BDC

Search
BDC Magazine

February 28, 2021

Platform Housing Group Establishes £1bn EMTN Programme

Platform Housing Group, the largest housing association in the Midlands, has established a £1bn multi-currency, ESG enabled, Euro Medium Term Note – or EMTN – programme, supported by NatWest markets acting as Sole Arranger.    Funding from the programme will be used to develop affordable housing across the Midlands and to improve the energy efficiency of its existing homes.  The programme has been established

Read More »

£6.4m warehouse underway at Wakefield Hub

Regional contractor G F Tomlinson has commenced works on a new 65,000 sq. ft. warehouse at Wakefield Hub for Newmarket Lane Ltd, a joint venture between developers HBD and Yorkcourt. Expected for completion by the end of summer 2021, the £6.4m scheme is being constructed at the Wakefield Hub industrial

Read More »

Home Refurbishment on a Budget

Home refurbishment projects can take many forms depending on what you’re striving to achieve. If you’re about to begin your home refurbishment project and you want to prepare properly, it’s important to consider the finances. Contrary to what you might believe, it is possible to get it done on a

Read More »

5 Benefits Of Hiring Accident Injury Lawyers

If you’ve just been injured, whether due to a vehicular or a boat accident, you might be contemplating whether you should hire an accident injury lawyer or not. Suffering from an injury can be overwhelming because there are a lot of other things that you need to attend to apart

Read More »

Achieving Global IoT Connectivity in 2021

The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer an abstract concept but is now an everyday’s reality. It is projected that there are going to be more than 10 billion actively connected IoT devices in 2021: from smart home appliances to manufacturing IoT machines to automated vehicles.  With today’s IoT

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

February 28, 2021

Planning green light for major new multi-unit industrial and logistics development in Birmingham

29-acre scheme to be known as Spectrum Logistics Park will see the speculative development of 400,000 sq. ft of logistics/industrial space across 8 units at a site in Kings Norton, Birmingham. St Francis Group and its development partners the Richardson family have today announced that full planning consent has been obtained for the development of 400,000 sq. ft of new industrial warehouse space on a site of 29 acres at Eckersall Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham. An expert in brownfield regeneration, St Francis Group has teamed up with the Richardson family again making this the third collaboration between the parties following the successful development of nearly 600,000 sq. ft of speculative warehouse space across the region. The scheme to be known as Spectrum Logistics Park will feature 8 new highly specified industrial/warehouse units ranging in size from 25,000 to 70,000 sq ft, all built to a highly efficient BREEAM Excellent rating. Speaking about the announcement Gareth Williams, Director at St Francis Group said: “We are very happy today to confirm that full planning consent has been granted to develop this important new mid-box scheme right in the heart of the greater Birmingham conurbation.  As we move into the build phase, we are continuing to see huge demand for units in this mid industrial box sector and are already marketing the scheme for pre-lets.” Demolition work on site is scheduled to begin in May once the existing occupiers have moved out and the first units will be ready for occupation from September 2022. Richard James-Moore of letting agents JLL who are jointly appointed with Savills said, “This is an exciting new development of sustainable space and Spectrum Logistics Park will probably be the first new development in Birmingham to offer a BREEAM Excellent accreditation giving occupiers truly sustainable options”. Spectrum Logistics Park will be situated on the site of the former Pilkington Automotive and GKN Aerospace manufacturing plants in Kings Norton within the southern Birmingham conurbation and adjacent to the A441 and A38 offering fast connections throughout the region. Savills and JLL are jointly appointed to market the scheme.

