• Government protects trade credit insurance cover

    Government protects trade credit insurance cover
    The government has committed to support the trade credit insurance market with a £10bn state guarantee.
    Construction is one of the largest users of trade credit insurance accounting for some 30% of the UK market.
    Due to COVID-19 and firms struggling to pay bills, businesses have faced the risk of credit insurance being withdrawn, or premiums soaring to unaffordable levels.
     
    The Government new Trade Credit Reinsurance scheme, which will apply to the end of the year, will see the vast
  • SES Engineering Services MD steps down

    SES Engineering Services MD steps down
    The Wates Group has today announced Jason Knights, managing director of SES Engineering Services, is leaving the business.
    Knights will continue to lead the MEP business while a successor is found and will help in the transition to new management.
    He leaves as Wates enters redundancy consultations to slim the group business down by around 300 staff, many expected to come from the SES business.Knights said: “I’ve worked with some incredible teams throughout my time at Wates, and I&rs
  • Buyers report downturn easing after April Covid carnage

    Buyers report downturn easing after April Covid carnage
    Construction buyers saw the industry downturn ease in May as sites started reopening following lockdown.
    The bellwether Markit/CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index registered 28.9 in May after a record low of 8.2 in April.
    Any reading below 5o represents a decline in industry output and May’s figure was the second lowest in more than a decade.Residential work was the most resilient category in May (index at 30.9), followed by civil engineering (28.6).
    Commercial building also fell at
  • Coronavirus disruption tips Van Elle into the red

    Coronavirus disruption tips Van Elle into the red
    Piling specialist Van Elle warned this morning that disruption caused by coronavirus will see it report an overall loss in the year to April.
    The firm said it would delay publication of year to April 2020 results until August in light of the practical challenges presented by the current situation.
    Van Elle also revealed that former Galliford Try chief financial officer Frank Nelson had been appointed chairman designate to take over from Adrian Barden.In a trading statement, chief executive
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  • Barhale back in profit after problem contracts loss

    Barhale back in profit after problem contracts loss
    Barhale is back making a profit after problem contracts saw the civils specialist suffer a £15m pe-tax loss during the year to June 30 2019.
    Barhale has posted its latest full year results to Companies House and a six month update covering the second half of 2019.
    The six month results covering June-December 2019 show a pre-tax profit of £2m on a turnover of £76m.The latest figures are a major turnaround from the year to June 2019 when Barhale made a £15.15m pre-tax loss
  • HB Reavis acquires prime Shoreditch site

    HB Reavis acquires prime Shoreditch site
    Developer HB Reavis has acquired a prime site in Shoreditch for its latest workplace scheme.
    Construction is sceheduled to start early next year on the transformation of Quick & Tower House on the corner of Worship Street and Clifton Street.
    The development will be accessed via a new public square within walking distance of Shoreditch High Street, Old Street and Liverpool Street stations.HB Reavis said it “will approach the project with a clear focus on sustainability, well being and a
  • £300m to kick-start three major London schemes

    £300m to kick-start three major London schemes
     Homes England will release £300m of funding to accelerate construction at three major London housing developments.
    The three schemes, in Brent Cross, Silvertown and Barking Riverside, have a total capacity for up to 20,000 new homes.
    The loan funding, from the government’s £4.5bn Home Building Fund, will be used to invest in infrastructure necessary to speed up the construction of thousands of new homes in the capital.In Brent Cross, a £148m will enable the Brent Cr
  • London £130m Old Kent Road scheme approved

    London £130m Old Kent Road scheme approved
    Developers Avanton and Urban & Provincial have gained planning approval for two residential blocks on Old Kent Road in South London.
    Architect Farrells designed the 262 flats in two towers, of 19 and 10 storeys, which form the final piece of Ruby Triangle scheme.
    The project also includes a new public park, private and community amenity space, associated car and cycle parking.
    This new residential offer will provide 40% affordable housing, a significant amount of which are three and four be
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  • JRL Group names new civils MD

