Read About the Latest News on Kier’s £400m Contract, North Workload Expectations, the St. Vincent Investor, and Arora Group in Crawley’s County Mall

You were about to uncover information about the new £400 million prison that will be built at Full Sutton, near Pocklington in East Yorkshire. It is scheduled to begin construction in the fall, and Kier has been granted the start date. In an unfortunate manner, a recent analysis suggests that the lack of significant infrastructure projects in the north has contributed to a disappointing start for the building sector so far this year. Meanwhile, Dave Ames, a naturalized citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was found guilty of defrauding an organization to the tune of GBP226 million (one British pound is equivalent to $1.21 cents in American currency) by a court in the United Kingdom. On top of that, ABRDN was informed that the sale of County Mall in Crawley to the Arora Group has been finalized. The Arora Group has announced the transaction.

Kier begins £400m contract Sutton jail build

Original Source: Kier gets start date for £400m Full Sutton prison build

The new structures opposite HMP Full Sutton will house 1,400 convicts. This will be a separate facility with its own name.

This is the third of six prisons to be constructed as part of the New Prisons Programme, following HMP Five Wells in Wellingborough (also built by Kier and opened in February) and HMP Fosse Way in Glen Parva, Leicestershire, set to open next year.

£400m contract price for new prison dwarfs £253m for Five Wells and £170m for Fosse Way.

The new Category C jail at Full Sutton will be built with sophisticated technology to reduce crime and safeguard the public, according to the Ministry of Justice.

To prevent recidivism, the jail will have more workshops and classes than other jails, and at least 50 construction jobs will be reserved for ex-offenders.

It will be the first new zero-carbon prison, with an all-electric design, solar panels, heat pumps, and energy-efficient lighting.

“Delivery of the new jail at Full Sutton marks over a decade of Kier functioning as a successful partner to the Ministry of Justice,” said Kier Construction managing director Liam Cummins.

“This project will create hundreds of jobs and provide possibilities for released inmates.” We’re happy to provide them the chance to work with us to deliver a best-in-class institution built on modern construction and engineering expertise. “

The new prison at Full Sutton will be named soon, the ministry said. Meanwhile, the locations for the remaining three jails have yet to be decided.

Below is a July 2022 snapshot of HMP Fosse Way at Glen Parva. The three- and four-story buildings in the center contain temporary offices and welfare facilities for Lendlease.

Without significant infrastructure initiatives, workload expectations fall

Original Source: Workload expectations diminish amid lack of big infrastructure projects

A lack of large infrastructure projects in the north has led to a lackluster start for the building sector this year, a new analysis claims. It’s also sucking away its expertise to Britain, where the outlook is much brighter.

The latest Rics and Tughans construction and infrastructure monitor for the region predicts a drop in workloads and profitability.

And the report’s authors want a fully-functioning Stormont Executive and Assembly to support the construction industry.

In Northern Ireland, public and private housing workloads grew by 22% and 9% in the second quarter of this year, respectively.

Workload balances were negative in private commercial (15%), private industrial (17%), and infrastructure (down 30 per cent).

A quarter of Northern Ireland poll respondents indicated rising material and labor costs have impacted profit margins and will continue to do so (by contrast, 27 per cent of Brits are optimistic about growth).

56 percent of respondents reported a scarcity of quantity surveyors, 40% of other construction professionals, and 45% of blue collar employees.

While labor shortages remain prevalent, there are signs this may be reducing, with shortages of other construction experts and blue-collar employees down from 57% and 55%, respectively.

Jim Sammon, regional building spokesman for Rics, said Northern Ireland surveyors are less enthusiastic about the coming year.

With skills shortages, material access issues, growing costs, and a stagnant workload, this is likely. The gap between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK may be due to infrastructural workloads.

“Big infrastructure projects are driving industry growth in GB, whereas in Northern Ireland, respondents indicate infrastructure workload drops.”

So we strongly urge our political parties to form an executive and commit to sustained investment in modernizing our infrastructure and providing a long-term vision for the future pipeline of activity, allowing the industry and supply chains to plan accordingly and overcome any impediments.

Michael McCord, senior partner at Tughans, said the Northern Ireland building sector faces few respites. Even the prospect of an improvement in skills shortages is optimistic given that increased workloads in the rest of the UK may siphon talent from this area.

“Falls in infrastructure workloads compared to the broader UK picture are alarming. We join demands for local politicians to create an executive and invest long-term in the area.

“The construction industry is vital to Northern Ireland’s economic resurgence,” he said. Investing in our infrastructure can create jobs, drive economic spending, and improve the region’s competitiveness over time.

St. Vincent investor convicted of fraud in UK

Original Source: Former St Vincent investor found guilty of fraud in the UK

Ames, a British-born former chairman of Harlequin, will be jailed in September.

Ames was convicted of fraud involving celebrity-endorsed luxury resorts in the Caribbean, including the Buccament Bay Resort, according to a news statement.