Read More »

Chancellor should enhance tax reliefs for green energy Investment in his Budget

The Chancellor should use the Budget to enhance Research and Developments tax reliefs for investment in Green Technology, say leading tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg. David Hough, a partner at the firm said “In November the Prime Minister announced his plan for a Green Industrial Revolution but so far his financial commitments are modest, and the Government needs to do much more. “Developing new technology is inherently risky and countries all over the world are scrambling to be at the forefront of the green economy – the Chancellor must look to make sure that the UK is considered a favorable location to set up shop.” He added: The importance of retraining in new skills to allow businesses to take full advantage of the benefits of new technology investments is critical. “Government grants to facilitate learning and development of new skills are key to support the technology sector. Businesses in other sectors are looking to take advantage of “Industry 4.0” but doing so requires retraining parts of the existing workforce so they can adapt to the new technology.” David said: “An announcement by the Chancellor to introduce targeted grants to small and medium sized businesses to retrain employees, for example those on a production line, to understand automation, machine learning and data analytics would be a welcome in the Budget.” He added: “The Chancellor should also be considering how the ‘new normal’ is going to impact on working patterns and our daily lives as we emerge from lockdown. In theory the ability to do more remotely opens up new opportunities for many people and parts of the UK but much of the country lacks the infrastructure to take full advantage.” David said: “Only sixty five percent of the UK has access to ultrafast broadband. The pandemic is fast tracking our use of new technology, whether it is home learning, online retailing or remote working. Every home should have affordable access to fast broadband. The Government must resist the temptation to restrict spending on the rollout further and commit to fibre broadband in every home by 2025 which would help the economy recover.”

Read More »

Platform Housing Group Establishes £1bn EMTN Programme

Platform Housing Group, the largest housing association in the Midlands, has established a £1bn multi-currency, ESG enabled, Euro Medium Term Note – or EMTN – programme, supported by NatWest markets acting as Sole Arranger.    Funding from the programme will be used to develop affordable housing across the Midlands and to improve the energy efficiency of its existing homes.  The programme has been established to allow future issuances to be both in foreign currency and sustainability linked.    The programme demonstrates Platform’s commitment to fund raising through the debt capital markets following its £350m bond issued in July at a record breaking yield of 1.71%.    Elizabeth Froude, Chief Executive at Platform Housing Group said: “We are delighted to have established an EMTN programme which will play a key part in our Treasury Strategy for the coming years.  The program signals that Platform is committed to fund raising from the capital markets and its A+ ratings demonstrate we remain a sound investment.  It will help us access the funding that we need to invest in our homes and our communities as we continue to help alleviate the Midlands housing shortage and provide enhanced life prospects for more people.”  Platform Housing Group – which owns 46,000 homes in total – completed 1,448 homes in 2019/20 (1,598 in 2018/19) at an investment of £258m (£228m in 2018/19).  The Group also built more social rented homes – at a figure of 981 – during the past 2 years in England than any other provider, 523 in 2019/20, almost 33% of the total homes built.  Platform Housing Group’s operating area is from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.  NatWest Markets acted as Sole Arranger on the Programme Establishment, with Addelshaw Goddard LLP appointed as legal counsel to the joint dealers and Devonshires Solicitors LLP appointed as legal counsel to Platform Housing Group.  George Flynn, Debt & Financing Solutions at NatWest Markets commented: “We are delighted to have supported Platform as sole arranger in the establishment of its £1bn EMTN programme.  This follows on from our support during its inaugural £350m Public Bond executed in 2020 and provides a flexible and versatile framework to maximise Platform’s funding agility.  This will provide swift access to the capital markets for funding to support Platform’s core social purpose to expand the availability of affordable homes across the Midlands.”  For further information please contact Ben Colyer, Corporate Treasury Director at Platform Housing Group on 07918 16099 or email him at ben.colyer@platformhg.com. 

Read More »

