Major New Business Park Planned At Airport

Major New Business Park Planned At Airport

4th Apr 2022

Plans have been unveiled for a new business park in the north east, located next to Teesside Airport in Darlington.

The £200 million project will eventually create over 4,000 jobs and act as a major industrial and logistics hub for the region, with the advantage of easy access to and from the A67. Plant hire firms in the north east will be getting involved very swiftly, as the initial site work is set to be completed in the summer of this year.

Construction work on phase one of the project will be starting in the next few weeks, with four new units and a new 1.5km through road to serve them being built. The project is part of the airport’s ten year business plan.

Welcoming news of the development, Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said:  “I've always said our airport is about far more than just flights for business and pleasure, as important as these are.”

He continued: “For our airport to thrive we need to have a fantastic offering for local businesses and to attract firms from other parts of the UK and from around the world to come to our region.”

As Mr Houchen noted, the new development follows hard on the heels of the redevelopment of the terminal, which is almost finished, while the airport’s Bannatyne Spa - named after County Durham-based celebrity chef Duncan Bannatyne - has just opened.

The mayor said the “untapped potential” of the site was being demonstrated already by firms operating out of the airport like Draken and Willis, adding that the benefits of the airport business park will not just be felt by the businesses that operate there, “but provide funding that we can pump back into our airport to make it secure and profitable for years to come."

Teesside is one of the areas that may expect a lot of development funding over the next few years as an area identified as being in need of ‘levelling up’. The term, which has often been used to refer to heavily pro-Brexit ”left behind” areas in the so-called Red Wall of former Labour seats won by the Conservatives in the 2019 general election, is epitomised by this area.

In this area, seats like Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East, Darlington and nearby former mining seats like Bishop Auckland switched political allegiance, with Conservative MPs in these locations pushing hard for extra funding.

While these are not the only areas getting levelling up cash - solidly Labour Sheffield was named in the latest funding announcement - the fact is that Teesside has certainly been getting plenty of attention. Last year, a £20 million bid for levelling up cash on behalf of Yarm and Eaglescliffe was agreed by the Treasury, helping fund projects ranging from a new exhibition centre to cycle paths.

Other locations in the north east receiving money in the first round of funding included Bishop Auckland, for a transport infrastructure improvement project, as well as the Stockton-on-Tees town centre regeneration project.

Further funds could stimulate more building around the region, in addition to measures like moving the Treasury offices to Darlington

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When Cranes And Heavy Equipment Were Used To Play Giant Games

When Cranes And Heavy Equipment Were Used To Play Giant Games

19th Mar 2022

When most people opt for a crane hire, they quite literally mean business.

Heavy equipment is a vital part of nearly any modern construction project and cranes are the spine that helps put the rest of the pieces into place.

However, there are times when heavy equipment is used for more entertaining diversions, but even when playing games there is a purpose behind them.

Using a crane requires advanced training and exceptional skill, and many of the following games are tests of the capabilities of both crane and driver.

Here are some of the times cranes and other similar heavy lifting equipment were used to play rather large-scale games.


Jenga With Road Surfacing Equipment

Jenga is one of the simplest, tensest and most engaging games of dexterity out there, as you have a tower of wooden blocks that you need to carefully remove and stack on top.

However, the people at construction firm Caterpillar decided to scale the game up a little to test its range of construction vehicles, creating the world’s largest game of Jenga in the process.

The blocks were 8ft long, 32 inches wide and 16.25 inches higher, stacked up in the traditional Jenga arrangement, albeit with only nine layers rather than the traditional 18.

The game lasted 28 hours and ended after 16 rounds of block shuffling as the 14th layer collapsed.


Giant Conkers With Cranes

Industrial cranes are very versatile, can take on a variety of heavy loads and are used for a wide range of purposes on a construction site. They can also be used by rather less mature gentlemen to play a version of giant conkers.

In a somewhat famous segment of the BBC show Top Gear, two cranes are used to smash a half-dozen caravans painted to look like conkers into each other to see which one survived the impact, much like the game played with chestnuts.

The tower cranes were secured into place, and the heavy caravans were hoisted by hand to a mechanism that could quickly be released with the push of a big red button.


Life-Sized Mouse Trap

Most people are aware of the game Mouse Trap, where enterprising mice move across a board collecting cheese and building a Rube Goldberg-inspired contraption that ultimately captures one of the pieces.

