Cabinet for Core Cities looks to reshape the English economy

A newly formed Cabinet of Core Cities met for the first time in Liverpool on Friday, seeking to reshape England and call on the Government to work with it to maximise the economic potential of the regions by creating a more balanced economic structure for the country and develop policies that would create jobs and investment. The cities represent the urban centres of Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol and Sheffield.

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Go ahead granted for Manchester Airport business district

The application to build a new business district within the government-designated Airport City enterprise zone in Manchester has been granted outline planning permission by Manchester City Council. The UK coalition government made the area one of its first four “vanguard” enterprise zones in March 2011 to provide fastrack planning and tax breaks to encourage rapid development. The application involves the creation of  113,400 sq. m. of office space, 49,000 sq. m. of industrial units, and 5,800 sq. m. of retail and leisure facilities on the outskirts of Manchester. The £650 million scheme is anticipated to create over 11,000 jobs over the next 15 years.

Consensus in property industry for green agenda

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The UK Green Building Council, backed by a wide range of trade and professional organisations across the construction and property sector, has sent an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne demanding a suite of policy changes to make the most of the green growth opportunity. The level of collaboration and consensus from within the industry is unprecedented, and includes, among others, support from the British Property Federation, Construction Products Association, British Council for Offices and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

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Google completes search for London HQ site

US based technology giant Google has completed the long expected £1bn property deal for a brownfield site in the King’s Cross Regeneration Area in London. The 2.4 acre site is located between King’s Cross and St Pancras rail stations and will be used for the development of an up to 11 storey complex which is due to be complete during 2016. Google will rationalise its two existing London locations into the new office and workplace design aficionados will be expecting great things from a firm that is renowned for its original approach, most recently at its Covent Garden offices designed by Penson.

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Build upon creative success urges design campaign

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The #includedesign campaign has urged policy makers to revisit proposals to include creative subjects in the English Baccalaureate and build upon the success of initiatives like Tech City. This is the ‘brand’ name for the creative technology community around Shoreditch in east London, with more than 3,000 creative tech firms, employing over 50,000 people. Last December the design industry wrote an open letter to the Secretary of State for Education warning him against the omission of Design & Technology and Art & Design from the EBacc. More →

Changes to Construction and Design Regs delayed

Proposed changes to the Construction and Design Management Regulations (CDM) 2007 have been delayed. The draft changes will now only be presented to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Board for consideration in March 2013 at the very earliest. The CDM regulations, apply to all construction work in the UK, comprising construction, alteration, fitting-out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance, decommissioning, demolition or dismantling, underwent a review last year, with industry practice found to have a significant influence on how the regulations are implemented. More →

Greater clarity required for UK infrastructure plan

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The National Audit Office has called on the UK government to provide greater clarity to taxpayers and consumers on how it will meet its national infrastructure plan. The government expects £310 billion to be spent by 2015 and beyond on new infrastructure projects in sectors such as energy, rail, roads, water, waste, flood defences and digital communications. The government is looking to private companies to own and finance around 64 per cent of the £310 billion, with the burden of funding likely to shift towards the public as consumers rather than taxpayers.

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City of London grants planning permission for ‘The Scalpel’

No new building ever really deserves to be called ‘landmark’ unless it has acquired a nickname while still on the drawing board. That is why we can be assured that we will be hearing a lot more about the Kohn Pedersen Fox designed 38 storey HQ for US insurer WS Berkeley which has just been granted planning consent and already rejoices in the moniker ‘The Scalpel’. The new facility will provide over 500,000 sq ft of commercial space over 35 floors in Lime Street, East London. More →

Gulf developments are talking the big numbers

Following the announcement at the end of last year from the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, that the emirate was to build what it called a new city within its borders, the Government of neighbouring Abu Dhabi has announced that it plans to spend around £56bn on capital projects over the next five years as it seeks to restructure its economy to reduce its reliance on the oil and gas industry. Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate state and its investment marks a significant shift in the economic focus of the region.  More →

JLL’s CEO new Chairman of the UK Green Building Council

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Andrew Gould has succeeded Dan Labbad, Group CEO of Lend Lease, as Chairman of the UK Green Building Council. He takes up the position at a time when business leaders are increasingly focused on the need to show leadership on climate change and recognise the opportunities for green growth in the UK. The UK Green Building Council is an industry-led campaign group, part of a global network of Councils that are active in over 90 countries worldwide. More →

CPA: UK construction activity will fall in 2013

The UK’s Construction Products Association (CPA) has today reported that it expects overall construction activity in the UK to fall by around 2 per cent this year, with most of the decline attributed to a greater than 5 per cent drop in commercial projects. Particularly concerning is the fact that the Government’s austerity measures with regard to public sector investment have not been offset by an increase in private sector activity. However these figures still represent an improvement on the 9 per cent fall of 2011.  More →

Goldman Sachs submits plans for troubled European HQ

Following recent reports that a growing number of firms were locating in the burgeoning creative centres of East London,investment bank Goldman Sachs has finally submitted plans for the 1.2m sq ft nine storey headquarters building KPF in Farringdon Street. The KPF-designed development will replace two existing buildings – the 13 storey Fleet Building and adjacent Plumtree Court which Goldman Sachs acquired in 2011.

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