Hanson joins HyNet North West consortium developing hydrogen and CCS project

Hanson has become a partner in the HyNet North West consortium, which aims to create the world’s first low carbon industrial cluster. The proposed hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) project will play a critical role in the UK’s transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and the fight against climate change. The region HyNet North West covers – which stretches from Flintshire and Wrexham, through Cheshire, Liverpool and Greater Manchester into Lancashire – has the largest concentration of advanced manufacturing and chemical production in the UK, including Hanson’s Padeswood cement works, near Mold, Flintshire. The project will reduce regional CO2 emissions by up to 10 million tonnes – including 800,000 tonnes from Hanson’s Padeswood plant – every year by 2030; the equivalent of taking four million cars off the road. “Our involvement in the HyNet North West project is the latest example of our commitment to cutting CO2 emissions,” said Simon Willis, Hanson CEO. “CCS at our cement plants will be a key part of our roadmap to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. The first step would be for us to carry out a feasibility study, this would give us a clear design basis and cost estimate for a capture plant and connection to the planned HyNet North West CO2 network and storage system.” The UK Government recognises the decarbonising of industrial clusters as an essential part of the journey to net zero, as described in its 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. HyNet North West will deliver 80 per cent of the national target of 5GW of hydrogen production, 100 per cent, of the national target for CCS capacity by 2030, and a hydrogen town. The HyNet North West project also includes production, storage and distribution of low carbon hydrogen, which will help to decarbonise other industries whose CO2 emissions primarily come from fossil fuels. The project, led by Progressive Energy, is being developed by a consortium of regionally located partners including Cadent, CF Fertilisers, Eni UK, Essar, INOVYN and the University of Chester as well as Hanson.   David Parkin, director of Progressive Energy and HyNet North West’s project director, said: “We are extremely pleased to be joined by Hanson. The HyNet North West consortium is showing just what can happen when organisations come together with the common goal of rapid decarbonisation of a region and Hanson’s commitment to energy efficiency and carbon reduction at its cement plants, further strengthens this. Decarbonising the Padeswood plant will make a substantial contribution to emissions reductions in Wales and the UK as a whole. “Taking carbon dioxide out of industrial processes, including cement production, is a key route for the UK to reach net zero by 2050. We have designed HyNet North West to be low risk, low cost and deliverable, largely using existing assets. This enables the project to begin decarbonising from as early as 2025 and to be expanded in the future.” More information about HyNet North West can be found at www.hynet.co.uk

Read More »

£6.4m warehouse underway at Wakefield Hub

Regional contractor G F Tomlinson has commenced works on a new 65,000 sq. ft. warehouse at Wakefield Hub for Newmarket Lane Ltd, a joint venture between developers HBD and Yorkcourt. Expected for completion by the end of summer 2021, the £6.4m scheme is being constructed at the Wakefield Hub industrial and logistics development for end user H B Clark, which is part of the Kitwave Wholesale Group. Delivered to a fast-track programme, G F Tomlinson is undertaking the design and construction of the 65,000 sq. ft. purpose-built warehouse, which also includes ancillary office space, to accommodate Kitwave’s expansion plans within the region. The unit is being constructed to a BREEAM Very Good standard and the site will also feature an 80-space car park and 24-space lorry park. The infrastructure works will include an extension to the existing highway with new street lighting and pavements, along with a new service yard. Located on Newmarket Lane, Wakefield, the new warehouse unit will employ up to 130 full and part time staff and boasts excellent transport links being in close proximity to the M1, A1 and M62. This is the second scheme to be built at the 200-acre Wakefield Hub development. Andrew Sewards, managing director at G F Tomlinson said: “We’re delighted to be delivering this high-quality warehouse unit for Newmarket Lane Ltd. We have previously worked with HBD on the construction of three units at the flagship Markham Vale development, so it’s a pleasure to be working with them once again and with developer Yorkcourt for the first time. “We have extensive experience in the warehouse and logistics sector and are pleased to be expanding this into more geographical regions. We’re currently in the early stages of works which are progressing very well, and we look forward to handing over the project once complete in the summer.” Simon Ross, development surveyor at HBD, said: “We’re pleased to be able to welcome Kitwave to Wakefield Hub and look forward to seeing their bespoke premises take shape. “The interest in Wakefield Hub is a real vote of confidence in the city as a place to invest. One of the largest regeneration projects of its kind in the North of England, the scheme will bring a significant number of jobs to the area and inject millions in inward investment.” Scott Mackie, director of Newmarket Lane Ltd said: “Yorkcourt and the directors of Newmarket are pleased we secured Kitwave as a tenant on this prestigious site. We look forward to welcoming many other occupants to the development in the very near future.” G F Tomlinson has worked on a number of high-profile industrial units over the last few years, and most recently it handed over five new industrial units at Ashroyd Business Park, Barnsley, for developer Network Space.

