Built Environment Networking Blog:

Conference to set out regeneration and development opportunities in Birmingham

On the 4th November, prominent business leaders within the construction and property industry will come together for the Birmingham and West Midlands Development Plans Event – one of the region’s largest business events of the year within the construction sector. The event, hosted by Built Environment Networking, will see some of the region’s leading civic […]

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Boris Johnson Branded HS2 Axe As ‘Political Suicide’

Boris Johnson admitted that cancelling HS2 would be ‘political suicide’ at a meeting just days before he became prime minister, according to a leading west midlands businessman. Steve Hollis, chair of the West Midlands HS2 Growth Delivery Board, told our HS2 Economic Growth Conference that he and the conurbation’s elected mayor Andy Street had met […]

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Ex-Olympics Minister Urges HS2 To Grasp Cost Increase Nettle

HS2 must learn the lesson from the 2012 Olympics that is important to grasp the nettle about cost increases, according to one of the ex-ministers at the heart of London’s winning bid. Richard Caborn, minister of sport when London submitted its successful bid in the early Noughties, said at our HS2 Economic Growth Conference that […]

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Politicians Warned That North Will Be Key In Upcoming Election

Whoever wins the upcoming general election will have to take northern concerns seriously, our HS2 Economic Growth Conference was told. Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP), told the Northern Powerhouse Rail session that he had “never known” as much unanimity of political leadership across the north despite the cuts that the region’s […]

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‘No Excuse’ For Second Class Manchester Terminus, Says Council Leader

There is “no excuse” for the north of England not to have the same high standard of rail projects recently seen in London, Manchester city council’s leader has said. Speaking at our HS2 Economic Growth Conference Cllr Richard Leese said that the HS2 upgrade of Manchester’s Piccadilly should be of a similar grade to the […]

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Build Leeds & Manchester HS2 Legs Together – Nottinghamshire Leader Urges

The last two legs of HS2 should be developed in tandem rather than one after the other, the leader of Nottinghamshire County Council told delegates at our HS2 Economic Growth Conference. Cllr Kay Cutts, who also chairs the delivery board for the development planned around the proposed East Midlands Hub station at Toton, called for […]

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HS2 Station Needed To Stop Euston Overcrowding

Plans to upgrade Euston station to house the HS2 terminal are necessary in order to prevent the existing station from becoming dangerously overcrowded, our HS2 Economic Growth Conference was warned. Mark Witham, head of commercial development at HS2 Ltd, told delegates that the classic station is over capacity by about three-fold. “It needs the HS2 […]

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Leeds Chief Challenges HS2 Critics – “If you don’t do HS2 what is the solution?”

The chief executive of Leeds city council has thrown down the gauntlet to HS2’s critics to come up with a better solution for tackling the north-south divide. Referring to the history of failed attempts to overcome regional inequalities, Tom Riordan said: “If you want something that is going to stabilise the economy and give certainty […]

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“Antiquated” Rail Network Blamed For 2018 Timetable Nightmares

The “antiquated” nature of the north’s rail infrastructure was the root cause of last year’s botched new regional timetable introduction, according to the independent expert appointed to oversee improvements to the train network. Richard George, who was speaking on behalf of Atkins / SNC Lavalin at the HS2 Economic Growth Conference, said that the north […]

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Leeds Leader Urges HS2 Review to Shift From “Obsession” With Speed

The review of HS2 should rule out only building the line as far as Birmingham, the Leader of Leeds City Council has urged. Cllr Judith Blake told delegates that she is “very concerned” that the terms of reference of the exercise, which is headed by HS2 Ltd’s former chair Douglas Oakervee, contains an option for […]

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Milton Keynes Has Room For Logistics, Says Council

Milton Keynes has land available for warehouse and distribution developments, a senior official at the council told our Sheds & Logistics Development Conference. Head of Economy and Culture at Milton Keynes Council Pam Gosal used her keynote presentation to outline progress on the development of the UK’s largest new town. She said that Milton Keynes […]

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Technology Will Cause Net Job Loss By 2035 – AI Expert Predicts

Within 15 years technology will be destroying jobs more rapidly than people can be retrained to fill new roles, the Sheds & Logistics Development Conference has heard. Daniel Hulme, Chief Executive Officer of Artificial Intelligence consultancy Satalia, predicted to delegates at the Built Environment Networking event that technology will continue to free more people from […]