A travelling show would actually build a version of the eponymous trap, complete with an elaborate crane mechanism used to lift a two-tonne safe that is used as part of the show’s more elaborate show-stopping stunts.


Battleship With Cranes

Similar to playing conkers with caravans, the strategic game of Battleship has also seen itself scaled up with the help of giant cranes.

On an episode of The Grand Tour, the largest game of Battleship was played on an airfield with a stack of shipping containers for a screen, a variety of differently sized cars for the ships and a fleet of small G-Wiz electric cars to serve as the missiles.

To ensure the missiles were dropped in the right place, rather than using an actual movie cannon, the pair playing used a pair of giant cranes instead, with expert drives to move the target to the right grid position.

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Leeds Residential Plans Hint At New Construction Boom

Leeds Residential Plans Hint At New Construction Boom

9th Mar 2022

Following the recent announcement that HS2 would not be coming to Sheffield and Leeds after all, some might have assumed that demand for crane hire in Yorkshire would drop, with the region becoming an apparent backwater away from a high-speed spine running from London to Manchester via Birmingham.

However, the latest developments and proposals suggest this is not the case at all - and not just because of the promise of a new tram system in Leeds to match the one Sheffield established 30 years ago.

The latest developments concern planned major new property developments either side of the River Aire, just west of Leeds station and south of the river in Holbeck, an area rebranded the ‘South Bank’ as part of a major regeneration project.

A key proposed development in the area is the Whitehall Riverside scheme, which Town Centre Securities (TCS) and Glenbrook have joined forces to propose.

 If it goes ahead, a site just three minutes walk from the station will feature two new office buildings providing 215,000 sq ft of office space, a 108-key hotel, a multi-storey car park, plus two apartment towers of 18 and 15 storeys respectively, providing 532 new homes.

TCS has already developed adjacent land with the No.1 Whitehall Riverside offices, Whitehall Riverside apartments and a Premier Inn hotel.

Development director at TCS Craig Burrow commented: “We are excited to be bringing the new Whitehall Riverside masterplan forward and are confident that the proposed mixed use approach will unlock the full potential of this incredible site.” 

Another proposed development in the area, reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, will need even taller cranes to build if it gets the green light, as it involves 488 apartments housed in towers of 26 and 31 storeys respectively.

However, the largest development in this area of the city to have a planning application submitted this month came from developers Westrock and Platform. Their proposal is for a ten-building development on Sweet Street in Holbeck, which will include six residential blocks containing a total of 1,235 flats, with these being between ten and 27 storeys in height.

The other four buildings will include shops, offices and a new ‘clubhouse’, which will involve the restoration of a closed pub.

If all these planned developments suggest great optimism about the future for Leeds as a boom town for city centre living, this would be an accurate assessment.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post earlier this month, property specialist Jonathan Morgan of Linley and Simpson with Morgans said that since the end of lockdown, the level of demand for rental property in central Leeds “has taken off like never before”.

"It is now highly likely that we will look back on the post-lockdown years as being the real boom years for city living in Leeds,” he predicted.

Should this upbeat outlook turn out to be justified, Leeds will swiftly shake off any gloom arising from the HS2 decision, perhaps benefit from the extra transport access to and from the city centre provided by the new tram system, and keep the construction sector busy for many years to come. 

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Construction On Yorkshire Police Department Begins

Construction On Yorkshire Police Department Begins

2nd Mar 2022

There is likely to be a big demand for surfacing contractors in Yorkshire soon as work has begun on the construction of new police headquarters in Kirklees.

This comes after Kirklees Council granted planning permission for the site on Halifax Road, where Dewsbury College used to be.

Chief superintendent Jim Griffiths, district commander of Kirklees Police, said: “The last few months have seen us take some huge steps forward in what has been a years in the making project to build much needed new police stations for Kirklees.”

The new Kirklees District Headquarters will feature a public helpdesk, community room, and custody suite, while it will also include the refurbishment of the existing Oldroyd building.

In addition to this, there could be a new police station in Huddersfield Town Centre, if the planning application is approved.

A site near to the inner road has already been acquired, and it will accommodate Huddersfield Police Teams, as well as feature a public help desk, if the work goes ahead.

West Yorkshire’s deputy mayor for policing and crime Alison Lowe said these construction plans represent “a new era for policing in the District, delivering both innovation and opportunity”.

