Tag Archives: construction

Dudley’s Aluminium secures pioneering education campus project

WELSH fabricator Dudley’s Aluminium has secured a new project for a joint education campus in Fairwater.

Dudley’s is working in collaboration with ISG Construction Ltd on the multimillion-pound project which will facilitate the construction of three new build schools for Cantonian High School, Riverbank School and Woodlands High School, all situated on a single site.

The development will be Net Zero Carbon in line with Welsh Government standards and will set the standard for future Cardiff school projects. Each of the three schools will be highly energy efficient buildings powered by renewable energy sources.

The fabricator will install Metal Technology System doors, windows and capped curtain walling on the build.

Neil Jones, Contracts Director at Dudley’s Aluminium, said: “We are delighted to be taking on such an important project that will have such a positive impact on the local community, and to be working with ISG once again. The development of these schools will provide incredible benefits for its pupils, creating a positive environment for children to learn, develop and achieve their potential, and it is an honour to be involved.”

Since 1993, Dudley’s Aluminium has offered clients full in-house design and production facilities, completing many successful and prestigious projects within the education, health, commercial, retail, residential and defence sectors throughout the UK and Channel Islands.

Dudley’s reputation for quality has been recognised with several industry-related accreditations. The company is CHAS accredited, Constructionline registered and BM Trada certified to manufacture enhanced security products to align with PAS24:2016 and BS 4873.

Welsh market sustained by developments in its major cities claims new construction market intelligence by RLB

Local construction and property management consultant, Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB UK) claims the stability of the general economic situation in Wales is evident in the number of construction projects that are continuing, according to its latest Construction Market Intelligence report Q2 2024.

Steady price rises forecast for short and long-term outlook in Wales

The built environment consultants who are based in Wharton Street in Cardiff predict that tender prices will continue to rise from current levels in line with the cost of living and forecast that the uplifts in prices will be steady, rather than the drastic increases seen in previous years. Large projects are continuing across the major Welsh cities which will keep prices stable. Particularly well performing are the three biggest Welsh cities – Cardiff, Swansea, and Newport.

Looking beyond the next 12 months, tender prices for Welsh projects are expected to rise steadily in line with industry forecasts. The scaling down of Tata Steel’s operations at Port Talbot will mean there will be greater reliance on steel from India and China, which could lead to price turbulence.

Specialist contractors are still extremely busy in the region, but their costs are levelling off and MEP tenders continue to be constant. Timber prices are slowly reducing, and steel prices are slowly increasing. Labour resources remain at capacity and wages remain stable.

With the ongoing demand for new houses and apartments, residential sites and planning consents are still being secured at pace. But this does not necessarily translate into starts, as developers landbank sites due to the effect of high interest rates on the sale of private units and the viability of build-to-rent schemes.

An influx of new investment into the data centre and renewables sectors will quickly swallow up available resources in the supply chain, which will have impacts on tender prices.

While major projects are getting underway, new starts overall are at a reduced rate compared to the previous quarter. Planning is still very slow with projects being held up by low staffing levels within local authorities. While clients are still positive about bringing developments to market, there is greater awareness that there could be delays before their projects start on site.

Regional Sector Focus

New data centres and laboratories are in development across Wales, with some of these projects starting on site this quarter. Investment in technology and upgrades to existing facilities is a strong growth pipeline.

Refurbishment and expansion projects designed to create more school spaces are a key area of focus across the education estate in Wales.

The energy sector in Wales is emerging slowly with acquisitions of several large sites that are planned for solar farms and battery storage facilities.

Residential planning consents are still being secured at pace, but not translating to starts on site as developers bide their time. Levelling out of interest rates may improve activity but viability is still a challenge on many projects. Shared ownership schemes continue to experience high demand.

Dan Walker, Associate in RLB Wales, “The construction market in Wales is feeling more positive and optimistic about the outlook now that several large projects are going ahead and projects that have been in planning for several months are being approved. The education sector, in particular, remains strong. There are several high-profile projects that are due to start on site, while universities and colleges are beginning to implement phases of their masterplans that have been in development for lengthy periods of time.”

For the full RLB’s full Construction Market Intelligence Q2 2024, please click here.

£2m restoration works completed at Manchester Opera House theatre

A £2m facelift for the façade of Manchester’s historic Opera House theatre has been completed.

Salford-based MC Construction was the principal contractor for the scheme.

The restoration project included extensive repairs to the render, brickwork, windows and ironmongery fixings, weatherproofing works, the replacement of rainwater goods and a full decoration of the main façade to ensure a more historically authentic exterior and to help safeguard the venue for future generations to enjoy.

Careful analysis of the existing paint layers stretching back over a century was undertaken, so that the colour scheme of the 15-bay façade and windows now better reflects how the venue would have looked when it opened in 1912.

The theatre remained open throughout the restoration project.

The scheme forms a significant part of a £4.5m capital investment this financial year across the Opera House and its sister venue in Manchester city centre, the Palace Theatre, which are both owned by ATG Entertainment.

The Opera House is a grade II listed building which was originally called The New Theatre. It has been through several iterations and was renamed the Opera House in 1920.

It is one of the largest theatres in England, with a seating capacity of 1,920. The venue plays host to high-profile concerts, plays, musicals, ballets and a Christmas pantomime.

