Monday 23rd April 2018
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 12/04/2018

New £7 million retail scheme underway in Lowestoft

Work has started on a new £7 million retail park on a brownfield site in Lowestoft to be anchored by major retailers such as Aldi and the Range and which the backers hope will provide jobs and a new gateway from the south for the Suffolk coastal town. The c70,000 sq ft retail park on Tower Street has started with the demolition of existing industrial buildings to make way for a new retail terrace, coffee drive thru and a mixed retail and restaurant unit with remodelled site access, car parking and hard and soft landscaping. Tom McNamara, director at the scheme's designer Urban Edge Architecture, said: "Although the visual appearance of the site is very important, our design has put equal emphasis on the integration of this new development into the wider area and will create a strong link between the existing retail and commercial uses to the south of the site." The firm is working with TPS Development and Project Managers for client Freshwater Group on the scheme which was granted planning permission in August 2016.

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Stability in the market place

East of England stall holders and market retailers are among the most financially stable in their sector in the UK. Figures from R3’s Eastern branch show that fewer than one-in-three stallholders in the region are at higher than normal risk of insolvency, which is one of the lowest nationally. But East of England booksellers are at above average risk of insolvency compared to their peer group nationally. Overally, one-in-three East of England retailers – 35.2% (or 16,796 businesses)- have an elevated insolvency risk, up from 27.3% last September. R3 Eastern chair Mark Upton, a partner at Ensors Chartered Accountants, said:“The retail sector has suffered some high profile casualties in the last few months, and there are many more still struggling. …There are glimmers of hope, however, as retailers such as Aldi, Lidl, Oliver Bonas and Primark continue to invest in new store openings, and the wider retail sector embraces the internet as a key factor in supporting and driving retail sales.”

Law firm expands on Tendring Peninsula

Essex law firm Fisher Jones Greenwood has acquired a Holland-on-Sea firm Alistair Keeble Solicitors, giving it a prominent position on the town’s Kings Parade and extending its presence on the Tendring Peninsula. Alistair Keeble Solicitors, has been established for over 20 years and has wide experience in a range of legal services, mainly private client and conveyancing work. The existing staff will continue at the new firm whilst Alistair Keeble will remain as a consultant for two years to ensure a smooth handover. Paula Fowler, Managing Partner at FJG said: "The opportunity to acquire a local firm with an established reputation for friendly, professional and effective advice is one that will see Fisher Jones Greenwood (Incorporating Alistair Keeble Solicitors) thrive and prosper moving forward.”

Transfer vessel firm wins £4 million contract

Lowestoft-based Turner Iceni has won a £4 million plus contract from ScottishPower Renewables to provide crew transfer vessels for the construction and commissioning phases of the £2.5 billion East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm. The firm will use up to three vessels, helping to support 50 jobs on a contract including the transfer of light plant, tools, spares and personnel to and from the offshore wind turbines, the offshore substation and met mast locations. Charlie Jordan, ScottishPower renewables project director for East Anglia ONE, said: “Turner Iceni will have an important role to play in making sure that our offshore work programme is successfully delivered, and the fact that they have a strong team based in Lowestoft was an added bonus for us.” Work on the project is set to start in coming weeks.

Contractor wins £14 million school project in Colchester

Ipswich-based Barnes Construction has won a £14 million contract to build a new 900-place school in Colchester's Paxman Avenue. It will include a three-storey building with 20 classrooms, a library, science laboratories, technology workshops and a sports hall as well as a new multi-use games area and grass sports pitches. Built as a steel frame construction with a mixture of brick and rain-screen cladding facades, the new school has been designed by Concertus and features curtain wall glazing to the first floor over the entrance. Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council cabinet member for education, said: “This is an important milestone for the new secondary school in Colchester. We have spent around £25 million creating 1,700 new school places in the Colchester area since 2013/2014. The new school will create 900 new places to help meet the increasing demand as Colchester continue to grow. We hope the building works will be completed ahead of September 2019.”

Photo:  Front - Cllr John Aldridge chairman of Essex County Council, Mark Bailey director Barnes Construction, Cllr Ray Gooding. Back row:Ken Tucker senior site manager and Luke Ranson, Barnes Construction.

New investment at Port of Felixstowe

The Port of Felixstowe has taken delivery of its first two remote control ship-to-shore gantry cranes. The two new cranes, the 32nd and 33rd at Felixstowe were delivered from ZPMC in Shanghai. Clemence Cheng, CEO of the port and executive director Hutchison Ports, said: “These new cranes are the latest acquisition in our ongoing investment programme to provide the best equipment, infrastructure and systems for our customers. They will further enhance our capability to work multiple mega-vessels simultaneously.” Instead of being in a cab 50 metres above the quay, the drivers will be located in a nearby operations centre.

Law firm expands real estate team with new appointments

East Anglian law firm Prettys has made three new appointments to its real estate team. Fiona Galloway (right), who previously worked in the property department at a top London firm, is an experienced commercial property lawyer with expertise managing a variety of property transactions, dispute resolution, shipping matters and commodities trading. Jennifer Rayner, who joins the firm after qualifying in 2017, has built up expertise in the purchase and sale of land, warehouses as well as public houses. Rujina Begum joins the firm as a para-legal and will assist the residential property team in offering conveyancing as well as personal support to clients. Ian Carr, Prettys CEO, said: “Following the restructure of the real estate team early in 2017, we have had a very positive response from both new and existing clients on the high level of service they are receiving.  At Prettys, we are passionate about finding and developing talent. Our latest recruits will allow up to develop key growth areas within the business.”

See Profile Prettys

Dispute resolution appointment at law firm

Ellisons Solicitors has appointed Ian Seeley to its expanding dispute resolution team. He has over 10 years’ experience representing developers, main contractors, sub-contractors, consultants and home owners across all types of construction-related disputes, and advising on dispute avoidance tactics, with dispute values ranging from £10,000 to over £2 million. He said: “Ellisons is a thriving firm which has an excellent reputation in dispute resolution.  I am delighted to be joining the team at such an exciting time of growth.”

Award for work at Norwich Research Park

SES Engineering Services has won three industry awards for its offsite manufacturing capabilities at the Quadram Institute in Norwich and health and safety record on UK projects. The company’s £18m project to deliver mechanical, electrical and plumbing services on the institute on the Norwich Research Park won best use of MEP & pod technology at the National Offsite Awards. The business has also won the Construction News specialist awards’ project of the year (subcontract over £6m) for its work on the Queensferry Crossing in Scotland as well as the international safety award from the British Safety Council for the 22nd year running.