A jury at Southwark Crown Court found Ames, 70, guilty of fraud by abuse of position, the SFO said. No proof was given in his defense.

The SFO probe revealed how Ames duped over 8,000 UK investors in the Harlequin Group, a hotel and resort development business. The statement stated that victims thought they had a solid property investment, but Harlequin Group never delivered.

Harlequin’s business model relied on investors putting down a 30% deposit to purchase an unbuilt villa or hotel room. Half of the deposit went into fees for Harlequin and its salesmen, while 15% went toward construction.

Investors were informed falsely that external funding would help build the homes. With no additional cash, three homes were needed to finance just one luxury unit.

This led to the scheme’s exponential growth, the diversion of investor money, and a funding gap of almost GBP1.2 billion by 2012, seven years after Ames established it.

At this point, an expert accountant told Southwark Crown Court that investors faced a near 100% loss risk, which Ames did not argue.

The SFO inquiry found that at the time Harlequin went bankrupt in 2013, it had marketed 9,000 property units to investors but only built 200.

During the eight-year initiative, only 28 out of over 8,000 investors completed a purchase, leaving over 99% with no return on investment. The Harlequin Group lost 398 million pounds overall.

Several thousand victims lost pensions and life savings, and Ames and his family made GBP 6.2 million.

Harlequin companies employed David Ames’ wife and son, who were paid GBP10,000 a month.

Ames couldn’t serve as a corporate director due to a past bankruptcy, so he called himself “Chairman of Harlequin.”

The SFO found that he ignored signals that the company was insolvent and continued to offer units to investors.

Ames fired associates who raised the alarm and told colleagues concerned investors needed to be “put in their place” to avoid “negative press”.

Ames promised celebrity-sponsored tennis, golf, and football academies in marketing movies where he discusses his vision for the resorts.

He predicted enormous tourism development potential and won the support of governments in the region, including the prime ministers of Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“David Ames perpetrated fraud on a massive scale, exposing thousands of UK investors to hundreds of millions of pounds,” said SFO director Lisa Osofsky. ‘Diligent SFO detectives analyzed millions of documents, traced over 8,000 investor deposits, and called on more than 25 witnesses to uncover Ames’ fraud.’

Ames departed St. Vincent and the Grenadines in June 2016 after being called to court on tax evasion and theft accusations.

Ames is accused of stealing or evading payment of EC$8,282,792.28 in value added tax, income tax, and customs dues.

He escaped St. Vincent by boat two days after a June court summons.

The prosecution dropped the accusations in 2018 rather than have them dismissed by the court.

If a charge is dropped, the prosecution can refile it.

The government sold the former Buccament Bay Resort, which closed in December 2016, to Sandals Resort International for $17.5 million in 2020.

The Arora Group bought Crawley’s County Mall

Original Source: Crawley’s County Mall purchased by property, construction and hospitality specialists Arora Group

There are 1,700 parking spots on a 9.5-acre freehold site in the heart of the city, immediately across the street from Arora’s new Overline House development, where the Crawley Gateway Scheme, which will include 300+ apartments above the station, is set to begin construction later this year.

The Arora Group opened their first city center hotel, the Intercontinental London – The O2, in 2017 and has since expanded into the country house hotel sector with the opening of Fairmont Windsor Park and the acquisition of Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa in December 2021.

The purchase of County Mall continues portfolio diversification, and the mall is well-positioned to meet local demand for social and leisure activities.

Sanjay Arora, strategic director for the Arora Group, said, “Our acquisition of County Mall continues our objective of developing a robust, diversified portfolio.”

“We believe in the council’s wider rehabilitation plan and look forward to supporting their vision and investing in County Mall to give shoppers the best overall experience.”

Crawley Borough Council leader Michael Jones said, “This is wonderful news for Crawley and shows private sector trust in our town center regeneration plans.”

Arora Group is redeveloping Overline House and the area around Crawley Station, and its purchase of County Mall is the latest evidence of its faith in Crawley.

CMS backed Arora, and JLL will be the property manager. ABRDN was represented by TRP and HSF.

Summary of today’s construction news

According to recent updates, the new Category C jail in Full Sutton will be equipped with cutting-edge technology to minimize crime and keep the public safe, according to the Ministry of Justice. It will be the first carbon-neutral prison, featuring solar panels, heat pumps, and energy-efficient lighting.

Meanwhile, workers’ incomes are projected to plummet soon. They encourage their political parties to create an administration and commit to continuing investing in modernizing infrastructure and to presenting a long-term strategy for future activity, allowing industry and supply chains to prepare correctly and overcome bottlenecks.

In September, British-born Ames will be sentenced. The SFO found Ames guilty of fraud by abuse of position in connection with celebrity-endorsed Caribbean luxury resorts, including Buccament Bay Resort. EC$8,282,792.28 in VAT, income tax, and customs fees were allegedly stolen or evaded.

On top of everything, the Arora Group’s latest investment in Crawley is the County Mall. Overline House and Crawley Station are being redeveloped by Arora Group.

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