Built Environment Networking Blog:

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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Opportunities lie abroad for UK modular start-ups

Start-up modular manufacturers are finding it easier to find opportunities abroad than in the UK due to the burden of paperwork and procurement, the founder of one start-up offsite company has said at our Offsite Manufacture Conference. Joseph Daniels, Founder and Chief Executive of Project Etopia told our event that in his experience it was […]

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Transport and logistics remains key issue for offsite and modular industry

The transport and logistics of delivering offsite manufactured builds to site has been raised as a key issue by one of the UK’s leading housing associations – who was speaking at our Offsite Manufacture Conference. Chair of Swan Housing Association Valerie Owen said that their offsite facility had been chosen to be able to deliver […]

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Early engagement with industry will heighten offsite manufacturing benefits

Clients who want to maximise the advantages of offsite manufacture need to engage as early as possible in the process or see benefits curtailed by design and planning issues, a major modular construction firm has said. McAvoy Group’s Senior Business Development Manager Graham O’Doherty told delegates at our Offsite Manufacture Development Conference that engaging with […]

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Can offsite manufacturing stand the test of time?

The offsite manufacturing industry needs to prove that the quality of products made using the methods will stand the test of time if it is to truly convince the public of its value, Bristol Council’s housing lead has said at our Offsite Manufacture Conference. Cllr Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing at Bristol City Council […]

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Construction industry must tackle “wasteful” practices – says leading procurement chief

The construction industry has to standardise its approach to new projects if it is to hit Government innovation and productivity targets, a Department for Education (DfE) procurement chief head has warned. Adam Jones, the Department for Education’s Strategic Framework Manager, who is in charge of the department’s £3bn offsite framework, said that construction needed to […]

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Risk of UK’s offsite manufacturing sector being overtaken by overseas firms

The Head of Sustainable Futures at architecture practice HTA Design has warned the UK’s offsite manufacturing sector could be overtaken by firms in Asia due to a swathe of investment by Asian government’s in the new technology. Rory Bergin, Partner at HTA said: “What’s been interesting to us from the past few years is the […]

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The construction industry “must grasp” the opportunities of offsite or risk losing funding

The construction industry needs to grasp the opportunities of the sector deal or see Government investment potentially dry up, a leading figure in the industry has said. Speaking at our Offsite Manufacturing Development Conference Trudi Sully, Associate Director for Construction and the Manufacturing Technology Centre, said: “It’s a fantastic time to take advantage of the […]

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Real estate urged to embrace diversity

Real estate bosses may have to be prepared to fire employees in order to foster a more diverse work culture but should take care about promoting currently under-represented groups over the heads of more experienced male staff, our London Property Club event has heard. Amanda Clack, Head of Strategic Advisory at CBRE, outlined the conclusions […]

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Need for review on permitted development rights around airports

Gatwick Airport’s Director of Planning, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Tim Norwood has hit out at how permitted development rights have allowed offices close to the West Sussex airport to be converted into homes. Speaking at our Airport Cities Development Conference in Manchester, Mr Norwood said: “We have to ask whether the government has kept it’s […]

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Don’t back on councils to restore housebuilding – Director

Local authorities will be unable to restore completions of new homes to record post-war levels, a west Yorkshire local authorities Director for Regeneration has warned. Richard Conroy, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire-based SME housebuilder Conroy Brook, told delegates at the West Yorkshire Development Conference that councils had played a major role in achieving the record […]

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Northern transport blueprint queried by rail campaigner

Infrastructure and connectivity across Yorkshire have been at the forefront of economic conversation over the past few years and it is set to be crucial in unlocking major opportunities for growth across the region.

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Call for Leeds not to declare war on car

Leeds must avoid declaring war on the motorist as it seeks to curb car use in the city centre, MEPC’s Head of Development has warned. Speaking at our West Yorkshire Development Conference, Paul Pavia said: “You have to do this in a well-researched way. If you start having a war on the car, Leeds will […]

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Concern expressed over lack of estate regeneration funding

Lack of financial support is stymying much needed estate regeneration; our West Yorkshire Development Conference has heard. Andrew Wallhead, Director of Investment at Wakefield District Housing (WDH), said that some of the West Yorkshire association’s older estates are “far too large and need wholesale regeneration”.

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Tory leadership hopefuls urged to back HS2

The Conservative party’s leadership candidates have been urged to take HS2 “really seriously” by the Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. Presenting the keynote address at this year’s West Yorkshire Development Conference, the authority’s Chair Susan Hinchcliffe emphasised the importance of the high-speed line and Northern Powerhouse Rail for the region’s growth.

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Belt and Road Initiative offers rich pickings for UK financial and professional services

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers opportunities for UK companies to help provide finance for the Chinese Government’s infrastructure upgrade mega programme. Giles Hutt, Professional Support Lawyer at solicitors Clyde and Co, told our London Property Club audience that questions exist over whether China has the cash to keep up momentum on the BRI, […]

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‘Time Out’ market to anchor Waterloo tunnel revamp

‘Time Out’ is bringing its food hall concept to London for the first time in currently disused tunnels underneath Waterloo station, our London Property Club event has heard. The company, which began life the publisher of London’s main entertainment listings magazine, operates Time Out Markets in a number of foreign cities, having pioneered the concept […]

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Network Rail and Kier JV exploring overtrack developments

Kier’s joint venture with Network Rail is “looking seriously” at bringing forward over station developments in London having taken just a weekend to lay the concrete podium for its first such project. Tim Shaw, Head of Solum (the name for the joint venture), outlined the JV’s progress on its revamp of Twickenham station at our […]

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Conference to set out regeneration and development opportunities and major plans within Brighton and Sussex

On the 2nd July, prominent business leaders within the construction and property industry will come together for the Brighton & Sussex Development Plans Conference – one of the region’s largest business events of the year within the construction sector.

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Video gaming helping to innovate the construction industry

Offsite manufacturers are hiring talent and adopting techniques from the video gaming industry to help design innovative new buildings, the firm behind the delivery of Dublin Airport’s €22m new passenger facility has said. Wayne Yeomans, Head of Business Development at The McAvoy Group, which delivered the new building at Dublin Airport using offsite manufacturing said: […]

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Brexit and land availability top airport challenges

Business uncertainty due to Brexit remains the biggest challenge to airport growth beside the availability of land, the Chair of Newcastle Airport’s parent company Iain Malcolm has said. Mr Malcolm, who is chair of LA7 Airport Holding Company and Leader of South Tyneside Council, told delegates at our Airport Cities Development Conference that the current […]

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Airport growth to rely on additional revenue streams

Airports will need to rely more heavily on incomes from developments such as Airport Cities as revenues from flight fees and retail declines the Development Director for Dublin Airport Lorcan Tyrell has said. Speaking at our Airport Cities Development Conference in Manchester, Tyrell said that cuts to passenger landing charges from €9.50 to €7.50 were […]

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“Taking on construction was my way of rebelling”

Emma Noble, Strategic Development Manager at Perfect Circle, recently shared a fantastic story with us about how she landed a career in the construction industry – and we thought this was definitely something which needed to be shared. Here is her journey from standing in the queue to enrol in Business Studies to her career […]

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Managing historic environment project risk as part of successful developments

Over 90% of archaeological work undertaken across the UK comes about as a result of developments and the heritage legislation and planning requirements in force at the time. What can developers and their agents do to ensure that archaeology and built heritage doesn’t become a costly and time-consuming project constraint…   Heritage Legislation When progressing […]

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