St FrancisGroup launch Parallel 113
St FrancisGroup,a leadingMidlands-based property development andinvestmentgroup andanexpertinbrownfieldregenerationhas completedthe development of Parallel 113, a high-quality industrial warehouseof113,641 sq ft.
In response to therapidly growingon-demandlogistics market,but also in recognitionofastrong local manufacturingbase, theunithas been developedspeculatively with financialsupport from theBlack CountryLocal Enterprise Partnership andMidlandsEngine.
Theunithas alreadyattracted significant occupierinterest, being locatedbetween junctions9 and10 of theM6motorway, Walsall.
Builttoveryhighstandards of construction andcertified to a BREEAM sustainability rating of Very Good, Parallel 113offershigh quality, efficientspace suitable for occupiers with thehighest ESGcredentials.
St FrancisGroup hasa250-acre land portfolioofformerbrownfield
land,capable of accommodating five million sq ft of industrial andwarehousespace.Due to currentmarket demand fornew space,itiscurrently committed to aspeculative build programmeofunits totalling 2.7 million sq ft during 2023, mostly within thebuoyant West Midlands region
As aspecialist within thesector, St Franciscan draw on theexperience of agroup company, DSM
whichisa provider of demolition, remediationand decommissioning services.DSM is itself an established market leader on complex projects
By working closely togetheroff an integrated platform,value engineeringsolutions canbeusedtounlock more complexbrownfieldsites With afocus on theend-to-end regeneration of environmentallychallengingland, St FrancisGroup con-
tinues to target newsites andhas astrong record of workingwiththe public sector wherenecessary to unlock regeneration opportunities.
Parallel 113isagood exampleof exactlythat.
Gareth Williams, development director at St FrancisGroup,said: “Our investment in Parallel 113 andinother siteswithinthe region underlines ourconfidence in the West Midlands as astrategicloca-
tion forbusiness.Weare pleasedto have completed this high-quality industrial warehouseunitwiththe supportofthe BlackCountry LEP andMidlandsEngineand aunit positionedinsuchahigh profile andstrategiclocationisbound to attractalot of interest.Wehopeto announce asuccessfulletting very soon.”
Savillsand JLLare jointletting agents forParallel113
Regeneration driveis really starting to rock
Thereisasense of purposeto change theface of theregionJOHN CORSER email@example.com
Regeneration projects of allsizes aregradually changing thefaceofthe cities andtowns of the West Midlands.
Some majorschemes areset to reachfruitionin2023, including thelong-awaitedreopening of the former CivicHallinWolverhamptoncitycentre as TheHalls Wolverhampton.
It will be greattosee some of the biggest namesinmusic andentertainmentperformingatthe city’s belovedmainlive musicvenue once again.
In ourlatest28-page Regeneration supplement we detail how local authoritiesand privatedevelopers aregetting on song andprogressing with awiderange of exciting projects.
Thereisarealsense of purpose acrossthe BlackCountry,Staffordshireand Worcestershirewithfresh investment that is changing the face of theregioncomingonstream allthe time
2022 wasatough year forthe West Midlands,but effortstoprogressschemes that will create new wealth anddeliver employmentare really getting into gear.
Thesetbacksfromthe Covid-19 pandemic nowlooktobebehind us andthe confidence to invest in regeneration projects hasbeenrenewed.
Just last week anew wave of fundingunder theGovernment’s Levelling Up programmewas announced.
Thelatest£155.6million allocation forthe West Midlands included £20m forthe redevelopment of Haden HillLeisure Centre in Cradley Heath, thesameamountfor Willenhall’sregenerationand another £19.8m to improve roadsand bus andcycling routes across Staffordshire.
As well as schemestobring in newbusinessesand create thenew homesthe region needsthere are also majordevelopments in the pipeline to transform publictransport,including newrailway stations in theBlack Country.
TheMidland Metro networkcon-
tinues to extend andinfrastructure projects arealsogoing aheadtoupgradeour road network.
Morecompanies arecominginto theWestMidlandsand lookingfor sitesclose to ourmotorwaysystem fromwhich to operate.
Localauthoritiesacrossthe region arealsomakinggreat progress in advancingareaplansthatwill deliver needed newhomesand see brownfieldsites that have lain idle forfar toolongutilised.
Let’shopethat2023provestobe theyearinwhich bigsteps aretaken to revive this region andget it trulyrocking again.
Development will replace empty shops
Aparadeofempty former shops in Wolverhamptoncitycentre is to be demolished to make way foranew as yetunannounced development
Theseven vacant retail units on ClevelandStreetoccupythe stretchbetween ClevelandPassage andBellStreet.
Once cleared, thesiteisdue to be utilised this spring
Followingdemolitionworks, temporaryhoardings will be erected around thesitetoensure itssecurity.
In awritten statementtocity planners, Mark McVicar, directorofregenerationconsultants PlaceChanged,said: “The demolitionistofacilitate thefuture redevelopment of thesite as part of thecouncil’s Future High Street Fund programme andtomeetits obligationsto theDepartmentfor Levelling Up,Housing andCommunities
“The applicationistodemolishthe vacant parade of shops, includingthe removalofthe building foundationsand –if discovered during works –any basement areas.”
Thesitewill be backfilled and graded to tieinwithadjoining footways/highways andthe existing serviceyardlevel.All excess spoiland wastematerials will be removed.
Former storeto become a£5m Lichfieldcinema
A£5million cinemaisbeing developed at ashoppingcentre In Lichfield.
TheformerDebenhams storein theThree Spires Shopping Centre is beingadapted into afour-screen cinema afterthe projectwas approvedbyLichfieldDistrictCouncil last year.
Theschemewill follow theboutiquecinemamodel whichrunssuccessfullythroughoutthe country.
Councillorsagreed to form a partnershiptodeliver thecinema betweenthe counciland Evolve Estates, theownersofThree Spires Evolve,which is part of theM Core groupand hasa£300m property portfolio, is investingona50/50 basiswiththe district council.
Work began in December.The interior of theformerdepartment storehas been almost completely stripped outready forthe cinema fittingstobeinstalled
No announcement hasyet been made aboutwho will operatethe cinema
Thecinemaforms thethe first phaseofdevelopment activity currently beingdiscussedbyLichfield District Counciland Evolve.
Theproposedsecondstage of the developmentwould seeregeneration of theadjacentBirmingham Road Site with food andbeverage andhigh-qualityoffice accommodation
Anew carparkwould also replace theexistingmulti-storey.
Emptyproperties aretargetedinplantobreathenew life into Willenhall
Willenhall’s absentowners, who have left theirempty properties to decay, arebeing targeted in aregeneration scheme
WalsallCouncil planstouse compulsory purchase orderpowerstoacquirederelictbuildings as part of its10-year Willenhall FrameworkPlan.
Theplanisaimed at improving housing, encouragingeconomic
growth andmakingWillenhall a placepeoplewanttolive,workand shop in
Part of phaseone of thescheme wouldbethe residential Willenhall Garden City projectearmarked for Moat Streetand VilliersStreet, whichwould seemorethan100 newhouses built.
Councilbosses have agreed to progress with this by deciding on a
developerpartneraswellasreiteratingthe desire to seemanyofthe emptybuildingsgiven anew lease of life.
Councillor Adrian Andrew,the council’sdeputyleader, said:“The Willenhall Frameworkplanisa ground-breakingand transformational plan to tackle allthe derelict buildingsinWillenhall town centre andbring thembackintoeconomic
use either forhousing or employment use.
“Thisadministration andthis councilisdeterminedtotakethe toughactionneeded againstthe ownersofthese derelict properties.”
An outlineplanningapplication forthe Moat Streetand Villiers Street proposalsisexpected to come forwardlater this year
Carparkand nightclubwill be replaced by newapartmentsJOHN CORSER firstname.lastname@example.org
Amulti-storeycar park in Wolverhampton city centre is to be demolishedtomakeway for newhousing development.
Plansfor 145new flatstoreplace theformerBeatties carparkand ground floorGorgeousnightclubin Skinner Street were given thegoaheadbycitycouncil planners last year
Planning approval hadpreviously been grantedin 2021 to transform thelandmarkdepartmentstore building in Victoria Street into an apartmentcomplex consisting of more than 300luxury flats.
Thecar park site at thejunction with School Streetisnow settobe redevelopedintoresidential apartments, with thenightclub to be relocated.
London-basedSSYSBeatties Ltd, whichwas formed in 2019,plan to adda carparking basement with acommercialground floorand six full floors of between19and 21 flats per floor.
Theseventh andeighthresidential floors will have shared amenity space
Nearly allthe flatswill have at leastone balconyand allofthem will have access to thecommunal open space.
Thenightclub will be replaced by commercial floorspace andrelocated to adifferent site within theBeatties’estate
Theiconicstore,which hadbeen in thecitysince 1877,closedin 2020 anditwas latersoldoff by then owners FrasersGroup for£3 million.
offonproposals for306 apartments within theformerstore andthe car park
Theground floorwas to be retained forcommercialuse facing Victoria Street andDarlington Street
SSYS Beatties hassaiditwants a sensitiveredevelopmentofthe site tohelprevitalise thecitycentre
Themovetobring theBeatties building back into use, hasbeen welcomedbycouncil deputy leader StephenSimkins,who said:“We’re actively encouragingmorehomes in thecitycentre.Wewanttoutilise these spaces.Itcreates not only housing butalsoprovidesaboostto thelocal economy, andcitycentre living is on theup.”
Affordable homesplanned at former office block
whghas announced planstoconvert itsWillenhall officesinto apartments as part of awider regeneration programme.
Theleading Midlands’landlord hassubmitted planstoWalsall Counciltotransform Beechwood HouseonNew Road,into14new homes.
Theredevelopment is proposedtoinclude nine oneand five three-bedroomapartmentsfor rent whgiscurrently exploring energy efficiency measures forthe scheme with theaim of achieving netzerocarbon.
Beechwood House, whichclosed
itsdoors at Christmas,isjustone of anumberofsites whgislooking to redevelop with theaim of maximisingits disused assets to create more affordable homes.
Thehousing association is currently working on seven of itsformergaragesites acrossWalsall to deliver 20 newthree-bedroom housesfor affordable rent,with hundreds of others also identified as potentiallocations fornew homes.