“Both the Mayor of West Yorkshire and I are excited to see this work continue to develop over the coming months, which will ultimately enable us to deliver against our Police and Crime Plan for the county,” she added.

While the Huddersfield project is still awaiting approval, construction has already begun on the Kirklees headquarters. Both are expected to open before the end of 2024, with existing police stations still functioning as normal until then.

Yorkshire is not just planning to improve its police services but its business space too, as work continues on the Sheffield Digital Campus (Sheffield DC), which will provide high-quality office accommodation once complete.

Construction began on the site in June 2021, with Scarborough Group International (SGI) in charge of developing the four buildings.

Earlier this week, it was announced the steelwork erection of the 62,862-square foot building Grade A office block called Endeavour has reached its highest point.

Once complete, Endeavour will stretch over seven floors, include a private roof terrace, and allow an extra 800 people to work at Sheffield DC. It will also have air conditioning units, showers, changing facilities, drying rooms and lockers, underground parking spaces, secure cycle storage, electric charging points, and high-quality self-contained toilet cubicles.

Development director at SGI Adam Varley stated: “It's fantastic to finally see Endeavour coming out of the ground. Hitting this milestone is testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in this project, which has proved slightly more challenging than usual owing the impact of the global pandemic.”

Lee Powell, chief executive at GMI Construction Group, which is the main contractor for Endeavour, said the building will be a “notable addition” to Sheffield’s business district.

He added: “Sheffield Digital Campus is already recognised as one of the city's most iconic office locations and is unquestionably one of the prime Northern Powerhouse developments and GMI is proud together with Scarborough Group International to be at the forefront of that."

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Recycled Nappies Used To Resurface A487

Recycled Nappies Used To Resurface A487

28th Feb 2022

A stretch of the A487 Ceredigion coast road has been resurfaced using recycled nappies as part of a new initiative between eco-friendly infant care company Pura and nappy recycling ex[erts NappiCycle, with support from the Welsh government.

Wales Online reports that the new road surface on a 1.4 mile stretch of the road in Llanarth has now opened to the public, and contains over 107,000 used nappies, making use of some of the 400,000 tonnes of disposable nappy waste that ends up in landfill every year.

A used nappy can take up to 500 years to degrade, far outliving the babies they came from.

For the innovative road surfacing project, a total of 4.3 tonnes of recovered fibres from waited nappies were added to bitumen, which ‘glues’ the road surfaces together.

The resulting ‘nappy-enhanced’ asphalt is more durable than standard asphalt, and has a reduced carbon footprint, meaning it is an eco-friendly solution for resurfacing roads in the country.

A cost-effective process for recycling nappies was developed in 2009 by Rob Poyer, the founder of NappiCycle. Used nappies are cleansed, then plastics and cellulose fibres are separated for re-use. 100 per cent of the nappies are used, resulting in no waste going to landfill, and even the urine extracted from the nappies is put to use!

The recovered cellulose can be repurposed not just for road surfacing, but for notice boards for schools and offices, panelling, under laminate flooring and other insulation.

Baby care brand Pura, led by entrepreneur Guy Fennell, teamed up with NappiCycle in 2020. The brand was already looking for ways to remove plastic from baby wipes, and the partnership between the two firms seemed a logical progression as they looked for a circular economy solution for wipes and nappy waste.

Fennel has since addressed politicians about the environmental impact of nappy waste, which has earned him the moniker of ‘The Nappy Guy’.

The partnership already prevents over 800,000 nappies from being sent to landfill in Wales every week, and their mission is not to bring nappy recycling to the rest of the UK. This will start with a nappy recycling trial in Bristol, due to launch in the next few months.

Fennel said: Despite extensive research, the technology for the perfect eco-friendly disposable nappy unfortunately doesnt exist yet. As we seek that solution, we are determined to drive change and minimise the damage nappies are having on the planet. Thats why it was crucial that we partner with NappiCycle and make nappy recycling a reality for all UK parents.”

He added that the road surfacing project is just one example of how recycled nappies that otherwise would have ended up in landfill sites can be put to good use.

Poyer added that this type of road surface that makes use of recycled nappies has ‘huge potential’ for producing more roadways with a lower carbon impact.

“With this trial, we hope to demonstrate that waste nappies could be widely adopted in our roads, not just here in Wales, but right around the UK.”


If you’re looking for road surfacing contractors, talk to us today.

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