Steel to succeed Fison at Osborne

David Fison is stepping down as chief executive of Geoffrey Osborne next month, to be succeeded by Andy Steele.

Andy Steele, currently managing director of Osborne’s construction division, will take over as chief executive at the close of the company’s financial year on 31st March 2015.

Chairman Andrew Osborne said: “It has been a very great pleasure to have worked with David – his integrity, openness and passion for the …

Midlands authorities join forces for estate management

Six public bodies in the Midlands have joined together to create a single company to manage all their property.

The yet-to-be named company will manage 1,323 buildings owned by Worcestershire County Council, Worcester City Council, Redditch Borough Council, Hereford & Worcester Fire & Rescue Service, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police.

The authorities behind the move expect to save, collectively, £58m over the next 10 years through economies of scale.…

HGV crashes blamed on ill-considered reforms

Quarry firms and heavy hauliers are blaming politicians and public policy makers for an apparent rise in crashes involving heavy goods vehicles.

Over the past couple of months alone there have been widely reported HGV incidents – several of them fatal – in Hartlepool, Edinburgh, Horncastle and Tutbury as well as on the M27 in Hampshire, the A74(M) in Dumfries & Galloway, the M40 in Oxfordshire and the M1 near …

Lakesmere expands manufacturing

Cladding and building envelope specialist Lakesmere Group has opened a new metal fabrication manufacturing facility in Hampshire.

Lakesmere’s new Innovation Technology Centre is a dedicated production facility alongside its head office in Winchester. It will produce a range of roofing and cladding sheets in addition to bespoke fabrications, gutters and panels for use on a number of its own contracts across the UK.

Lakesmere is currently manufacturing products to support …

Scotland bears brunt of HSE cuts

There has been a 30% fall in the number of visits made by health & safety inspectors to Scottish construction sites.

In the year to 31st March 2014 there were 881 official inspections of construction sites in Scotland. In the previous year there were 1,248 and in the year before that (2011/12) there were 1,250.

The data is contained in the response to a Freedom of Information request submitted …

Green light for construction of biggest wind farm to date

The government has given the go-ahead to the UK’s biggest wind farm to date.

The Dogger Bank Creyke Beck wind farm will include up to 400 wind turbines that are expected to generate up to 2.4GW, or 2.5% of UK electricity demand. The development will be second only, in terms of UK power output, to the 3.9GW Drax coal-fired station in North Yorkshire.

The turbines will be erected 130km off …

Balfour Beatty rolls out Build to Last transformation plan

Balfour Beatty’s new chief executive Leo Quinn has put a little flesh on the transformation strategy that he has been talking about since arriving at the start of the year.

After a tumultuous couple of years, peppered with various profits warnings, Balfour Beatty is now working to turn itself around to bring itself up to “industry-standard performance levels”.

Under the code name Build to Last, the programme aims to …

24-hour concrete pour sets raft slab for One Blackfriars tower

Contractor Laing O’Rourke has completed its largest concrete pour to date on its construction of the 50-storey high One Blackfriars tower block in central London.

While the residential development from St George has been attracting headlines for the wrong kind of reasons (eg Shades of Gross ad for luxury flats is dropped says The Independent), the builders have been hard at work.

On Saturday 7th February 2015 Laing O’Rourke took …

Balfour Beatty buys third OFTO

Balfour Beatty has reached financial close and completed the acquisition of the £352m Gwynt y Môr offshore transmission project (OFTO) in Wales.

Balfour Beatty will jointly own Gwynt y Môr OFTO with Equitix. Balfour Beatty will invest £28m of equity, which represents 60% of equity required.

The Gwynt y Môr OFTO, previously operated by Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm Ltd, is the high-voltage electricity transmission system connecting the 576MW …

Growth for Scunthorpe’s Britcon

Building and civil engineering contractor Britcon saw its turnover grow 17% in 2014.

Britcon’s turnover in 2014 was £31.5m, up from £26.9m in 2013, representing a return to growth and profit after suffering in the recession.

Key contracts in 2014 include a £10m anaerobic digestion plant in Widnes, a £7.5m fire training facility for Babcock in London and a new £5.5m toll collection system on the Humber Bridge.

Last year …