Category: Construction Management

London secures £3.46bn affordable homes grant – list

The London Mayor has secured £3.46bn to deliver 29,456 homes with councils and housing associations from the first round of bidding for the next five-year affordable homes programme.

These fresh grants cement the council housing comeback in London, with more than four in 10 of the homes being built by councils, totalling 12,024 homes.

More than half of the social rented homes will be built by councils, and 57% of all homes will be for social rent.

A further £5.2bn was announced by the Government today for affordable homes to be delivered outside London by Homes England, but details have yet to be released.

The Mayor’s new 2021-26 programme – running alongside the extended 2016-23 programme – will see 79,000 new homes started over the next five years.

Affordable homes programme 2021-26 allocationsOrganisationTotal

HomesSocial Rent


FundingHavering395161£35.2 mEstuary Housing Association3016£1.3 mRichmond Housing Partnership13180£13.9 mCity of Westminster Council230106£24.1 mParagon Asra Housing1,455930£181.7 mHammersmith and Fulham394186£32.3 mPoplar HARCA227145£21.2 mA2Dominion Homes500300£56.0 mBarnet217105£23.5 mPlaces for   People Homes4444£4.0 mEaling1,032561£109.6 mHarrow –   Housing411219£44.4 mThe Guinness Partnership300150£32.7 mTBG Open Door Homes4810£3.8 mNewlon Housing Trust12080£15.8 mBromley535535£38.0 mOptivo1,500825£180.8 mWandsworth289138£23.4 mHyde Housing Association1,476590£163.8 mLewisham456285£70.0 mCroydon Churches Housing Association12050£12.5 mKingston upon Thames105105£13.1 mCity of London200150£16.5 mSouthern Housing Group300100£33.5 mLondon Legacy Development Corporation825149£67.7 mBrent701701£111.7 mCamden569569£86.6 mOne Housing Group386252£41.7 mHexagon Housing Association18090£24.9 mRiverside Housing Association15190£18.8 mPhoenix Community HA7348£10.0 mLambeth311212£28.2 mHounslow540540£93.2 mGreenwich230230£38.1 mLondon & Quadrant539154£55.1 mCromwood Housing7575£11.3 mNewham550500£91.7 mSutton6554£10.1 mWaltham Forest7777£15.4 mHackney100100£17.5 mHaringey647647£127.5 mBarking and Dagenham1,757573£171.0 mEnfield1,119824£166.6 mTower Hamlets194194£32.0 mMetropolitan Housing Trust1,035538£128.8 mCatalyst Housing1,000535£118.9 mNetwork Homes1,000500£122.5 mNotting Hill Genesis1,265577£126.8 mOctavia Housing450225£55.1 mReSI Homes1,250£56.3 mClarion Housing Group2,0001,250£240.0 mSouthwark852664£126.5 mPeabody Trust1,000500£120.0 mTotal29,45616,739£3.46bn

In total, almost six in ten of the homes (16,739 homes) funded by the first round of this affordable homes programme will be made available at the cheapest social rent.

The remainder will be for shared ownership and London Living Rent which can help Londoners on average incomes move into homeownership.

The Mayor has set ambitious targets for London to be a zero-carbon city by 2030 and expects homes built with funding announced today to be environmentally sustainable.

New standards introduced in the Mayor’s New London Plan include requirements for all developments of ten or more homes to be net zero-carbon and to incorporate sustainable urban green spaces.

Housing providers building homes funded by the new AHP will also have to meet new conditions on building safety and design.

HP funding project conditions

1. The installation of sprinklers or other fire suppression systems in new blocks of flats

2. A ban on combustible materials being used in external walls for all residential development, regardless of height

3. Minimum floor-to-ceiling heights and a requirement for private outdoor space

4. A ‘sunlight clause’ requiring all homes with three or more bedrooms to be dual aspect, any single aspect one- or two-bedroom homes to not be north-facing and at least one room to have direct sunlight for at least part of the day

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I am delighted that we have been able to come to a deal with the Government to get started on nearly 30,000 genuinely affordable homes.

“Today’s funding is good news but I know we can still go further, faster, working with ministers, housing associations and councils to deliver more of the homes Londoners so desperately need.”


£86m contest for landmark Portsmouth Uni project

The University of Portsmouth has started the hunt for a contractor to design and build its planned Victoria Park major teaching building.

The 12-storey building project will be let on a single-stage design and build basis with the University hoping to make an award in January to start work in February 2022.

Designs by architect Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and MEP consultant Buro Happold have been developed to RIBA Design Stage 4. These are targeting a top BREEAM rating of ‘Outstanding’.

Photovoltaic panels cover the angled roof, producing renewable power and a high performing façade will manage heat and light.

