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Enquirer daily newsletter hits 35,000 subscribers

10/09/2014

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The Enquirer daily newsletter is now sent out to more than 35,000 subscribers every morning.

The latest landmark comes as print rival Construction News saw its weekly circulation fall to 8,595.

The surge of readers looking online for the latest news is highlighted by the Enquirer’s reach into the country’s biggest contractors.

The table below shows the top-ten companies in terms of subscribers to our daily newsletter.

CompanySubscribers
Laing O’Rourke 600
Kier 580
Balfour Beatty 500
Willmott Dixon 380
Skanska 310
BAM 300
Carillion 250
Interserve 250
Vinci 230
Mace 230

No other construction news service can boast such penetration into the heart of the industry’s biggest players.

And that coverage is replicated at thousands of smaller companies who rely on the Enquirer for a subscription-free news service.

Google Analytics show that our monthly page views total 1.2 million every month from 194,610 unique visitors.

Our latest reader survey showed 70% of subscribers are contractors alongside 15% who are clients and professionals and 15% materials and equipment suppliers.

Editor Aaron Morby said: “Our growing numbers highlight how the construction media market has transformed in the last few years.

“News is now viewed in real-time online while traditional subscription magazines and web-based services struggle.

“The Enquirer has a huge and growing audience which is the perfect place for advertisers to promote their latest products and services to every part of the industry.”

Advertisers are enjoying industry-leading response rates on their campaigns with a recent banner generating more than 1,000 click throughs in a month.

Our social media club is also proving a real-hit with more than 700 firms signed-up and spreading their latest updates via blogs and Twitter.

The Social Club is currently free but will be converting to a paid service from next year.

Industry skills shortages have also seen more contractors turn to our Jobs Spy recruitment pages to post their latest vacancies.

For as little as £200 per vacancy firms are enjoying an average of 750+ click throughs a month from our vast pool of experienced construction people.


UK factory output rises in July

10/09/2014

UK factory output rises in July

UK factory output increased in July thanks to a surge in the plastics and transport equipment sectors, according to data released yesterday.

Production output was up 2.2% on the year, marking a 13th consecutive month of growth for the industry.

However, industry output remains below pre-crash peaks, with manufacturing still 7.6% below the record output levels of early 2008.

And the wider production industries – including manufacturing as well as sectors like mining and waste disposal – remain 11.3 per cent below the highs of 2008.

Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said the “weakness in overseas markets remains a drag”.

She added: “This could make sustaining growth more challenging going forward and it is therefore critical that efforts are maintained to keep growth on track in manufacturing and across the whole economy in the remaining months of this parliament.”

Source: The Manufacturer.


Rolls Royce to build new tech centre-Bognor Regis

09/09/2014

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will build a new Technology and Logistics Centre at Bognor Regis.

The new 30,000m2 development is close to the firm’s home at Goodwood, West Sussex.

The Technology and Logistics Centre will be located on the Oldlands Farm Business Park on the northern edge of Bognor Regis.

It will be ideally situated to take advantage of the forthcoming Bognor Regis Northern Relief Road, due to open in 2015.

Around 200 people will be employed at the centre which is planned to be fully operational in early 2016.

The Technology and Logistics Centre will consolidate three current operations – an inbound warehouse for production parts; a distribution centre, including an inbound body store and finished car store and a workshop for car preparation.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “I am delighted to announce our new Technology and Logistics Centre, which reflects the sustainable development and ongoing success of our business.

“Every Rolls-Royce motor car is built at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood and this new facility will provide the required local logistics support for our current and future models.”

Source: Construction Enquirer


Go-ahead for £42m Portsmouth student scheme

08/09/2014

Unite Portsmouth

Student housing specialist Unite has gained planning for a 836-bed scheme in Portsmouth city centre.

The planned halls of residence project involves four stepped main buildings rising to 25 storeys.

A deal to buy the Greetham Street site from Portsmouth City Council will now be completed and the search for a contractor started.

Richard Simpson, managing director of property for Unite Students, said: “The acquisition forms part of our regional development strategy where there is a growing demand for student accommodation.

