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January 19, 2017

Mitie on track with FTI deal

10 June 2016 | Jamie Harris Mitie has won a three-year contract with FTI Consulting to provide a number of document management services. Through its Total Document Management division, Mitie is to deliver on-site print, mail and porterage services to the business advisory firm’s office in the City of London. It

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Bellway shrugs off Brexit vote

The FTSE 250 housebuilder Bellway has moved to boost its dividend by a higher than expected 40 per cent as it reported annual results seemingly untouched by the UK’s vote to leave the EU. The UK’s fourth-largest housebuilder by output on Tuesday said reservations since the June 23 referendum had

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Severn Trent trials six technologies to reduce phosphorus

Severn Trent Water has begun trialling new water treatment technologies to reduce phosphorus from its sewage treatment works, in order to meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive. The water company is evaluating six technologies – two of which are world firsts – at its Packington

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UK oil output up but exploration slumps

Production from UK oil and gasfields in 2015 increased for the first time in 15 years but investment in exploration hit a record low as companies cut spending in response to low energy prices. The 10.4 per cent rise in output compared with the previous year was the result of

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Glasgow social enterprise launches property conversion with a difference

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution, Derek Mackay MSP, visits latest property project by Glasgow Together, aimed at reducing re-offending rate.  Glasgow Together, a social enterprise dedicated to creating full-time jobs for ex-offenders by building new affordable homes and bringing empty properties back into use, has started work on its

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

January 19, 2017

Mitie on track with FTI deal

10 June 2016 | Jamie Harris Mitie has won a three-year contract with FTI Consulting to provide a number of document management services. Through its Total Document Management division, Mitie is to deliver on-site print, mail and porterage services to the business advisory firm’s office in the City of London. It will also be responsible for procuring office equipment and couriers. Mitie is providing ‘track and trace’ technology, which it says can provide auditable tracking of the movement of incoming accountable items. The win follows yesterday’s contract award at the Institute of Directors, where Mitie is to provide facilities management services for the next three years. Last month, the service provider reported a 1.8 per cent decrease in group revenues for the 12 months to 31 March 2016. However, operating profit more than doubled when compared to the previous year. Source link

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Bellway shrugs off Brexit vote

The FTSE 250 housebuilder Bellway has moved to boost its dividend by a higher than expected 40 per cent as it reported annual results seemingly untouched by the UK’s vote to leave the EU. The UK’s fourth-largest housebuilder by output on Tuesday said reservations since the June 23 referendum had been higher than during the same period last year. The Brexit vote prompted a large drop in the share prices of construction groups, as investors fretted over the impact of the result on the property sector. Bellway is recommending a final dividend of 74p a share, bringing the total for the year to 108p, 40 per cent higher than a year ago. Ted Ayres, chief executive, said: “Post-Brexit, particularly with the share price activity and with memories of 2008, we thought ‘Are we in for a rough ride here?’ But I’m pleased to say it’s been quite robust. “Our sales rates overall have been up post-Brexit and the market has been strong. The buying public seem to be carrying on with life as normal.” Reservations between the June 23 vote and July 31, the end of Bellway’s financial year, rose 13 per cent compared with 2015, with cancellations factored in, the group said. In the year to the end of July, Bellway increased operating profit by 36.5 per cent to £492m, on revenues of £2.2bn — 26.9 per cent up on a year earlier. The Newcastle-based group sold a record 8,721 homes during the year, a 12.5 per cent increase on 2015, while its average selling price rose 12.9 per cent to £252,793. “We’ve still got to be cautious moving forward — leading economists are suggesting there will be a ‘bite’ to Brexit,” Mr Ayres said. But he added that it was likely the company would increase output further in this financial year. Related article Average price was £219,000 in August, £17,000 higher than a year ago Reservations between the June 23 Brexit vote and July 31 rose 13 per cent year on year Bellway held back from buying large tranches of land over the summer as it waited to see the referendum’s impact but has now resumed land buying, Mr Ayres said. The housebuilder is “well placed to deliver volume growth over the coming years, which could offset weaker trading conditions that may emerge if the rate of growth in the economy slows”, said Charlie Campbell, analyst at Liberum. Across the UK, mortgage approvals hit an 18-month low in August, suggesting a slowdown in the broader housing market, which has been especially evident in London. But that does not so far appear to have affected most housebuilders, which receive government support through the Help to Buy equity loan scheme. Bellway’s shares closed up 6 per cent in London trading at £23.86, but remain 15.9 per cent below the pre-referendum price. Sample the FT’s top stories for a week You select the topic, we deliver the news. Source link