Lisa Wallis, corporatedirector of people andlearning, said:“We arecommitted to always assessing ourcarbonfootprint andenvironmental impact anduse ourwork-
spacesinaway that is efficientand sustainable.Aftercentralising all ouroperations at ourHatherton Streetoffice,Beechwood Houseis no longer required andcan be put to better use to supporthousing need within theborough
“Thisisareallyexcitingopportunityfor us to putour surplus corporaterealestatetonot only practicaluse butfor us to create high socialimpactatthe same time
“Creatinginnovative, affordable homeswillbegoodfor thecommunity,the environmentand will help us achieveacarbonneutral footprint.”TheBeatties carpark is duetobedemolished andreplaced with an eight-floordevelopmentincluding flats
That’s theviewofDarrenPerry, construction director,atBuilding Services Now(BSN) Group, based at Waterfront Way, Brierley Hill.
BSNisa principalcontractor that createsenvironmentsfor people to live,work, learnand heal.The company’s growth meansit’salways lookingfor people whoalign with itsvaluesand culture.
“Manyinthe BlackCountry still seem to associate construction with heavyhod carrying andcement mixing.That’ssuchanoutdated view,” says Darren
“Tosucceed in building these days,it’smoreabout deeply understanding what yourclientwants andtranslating that into action That callsfor soft skillsasmuchas technicalprowess –and as we all know,those soft skills canbevery hard to come by.Today,the best firmsbasetheir business models on long-termrelationships.Large and smallclients come back to us, year afteryear, because they trustusto deliver on ourpromises.
“A career in building isrichwith opportunity,”continues Darren “Withus, you startearning decent
moneyrelativelyquickly in onediscipline, andwe’ll invest in you to help you move into anotheruntil you find yourniche –all at apace to suit you
“Our trainingprogrammesare a mixofformalsponsorship(such as at acollege or university), formal trainingand on-the-job coaching
“Youraverage18-year-old startingasanapprenticesetsout above minimumwage, andwe’ve team
memberswho have progressed to management salaries in just afew years. That’s becausewhenyou’re working with high calibreclients, such as thoseinmission-critical environments, you need rock-solid people.Thatis, people you canrely on to plan everything diligentlybecause mistakes arecostlyinmore ways than one.
“Inshort,it’sour people who make thedifference.
“Regards sustainability,weperform to thetriplebottomline: people, profit, planet.Wetakecareof ourteambecause they areour business.Wecontributetoour communities –bothtothose locallyand to thoseweserve. We make sustainableprofits andwedoall of this while we’reonour journeytonet zero by 2030.”
Whetheryou’reinterested in an apprenticeship,oryou’reamanag-
er or ahighlyqualified professional lookingfor yournextstep, BSN wouldlove to hear from you.
If BSN’scodeofconduct rings true foryou: team, diligent,care, positive,real, then Maxine Robinson, trainingmanager at BSN wouldlovetoscope arolewithyou –be it in thebuilding trades, as aprofessionalorinmanagement. Email email@example.com to find out more.
“Who wants‘just ajob’ thesedays? Nobody. We allneed to feel we’re part of somethingbigger when we go to work.”Building Services Nowishiring.Projectsinclude Russells HallHospital
Boss is chosen forregeneration
Anew regeneration bosshas been appointed to driveforward the£1 billion-pound redevelopment of Dudley boroughaspart of acabinet reshuffle.
Former cabinetmember and Mayor, Councillor DavidStanley,is thenew lead forregenerationand enterprise
In hisnew role,Councillor Stanleywill be responsiblefor majorprojectsincluding theMidland Metro Extension.
He replaces Councillor Simon Phipps, whohas steppeddownfrom therolefor personalreasons Councillor PatrickHarley, leader of Dudley Council, said:“Councillor Stanleyisa highly thoughtofand respected councillor of many years standing whohas served in asenior position forthe authoritybefore. He hasawealthofknowledge and experience,which I’ve askedhim to bringtothisroleaspartofmy reshuffleofthe cabinet.”
Homesplanned at Blakenallsite
Disused land besetwithanti-socialbehaviour problems maybe redevelopedwithalarge housingscheme.
AvantHomeswill build150 properties on five acresofspace betweenHarden Road and Whateley Road in Blakenallif planning permission is granted by WalsallCouncil
Theproject wasgivenoutline permission andisnow awaiting finalapprovals from planning officers to enable thedevelopment to go ahead.
Thelandisclassed as Green Belt butthe developers said it hasbeenderelictfor anumber of yearsand theschemepresentsagoodopportunityto transform it
It hasexperiencedreoccurring anti-socialbehaviour problems including fires, BMXridingand scrambling
Anew localplancoveringuntil 2040 forthe Stafford boroughisstill in theprocess of beingdeveloped It includes thebuildingofmore than 10,000 newhomes, theStafford RailwayStation Gatewaydevelopmentand abrand new6,000home villagein thenorth of the borough.A newstation on theWest CoastMainline is also proposed.
Hundreds of peoplehaveattended publicexhibitions,awebinarand drop-insessionssincethe launch of theconsultationinOctober last year
Theplan, alongwithall thecomments, is duetogobeforethe Secretary of Stateinlate2023.
He will then appointanindependentplanninginspector to set up apublicexamination to decide whetherthe plan is sound.
Thegarden villagenearCold Meecehas received Government backingofaround£1.4million to help prepareinfrastructurestudies
Cafe planned at historic hospital
Anew cafe couldbepartofa majorredevelopmentprogramme at aformerWolverhamptonhospital.
AllSaintsActionNetwork has appliedfor planning permission to convertthe former porters’ lodge justoutside theRoyal Hospitalbuildingatthe junction of ClevelandRoadand Vicarage Road
whichwas builtbetween 1845 and1849, closed in 1997 andis nowbeing turned into an apartment complexfor over 55s.
Adesignand access statement from Architettura Design, the agents acting on behalf of ASAN, said theproposals will “contributeverypositively to theurban regeneration of theconservation area.
Dudley’s new£24 millioninterchange hasbeendelayedascouncil chiefs battletothrashout dealsfor more than aquarter of thesite.
Thescheme, whichproposes demolitionofthe 36-year-oldbus station andreplacingitwithanew site linkingbus andMetro services, was grantedfull planning permission in September.Workhas yettoget underway afteritemerged DudleyCouncilisstrugglingtosecure
therightstoaround27per cent of thesite. Theauthority hasnow engaged compulsory purchase order powers in abid to take controlof28 pocketsoflandin theareaaround Birmingham Street,BourneStreet, Fisher Street,StJosephStreetand TrindleRoad.
CouncilleaderCouncillor Patrick Harley is confidentthe land willdbe securedquite quicklyand that work is expected to startthisyear.
Newtrain stations fortowns couldbekey to regenerationJOHN CORSER firstname.lastname@example.org
Newrailway stations forDarlaston andWillenhallformpartofthe West Midlands Rail Programme.
The£54 million projectfor the newstationsaimstoopenup rail travel to thelocal community.
It will create more than 120jobs during construction.Itwillalsorestoremorethanahectare of brownfieldland.
Birmingham to Creweservices couldcallatDarlaston andWillenhall stations, which are due to open in 2024, by 2026
TheWalsall to Lichfieldrailway line couldalsobereopenedbetween 2040to2050withnew stations beingbuilt underdraft plans, which have been submittedfor consultation by theWestMidlandsRailExecutive.
Theplanhas been developedwith rail industry partners including Midlands Connectand theDepartment forTransport West Midlands MayorAndy Street,chairmanofWMRE, said greatprogresswas beingmadeon developing therailnetwork includingthe Darlastonand Willenhall stations
Anothermajor proposal is fora stationinTettenhall. It wouldbe the firstaftertrainsleave Wolverhampton, before travelling on to Bilbrook,Codsall,and into Shrop-
shire. Thevillagepreviouslyhad a stationonthe WombourneBranch Line,which opened in 1925 but closedseven yearslater duetolow usage.
TheWMREsaysits updatedrail investmentstrategy woulddeliver better rail services acrossthe wider region
It wouldalsosupport regenera-
tion andgrowthplansofpartner authorities.
Theproposals ledbythe WMRE have gone outfor consultationwith businesses andlocal people
A finaldraft will laterbepresented to transport chiefs forapproval.
Theold stations at Willenhall and Darlastonwereclosedin1965and afterthis, thelinewas only used for
freight. Sincethenthe population of theareahas grownand withouta rail service, theroads arecongested.
Thenew stations wouldeachhave twoplatforms suitable forfour-car trains.Theywould have pedestrian footbridges,stairsand lifts,ticket machines andinformation systems andpassengerhelppoints.
Town’s historic listed glassconegetsrestoration
Restorationworkhas begunat oneofthe BlackCountry’s most recognisable landmarks.
Dating back to the1790s,the RedHouse GlassConeinWordsley hasstretched intothe skysince its completion in 1794 buthas been closedtovisitorsfor twoyears due to safety reasons.
Dudley Councilhas pledged£1.5 million towardsthe repairs, which need to be done in conjunction with Historic Englandtoensure that they befitits GradeIIlisted status
Crumblingbrickworkisbeing replaced,weeds removed, new ventilation installedand thecone
repointed during therestoration projectwhich will take placeover twoyears
Theexternalworkonthe cone is duetobecarried outinspring this year
Newdrainageisalso beinginstalledaroundthe building off High Street
Dudley Councilcabinet member forleisure services Councillor Simon Phipps said:“We’reverylucky to have such awell-preservedhistoricmonumentinour localarea, whichtiesintohundreds of years of history.
“Itwould be remiss of thecouncilnot to make theabsolutemost
of such awonderfullyhistoric building.”
TheRed HouseGlass Cone is 100ft high and60ft wide at its base
It is thebestpreserved of only four such glass conessurviving in theUK.
Aftertakingsix yearstocomplete glass wasmadeinthe cone for150 yearsowned by theStuart family whocreated some of the finestglassware in theworld includingseveral piecesfor theRoyal family
Therestofthe historic site is remainingopenduringthe restoration works.An artist’s impression of howthe newDarlaston Railway Station, which it ishoped wouldopenin2024, wouldlook TheRed House Glass Cone
We’rebuildingnew homestobring newlife to thecanalside in the heartofthe city.
At Legal& GeneralModular Homes, we’rerefreshingand renewing Britain’stowns andcities.
It’s ourgoaltobring newlifeto Britain’shousing market,creatingdesirable newneighbourhoods acrossthe countryand giving more peoplethe chance to live in asustainable,modernhome Now, we’redelightedtobring our vision to lifein Wolverhampton.
We’repartneringwiththe city council andthe Canaland River Trusttobuildaround400 canalside homesonthe site of theformer CraneFoundry andsteelworks, subjecttoplanningapproval.
