Pressure grows on contractors to use British steel

The UK’s largest contractor trade body, Build UK, has called on members to use British produced steel.


The latest guidance to help support the constructional steel and rebar industries comes after the Government extended rules to encourage the use of British steel on all public sector contracts.

Local MPs in Cardiff and Redcar are also writing to firms urging them to favour British-made steel in a bid to get the industry up and running again.

Build UK, which represents major contractors and more than 30 specialist trade bodies, issued a statement yesterday saying its members were committed to providing opportunities for British-based steel producers to support local economies, create jobs, and reduce carbon emissions from transport.

EU procurement rules require fair and open competition between member states and prevent public sector organisations involved in public sector projects from stating that they will only buy British steel.

This does not apply to private sector organisations which can state a preference for British steel, unless they are buying on behalf of the public sector or certain private utilities covered by EU directives.

from The UK Construction Blog


Stansted Airport to unveil £600m upgrade plan

Stansted Airport’s operator is set to lift the wraps on plans for a £600m long term upgrade of its terminal infrastructure.


Manchester Airports Group, which owns the airport, is to host a suppliers day next month for the industry’s large contractors turning over more than £100m.

Its planned programme of improvements includes expansion of the arrivals infrastructure, additional car park capacity and modifications to the existing departures, landside and airside infrastructure.

The latest plans signal a forthcoming boom in airport construction work.

MAG is already planning a major £1bn expansion of Manchester Airport, while Luton airport is about to start its own £100m terminal upgrade with plans to build a £200m ligh trail link to speed up journeys from London.

Gatwick and Heathrow Airports are also both planning major investments, the scale of which depends on the Government’s Heathrow third runway decision later this year.

For the Stansted improvement plan, MAG is seeking expressions of interest from potential constructors and design and build partners to discuss the proposed programme of work and any associated opportunities.

Interested contractors and design and build partners should email MAG to register an expression of interest.

from The UK Construction Blog

Pochin’s green light for 11-storey Manchester flats

Builder Pochin’s will start work this summer on the final phase of DeTrafford Estates housing scheme in Castlefield, Manchester.

City Gardens Manchester
Castlefield City Gardens apartment scheme

Planners have given the go-ahead to build the 11-storey City Gardens apartment building, which will provide 86 flats and commercial space on the groundfloor

City Gardens will sit alongside two other DeTrafford developments, The Sky Gardens and The Roof Gardens, One Ellesmere Street and is part of a wider master plan for the area which could see the provision of 1,300 homes, a public square, courtyards and tree-lined walkways, together with 30,000 sq ft of commercial space.

Work is already underway on phase one, The Roof Gardens, One Ellesmere Street, with all apartments and townhouses sold.

Communal roof gardens on the eighth floor will include a sun terrace and picnic area, while the communal lobby will feature a vertical garden.

Gary Jackson, Founder and Director of DeTrafford Estates Group said: “This approval allows us to move forward with the third phase of our development featuring roof garden living.”

from The UK Construction Blog

30m Preston Uni engineering centre in for planning

The University of Central Lancashire has submitted plans for the first part of a major campus expansion in Preston.

Preston University EIC Front Elevation - street level
This flagship project will help produce the engineers our advanced manufacturing and aerospace companies in the region

A planning application has been lodged for a planned £30m Engineering Innovation Centre that is hoped to reclaim Lancashire’s role as a national centre for advanced manufacturing.

The project is backed by a client professional team including architects Simpson Haugh & Partners, project manger AA Projects and BDP as the mechanical and electrical and structural consultant.

It is hoped work can start this year for completion in 2018.

Rob Wallace, Dean, School of Engineering, said: “UCLan aims to close the skills gap by inspiring and shaping the next generation of engineering leaders, producing an extra 500 locally trained graduates a year and increasing the number of young people and, in particular, the proportion of females who choose to take up engineering at a local university.”

The EIC, which is the first major milestone in UCLan’s £200m campus masterplan, has been identified as a signature project within Lancashire’s Strategic Economic Plan and has secured £10.5m via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Lancashire ‘Growth Deal’ with Government.

It received a further £5m cash injection from Higher Education Funding Council for England, which will go towards equipping the facility to the highest standard with advanced technology and specialist equipment.

Uclan EIC

Aerial view of the proposed building

from The UK Construction Blog

Blacklist contractors pay out another 15-20m

Contractors involved in the construction blacklisting scandal have settled claims with another 180 workers.

Campaigners claimed the latest payouts totalled “in the region of £15-20million plus legal costs.”

The settlements come as the full blacklist trial looms at the High Court with the case set to start on May 9 and scheduled to run until July 31.

The first tranche of payouts to 71 workers was agreed in February at a cost of £5.6m.

Eight contractors – Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci PLC –  have set up The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme to try and settle with victims out of court.

A spokeswoman for the contractors confirmed that 180 new settlements had been reached but declined to discuss payout figures for confidentiality reasons.

Campaigners at the Blacklist Support Group said there are currently 154 live claims remaining plus 82 recently issued new claims.

from The UK Construction Blog

Accidents at Work

Accidents at Work

Unfortunately, accidents at work do happen. Your employer has a responsibility for your health and safety at work. Their duties include:

  • •  providing appropriate training to all staff

    •  warning of tripping or slipping hazard

    •  providing adequate lighting

    •  providing suitable equipment that is well maintained

    Your employer is responsible for the actions of all of their staff.

    If you have been injured at work, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries. Kent Compensation’s personal injury lawyers will guide you through the claims process and answer any questions you may have regarding your claim. Please do not hesitate to contact us.



from The UK Construction Blog

HSE inspector orders worker out of dangerous pit

An HSE inspector ordered a site worker to immediately get out of a dangerous excavation during a safety visit to a London site.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how RS Construction UK (London) Limited was working at a site on St Dionis Road, London.The inspector found there was an excavation directly behind the front door, which was the only entrance and exit for the site.

The excavation was approximately 3.5 meters deep with no means of shoring to support the sides of the excavation and no edge protection around the top to stop anyone falling in.

A worker in the bottom of the excavation was instructed to get out.

An investigation by the HSE found that RS Construction had received previous enforcement action on similar risks on other sites and still failed to ensure suitable safe access to the site and also failed to ensure all practicable steps were taken to prevent danger to any person from working in the excavation.

RS Construction UK (London) Limited, of Regents Street, London, pleaded guilty to breaching the CDM Regulations 2015 and was fined £40,000.

from The UK Construction Blog