Park Room – view into social learning landings

Once complete in 2024, the building will house the Faculty of Business & Law and part of the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Accommodation will also include a ground floor café and event space and restaurant on the top floor with roof terrace.

New academic building facilities

250-seat and 500-seat lecture theatresTwo 150-seat flat classroomsCourt room, laboratories and a video production suiteGround floor events and exhibition spaceOffices and meeting roomsRoof terrace and sky restaurant

To express an interest in bidding click here.


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GRAHAM lands £22m Camden tower recladding deal

GRAHAM has landed a £22m contract from the London Borough of Camden to reclad one of the Chalcots Estate towers.

Wates was originally lined-up for the work on the Blashford Tower but failed to agree a final price with the council.

Wates landed a £90m deal with Camden in January 2019 to reclad five towers across the estate in the wake of the Grenfell disaster.

But Wates and Camden parted company last year after failing to agree final terms.

Due to its different structure a separate two stage design and build contract has been awarded for Blashford Tower so that work can start on the building sooner than if it was part of the overall Chalcots buildings tender.

In the first stage – beginning next month – Ccuncil Officers will work with GRAHAM and technical experts to finalise the design details and test how the works will be carried out.

In the second stage of the contract – from July 2022 to December 2023 – the contractor will source materials for the works, set up the site and carry out the works, including installing an A1 rated cladding system, new windows, curtain wall and the other works needed to deliver the highest standard of safety for residents.

Councillor Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Better Homes, said: “This is a significant step forward in delivering a new standard of resident safety for the Chalcots and I am pleased that we have reached this important milestone for Blashford with the appointment of GRAHAM.

“I share the disappointment that residents have felt about delays and so I know that they too will be pleased of this appointment and to see works getting underway.”

£40m Preston leisure scheme funding deal

Long-awaited plans to revamp Preston city centre with a £40m cinema and leisure complex will finally move to construction after councillors agreed a funding package for the project.

The new development, called ‘Animate’, will be located on the site of the former indoor market and will feature an eight-screen cinema and bowling alley along with five new restaurants and bars, a street-food hub, a car park, and new public square.

The scheme is being developed in partnership with Maple Grove Developments, part of the Eric Wright Group.

Negotiations with anchor operators for the cinema and bowling alley are at an advance stage, alongside strong interest for the restaurant units.

Subject to planning permission being granted, it is anticipated construction work on the project could begin in 2022 with the complex opening in spring 2024.

Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council, said: “This is a really positive step forward in our plans to bring this exciting development to Preston. The new development will breathe life into the city centre and reinforce the Harris Quarter as a premier cultural and leisure destination in Lancashire.”


Andrew Dewhurst, director of Maple Grove Developments, said: “We look forward to taking the development to the next stage and submitting a planning application this autumn.”

The development is one of six major projects planned under Preston’s Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme, for which the city was awarded £20.9m from the government’s national Towns Fund initiative in March.



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Cost of skilled site labour jumps 3.6% in one month

The cost of skilled labour on site increased by 3.6% last month as inflationary pressures cranked-up in the construction supply chain.

New payroll data from Hudson Contract show average weekly earnings for self-employed tradespeople rose to £904 during July, handing them an extra £124 over the month.

In the East Midlands labour costs hit an all-time weekly high of £1,014 with demand driven by new regeneration, housing and infrastructure projects.

Ian Anfield, Hudson managing director, said: “The housing market is booming with the price of the average UK home increasing by nearly £25,000 over the last year.

“We expect strong demand for new housing and renovation schemes to continue for the foreseeable future. The government is committed to big infrastructure investments as part of its ‘levelling up’ agenda, which is adding to confidence in the sector.

“The challenge for construction firms will be in managing rising costs caused by shortages in building materials and skilled labour.

“We encourage ministers to consider how the industry can increase access to skilled freelancers from Europe under the new immigration system. Self-employed subcontractors make up the most productive and flexible pool of resource in the industry and Britain needs them to deliver these projects on budget and on time.”

Hudson Contract is the UK’s largest provider of tax status and employment contract services to the construction industry and supplies more than 2,500 companies across England and Wales.


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Midgard wins £70m Manchester private rental tower

Build to rent specialist Packaged Living has picked JRL-owned main contractor Midgard to build its high-rise scheme of 352 flats in the developing Piccadilly East area of Manchester.

‘The Castings’ scheme consists of four stepped building elements rising to 25 storeys with smaller components at 7, 14 and 20 storeys.

Each building element will have a different coloured brick envelope

The 32-month project to be built on a one-acre site on Heyrod Street near to the planned HS2 station has been designed architect CallisonRTKL, with support from Arcadis, M&E engineer Crookes Walker and Curtins.

It will include a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, as well as 10,000 sq ft of retail and amenity space, a public square and car park.

Hertfordshire-based Midgard will soon start site clearance of two low-rise brick warehouses following approval of its demolition plan.

