ConstructionWates ConstructionG F Tomlinson

East of England A

Bowmer and KirklandKier ConstructionVINCI Construction UK  – Building DivisionENGIE RegenerationThe McAvoy Group

East of England B

Bowmer and KirklandKier ConstructionWillmott Dixon ConstructionWates ConstructionENGIE RegenerationSpatial Initiative


Bowmer and KirklandKier ConstructionWillmott Dixon ConstructionWates ConstructionVINCI Construction UK – Building DivisionENGIE RegenerationSpatial Initiative

South East A

Bowmer and KirklandKier ConstructionWillmott Dixon ConstructionWates ConstructionBaxall constructionENGIE RegenerationSpatial Initiative

South East B

Bowmer and KirklandKier ConstructionWillmott Dixon ConstructionWates ConstructionENGIE RegenerationSpatial Initiative

South West A

Kier ConstructionVINCI Construction UK  – Building DivisionENGIE RegenerationDarwin Group

South West B

Kier ConstructionENGIE Regeneration

West Midlands

Bowmer and KirklandKier ConstructionWillmott Dixon ConstructionWates ConstructionG F Tomlinson

Lot 22 – Low value band: North West

Bowmer and KirklandKier ConstructionWates ConstructionConlon Construction

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