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February 25, 2016

Plant Closures Spell the End for UK Power Generation

Law firm, Bircham Dyson Bell has reported that the UK faces what it describes as a “looming energy crunch” owing to the predicted loss of 25GW of generating capacity by 2030. The report highlighted the closure of 18 major power stations since 2012, representing a reduction of the UK’s total

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Lincoln gets £92m Boost to Transport Infrastructure

Transport bosses have given the green light to a £92m bypass between the A158 and A15 in Lincoln. Part-funded by the government, the Eastern Bypass is predicted to take two years to complete and, with a summer start date, should take infrastructure development right the way through to 2018. Lincolnshire

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Laing O’Rourke Cuts Jobs To Remain "Competitive"

The news that 200 jobs were to go at Laing O’Rourke comes only weeks after the company announced it was to sell its successful Australian arm as part of an overhaul of its business processes. In a bid to win more work while delivering a better overall service, Laing O’Rourke

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Records Tumble As Profits Soar At Galliford Try

It’s a day of mixed emotions for Galliford Try. As the firm revealed record-setting half-year figures, its chief operating officer Ken Gillespie said it was time for him to retire after two decades with the company. The news of Gillespie’s retirement comes as Galliford Try revealed a 24% increase in

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JF Finnegan to Design and Build a New, 75,000 Sq Ft Warehouse

Sheffield-based development contractor, JF Finnegan, has recently achieved the awarding of a £3m complete design and build project with Harworth Estates to develop the 75,000 sq ft industrial Unit 5 at Gateway 36 in Barnsley, which is being speculatively developed to deal with the regional scarcity of industrial accommodation of

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Indoor Air Pollution Highlighted as a Growing Concern

In a recent report by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, two prominent UK health organisations, it has been stated that indoor air pollution may indeed have played a contributing factor in the death of almost 100,000 individuals across Europe over the

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

February 25, 2016

Plant Closures Spell the End for UK Power Generation

Law firm, Bircham Dyson Bell has reported that the UK faces what it describes as a “looming energy crunch” owing to the predicted loss of 25GW of generating capacity by 2030. The report highlighted the closure of 18 major power stations since 2012, representing a reduction of the UK’s total capacity by 14GW to little over 86GW. It also claimed the UK was on course to lose a futher 7GW by 2020 and  another 18GW by 2030 if expected closures go ahead. Coal-fired plants at Longannet, Ferrybridge and Rugeley are all due to close this year. Eggborough meanwhile has been temporarily saved from closure after it was contracted into the Supplemental Balancing Reserve (SBR) for the winter of 2016/17. Its future after next year, however, remains uncertain. SBR has also contracted one of the four units at Fiddler’s Ferry although the three remaining units are due to come offline in a few short months. “We have observed increasing concern in recent years that as old electricity generation comes offline, new power generators are not being built at a rate that is keeping pace,” Angus Walker, Head of Government and Infrastructure at Bircham Dyson Bell commented. “Our research establishes the hard facts of how serious the situation is, finding that on current projections this is likely to result in a shortfall between supply and demand – in summary an energy crunch.” Despite documenting the promise of 18 new project which have been granted consent, the law firm’s image of the sector is somewhat bleak. It suggests that, with the upcoming plants having a combined generating capacity of less than 18GW, they will leave National Grid with a deficit of 19GW compared with 2012. Contributors to the the report were quick to point out inconsistent governmental policies as a major cause of the predicted “energy crunch”. Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of Energy UK insisted the sector was facing real uncertainty and a lack of investment as a result. He claimed: “The cuts made, particularly to renewables, have been drastic and sudden. We need policy certainty and cross-party agreement.” It was just days ago that Energy UK recommended that the government review the Levy Control Framework (LCF) in order to provide clarify to companies and investors, a moved it hoped would inspire new confidence in energy generation.

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Lincoln gets £92m Boost to Transport Infrastructure

Transport bosses have given the green light to a £92m bypass between the A158 and A15 in Lincoln. Part-funded by the government, the Eastern Bypass is predicted to take two years to complete and, with a summer start date, should take infrastructure development right the way through to 2018. Lincolnshire County Council is tasked with sourcing contractors for the project. At sign-off, the development of the land for either housing or industry could create jobs for around 30,000 local residents in the next 15 years. The project, which will see the two A roads connected, has been a long time in the making. It was finally granted permission after two safety inquiries and a review of a planning inspector’s report carried out by the Department for Transport. The five-mile, single carriageway itself has also been redesigned and, at completion, is hoped to reduce congestion in Lincoln by around 26%. Commenting on newly-granted permission, Richard Davies, Councillor for Lincolnshire County Council enthused: “I am very pleased with the outcome of this inquiry. I am glad that the inspector saw that the bypass is a vital component in our plans to create a fit-for-purpose highways infrastructure for the needs of an expanding Lincoln. Hopefully we can now progress with this long-awaited bypass without any further needless expense or delay.” Talk of further investment in Lincoln’s transport infrastructure is now widespread and residents, businesses and planners are all hopeful of future development. Previous plans for a circular around the city, for instance, are hoped to revived at the success of the Eastern Bypass.

