Discover the Latest News on North East’s 1,000-Job Envision AESC Battery Factory, Yeovil Hospital’s Multi-million-pound Day Theater, Replacing ITV Studios Building, and the City’s Most Bizarre Doors

In today’s UK construction news, we will look into the North East, that construction has begun on a battery plant that will eventually employ one thousand people. Also, within the next several months, Yeovil Hospital will unveil its brand-new, multi-million-pound day theatre. Meanwhile, according to what the enquiry has heard, replacing the old ITV Studios facility is “simply selfish.” Moreover, who knows what lies concealed in plain sight behind the city’s most peculiar doors; these doors are hidden from view.

North East’s 1,000-job Envision AESC battery factory begins construction

Original Source: Construction starts on 1,000-job battery plant for Envision AESC in North East

The construction phase begins with a “first pillar” ceremony this morning.

A ceremony launched a £450m electric vehicle battery plant in Sunderland, creating 1,000 jobs.

In the summer of 2021, battery maker Envision AESC announced intentions to establish its second North East plant, part of a £1bn project with Nissan and Sunderland City Council that will create thousands of jobs. The gigafactory’s development marks 10 years of electric vehicle battery production in the UK.

The 12 GWh plant will employ over 1,000 people and produce batteries for over 100,000 electric automobiles. The plant’s batteries will have 30% more energy density than AESC’s previous generation, enhancing range and efficiency.

AESC CEO Shoichi Matsumoto tightened the bolt on the building’s “first pillar” in a traditional Japanese construction ceremony. The first Wearside EV battery was developed in 2012 to support Nissan LEAF production. Since production began, the Sunderland-based company has grown in size.

The new facility will utilize 14000 km of mains cables to reach the AESC HQ in Japan and cover 23 football grounds. The construction will require 19,000 tonnes of steel, double the Eiffel Tower’s weight. The 360m building will be longer than the Northern Spire bridge across the Wear.

Wates Group is developing the new building on IAMP, which spans South Tyneside and Sunderland, to enable future investment that might produce 35GWh capacity and 4,500 high-value green jobs.

Envision AESC CEO Shoichi Matsumoto said: “The first pillar event symbolizes the newest step of Envision AESC’s investment in the UK and is a sign of our continuous commitment to Sunderland. We have over 800,000 electric vehicle batteries on the road worldwide with zero critical events due to our quality-focused growth plans.

“Over the past decade, the outstanding team in Sunderland has helped ensure each battery is made without compromise and helped become AESC a premier battery supplier.”

“IAMP gives us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to alter our economy, creating sustainable new jobs that will support people from in and around the city for many years,” said Sunderland City Council leader coun Graeme Miller. As work begins on Envision AESC’s groundbreaking new Gigafactory, part of the £1bn EV Hub with Nissan—EV36Zero—we are accelerating our journey toward a greener, more sustainable North East in advanced manufacturing and mobility. The city’s milestone.“

Nissan Europe vice president, engineering Andy Marsh said, “We are happy to be part of today’s groundbreaking event for Envision AESC’s new gigafactory. The first Sunderland battery facility launched the 100% electric Nissan LEAF, and the second will be crucial to our EV36Zero project, which combines electric vehicle production, battery manufacture, and renewables to reach carbon neutrality.

“This is a fantastic milestone and further proof of what a superb asset IAMP is for the region,” said South Tyneside Council Leader Coun Tracey Dixon. This facility will enable South Tyneside people to lead the green revolution.

“We have a fantastic talent pool here in the borough and we are continuing to nurture our workforce so that their skills and knowledge can capitalize on high-quality employment like those being generated here, driving the green economy.”

“Envision AESC is the largest single project by value in our 125-year existence,” stated Wates Group chairman Sir James Wates. To achieve this massive project, we’re combining years of business and supply partner expertise.

“This gigafactory represents the future of green automotive manufacturing in the North East and nationally, and like all our projects, we’re dedicated to creating it sustainably and for the region’s long-term benefit. We enjoyed celebrating this first phase with AESC and look forward to our next milestone.”

Yeovil Hospital’s multi-million-pound day theater opens soon

Original Source: New multi-million pound day theatre at Yeovil Hospital to open within months

The new facility is expected to “substantially reduce the pandemic-related waiting times”.

Yeovil Hospital is opening a multimillion-pound building. The hospital said the new day theater will open in April.