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Strong Council Leadership Needed During Planning Process

Planning committee members should pay the cost of lost appeals out of their own pockets if they reject their officers’ advice, a leading logistics developer has suggested at our Sheds & Logistics Development Conference. Philip O’Callaghan, Managing Director of Mountpark, told Built Environment Networking event that this move would concentrate elected members minds. In the […]

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London Curb on Polluting Vehicles Threatens Small Hauliers

Sadiq Khan’s push to clean up London’s air by banning more polluting trucks threatens to drive many small hauliers out of business, our Sheds & Logistics Development Conference was warned. Rob McKenzie, Managing Director of Policy & Affairs at the Road Haulage Associate, told delegates at the Built Environment Networking event that many hauliers would […]

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Head of Manchester Council Backs City’s 2038 Zero Carbon Target Despite Economic Risks

Greater Manchester’s push to become zero carbon by 2038 is worth pushing ahead with, even though it poses risks for the local economy, the city council’s longstanding leader has said. Speaking at our Greater Manchester Development Conference, Sir Richard Leese identified the target to hit net zero 12 years ahead of government targets for the UK […]

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#Stayalittlelonger: how good wayfinding drives inward investment

One of the sessions at Built Environment Networking’s Greater Manchester Development Conference explored inward investment: encouraging people to spend money in a location. This is a frequent objective for Placemarque when designing a wayfinding strategy. Good wayfinding encourages people to stay a little longer or walk a little further in order to spend their time […]

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PM urged to back £3.5bn Midlands Engine Rail, as region’s rail revolution takes a leap forward

£3.5 billion plan to revolutionise Midlands rail network, comprised of seven projects Up to 60 locations across the UK could benefit from improved services 736 more passenger trains on the network each day Plans are fully integrated with HS2 and will be submitted to Oakervee Review Creates space for an additional 1 million lorries’ worth […]

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Sheds and logistics developments in one of the UK’s fastest growing cities…

Milton Keynes is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities. Home to over 14,000 business units and with a population of 267,000, Milton Keynes is showing no signs of slowing down its growth. By 2050 Milton Keynes is expected to have a population of over 500,000 making it a city larger than Liverpool, Cardiff or […]

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Pioneering construction skills academy opens

A pioneering civil engineering skills academy unlike anything else in the North East has been officially opened in Hartlepool. The new skills academy from Seymour Civil Engineering and principal partners Hartlepool College of Further Education and Hartlepool Borough Council will provide certified qualifications to future and current civil engineers both locally and nationally with the […]

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Modular development moves forward in London

The first of 438 off-site manufactured modules have been lifted into place at First Way Campus, the 678-bedroom student accommodation scheme which is being developed by Cole Waterhouse in Wembley, London. Work started on the 1.6 acre site in September 2018 and the £54m scheme build, which will provide accommodation for University College of Football […]

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PAGABO Predicts trebling project numbers through second term frameworks

PAGABO, the rapidly expanding framework organisation, is predicting to deliver millions of pounds of social value for communities with support from its two newest frameworks going out for tender this month. Pagabo is introducing the second terms of its National Framework for Professional Services in Construction and Premises (2020) and National Framework for Major Works […]

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Speculative development unlocked at Icon Manchester Airport

Commercial property developer, Stoford has completed the forward sale of a major warehouse at Icon Manchester, paving the way for a new speculative development at the strategic site. Alpha Real Capital, a leading investor in long income real assets, has agreed to buy Unit 4, a new, state-of-the-art 102,500 sq ft industrial/warehouse facility at the Manchester Airport development, from Icon Industrial, a strategic joint venture by […]

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Connecting Britain to launch at major one-day conference

A green light on HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail is ‘critical to the long term success of the UK and all its parts’, says new campaign backed by business and political leaders Business and political leaders from the North have today joined together to launch Connecting Britain, a campaign to speak with one, united voice […]

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HS2 Chairman to speak at Economic Growth Conference

HS2 Chairman to speak at Economic Growth Conference Joined on stage by council leaders and key project stakeholders   Chairman of HS2 Ltd, Allan Cook, has been confirmed as the headline speaker at the HS2 Economic Growth Conference in Leeds on Tuesday, 3rd September. Allan will address over 400 delegates sharing his views on the […]

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Mental health and well being matter – BOHO