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Severn Trent trials six technologies to reduce phosphorus

Severn Trent Water has begun trialling new water treatment technologies to reduce phosphorus from its sewage treatment works, in order to meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive. The water company is evaluating six technologies – two of which are world firsts – at its Packington sewage treatment works in Leicestershire. The new stricter rules in the Water Framework Directive limit the amount of phosphorus allowed at sewage treatment works to 0.5 milligrammes per litre or, in some cases, as low as 0.2mg/l. Severn Trent said existing UK technologies are unlikely to be capable of meeting the new limits, meaning the firm will have to upgrade around 100 works – many of which are being upgraded to reduce phosphorus for the first time. Phosphorus is required by all living organisms for cell growth. It is a non-renewable resource, non-substitutable for food production, essential for agriculture and directly linked to food security. Domestic sewage contains phosphorus, and standard sewage treatment processes will only provide a low-level of phosphorus removal. The six technologies Severn Trent is evaluating are: pile cloth media filtration; membrane filtration; ballasted coagulation; nano-particle embedded ion exchange; immobilised algal bioreactor; and absorption media reed beds. Severn Trent technical lead for innovation Pete Vale said: “Two of the technologies – the ion exchange, and the algal bioreactor – have been developed specially by Cranfield University and put into practical application for the first time. “It’s relatively early days but we’ve seen some encouraging results from all of the technologies which is heartening given that some of them are genuine world first designs. “Each of the technologies have their advantages, and their disadvantages, which is why we’re running the trials. “And the right solution for a large sewage treatment works might not be the same for a small sewage treatment works but, by looking at six such innovative solutions, we’re not only putting ourselves at the forefront of the phosphorus issue in the UK, we’re also making sure we’re making the right decision for our customers.” Source link

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UK oil output up but exploration slumps

Production from UK oil and gasfields in 2015 increased for the first time in 15 years but investment in exploration hit a record low as companies cut spending in response to low energy prices. The 10.4 per cent rise in output compared with the previous year was the result of a spate of new North Sea developments as well as technological innovations to maximise extraction from existing fields. However, industry leaders cautioned that the increase stemmed from investment decisions made during the boom years of $100-a-barrel oil and warned that exploration had almost ground to a halt since then. This meant North Sea production risked resuming the sharp declines of the past decade unless the investment drought was broken. “As an industry we are producing at four times the rate we are discovering new reserves. This is unsustainable,” said Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, in the trade group’s annual report on the state of the industry. She called for the UK and Scottish governments to spur fresh investment with fiscal stimulus and other measures that put oil and gas at the heart of industrial strategy, alongside other industries such as aerospace and car manufacturing. Trumpeting the industry’s efforts to maintain competitiveness in a protracted era of low oil and gas prices, Ms Michie said operating costs for offshore producers had fallen by 45 per cent in the past two years. This had lowered the average cost of extracting a barrel of oil or gas equivalent from more than $29 in 2014 to $16 this year. Companies were no longer holding out for a return to $100 a barrel prices, Ms Michie said, but instead “positioning themselves to survive and succeed in the long term at $50 per barrel, with the ability to tolerate the possibility of even lower prices”. However, while efficiency gains were improving the outlook for existing UK fields, new investment was desperately needed to prolong the life of the North Sea basin, Ms Michie added. Investment is expected to fall to about £9bn this year, from a record £14.8bn in 2014. The North Sea has been especially badly hit by the slump in capital expenditure across the oil and gas industry over the past two years because, even after the recent productivity improvements, it remains one of the world’s highest cost offshore basins. Spending cuts have caused a 30 per cent fall in revenues for oilfield service companies and other parts of the UK supply chain since 2014 — with the brunt of the impact felt in Aberdeen, capital of the UK oil and gas industry. About 120,000 jobs are expected to have been lost across the sector by the end of this year compared with the level before the collapse in crude prices. “In light of this I am calling on governments to vigorously champion the UK’s oil and gas industry, by providing certainty in our fiscal regime, encouraging new entrants to the market and recognising our supply chain as vitally important to the economy,” said Ms Michie. Her comments came as Philip Hammond, the UK chancellor, prepares to set out his policy blueprint in November’s Autumn Statement. FT Series Further coverage of the far-reaching implications of the protracted slump in oil prices In particular, she urged Mr Hammond to reaffirm the Treasury’s commitment to tax breaks introduced by his predecessor, George Osborne, and to push ahead with planned measures to enable buyers of offshore assets to benefit from tax relief on decommissioning costs when production ends. Decommissioning liabilities have been one of the biggest obstacles to investment in the North Sea, complicating efforts by several large producers, including Royal Dutch Shell, to sell UK offshore assets. Mark Andrews, UK head of oil and gas at KPMG, the consultancy, said clearing the blockage in asset sales was crucial to unleashing fresh capital into the North Sea. More than 43bn barrels of oil and gas have been recovered since the first UK production in 1967 and a further 10bn-20bn barrels remain to be recovered, according to Oil & Gas UK. Sample the FT’s top stories for a week You select the topic, we deliver the news. Source link