    JRL Group names new civils MD
    Former Van Elle preconstruction director Matt Love has joined diversified contractor JRL Group to head the civil engineering division.
    Love left Van Elle along with two other directors last month prompting a restructuring at the ground engineering business.
    He joins as managing director of JRL Civil Engineering, which specialises in piling.
    This business was formed in 2015 with sales of £18m in 2018, generating a profit of £140,000 after breaking even in the previous year.Love has a
  • Plans go in for 42 acre London food market

    Plans go in for 42 acre London food market
    The City of London Corporation has submitted a planning application to create a new home for Billingsgate, New Spitalfields and Smithfield markets at Dagenham Dock.
    The submission to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (LBBD) paves the way for the transformation of the former Barking Reach power station site.
    Construction will create the country’s largest wholesale food market across 42 acres of industrial land.Designs by architects Chetwoods will provide market tenants with ne
  • Premier Inn restarts construction work on 35 sites

    Premier Inn restarts construction work on 35 sites
    Premier Inn owner Whitbread is reopening 35 construction sites in England and Wales to restart building work on its pipeline of new hotels.
    Sites under construction include new build hotels led by Whitbread’s in-house construction team or by external development partners, as well as extensions to existing Premier Inn hotels.
    Work represents more than 4,500 rooms scheduled to open from 2020 up to the end of the 2022-23 financial year.Whitbread’s development team has been working close
  • Kier Highways and Seddon reinstated to Prompt Payment Code

    Kier Highways and Seddon reinstated to Prompt Payment Code
    Kier Highways and Seddon Construction have been reinstated to the Prompt Payment Code after speeding up payments to suppliers.
    Both firms were ousted from the scheme last November for failing to honour their Code commitment to pay 95% of all supplier invoices within 60 days.
    Kier Highways was paying 79% of invoices in 60 days and that has now improved to 98%.Seddon was paying 19% of invoices in 60 days and is now paying 92%.
    Interim Small Business Commissioner, Philip King said: “The curre
  • London fit-out firm Square Metre in administration

    London fit-out firm Square Metre in administration
    London-based fit-out specialist Square Metre has fallen into administration.
    The business employed around 50 staff on projects in the capital and south east and had been under pressure in the run up to the coronavirus lockdown.
    Most staff at the £32m revenue business were furloughed in March as nearly all of its 11 projects were shutdown.
    But the firm’s problems continued to build forcing it into administration last week.Owner Steve Hart had steadily built up Square Metre since estab
  • Last webinar for contractors interested in £600m power plant

    Last webinar for contractors interested in £600m power plant
    North London Waste Authority (NLWA) is hosting its final Market Information Webinar for contractors interested in construction of a new £600m power plant.
    The webinar will take place on Tuesday June 30 and is the third and final market engagement event prior to publishing the contract notice.
    NLWA is hosting online events to ensure procurement work can continue despite Covid-19.During the last event more than 400 contractors watched to find out about the scope of works to deliver the Energ
  • Last webinar for contractors interested in £600m plant

    Last webinar for contractors interested in £600m plant
    North London Waste Authority (NLWA) is hosting its final Market Information Webinar for contractors interested in construction of a new £600m power plant.
    The webinar will take place on Tuesday June 30 and is the third and final market engagement event prior to publishing the contract notice.
    NLWA is hosting online events to ensure procurement work can continue despite Covid-19.During the last event more than 400 contractors watched to find out about the scope of works to deliver the Energ
  • Leading brick makers to axe 600 jobs

    Leading brick makers to axe 600 jobs
    Two of the industry’s big brick makers are to axe up to 600 jobs in cost-cutting plans to meet lower forecast demand.
    Ibstock this morning said that up to 375 jobs, representing around 15% of its workforce, would be potentially impacted by streamlining plans, while rival brick and block maker Forerra said it would cut 225 jobs.
    Both businesses warned of selective site closures, changes in operating patterns and changes to the size and structure of support functions.Ibstock chief execu
  • Offsite system to cut staircase construction times by 80%

    Offsite system to cut staircase construction times by 80%
    Staircase construction times are set to be slashed by more than 80% thanks to a new off-site balustrade system.
    The new Konnekt K100 balustrade system can be integrated with pre-cast staircases in the factory or site compound.
    Pre-cast staircases complete with balustrades can then be lifted directly into place cutting out the need for traditional installation and finishing trades on site.Mark Deayton, Director of Business Development at manufacturer Delta Balustrades, said: “The introducti
  • Arup bags job to re-open Cardiff city centre