“This year we have seen university applications continue to outstrip available places and there is a growing need for safe, secure purpose built student accommodation.

“The site is ideal for University of Portsmouth students, being close to campus and will provide a safe and modern home that supports students’ success.”

Unite said the high-rise student block will be built in time for the 2016/17 academic year.

Source: Construction Enquirer 


Nine win places on £1.6bn Network Rail frameworks

05/09/2014

Nine contractors have secured places on 20 framework agreements with Network Rail worth £1.6bn over the next five years.

The deals cover an extensive programme of enhancements and renewals to the London North Western and East Midlands routes.

The winners are: Amalgamated Construction Limited, Amey, Buckingham Group Contracting, Carillion, J Murphy & Sons, Miller Construction, Skanska, Story Contracting and VolkerRail.

Network Rail’s infrastructure projects director, Rob Offord, said: “The awarding of these frameworks represents a significant milestone in the implementation of our new procurement and contracting strategy.

“This will bring improved safety, whole-life cost efficiency and delivery performance through collaborative relationships with a consolidated and strategically aligned supply chain.”

The awards by regions are:

network rail

Source: Construction Enquirer 


Balfour sells Parsons Brinckerhoff for £820m

04/09/2014

Balfour Beatty has sold consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff to WSP for £820m.

Balfour shareholders will receive a dividend of up to £200m from the deal while £85m will help ease the group’s pension fund deficit.

The rest of the cash “will be retained by the Group to ensure a strong balance sheet and provide increased financial flexibility.”

Balfour’s desire to sell Parsons was one of the main reasons a proposed merger with Carillion collapsed.

The deal represents a healthy profit on the consultant it bought for £382m in 2009 and will see 13,500 Parsons employees transfer over.

Balfour said its priorities following the sale and the recent revaluation of its PPP portfolio are:

·      restoring the value of the UK construction business, including progressively returning it to peer group margins;

·       continuing to build on the good performance of the investments and services businesses;

·      leveraging the growth opportunities in US buildings, US civils, rail and power, and the Group’s Far East and Middle East Joint Ventures;

·      realising further indirect overhead savings and shared service efficiencies across the Group; and

·       continuing to assess all other value creation opportunities.

Steve Marshall, Executive Chairman of Balfour Beatty said: “The Board believes that the sale price of £820m delivers both a significant return on our original investment and a compelling level of value creation for shareholders – which remains the key focus of the Board.

“The sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff follows the recent revaluation of our investments portfolio, which underlines the potential of this division to create value internally and across the Group.

“In the UK we see the potential for margins to progressively recover to peer group levels.

“Our services business, meanwhile, is well placed to benefit from the growing investment in infrastructure.  Together, these elements will provide a strong foundation for an incoming Group CEO to take the company forward.”

Pierre Shoiry, President and Chief Executive Officer of WSP, said: “We are pleased to be joining forces with a firm of Parsons Brinckerhoff’s long-standing reputation and know-how as we expect this transaction to create an industry leader, with the ability to deliver more expertise and services to our client base across the world.”

Source: Construction Enquirer


Osborne lands £14m North London college

01/09/2014

Osborne is preferred bidder for a £14m contract to build a new college campus in Colindale, North London.

The contractor will build the five-storey New Colindale Campus for Barnet and Southgate College, which includes a construction technology school, training hair salon and public library.

Osborne will be working alongside the college team lead by AECOM on the new building which forms part of a £550m  urban master plan to regenerate the wider Grahame Park area.

John Craig, Business Unit Director for Osborne’s Education sector, said: “We’re delighted to be preferred bidder, especially in the face of some strong competition.

“New Colindale presents a great opportunity, not only to deliver a striking built asset for the College, but to enable local regeneration and establish a legacy of which everyone can be truly proud”.

Talk to the Enquirer. To share your stories email Grant Prior or Aaron Morby... always off the record

Source: Construction Enquirer 


Costain green light for £130m A556 improvement

29/08/2014

Costain has got the go-ahead to build a £130m bypass on one of the north west’s busiest A roads.

