Learn the Latest News on Rishi Sunak’s Comeback Aspirations, Shows the Third Consecutive Month of Construction Output, Jacobs and Volkerstevin Joint Venture, and Fbp’s First Uk Phase’s Lead Contractor is TanRo

In today’s news, we will look at Rishi Sunak’s dreams of a resurgence, the economy of the United Kingdom collapses. As the economy of the United Kingdom slowed down in April due to wet weather, prospects of a comeback from the recession that occurred the previous year began to evaporate. While this is going on, the construction industry is responding to the Conservative manifesto for 2024. At Silverstone, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak presented the Conservative Party 2024 manifesto, which was accompanied by the slogan “Clear Plan, Bold Action, Secure Future.” In addition, the Jacobs-Volker-Stevin Joint Venture has been officially appointed to the United Utilities Construction Delivery Partner Framework in the United Kingdom. Moreover, TanRo was chosen to be the primary construction contractor for the first phase of FBP’s project in the United Kingdom.

UK Economy Flatlines, Devastating Rishi Sunak’s Comeback Aspirations

Original Source: UK economy flatlines in blow to Rishi Sunak’s hopes of recovery

Wet weather slowed the UK economy in April as hopes of a recovery from last year’s recession faded.

After a 0.4% gain in March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported monthly growth dropped, denying Rishi Sunak’s hopes of a significant rebound before the general election on July 4.

The ailing retail sector, manufacturing slowdown, and construction production slowed the economy.

City experts predicted 0.0% increase, blaming the month’s severe rains for construction workers’ problems and high street consumers’ lack of business.

Rachel Reeves, shadow chancellor, said: “Rishi Sunak claims we have turned a corner, but the economy has stalled and there is no growth.”

Sunak said the economy was “bouncing back” in March after a 2023 slide. After Wednesday’s statistics, a Conservative spokesperson stated, “There is more to do, but the economy is turning a corner and inflation is back down to normal.”

Retailers lost 2% of their trade, manufacturing decreased 1.4%, and construction fell 1.4% in April. Despite these decreases, the services sector rose 2%, led by IT and communication services, professional firms (1.2%), and arts and entertainment (2.6%).

Trades Union Congress national secretary Paul Nowak claimed the economy’s stagnation was hurting households’ incomes long-term. “Our economy is slowing yet again,” remarked the TUC chief. “This is the worst government for growth in modern times—and working people have paid.”

His analysis of official numbers showed that annual growth has averaged 1.5% since 2010, the poorest government performance since the Great Depression. Nowak said wages were worth less than 2008 after inflation, and unemployment rose at the quickest pace in the G7 this year. “Conservatives spin freely. But the last 14 years have been bad for growth and living standards.”

The economy may recover this summer, according to Capital Economics chief UK economist Paul Dales. “Despite April’s recovery stall, higher interest rates and inflation will continue to drag on economic growth throughout the year to fade. This will provide the future government an economic boost, he said.

Most economic sectors have grown month over month since January, according to private sector business surveys.

Last month, the UK revealed that it had officially exited recession after the economy contracted in the second half of last year. Quarterly growth was 0.6%, the most since 2021.

In its biannual projection in spring, the International Monetary Fund anticipated 0.7% growth for the year through April.

The OECD cut its UK growth forecast for this year from 0.7% to 0.4%. The Paris-based organisation blamed the UK’s bleak outlook on long-term challenges like a skills shortage, high prices, and high interest rates.

At its meeting later this month, the Bank of England is unlikely to decrease interest rates due to April’s zero GDP growth rate, according to Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales economics director Suren Thiru. “Despite these disappointing GDP figures, a June interest rate cut looks unlikely, as the Bank of England may be wary of changing policy during a general election campaign,” he added.

Builders React to Conservative 2024 Manifesto

Original Source: Construction industry reacts to Conservative 2024 manifesto

Prime minister Rishi Sunak released the Conservative Party 2024 platform at Silverstone with the tagline “Clear Plan, Bold Action, Secure Future”.

The Conservative 2024 manifesto pledges to lower taxes by £17.2bn by 2030, increase defence spending, and halve net migration.

For UK construction, the Conservative Party manifesto promises to build 1.6m new homes in England by the next parliament:

  • Instead of nutritional neutrality, developers must pay a “one-off mitigation fee”.
  • Fast-tracking city brownfield residential developments
  • Increasing central London density to Paris and Barcelona levels through regeneration and brownfield
  • Protecting the Green Belt by building more urban residences
  • Establishing locally-led urban development corporations in Leeds, Liverpool, and York to regenerate cities
  • Forcing authorities to set aside property for smaller developers and easing Section 106 constraints on smaller sites
  • Restricting local councils’ Infrastructure Levy use to housing infrastructure
  • Renewing the Affordable Homes Programme to revitalise housing estates
  • Maintaining cladding remediation.