    Arup bags job to re-open Cardiff city centre
    Cardiff Council has appointed Arup to support a city centre reopening plan after the coronavirus lockdown.
    Arup is developing a strategy that addresses both the immediate challenges around reopening the city centre and the longer-term opportunities to improve public space.
    The strategy will initially focus on ways to bring people back into the city and support the reopening of businesses, taking social distancing into account.
    Looking beyond Covid-19, it will seek to improve access to open space
  • Hard-hat mounted cough guard will help protect site workers

    Hard-hat mounted cough guard will help protect site workers
    Safety specialist JSP has developed a hard-hat mounted cough guard to protect workers as the return to site continues amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
    The Helmet Mounted Cough Guard is an easy to fit screen which provides an extra layer of secondary protection against droplets and aerosols.
    The company said it is ideal for situations where a two-person task cannot be carried out with two metre social distancing.JSP said: “It will reduce the likelihood of any exhaled airborne droplets directly c
  • Driver unveils changes at the top

    Driver unveils changes at the top
    Construction commercial consultant Driver Group has revealed that group chief executive officer, Gordon Wilkinson, has left the firm by mutual agreement.
    After a four-year term turning around the business, he will be succeeded by Mark Wheeler, currently chief operating officer. Wheeler has spent 14 years with the group, the last four as Group COO and has an unrivalled knowledge and understanding of the Company’s global operations.John Mullen, a leading Quantum expert, will also be app
  • ISG mobilises for £17m north London town hall fit-out

    ISG mobilises for £17m north London town hall fit-out
    ISG has taken possession of North London’s Waltham Forest town hall to revamp the historic civic building.
    The builder will renovate and modernise the Grade II listed 1941-built building to enable better staff working
    This included upgrading the town hall and assembly hall and civic square.Approved plans by architect Hawkins Brown focus on creating an inclusive and welcoming space while transforming the way the council operates and delivers services to residents of the borough.
    In phase tw
  • Contractors face data danger fighting covid contract disputes

    Contractors face data danger fighting covid contract disputes
    Letting project staff go during the coronavirus crisis could leave contractors exposed during future contract disputes.
    Consultants are warning contractors to protect project data or risk vital information walking out the door with redundant staff.
    The industry is braced for a round of contract disputes sparked by covid-19 related delays and cost increases.And contractors are expected to lay off thousands of staff as the government furlough scheme winds down.
    Consultant HKA director Lori Noeth s
  • Morrison wins £42m Scottish factory of the future

    Morrison wins £42m Scottish factory of the future
    The University of Strathclyde has signed a £42m deal with Morrison Construction to design and build its planned National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.
    The 120,000 sq ft advanced manufacturing centre will be built at the Netherton Campus in Paisley and is designed by architect HLM to be a carbon neutral building
    It will include a skills academy, a fully digitalised factory of the future and a collaboration hub.The building forms a key part of a developing advanced manufacturing innovati
  • Henley Construct lands £12m Croydon housing contract

    Henley Construct lands £12m Croydon housing contract
    Henley Construct has landed the contract to deliver 60 affordable homes for PA Housing on the site of a former office building in Croydon.
    Demolition works are due to start imminently on the £12m scheme by specialist Southern Demolition.
    Designed by Maccreanor Lavington Architects, the eight storey development will provide a collection of one, two and three bedroom homes at the corner of Surrey Street and Matthews Yard which forms the entrance to a regular weekly street market that has bee
  • Balfour Beatty to start £355m Hull A63 scheme

    Balfour Beatty has got the thumbs up to start Hull’s A63 Castle Street scheme to improve the connection between the city centre and docks area.
    Final sign-off for the five-year Castle Street improvement project was confirmed last week by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
    Now the council has given Balfour Beatty the go-ahead to set up a site compound and start work on the ground.The whole scheme is expected to cost £355m, with Balfour Beatty awarded the contract then worth £
  • Mace bags role on £39bn Northern Powerhouse Rail plan