We’replanningamix of beautiful houses anddesirable apartments–creating firsthomes, familyhomes andforever homestocreateatruly diverse neighbourhood Andthey’re alldesignedfor the waypeoplewanttolive today, with generous living spacesthat flow beautifullyfromroomtoroom. And plentyoflight andspace
Ourenergy-efficient, modern homes are precision-built, room by room,insideour hi-techUK factory.
Then they areassembledonsite in afractionofthe time it takesto buildatraditional home Ourhousescan be fitted with sustainable technologyincluding airsourceheatpumps andsolar panels, whichcan make them 60 percentmoreefficient* to runthan aregular newbuild home andthe apartments areupto30per cent cheapertoheatand runthanthe averageapartment
Butthere’s more to sustainability than saving energy Building in theheart of thecity meanswe’re alreadyclose to people’sjobs, schools, shopsand transport links
We’llbeinvolving localpeoplein theproject,which will be creating newjobsand trainingopportunities As part of Legaland General, we’rebackedbyone of theUK’s
We’recommitted to investingin projects that bringlongtermbenefits to society,fromaffordablehousingtorenewable energy.
Thetransformationofthe canalside in Wolverhamptonisone of the biggestopportunitiesin thecountry involvingturning adisusedpart of thecityintoathrivingnew community
Producingthe best qualityhomes in themostefficientway possible canhelptotacklethe UK’s chronic housingshortage,steepincreases in energy billsand theclimate crisis.
In Wolverhamptonwe’re delighted to have asupportive city council behind us
We can’twaittoget started *ComparedwithBuilding Regulations-compliantnew home
Watch this space
We’reproposing to build around 400new homes on Wolverhampton’s canalside.Howthe Legal&General canalsidemodular homes could look
WORLD-CLASS LIVE ENTERTAINMENT VENUE
Major construction works on the former Civic Halls arecomplete following a multi-million-pound refurbishment.
Global leader in live entertainment and sport, AEG Presents, will run The Halls Wolverhampton for the next 25 years.
The iconic venue is expected to attract 300,000 visitors ayear boosting the local economy by morethan £10million per annum. Subscribe for announcements at thehallswolverhampton.co.uk
CONSTRUCTION STARTS IN SPRING FOR NEW CITY LEARNING QUARTER
The scheme has been developed in partnership with City of Wolverhampton College and will deliver apurpose-built learning facility for young peopleand adults at the heart of the city centreto drive up skillslevels. The state-of-the-art facility will be situated around the Old Hall Street and St. George’sParade area of the city centreand set over 10,000square metres. Visit investwolverhampton.co.uk to find out more.
STATEOFTHE ARTTRANSPORT INTERCHANGE CONNECTING YOU TO TRAINS,TRAMS AND BUSES
An incredible new city centre gateway for commuters, residents and visitors is almost complete. The new railway station is open and Metroextension works are progressing.
SUPPORTING BUSINESSES WITH SKILLED WORKFORCE
We'reworking as 'One City' to ensure our current and futurebusinesses find the skilled workforce they need to thrive. The city's Wolves at Work programme has helpedover 8,000 local people into jobs.
WE ARE ACITY DRIVEN BY DIGITAL
City of Wolverhampton's rollout of full fibregigabit broadband and 5G is well underway,ensuring that residents and businesseshave access to the fastest and most reliable future-proofed digital infrastructureasthe basis of aSmart City
The £17.5m National Brownfield Institute has been officially opened on the University of Wolverhampton’s flagship £120m Springfield Campus to develop modern methods of construction. This is aligned to Wolverhampton’sambition to be at the heart of innovation nationally and create skilled jobs for local people in the emerging green economy
support you with strong, consistent and innovative city leadership.
bring your business to the city of opportunity
NEW PUBLIC SPACES
TRANSFORMING CITY CENTRE
The council’smulti-million poundcity centre transformation to create new event spaces, improve public realm and support businesses is well underway thanks to £20m of Future High Street and council funding. Works in the Victoria Street and The Hallsareas will be completed early this year.A new Box Space entertainment venuetothe west side of the city centrewill attract thousandsofpeople every year when it opens in Summer 2024.
MORE PUPILS THAN EVER ATTENDING SCHOOLS RATED GOOD OR OUTSTANDING
Latest figures showing that at the end of the 2021-22 academic year,88% of schools in Wolverhampton werejudged by Ofsted to be either Outstanding or Good. This shows an increase of 18 percentage points since 2014, putting Wolverhampton schools above the West Midlands average of 85% and in line with the national average.
HOME TO VIBRANT CITY EVENTS
Global televised events such as the British Kabaddi League, World Snooker and Grand Slam of Darts along with the city's hostingofthe Commonwealth Games road cycling time trials and British Art Show 9in2022, all form part of the city's 5year events plan, set to bring 2million visitors and boosting the local economy by £70m.
THOUSANDS OF NEW HOMES
400 new homes at Wolverhampton’s Canalside South areset to be built by Legal and General Modular Homes.
The residential development will be a net zeroregulated carbon scheme and supports the city’sclimate change commitment to be net carbon neutral by 2041. Other major housing schemes like Brewers Yard arealso progressing as part of the city centre’sregeneration.
Localemployers urgedto supportcity’s employment initiative
If you’realocal employer,please join theCityofWolverhampton’s missiontohelplocal peopleinto work.
Apprenticeshipsare agreat paid work opportunityfor people over the ageof16togainskillsand experience,and with National Apprenticeship Week just around thecorner (February 6to12) thecitycouncil is asking localemployerstoconsider taking on more apprentices.
Thecitycouncil itself hasrecruited 144new employeesaged18to 24-years-old sinceSeptember 2021, andthisincludesanexpandedapprenticeship intake, forroles right acrossthe council.
Councillor IanBrookfield, leader of thecouncil,said: “Wolverhamptonhas oneofthe highestunemployment ratesfor 18 to 24-yearolds in thecountry.We’re urging all localemployers,large andsmall,to join thecity’s fightinhelping people of allagesintowork, especially our young people
“The councilhas an essentialrole to play andiscoordinating a‘one city’approachtotacklethe issue, butweneed thesupport of ourfantastic city employersand ourpartners.We’re asking employerstotell us howtheycan help localpeople, of allages,intowork.
“The council’s £3 millioninvestment in theWolvesatWork18-24 programme–allied with thesupport of localbusinessesand partners –has created opportunitiesfor hundreds of young people andthe core ‘WolvesatWork’ partnership betweenthe counciland DWP, has alreadyhelpedover8,000 localpeopleofall ages into jobs
“Weare determined to continue this positive directionoftravel, to getmorelocal peopleintoeducation,training, or employment, andhelping to ensureour current andfuturebusinessescan find the skilled workforce that they need to thrive
“Wewould liketothank Collins Aerospace,whose Wolverhampton site employsover1,200 people who will be deliveringpartnershipsto 4,000 localyoung people overthe next twoyears;local business AF Blakemore&Son whoare putting supportnetworks in placefor new employees, to understand their career pathsand buildtheir skills andall of theother greatemployersand organisationsinour city whohavealsostepped up to help tackle youth unemployment includingWolverhamptonHomes, City of WolverhamptonCollege andUniversity of Wolverhampton.”
Thecouncil’s newlylaunched SupportedEmploymentTeamis working with localemployers to
provideadvice, guidance andsupport on recruiting people with disabilities .Inthe last sixmonths, six people with disabilities have been supportedintoemployment with thecouncil,withWolverhampton schoolsand with localfood and drinkestablishments. Theteam will be hosting‘employer forums’ in thecomingmonthstodiversify workforcesacrossWolverhampton.
If you wouldliketoget in touch with theSupported Employment Team,pleasecontact email@example.com
If you areabusinessororganisationand wouldliketodiscuss thecontributionyou canmaketo helpinglocal people of allages into employment,pleaseemail firstname.lastname@example.org
IGNITE is delivering free business aidtocitycompanies
IGNITE is Wolverhampton’sfree business workspace andislocated in theheart of thecitynexttothe transport Interchange. Designed to providesupport andadvicefor start-ups, entrepreneurs, andsmall andmedium-sizedenterprises, it also helpspeopleintoemployment andtraining.
Thebusiness initiative wasset up in July 2022 andisfundedby thecouncil in partnershipwiththe BlackCountry ChamberofCommerceand University of Wolverhampton. Morethan200 members arealready taking advantageof thefreefacilities andsupport on offer.
Recent data hashighlighted Wolverhamptonasahotbedfor
smallbusiness growth andentrepreneurship. In December the city wasnamed as thetop entrepreneurial UK city by Superscript,showing it hasthe highest growth in newsmall businesses Back in November,Wolverhamptonwas also recognisedasthe top location forbankstart-uploans by theBritishBusiness Bank, with start-up businesses successfullydrawing down 464loans since2012.
Councillor Simkins, said:“We wanted to join up thebusinesssupport infrastructure with partners in thecitysoIGNITE waslaunched to provideafreespace forentrepreneurs, start-upsand SMEs to work, collaborateand grow theirbusiness
ideas, as well as offerarange of business support.
“Itisinterestingtonotethata largeproportionofstart-ups choose to stay in theirlocal city whichhelps create localjobsinthe longerterm –and Iwould urge anyone seeking business advice,tomakeIGNITE their firstportofcallfor supporton theirbusiness journey.”
City residentscan visitthe hubto getadviceand guidance on training andarange of employment opportunitiesas well as to utilise thefree workspace
IGNITE is locatedati10,RailwayDrive,Interchange,Wolverhampton, WV11LH.OpenMonday to Friday, 9am-5pm. Call 01902 552210 or visitignitehub.co.uk
Council’saward-winningteam is supporting city’s vibrantbusinesses
City of WolverhamptonCouncil’s business development serviceis designed to offerhelpand advice to businesses,their employees andthose whoare self-employed to ensurewekeepour business community vibrantand resilient in these challengingtimes
Thecouncil’s award-winning business supportteam– recent recipients of theFederationof SmallBusinessesregional‘Future Ready’ awardfor itsRelight Business Programme–isonhand to help ensureexisting, newand potential businesses have access to themostuptodateinformation andsupport services to succeed,growand cope with the ever-changingneedsofyourbusiness Ourteamofwell-connected expertsoffer tailored business advice andcan signpost businesses to fundingand financialassistance, as well as business grants andtrainingprogrammes. Support is also availableonmarketing, finance, productand service development, employment trainingand skillsand procurement opportunities.
City of WolverhamptonCouncil
deputy leader andcabinet memberfor city economy, Councillor StephenSimkins, said:“The council’s business supportservices providevital help andadvice forbusinesses in these challengingtimes –and theFSB awardfor ourRelightBusinessProgramme, whichhelpedaround200 sole traders, microand smallbusinesses,istestament to that work.
