Welcome to the latest edition of the Friday Feed!

The leaders of Cheshire East Council have said that, due to borrowing more than £8.6m prepping for HS2, they are at risk of bankruptcy. 

Mid Cornwall Metro work is due to start in 2024, after the Council agreed to provisionally accept £50m of levelling up funding. 

The DfT has approved a £250m funding settlement for TfL in 2024/25, which is just over half of what Sadiq Khan requested. 

There has been criticism of the Government’s approach to Euston Station funding by Mace, who say that the Government are ignoring advice on how to drum up private funding. 

There are 86 structures currently being used on the Strategic Road Network that have passed their intended 120 year design life 

£235m of funds originally allocated to HS2 are being used to fix London’s potholes over the next 11 years. 

A9 dualling has been delayed again until 2035, with the 2025 goal having been abandoned by the Scottish Government this year. 

Hinkley Point C has had its first 245t steel dome lifted into place, representing a major milestone for the project. 

The number of energy storage projects that are either under construction, planned or online has increased by more than two thirds over the past year. 

Ørsted have confirmed the go ahead for Hornsea 3, which will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm when it is completed in 2027. 

Vattenfall is selling its UK offshore wind developments to rival firm RWE for almost £1bn. 

 

Universal Studios have purchased Bedford Brickworks as it aims to build its first ever UK theme park. 

Rolls Royce and Muse Places have formed a joint venture to develop 5 warehouses in Hucknall, totalling 570,000 sq ft of space. 

Michael Gove has ruled out changes to nutrient neutrality laws, which were blocked in the Lords this year, before the next election. 

Gove has also officially watered down local authority housing targets, to be replaced by league tables for planning authorities. 

The Government has pledged £1.25bn more for the home decarbonisation fund, which will be used to retrofit 140,000 homes. 

 

As part of their net-zero efforts, Yorkshire water have been granted approval to install solar panels on eight of their sites, which will generate 4% of their power needs.   

 

Contract awards are down 14% year to date, with most sectors failing to match 2022 with planning applications in October 2023 down 23% on the previous year.  

Lastly, the government has launched a roadmap to increase the use of structural timber in the construction of homes and other buildings to lower carbon footprint.  

 

The News

Council warns of bankruptcy after HS2 phase two scrapped – Construction News 

Leaders of Cheshire East Council said that it had spent more than £11.2m preparing for the rail link, including £8.6m of capital costs funded by borrowing. 

 

East West Rail | Track laying ‘99% complete’ between Bicester and Bletchley New Civil Engineer 

Track laying for East West Rail’s (EWR’s) first connection stage (CS1) between Bicester and Bletchley is now “99% complete” according to the project promoter East West Rail Co. 

 

Mid Cornwall Metro works to start in 2024 after council green light New Civil Engineer 

Cornwall cabinet members agreed to provisionally accept the offer of £50M levelling up funding towards the delivery of the £56.8M Mid Cornwall Metro initiative. 

 

DfT approves £250M funding settlement for TfL for 2024/25 New Civil Engineer 

The Department for Transport (DfT) has approved a funding package worth £250M for Transport for London (TfL) to cover the 2024/2025 tax year. This amounts to just over half of London mayor Sadiq Khan’s £475M request. 

 

Construction of HS2 control centre near Birmingham hits earthworks milestone New Civil Engineer 

The construction of High Speed 2’s (HS2’s) control centre at Washwood Heath has passed an earthworks milestone with BBV (Balfour Beatty Vinci JV) excavating 1Mm3 of material at the site.  

 

The government must get a grip on HS2 Euston’s private funding debacle – City AM 

The chief executive of Mace Group, the construction firm contracted to deliver HS2’s Euston station, warned yesterday that the government is ignoring advice on how to drum up private sector funding to see the project through. 

 

Eiffage wins £2.2bn Grand Paris Express contractNew Civil Engineer 

A consortium led by Eiffage has won a €2.54bn (£2.2bn) contract to design and build a section of Line 15 East of the Grand Paris Express. 

 

HS2’s Chiltern tunnelling reaches 90% completionNew Civil Engineer 

The two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) digging HS2’s Chiltern tunnels have reached the Chesham Road intervention shaft, on track to complete their 16km journey under the Chilterns next year. 

 

Network Rail Acquires 65 Biodiversity UnitsConstruction News 

Cambridgeshire County Council to deliver new railway station on 354 acre site in South Cambridge.  

 

Tunnel progress as HS2’s ‘Florence’ and ‘Cecilia’ hit Chiltern tunnel milestoneInfrastructure Intelligence 

The twin bore tunnels are 90% complete, totalling 10 miles and making up the longest part of the tunnel. 

