• Scaffolding giant Palmers back under British ownership

    The UK’s oldest scaffolding and access specialist Palmers is now British owned.
    Former German owners XERVON GmbH launched a sell off of some of their non-EU businesses post the Brexit vote.
    Businessman Colin Butt moved quickly to seal a deal and form Palmers Scaffolding UK Limited.The company employs 300 staff with a turnover last year of £15.3m.
    Palmers will continue to offer scaffolding and access solutions across the UK operationally from its local branches in Vauxhall, Belvedere,
  • Ealing set for first major office scheme in a decade

    Developer Commercial Estate Group has gained planning permission for the first major office development in the west London borough of Ealing for almost a decade.
    The a 170,000 sq ft office development will rival office space in the West of London as well as Central London.
    Demolition is due to commence in April paving the way for CEG to invest around £50m in the building project, which also includes some local  improvements.Nick Lee, Head of Commercial Development at CEG, said: &
  • Subbies under attack from new breed of aggressive QS

    Subbies are coming under pressure on site from a new breed of “super aggressive” quantity surveyors employed by main contractors.
    A number of specialists have been in touch with the Enquirer to voice their concerns over deteriorating relationships.
    One said: “It’s like these QSs are making bonuses on the back of how much they can scalp off us.“It’s pretty depressing at the moment. There’s certainly a new breed of younger QS who are drilled by the main co
  • Asbestos analyst fakes air testing certificates

    An asbestos analyst has been fined after he falsified an asbestos air clearance certificate on a construction site in Manchester.
    Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how, on November 19 2015, Barrie Lyons, a trained asbestos analyst with 29 years of experience, was contracted to carry out the final inspection and air testing, following removal work at a city centre site.
    Lyons’ task included a thorough examination of the area where asbestos had been removed. He also had a ser
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  • Mott MacDonald names new managing director

    Consultant Mott MacDonald has appointed executive board director Mike Haigh as group managing director of its £1.6bn global business.
    He will be responsible for the day-to-day management and operational performance of the employee-owned business with 16,000 staff working across engineering, management and development consultancy.
    Haigh’s career with Mott MacDonald goes back to 1981 when he joined as a graduate engineer working on international projects in the water sector.
    He de
  • Barratt finance boss exits after 15 months

    Barratt chief financial officer has suddenly left the business a week after Britain’s biggest house builder reported a sharp drop in the number of homes it built in London last year.
    Neil Cooper, a former finance director at Bovis Homes, had joined Barratt in November 2015 from William Hill, the bookmaker.
    His abrupt departure was said by insiders to have been due to a lack of chemistry with other senior members of the team.Chief Executive Officer David Thomas, who previously held the
  • Betting Spy: Rampant Spurs a big price at Man City

    Right. It’s time for Betting Spy to get serious.
    Enough of the usual mildly entertaining rambling about the world of football.
    We need a winner and we need one now or the whole raison d’etre of this tipping column could be called into question.Recent form means you are more likely to see Dimitri Payet in the Blind Beggar than Betting Spy at the payout window.
    So it’s less musing and moaning this week and more analysis as we search for those elusive winners.
    And the hunt begins
  • Skills cards for fringe trades to be phased out

    No more Construction Related Occupation (CRO) skills cards will be issued from the end of March as the industry moves towards full qualification.
    All previously issues CRO cards will expire by the end of Septmeber as they are phased out by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).
    Around 230,000 CRO cards currently in circulation cover a host of ancillary construction roles but crucially you don’t need industry related qualifications to hold one.CSCS Head of Communications Alan
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  • Trade body questions future of CITB

    A leading trade body is casting doubt over the future of the CITB as it faces a crunch industry vote.
    Building engineering services body BESA is questioning the relevance of the industry skills body.CITB chiefs are gearing up for a vote later this year when the industry will decide if it wants the skills body to continue raising a levy.
    The backing of 13 concensus trade bodies is vital to the CITB’s hopes.
    BESA training director Tony Howard said: “The big question for employers &ndas
  • Subcontract rating wins Buckingham ¬£37m waterpark

    Coventry City Council has selected Buckingham Group Contracting to build its £37m waterpark, swimming pool and leisure centre.
    During the two-stage bidding process up to 60% of the bid evaluation was based on the quality and performance of named subcontractors, with each package individual weighted and assessed.
    Buckingham won the main building contract for the landmark new complex with a £28m bid.
    The fresh approach taken by the council comes after changes in procurem
  • Van Elle profit dips after Stock Market listing