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Laing O’Rourke Cuts Jobs To Remain "Competitive"

The news that 200 jobs were to go at Laing O’Rourke comes only weeks after the company announced it was to sell its successful Australian arm as part of an overhaul of its business processes. In a bid to win more work while delivering a better overall service, Laing O’Rourke has begun discussions with staff over redundancies in order to help it “establish a more competitive business structure across its UK operation” while “ensuring its project delivery teams are supported by a leaner and more operationally-focused functional overhead”. The news is unsurprising given the revelation in its publicised financial results for the year up to March 2015 reporting a £53m loss. The company cited “cost inflation and delays” on its UK contracts. On announcing “circa 200 redundancies” the company said its overhaul “will result in a reduction in the number of employee roles in its support functions and a streamlining of its regional office network.” Certainly, Ray O’Rourke, group executive chairman, was guarded as he looked to the future. He said following the announcement of last year’s losses, “Laing O’Rourke will be highly selective in pursuing opportunities that align with our value proposition. We will focus on our engineering and manufacturing capabilities. We will create certainty for our customers from the earliest engagement.”        

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Records Tumble As Profits Soar At Galliford Try

It’s a day of mixed emotions for Galliford Try. As the firm revealed record-setting half-year figures, its chief operating officer Ken Gillespie said it was time for him to retire after two decades with the company. The news of Gillespie’s retirement comes as Galliford Try revealed a 24% increase in profit over its earnings six months previously. The £52.9m made for the six months up to the end of 2015 came as revenue rose by 12%, comfortably passing the £1bn mark. It has been a particularly strong period for the group’s construction division which is on course to hit £1.5bn ahead of its 2018 target with revenue up 22%. 99% of projected revenue is now secured for the current financial year with the construction order book enjoying £3.7bn of work. Gillespie, who leaves his post having guided Galliford Try through the credit crunch, said the company’s successful standing today highlights the “bridge between recession and recovery”. Focus until the end of the year is on tying up legacy contracts. “We are wrapping up final accounts and supply chain accounts and we expect them to be fully complete within the next 6 to 12 months,” he said, admitting the firm had plans to develop its capacity to tackle road and rail projects. “While the company had a huge tradition in this area, we haven’t necessarily exploited the volumes that the company is capable of.” Bill Hocking will continue to lead the construction business following Gillespie’s departure.    

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JF Finnegan to Design and Build a New, 75,000 Sq Ft Warehouse

Sheffield-based development contractor, JF Finnegan, has recently achieved the awarding of a £3m complete design and build project with Harworth Estates to develop the 75,000 sq ft industrial Unit 5 at Gateway 36 in Barnsley, which is being speculatively developed to deal with the regional scarcity of industrial accommodation of a high standard and fit for modern use – something widely regarded as holding the industry back from achieving its full potential. The unit is actually to be developed as a part of the 1st stage of the Harworth Gateway 36 development, which, in fact, includes 127 acres in 3 phases with direct access to the Dearne Valley Parkway, not far from the M1. This then follows Harworth virtually finishing the initial three items on the development, encompassing 65,000 sq ft, by the end of January itself. JF Finnegan is to start the development of the unit in March to Harworth’s specified “R-evolution” with a goal of completing the project by September, 2016. Gary Smith, Managing Director at JF Finnegan itself explained that the development is bringing, “Much-needed good quality industrial accommodation,” specifically to the South Yorkshire area and that the appointment of JF Finnegan to the scheme by Harworth Estates is of great delight to the company, noting the significance of the building and how, through projects such as this, shortages in high quality industrial space may be overcome. With the development potentially hitting the market at a highly “opportune” time, the potential for success of the new unit, and the positive impact it will have on the local community is noteworthy. Funding for the development of the brand new scheme has been sourced from a loan provided by the SCR’s JESSICA Fund. The fund, constituting of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Growing Places capital, exists to offer funding for initiatives at competitive rates in areas where funding would otherwise prove difficult within the present markets available. The Fund operates to offer much-needed capital to regeneration schemes with concentration upon workplace and industrial developments which need to meet the ERDF’s targets on employment, remediation and floorspace outputs.

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Indoor Air Pollution Highlighted as a Growing Concern

In a recent report by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, two prominent UK health organisations, it has been stated that indoor air pollution may indeed have played a contributing factor in the death of almost 100,000 individuals across Europe over the course of 2012 – a concerning figure to say the very least. In the report, direct reference is, in fact made to the impact of indoor air quality on the health of everyday people and the way in which this can impact a person’s health, and subsequent premature death. This, in and of itself, is considered to be vastly disparate from the majority of reports already publicised in the media where only outdoor contaminants and air-pollution concerns are considered. Yet, with both of the organisations jointly calling out for a greater understanding, and look into the key risks of poor indoor air quality, combined with how increased level of air tightness are playing a factor in this arena. In fact, it has been reported that some 40,000 deaths each year can be attributed to air pollution, either indoor or outdoor, and is actually currently costing the economy around £20bn. Additionally, as well as increasing the risk of premature death rates, there is also evidence to the case that poor air quality can impact the health and intelligence of young children, thus impairing their future growth and development. Of the aspects which we can attribute the cause of some of these pollutants, the most prominent appear to be products such as faulty boilers, gas cookers, heaters and even chemicals present within new items of everyday household use, such as furniture, air fresheners and cleaning products. With dust mites, mould and dander from pets all also contributing to the mix, there are rising concerns around health problems inside buildings which may well perhaps be “too well” sealed.

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