“Weappreciatethatgetting the rightadviceand supportiskey to business success and, with our partners, it is vitalwehelpbusinesses access thetools they need
“The counciliscurrently reviewingits Business Support programmes in conjunctionwith keygovernment departments, regional partners andlocal stakeholders.
“Havingathrivingeconomy is akey objectivefor thecityand a newbusinesssupport programme will be announced laterinthe year.”
Forfurther informationonhow theteamcan help you andyour business,visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/wolvesinbusinessor e-mail business.development@ wolverhampton.gov.uk
IGNITEislocated at i10, Railway Drive–visitCouncillor StephenSimkinsreceives theFSB ‘Future Ready’Award from KarenWoolley
Collegeleads wayin skillsdevelopment
City of Wolverhampton Collegeisleading theway in drivingupskillslevels
Itsproposednew campus is setto provide first-classtrainingfacilities forlocal peopleand cement itsposition as aleading educationprovider.
Thepurpose-built four-storeysite–part of themulti-million-pound City Learning Quartervisionbeing ledby City of WolverhamptonCouncil –is scheduledtoopenduringthe 20242025 academic year andwill welcome in theregionof45,000 students and 7,500apprentices over thenextdecade.
Thenew campus –which replaces thecollege’s site at PagetRoad, Compton– will providestate-of-theart industry standard trainingfacilities for students studying forqualifications in business,cateringand hospitality, computingand IT,creative anddigital media, earlyyears,hairdressingand beauty,science andtraveland tourism, as well as aperformingartscentre and adedicated sixth-formcentre forA-level students
As well as educationalbenefits, the newcampuswill provide significant economic andenvironmental benefits by generatingand safeguarding around 750jobsinthe localeconomy andpreventing 600tonnesofCO2 emissionsbeing releasedthrough energy-efficientbuildingsand traffic
reduction. Thenew city centre site is part of thecollege’s strategy to transform thelearningenvironment forall itsstudents, whichalso includes the development of theWellingtonRoad campus in Bilston, comprising an extensiontothe Construction Innovation Centre, which opened in September, andplans foranew advanced engineeringand electric vehiclecentre of excellence
Forlatestnewsonthe college’s transformationvisit https://www wolvcoll.ac.uk/our-college/campustransformation/
Silvaman delivers forleadingbrands
It works closelywithinternational brands such as Puma,Armani, The NorthFace, Timberland andJack& Jones.Further projects have recently been securedwithVFCorptodeliver newschemes forTNF at CabotCircus andTimberlandatGloucesterQuays
Silvaman is proudofits BlackCountryroots andchampioningthe diverse skill base of itsworkforce on theinternationalstage.Aspartthe company’s continuedand plannedgrowthit hasbrought itselectricalcontracting requirements in houseand is now an approvedNICEICcontractor enabling Silvaman to offera widerscope of works whilst offering increasedvalue andcontrolover costsand quality within itscoreretailprojects. In the past month this diversification hasallowedthe electrical side of Silvaman to secure aproject to upgradeall landlord mainsdistributionpanelsatCheshire Oaks DesignerOutlet.
Over thepastyearSilvamanhas delivered an increasing amount of design andbuild projects.Ithas delivered the new‘Elevated’ conceptfor Puma and hasanexcitingpipelineofprojects plannedwiththe brandin2023includingclubpartnership stores
Managing director Phil Boden said: “The sector is showingstrongsigns of growth even with theuncertainty surroundingthe widereconomy at this time,weare investinginour teams, increasingthe talent we have in thebusiness andstrivetobeatthe forefront of innovationand changes within the industry.”
Silvaman is aleading fitout and generalcontractor specialising in the luxury retail sector
Silvaman Groupdelivera diverse rangeofprojects across theUKand Ireland primarilyinthe retail sector.Acomputerimage of thenew campus
TransformingHeath Town’s homes
WolverhamptonHomes, whichmanages more than 21,000 homeson behalf of thecitycouncil, haswon anational awardfor ‘neighbourhood transformation’ forits work on theHeath Town regeneration project.
TheUKHousing Awards,organisedbythe CharteredInstitute of Housing andInsideHousing magazine,recognises achievementinthe socialhousing sector
TheHeath Town regeneration programmeisa£120million project to enhancethe livesofmorethan 2,500residents.Wolverhampton Homeshas workedin partnership with thecouncil to remove aboveground walkways andenhance homes, communal areasand theexternal environment.
Residentshavebenefitted from newenergy-efficientcladding, enhanced fire safety measures includingsprinklers, CCTV andimprovedlightingin communalareas, andfull fibreconnectivitytoevery home.The projecthas reduced the averagetimetolet,and improved occupancyrates.Additionally, customers have seen lower energy bills andreported improvedfeelingsof
safety andcommunity cohesion
ShaunAldis, chiefexecutive of WolverhamptonHomes, said: “The ongoingtransformationof HeathTownisamajor boosttothe city andtoresidents in thearea. Throughoutthe projectcustomers have engaged with us,sharedtheir viewsand helped us to understand theimprovements we couldmake that wouldbenefitthem, andtheir enjoymentoftheir homes, themost.
“Thisisall about deliveringa sustainable projectthatmeets the needs of residents andenhances theentireestate. It hasbeenatrue partnershipeffortand itssuccess is largelydowntothe supportofthe Tenant andResidentAssociation andlocal groups andorganisations likeHopeCommunity.Thisaward is an outcome of thestrongpartnership approach we adopthereinthe city.”
Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, cabinetmember forcityassetsand housing,said: “Oneofour keyprioritiesistocreatemoredecentand affordable homes within ourcity. This projectisinstrumentaltoachieving ouraim,withthe construction of morethan40new houses underwayand widescaleimprovements to existing homeswhich make Heath Town asafer,warmerand moreattractive placetolive
“I’m pleasedthatthe city has been recognisedwiththisaward, andthatthe sector is taking the opportunitytoshare best practice.”
This awardcomesshortlyafter theproject wasrecognisedbythe National Building andConstruction Awards,withasilver awardfor Projectofthe Year in November.
WolverhamptonHomesisdeliveringthe projectwithcontractor United Living Group.
Joinusasamanagementtraineeoranapprenticeandyou’llbenefitfrom astructuredtrainingprogrammewhichwillsupportyoutolearnnewskills andputthemstraightintoaction.Everyonedeservestoliveinasafeand decenthome,soyou’llbedevelopingyourcareerinasectorwhereyour workmattersandyoucanreallymakeadifference.
Whetheryou’releavingfull-timeeducation,lookingtoupskillorthinking aboutachangeindirection,findoutmoreaboutstartingyourcareer withoneofthecity’sbiggestemployers
“I’velearnt somanynewskills insuchashorttime andI’mproudthat mymentortrustsme todoagoodjob.”
Five blocksare gettingrefurbs
Five blocks of flatsinWolverhamptonare undergoing arefurbishment underlong-runningregeneration plans.
Theblocks, alloff Inkerman Street in HeathTown, Wolverhamptonwill getnew doors, windows andentrancelobbies,aswell as improvedsafetythrough new cladding andthe installation of sprinklers
Theworkare taking placeat Hawthorn House, Ling House and Redoak House, whichare all10-storeyblocks, andnine-storey blocks LincolnHouse andTremont House.
Thescheme, whichhas been put forwardbyWolverhamptonHomes, formsthe latest phaseofthe £120 million HeathTownregeneration project.
Previous phases have seen new homesbuiltand refurbishments to theBrockfieldHouse,Campion Houseand LongfieldHouse high rises
Public helping shape bigplan
Thepublicwas invitedtohave itssay on theregenerationof oneofthe largestbrownfield sitesin theregion.
Thesecondphase of aconsultationaroundanew housingsiteonbrownfieldlandin Wednesbury is helpingshape themasterplanfor thesite.
Sandwell Councilisworking with West Midlands Combined Authoritytobring forwarda long-standing, allocatedhousingsiteinWednesbury, now referred to as FriarParkUrban Village.
Theregenerationschemewill transform the67-acre site,most of whichisunderused andcontaminated,intoacommunity assetwhich should benefitboth new andexistingresidents
Thedraft masterplan proposes around 630 high-quality,new homes.
Newmusic site forcountytown
Work is underway to transform a former historic cinemaintoamusic venue at acostofhundreds of thousandsofpounds.
Theold building in Newport Road formerly occupiedbyStafford Cinema hasbeenshut sinceNovember2021despite effortstoreviveits fortune.
Ateamled by businessmanAaron Bunninghas startedrenovation work with aviewtooperate amusic venue whichwill be called Apollo Stafford in anod to when thesite wasknown asApolloCinemabetween1988and 2014
The firstevent room is duetoto be up andrunning by this spring Thereare also plansfor comedy, poetry readingand artsand culture bookings
Theteamhas lodged an application with Stafford BoroughCouncilfor fundingand hasalready installedasound desk andisundertaking building repairs.
Showcase forthe West Midlands
West Midlands localauthorities will againberepresented at the MIPIMinternational real estate exhibitionand conference
It is taking placeatCannesin theSouth of France from March 14 to 17
Astrongdelegationofpublic andprivate sector organisations will be promoting investment opportunities, amountingtobil-
lions, across thewhole of theregion.The West Midlands Growth Companyisorganisingthe regional pavilion andprogramme of events
MIPIMisanopportunity to showcasemajor property developments.
Morethan20,000 delegates from 80 countriesare expected to take part
CannockChase District Council hasreceived£20 million from the Government’sLevelling Up fund andisusing themoney to buyadisusedmulti-storeycar park in the town centre
Thesitewill be involved in thefuture regenerationofthe town Councillor Mike Sutherland, portfolioleaderfor district and high street development,said: “The awardof£20moffunding
from theLevelling Up Fund is a once-in-a-generation opportunityto transformCannock town centre
“The deliveryofthe projectisnow amajor priority forthe council.”
Theauthorityhas been working hard to developthe scheme proposals. Localresidents have been asked fortheir viewsonproposals forimprovedleisure andculturalofferings includingarevitalisedPrince of WalesTheatre
Showpiece Market Squareis undergoing major renovationJOHN CORSER email@example.com
An award-winningdeveloperbased in Shropshireiscarryingout an almost £1.5 millionrevamp of Stafford’s MarketSquare.