    Mace bags role on £39bn Northern Powerhouse Rail plan
    Transport for the North has signed up Mace to lead the Programme Support Office for the Northern Powerhouse Rail programme.
    Under the new contract, Mace is responsible for four key workstreams on the £39bn programme. These include project controls, project, stakeholder and commercial management.
    This extensive scope, which positions Mace at the forefront of the region’s rail evolution, will ensure a strengthened and more coordinated approach to progressing the transformative NPR sche
  • Cash flow fears spark call for another delay to VAT changes

    Cash flow fears spark call for another delay to VAT changes
    Industry leaders are calling for another delay to VAT changes which could see 150,000 construction companies face a 20% drop in cash flow.
    The reverse charge VAT change was due to come into force last October but was pushed back a year following industry lobbying.
    Now construction leaders want to see it shifted back again to October 2021 “at the earliest” as the industry struggles to cope with the impact of Covid-19 on cash flow.Leading industry trade bodies have written to Chancello
  • London mayor loans Mount Anvil £50m to boost building

    London mayor loans Mount Anvil £50m to boost building
    Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has approved a £50m loan facility for Mount Anvil to accelerate home construction in the capital.
    The partnership is the first of its kind between GLA Land and Property and a private developer.
    Mount Anvil will now accelerate construction of the next 2,000 homes in its pipeline and continue expansion of its land buying activity with a target of delivering 10,000 homes in London before the end of the decade.Deputy Mayor for Housing, Tom Copley said: “In thes
  • Plans lodged for £120m Nottingham hotel scheme

    Plans lodged for £120m Nottingham hotel scheme
    Plans have been submitted to turn Nottingham’s historic Guildhall building into a luxury 162-bed hotel.
    The planning application submitted by Midlands hotel operator Ascena and architects RPS Design Group is for four-star hotel, which will include a rooftop fine dining restaurant, spa and wedding and conference facilities.
    John Wilby, project lead for Ascena, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have now submitted planning for the exciting development of one of Nottingham&rsquo
  • ISG director leaves to head-up Structure Tone London division

    ISG director leaves to head-up Structure Tone London division
    Danny Blakeston has been confirmed as the new Managing Director of Structure Tone International’s London operations.
    Blakeston joins from ISG where he spent 16 years, most recently as managing director of the engineering services business
    Michael Neary, president of Structure Tone, said: “Danny is a fixture in the construction and engineering community in London, and we are excited to bring his expertise and years of leadership into our organisation.“We are confident he will he
  • Balfour sets-up “New Normal” Covid-19 taskforce

    Balfour sets-up “New Normal” Covid-19 taskforce
    Balfour Beatty has set up a New Normal Taskforce to come up with innovations for working in a post-Covid construction world.
    The group has already come up with more than 450 ideas after asking employees for their suggestions.
    The ideas are being taken forward for implementation under four strategic themes (working environment, new markets and capability, digital enhancement and rapid return to work) and will be incorporated to “deliver operational and financial efficiencies.”In a tra
  • Leaking diamond synchrotron roof to be replaced

    Leaking diamond synchrotron roof to be replaced
    The hunt has started for a firm to re-roof the circular diamond light synchrotron building at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
    The existing aluminium standing seam roof has been beset with problems due to thermal movement after being fitted by Lakesmere in 2006.
    Following the collapse of Lakesmere, the facility’s main building contractor Costain was forced to make a £10m provision following an arbitration ruling to cover remedial works.Now clie
  • Seven win new highways geotechnical framework

    Seven win new highways geotechnical framework
    Highways England has named the seven firms it will use to provide geotechnical services over the next four years.
    The brand new dedicated ground investigations framework is estimated to be worth around £91m.
    Van Elle subsidiary Strata Geotechnics and multi-disciplinary RPS Consulting Services were the biggest winners securing places in two of the three English regions.Ground investigationNorth: RSK Environment, Soil Engineering Geoservices and Strata Geotechnics 
    Midlands & E
  • Hinkley C team hits key target despite Covid-19 curbs

