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January 10, 2020

M Sport Evaluation Centre (MEC) Takes Shape

Having recently completed the first phase of the new state-of-the-art £25million testing facilities for M Sport Limited in West Cumbria, Northern Developments (Cumbria) Limited are progressing at pace and are on target for an autumn 2020 completion. The first phase of works comprised the design and construction of a 2.5km

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CITB Launches New Plant Initiative

CITB Launches New Plant Initiative

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has launched a new three-year initiative targeting plant operatives and assessors. This training commission will boost the development of plant professionals to help address an industry shortage. According to Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) research, 39% of of employers find it difficult to fill plant

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Town Centre Regeneration Reaches Milestone

Town Centre Regeneration Reaches Milestone

Plans to rejuvenate Stevenage town centre have taken a major step forward. Contractor Mace has submitted a planning application to regenerate 14.5 acres of the town centre, known as SG1. It will eventually provide more than 1,800 high-quality new homes, 3,500 sqm of retail and commercial floor space, a new

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ISG Announces Two Appointments

ISG Announces Two Appointments

ISG has kicked off 2020 with the announcement of two new senior appointments. The firm has added two professionals to the Engineering Services Leadership Board, with Peter Millett joining as managing director for the Europe datacentre business and Jim McCarthy taking up the reins of a new division in his

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

January 10, 2020

M Sport Evaluation Centre (MEC) Takes Shape

Having recently completed the first phase of the new state-of-the-art £25million testing facilities for M Sport Limited in West Cumbria, Northern Developments (Cumbria) Limited are progressing at pace and are on target for an autumn 2020 completion. The first phase of works comprised the design and construction of a 2.5km test track. This civils works to facilitate this involved moving 200,000 Tonnes of earth, whilst ensuring a cut and fill balance to ensure that no materials needed to be removed from site. 6.5km of drainage to the track links to a number of balancing ponds to ensure no negative impact on the local watercourse. The groundworks for the associated 111,000sq/ft production facility commenced in May of this year, and construction is now well underway, with 550T of structural steelwork and roofing virtually complete, and all external precast concrete walls now installed, all in little over 6 months. Eddie Ward, Commercial Manager for Northern commented, “this project has been on the drawing board with us since 2010, it is a significant and complex Design & Build of which we’re very proud; we are pleased to finally see it on site, taking shape so quickly”. The MEC will provide M Sport with the ability to further expand into the wider automotive R&D sector. Northern managed the construction of the existing site facility back in 1999, and it was not long before M Sport were looking to expand further. The new building is more than twice the size of their existing production facilities, providing significant expansion and creating over 100 jobs in the process. Malcolm Wilson OBE, Managing Director at M-Sport, said “It’s always been important for me to keep the business in Cumbria, and with the help of Cumbria LEP we’re seeing the growth of more and more businesses in our region. The M-Sport Evaluation Centre will provide a unique centre of engineering excellence – allowing world leaders in automotive technology to follow their concepts from design and development, right through to production. Our region is fast becoming a great place for business, and we’re proud to be a part of that.” Established in 1985 Northern Developments work throughout the UK, recently completing more than £16million worth of purpose-built student accommodation developments through new build and refurbishment. Currently, Northern are evaluating several large scale private rented sector schemes. Managing Director Martyn Boak commented “we continually look for development opportunities, the depth of our experience allows us to look at all sectors and our proven track record of delivering consistently for over 3 decades counts for an awful lot today, the current political backdrop is certainly adversely affecting the real estate sector and Business’s as a whole which none of the Politicians even begin to understand, however we’re agile, opportunistic and open for Business”.

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CITB Launches New Plant Initiative