A hospital spokesman hopes the new facility will “substantially reduce the waiting periods that grew through the pandemic”. The project, located in the staff vehicle lot close to the main hospital building, cost over £5,000,000.

The new structure will have a theatrical suite, rehabilitation rooms, reception and waiting areas, offices, and a staff facility. The hospital believes the theater “will be essential in reducing the wait time for day-case patients needing surgeries in five specialties: breast, general surgery, dermatology, ENT and trauma and orthopedics”.

“It’s great to see how rapidly the new theater is taking shape, and fantastic to have this level of continued investment in Yeovil Hospital,” said Somerset’s acute hospital medical director, Dr. Merry Kane. This new theater facility will improve our capacity, allowing the day surgery teams in breast, general surgery, dermatology, ENT, and orthopedics to minimize patient wait times in a beautiful, purpose-built setting.

“This is just one of many exciting projects going to meet the ever-growing requirements of our communities across Somerset and beyond, ensuring our teams are supported to give the best possible care for our patients and their families.” MTX’s innovative building methods will speed up the theater’s development after October’s planning approval.

“The new theater building is an essential and urgent facility,” according to project planning. “The trust has recommended that the proposed development aligns with and meets the results required under the Targeted Investment Fund, which is targeted at helping lower waiting lists for operations and is considered as a productivity-enhancing innovation,” the documents stated.

The Somerset target is to reduce day-patient waiting lists with the new theater unit. The proposed theater complex will provide state-of-the-art theater and treatment facilities and streamline patient journeys, lowering waiting times.

Modular construction shows the facility’s urgency. The suggested plan is built and prefabricated fast using modular construction, saving time and resources on site.”

Inquiry finds replacing ITV Studios building “greedy.”

Original Source: Replacing old ITV Studios building ‘just greedy’, inquiry hears

Detractors believe 72 Upper Ground redevelopment ignores material and climate impact.

Developers were advised to “stop dismantling youthful concrete structures at whim” on the first day of a planning enquiry into plans to replace ITV’s former headquarters on London’s South Bank with a £400m office complex.

72 Upper Ground, nicknamed “the Slab,” will produce more carbon emissions than if the 4,000 officer personnel it houses drove in from Surrey for 30 years, according to opponents.

The examination, which follows a review into Marks & Spencer’s plans to demolish and redevelop its Marble Arch store on Oxford Street, will again focus on redevelopment’s carbon footprint and central London’s rapid transformation.

The study was spurred by worries over the aesthetic impact of a prominent site on a bend in the Thames between St. Paul’s and the Palace of Westminster, according to Save our Southbank campaigner Michael Ball.

He also suggested considering the climate impact. “Does it fulfill the quickly overriding material consideration, the very real materiality of climate emergency, the existential threat to our way of life, civilization, planet?”

“As events overrun a slow-moving planning process, we need immediate and dramatic changes to how we do things,” he said. Construction should not emit 173,000 tonnes of carbon.”

The hearing, which will last until early January, will hear from local MP Florence Eshalomi, who has said the development will create a “substantial degree of unnecessary harm,” and former MP Kate Hoey, now a baroness, who has stated “it’s plain greedy”.

Greg Clark, the communities secretary, requested the probe in August after Lambeth’s planning committee approved the construction earlier this year with Sadiq Khan’s support. Michael Gove halted demolition of the current structure in April as ministers considered calling in the proposal.

Developer Rupert Warren KC said the 26-storey skyscraper linked to a 13-storey block was constructed to “the greatest standards in terms of sustainability” and that it was difficult to repurpose the current structure for office space.

He added that a few design studios in the projected building will be a “marvellous new facility for creative people and groups in Lambeth.” It would “help the South Bank’s pandemic recovery.”

The city’s most bizarre doors concealed in plain sight

Original Source: Behind the city’s most unusual doors hidden in plain sight

Who knows what’s behind these doors?

Liverpool city centre is filled of architectural gems.

We pass some buildings every day without noticing what’s inside. We explored some of Liverpool’s most odd doors from Water Street to Old Hall Street and Liverpool Central Station.

Some of these doors are hidden, but others are easy to find. Let us know if we missed any in the comments.

Martins Bank.

Liverpool’s historic financial area is anchored by Martins Bank.

