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May 20, 2024

Amro Acquires Lewisham Retail Park for £400m Residential Development

Amro Acquires Lewisham Retail Park for £400m Residential Development

Amro Partners has announced the acquisition of Lewisham Retail Park in Southeast London, marking the start of their largest and most ambitious project to date. The company plans to transform the site into a landmark residential-led development with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of £400 million. The new development

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Superdrug to Open 25 New Stores in 2024

Superdrug to Open 25 New Stores in 2024

Superdrug is set to open 25 new stores in 2024, as the health and beauty retailer celebrates 60 years on British high streets. The retailer aims to enhance its customers’ physical shopping experience by opening “bigger and better” stores. This strategy has already seen Superdrug double the size of its

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Greggs to Open 160 New Stores in 2024

Greggs to Open 160 New Stores in 2024

Greggs has announced its confidence in achieving between 140 and 160 store openings in 2024. The bakery chain recently celebrated the opening of its 2,500th store, with its estate now comprising 1,986 company-managed stores and 514 franchised units. This announcement comes as Greggs releases a trading update for the first

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Cornwall attends UKREiiF to announce dedicated pipeline of construction investment worth £10 billion over the next 10 years

Cornwall attends UKREiiF to announce dedicated pipeline of construction investment worth £10 billion over the next 10 years

Stand L20, Royal Armouries Hall @ UKREiiF Senior representatives from Cornwall Council, Cornwall Trade and Investment and Treveth will be attending the UK’s Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF), 21-23 May, to attract investment for a range of once in a generation development opportunities in the region. Procurement pipeline

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Almost half of facility maintenance professionals struggle significantly with systems integration

Almost half of facility maintenance professionals struggle significantly with systems integration

Nearly half of building maintenance professionals state that systems integration is one of their most significant struggles, according to a recent poll by SFG20, the industry standard for facility maintenance specifications.  Using this industry insight, SFG20 have developed an Application Programming Interface (API) that streamlines the integration between SFG20 content

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ASCO partners with Teesworks to create 65 jobs

ASCO partners with Teesworks to create 65 jobs

SIXTY-FIVE jobs are being created after global integrated logistics and materials management specialist, ASCO, secured a contract to provide a range of services at the Teesworks site. The three-year contract will see ASCO providing a range of services at Teesworks’ South Bank Heavy Lift Quay, tailored to support the burgeoning

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

May 20, 2024

Amro Acquires Lewisham Retail Park for £400m Residential Development

Amro Acquires Lewisham Retail Park for £400m Residential Development

Amro Partners has announced the acquisition of Lewisham Retail Park in Southeast London, marking the start of their largest and most ambitious project to date. The company plans to transform the site into a landmark residential-led development with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of £400 million. The new development will deliver approximately 1,000 residential homes, becoming one of the final major pieces of the 20-year Lewisham regeneration plan. Over the past 18 months, Amro has acquired various adjoining land holdings from private landowners, culminating in the acquisition of the retail park site and remaining land from Legal & General. This comprehensive redevelopment aims to significantly contribute to the regeneration of Lewisham by providing high-quality housing and improving connectivity with the train station, town centre, and central London. The project will also enhance the public realm with new green spaces, cycle paths, and permanent community spaces. The ground floor will feature flexible commercial space to support local SMEs and independent businesses. Amro is committed to working closely with the London Borough of Lewisham to secure permission for an ESG-leading development with the highest possible sustainability ratings, including BREEAM Outstanding, Fitwel 3*, WiredScore Platinum, and ActiveScore Platinum. Located adjacent to Lewisham Train Station, with a connectivity rating of PTAL 6b, the development offers excellent transport links: 9 minutes to London Bridge, 20 minutes to Bond Street, and 31 minutes to London Liverpool Street. The project is scheduled to launch with phased openings during 2028/29, meeting strong local demand for a variety of residential uses. Raj Kotecha, Chairman and CEO of Amro Partners, commented: “This acquisition is the culmination of two years’ hard work piecing together this incredibly complex site. It’s an honour to play a part in the regeneration of this bright and thriving neighbourhood, with a site that has such vast potential. We look forward to working with the council and the people of Lewisham to bring forward a landmark development that sets a new bar for placemaking, sustainability, and brings long-term value to the local community.” Adam Cradick, Head of London Residential Land at CBRE, who advised Legal & General on the sale, added: “Amro has the ability to deliver an exceptional development with outstanding placemaking and much-needed housing. This transaction is another example of the current positive sentiment within the London residential land market and the demand we are seeing for best-in-class sites.” Amro currently has over 2,500 residential homes under development across Greater London, including projects in Ealing, Kingston, Sutton, and Croydon. Guided by its NZC2025 pledge, it aims to create the most sustainable living portfolio in Europe, with every new project targeting a full suite of sector-leading ESG credentials. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Superdrug to Open 25 New Stores in 2024