Read More »

Home Refurbishment on a Budget

Home refurbishment projects can take many forms depending on what you’re striving to achieve. If you’re about to begin your home refurbishment project and you want to prepare properly, it’s important to consider the finances. Contrary to what you might believe, it is possible to get it done on a budget in most cases. We’re going to take a closer look today at what you can do to refurbish your home on a budget, saving money wherever possible along the way. It’s not going to be easy and, of course, the challenges of each project are unique. But you’ll want to make the most of the advice we’re about to discuss. Identify Your Renovation Goals First of all, you should take steps to define precisely what it is you’re trying to achieve with all of this. What do you want to do with the home? Are you focused on preserving and restoring period features? Or do you want to modernise the property and make it more functional in the present day? Different projects will have different goals and aims, and it’s up to you to be clear about those intentions before you begin. That way, you’ll waste less money later finding what it is that you want to achieve while on the job. Get Multiple Quotes and Set Budgets Getting multiple quotes from contractors and people you want to work with to carry out specific tasks as part of your refurbishment work. Getting multiple quotes from as many different sources as possible will make it much easier for you to find value and save money as you hire people. As you do this, you should also set budgets and make sure that you don’t let your spending get too far out of your control if you want to complete this work on a budget. Make Do and Mend Where Possible There are some situations in which you might be able to save money by renovating an item or an aspect of the home. Rather than replacing everything, which is usually far more costly, it often makes much more sense to fix what you can and make do with items that can be repaired. After all, that’s in keeping with the spirit of refurbishment. You’re upgrading the home rather than ripping everything out and starting over from scratch. Keep that in mind when you’re planning your approach. Image Source – CC0 License Employ the Right Professionals Employing the right professionals to help you with your refurbishment project will be very important. Of course, it would be cheaper to go it alone and complete all the work alone, but that’s usually not very realistic. If you want to get the work done efficiently and well, working with solid professionals is often necessary. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done on a budget. It’s about prioritizing the type of hires you make and only hiring people to complete tasks you can’t complete alone. Be Your Own Project Manager One way in which you should be able to save money on this whole project is to play the role of the project manager yourself. After all, this is your property and you know what you want for it in terms of the refurbishment aims, as we’ve already discussed above. Rather than hiring a project manager and spending even more money on that, you should consider overseeing things yourself. It gives you more control and helps you save some money; that’s always a bonus. DIY When You Can When there are tasks that you can complete alone and get done using your own skills and abilities, that should certainly be your aim and priority. You’ll save yourself a lot of money by taking a do it yourself approach. Roll up your sleeves and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty when it comes to refurbishing the property. This will  give you a greater sense of satisfaction upon completing the project too. You’re capable of more than you realize. Image Source – CC0 License Live on Site if You Can A lot of people end up wasting a lot of money on their refurbishment projects by moving out of the home while the work is being done. The cost of renting another home or staying at a hotel can be pretty large. And that’s an expense that doesn’t need to be there in many instances. Nevertheless, there are some occasions when the work required makes living in the home at the same time impossible. But the time away from the home should be kept to a minimum if possible. Find Online Voucher Discount Codes There are so many ways in which you can save money on the things you need to buy in order to complete your refurbishment work. Places like NetVoucherCodes.co.uk offer discount codes, and you should be making the most of these. Even small discounts on relatively low cost items are worthwhile. When you save small amounts of money along the way, those savings will begin to compound and add up over time. When buying things in bulk, don’t be afraid to negotiate discounts and save money that way. Choose the Building Materials Carefully Finally, you should think about any building materials you use. If you need to install new walls or other features, the building materials will make up a significant chunk of the cost. By choosing more affordable building materials you’ll be able to ensure the costs of these kinds of renovations don’t spiral out of your control. That’s something that can happen very easily if you’re not careful, but it’s something that you’ll want to avoid. So choose your building materials very carefully. Taking on a big home refurbishment project is always tough. And the challenges you face will morph and change along the way. But by the time the project comes to a completion, you’ll feel very rewarded by the whole experience and maybe even turn a sizable profit if the objective is to sell it on.