    Pre-tax profits at ground engineering specialist Van Elle fell from £5.2m to £3.2m in the first half of the year, after Stock Market flotation costs and a fall in profit at the specialist railway business.
    Jon Fenton, chief executive, predicted the firm’s performance would improve in the second half as the specialist piling division expected to confirm several significant contracts shortly.
    Revenue in the six months to 31 October 2016 increased by 7.6% to £43.1m.
  • Pod specialist makes appeal to creditors

    Bathroom pod specialist Aartoft is set to enter a Company Voluntary Arrangement.
    The Enquirer understands the Tyne & Wear based company is currently writing to its suppliers ahead of a planned CVA in February.
    Any deal would have to be agreed by creditors and is being handled by restructuring specialist RSM.Aartoft has also informed clients on current jobs in Birmingham and London of the situation.
    One market expert said: “It’s a case of here we go again in the modular world with
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  • Crossrail in chaos as M&E work ripped out

    Electrical work on Crossrail is being ripped-out following mistakes made with technical drawings.
    Sources on the project told the Enquirer that “electricians are taking more stuff out than they are putting in.”
    It is understood that around 100 sparks were laid off last week as new installation work at Paddington Station grinds to a halt as previous problems are rectified.The source said: “It’s chaos down there due to incompatible drawings. No one seems to be sure who scre
  • Plans lodged for 19-storey Coventry student block

    Crosslane Student Developments has submitted plans for a 583-bed student accommodation development in Coventry.
    The 19-storey student rooms scheme is planned for a site located at the junction of Friar’s Road and St Patrick’s Road, within the city’s main ring road.
    Mike Moran, Development Manager, Crosslane Student Developments, said: “Crosslane is delighted to have submitted its first planning application for a student accommodation development in Coventry
  • Skanska tightens grip on south west highways

    Skanska’s highways business has secured a contract worth around £175m to maintain, upgrade and repair Somerset’s roads.
    As part of the winning bid, Skanska will be required to identify further savings, follow industry best-practice, support local communities, and reduce the number of potholes over the life of the contract. They will also be expected to keep 85% of supply chain spend in the local economy.
    The latest renewal deal comes after Skanska was also picked by D
  • Morgan Sindall wins Liverpool Knowledge Quarter work

    Liverpool City Council has signed up Morgan Sindall to deliver two projects as part of the local authority’s Paddington Village scheme.
    The jobs form part of the planned £1bn extension to the city’s Knowledge Quarter and were awarded through the North West Construction Hub framework.
    Plans for Paddington Village will see the 30-acre site, located just off Smithtown Lane, to the east of the city centre, developed into three plots – Paddington North, Paddington Central
  • Morgan Sindall wins ¬£47m Liverpool Knowledge Quarter work

    Liverpool City Council has signed up Morgan Sindall to deliver two projects as part of the local authority’s Paddington Village scheme.
    The jobs form part of the planned £1bn extension to the city’s Knowledge Quarter and were awarded through the North West Construction Hub framework.
    Plans for Paddington Village will see the 30-acre site, located just off Smithtown Lane, to the east of the city centre, developed into three plots – Paddington North, Paddington Central
  • Loxam ups bid for Lavendon to ¬£459m

    French powered access specialist Loxam has raised its bid for Leiscester-based rival Lavendon for the third time.
    The French hirer is in a fierce bid war with Belgian rental company TVH Group for control of Lavendon, which owns Nationwide Platforms.
    This morning Loxam tabled a fresh bid of 270p per share, valuing Lavendon at £459m.Lavendon’s shares were trading at 139p on November 21, just before the first bid from TVH for the UK firm was revealed.
    TVH Group also issue
  • Watkin Jones targets PRS as profits surge

    Student accommodation builder Watkin Jones is targeting private rental housing as part of an ambitious growth strategy.
    The firm posted a record profit performance today in maiden results after floating on the Alternative Investment Market last March.
    Before £6.5m costs connected with the market listing and £20m paid out in senior management incentives, it raised operating profit 17% to £38m.
    Revenues also peaked at £267m,  9% ahead of the pr
  • U+I plans ¬£300m of office refurb work

    U+I is linking up with American developer Colony NorthStar Inc to spend £300m on office refurbishment jobs in London, Manchester and Dublin.
    The joint venture will transform “underperforming office buildings through improved planning, development, refurbishment and asset management.”
    The first projects will be The Record Store at The Old Vinyl Factory in London and Donnybrook House in Dublin.Matthew Weiner, Chief Executive of U+I, said: “The specialist platform will targe
  • Ex-Balfour finance chief to join Mitie after another profit warning