Superdrug to Open 25 New Stores in 2024

Superdrug is set to open 25 new stores in 2024, as the health and beauty retailer celebrates 60 years on British high streets. The retailer aims to enhance its customers’ physical shopping experience by opening “bigger and better” stores. This strategy has already seen Superdrug double the size of its Craigavon store in Northern Ireland earlier this year to 5,800 sq ft, as well as extend the size of its Lakeside Thurrock branch to 7,669 sq ft. In addition, Superdrug will open some of its largest-ever stores throughout the year, with upcoming openings planned at St David’s in Cardiff, Bluewater Shopping Centre, and Westfield Stratford City. The Cardiff store will be upsizing to 13,000 sq ft, whilst the Westfield Stratford City store – opening this summer – will double in size to 9,892 sq ft. Besides opening new stores, Superdrug will be extending seven existing stores and retrofitting 60 over the course of the year. The retailer’s estate will be modernised through the introduction of new shop fronts, recyclable signage, improved floor and ceiling tiles, energy-efficient lighting, new floor layouts, and upgraded fascia and internal signage. Nigel Duxbury, Superdrug’s Property Director, said: “We’ve changed a lot in the 60 years since the first Superdrug store opened on Putney high street, but we remain as committed as ever to providing a seamless shopping experience for our customers, offering the very best in accessible health and beauty. This investment into bricks-and-mortar means we can grow our footprint in key locations and highlights our ongoing commitment to high streets and retail shopping destinations, which are an integral part of local communities and the economy. “2024 will see some of the largest ever Superdrug stores open their doors, which is something we are really excited about, as these larger retail units give us the space to be able to offer new and exciting services and even more of the latest health and beauty products.” Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Greggs to Open 160 New Stores in 2024

Greggs to Open 160 New Stores in 2024

Greggs has announced its confidence in achieving between 140 and 160 store openings in 2024. The bakery chain recently celebrated the opening of its 2,500th store, with its estate now comprising 1,986 company-managed stores and 514 franchised units. This announcement comes as Greggs releases a trading update for the first 19 weeks of 2024, during which it opened 64 stores, including 15 in partnership with franchisees. Recent openings include locations at Embankment underground station, four shops within Tesco stores, and three stores within Sainsbury’s, including two at petrol filling stations. During this period, Greggs recorded a 7.4% increase in like-for-like sales. This growth was driven by delivery sales, evening trade, and increased participation in the Greggs app, all of which contributed to a rise in transaction volumes. Total sales for the 19 weeks to 11 May were £693 million, an £84 million increase from the same period in 2023. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Cornwall attends UKREiiF to announce dedicated pipeline of construction investment worth £10 billion over the next 10 years

Cornwall attends UKREiiF to announce dedicated pipeline of construction investment worth £10 billion over the next 10 years