Civilengineering company McPhillips (Wellington) from Telford,was chosen by Stafford Borough Councilas thesuccessfulbidderfor the£1.4m works
Theworkbegan earlierthis monthonthe renovation of the square
It is the firstphase of aproject that will seethe biggest transformation of theHighStreetinthe county townfor ageneration.
Theproject involves enabling the area to be equipped to hold more events andspecialist markets. It will includenew paving,streetfurniture andplanting.
Theworkisexpected to be completed by September 2023
Theregenerationplanfor the town centre is beingfundedby more than £14m from theGovernment’s Future High Street Fund andcontributions from Stafford Borough Counciland Staffordshire County Council.
TheMarketSquarerefurbishment will complementthe Shire Hall whichrecentlyreopenedasan enterprise centre whichishelping attracting newbusinessesintothe town centre
Kidderminster Town Hall is beingtransformed over thenexttwo years.
Therefurbishment plans, approvedbyWyreForestDistrict Council, will supportthe widerregeneration of thetowncentre
Thehalliscurrently closed and reopeningisscheduled for2025.
When completed thehallwillbe able to host theworld’s best music stars, with improvedacoustics andJOHN CORSER
seating. Theoldestpart of thecivic complex, theCornExchange, will be alteredtobecome aversatile space suitable fordance,theatre andsmaller musicalevents as well as meetings andreceptions
Thecentre piece of therefurbishment will be thecourtyard be-
ingcovered to create anew events space,cafe, barand roof garden
TheCornExchangewas designed by Bidlakeand Lovall in theneoclassicalstyle andofficially opened on January4,1855.
Thecurrent town hall wasbuilt between1876and 1877
Both of thebuildings areregarded as amongWorcestershire’s finest examples of Victorianarchitecture.
£5mBrierleyHill works will improveHighStreet
Multi-million poundworks to improve Brierley Hill High Streetbeganthismonth
The£5million works include therefurbishment of Brierley Hill Libraryand upgradingthe public toilets, as well as improvingtransport links andaccess.
They will also seenew seating, plants, trees andcycle facilities installedalong the street to improve itsappearancefor visitors
Therewill also be improvements to theareaaroundthe BrierRose sculptureand thelocally-listed drinking fountain,aswellasatSt Mary’s Church.
Theworks areinitially beingun-
dertaken on theMarket Hall side of theHigh Street, moving to the opposite side in thesecondphase of theproject.The workisestimated to rununtil winter 2024 Councillor SimonPhipps, DudleyCouncil’s cabinetmember for regeneration andenterprise,said theproject will make Brierley Hill abetterplace to live,shopand work.
He explained: “Itissomething residents andbusinesses told us theywanted, andIamdelighted that as acouncil we have been able to deliverit.
“Clearly with such amajor project some inconvenienceisgoing to
be unavoidable.WhatI canpromise is we will be doingall we can to minimise disruption where possible.
“Weconsulted with residents andbusinessesonour plans, and have updatedthemwhere possible andappropriate to reflectthe feedback we received.”
The£5million works arebeing funded throughthe Future High Street Fund andBrierleyHill High Street Heritage Action Zone
Thepublicrealm improvements beingintroduced in theHigh Streetare expected to bringhuge benefits to thetownbyproviding improvedpublicspaces.Highstreet workshave begun HowKidderminster Town Hall, built between1876and 1877,will lookafter themajortransformation programme
GoughGroup is expandinginBilston
GoughGroup hastaken advantageofthe opportunitytoexpandits currentpremisesonMoseleyRoad, Bilstontoincludethe former George andCrown on thetown’s Willenhall Road.
Refurbishmentworks arecurrently beingundertakenand they aredue to be completedinJunethis year
GoughGroup wasinitially founded by William Goughin1900 as a church,schooland house decorator basedinHorseleyFields, Wolverhampton.
Thebusinesssubsequently moved to Bilstonin1969.
It is from this site that thebusiness hasgrown to become arespected groupofcompanies operatingin thehealth, education, defenceand commercialsectors.
GoughGroup offers high levels of servicewhilst maintainingvalue formoneyfor itsclients usinglocally recruited andtrained employees through itspartnershipswithWolverhampton andDudleyColleges andthe University of Wolverhamptonthrough apprenticeships, graduate andtrainee schemes.
Thenew head office will provide an additional 500squaremetresof office space to accommodatethe increasing stafflevels. It will also ensure that thebuilding operates as efficientlyaspossibletominimise itsenvironmental impact along with offering provisions to enable stafftocycle to workand providingchargingpointsasthe company continuestoimplement itsNet Zero plan by investingingreener and
zero emission vehicles
JohnGough,the groupchairman, noted “Weare very proudtobein aposition to be able to re-investin thelocal community, onewhich we have served forover122 yearsand been able to provideopportunities foreveryone to reachtheir full potentialwithinthe group.
“Webelieve that thereistalentin thecommunities of Wolverhampton andthe West Midlands andweare
always lookingtorecruit,develop therequired skills andexpertise andprovide aplatformfor that potentialto flourish in oneofthe many differentroles availablewithin theconstructionsector.
“Thisinvestment, combined with oursupport of theWay YouthZone in Wolverhamptoncitycentre confirmsour commitmenttothe city andits young people.”
Over thepast50years thecom-
panies within thegroup have seen anumberofemployees progress through theirtrainingprogrammes to become skilledtradesmen,managersand ultimately directorsof businesses.It is this cultureand ethosofall membersin thegroup that drives theenthusiasmtocontinuetotrain anddevelop young people from localcommunities and ensure knowledge andpassion is passed on throughthe generations.
Investinginour local community since1900
122 yearsofdeveloping local skills and expertise to deliver qualityconstructionprojects. www.williamgough.co.ukWorkstoreplaceanentire roof of aprimary school in Wolverhampton
Theambitious£1.8bnregenerationof Sandwell’s sixtowns is speedingup
Regeneration is gatheringpaceacross Sandwell,withupto£1.8 billionofinvestment
over five years.
This will fund projects across Sandwell’s sixtowns –Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury andWestBromwich.
Anew website detailsthe projects that aretakingplace.For information visit: www.regeneratingsandwell.co.uk
The£1.8bnregenerationpipeline includes 66 wide-ranging projects, funded by arange of publicand private sector investment
These will contribute towards:
l Morethan4,300 newhomes.
l Morethan£57 million invested in 10 educationand skills facilities
l Helping4,000-plusnew learnersand apprentices.
l £63million investment in new employment andcommercial floorspace,which will also create and safeguardjobs.
Councillor PeterHughes, Sandwell Council’s cabinetmemberfor regeneration andgrowth, said:“These areexcitingtimes for Sandwell
“These projectswill notonly benefitresidents but, by improving Sandwell’s infrastructure,the borough will become amoreattractive placefor industry andbusinessesto locate anddevelop.
“Our aimistoimprove thequalityoflifefor residents, create more well-paid, fulfillingjobs, boost health, wealth andbusinessopportunities, andmakeSandwell amore sustainable,greener place.”
Theprojectsunder the£67.5m TownsFundprogramme –investment securedbySandwell Council andpartnersfromthe Government –are alreadytakingshape
TheTowns Fund programmewill deliver 16 projects acrossRowley Regis, Smethwickand West Bromwichfocussing on skillsand enterprise infrastructure,connectivityprojectsand redevelopment of towns.
Theseare supported by the Sandwell TownsFundPartnership, which includes SandwellCoun-
cil, Greets GreenCommunity Enterprise,Canal andRiverTrust, Sandwell College, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHSTrust and theGovernment.
Thepartnership is making great progress on the firstprojectstoreceiveGovernmentapproval:
l Openingthe DigitalDen project at Wood Lane CommunityCentre,WestBromwich–providing an improvedtrainingroomand hospitality facilities to boostdigital skills.
l Completing the firstphase of theUrban Greening Project, with improvements madetothe appearance of West Bromwich town centre
Furtherimprovements are plannedthisyearaswellasaculturalprogramme
l Carrying outpreparatory ground works forthe construction of theSandwell Civiland Mechanical EngineeringCentre in West Bromwich High Street
Sandwell MECwill encompass newtechnologiestodelivera range of academic,vocationaland apprenticeship courses. This will provide opportunitiesinengineering and advanced manufacturing, as well as otherareas of demand forhigher andadvancedlevel skillsand qualifications.
Construction on thecampus building is expected to startthis
In other TownsFundnews, work hasstarted on theRon DavisCentre ExpansioninSmethwick,with new flexible classrooms to be available from this spring
These will provideawider range of services andactivitiestomeet theneeds of Smethwickfamilies andthe widercommunity
TheCanal NetworkConnectivity projectisimproving several canal towpaths
Wherethe towpathisnarrow, workincludesmakingitmoreaccessible forcyclistsand people using mobility scooters andwheelchairs
AnotherTowns Fund projectis underway at BritanniaParkin Rowley Regis. Work started in Novembertoimprove footpaths and make abiggercar park with extra parkingspacesfor people with disabilities
TheBritannia Park schemewill increase thepark’suse forinformal sports, events andactivities, boost access forpeoplewithdisabilities, andhelpimprove residents’ health andwellbeing
Projecthighlights to look forward to this year andinearly 2024 includeproviding anew,low-carbon changing room facility,updating thechildren’splayareaand fitness equipment,reconstructingthe skateparkand extendingthe numberofallotment plots.
FurtherTowns Fund works plannedtostart over thecoming months includebeginning the refurbishmentofWestBromwich Town Hall andLibrary andthe relocation of West Bromwich Indoor Market
Improvementsto Wednesbury towncentre
Majorimprovementworks to publicspacesinWednesburytowncentre underthe High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) arenearly finished
Arefurbished Market Placehas high-quality paving andnew market stalls andanew eventarea around theClock Towerprovides asafer space forpedestrians and shoppers.The project–which is ledbySandwell CouncilinpartnershipwithHistoricEngland –also involvesworking closely with business andpropertyownersin thetown’sConservationAreatoenhancetheir buildingsand reinstate historic features
TheDepartmentfor Levelling Up,Housing andCommunities has announced that Sandwell will receive£20minLevelling Up funding to replacethe Haden HillLeisure Centre with anew leisure facility on theexistingsiteatBarrs Road,
Sandwell Aquatics Centre legacy
Sandwell’s regeneration boost builds on thesuccess of theSandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick.
Followingthe Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, workis nowwellunder wayonthe legacy construction phase. It will open to thepublicasone of thebestcommunity leisurefacilities in thecountry this summer.
