logo for UK Construction Blog

Blog Details

Discover the Latest News on Build UK and HS2 Open Construction Sites to Youth, Advanced Plant Growth Centre and International Barley Hub Construction, RICS Believes 4Q Macroeconomic Volatility, TfW to Build Butetown Train Station in UK, and FMB Worries About Construction as Housing and RMI Output Slump

In today’s news, we will look into the “Open Doors 2023” campaign of Build UK which is currently holding over 20 events at some of the busiest building sites for HS2. Meanwhile, the James Hutton Institute and McLaughlin & Harvey have closed a deal worth a total of 28.7 million pounds to redevelop the second phase of the Invergowrie estate. In addition, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the construction industry in the United Kingdom was going to be facing challenging macroeconomic conditions in the fourth quarter of 2022. In the meantime, Transport for Wales (TFW) plans to construct a new train station in Butetown as well as repair the existing station in Cardiff Bay. Moreover, Federation of Master Builders is concerned about the sluggish construction industry output shown by this month’s ONS figures, which include a decrease in housing and a decrease in repair, maintenance, and improvement (RMI) output for the month of November (FMB).

Build UK and HS2 open construction sites to youth

Original Source: HS2 partners with Build UK to open its construction sites to young people

Build UK’s “Open Doors 2023” campaign is hosting over 20 events on HS2’s busiest construction sites.

Young individuals and career changers can glimpse behind the hoardings and pursue construction careers on site visits.

HS2 and Build UK, the UK construction industry’s premier representative organisation, are supporting “Open Doors 2023” from Monday 13 to Saturday 18 March 2023.

Open Doors takes young people and career-changers behind the site hoardings to experience construction. HS2 is conducting tours of key London-West Midlands locations, including the Chilterns Tunnel south portal, Curzon Street Station, Old Oak Common Station, Wendover Dean Viaduct, and Willesden Logistics Hub.

HS2’s construction partners providing site visits include Align (Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick), BBV, BBVS, EKFB, and SCS (Skanska, Costain & STRABAG).

Rebecca Young, HS2 Skills and Employment Supply Chain Manager:

“We’re thrilled to join with Build UK to show young people across the country how we’re creating Britain’s new railway.

“This is a terrific chance to meet the people building our new stations, viaducts, and tunnels for anyone interested in construction. With over 900 apprentices and ambitions to recruit hundreds more in the months and years ahead, we hope to inspire the next generation to participate in future HS2 phases.”

Build UK CEO Suzannah Nichol MBE said:

“Open Doors is run by Build UK for the industry to recruit the next generation by showing them what goes on behind the site hoardings. We’re excited to cooperate with HS2, which is launching 16 spectacular sites nationwide, including tunnels, viaducts, stations, and training centres. Open Doors is about variety and will show visitors how many intriguing construction vocations there are.”

HS2 hosted Build UK on its Long Itchington Wood Tunnel North Portal Site in Leamington Spa in November 2022 to launch “Open Doors 2023” with over 25 young people from Walsall and Warwickshire Colleges. During March’s week-long programme, this site opens.

Visitors will learn about construction careers and the industry’s amazing potential at the events. Companies need back-office support, sales teams, and cutting-edge technical capabilities in addition to site-based construction employment.

EKFB Programme Director Emmanuel Rossignol stated:

“From learning more about our carbon-saving viaducts, environment projects, construction successes, to jobs, apprenticeships, and community engagement opportunities we are offering this year, there is something for everyone. This includes visiting one of our ecology sites in HS2’s green corridor, driving a piece of heavy machinery in one of our plant simulators, and having a mini-bus tour of one of our live sites to observe the works. We’re excited to host guests at our Bucks and Northants construction sites in March.”

UK: Advanced Plant Growth Centre and International Barley Hub construction contract secured for £28.7m

Original Source: UK: Contract signed for construction of £28.7m combined Advanced Plant Growth Centre and International Barley Hub

The James Hutton Institute and McLaughlin & Harvey have secured a £28.7m deal to redevelop the Invergowrie estate’s second phase.

This new contract involves building an APGC and International Barley Hub (IBH). This second phase, procured via the SCAPE Scotland Construction Framework and part-funded by the Tay Cities Deal, is part of a strategy to create two institute-led innovation hubs at Invergowrie, establishing Scotland as a global leader in food security and crop resilience.

The UK and Scottish governments and public and private organisations in Angus, Dundee, Fife, and Perth & Kinross will spend up to £700 million in sustainable and inclusive prosperity initiatives through the Tay Cities Region Deal.

Several older buildings are being removed to make way for the new IBH and APGC facilities in the heart of the Invergowrie Campus.

Colin Campbell, James Hutton Institute Chief Executive, said: “Moving into the next phase of the International Barley Hub’s construction is an important milestone in this project, which aims to futureproof the barley sector across Scotland and the UK. This new research cluster will deliver £60 million and over 1200 jobs to Scotland over the next decade.

Scottish Government Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “The Scottish Government is investing £17 million towards the rebuilding of the James Hutton Institute’s facilities at Invergowrie, alongside our continued support for the Institute and its mission to foster food and drink innovation. The Scottish Government’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation supports food and drink innovation and more.

UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “These new facilities will undertake critical research that will help food security and the future prosperity of our farming economy while also creating new jobs for the region. Through the Tay Cities Deal, the UK Government is spending £45m at the James Hutton Institute, part of more than £2 billion for efforts lifting up communities across Scotland.”

“We are happy to continue our great partnership with the Institute,” said McLaughlin & Harvey Operations Director Robbie Clark. Our experienced project team will smoothly deliver the new Advanced Plant Growth Centre and International Barley Hub after completing the Barley Field Centre facilities. The Institute will help the local community and economy by buying new facilities through the SCAPE Framework.

RICS believes 4Q macroeconomic volatility worsened UK construction challenges

Original Source: U.K. construction woes deepened in 4Q on macroeconomic turmoil, RICS says

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said that the U.K. construction industry faced a difficult macroeconomic climate in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The professional organisation reported that headline workloads—those across all construction sectors—dropped to minus 1% in the fourth quarter from 17% in the third quarter and 30% in the second quarter.

Private-housing workloads declined to negative 13% from plus 17% in the third quarter. Commercial and industrial workloads dropped 2%.

RICS says the infrastructure sector is more optimistic, with a positive net balance of 22%, reflecting the longer-term nature of many projects.

Financial limitations have increased for four consecutive quarters to 62%, but labour and material shortages have decreased. The third quarter of 2020 was the highest.

35% anticipate worse credit conditions in 2023. While high, this is better than the 60% who projected rougher conditions in the third quarter.

“Significantly, the business is still struggling to find skilled personnel, both professional and trades. “Addressing this issue will be crucial in enabling the sector to play a full role in assisting the economy as it emerges from the current slump,” said RICS Chief Economist Simon Rubinsohn.

TfW to build Butetown train station in the UK

Original Source: UK’s TfW to start construction on new Butetown rail station

Transport for Wales (TFW) will build a new Butetown railway station and renovate Cardiff Bay station.

TfW announced plans for a two-platform station in Butetown’s north last summer.

New signage, customer information screens, and other improvements will boost Cardiff Bay station.

A new track deployment will enable regular tram train services and a new timetable in 2024.

This month, a construction compound on Lloyd George Avenue will be built to accommodate track work that began this year.

TfW plans to build a construction compound on Lloyd George Avenue’s trackside for project administration and worker welfare.

It will also manage vegetation to safely provide electrical clearances for the public, workers, and infrastructure to support overhead line equipment.

Electric tram-trains will utilise overhead line equipment. In the following weeks, TfW will electrify the Core Valley Lines in South Wales, including the Bay line.

TfW CEO James Price said: “The Bay Line transformation project is a key aspect of the South Wales Metro and we’re happy to commence construction work on the brand-new station in Butetown, as well as important modifications to Cardiff Bay station.

“From 2024, we’ll offer a smoother, greener, modern public transport service that will give Butetown and Cardiff Bay residents more options.

FMB worries about construction as housing and RMI output slump

Original Source: Worrying signs for construction as housing and RMI output fall, says FMB

According to this month’s ONS numbers, housing and repair, maintenance, and improvement (RMI) output fell in November, resulting in stagnant construction industry output, which is concerning not just for small, local builders, says Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “Private house building and repair and maintenance work are the backbone of local builders’ businesses, therefore today’s declines in output foreshadow a gloomy winter for the sector. The ONS data shows falling enquiries for the first time in a decade, likely due to consumers tightening their wallets due to cost-of-living concerns. We know that a lack of feasible land, a cumbersome planning system, and a shortage of skilled worker scarcity are hurting SME house builders.”

Berry continued: “In the run-up to the Budget I urge the Government to support local building enterprises with policies that promote demand and cut prices. As Conservative MP Chris Skidmore stated in the Net Zero Review, a National Retrofit Strategy to enhance the energy efficiency of leaky homes in the UK will create more jobs and boost economic growth, supporting the RMI sector. To ensure housing constructions don’t linger in the burdensome planning system, which is holding back SME house builders from fulfilling their potential, we need fundamental planning system change.

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, we discussed “Open Doors 2023” that will take place from Monday, March 13, to Saturday, March 18, 2023. This event is being supported by HS2 and Build UK, the leading representative organisation for the construction sector of the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, the second phase of the Invergowrie estate has been purchased by the James Hutton Institute and McLaughlin & Harvey for £28.7 million. In order to make room for the brand new IBH and APGC facilities in the centre of the Invergowrie Campus, some older structures have been demolished.

Additionally, it was reported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors that the fourth quarter of 2022 would be a challenging one for the United Kingdom’s building industry. There is still a severe shortage of both professional and tradespeople in the company. According to RICS Chief Economist Simon Rubinsohn, “addressing this issue will be vital in enabling the sector to play a full part in helping the economy as it emerges from the current depression.”

Furthermore, in the summer of 2017, TfW revealed that they would be building a station with two platforms in the northern part of Butetown. The Cardiff Bay train station is getting a facelift that includes new signs and passenger information screens.

Over and above that, “Private house building and repair and maintenance work are the backbone of local builders’ operations,” stated FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry, so the recent drops in output are ominous. With customers tightening their belts in response to rising prices, the ONS data indicates a decline in enquiries for the first time in a decade.