Stand L20, Royal Armouries Hall @ UKREiiF Senior representatives from Cornwall Council, Cornwall Trade and Investment and Treveth will be attending the UK’s Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF), 21-23 May, to attract investment for a range of once in a generation development opportunities in the region. Procurement pipeline project research carried out by Inner Circle Consulting, has qualified eight significant development projects in Cornwall, which equate to a £10.6 billion forecast capital spend in the next ten years. This figure includes £3.4bn on Housing and another £3.4bn on Culture and Economic Development, and some of these opportunities will be showcased at UKREiiF to encourage national contractors to expand their operations to Cornwall and drive economic growth. Chief Executive of Cornwall Council, Kate Kennally will be joined at the three-day Conference from 21-23 May 2024 by a team of key representatives from Cornwall Council, Cornwall Trade and Investment and its arms length property development company, Treveth, on stand L20 in the Royal Armouries Hall.  Cornwall has attended the UKREiiF since its inception, three years ago. The Conference connects people working within the UK Real Estate industry, with more than 10,000 attendees expected and 700 speakers over the course of the three days.  For 2024, Cornwall is actively seeking discussions with investors and potential partners to support the region’s strategic focus by bringing forward eight key development opportunities that will drive green growth and demonstrate the volume of work, over a longer term, taking place across the region. Committed to creating sustainable and more inclusive and prosperous communities, a Supported Housing Delivery project, to deliver 48,000 new and improved supported housing units across Cornwall by 2050 and valued at c.£82m over 5 years, is one of the key opportunities Cornwall is hoping will be of interest to delegates attending the Conference. A £300m project to deliver a pioneering green community at Langarth Garden Village is billed as a world-class flagship scheme. Other significant projects that have been ear-marked for development include a c.£300m Cornwall Airport & Estate opportunity, which is one of the UK’s largest designated Enterprise Zones; a £100-200m new transport quarter in Newquay; a commercial development opportunity at Goonhilly Earth Station ranging from £1m-£20m; a £230m Pydar Street regeneration project in Truro; floating offshore wind operations facilities and development at Falmouth Docks, and an ambitious £1m Local Investment in Nature Cornwall (LINC) initiative.  Councillor Linda Taylor, Leader of Cornwall Council said, “The team are really excited to be attending UKREiiF this year, with an impressive pipeline of development opportunities. The figure of £10.6 billion in the next 10 years, is qualified by independent research, so we’re confident this will make Cornwall an attractive prospect for national contractors, consultants and their supply chains to expand their operations and help us deliver our ambitious plans.  “We are developing housing stock faster than the rest of the UK so harnessing the power of Cornwall is essential to the UK’s journey to net zero. Investing in Cornwall means having the space to think big and work with a proactive council to create a real legacy.”  As well as a dedicated stand at UKREiiF, senior members of the Cornwall team will be part of a series of panel discussions and presentations throughout the Conference. Key topics will include an ambitious Public Sector decarbonisation agenda, the importance of the circular economy, delivery solutions for housing and regeneration and where the UK goes next in terms of Devolution.    In addition, Investors and potential partners are invited to visit the Cornwall Stand (L20) on Wednesday 22 May between 3-3.45pm to meet the team and hear more detail about the scale of construction opportunities in the region. Councillor Linda Taylor continued, “In the last ten years Cornwall has delivered more new homes than Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds or Liverpool, and £900m GVA per annum is generated by Cornwall’s construction sector which represents 7% of the Cornish economy. This offers a coherent and circular economy, and developers and contractors can expect tailored support and a well-resourced, strategic approach to development from Cornwall Council and our partners. “Our team look forward to meeting with investors and potential partners at UKREiiF and unveiling plans to create sustainable communities, enhance key sectors and drive economic growth in Cornwall.” CLICK TO SEE PROSPECTUS Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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RTPI echoes National Audit Office's concerns over lack of support for Biodiversity Net Gain implementation

RTPI echoes National Audit Office’s concerns over lack of support for Biodiversity Net Gain implementation