For homebuyers, the manifesto promises:

  • Permanentize the 2022 Stamp Duty threshold
  • Launching a “new and improved” Help to Buy plan to give first-time buyers a 20% equity loan and a 5% deposit on affordable interest rates.
  • The manifesto calls for a Renters Reform Bill for “landlords and renters alike” that would “fully abolish” Section 21 and strengthen other grounds for landlords to expel anti-social tenants.
  • Social housing will also have ‘Local Connection’ and ‘UK Connection’ tests and a three-strike system for anti-social renters.
  • Capping ground leases at £250.

Labour leader Keir Starmer criticised the Conservative 2024 manifesto as “Jeremy Corbyn-style” “load everything into the wheelbarrow, don’t provide funding, and hope nobody notices,” to Middlesborough media.

“If the money isn’t there, five years of chaos will follow.”

According to RICS CEO Justin Young, the Conservative party has pledged to build 1.6m houses over the next five years after building 2.5m in the previous 14 years. That is almost 300,000 new homes a year, a feat not seen since the 1960s, when the public sector and SME housebuilders delivered more housing. While the Conservatives’ backing for small builders is welcome, it won’t solve Britain’s regulatory and politically infiltrated planning system.

We support initiatives that benefit first-time buyers, but demand-side and supply-side solutions must work together. There is a 4.3m home shortage in the UK, thus more housing is needed to improve affordability.

“A stamp duty cut would help more buyers get on the property ladder in the short term, but we must learn from the past and implement policies to address house building’s structural issues. Help to Buy 2.0 risks repeating the disadvantages of the original plan if supply is not addressed across all tenures. It supported first-time buyers and gave housebuilders confidence, but it also inflated home prices across England, put thousands of buyers at danger of negative equity, and failed to give fair value for taxpayers.

Greater urbanisation may not be sustainable.

Spector Constant & Williams lawyer Alun Williams said: “The announcement of a fast track planning system in the largest 20 cities will ultimately come down to the detail. My impression is that the Conservatives are placing plasters on a system that needs substantial surgery.”

Sav Patel, associate director at Lanpro Services, said: “The Conservative manifesto for this election has a high headline figure for house building: 1.6m homes over the term of the parliament, or 320,000 homes per year, a significant increase on the million homes built over the current parliament. Unbalanced mechanisms are used to achieve this.

More urban development corporations, speedier brownfield site planning approvals, and higher London densities are prioritised. Bringing this process forward is complicated and time-consuming. The remainder of the country discourages higher delivery rates.

“In contrast to Labour’s proposed Green Belt policy review, the Conservatives are offering ‘cast-iron’ Green Belt protection.

“The detailed policies are welcome. The manifesto proposes replacing nutrient neutrality standards with a ‘one-off mitigation fee’ for each development. Small builders receive a fresh land allocation and Section 106 exemptions.

Planning reform must go beyond brownfields.

Executive director of Boyer (part of Leaders Romans Group) Karen Charles said: “While no one disputes that development should be directed to urban brownfield sites first, the reality is that there is a need and demand for homes in less urban locations, which often requires development on undeveloped greenfield sites as brownfield sites are unavailable.

Indeed, if the Prime Minister is to increase housebuilding as set out in the Manifesto, the Government will need to reform the planning system and relax some planning restrictions that make it so time-consuming to prepare development plans and so difficult to secure planning permission and deliver new homes in places people want to live.

“The Conservative Party Manifesto on planning and housing is commendable, but all indications are that the apparent sole focus on delivering homes on brownfield sites in urban locations will continue to constrain housing delivery, particularly non-urban houses.”

Joint Venture Between Jacobs and VolkerStevin Selected as a UK Utilities Construction Delivery Partner

Original Source: Jacobs – VolkerStevin Joint Venture Appointed to UK’s United Utilities Construction Delivery Partner Framework

United Utilities, one of the U.K.’s largest listed water firms, has engaged C2V, a Jacobs (NYSE:J) and VolkerStevin joint venture, as Construction Delivery Partner (CDP) for their substantial capital investment program. It will be United Utilities’ most ambitious and difficult program.

C2V will manage, design, develop, and commission complex capital projects in water and wastewater treatment, pumping stations, reservoirs, bioresources, and energy.

All organisations on the expert framework will form an integrated delivery organisation with United Utilities to deliver its anticipated $3.8 billion (£3 billion) capital programme from 2025 to 2030, with an option to extend for five years to 2035.

“The water sector faces enormous environmental issues. “This framework allows United Utilities to deliver its largest environmental performance and critical water services program in North West England,” said Kate Kenny, Jacobs Senior Vice President. “With our 20+ years’ experience working in the region, we can further contribute vital water and wastewater infrastructure solutions that deliver stronger, greener and healthier customer and environmental benefits.”