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45 Million Pounds Pumped Into the Revitalization in the Middle of Slough

With more than 45 million pounds being pumped into the revitalization of the middle of Slough, Buckinghamshire and location of the celebrated sitcom ‘The Office,’ workers employed to construct on the site known as The Curve can take a rest now that it has finally been completed. An ambitious project designed to improve the center by installing a library and space for artistic work with sitting space for 280 people as well as a café and garden on the ground floor. In addition, The Curve will provide the location for more traditional office-based environments, the amount of money devoted to The Curve was estimated to total in the range of no less than a staggering 22 million pounds. At 4,500 square meters, the building will be the center of many industrial and communal goings-on in the city of Slough. With double glazing, a huge area of space to contend with and a range of various requirements and standards for the structure to meet, the completion of the building can be considered a towering achievement, masterminded all along by bblur architecture and CZWG under the overall supervision of Slough Urban Regeneration and the support of Morgan Sindall. In addition to this, the building had to ensure that it was not intruding on the classical beauty of St Ethelbert’s church, and measures were taken to ensure that the structure did not in any way impinge on the church itself. Roofing and interior design work was also covered by Colorminium, who can consider themselves content that they made a very valuable contribution towards the birth of The Curve. Since partnering up to collaborate with Slough Council since 2008, and has contributed to many council efforts ranging from renovation along Slough’s busy Wellington Street to developments along the popular Queensmere Shopping Center. The directors and representatives of Bblur and CZWG are extremely pleased with the development and ensuing success that will put undoubtedly help to Slough on the map as a cultural hub in the South of England.

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M & R Haulage is Expanding its Horizons by Signing a Financial Agreement With Aldermore

A company known as M & R Haulage that has been in existence since 2007 is expanding its horizons by signing a financial agreement with Aldermore, a savings bank that specializes in helping businesses to invest in new and exciting projects. Mister Neil Johnson of Aldermore has explained that he is very pleased that the agreement is being signed as M & R Haulage have a very good reputation as a well-established company with many vital and exciting projects under its collar. This includes the firm’s intention to contribute towards the expansion of Heathrow Airport as well as its efforts in expanding the width of the M25. The agreement will ensure that M & R will be able to remain in the big league and sign itself up for lucrative and exciting contracts and projects in the years to come. M & R Haulage are also joined by M & R Aggregates, which furnishes the various substances that are needed in order for construction work to take place at whichever site M & R have been assigned to. No doubt M & R Haulage creator Varinderjit Singh and his family who run the business (along with a total of 10 other employees) will similarly be pleased with Alderman’s decision, and the proceeds that will result from that deal will be used not only to order a brand new vehicle for the haulage work itself, but will also put them in good stead to work on other projects in the future. Whilst M & R Haulage and Aggregates have currently been operating in the Southern regions of the United Kingdom and in the London suburban areas of Middlesex (where they are in fact currently based) it is hoped that with this new deal will secure a good relationship with Alderman and may help Mister Singh and his companies to greater lengths in the not so distant future.

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CLOCS commends new national Vulnerable Road Users course for construction industry

