Uncover the Latest News on New UK Building Product Launched by Markel, Arup Cuts Jobs as UK Construction Slows, British Construction Firm Buckingham Group Near Collapse, South East Plans Permission-ready Properties First, and Construction Business Civil Sanction Boosts Charity Funds

In today’s news, we will look into the who Markel introduces a new solution tailored to the needs of the UK construction industry. As a result of the slowdown in building in the UK, Arup has announced layoffs. meanwhile, the Buckingham Group construction company is teetering on the verge of going bankrupt. Furthermore, the South East is in the lead when it comes to homes that are ready for planning permission. Moreover, the construction company’s civil penalties results in a financial benefit for the charity.

Markel Launches New UK Building Product

Original Source: Markel rolls out new product for UK construction sector

Markel launched a UK building insurance product.

The new service, called “Markel Construction,” addresses various pain points discovered during more than 30 hours of qualitative interviews with brokers and end clients. These include regulatory uncertainty, pricing sensitivity, and professional indemnity placement issues.

In an emailed announcement, Markel claimed the product offers the full range of coverage and extensions to suit policyholder cover requirements for a wide variety of construction risks, including residential and commercial builders and building completion and finishing services.

These include cost for intervention, legionella, defective items, efficacy, offsite storage, and professional indemnity, which brokers truly wanted in this market.

Policyholders will also have access to in-house legal, tax, and HR experts and value-added services. Collateral warranty evaluations, debt recovery support, 24/7 stress management and legal/HR helplines, and construction consultant advice are benefits.

“There is a real opportunity in the construction sector for a product that meets both the specialist insurance requirements and the extended business needs of contractors operating in this space,” said UK construction underwriting head Martin Parker, who leads a 10-person team.

Markel Construction delivers what our consumers require, and we are excited to introduce our offering.”

Neil Galjaard, managing director, said: “Markel has a track record of really positive growth by successfully launching and trading products that are carefully aligned to the needs of customers in a particular sector and backed by specialist teams of underwriters experienced in that sector.

We are convinced Markel Construction will enable brokers in offering market-leading propositions to their clients.”

Arup Cuts Jobs as UK Construction Slows

Original Source: Arup announces layoffs as UK construction slows

In response to a UK work slowdown, engineering consultancy Arup laid off senior personnel. It anticipates “continued market shifts” as the UK construction sector experiences difficulties.

Arup told Architects’ Journal, “As an employee-owned organisation, we have a responsibility to all our members, clients and collaborators to ensure that we are right-sized for the type of work our talented designers, engineers and sustainability consultants are tackling, both today and in the future.”

Infrastructure project leaders in the UK have faced one of their toughest periods. Three years after remarkable flexibility during a global pandemic lockdown, they face complex issues on all fronts. The Ukraine crisis continues to disrupt supply lines and drive energy prices higher, while political instability at home has left developers wondering what regulatory changes they may face.

While experts say the UK economy has averted a technical recession, the building sector has entered a crisis. According to the Construction Products Association (CPA), the industry is entering a “acute recession” with 7% construction production decline in 2023 and 0.7% increase in 2024.

For this reason, Arup says, “We are taking this difficult but necessary decision and offering this option now so that the firm is well-positioned to tackle any continued market shifts while maintaining Arup’s commitment to excellence in project delivery.”

Arup has 6,000 UK employees, including 57 architects. The multifunctional firm’s latest “difficult but necessary” decisions have cost 200 jobs, according to Architects’ Journal. Negotiations are underway for top staff voluntary redundancies.

HS2 appears to have influenced Arup’s revisions. The projected high-speed train line in England would stretch from London to Manchester, the country’s most northerly point, with branches to Birmingham and the East Midlands, and finished between 2029 and 2033, depending on clearance for later phases. However, the government froze the project in 2023.

Due to unprecedented inflation that the government has failed to control for over a year, HS2 is apparently on hold for at least two years, and other major roadbuilding projects have been shelved. The Sunday Times’ Nicholas Hellen and Tom Calver called the project a “£100 billion money pit”; whether it will be revived is unclear.

Arup began working on HS2 in 2015. This included civil engineering and environmental services on Phase 2a, from the West Midlands to Crewe, which was halted in late 2021, and work on the Grimshaw-designed HS2 terminus at Euston, which was scrapped.

British Construction Firm Buckingham Group Near Collapse

Original Source: Buckingham Group construction company on brink of collapse

A large construction company halted trading due to “rapidly escalating contract losses”.

Redeveloping football venues including Anfield in Liverpool and Sixfields in Northampton is Buckinghamshire-based Buckingham Group.

It also worked on HS2 and East-West Rail earthworks.

The employee-owned corporation filed a notice to appoint administrators but is not in administration.

Despite “very strong commercial performance across most of the business” and a £665m turnover in 2021, Buckingham Group reported “deep losses and interim cash deficits on three major stadium and arena contracts, and a substantial earthworks contract in Coventry”.

It cited “extreme inflation linked to the Ukraine conflict” and “other challenges in the Sports and Leisure division”.

The company stated it has been unsuccessfully seeking investment for months.