After planning approval was given to renovate the historic landmark on Water Street next to the Town Hall, the bank’s towering green doors will reopen after 15 years. The Grade II*-listed building will reopen in 2024 with 140,000 sq ft of offices, restaurant, and social space in the former banking hall.

Kinrise gave the ECHO photos of the closed bank. Herbert James Rowse designed the former Martins Bank headquarters, which opened in 1932.

The Second World War’s relocation of most of Britain’s gold reserves to the bank’s vault may be the building’s most significant event. Martins Bank amalgamated with Barclays in 1969 and operated till 2009.

The Grade II-listed building has been shuttered since then. Since the building shuttered, its beautiful lobby and offices have endured.

The building’s restored design will incorporate these trademark characteristics and the underground vaults.

George’s Dock

George’s Dock Building is behind Liverpool’s Three Graces.

George’s Dock, completed in 1771 from Mann Island to the Liver Building, was one of Liverpool’s early docks. The Strand’s thousands of cars pass the George’s Dock Building every day, but few have seen what’s behind its green doors.

The Mersey Tunnel ventilation station and headquarters opened in 1934. It holds a massive ventilation fan system, control center, and administrative offices.

The ECHO visited the Herbert Rowse-designed Art Deco building. The outdated control rooms with ancient-looking electronics were still used in 2016.

Except for its offices and observation room, the Grade II listed structure is hardly used nowadays. Tour guide Alison Smith told the ECHO the building is still used as a film location.

Northjohn Street

Five ventilation shafts, including the Grade II-listed North John Street structure, serve the Queensway tunnel.

Behind the heavy doors are two massive chambers: one for blowing clean air into the tunnels and the other for removing bad air from the thousands of cars that use the tunnel daily.

Since the Birkenhead tunnel opened in 1935, huge fan blades have fulfilled this critical function. A 200-foot roof tower expels the toxic gases.

7 Water Street’s “Tiger head”

Walking along Water Street, you’ve probably wondered what’s behind number seven’s impressive doors.

The city center structure has two tiger heads, and Lascar sailors used to massage the teeth on the doors for good luck. The Grade II-listed Talbot Hotel was a bar in the early 19th century.

In June, Number 7 was approved for conversion into an Argentinian steak restaurant. The three-story Gaucho restaurant debuted on November 23 on the ground floor and basement.

This year, the upper floors were approved for 10 self-contained hotel apartments. The property, on one of Liverpool’s original seven streets, has been unoccupied since 2017 and has an interesting history.

The Bank of Liverpool bought part of the building in 1831 and expanded into the Glasgow Steam Packet Company building on Water Street and Fenwick Street. The bank also owned the historic Talbot Chambers on Fenwick Street by 1896.

The Bank of Liverpool and Martin’s Bank moved into the building in 1928. Il Plazzo provided serviced offices for a variety of local firms by 1990.


The Grade-I listed Oriel Chambers is on Water Street.

Oriel Chambers, erected in 1864 by architect Peter Ellis, houses several enterprises, including a barristers’ chambers. A metal-framed glass curtain wall defines the building’s façade, creating light, airy interiors.

This design inspired the first buildings worldwide. A 1950s expansion carefully rebuilt a tiny WWII-damaged part.

55 Seel Street convent

As one of the city’s busiest partying streets, Seel Street is famous for its drinking scene.

With so much going on, you might overlook the modest blue and white painted terrace apartment at 55. Nearby bars and clubs liven up the building opposite.

Number 55 houses the Missionaries of Charity convent, where Catholic sisters reside, worship, and serve the city.

The Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa in 1950, have thousands of members worldwide, including a few sisters in their Liverpool convent on Seel Street. From 1979 through 1997, Mother Teresa visited the tiny Seel Street monastery.

The sisters serve Liverpool’s homeless by venturing out on the streets from their city centre base.

Albany Building

The Albany building, built in 1856, stands at the end of Old Hall Street. Cotton brokers would convene in the several meeting rooms and offices of the elegant grade II listed structure.

After restoration into luxurious two- and three-bedroom flats, approximately 140 residents call the Albany home. A patio with a spiral staircase awaits passersby who look into the residential tower.

Liverpool Central station mystery door

Liverpool Central station’s concealed door attracts thousands of commuters daily.