The National Audit Office has stated new Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) requirements have been launched without all the necessary elements for successful implementation. In February, as BNG laws came into effect, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)  noted that 81% of planners in the public sector needed further ‘guidance, advice, and support’, 68% of all planners needed more staff and skills, and 61% require more case studies of best practice, according to a survey of RTPI members. The RTPI is closely monitoring BNG’s impacts on the planning system. The Institute is encouraging members to share their experiences by filling out its BNG survey and sharing case studies of best practice. Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the RTPI, said: “Our members in public and private sectors said that they felt unprepared for Biodiversity Net Gain in the lead up to its implementation. We worked to voice these concerns to the government, calling for clear guidance on BNG and sufficient resources to local planning authorities operating this new system. “We would like to see the implementation of Biodiversity Net Gain succeed and are pleased that our engagement on this subject helped secure further funding for planning services to implement BNG. “However, the conclusions outlined by the NAO today reflect what our members have been consistently telling us for some time: that planning services have not been given sufficient guidance, advice, and support, and lack the staff and skills to avoid delays to an already stretched planning system. We strongly support the principles of BNG, but any new burdens to the planning system need to be adequately supported. “We agree with the recommendations made by the NAO. To facilitate local delivery, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs must ensure local authorities have sufficient funding, monitor the biodiversity units market, identify regional impacts, and work with planners and ecologists to coordinate best practice among local authorities.” Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Northumbrian Water’s Project Pipeline: County Durham and Tees Valley as a specialist tunnel boring machine

Major milestone as tunnelling machine breaks through to complete River Tees crossing

Leading civil engineering and building contractor Farrans Construction has completed an innovative tunnelling operation on Northumbrian Water’s Project Pipeline: County Durham and Tees Valley as a specialist tunnel boring machine has completed an underground crossing of the River Tees. The 220m tunnel is part of Phase 1 of a new £155m water pipeline to be constructed while protecting the watercourse and the wildlife that relies upon it. Northumbrian Water’s Project Pipeline: County Durham and Tees Valley will see the construction of around 57km of new pipes connecting Lartington Water Treatment Works with around 200,000 customers across the south of the North East. The specialist tunnel boring machine arrived on site in April to begin its journey between two specially constructed shafts. This operation has created a pathway beneath the river, through which the new pipes will be installed. Phase 1 of the project will connect Lartington, in Upper Teesdale, with Whorley Hill and Shildon, County Durham, and will be followed by a second phase extending the pipeline from Whorley Hill to Long Newton, connecting to the existing network that serves large parts of Teesside. In recent months, work has been carried out by main contractors Farrans and subcontractors Joseph Gallagher, to create the two shafts, one on either side of the river. The western shaft is 8.0 metres in diameter and 32 metres deep, while the eastern shaft is 7.5 metres in diameter and 46 metres deep, the difference being due to the rising topography on the east bank. Dave Mellor, Contracts Director for Farrans, said: “This highly technical and challenging operation has been a best-practice example of innovative civil engineering and we are delighted to have completed it successfully and on schedule. I would like to thank our team, our specialist contractors Joseph Gallagher and our client for collaboratively achieving this important milestone in a project which will secure the water supply to this region for years to come. The moment of break through into the west shaft was a cause for celebration on site following weeks of slow, incremental progress to create the tunnel.” James Dawes, Northumbrian Water’s Project Manager said: “This project has been years in the planning, and ensuring that key strategic crossings, such as the River Tees, are done in the best way possible for the local environment and communities, has been vital. “While it would have been possible to cross the Tees using a pipe-bridge, we had to consider such factors as how this would impact the stunning Teesdale landscape that will be here long after our team have completed the project and moved on. “The use of no dig techniques, tunnelling or directional drilling, is becoming increasingly common in our projects, to reduce the impact on our region’s road and rail networks by reducing the need to dig long trenches. However, this is the first time we have employed it to cross a large river and the teams at Farrans and Joseph Gallagher Limited have done a great job to make this possible. Project Pipeline: County Durham and Tees Valley is a huge investment in the resilience and quality of water supplies to around 200,000 customers, and there is a lot of work to be done, but this is an exciting and important milestone as we progress this strategically important project towards completion.” Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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McAleer & Rushe launches Degree Apprenticeship Programme with Ulster University