CITB Launches New Plant Initiative

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has launched a new three-year initiative targeting plant operatives and assessors. This training commission will boost the development of plant professionals to help address an industry shortage. According to Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) research, 39% of of employers find it difficult to fill plant vacancies. Construction employers, trade bodies and training providers are all being asked to submit proposals to help address a gap between industry demand and supply.   The CPA; Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA); Hire Association Europe (HAE); Build UK; Highways England; HS2; West Midlands Combined Authority; Balfour Beatty; BAM Nuttall; Willmott Dixon; Flannery Plant Hire; Lynch Plant; Hire A-Plant; and Plantforce are among industry stakeholders that shaped CITB’s plant operators training commission.  Training in plant specialisms is currently low, with only 149 N/SVQ Level 2 qualifications in plant specialisms gained in 2016, while a CPA survey showed that more than 80% of respondents didn’t employ any plant apprentices and a further nine out of 10 employers didn’t expect to take any on in the next 12 months. With plant training necessarily using expensive equipment, projects that make use of innovative methods such as simulators are also sought. Other sectors such as health, aviation and the armed forces have seen learners with simulators spending 40% more time at the controls – instead of standing around watching others practice on real machines.  Steve Radley, CITB Policy Director, said: “Employers have been clear that more plant operatives and trainers are needed to tackle the skills shortage. This commission will help support training provision to the sector both now and in the future.” The deadline for applications is 28 February 2020. 

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Town Centre Regeneration Reaches Milestone

Town Centre Regeneration Reaches Milestone

Plans to rejuvenate Stevenage town centre have taken a major step forward. Contractor Mace has submitted a planning application to regenerate 14.5 acres of the town centre, known as SG1. It will eventually provide more than 1,800 high-quality new homes, 3,500 sqm of retail and commercial floor space, a new public square and a new park, as well as a Public Services Hub and a new primary school. Inspired by the original building blocks and the unique heritage of the New Town, SG1 will also complement the new developments across the town that are already underway at the north end of Queensway and on the Town Square. Kevin Cowin, Director at Mace, said: “This is an ambitious and carefully crafted proposal that expresses our confidence in Stevenage town centre. We aim to revitalise the town centre by introducing new homes, vibrant activities, community facilities and inviting public spaces. Our vision is to deliver a thriving, successful and attractive heart to Stevenage which will serve the needs of local people and businesses for decades to come.” The planning submission provides an outline proposal for the 14.5 acre masterplan which is divided into 10 development plots. It also contains a detailed application for the first two plots in the first phase which includes the area of Swingate South Car Park and Swingate House, as well as the former police building on Southgate. The first phase proposes 760 new homes in the town centre. Future phases will add new retail and commercial floor space in addition to further new homes.  At the centre of the masterplan fronting onto the Town Square will be a new Public Services Hub for the people of Stevenage. The Hub will be the focal point for a wide range of public services, including NHS health facilities, a new public library, the voluntary sector and Council services. The creation of new green spaces and tree planting is a central theme for the masterplan proposals. There will be increased biodiversity and new planting in an attractive new Garden Square adjacent to The Hub and the historic Town Square, a new public tree-lined boulevard, and a new park and pond at the new Southgate Park to the south of Queensway. A new mini square which will be known as ‘Arrival Square’ is also planned to greet visitors at the bottom of the access ramp to the railway station and welcome people to the town centre. Kevin Cowin added: “During our consultation on the SG1 masterplan over the summer, one of the key things residents and town centre businesses told us was the importance of creating attractive welcoming public spaces where people can meet and relax. Our planning application responds to what local people have told us.”

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ISG Announces Two Appointments

ISG Announces Two Appointments

ISG has kicked off 2020 with the announcement of two new senior appointments. The firm has added two professionals to the Engineering Services Leadership Board, with Peter Millett joining as managing director for the Europe datacentre business and Jim McCarthy taking up the reins of a new division in his role as managing director for customer operations.  Commenting on the appointments, Bart Korink, Chief Operating Officer for ISG’s Engineering Services business, said: “I’m delighted to announce the addition of Peter to our leadership team and Jim’s new role in our new customer operations division. “Peter joins from Jaguar Land Rover, bringing with him over 30 years’ experience, expertise and insight in construction. “His client knowledge will prove invaluable in helping us continue to build our data centre contractor experience in Europe and provide the best customer service in the industry.” In his role within the latest ISG division, Jim will also lead the deployment of a new, dedicated customer operations team alongside business development director, Richard Irwin. “Our global datacentre, science and health sectors continue to show good growth,” Mr Korink added.  “Moving forward, we want to continue to be contractor of choice for datacentre delivery across Europe and expand our customer base across Europe and Asia. “Key to this function will be building our scalability and capability in new geographies, implementing successful win work strategies and managing key client account relationships to inform future tendering opportunities.  “Jim has a wealth of experience working with our key datacentre clients after delivering a number of key projects for our datacentre business in Europe. “Under his leadership, we will be able to create a stable, resilient platform that enables us to achieve our ambitions and support the growth of the wider business.”

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