 

Hinkley Point C’s first reactor dome lifted into place New Civil Engineer 

Engineering teams lifted the 245t steel dome precisely into place on top of the reactor building, with the 14m-tall dome sitting on top of the 44m-high reactor building.  

 

Lithium deal between Northern Lithium and Darlington-based Sheers – Northern Echo 

Northern Lithium, working in County Durham and Darlington-based Sheers have signed an agreement alongside Evove from the North West aimed at delivering the UK’s first commercial-scale Direct Lithium Extraction plant. 

 

UK storage ‘sees two-thirds rise in capacity”RENEWS.BIZ 

The pipeline of energy storage projects which are operational, under construction, consented or being planned has increased by more than two-thirds over the last year in terms of capacity.  

 

£90M upgrade to 82km of overhead power line between Hampshire and Wiltshire brought forward by a yearNew Civil Engineer 

National Grid has brought forward its £90M plan to upgrade 82km of overhead power line between Bramley in Hampshire and Melksham in Wiltshire by a year. 

 

Danes confirm green light for Hornsea 3Construction Index 

Ørsted have confirmed £8M go ahead for Hornsea 3, totalling 231 wind turbines to be installed of the Norfolk coast making it the world’s single largest offshore wind farm, expected to be completed end of 2027.  

 

Vattenfall sells North Sea wind developments to RWE in £1bn deal Financial Times 

Vattenfall is selling its flagship UK offshore wind developments to rival RWE in a deal worth almost £1bn that highlights the divergent views on the sector following a troubled year. 

 

Installation of liners a ‘crucial step’ in completion of Hinkley Point C offshore works New Civil Engineer  

Hinkley Point C is being constructed by energy giant EDF, which says the project’s two new nuclear reactors will provide generate 3,260MW of secure, low carbon electricity for 60 years, servicing around 6M homes. 

 

86 structures in operation on Strategic Road Network past 120-year design life New Civil Engineer 

86 structures currently in use by National Highways on the UK’s Strategic Road Network are past their intended design life of 120 years. 

 

Colas wins £22m A38 Worcestershire BREP upgradeConstruction Enquirer 

Worcestershire County Council has awarded Colas a £22m contract to deliver the latest phase of its A38 Bromsgrove Route Enhancement Programme (BREP). 

 

Cancelled HS2 funds diverted to fix London’s potholes – Construction Index 

London boroughs are to get £235m in extra funding which has been redirected from HS2 to resurface roads across the capital over the next 11 years. 

 

Jacobs appointed to strategic M28 project in CorkNew Civil Engineer 

Jacobs has been selected by Cork County Council as technical advisor for the new M28 motorway. 

 

Hertfordshire lures bidders with 21-year highways dealConstruction Enquirer 

Hertfordshire County Council has invited bids for a highway services contractor offering the promise of a £1.95bn deal that could stretch to 21 years. 

 

Balfour signs £54m Herefordshire highways extensionConstruction Index 

Balfour Beatty to extend public realm contract, making it a £54M 2 year extension totalling 3250 km of highway maintenance, due for completion by Autumn 2026. 

 

A9 dualling project delayed by 10 years until 2035BBC News 

The government announced at the start of the year the 2025 completion date was unachievable, now with a 10 year delay and estimated total of £3.7B. 

 

Northern appoints new Head of LegalRail Business Daily 

Northern has appointed Nush Price as its new Head of Legal. She joins the train operator from the banking sector where she has worked in both legal and operational roles. 

 

Bouygues lands central London student digs – Construction News 

The London School of Economics (LSE) has named a Bouygues UK-Equitix consortium as preferred development partner for a major accommodation build in central London, a 2,000-home development situated behind the Tate Modern on Bankside.  

 

Universal Studios buys Bedford brickworks for theme parkConstruction Enquirer 

Movie giant Universal Studios is looking into the feasibility of building its first UK theme park. 

 

Rolls-Royce/Muse JV submits major warehouses planConstruction Enquirer 

A joint venture between Muse Places and Rolls-Royce has submitted plans for five major warehouses totalling 570,000 sq ft at a site in Hucknall to the north of Nottingham. 

 

Contractor hunt set to start for £120m Exeter schemeConstruction Enquirer 

Coplan Estates and joint venture partner Welbeck CP are set to start the hunt for a main contractor after gaining planning permission for a new £120m scheme in Exeter. 

 

New development corporation to lead construction of 150,000 new homes in CambridgeBuilding 

More than 150,000 homes could be built in Cambridge under the direction of a new development corporation, under new plans set out by Michael Gove. 

 

Approval granted for solar panels at eight Yorkshire water sitesEnergy News Live 

Part of a solution to meet their net zero targets, to be operational by summer 2024, the additions are anticipated to generate 4% of  Yorkshire Water’s annual power needs. 

For more information, please contact Caroline Romback, Director –  caroline.romback@copperconsultancy.com