A tiny silver hatch in a corrugated metal backdrop may seem unassuming. However, Central is the busiest underground station outside London, serving 40,000 people daily, so many will have seen the door and wondered why it’s there.

Platform two, where the Northern Line serves Waterloo, Formby, and Southport, has the door. Merseyrail told the ECHO the door was “nothing remarkable” and provided access to network cabling equipment.

It’s crucial to Merseyrail’s flawless operation, allowing over 5 million people to transit through Liverpool Central each year.

William Brown Street wooden door

Liverpool Central Library’s main entrance is used by thousands of people daily, yet some may not know about its William Brown Street entry.

The Picton Reading Room is behind the wooden door. Sir James Picton, the library board chairman who oversaw its early development for four decades, named the Picton Reading Room in 1879.

It was the first civic building to use safer electric illumination instead of gas. It was modeled after the shuttered British Museum reading room.

Between 2011 and 2012, the Picton Room was renovated to its former splendour. Its domed ceiling, spiral staircases, and large bookcases, which were colored black and gold during the remodeling, are famous.

Wellington Rooms

The Wellington Rooms’ grand entryway dominates Mount Pleasant.

Since 1997, the Grade II-listed Liverpool Irish Centre has been vacant. The Neo-Classical edifice, designed by Edmund Aikin in 1815, was a ballroom until 1965, when it became the Irish Centre.

The building was put on the national Heritage at Risk Register in 1999, and urgent work was done in 2018 to waterproof and treat dry rot. It remains unused and in decay.

Hockenhall Alley

Liverpool’s oldest workers’ house is off Dale Street.

The Grade II listed property at 10 Hockenhall Alley has a boarded-up front entrance and is in decay. The tiny house shows how some of society’s lowest lived in inner cities with one room per level.

10 Hockenhall lane, formerly Molyneaux Weint, was part of a row of houses that was demolished. The alley off Dale Street, one of historic Liverpool’s seven streets, was put out between 1765 and 1785.

The other row buildings were demolished sometime in the 1880s. 10 Hockenhall Alley was a residence until the early 20th century, then a pharmacy and then John Nelson’s clock repair shop.

Chunky Monkey Developments Ltd. proposed turning Grade II listed 10 Hockenhall Alley and Cheapside Warehouse into 13 units. The two listed buildings have been planned before.

In 2015, Cheapside Warehouse was proposed as a hostel, with 10 Hockenhall Alley as its reception.

122 Old Hall Street glass building

122 Old Hall Street’s iconic curved mirrored glass façade has long been a mystery. The structure just has roller shutter doors and a mirrored façade that doesn’t reveal what’s inside.

Moores family Littlewoods Empire developed the three-story skyscraper in the 1980s. The facility held Littlewoods’ and later Shop Direct’s servers for online operations.

Littlewoods was headquartered nearby in Sir John Moores House. The Plaza is now home to Littlewoods’ successor, The Very Group, in Speke.

The data center is deactivated. Stredder Construction of Birkenhead demolished the building after its 2018 vacay.

The building’s glass façade reflects light to cool it. Liverpool City Council approved a 27-storey, 168-apartment block on the Ovatus I site in 2017.

The building was sold to business partners Martin Wilcocks and Craig Blackwell for almost £3m after the transfer to Speke. The two men, who controlled developer businesses Prospect Capital and Wilcocks & Wilcocks, proposed two high-rise flats on the site.

The site has been vacant since August 2020, waiting for a buyer.

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, we discussed the £1bn project with Nissan and Sunderland City Council, as part of that, battery manufacturer Envision AESC announced plans to establish a second North East plant in the summer of 2021, resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs. The construction of the gigafactory celebrates a decade of battery manufacturing for EVs in the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, A new facility worth many millions of pounds is going to be opened at Yeovil Hospital. According to the hospital, the brand new day theatre will begin operating in the month of April.

Furthermore, many people think the renovation of 72 Upper Ground will have a negative effect on the environment and its inhabitants. On the first day of a planning hearing into the proposed £400 million office project to replace ITV’s former headquarters on London’s South Bank, developers were told to “stop destroying youthful concrete structures at whim.”

Moreover, the central business district of Liverpool is replete with stunning buildings. Some structures are part of our daily routine, but we never stop to consider what might be housed within them. Between Water Street, Old Hall Street, and Liverpool Central Station, we discovered a lot of peculiar entrances across the city.

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