Read More »

5 Benefits Of Hiring Accident Injury Lawyers

If you’ve just been injured, whether due to a vehicular or a boat accident, you might be contemplating whether you should hire an accident injury lawyer or not. Suffering from an injury can be overwhelming because there are a lot of other things that you need to attend to apart from your need for treatment, such as the involved legal matters.  When hiring an injury lawyer, the utmost priority is to protect and fight for your rights, whether you’re the at-fault party or the victim. When you’re confronted with an accident, it’s important to assess the severity of the situation to gauge if hiring a lawyer is worth it, so as not to waste time, resources, and efforts. If you’re unsure if hiring a lawyer would be beneficial in your situation, here are some advantages of seeking help from them: 1. Thorough Investigation   After the accident, police officers conduct investigations to determine who’s the at-fault party and the actual victim. To prove that you’ve been harmed due to the other party’s negligence or by mere accident, a lawyer can help establish your claim by conducting a thorough investigation first. Injury lawyers conduct intensive investigations to see all possible angles about the accident. They’ll validate the evidence and reports to decide who’s responsible for the accident and to know who’s liable for paying for the damages. In a car or a boat accident, there are cases that can be filed in court depending on the gathered pieces of evidence from a thorough investigation. 2. Understanding Of The Legal Process  During an accident involving property damage or personal injury, all the necessary steps in resolving the issue should be in accordance with the law. With a lawyer by your side, you can get educated about your rights as well as receive recommendations on the next steps you can take. Aside from assisting you through the legal process, accident injury lawyers can also give different tips on staying safe all the time, whether you’re doing fieldwork, driving your car, or having a leisure activity with your boat. 3. Negotiation Of Settlement  Some of the many reasons why you should hire a lawyer are to have someone who can professionally represent you in court, negotiate with the other party, and deal with the rest of the intimidating legal matters. You’d need a defense lawyer to prove your innocence if you’re the one who caused the accident. Meanwhile, if you suffered from any damages or harm, you’d need the services of a plaintiff’s attorney to get justice and compensation.   To avoid a lawsuit, both parties may come to terms with one another through the so-called legal settlement agreement. This may involve a money settlement to pay for any incurred damages. On the other hand, if the at-fault party won’t concede or the victim won’t accept the deal, the filing of a complaint shall be made. If you and the other party agree on a settlement right there and then, then you may not ask for any legal assistance. However, if you both can’t come up with a resolution through arbitration, your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf. 4. Assistance With The Insurance Claim Process  A lawyer would determine if you’re covered for an accident claim depending on the injury you sustained from any vehicle or workplace accident. A lawyer’s help isn’t only limited to communicating with the insurance company for the insurance claim. They’ll also reach out to the at-fault party and negotiate if they’re uncooperative with the settlement. Your accident injury lawyer will serve as an authority to ensure that the other party involved takes your concerns seriously. 5. Peace Of Mind  Accidents may cause post-traumatic stress due to intense emotional trauma. Anyone suffering from this may experience the inability to think reasonably. Hiring a lawyer can also grant you emotional support because the burden of handling complicated legal aspects of the accident will be taken off your shoulders. You’ll have peace of mind knowing concerns such as communicating with the other party to come up with a resolution, following up an injury claim, or filing the case in court are handled by a legal professional.   Final Thoughts   Whether you’re at fault or not in an accident, hiring a lawyer will help you accomplish the technical and legal work to lessen your stresses and worries. Hire a lawyer who’s knowledgeable enough about federal and state laws and is well-experienced in the field. They should have the capacity and empathy to understand their client’s situation. It really pays to hire accident injury lawyers because they’ll be extremely helpful in solving your accident case.

Read More »