    Mitie Group has issued another profit warning following a two-day board meeting.
    In a trading update to the City today the board said it is taking a “more conservative judgement on contractual positions” which will result in a further £14m in one-off charges this year.
    Contracts in the Property Management and Technical FM divisions have also been hit by “client deferrals and investment plan delays.”The statement added: “As a consequence, we now expect underlyi
  • London Council unveils Wood Green regen plan

    An ambitious plan to create a new town centre in North London’s Wood Green area has been unveiled by Haringey Council.
    The council claims its plan could attract £3.5bn of investment if it gets off the ground, transforming the centre into a major shopping destination.
    The plan relies on Wood Green getting a Crossrail 2 station, which is one of two route options being considered by Crossrail, with the alternative being a station at Turnpike Lane.The council favour’s Woo
  • Plans in for ¬£40m Aberdeen FC stadium

    Aberdeen FC has submitted detailed plans for a 20,000-seater stadium, football academy with outdoor pitches and pavilion.
    If approved, the Dons hope to have phase one of the project, a £10m football academy, complete by the start of the 2018/19 season before moving to a the new stadium two years later.
    The club submitted plans for a 24.5 hectare site at Kingsford to the west of the city after previous plans to build the stadium in the Loirston area of the city were dropped.The new sit
  • Morgan Sindall crowned 2016 contracts champion

    Morgan Sindall has walked off with the industry’s biggest annual haul of contract wins ending Kier’s two-year domination of the contracts league.
    The contractor romped to the top of the rankings after securing £2.4bn worth of projects over the year, up a third on its performance in 2015, according to contract data collected by Glenigan.
    Wates, Willmott Dixon and Mace joined the industry’s top 10 players in 2016, as Bouygues, Vinci and Skanska slid down
  • McAlpine on the hunt for new subcontractors

    Sir Robert McAlpine is looking for suppliers across Exeter as it gears up to build £100m of new contract wins across the region.
    McAlpine is working on three major projects – The EXEseed Leisure Centre, Project Sofia student accommodation and the extension to the Princesshay shopping centre.
    The company is hosting a supplier engagement event with Constructionline next week to meet specialist contractors.McAlpine is looking for subcontractors for every aspect of the build from demolit
  • Lendlease set for landmark ¬£350m Google HQ job

    Lendlease is understood to have beaten rival Sir Robert McAlpine in the race to build Google’s headquarters at King’s Cross Goods Yard in London.
    Sir Robert McAlpine emerged as a front runner in the early bid assessments for the flagship building project.
    But a source told the Enquirer that Lendlease finally clinched the job on the strength of an impressive team.
    A decision was taken last Thursday on the winning outfit but the result has not been officially announced yet.
    The project
  • ¬£39m Headingley stadium revamp approved

    Plans for the £39m redevelopment of Headingley stadium have been given the go-ahead although funding must still be found for the project.
    The Leeds site is home to rugby league side Leeds Rhinos, rugby union side Yorkshire Carnegie and Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
    Under the redevelopment proposals a new rugby south stand and a replacement for the existing joint stand, which overlooks both the rugby pitch and cricket ground would be built.Funding was due to be raised from the development
  • Green light for ¬£300m Luton regen scheme

    Developer J2 Global Corporation has gained planning for a £300m leisure and residential scheme to transform Luton’s former Vauxhall car plant.The Napier Gateway mixed-use development beside Luton Airport Parkway station will include the city’s tallest tower at 22 storeys.
    It will features 685 flats, a 200-bed hotel complex, medical centre, retail and leisure piazza and public park.Croydon-based Blue-3 (UK) is presently on the Kimpton Road site carrying out enabling wo
  • Laing O‚ÄôRourke to be replaced on ¬£80m Whitechapel job

    Laing O’Rourke has parted company with L&Q at the developer’s £80m Whitechapel Central mixed use job in east London.
    Construction was due to start on site early this year after O’Rourke was lined-up as main contractor and planning permission was granted in September.
    But now the job is being retendered despite O’Rourke putting in a lot of pre-construction work.O’Rourke was planning to make extensive use of offsite construction techniques and modular compon
  • Callum Tuckett joins Multiplex

    Former Laing O’Rourke commercial director Callum Tuckett has joined Multiplex.
    The Enquirer understands he became Chief Operating Officer at Multiplex earlier this month.
    Tuckett will report directly to CEO Ashley Muldoon and oversee the Europe, Canada and Middle East regions.His sudden departure from O’Rourke last March led to industry-wide speculation about his next role.
    One industry source said: “The word first started going around that he was joining Multiplex just before
  • Kier gears up for ¬£85m Eastbourne mall expansion