    Hinkley C team hits key target despite Covid-19 curbs
    Workers building Hinkley Point C nuclear power station have completed the 49,000-tonne base for the second reactor on schedule despite a reduced numbers and limits on working procedures due to coronavirus
    Contractor BYLOR also set a new UK record for a single, continuous pour as it hit the milestone date set more than four years ago.
    The final concrete pour of 8,991m3 surpassed by 37m3 the previous record during construction of the base for Hinkley Point C’s first unit last June.Their
  • Piling problems force BAM to tear down building frame

    Piling problems force BAM to tear down building frame
    Main contractor BAM is pulling down and rebuilding half of the structural frame at its Faculty of Social Sciences (FoSS) site  for the University of Sheffield.
    Dismantling work follows the discovery of piling problems on the £65m project.
    BAM will have to pull down 50% of the frame then re-pile under the north elevation.It is understood the remedial work will add between 10 and 15 months to the construction timetable with the project now expected to be completed in the summer of 2022.
  • Industry leaders draw up roadmap to recovery

    Industry leaders draw up roadmap to recovery
    Construction leaders have drawn up a fast-track, three-phase plan to rebuild the industry and help steer the economy back into recovery.
    The Construction Leadership Council argues that within two years construction could bounce back from the Covid-19 lockdown as a more professional, productive and profitable industry.
    But chiefs also warn the Government that failure to stimulate demand risks construction sliding into a perilous longer-term recession that further erodes the skills base and leavin
  • Fit-out firm fined £1.1m after ladder fall

    Fit-out firm fined £1.1m after ladder fall
    London based refurbishment contractor Modus Workspace has been fined £1.1m after a worker was seriously injured when he fell from a ladder.
    Luton Crown Court heard that on 5 September 2016, an engineer was testing a sprinkler system for leaks at a site in Hemel Hempstead.
    He climbed onto an internal roof and was inspecting the leak from an extension ladder.The ladder slipped away from him and he fell almost three metres into the gap between the internal roof and the external wall.
    The work
  • Steel erection starts on first HS2 bridges

    Steel erection starts on first HS2 bridges
    Darlington-based Cleveland Bridge has delivered the first of 24 big beams for the first permanent structures on the HS2 project.
    Early works joint venture Laing O’Rouke/Murphy is constructing four modular bridges at HS2’s new Interchange station site in Solihull.
    In total, this will require 1,130 tonnes worth of steel girders.
    Sixteen of the 20m girders have been pre-assembled in the Cleveland Bridge factory as 50 tonne pairs to minimise delivery vehicles on the road.During the
  • Robertson approved to start major Blackpool hotel

    Robertson approved to start major Blackpool hotel
    Robertson Construction has been given the go-ahead to start demolition work next week for phase two of Blackpool’s £100m Talbot Gateway city centre regeneration.
    This phase will see the town’s existing Wilko store torn down, the completion of the new tramway interchange at Blackpool North Station, a new underpass, a four-star Holiday Inn hotel and restaurant, and new retail outlets.
    Robertson Construction Group has been appointed jointly by Blackpool Council and development par
  • SIG management blunders rack-up £112.7m loss

    SIG management blunders rack-up £112.7m loss
    Materials distribution giant SIG made a pre-tax loss of £112.7m loss last year following a series of management failures leading to a loss of market share.
    Accountants PwC were called in earlier this year to investigate divisional financial forecasting issues which left the Board “unsighted as to the overall picture.”
    The company is now vowing to grow the business again with the long-term aim of hitting 5% margins.Chief Executive Officer Steve Francis,who took up the role
  • Scotland’s builders begin return to work preparations

    Scotland’s builders begin return to work preparations
    Contractors in Scotland begin site preparations for a gradual return to work today.
    Firms will be allowed around 10 operatives and two supervisors to work laying out social distancing procedures on site.
    It now looks like phase two, the so-called soft start, to allow a small part of the workforce back on site is unlikely to be backed by the Scottish Government before mid June.This will only be allowed where strict social distancing can be maintained.
    Only later in phase three will around 30% of
  • £61m infrastructure loan to pave way for 6,500-home scheme