Mark Woodrow, joint managing director of Packaged Living said: “The Castings is the next exciting BTR scheme in our pipeline, which is now delivering over 3,000 homes in the multi-family sector across the UK.

“The scheme represents a fantastic opportunity to create next-generation homes developed by an experienced team, at a time where vital investment is needed into our city centres.”

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L&Q starts hunt for key groundwork and RC frame firms

The in-house contractor for housing association London and Quadrant is establishing a set of dynamic purchasing agreements with key subcontractors.

Subsidiary Quadrant Construction Services is tendering for the provision of services for groundwork, RC frame, external works and piling for self-delivered new build projects.

The move is part of the push by L&Q to step up self-delivery of new homes going forward.

In the medium term it is hoping to deliver an annual programme of at least 3,000 completions.

Following the establishment of the DPS framework, L&Q will conduct mini-competition tenders between all capable contractors on a project by project basis.

All tendering will be conducted using L&Q’s In-Tend E-Procurement Portal.

Proposed London lots will cover work packages up to £5m and larger packages over £5m.

For more information click here.


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Contract race starts for latest £115m stretch of A9 Dualling

Transport Scotland has officially started bidding for the £115m A9 Dualling: Tomatin to Moy project.

A contract notice is now live here launching the competition to select the main construction contractor to dual the next phase of the A9.

Minister for Transport Graeme Dey, said: “Creating employment and training opportunities that benefit the people and communities surrounding this project is a key focus for this significant investment in Scotland’s infrastructure that intends to deliver improvements that bring economic, social and environmental wellbeing to the area.

“This new construction contract will help deliver our shared vision for Scotland – a sustainable, inclusive, safe and accessible transport system, helping deliver a healthier, fairer and more prosperous Scotland for communities, businesses and visitors.

“It will also set out new aspirations for carbon reduction in construction and revitalise employment opportunities through a wide range of skills and training initiatives and educational engagement, throughout the duration of the construction phase.”

Transport Scotland anticipate that the contract for the third section of the A9 Dualling will be awarded in the second half of 2022.

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Osborne sells £130m civils arm to private equity

Geoffrey Osborne has sold its £130m revenue infrastructure business to London private equity firm Sullivan Street Partners.

The deal cuts the family-owned south east contractor’s ties with civil engineering on which it was founded 55 years ago.

The remaining £250m turnover construction business will now focus on residential and education building projects.

Osborne Infrastructure Limited is a leading regional civil engineering and transport infrastructure businesses, with longstanding relationships with key clients Network Rail, Highways England, and Transport for London.

The business will continue to operate under the leadership of managing director John Dowsett, who will now become CEO.

David Fison, former CEO of Skanska UK and the Osborne Group, will return to the civils business as chairman.

Richard Sanders, Founding Partner of Sullivan Street, said: “We are excited to be acquiring a business with a fantastic reputation and which provides essential infrastructure to the nation’s transport networks.

“We look forward to supporting the management team as OIL enters its next chapter as a focused independent business.”

Dowsett said: “We are delighted to welcome the investment and support from Sullivan Street which will help us to achieve the growth ambitions set out within our business plan.”

Andy Steele, Chief Executive of Osborne added: “Having secured the very best sponsor for Osborne Infrastructure Ltd, we now have an amazing opportunity to prioritise our investments and focus our energy and resources into becoming market leaders in the residential and education sectors.

“This move provides us greater clarity of purpose and with our in-house expertise we can add value into every stage of the property lifecycle.

“Through offering end-to-end land acquisition through operation and property maintenance, we will provide sustainable, intelligently designed spaces that improve people’s lives.”


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Keep the industry updated by joining the Enquirer Directory

As the industry continues to work through the pandemic letting the rest of construction know you are open for business and ready to help is vital.

The Enquirer’s directory for construction suppliers and buyers can help you share those important messages online.

Thousands of companies are already members highlighting their services to the biggest online audience in construction.

And with an enhanced membership costing just £250 a year firms get preferential treatment for inclusion of news updates on our directory pages.

It is the perfect way to spread the message about your current strategy, products and plans online and enhance your SEO activities by harnessing the benefits of the Enquirer’s huge readership.

Customers will look to your websites for information at this time – and we can help drive more of them to your sites.

Basic membership and listings are free.

But for an annual upgrade fee of just £250 Gold members get a whole host of extras.

These include an enhanced directory entry containing all their social media feeds plus full contact and company details.

Gold members are also first in the queue to have their latest stories considered for publication in the directory news feed with weblinks included to their main listing.

The huge Enquirer audience means a listing on the site will enhance your search engine rankings by being published on construction’s best read website.

For less than £5 a week you can have a permanent presence on the site and see your latest news published in front of an audience of potential new clients.

Setting up an account is simple and full details can be found here

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