The new 4.7 mile dual carriageway will run between Junction 19 of the M6 near Knutsford and Junction 7 of the M56 near Bowdon.

It will take traffic away from local villages, by-passing Over Tabley, Mere and Bucklow Hill.

The new route will run to the west of the existing A556 and will be built below ground level where possible to minimise the impact on the surrounding area.

The road will rejoin the existing A556 for a short section near Bucklow Hill, which will be upgraded.

Improvements will also be made to the layout of Junction 7 of the M56.

The road improvement scheme has been  granted development consent by the Planning Inspectorate.

Source: Construction Enquirer


Best-ever start to a decade for car industry

28/08/2014

Best-ever start to a decade for car industry

UK car manufacturing output rose by 2.8% to 132,570 in July, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 

This takes the total for 2014 so far to 923,884 — up 3.4% compared with the same period last year. 

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The UK automotive industry continued its renaissance in July, with the month marking five million car exports since 2010 — the best-ever start to a decade.” 

Of the 132,570 cars made last month, nearly 103,000 were for export. This is the highest ever July figure according to the SMMT, whose records date back to the 1920s.

It said that rising exports were due to new models being made in Britain and the increasing popularity overseas of premium and specialist brands such as those made by Jaguar Land Rover. 

Mr Hawes said: “This is a major mile-stone and a testament to the burgeoning reputation of UK automotive excellence and the demand for British-made cars.” He added that the SMMT expects annual car production to beat 1972’s all-time high of 1.92 million by 2017.

 

Source: Machinery Market


Autodesk Debuts Pixlr Membership & Desktop Product

28/08/2014

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SAN FRANCISCO, August 28, 2014 — Autodesk debuted a major update to its Pixlr photo editing family, introducing three new membership offerings through a new user-requested desktop product for Windows and Mac. The paid Pixlr Pro membership unlocks the advanced features on the new Pixlr desktop offering for Windows and Mac, including the ability to access Pixlr offline for first time.

Pixlr Membership Offerings

Pixlr fans now have the option of selecting from three different Pixlr membership options:

  • Starter - Get started with basic photo editing tools and more than 600 effects — free*.
  • Essentials - Gain access to enhanced features such as advanced “Double Exposure” effects and additional effects, overlays, and borders simply by creating a free Pixlr account and signing in.
  • Pro - Pixlr Pro members unlock powerful photo editing tools such as “Influence Masks” effects, control over specific color channels, and more for just $14.99 per year or $1.99 per month. A paid Pixlr membership unlocks Pixlr for all desktop platforms, including Windows and Mac, and will unlock features in future versions of the Pixlr app for iOS and Android.

 

Pixlr—known for its Pixlr-o-matic, Pixlr Express, and Pixlr Editor mobile and online products —offers  photo editing features in a simple, easy-to-use interface for anyone looking to apply a quick fix to photos, or add a more personal touch with over 100 effects, 340 overlays, or 200 borders. Users can also erase imperfections with heal and red-eye tools, make photos pop by adding or removing color from select parts of photos with the “Color Splash” brush, add impact to photos by adding focus to specific elements of images with the “Focal Blur” tool, or transform photos into works of art with the “Stylize” feature that provides effects such as pencil sketch, watercolor, and many more.

“Over the past six years, Pixlr has grown a strong and passionate fan base, and we’re excited to share more ways to embrace its photo-editing features,” said Samir Hanna, general manager and vice president, consumer products at Autodesk. “These membership choices offer an even better experience to unlock your creativity and craft photo memories.”

Product Availability

Memberships can be purchased in the app, through the Mac App Store, and on the Pixlr.com website. For more information, please visitwww.pixlr.com.

Autodesk, the Autodesk logo, and Pixlr, are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. © 2014 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Free Autodesk software and/or cloud-based services are subject to acceptance of and compliance with the terms and conditions of the software license agreement or terms of service that accompany such software or cloud-based services.  

Source: Autodesk