Thecentrewas theonlynew, purpose-builtvenue forthe Games. During construction,thisworldclassfacility delivered huge economicbenefitwithinSandwell and theWestMidlandsregion,boosting jobs,apprenticeships andlocal businesses
Thecouncil’s partnerWates ConstructionLtd is also deliveringthe legacy construction phase, which will benefitSandwell residents andthe widerWestMidlands. The centre will keep its50-metre Olympic-sized swimmingpool, 10mdive towerand 25mdivepool, alongwith 1,000 spectatorseats andahostof indoor andoutdoor communityleisure facilities
With this greatlegacytobuild upon andmanyprojectsinthe pipeline,Sandwell’s regeneration plans will benefitresidents andbusinesses fordecades to comeThecouncil’snew websiteRegenerating Sandwelldetails allthe projects Work began in November last year on Rowley Regis’sBritanniaPark improvement scheme Major improvementsworks in Wednesburytowncentre have almost been completed
MULTI-MILLIONPOUND IMPROVEMENTWORKS GOTUNDERWAY EARLIER THIS MONTHWITHA FOCUS ON IMPROVINGTHE TOWN’S HIGHSTREET AND SURROUNDINGAREAS.
It will seemajorimprovementstotransportlinks, enabling easier access to thetown. Therewillbe aspruceupofthe High Street,the town’s library is beingrefurbishedand therewill also be new public toilets.A linkwillbecreated from theHigh Street to theplanned Metroterminusinthe town, whichwill runfromBrierleyHill to Wednesburyvia Dudley town centre when completed Council bosses andcommunity groupshope theresultofthe improvementswill be to boost footfall intothe town centre
TheHigh Street is to get acompleteoverhaul. Pavements arebeing ripped up andre-laid, andnew public seatingalong with trees and planters will also go in.Facilities to store cycles will be introduced,whileanappealing andusefulnew communityopenspace will be createdatthe endofthe High Street, whichcould be used in thefuturefor outdoor performances in conjunction with theCivicHall.
Therewillalsobeimprovementstothe area aroundthe famous BrierRosesculpture,the town’slisteddrinkingfountain, andaround St Mary’s Church. Theseimprovementsfollow on from initial work completed last year to the Brierley Hill WarMemorialand gardens.
Safety improvementswill includenew controlled pedestrian crossing points, disabled carparking andnew CCTV.The High Street will be reduced to a20mph speed limit.
Theproject is being fundedthrough theFuture High Street Fund andBrierleyHill High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ).
Apublicconsultationtookplace in theautumn last year asking localresidents andbusinesses fortheir viewsonthe regeneration of thetown. Theresponses have shaped theredevelopment project, ensuringthat it effectivelymeets the needsand aspirations of thelocal community andbusinesses.
CouncillorDavid Stanley, cabinet member forregenerationand enterprise, said:
“I am very pleasedtosee this project –which will make Brierley Hill abetterplace to live,shopand work -isunderway.
“Itissomethinglocal people andbusinesses told us they wanted, andI am delightedthatasa councilwehavebeenable to deliverit.
“The project hasanumber of aims andthese include creating amorewelcomingenvironment, whichissafe,economically thriving andeasily accessible by people.Wealso want to create atownwithspaces where thecommunitycan cometogether,enhancing people’s wellbeing. We have paid heed too, to theheritage and conservation of thetown’sprecioushistory.”
Theproject haskickedoff with majorroadworks to facilitate theconstruction works, whichbegan earlier this month. TheHigh Street is oneway only at present, with diversionroutesinplace. Therehas also been changestobus stops and temporary stopsinstalled.
Theworks areinitially beingundertaken on the Market Hall sideofthe High Street,movingto theopposite side in thesecond phaseofthe project. Theworks areestimated to rununtil spring next year.
It comesas£1billion regeneration works continuetogatherpaceinand around Dudley towncentre
This waskickstarted with thecompletion of the new£18mDuncan Edwards LeisureCentre last year.Workisongoing on anumber of other projects includingthe Metroextension,Very LightRailand anew busand tram interchange in thetowncentre.
Councillor PatrickHarley, leader of the council, said:
“These worksinBrierley Hill areanother indicator of ourdesireasacouncil to make this borough theverybestitcan be forour residentsand our businesses.
“Weunderstandthere will be disruption while the worksare taking place, andwehavedoneall we can to minimise it
“Ultimatelythe endwillmorethanjustify the means, with exciting futuresfor both Dudley and Brierley Hilltowncentres.”
PhoenixConsortia,the roofing refurbishment specialists, is delighted to launch newwebsite –www.phoenixconsortia. co.uk
PhoenixConsortia areexpert roofing andcladdingcontractors you cantrust,deliveringvalue for over 50 yearsinthe UK refurbishment market
Underneath thePhoenix Consortiaumbrellaoperatesa collection of four specialisedconstructioncompanies,witha fifthorganisationdesignatedfor thecontinual training andupskilling forafuture-proofed workforce:SPV Special Projects, HowardEvans Roofing andCladding Ltd, Ivor ParnhamBuilding Services,SPV Energy Management Systemsand SPVTraining
OurteamatPhoenix Consortia is ledbynineindustryprofessionalswhose aimistooffer extremely high-quality serviceand delivery with advice you know you cantrust
Ourteamisheretoensurewe providethe best valuefor ourclients, stakeholders, andcommunities we work with
With aworkforce of over 100fully trained andskilled operatives, paired with adiverse fleetofvehicles from vans to pickups andcrew cabs,wehaveeverything in-house
to caterfor both smalland largescaleconstructioncontracts.
We will tackle anything youneed, from roofing andconstructionto energy systems, to help bringyour visionstolifeand addressyour building needsand requirements
We workclosely with thecommunities we operateinand are proudtosupport andassistthe RoyalBritish Legion,Royal Regiment of Fusiliersand anumberof
localfootballteams.Everyoneat PhoenixConsortia is committed to supporting andengagingwiththe communitiesweworkinand live in Inclusivityand diversityare at the heartofeverythingwedo.
We regularlysupport avariety of fantasticcauses, from localsports and football teams to theRoyal BritishLegiontoBirmingham Children’s Hospital andare delightedto have partneredwithWalsall Foot-
ball Club forthe 2022-2023season. Recently,wewereannounced as thewinner of theCLC Inspiring change awards forour workinthe localcommunity
Ourbluechippartners include IcelandfrozenFoods, Co-op, Odeon Cinemas, NHS, Jones Lang Lasalle, Crowne Plazaand Equans to name afew
At PhoenixConsortia,wealso invest heavilyinthe trainingand
We’vegot youcovered THEEXPERTS IN ROOFING& CLADDING
development of ourapprentices as they area highly regarded aspect of ourbusiness.
We valueapprentices so highly, we setupatrainingcentre in conjunction with JuniperinTraining in 2019 to inspire, train andsupport thenextgenerationofroofers.Juniperoffer a24weekconstruction pathwaycourse for16to18-yearolds.For more information, contact JuniperTrainingon01922 745738
Phoenix Consortiaare expertrooﬁngand cladding contractors youcan trust, delivering value forover 50 yearsinthe UK refurbishment market.
Underneath thePhoenix Consortiaumbrella operates acollection of four specialised construction companies, with aﬁfthorganisation designatedfor thecontinual trainingand up skilling forafuture-proofedworkforce:
TheWestMidlandsisundergoing atransformation of itscurrentMetro system.
Thenetworkiscurrently being expandedacrossBirmingham,Wolverhampton, Sandwelland Dudleytoprovide better connectivity acrossthe region
As well as allowing people to travel furtherbytram, this vast extensionofthe networkwill provide additional ways of travelling acrossthe West Midlands (and beyond)withenhancedMetro services directly linkingwithbus andtrain stations, Sprint services andimprovedcycle-hubs.
Beingdeliveredbythe Midland Metro Alliance on behalf of Transport forWestMidlandsaspartof theirambitious planstotransform publictransport in theWestMidlands, construction forthe new Metro routes is nowwellunderway in theEastsideofBirmingham, Wolverhamptoncitycentre and acrossSandwelland Dudley,with theextension to Edgbaston now open forpassenger service.
Integral to theextension programme is theexpansion of the West Midlands Metro depotin Wednesbury to accommodatethe additional maintenanceand rolling stockrequirements
Theplanswill seethe overall fleetcapacitydoublefrom21to42 state-of-the-art vehicles.Alongside this, themaintenance facilities will be furtherenhanced.
Plansfor thedepot expansion were given thegreen lightbythe West Midlands Combined Authority earlyin2022and theMMA has been making headwaywiththe team carrying outanumberof preliminaryactivitiesbeforethe
main worksstart.Thisincludesthe construction of temporaryoffice accommodationfor MidlandMetro staffalready basedat theWednesbury site whileworks take place.
Preliminaryworks areexpected to complete in coming months, after whichmainconstructionactivity will begininthe spring,including: l Reconfiguring andinstallation of new tracksand associatedsystems
l Thecreationofanew carpark with electric charging points
l Morethan30new switch and crossingsare to be installedtoallowthe trams to switch between andcrossoverother tracks to leave thedepot andgainaccess to theline
l Newtramwashfacilities with three stagewater interceptors
l Extension of both thewestern andeastern elevationsofthe OperationalMaintenance Centre
l Extensiveinternalroommodificationstothe depotbuildingto create amoreopenplan, collaborative working space.
To find outmoreabout theexpansion getintouch with theMidland Metro Alliance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you canfollowus on Twitter @midlandtramand Instagram @midlandmetroalliance or find us on FacebookAreaswillbecleared to create spacetoexpandthe depotfootprint
AmbitiousWalsall in themidst of an exciting transformation programme
Walsallisaborough that is currentlyundergoing real transformation that is creating awealthof freshopportunites.
Thereisasharedambitionto deliver well connected,attractive places wherepeopleare proudto live andworkand wherebusinesses want to locate;where thereisa strong mixofhousing forall our residents, whereour communities arewellservedand allofour residentshavethe best life chances.
To fulfilthispotential, more than £500 millionofinvestment hasbeenattractedand schemes areeitherunderconstruction rightnow or have planning consent confirmed Projects includeone of thebiggest development sitesinthe Midlands
Theschemewill seethe regenerationofthe former JamesBridge copper works site whichislocated alongsidethe M6 motorway betweenJunctions 9and 10
WalsallCouncilisworking in partnershipwithHenry Boot Developments (HBD)todeliver this projectwhich is amajor part of the Council’s‘BrownfieldFirst’policy to bringbacktolifedisusedland.
Amajor clean-up operationisunderway andwill be completednext year
The44acresite, whichisthe equivalent size to more than 20 football pitches, will be transformed into an industrial andbusiness park creatingmorethan1,000 newjobsfor Walsall.