    £61m infrastructure loan to pave way for 6,500-home scheme
    Homes England has agreed a £61m investment with developer Urban&Civic to fund infrastructure work to pave the way for a new 6,500 home community at Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire.
    The loan will fund key strategic infrastructure including roundabout improvements to create a main access route from the A10 and road, drainage and utility works to open up the first phase of the development.
    The first £15m round of contracts will be awarded to local businesses in the next six months.Hous
  • £61m infra loan to pave way for 6,500-home scheme

    £61m infra loan to pave way for 6,500-home scheme
    Homes England has agreed a £61m investment with developer Urban&Civic to fund infrastructure work to pave the way for a new 6,500 home community at Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire.
    The loan will fund key strategic infrastructure including roundabout improvements to create a main access route from the A10 and road, drainage and utility works to open up the first phase of the development.
    The first £15m round of contracts will be awarded to local businesses in the next six months.Hous
  • Failed NHS Nightingale joinery firm sold in pre-pack deal

    Failed NHS Nightingale joinery firm sold in pre-pack deal
    A carpentry and joinery business that helped to convert part of the Birmingham NEC into a Nightingale hospital has been sold in a pre-pack deal after going into administration.
    Staffordshire based J&P Carpentry and Joinery went into administration on May 18.
    Business advisory firm FRP confirmed it has now completed the pre-pack sale of the business in a deal that has saved 19 jobs.FRP SAID: “The company traded as a designer and manufacturer of bespoke carpentry and joinery components s
  • Union calls for construction workers to wear masks

    Union calls for construction workers to wear masks
    Construction union Unite is demanding that workers wear masks when they cannot keep to the two metre social distancing guidelines on site.
    The union has written to Construction Leadership Council chair Mark Reynolds highlighting its concerns about the current site operating procedures (SOP).
    The fourth and latest version of the industry-standard SOP was published last week.It states: “If you are not able to work while maintaining a two metre distance, you should consider whether the a
  • Costain completes £100m fund raise

    Costain completes £100m fund raise
    Costain confirmed the successful completion of its £100m cash-raising this morning which sees Middle East contractor ASGC become its largest shareholder.
    The UAE contractor’s investment of £25m gives the firm a 15% stake in Costain’s business.
    Alex Vaughan, chief executive officer, said he was confident of the outlook for the business now Costain was on a firmer footing.“We are pleased to have completed our £100m equity raise providing us with a stronger
  • First pictures of giant HS2 tunnelling machines

    First pictures of giant HS2 tunnelling machines
    HS2 has revealed the first images of two giant Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) set to launch on the project later this year.
    The machines are being built by Herrenknecht in Germany and their names are being chosen now so they can be added to the machines during their manufacture, ready for when they emerge out of the factory.
    After completion the first two machines will be disassembled before beginning their journey to Britain.Once they have arrive
  • First pictures of giant HS2 tunnel machines

    First pictures of giant HS2 tunnel machines
    HS2 has revealed the first images of two giant Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) set to launch on the project later this year.
    The machines are being built by Herrenknecht in Germany and their names are being chosen now so they can be added to the machines during their manufacture, ready for when they emerge out of the factory.
    After completion the first two machines will be disassembled before beginning their journey to Britain.Once they have arrive
  • Griffiths to start £25m historic Welsh viaduct upgrade

    Griffiths to start £25m historic Welsh viaduct upgrade
    Network Rail has given contractor Alun Griffiths the go-ahead to start work in June on a £25m upgrade of the Grade II listed Barmouth Viaduct in Wales.
    At over 150-years old, Barmouth Viaduct in Gwynedd is the only major timber-built bridge still in use by Network Rail.
    The 820m long viaduct is in poor condition. Many of the timber elements of the viaduct have decayed significantly over time and a large proportion of the metallic elements have corroded.Replacing these timber elements
  • TClarke rides out lockdown and eyes £2m half-year profit

    TClarke rides out lockdown and eyes £2m half-year profit
    Building services specialist T Clarke is forecasting a £2m profit in the first half of this year despite site closures in the coronavirus outbreak.
    The firm this morning said that it had enjoyed strong trading in the first three months of 2020 and expected to break even in the lockdown-hit second quarter.
    With a profit forecast for the first half, TClarke said it was now recommending a full dividend payment to shareholders.Mark Lawrence, CEO, said the firm had taken swift restructuring act

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