McAleer & Rushe launches Degree Apprenticeship Programme with Ulster University

Leading Design & Build Contractor McAleer & Rushe are partnering with Ulster University to launch their new 2024 Degree Apprenticeship Programme, in time for the 2024/25 academic year. The programme offers an alternative to the traditional degree route, providing students aged 18 and older with the opportunity to gain fully paid employment in the construction industry while studying for a fully funded University accredited degree. Launching today, this partnership signifies an entrance into the apprenticeship space for McAleer & Rushe, which the Cookstown-based company has strategically targeted to provide students with the best possible opportunity to pave their way into the construction industry. The new apprentices will take up a role within McAleer & Rushe’s Commercial and Engineering teams, working closely with a mentor who will provide support and guidance, while undertaking a part-time, fully funded, five-year BSc Honours degree in Ulster University’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment. The associated courses include Quantity Surveying & Commercial Management and Construction Engineering & Management, with programme teaching delivered at Ulster University’s state-of-the-art Belfast campus located in the vibrant cultural centre of the city, the Cathedral Quarter. As the apprentices ‘earn while they learn’, they will also get started on the pathway towards gaining a membership of professional bodies and pursuing a professional chartered status. Working on the company’s substantial portfolio of projects across their core sectors of residential, hotel, office and student accommodation, apprentices will get the opportunity to travel throughout the programme to sites in major cities across the UK and Ireland, such as London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Applications for their September 2024 intake are now open. Visit McAleer & Rushe’s website to apply: https://bit.ly/3JZgdSJ Commenting on the launch, Shane McCullagh, Director at McAleer & Rushe said: “We are thrilled to launch our Degree Apprenticeship Programme in partnership with Ulster University, providing students with an excellent opportunity to take the first step towards a diverse and fulfilling career in the construction industry. “By investing in apprenticeships, we are not only diversifying our workforce, but we are also innovatively creating career pathways for students by empowering them with invaluable experience early on in their careers. At McAleer & Rushe, we pride ourselves in nurturing staff from the beginning of their career journeys and throughout their careers, and with the guidance and support of our experienced staff, we can guarantee our apprentices’ personal and professional aspirations will be achieved.” Abbie McKenna, Head of Centre Apprenticeship, Skills & Flexible Education at Ulster University, commented: “We are thrilled McAleer & Rushe are launching their Apprenticeship Programme. Ulster University have long established links with McAleer & Rushe and we are proud that so many of our alumni students now enjoy successful careers with the company. We are confident that as we continue to work together, we will strengthen the joint success story Ulster University and McAleer & Rushe have together.” Clare Mahon, Senior Lecturer in Construction Management at Ulster University, commented: “This is an incredible opportunity for school leavers to gain a pathway into the construction industry. “Along with ourselves in Ulster, McAleer & Rushe have carefully sculpted the bespoke delivery model for the Degree Apprenticeship to include a range of flexible learning opportunities at university and in the work place. We are really excited to be part of it. “This partnership offers apprentices the opportunity to gain a university level qualification tailored to meet the needs of McAleer & Rushe. This earning and learning pathway not only leads up to graduation but also paves the way for apprentices to pursue professional chartered status as they progress in their careers.” Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Highly anticipated Planning Portal Building Control service launches

Highly anticipated Planning Portal Building Control service launches

TerraQuest, the operator of Planning Portal, has launched its combined portal for Planning and Building Control applications. The service comes with a raft of new features built from the ground up to meet the needs of contractors and developers, creating a unified portal that serves as the home of planning and building control. Crucially, the new platform offers contractors and developers direct access to all their planning and building control applications via a single sign-on, while also providing a host of usability and interface enhancements designed to save them time and money. The service will allow applicants to pull information through from existing or approved planning applications to pre-populate elements of building control applications. Like Planning Portal, the new Building Control service is based on TerraQuest’s proprietary KeyChain software platform, which has been recognised by international experts for its quality. To enable the platform to operate on a self-sustaining basis without public funding, a service fee will apply to each application, with an introductory rate at launch of £21 including VAT. As a result of the investment that this modest service fee will unlock, applicants will benefit from continuous improvements to the service, driven by TerraQuest’s agile development team. This approach means there will be a pipeline of new features, developed on the basis of feedback from services users. Geoff Keal, CEO at TerraQuest, said: “Our new Building Control platform promises to be a major step forward for contractors and developers, substantially reducing the administrative burden that surrounds development. Planning applicants have already benefited from key usability enhancements and so it made sense to extend these to the Building Control application process with a new portal based on our proven KeyChain platform.” “The move to the new platform has in part being prompted by the need for greater agility in adapting to changes in health and safety legislation, so that applicants can make compliant submissions more easily.” Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Almost half of facility maintenance professionals struggle significantly with systems integration