It promised to help with clients to “secure the best outcome for creditors”.

The business delivered the 7,000-seat Anfield extension, expected to finish in 2023-24.

This would not hinder the match against Bournemouth on Saturday, as Liverpool FC confirmed the phased opening of their refurbished Anfield Road stand could proceed.

The club said: “We will work with Buckingham Group on the planned phased opening of the remainder of the new stand and will keep supporters updated on future game arrangements.”

As Buckingham Group was hired to build the new East Stand, Northampton Town FC claimed it was “monitoring the situation” and “awaiting an updated quotation”.

Chairman Kelvin Thomas said: “As a club, we have no financial risk or commitments, and we have talked to other contractors to get comparative figures and backup plans.”

He said, “Buckingham’s have helped the football club, so we hope they can recover.”

South East Plans Permission-ready Properties First

Original Source: South East leads the way in planning permission-ready properties

The South East of England has the most planning permission-ready properties, according to Searchland development professionals.

Searchland examined the fraction of houses for sale with planning permission and their price premiums.

Despite a 12% price increase across England, investors seeking expansion or renovations preferred planning permission-ready houses.

About 3 in 10 UK properties are development-ready.

The East of England had a significant supply, with 20.5% of 1,787 dwellings permitted. The South West has 20.3% of the 1,769 properties in the region.

Other regions have trouble finding development-ready lands. The next lowest approval rate is 8.4% in the East Midlands. Only 1.8% of North East designs are preapproved.

This study shows the shortage of planning-approved dwellings in high-cost areas.

In London, only 3.2% of homes receive approval, causing a 20% price hike. Only 5.0% of Yorkshire and the Humber homes are approved, justifying a 20% premium. England’s average premium is 12%.

The price difference is negligible in areas with greater planning permissions. The South West has 20.3% of residences in this category, thus the premium is 2%.

Is planning permission too hard?

“Gaining planning permission is a huge headache, as you have to satisfy the local council, deal with potential issues like neighbour complaints, and play a long waiting game, so it’s no surprise that investors are looking for properties that already have it,” said Searchland co-founder and CEO Mitchell Fasanya.

It’s easier to buy a development-ready home in the South East, East of England, and South West than in other regions, he said.

“You also don’t have to pay a big premium in those areas compared to regions like the North West, Yorkshire, and London, where the supply of homes with planning permissions is so low that you have to pay more than 20% to land one of those coveted properties,” said Fasanya.

Construction Business Civil Sanction Boosts Charity Funds

Original Source: Construction company civil sanction sees charity get cash boost

Costain Limited will contribute £55,000 to Tyne Rivers Trust after contaminating the River Don during an A19 upgrade in South Tyneside.

The Environment Agency found that the corporation violated its environmental licence when contaminated water ran down roadway drains and into the River Don.

The Environment Agency accepted its Enforcement Undertaking.

Companies and individuals make an Enforcement Undertaking to apologize for their actions, which usually includes a gift to a wildlife charity to repair the local ecology.

Costain Limited had an environmental authorization to dump sediment-treated water into the River Don during A19 operations at Testos roundabout.

River sediment plume

An Environment Agency officer noticed a silt plume in the river on December 6, 2019, during construction.

Costain Limited jet washed and swept the road after a dry time to remove muck. The road sweeper was not powerful enough to suck up all the unclean water, so it poured right into highway drains, bypassing the company’s sediment treatment, and into the River Don.

The silt in the water exceeded the permit and discolored at least 500 meters.

No other occurrences happened after the corporation implemented a new monitoring and maintenance program and site worker training. The river had little long-term ecological consequence.

Environmental Protection Agency investigator Josh Laidler said:

Major development companies must follow their permits to safeguard the local environment, and we will act if pollution happens.

We will always prosecute the most egregious instances, but Enforcement Undertakings help corporations make amends and enhance the environment.

They help polluters repair environmental damage and prevent future occurrences by strengthening corporate practices, ensuring future compliance with environmental regulations.

Tyne Rivers Trust will use the money for River Don basin water quality projects.

The Tyne Rivers Trust is a registered environmental organization that educates, fights pollution, and conserves the river and its basin.

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, we discussed Markel has introduced property insurance to the UK market. More than thirty hours of qualitative interviews with brokers and end clients led to the development of a new service called “Markel Construction,” which targets those interviews’ numerous pain areas. Meanwhile, engineering firm Arup had to lay off senior staff due to a drop in business in the UK. Because of the difficulties facing the building industry in the UK, “continued market shifts” are predicted. Furthermore, a major construction firm also suspended operations because of “rapidly escalating contract losses.” Buckingham Group, located in Buckinghamshire, is renovating football stadiums across the country. According to Searchland’s team of development experts, the South East of England is where you’ll find the most properties with pending planning clearance. Moreover, searchland looked at the correlation between the percentage of available homes that have a valid building permit and their asking prices. On top of that, after polluting the River Don during the A19 upgrade in South Tyneside, construction company Costain Limited has agreed to provide £55,000 to the Tyne Rivers Trust to help clean up the area.

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