VolkerStevin Managing Director John Cox: “We’re excited to deliver the region’s largest environmental initiative with United Utilities, enterprise partners, and the supply chain ecosystem. The enterprise model allows our businesses to interact, improve how we work together, and deliver more social and environmental value to the North West than ever before. We are thrilled to continue working with United Utilities to develop a better, greener, and healthier North West England for everyone.”

United Utilities Capital Delivery Director Jane Simpson said: “We’re thrilled to have found excellent delivery partners to help us change North West infrastructure and services.

“It will be our most ambitious program yet and by putting this partnership in place with some of the best design and construction companies in the country, it allows us to get to work quickly and deliver the transformation that we know our customers want to see.”

United Utilities’ suggestions will be reviewed by Ofwat, which will develop a response by July 2024 and agree on a final plan by December 2024. Seven million people utilise United Utilities’ water and wastewater services, including three million households and 200,000 businesses.

Jacobs and VolkerStevin have supported United Utilities as C2V for 10 years, delivering water and wastewater projects that improve river water quality in North West England and provide safe, secure, and resilient water resources.

Jacobs helps United Utilities’ new Strategic Solutions Team optimise key capital projects. For 10 years, Jacobs supported United Utilities’ engineering services framework, providing strategic studies, business planning, asset optimization, project, and program management to ensure the resilience of critical assets like the Haweswater Aqueduct. United Utilities used Jacobs’ Aqua DNA, a Digital OneWater solution that collects live data and improves wastewater network performance using smart sensors and AI-driven predictive analytics, to implement Dynamic Network Management. Jacobs helped United Utilities secure strategic funding from Ofwat’s Innovation Fund and submit successful regulatory filings.

Since 2006, Engineering News-Record has ranked Jacobs the top sewer/wastewater design business (2023). Jacobs, one of the leading service providers to U.K. water authorities, plans, develops, finances, designs, delivers, and maintains world-class water infrastructure solutions to manage this vital resource

Jacobs solves the world’s most pressing problems for thriving cities, resilient environments, mission-critical outcomes, operational advancement, scientific discovery, and cutting-edge manufacturing, turning abstract ideas into reality that change the world for good. Jacobs provides consulting, technical, scientific, and project delivery services to the government and business sector with $16 billion in annual revenue and over 60,000 employees.

FBP’s First UK Phase’s Lead Contractor is TanRo 

Original Source: TanRo selected as lead construction contractor for FBP’s first phase in UK 

The £800m Fairham development master plan includes the commercial project.

TanRo will lead the building of Nottingham’s Fairham Business Park (FBP) first phase.

For site work, the corporation is putting up its compound.

TanRo director Fintan Phelan said: “We are thrilled to lead construction of Fairham Business Park’s cutting-edge commercial units.

“We completed two ‘built-to-suit’ facilities at Clowes [Development]’s Etiquette Park in Ilkeston on time and on a very tight schedule.”

The £800m ($1.01bn) Fairham development master plan includes this commercial project.

Clowes Developments development director James Richards said: “Fairham will create a thriving new community and neighbourhood that is well-planned, safe, and friendly, with a vibrant mix of residential and commercial amenities, all designed and built to the highest standards.”

Slow-moving vehicles will increase at Fairham for important enabling works.

The A453-crossing vehicles will move extra dirt from FBP to a vacant area.

The local authority’s planning conditions will be followed to properly dispose of excess soil during soil movement.

JC Balls has been ordered to begin the project, which should be finished by October.

Clowes Developments announced Podium Business Parkin located in Northamptonshire in 2021. 

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), monthly growth fell after a 0.4% gain in March. This puts an end to Rishi Sunak’s hopes of a substantial resurgence before the general election on July 4. The retail sector’s woes, the manufacturing downturn, and the building industry’s output all contributed to inflation.

At the same time, at Silverstone, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled the Conservative Party’s manifesto for 2024, which has the slogan “Clear Plan, Bold Action, Secure Future.” Promising to cut taxes by £17.2bn by 2030, boost defence expenditure, and cut net migration in half, the Conservatives’ 2024 platform is full of empty promises. On top of that, United Utilities, a major listed water company in the United Kingdom, has chosen C2V, a joint venture between Jacobs (NYSE:J) and VolkerStevin, as their Construction Delivery Partner (CDP) for their massive capital investment programme. The programme will be the most challenging and ambitious undertaking for United Utilities. C2V will oversee the planning, design, construction, and commissioning of intricate energy, water, and wastewater treatment, pumping station, reservoir, bioresource, and project management projects. The business venture is also a part of the £800 million Fairham development master plan. The initial phase of Fairham Business Park (FBP) in Nottingham will be led by TanRo. In preparation for site work, the corporation is erecting its compound.

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