Almost half of facility maintenance professionals struggle significantly with systems integration

Nearly half of building maintenance professionals state that systems integration is one of their most significant struggles, according to a recent poll by SFG20, the industry standard for facility maintenance specifications.  Using this industry insight, SFG20 have developed an Application Programming Interface (API) that streamlines the integration between SFG20 content and FM systems used for operational activity.  Almost 90% of FM professionals agreed on the benefit of implementing SFG20’s new ‘smart’ software, driven by new features such as automatic notifications that advise users when updates are made to the SFG20 standard.  The new API makes SFG20 content available and accessible to all via the common FM systems used for operational activity i.e., CAFMs, IWFMs, CMMS etc. As users are notified of updates to SFG20’s content, they can choose when to accept them. SFG20 guidance will then automatically flow into their FM system. The API is also bi-directional, meaning that once work has been completed this information can flow back to SFG20 who will be able to provide reporting and insight around levels of compliance and value derived from their FM provider. Paul Bullard, Product and Professional Services Director at SFG20, says:  “Our new freely available API will allow users to access and work with the SFG20 standard more efficiently than ever. By receiving updates to SFG20’s maintenance schedules and having this content automatically integrated into various FM systems, facility maintenance professionals remove the risk of falling off the standard and becoming non-compliant.  The API comes at no cost, and allows any FM system to link in. SFG20 also provides support with the integration process, thereby removing any potential barriers and making it as easy as possible to carry out maintenance work and achieve compliance.”  “To find out more about SFG20’s new open API solution, please visit their software integration page, which details the benefits of their open API, from improved efficiency, greater control, and standard compliance.” Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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ASCO partners with Teesworks to create 65 jobs

ASCO partners with Teesworks to create 65 jobs

SIXTY-FIVE jobs are being created after global integrated logistics and materials management specialist, ASCO, secured a contract to provide a range of services at the Teesworks site. The three-year contract will see ASCO providing a range of services at Teesworks’ South Bank Heavy Lift Quay, tailored to support the burgeoning offshore energy sector. Services will include quayside planning and scheduling, operations coordination, vessel scheduling, stevedoring and internal distribution services. ASCO was chosen for the contract because of its proven track record in delivering excellence to major energy industry operators at port and terminal locations across the world. Garry O’Malley, operations director at Teesworks, said: “We are delighted to award the operating contract to ASCO who have a great deal of experience in port and terminal operations both in the UK and globally. “The award of this contract also marks another milestone for the Teesworks site as it makes the transition to greener energy. ASCO as the quay operator will provide the operational expertise required to ensure service levels for users of this valuable asset are of the highest standard. “This partnership will create up to 65 direct jobs, providing more employment opportunities for the area.” The contract is also expected to support a number of other jobs in related sectors and the regional supply chain. ASCO is committed to helping develop and foster local talent to fill its vacancies by providing training to ensure the recruited workforce meets the company’s exacting standards. ASCO CEO, Mike Pettigrew, said: “The South Bank Quay is a flagship project for ASCO which will propel us along the right track right at the start of 2024, en route to achieving our future goals. It confirms and reinforces our intention to make significant investment into increasing our footprint in the new energies sector over the coming years. “Winning such a major contract is a testament to the work that we have done over the years where we have delivered world-class logistics services across the energy industry while contributing to the economic growth of the communities in which we operate.” Teesworks – the UK’s largest freeport – is being developed as an integrated energy hub and will include new energies such as hydrogen, carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and offshore wind projects, including monopile manufacturer SeAH Wind. Work under the ASCO contract is expected to start this summer, with the first vessel scheduled to berth in Autumn 2024. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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