‘When we talk about mental health, we’re talking about our mental well-being: our emotions, our thoughts and our feelings, our ability to solve problems and overcome difficulties, our social connections, and our understanding of the world around us.’ (CMHA, 2019)   One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in […]

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Building Equality marches at Leeds Pride

Building Equality – an alliance of construction companies working to build LGBT+ inclusion including Built Environment Networking, has completed their second annual march at Leeds Pride. More than 200 people from across the construction and property industry – double the number of people from the previous year – joined the parade to celebrate diversity, advocate […]

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NW speculative build trade counter schemes reap rewards

Trade counters are increasing their footprint and now account for almost 20% of all floorspace in the North West Despite reducing their footprint, general manufacturers remain the region’s single largest occupier sector at 22% North West sees “ripple effect” of high ERV growth in other geographical locations, pushing occupiers into the region Manchester, UK – […]

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Dear Prime Minister, don’t forget the Midlands – Midlands Connect

A message from Midlands Connect… Prime Minister, congratulations on your appointment. As you embark on the first 100 days of your premiership, you will face huge challenges, but also an unparalleled opportunity. Our message to you is simple; unleash our economic potential, succeed where your predecessors have faltered, back the Midlands.

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Plans for redevelopment of former ski village edge closer

Plans to redevelop a former Ski Village in the South Yorkshire city of Sheffield have moved forward – as Extreme Destinations and Sheffield City Council sign an agreement for the project, with Extreme signing a 150-year lease. The ski village, which has remained derelict since it was destroyed by a fire in 2012, is set […]

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Integrated Rail Plan launched for the Sheffield City Region

An ambitious new Integrated Rail Plan has been launched for the Sheffield City Region – as the region looks to improve connectivity and drive economic growth across the region. Supported by local authorities and organisations including Transport for the North and the Department for Transport the proposals include new stations to Barnsley Dearn Valley, Rotherham, […]

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£250m Huddersfield town centre regeneration kickstarts

Plans to transform one of the biggest town centres in Huddersfield via a £250m regeneration programme have this week taken a major step forward – after the first major scheme received the thumbs up from Kirklees Council. The project, being brought forward by SKA Developments, will see the transformation of the former Co-op department store […]

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£70m Symmetry Park begins to take shape

A major new logistics development in Blyth is beginning to take shape – with a 150,000sq ft distribution unit now available for occupation, and the opening of a Starbucks and a KFC on site. They’re all part of much wider plans for Symmetry Park – located in a key strategic location at J34 of the […]

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One Yorkshire Leaders set out new devolution proposals

One Yorkshire Leaders have set out new proposals to urgently unlock the benefits of devolution for all parts of the region while creating a pathway to a full One Yorkshire devolution deal in 2022. The proposals, which have already been presented to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, are published today ahead of Yorkshire Day on Thursday 1 August. They would […]

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Calls made for ‘new towns’ in London – says geographic expert

London must develop the urban equivalents of new towns around its transport hubs in order to help meet the capital’s housing needs, one of the UK’s leading geographers has told delegates at our London event. In a wide-ranging talk at the London Property Club, Oxford University Professor of Economic Geography Danny Dorling called for denser […]

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Modular housing approaching its ‘Betamax or VHS’ moment

The modular housing industry is approaching its ‘Betamax or VHS’ moment within the next five years when a dominant model will emerge, Pocket Living’s Land Director has said. Nick Cuff, Land Director at Pocket Living, told delegates at our London Property Club that modern methods of construction (MMC) housing is still a “very nascent” industry: […]

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Johnson won’t trigger No Deal Brexit – says top economist

The prospect of a No Deal Brexit has been dismissed by the business department’s former Chief Economist, despite Boris Johnson’s expressed determination to leave the EU by the end of October. Vicky Pryce, who is now Senior Economist at the Centre for Economics & Business Research, predicted during her opening keynote presentation our London Property […]

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Images released of proposed new Everton FC stadium

Designs have been revealed for Everton’s new £500m football stadium – as the club look to build a new 52,000-capacity stadium at Bramley Moore Dock in Liverpool, and games could be taking place at the stadium as early as 2023-24. The impressive new imagery released showcases an ambitious stadium, set to be built on the […]

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Investar Property Group appoints Cowgills