    Kier is set to start work on a major extension of Eastbourne’s Arndale shopping centre after a funding deal.
    Developer L&G has partnered with an international investor to fund the next phase of the retail and leisure scheme.
    Kier has already delivered the first £2m phase of the extension to create a contemporary glass atrium at the Centre’s West Entrance and new facades to the Terminus Road frontage.
    The latest funding deal  bolsters plans for the main 175,00
  • Wates starts ¬£40m Kilburn housing scheme

    Developer Wates Residential has landed the job to build phase one of a £40m housing-led, mixed-use scheme in Kilburn, North London.
    The design and build contract for the Abbey Area Redevelopment includes building 75 private homes, 66 homes for affordable rent, commercial spaces and a 52-space underground car park.Wates recently completed £4m of enabling works on the Abbey Road and Belsize Road site and is now starting a 98-week main work programme.The appointment
  • CITB plans levy cut in bid to survive

    The CITB is proposing a levy cut to win the industry over as it fights for its future.The training body is battling against a wave of industry criticism and the spectre of a general apprenticeship levy on big firms by the government.
    Now the CITB is proposing the levy paid by qualifying firms be cut from 0.5% to 0.35%, while the CIS Levy remains at 1.25% on the subcontract workforce.
    The move comes as the CITB fights for its life in a bid to survive a Government review of levy-funded t
  • Mabey profit soars to ¬£12m after business revamp

    Bridge and engineering services specialist Mabey is planning to invest heavily in the business after returning strong profits last year.
    Pre-tax profits jumped from £1.8m in 2015 to £11.9m in the year end September 2016 after a strategic decision to exit the heavy steel and onshore wind turbine markets.
    Last year Mabey invested £18m to focus on growing markets including modular bridging, temporary works and infrastructure monitoring.
    A further wave of investment in the nex
  • Lendlease to start ¬£75m Ashford scheme

    Developer Stanhope has selected Lendlease to deliver a town centre cinema and hotel complex in Ashford, Kent.
    Work is set to start on the former Ashford market site in Elwick Place this month after enabling works started at the end of last year.
    Ashford Borough Council is funding construction of the new town centre complex, which marks another step forward in Ashford’s major regeneration project.The Phase 1 of the Elwick Place development comprises the construction of a six screen cinema c
  • Durham Uni selects ¬£150m contractor panel

    Durham University has named its preferred partners to deliver a programme of minor repair and new build works.
    The preferred contractors have been split into two panels, one governing a term service contract for jobs up to £1m and a framework contract for works from £500,000- £4m.
    Durham plans to spend up to £5m each year through the term service panel of firms and around £12m annually through the minor works framework.
    In total, the Univers
  • Carillion to start ¬£150m Moda Manchester PRS scheme

    A German bank has agreed to finance private rental specialist Moda Living’s flagship Manchester flats scheme.
    The £85m deal with Deutsche Pfandbriefbank will allow work to start on Angel Gardens, a landmark 34-storey, 466-apartment block, located in the centre of the Co-operative Group’s 20-acre NOMA site.
    Carillion is on board to deliver the 530,000 sq ft project, which consists of a main tower and seven-floor associated building.
    Enabling works o
  • Video posted online of O‚ÄôRourke demolition collapse

    Video footage has emerged of the unexpected collapse of car park floors during demolition work by Laing O’Rourke last week.
    No-one was injured in the collapse thanks to safety exclusion zone measures implemented by O’Rourke.
    The YouTube time-lapse video shows demolition work progressing as normal until the sudden collapse of the parking bays at the £1bn St James Centre redevelopment in EdinburghVideo courtesy of YouTube/St James Crunch
    A Laing O’Rourke spokesperson said:
  • Hall Construction calls in administrators

    Hull-based contractor Hall Construction Group has called in administrators from the Leeds office of Begbies Traynor.
    Around 65 staff are being kept on as administrators consider all options to enable the business to continue to trade.
    Chairman Martin Hall has been fighting to save the £30m family-owned company after it was hit by losses on two problem contracts. 
    After the firms posted a £2.2m loss for 2015 Hall raised a £1.9m refinancing package, much of its fro
  • All change as Balfour/Vinci HS2 chief joins Murphy

    Murphy has appointed Balfour Beatty/Vinci HS2 project boss Peter Anderson as managing director for its southern operations.
    Anderson, who worked at Balfour for over 16 years in several senior roles at its railway business, will join Murphy in early February.
    His early career saw him deliver high profile projects such as M25 widening and Channel Tunnel Rail Link C440.
    Murphy’s chief executive officer, Steve Hollingshead, said: We have a lot to deliver for our clients and there are grea
  • Balfour piling expert joins Aarsleff