ThedeputyleaderofWalsall Council, Councillor Adrian Andrew, said:“BrownfieldFirst meansthat we canprotect Walsall’sgreen belt whichissoprecioustoall of us who live andworkinthe Borough.
“Our ambitionistoimprove the economyfor localpeopleand there is so much workunderwayacross Walsalltodrive this
“We’ve alreadyseenremarkable change here butthere is more to deliver. Thenextphase isevenmore exciting andwill position Walsall as amajor destinationin theBlack
Countryand an increasingly attractive placetolive,workand invest.”
Exciting plansare in placeto transformWalsall town centre whichwillinclude improvements to thetrain stationand theSaddlers Centre,creatinga landmark arrival experience into Walsall.
Walsallistobegreener,safer and amoreattractiveplace to visit.
WalsallCouncil wantstogoeven furtherwithambitions forWalsall to become ahealthy town centre wherecycling andwalking is encouraged andwhere publicspaces areusedregularly foractivities, performances andfor events
Once transformed it is hopedthat
thetowncentre will become acatalyst fornew types of businesses and forinnovativecommunity ventures
ThedevelopmentofWalsall’s waterfront outsidethe prestigious NewArt Gallerywill continue WalsallCouncil is proudtowork with privatesectorpartners and also with Government, andhas securedmorethan£50 million throughthe Government’sFuture High Streetsand Town Dealfunds whilelooking to achievefurther supportthrough theLevelling Up Fund andthe Creative Development Fund,amongst others Alongsideimprovements to the town’s infrastructure areambitions
to unleashWalsall’s creative spirit to developavibrant heritage sector
Walsallhas arichhistory andthe ambition is forWalsall to be aplace to be trulyproud of with apositive andresilientfuture.
This is in addition to theincreasedlearningopportunitiesthat will be provided by theAdvanced Electric VehicleTechnologyCentre andthe DigitalSkillsHub,aswell as plansfor furthertowncentre adultskillsprovision
Many maynot appreciate it but becauseofits parks, open spaces andits farmland onethirdofWalsall is currentlygreen andthere are planstoadd to that
In Bloxwich greenspacesare beingdeveloped andimprovedfeaturingsportsfacilities andallotment patches, as well as room forfestivals andevents.
Walsallhas ahugehousing opportunity, building on thegrowing numbersofpeoplewho commuteto Birmingham,Londonand to other destinations.
Newtrain stations at Willenhall andDarlaston areset to open next year providingmoreopportunities forpassengerstoliveand workin andaroundthe Borough.
Improvements to junction 10 of theM6motorwaywillreducecongestionand reduce journeytimes
The£78 millionupgrade works arebeing completedbyNational Highways in partnershipwiththe Council.
In theWalsall to Wolverhampton Growth Corridor,constructionis well underway acrossanumberof housing sites, transforming former derelict brownfieldland.
Schemesinclude thedevelopment of theformerCaparoEngineering Worksnexttothe A34Green Lane in Walsall.
Morethan250 houses arebeing builtonthe site whichhas been derelictfor more thanadecade.
Collectively theseschemes will deliver more than 1,400muchneeded newhomesfor Walsall.
As theregenerationofWalsall gainspaceorganisations from acrossthe borough arecomingtogether to developavisionfor its longer term future
TheWeAre Walsall2040 programme is beingshapedbythe views, experiences, ideasand ambitions of thosewho live,workand visitthe borough.
It will provideastrategicframeworkfor thecouncil andits partners to prioritise resources andto developsharedambitions foraWalsall that works foreveryone
Aborough plan is nowindevelopment andwill be unveiled in the spring
l Formoreinformation aboutthe We AreWalsall 2040programme go to https://go.walsall.gov.uk/business/regeneration-and-investment/ vision-future-we-are-walsall-2040Theconceptdesign for Walsalltowncentre’sConnectedGateway scheme Councillor Adrian Andrew Remediationofthe former James Bridge copperworksalongside theM6istaking place TheenhancementofJunction10ofthe M6 will reducecongestion
2023 is settobean exciting year forKeonHomes –one of the West Midlands’fastest-growing providersofaffordable homes andsocialhousing.
TheBurntwood-based company, which wasformedbyindustryexperts RichardWilliams, Warren Bolton andNoelSweeney,ison course to celebrateits fifthbirthdayinstyle by surpassing the £30million annual turnover mark
In addition to sustainedgrowthinaffordable housing, private rental and niche open market projects, thegrowing firm hasalso securedalandmarkdealinthe ‘Extra Care’ sector forthe firsttime.
This hasbeena keyfocus sincethe business wasformedin2018and thenew £15m agreementwithThe Wrekin HousingGroup will seeKeonHomesbuild a70-strong mixof one andtwo-bed apartments, privategardens, andacommunalcafe.
Matt Beckley, head of developmentatKeon Homes, commented:“When we started out, we wanted to disruptthe marketplaceand, nearly five yearson, we feel we have achieved this with ourland-ledmodel that focuses on finding, securing andpurchasingsites suitablefor low-costaffordablehousing and‘extra care’schemes
“Lastyearsaw revenues rise 100per cent to £28million andweare alreadylooking at an even better 12 monthsafter starting constructioninNewport andafutureschemein Lichfieldabout to be announced.
“The latter will be ourlargestproject to date.”
Keon Homes, whichalongside Cameron Homesand ChasetownCivil Engineeringis part of TheTaraGroup,has recruitedafurther 17 people to cope with theincreasein demand
Thecompany’s forteismediumtolarge scaleprojectswithahigh degree of complexity.
This approach hasseenKeonHomescomplete234 plotstodateacrosseight of its schemes.
Afurther 434 properties areeitherin constructionorpartofasecurepipelineofnew sites.
Forfurther information, please visitwww keonhomes.co.uk
Abusy2023fulfilling its orderbookfor APiC UK
Smethwickand Gloucester basedaluminium glazingcompany APiC UK,has started 2023 with customersliningup to take advantageofthe capability andexpertise that the business hastooffer.
Theorder book hasalready surpassedlast year’s impressive turnover andweare continuing to take newand exciting projects from allover theUnitedKingdom with some more localcontracts, whichwill includeEdgbaston Villageand NewGarden Square in Birmingham, whichisa curtainwalling andwindow packagefor aprestigious newresidential development.
SalesdirectorAndrewStapleton said: “2022was abrilliantyearfor APiC,with many exciting things happeningwithinthe business
“We’re really pleasedwithhow we’veprogressed, with many projects nearingcompletion or completedsuchasUnity Placein Swindonand Sandwell Aquatics Centre,used forthe Commonwealth Games.
“Thisyear, we arelooking forwardtobeginninganumberoflarge projects further afield, working with ourkey contractors McLaren, Wates, Skanskaand Vinci, and morelocal projects with A&HConstruction andColmore Tang.”
LeeBurke,the chiefoperating officerof APiC UK,said: “The acquisitionofAlumin-
Keon aims forrecord fifthyear Expertsontackling drains andsewers
iumSasheslastyearwas arealpositive step forwardfor APiC.Thisyear, we will continue to grow andrisetothe ever-demanding challenges of ourindustry, with planstobecome even more sustainable than we alreadyare, andincreaseour socialvalue well underway
“Our strong customerrelationships, workforceand infrastructure hasallowed us to take on an impressive number of largecontractsfor 2023
“Weare lookingforward to continue to gain momentum over thenextfew months.”
Have youthought about what could happen belowgroundwithyourdrainageifthere is aproblem?
MidlandDrainageServicesinBrierleyHillisawell-establishedfamily operated drainage contractor with the ability to carryout anything from simpledrainageinspections andrepairs to surveysfor seweradoption andfrom smallpipeworktolarge diameter sewers.
We operatea fleetofspecialistvehicles from smalljetting unitsto high-volume, high-power jetting and vacuum unitsfor sewercleansing and vacuum that cancleanse drains, pump chambers, septictanks andcesspits. Thewhole rangeofsystems canbe operated on.Using the latest in digitalCCTVequipment, inspectionsare made to producedrainageinspections to Public Sewerstandard.
Followinginvestigation,wecan then carryout repairstocorrect and improve thesystemusing thelatestin “no–dig”techniquestoreinstate the system in theshortestpossibletime, minimising thedisruptiontothe client. If needed,excavations canalso be accommodated
Ourengineers aretrained to industryHealthand Safety standards, to ensure an impeccable working environmentismaintainedatall times.
Operations arefully compliant with thepublicsewer authoritiesand water industry guidelines andare carriedout
to full Health andSafetystandards
We areaccredited by CHAS,Constructionline,Safecontractor and SMAS Worksafe standardsnad we areanapprovedcontractor forSevernTrent Waterand operateonpublic sewersystems forother water utility areasaswell.
Formoreinformation,visit our newlyupdated website www.midlanddrainage.co.uk or you cancallus on 01384482228todiscussyourneeds.
United with communityand business
As acompany,weare committed to enhancingthe qualityoflifein theneighbourhoodswhere we work, ensuring ourprojectshaveboth shortand long term benefits.This includes providinggoodjobsfor localpeopleand engaging businesses in theareainour supply chain.
Local recruitmentsitsatthe top of ouragenda. With theconstruction sector facing arecruitment crisis, we areactively lookingto attractnew talent,and challenge people’s perceptionsofwhata jobin theconstructionsectormight entail andwho fits these roles.
Amongour recent successstories is Verity Hall,who joined United Living as asenior tenant liaison officerinJune2022. Having spent many yearsinsocialcareand education, Verity waslooking fora change,yet construction wasnot an industry shehad ever considered That changedwhenshe attended acareers fair at theschoolwhere sheworked, Verity gotchattingto
Verity Hall -seniortenantliaison officer
ourcommunity developmentmanager AnthonyPennant anditwas obviousher transferrable people skillsmadeher perfectfor resident liaisonofficer, acustomerfacing role.Since then,there hasbeenno lookingback. Verity said:“My experience of workingfor United Livingsofar hasgiven me confidence that Iam capableat my agetolearn something completely new whilst still helpingothers.”
In 2022 we made 25 school visits to talk about careers, conductmock interviews andoffer youngpeople opportunitiestogainworkexperience,and this is atargetweaim to surpassin 2023.Carol Codner, educationand enterprise advisorat EducationalBusinessPartnership in Wolverhampton, said:“United Living is the perfectexample of a companydemonstratingwhatcorporate socialresponsibility is all
about. Workinginpartnership with avariety of schoolsfromacrossthe city,givingstudents an insightinto theworld of construction,offering advice andguidanceabout succeedingin theindustry.”