Achieving Global IoT Connectivity in 2021

The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer an abstract concept but is now an everyday’s reality. It is projected that there are going to be more than 10 billion actively connected IoT devices in 2021: from smart home appliances to manufacturing IoT machines to automated vehicles.  With today’s IoT devices getting bigger than ever with many businesses looking to continuously scale their IoT deployments, many enterprises are now looking for ways to make global IoT connectivity a reality, in order to scale the IoT deployments into an international and even global scale.  Here, we will discuss the state of global IoT connectivity in 202l, and how we can achieve global IoT connectivity by addressing its key challenges.  Global IoT Connectivity at A Glance Global IoT connectivity is an idealized concept of a truly connected IoT network where all devices can stay connected even when they are separated by thousands of miles and/or are located in different countries.  To achieve this truly global IoT connectivity, then we will need an ideal IoT connectivity solution that fulfills three key factors:  Consume as little power as possible Has as high bandwidth capability as possible Has as long coverage range as possible At the moment, however, such ideal connectivity doesn’t yet exist. Cellular connectivity with IoT SIM cards is the closest technology allowing global connectivity compared to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other technologies: cellular IoT can cover a long coverage range and high bandwidth capacity. However, it does have its downside in consuming a lot of power, which can be an issue in IoT deployments where most devices are battery-powered and are deployed remotely. However, at the moment cellular IoT is the only connectivity option that is potentially capable of achieving global IoT connectivity due to how cellular coverage is available virtually everywhere in the world, although there are relatively few network providers that offer truly global coverage.  There are, however, top network providers like Truphone that offer global mobile IoT connectivity solutions, where we can technically connect devices anywhere in the world while also providing an easy-to-use IoT management platform to remotely provision IoT devices that are separated internationally and even globally.  Global IoT connectivity is the dream, and also the future of IoT connections due to a few key reasons:  Global IoT connectivity means we are no longer confined to specific locations when we want to scale the IoT network, resulting in more freedom and versatility in choosing between different network solutions depending on geographical needs. Mobile IoT devices, including autonomous vehicles, are getting more popular in recent years, and will only grow to be even more popular in 2021 and onwards. The further these mobile IoT devices travel, the more needs for true global IoT connectivity will materialize. Global IoT connectivity would translate to system reliability: devices are no longer reliant on a single network and can stay connected no matter where they are deployed in the world.  eSIM for Global IoT Connectivity As we have discussed, cellular IoT connectivity remains the most viable option in achieving global IoT connectivity, but besides the fact that it consumes a lot of power, there are also several challenges preventing a truly global IoT connectivity from traditional cellular networks:  Global connectivity across multiple carrier networks, countries/regions, and operating systems must be maintained, and very few cellular IoT plans currently offer this A comprehensive device management system that allows remote provisioning for individual or bulk device, as well as OTA software updates, to patch security vulnerabilities Organizing the connected IoT devices into a functional structure Gathering and analyzing operational data from the connected IoT devices to generate actionable insights Scalability and flexibility in cost as the IoT network grow Automation for certain operations like the execution of specific rules, batch jobs, and automatic alerts Security implementations like end-to-end encryption, and so on These factors can be very difficult to fulfill in traditional cellular connectivity, and this is where the new eSIM technology comes in.  The traditional, physical SIM card we often see in our smartphones and tablets has several limitations in relation to global IoT connectivity: one SIM card is typically paired to a single network provider. Thus, when an IoT device is moved to a different country, then we’ll need to replace the SIM card with a new one from the new network provider. This can be a major issue in IoT deployments where the devices are deployed in totally remote areas.  The eSIM, or embedded SIM, attempts to answer this issue. eSIM is integrated/embedded into the device, and can connect to different network providers without needing to replace itself with a new SIM card.  As a result, the eSIM offers more versatility in allowing global IoT connectivity, we don’t need to switch to different SIM cards anytime the device needs to change network providers and/or moved to different locations, which is extremely important especially for mobile IoT devices.  eSIM also allows remote provisioning (introducing a brand new device to the network remotely), which is very important in a large-scale IoT deployment that can involve more than thousands of devices.  These benefits solve some key challenges of the global IoT connectivity, allowing IoT devices to connect virtually instantly wherever these devices are deployed in different locations.  Conclusion While a true global IoT connectivity hasn’t been realized at the moment, cellular IoT remains the most viable connectivity option in achieving this thanks to its huge coverage range that can span between different countries and high bandwidth capabilities. The relatively recent introduction of eSIM has also allowed more versatility in using cellular IoT connectivity to expand IoT deployments on a larger scale.  It is expected that there will be over 25 billion connected devices all around the world by 2025, and thus we can expect the need for global IoT connectivity will only grow to be even more prominent in the near future. 

Read More »