Residential property development and investment company Investar Property Group has appointed accountancy and business advisory firm Cowgills to support its growing business. The Manchester-based business, which has schemes in Liverpool, Salford and Manchester, has appointed Cowgills to provide a full range of accountancy and business support services. Commenting on the appointment of Cowgills, Investar CEO […]

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Development in the Midlands – an experts perspective

We hear exclusively from PBA – now part of Stantec, on the major development set to happen across the Midlands. PBA are a leading consultancy of engineers, planners, scientists and economists.   It’s an exciting time to be a proud Midlander – the state of the area based on Deloitte Crane survey, JLL forecast and […]

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Stoneygate masterplan launched by Preston Council chiefs

Today business leaders from Preston and across the county met for the launch of the Stoneygate Masterplan – an area that includes key landmarks such as Queen Street Retail Park, Cardinal Newman College and St. John’s the Minster.

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Sypro secures key role in £738m Transport for Wales infrastructure project

Across the board deployment of Sypro Contract Manager software in: Improved connectivity for 1.5 million people Electrification of 172km of track Five new rail stations Improvement to all 52 rail stations within the Cardiff valley region  Hull-based construction software providers, Sypro, has been announced as a key partner in a landmark Transport for Wales infrastructure […]

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Work underway on Sheffield’s largest new employment site

Work is underway at Sheffield’s largest prime employment site with the speculative development of two industrial and warehouse units by developers PLP. Phase one, now underway, includes the construction of two industrial/warehouse units of 45,000 sq ft and 134,000 sq ft, due to be completed in November 2019. The scheme on the former Outokumpu steel […]

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Next steps endorsed for Wakefield District Economic Strategy

The first-year Annual Review of the Wakefield District Economic Strategy was endorsed by Cabinet, which is set to be delved into at the UK High Streets Development Conference. In the next four years the Council will continue to provide help to sustain the key strands of the Economic Strategy: Successful Businesses, Successful People and Successful […]

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Countryside Properties building new timber panel factory

Countryside Properties is building its own timber panel manufacturing site to remedy shortfalls in its supply chain. Andrew Taylor, Head of Planning at Countryside Properties, told delegates at the Oxford Cambridge Arc Development Conference that the housebuilder has purchased a site for manufacturing timber panels which its plans to roll out over the next year. […]

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Arc university development to focus on new institutions

The next phase of university development in the Oxford to Cambridge Arc is likely to be focused on new institutions rather than the expansion of existing facilities, our event has heard. Both Peterborough and Milton Keynes, currently the largest population centres in England that lack their own universities, are keen to set up their own […]

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Failure to electrify mooted Oxford Cambridge rail line branded a “disaster”

Using diesel instead of electric trains on the proposed line between Oxford and Cambridge has been branded a “disaster” for the development of the surrounding Arc, one of the area’s most eminent planners has said. The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust’s Jane Hamilton told the infrastructure panel session at Ox-Cams conference, that “backsliding” on […]

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Council Chief downplays role of Ministerial Arc Champion

Progress on the development of Oxford to Cambridge Arc should not be held up by the delayed appointment of a Ministerial Champion, one of the area’s leading local government chiefs has said. The government made a commitment last year to appoint a ministerial champion for the Ox-Cams Arc but has yet to fill the role. […]

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“Disappointment” aired due to lack of emphasis on “blue and green infrastructure” in major UK infrastructure project

Jane Hamilton, Chair of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust, has told our event that she is “disappointed” about the lack of emphasis on “blue and green” infrastructure, like waterways and parks, in the Arc’s plans. Speaking at our Oxford Cambridge Arc Development Conference she said: “We’ve heard a lot about the Expressway and […]

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Oxford Cambridge Arc’s provision of full fibre broadband and wet labs lagging

The Oxford Cambridge Arc lacks enough of the full fibre broadband or wet lab space that its growth industries require – a Local Enterprise Partner (LEP) boss has warned. Ahmed Goga, Director of Strategy and Programmes at OXLEP, said the rate of full-fibre connectivity in the Arc is “seven to eight per cent” but while […]

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REIT questions pace and capacity of modular homes sector

Modular housing manufacturers’ ability to deliver at sufficient speed and scale has been questioned at our event in Manchester. Hayley Fielden, North West Regional Director at Sigma Capital, told delegates at our North West Development Plans event that it has already invested in or committed £900m to projects, and that the private rented specialist REIT […]

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