Considerate Constructors Scheme creates e-learning course on Best Practice Hub to achieve greater awareness of vulnerable road users. The Best Practice Hub – the construction industry’s free to access online platform for sharing best practice – has produced an e-learning course about Vulnerable road users. Launched on 9 January, the course is designed to increase knowledge and understanding of the risks construction activity can pose to vulnerable road users and provides practical methods which can be adopted to minimise these risks. It is available to all registered Best Practice Hub users. A fundamental part of the course is to provide participants with an understanding of CLOCS – the national standard for Construction Logistics and Community Safety – and how it can be adapted for any type of construction activity across the UK. Other learning sections include current road safety legislation, the Highway Code and details of other important road safety programmes including FORS – the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme. The course, which is eligible for CPD, has already received a huge uptake, with hundreds of individuals from Scheme-registered sites, companies and suppliers completing it. To drive higher standards nationally, the Scheme has also introduced a dedicated section about the CLOCS Standard on the Best Practice Hub as well as additional questions about CLOCS in the 2017 Monitors’ Checklist. All types of construction activity can involve potential risks to vulnerable road users. Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “All types of construction activity can involve potential risks to vulnerable road users. It is, therefore, essential that the industry knows and understands these risks and does all it can to minimise them, both for the general public and the workforce. “The Vulnerable road users e-learning course and section about the CLOCS Standard on our Best Practice Hub provides an easily accessible and practical way for everyone within the industry – including site managers, contractors, suppliers and clients – to raise safety standards for every road user and pedestrian affected by construction vehicles.” CLOCS Project Director Derek Rees commented: “The CLOCS team commends the Considerate Constructors Scheme for creating the Vulnerable road users e-learning course and providing a dedicated CLOCS section on the Best Practice Hub. Both resources provide an invaluable way to help raise awareness of the daily risks presented to pedestrians and cyclists and how the industry can effectively manage the impact vehicles accessing sites have on the local community and workforce.” Click here to visit the Best Practice Hub. Click here to take the Vulnerable road users e-learning course. Click here to view the CLOCS section.

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Glasgow social enterprise launches property conversion with a difference

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution, Derek Mackay MSP, visits latest property project by Glasgow Together, aimed at reducing re-offending rate.  Glasgow Together, a social enterprise dedicated to creating full-time jobs for ex-offenders by building new affordable homes and bringing empty properties back into use, has started work on its latest, and biggest, residential property conversion in the city. With funding from Social Investment Scotland (SIS) and Robertson Trust, Glasgow Together has purchased, and achieved, planning permission to convert a substantial sandstone villa located in the Pollockshields West conservation area into three premium residential apartments. The project will provide employment for up to 5 ex-offenders, who are actively seeking opportunities to get their lives back on track. Today (Thursday 19th January), Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution, Derek Mackay MSP, visited the site at Nithsdale Road to speak with the team responsible for the refurbishment project. Commenting on the work of Glasgow Together, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution, Derek Mackay MSP said: “The work of Glasgow Together is a great example of the kind of innovative partnership that can have a positive social impact whilst also delivering clear economic benefits, despite the tough economic climate, particularly in the construction sector. “This model already has a successful track record around the UK, providing ex-offenders with a pathway back into meaningful work whilst supporting a commercially sustainable business model which is delivering high quality and affordable housing.” Glasgow Together is without doubt the most exciting and worthwhile project I have ever been involved in. Barry Mochan, Chief Executive of Glasgow Together, commented: “Glasgow Together is without doubt the most exciting and worthwhile project I have ever been involved in. We’ve enjoyed a busy 12 months since launching and we’re now looking forward to embarking on this, our sixth and biggest, refurbishment project to date. Already we’re seeing the benefit of our work through the employment of local people with previous convictions, who now have an opportunity to get on with their lives and make a valuable contribution to society. Thanks to the ongoing financial support from SIS, Robertson Trust and JRF, I’m convinced we can have a major impact here in Glasgow.”  Glasgow Together was launched in 2015 with the ultimate aim of reducing re-offending rates, by building around 50 affordable new homes at a number of sites across the city, as well as refurbishing empty homes. The organisation has already carried out six projects in the city and employed six workers with previous convictions as well as numerous local tradesmen. Although it’s still early days, the organisation currently maintains a 0% reoffending rate and have successfully kept one employee from prison for a previous offence due to his continued work with GT. The organisation has been funded by an investment of more than £750,000 from leading lender to the third sector Social Investment Scotland (SIS), as well as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and The Robertson Trust.  An additional £1.25 million has been invested through fundraising led by Triodos Bank. Ex-offenders, including many from Barlinnie Prison, are being employed by GT on both new build and refurbishment projects with roles lasting from 12 months or more.  All employees are set tailored personal development plans; appropriate to their experience level before progressing to more complex construction tasks. GT is also working with current offenders serving a custodial sentence at Barlinnie Prison.  Prisoners have the opportunity to gain unpaid work experience in the timber kit construction workshop and on release they will be considered as potential GT employees. Operating as a Community Interest Company (CIC), a special type of limited company that exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholder, Glasgow Together is part of The Together Social Business Group (TTG), which has successfully run two similar projects in Bristol and the Midlands.  

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