    Foundations specialist Aarsleff Ground Engineering has appointed Chris Pantling as Operations Manager for its Sheet Piling Division.
    Pantling joins from Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering where he spent more than ten years.
    During that time as Contracts Manager for Precast Piling he worked on a succession of major jobs including Heathrow Airport where he oversaw construction of the longest diaphragm wall in the country.At Aarsleff Pantling will ensure the successful delivery of sheet piling proje
  • Cracked beams halt work at Royal Liverpool hospital

    Carillion has halted work on part of its £335m Royal Liverpool University Hospital construction job after cracks were found in two concrete transfer beams.
    Engineers are now working on solving the problem but the issue has delayed fit-out work taking place in the affected building.
    Site sources claim the cracks in the supporting beams stem from underlying issues with part of the building’s foundations on the Low Hill side of the site.
    But a spokeswoman for Carillion was adamant
  • Government awards ¬£1.2bn roads funding to councils

    Councils across England are today finding out their share of £1.2bn local roads funding for the next financial year.
    Transport Minister Andrew Jones announced funding to improve roads, cut congestion and improve journey times includes money from the new National Productivity Investment Fund, announced in the Autumn Statement and the Pothole Action Fund.
    It also includes £75m which councils can bid for to repair and maintain local infrastructure such as bridges, street lighting and ru
  • Carillion lands ¬£49m rail upgrade contract

    Carillion Powerlines Ltd has won the £49m contract to deliver the electrification of the Shotts line between Holytown Junction and Midcalder Junction.
    The deal will deliver 74km of electrified railway as part of a wider £160m Scottish Government investment in the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
    The contract covers the physical delivery of all elements required to electrify the line, such as erecting stanchions and stringing the overhead powerlines.It will be carried out in tandem
  • Willmott Dixon set for ¬£28m Aberystwyth Innovation Campus

    Aberystwyth University has named Willmott Dixon as its preferred contractor to build a £30m Innovation and Enterprise Campus.
    The hub, which will consist of five building elements, is being jointly procured by the University and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
    AECOM Professional Services is providing project and cost management services for the major construction project, which will take place on the University’s Gogerddan campus on the outskirts of Aberys
  • Vinci tipped for ¬£130m Hull Uni student village

    Vinci Construction is in the frame to deliver a new student accommodation scheme for the University of Hull valued at around £130m.
    Student accommodation developer University Partnerships Programme has signed a deal with the University to raise finance and deliver the scheme.
    Vinci has been on board drawing up construction plans for the project, which is hoped to start construction in this Spring.
    UPP will  raise the £80m required for construction and handle the design
  • Betting Spy: We had Payet

    Loyalty left the building a long time before Elvis in modern football.
    Dimitri Payet is next out of the stadium as his exit from West Ham now looks imminent after effectively going on strike.
    From where I sat in the stands his industrial action started at the start of the season in terms of tracking back.And either the kit is getting smaller or Dimi has put on a few pounds since the Euros.
    But for all that he was a great player for us and I was outraged at the news of an employee refusing to wor
  • Hendry review backs ¬£1.3bn Swansea Bay tidal scheme

    Plans for a £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay have won backing from a government-commissioned review.
    Charles Hendry, a former energy minister under the coalition government, has recommended the scheme go forward as a pathfinder ahead of more ambitious tidal lagoon power schemes.
    The proposed 320 megawatt pilot project in Swansea Bay was given planning permission two years ago by Amber Rudd, then energy minister.
    But the Government has been concerned about the level of 
  • Bouygues walks away from ¬£90m Bristol Arena job

    Bouygues has decided to abandon its £90m Bristol Arena project after months of talks with Bristol City Council ended in deadlock over the final build price.
    Bristol City Council said it would now start the search for a new contractor to deliver the flagship project.
    Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said work is now expected to start on site by spring 2018 with the new Temple Meads arena building opening in 2020.
    Bouygues UK has been working as a consultant on the project in its capacity as prefer
  • Hull-based Hall Construction set for administration

    Hull-based contractor Hall Construction Group has filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator.
    More than 100 staff and workers have been warned that they face losing their jobs as the £30m turnover firm teeters on the brink.
    The regional contractor traces its history back almost 130 years and built a long track record of completing difficult and complex schemes in both the public and private sector up to a value of £12m.
    The group operates a constructi

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