Apprenticeshipsare anotherexcellentway to getintoanorganisation,getting real lifeexperience andonthe jobtraining. We make full useofour apprentice levy to bringpeopleinsotheycan benefit
Finally, we arekeentoprovide opportunitiesfor localSMEs, and to seethemgrowalong with our portfolio. We know that supporting businesses in theareas wherewe workboosts thelocal economy. We also putinplaceback-to-backsocial valuearrangementstoensure the wholesupplychain is giving back to theregion. That way, everyone benefits from everything we do
SHAPING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
We take pride in helpingour clients create communities people enjoy being part of by providing the essential services to the owners andoperators of critical utility infrastructure and property assets.
Delivering essential services, we employ more than 1,100 people nationally and have asupply chain network of over2,000 colleagues supporting all of our projects.
The work we deliver in Property Services revives homes and communities through the regenerationofliving spaces, whilst Infrastructure Services ensures thesafe and reliable operation of utility assetsand crtical infrastructure. Our New Homes business is atrusted development partner to the largest UK social landlords and build to rent communities.
Follow us on social media:
Leading the way in infrastructure, housing and property services
Delivering essential services for critical infrastructure
Together we achieve more
Howells Patent GlazinginCradley Heathcompleted twobig projectslastyearinthe north of England
Barkersisafamilydepartment storeand aNorthallerton institution.Datingbackto1882the store hasafascinating historyand now, in its140thyear, it is runbythe fifthgeneration. Over theyears, Barkershas expanded,buyingout neighbouringpropertiestobecome athrivingdestination store.
Lastsummer,Barkers embarked on aplanned specialistproject –to replacethe rooflightsinall four atriumspositioned in thecentre of thestore abovethe ladies’fashion department
Howells Patent Glazingwas appointed to supply andinstall the replacementrooflights.
Usingits HG57 medium duty self-supportingglazing barpowder coated in RAL7024matt, Howells designed andmanufacturedfour roof lights
Thereweremanychallenges associatedwiththisproject,for both Barkersand Howells. Thebiggest problemfor Howellswas installing during an intense heat wave.At peaktimes thehightemperature caused thebarsand glasstoheatup andtheybecametoo hottohandle. Workingatheightalso meantthat theinstallationteamneededad-
ditional sunprotectionand hadto stay hydrated.Howells introduced a shorterworking daytoprevent heat exhaustion
To avoiddelayscausedbythe searingheat, Howells employeda second installation team to speed up theinstallation. Therooflights were completed in around one month
l Kingswood AcademyinHull is thehighestperformingschool
in Yorkshireand the16thhighest performing secondary school in the country, outof6,274
Theschoolhas hadtoexpandto cope with an increase in demandfor places andworkisnow complete on a£4.4million expansion
Thenew RussellBuildinghas provided 12 newclassrooms.
Main contractor,SewellConstructionwas tasked with deliveringthe extension–athree-storey
stand-alonebuildingatthe rear of theexistingschool.
Howells wasappointed by Sewell to design,supplyand installthree flat-top rooflightsfor thenew building.
Thethree flat-top rooflights sit amongstasea of solar panels and to either side of tworooftop airconditioningunits.Theyare pitchedat just five degreesand measure3.51m x2.32m.Eachrooflightissplit into
six28mmdoubleglazedunits with a6.8mm laminatedinner pane and atoughened,easyclean outerpane. They each achieveaU-value of 1.0 Wm2K
To find outmoreabout Howells Patent Glazingand itsproductsand services please visithowellsglazing. co.uk
Howells is amember of theNational Association of Rooflight Manufacturers(NARM).
SAYGOODBYE TO THE DARK AGES WITH AHPG ROOF LIGHT
Bespoke’s turnoverhas topped £30m
Bespoke Construction Services this year celebrates its24thyearas a business with itsturnoverhavingexceeded£30 millionas part of our groupturnoverofmore than £50m.
With asecured order book alreadyofmorethan£40m, forcontracting alone, forthe forthcoming 12 months, thebusiness findsitself in asecureposition given theuncertainty of theeconomy at present Ownerand managing director, Marvin Bennett, said:“Bespoke continuestogofromstrength to strength with establishedand consistentresults alldespite thedifficultiesofthe last fewyearswiththe challenges that we have allhad to face
“Withthe singular andcombined effectsofBrexit,Covid,inflation andinterestratehikes,lifehas been veryturbulent,tosay theleast.It is greattestament to my team andI that,onceagain,wehavemadeour waythrough such ‘choppywaters’ so unequivocally. Delightedtohave securedfutureworks whichwill,as always,see us throughany upcomingdifficult economictimes.”
With over 50 employeesat our Telfordheadquarters, we continue
to developour teamwithinboththe interiorsand buildsectors.With ever increaseddiversity intonew marketsaligned to ourequitydriven stakeholdermodel,which,has provided us anew wayofthinking, away from thetraditional routes of income forbuilding contractors. Many of us have seen therecord number of building contractors going into administration over the last 12 months which, whilst deeply
sadtowitness,can only offerfurther opportunitytocompanies like ours that approach theindustrya littledifferently than most
We continue to developnew income streamsand arealwayslookingtorecruit newteammembersto help us achievebothour short- and long-termgoals.Wehavebeenfortunate that ourcorebusinesshas always been basedaround‘beds andsheds’. Both sectorsthathave
seen exponentialgrowthover recent yearsand,despite theanticipateddownturn, that is beingpredicted,webelieve we will continue to deliver strong opportunitiesand returnsinthe future as agroup
Last year sawuscompleteour largestever developmentof199 PermittedDevelopment Homes in Solihull,withasales GDV of over £50m
Whilst this year sees us moving
into theAssisted Living andExtra Care sectorwhere we intend to become a‘best in classprovider’
Marvin added: “Asalways, we seek newopportunitieswhilst always ensuring ourorganisationis ‘nimbleand keen’enoughtoalter course as andwhenrequired.”
Otherexcitinginitiatives this year will seeusmove toward Net Zero,another challengetolookforward to
£10m warehousewill supportPGS growth
ABirmingham-based logisticsand warehouse specialist is investing £10million in apurpose-built warehousein West Bromwich to support continuedgrowth.
Birmingham-basedPGS is setto deliverover30new jobsoncethe 80,000 sq ft facility opensthisyear, adding to thecompany’s existing 14-acresitenearBirmingham Airport,and growingthe group’stotalJOHN CORSER email@example.com
warehousespace to 350,000 sq ft
Paul Eyles, whofounded PGS GlobalLogistics 30 yearsago,took part in abreakinggroundceremony at thenew site with histhree children,who allworkinthe business
ThesiteinBrandon Way, West Bromwich will raise the firm’s greencredentialsasthe warehouse will be solar poweredthroughout.
Thecompany’s pallet storagecapabilities will doublefrom15,000
to 30,000 andtomaximisecapacity,the high specification warehouse will also benefitfromverynarrow aislepalletracking andelectric forklift trucks
PGSGlobal Logisticsisashareholder member of thePallet-Track network, whichenables independentlogistics firmstoworktogether to collectand deliver palletised freightmoreefficiently.
By increasing itspallethandling capacity,PGS GlobalLogistics will be able to transport more freight viathe Pallet-Track network.
Work is underwayonnew Coseleyvillageof472 homes
Preparatoryworkhas begunona site in theBlackCountry for472 newhomes.
Thedevelopment –built by Persimmon Homes –will be knownas CoseleyNew Village. It will siton the65.1acreformerbrownfieldsite of NeweyBusinessParkand the Bean FoundryonBirmingham New Road andSedgley Road West Thesitewas visitedbyDudley
Councilleader Councillor Patrick Harley as workgot underway. He said that addressing thehousingshortage wasa priority forthe counciland added: “Thisdevelopment will bringarange of homes forthe local people of Dudley and will go some waytowards addressingthe housingshortage in our boroughwhich is apriorityfor the council.”
CWMaddingvalue forall of itsclients
Constructing West Midlands (CWM, www.constructingwestmidlands. co.uk) is apubliclyowned andmanaged construction frameworkopen to allclients across theGreater West Midlands,focusedonsavingtimeand adding value.
CWMisacollaboration between Sandwell Council, Solihull Council, andAcivico Ltd. (whollyowned by Birmingham City Council) andhas deliveredmorethan£2billion of capital projects andrepairand maintenance programmes over thelast20years
Uniquely fora frameworkset up by acollective of localauthoritiesherein theMidlands, thebenefittoour local andsmall andmedium-sizedbusiness communitiesisintrinsic in everything we do
We aimtocreateand sustain trainingand employment opportunitieslocaltoeveryproject we deliver, andour contractorsare committedtopayment of theRealLivingWagethroughout theirsupplychain on allCWM projects.
CWMisamemberofthe National Association of Construction Frameworks (www.nacf.org.uk) acollective of localgovernmentframeworks, recognisedasleading exponentsoffairand best-practicebythe recently published Cabinet Office ‘ConstructionPlaybook’.
OurteamofCWM expertsrepresent theLocal Government Association and areproud to be working collaboratively with industry,government, andthe Construction Leadership Councilat national leveltodevelop policy and
SarahPreston,sales director at Persimmon HomesCentral, said that the firstshow home is setto open in theearly part of this year “Ofthe 472homes, therewill be 72 2-bedapartments, 1442-bed houses,221 3-bedhousesand 35 4-bedhouses
“Welookforward to openingour salesoffice andshowhome,” she said
An investment of more than£5 million by West Midlands CombinedAuthorityiskickstarting the firstphase of atransformational scheme in Wolverhampton city centre
TheWestMidlandsCombined Authoritycashwill fund thedemolitionofexistingbuildingsata WolverhamptonCouncil depotin Culwell Streetand clean-up land readyfor redevelopment
Thecouncil is to relocate itsJOHN CORSER
fleetservicesfromthe Culwell Streetdepot to anew base on HickmanAvenue alongsidethe city’s wholesale market,which will also undergo amajor revamp.
The600-home BrewersYardregeneration will eventually feature amixture of houses, apartments, retail andcommercialspace
guidance to positively shapeour sector.
In addition to thehigh standards CWMsetsfor addedeconomicand socialvalue,weare working together with leadingacademics at theUniversity of Cambridge to jointlydevelop challengingenvironmental metricsfor theconstructionsectorthrough the ‘Achieving NetZeroCarbonReduction Code’, formally launched as part of the ‘Co2nstructZero’ initiative at COP26.Acomputergeneratedimage of howBrewers Yard phase onemay look