Famous shows performed there over the years include Phantom of the Opera, Barnum and Oliver! plus a host of world premieres, such as Bat Out of Hell: The Musical and Take That‘s musical The Band. During its long history, it has also served as a bingo hall and a cinema.

Russ Forshaw, managing director of MC Construction, said: “Drawing on our extensive experience of successfully delivering projects at numerous listed buildings and other landmarks across the city, such as The Whitworth art gallery, Manchester Museum and the Imperial Chinese Arch in Chinatown, we are delighted to have undertaken this restoration scheme at the Opera House, which is less than a mile from our company headquarters.

“Once again, our team have produced the goods and left their mark on a cherished Manchester building. It was great to work with the ATG Entertainment, whose ongoing investment in its buildings ensures they can continue to delight audiences across the north west and beyond.”

Robin Hawkes, theatre director at the Opera House and Palace Theatre, said: “In tandem with the Palace, the Opera House has been a jewel in the heart of Manchester’s cultural fabric for many generations.

“I am delighted we’ve been able to restore and refresh the theatre’s beautiful Edwardian exterior, as part of a wider suite of works which will improve the experience of everybody visiting and using the two venues for years to come.”

Stefan Ziemelis, senior project manager at ATG Entertainment, added: “In addition to delivering essential repair works, this project has also been driven by the celebration of the intrinsic character and uniqueness that is woven into this heritage building.

“Working with our partners to breathe new life into the Opera House has been a rewarding experience, and it’s good to know that the work we have completed here will preserve and protect the theatre for future generations of theatre lovers.

“The façade restoration project has been carried out by MC Construction and its partners in a thoroughly professional manner with minimal disruption to our patrons, and we are delighted with the outcome.”

Other professionals involved in the Opera House restoration project included Motion Project Management, Osbornes Chartered Architects, quantity surveyors Marshall Kenny and design consultancy ORSA.

MC Construction is a family-owned business which employs more than 60 staff.

Founded in 1971, the company delivers complex construction projects throughout north west England with a focus on the commercial, education, heritage, hospitality, industrial, local authority, social housing and healthcare sectors.

Dudley’s Aluminium appoints new Finance Director to continue successful growth

WELSH fabricator Dudley’s Aluminium has appointed Pablo Shorney as Finance Director to support its growth plans.


A qualified Chartered Accountant, Pablo has a wealth of experience, having spent a decade supporting SMEs across south Wales and south-west England. He joins the firm from Lexington Corporate Finance, where he has spent the last five years advising SMEs on financial and commercial strategies for growth.


On his appointment, Pablo said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Dudley’s as Finance Director at an exciting time in its growth strategy. Dudley’s has an exceptional reputation in its industry, built over thirty years, for delivering on prestigious projects across the UK. I’m looking forward to being part of the team and contributing to Dudley’s continued success.”


Steve Muir, Commercial Director at Dudley’s Aluminium, said: “We are delighted to have Pablo join the business as our new Finance Director and a key member of our leadership team. Pablo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise, as well as enthusiasm to support Dudley’s in our growth plans.”


Pablo takes over from retiring Finance Director, Russell Cope, who has been at Dudley’s for the last 11 years.


On his retirement, Russell said: “It’s been a pleasure to serve as Dudley’s Aluminium’s Finance Director for the past 11 years. I’m proud of the success we’ve achieved as a team, and I’m confident that the company is well-positioned for an exciting future.”


Since 1993, Dudley’s Aluminium has offered clients full in-house design and production facilities, completing many successful and prestigious projects within the education, health, commercial, retail, residential and defence sectors throughout the UK and Channel Islands.


Dudley’s reputation for quality has been recognised with several industry-related accreditations. The company is CHAS accredited, Constructionline registered and BM Trada certified to manufacture enhanced security products to align with PAS24:2016 and BS 4873.

MC Construction completes first phase of multimillion-pound Crewe scheme

A multimillion-pound scheme to transform the civic and cultural quarter of Crewe town centre is under way.

The project involves:

  • Creating a cleared site for a new history centre to co-host Cheshire’s archives;
  • A new pedestrian link between the Lifestyle Centre, Memorial Square and Market Hall connecting into the southern gateway link;
  • A new car park with 31 spaces;
  • A new, two-storey magistrates’ courts entrance;
  • Public realm improvements, including new lighting, paving, seating and planting, bicycle racks, activity space and public art.

Salford-based MC Construction has completed the first phase of the scheme, which involved enabling works to strip out the former library next to Memorial Square where the history centre will be developed, clearing the structure over the existing Civic Centre car park and erecting a temporary entrance to the magistrates’ courts.

MC Construction will begin the next phase in February when it dismantles the former library building and the existing concourse. This phase is expected to be completed by summer 2024.

The works by MC Construction are being undertaken for Cheshire East Council.

Russ Forshaw, managing director of MC Construction, said: “This scheme will transform the civic and cultural quarter of Crewe town centre by providing new and greatly improved facilities for the public.

“Having successfully completed numerous other projects for Cheshire East Council, we are proud to be working with the authority once again and to further strengthen our relationship with this valued client.”

The revamp is being supported by the government’s Towns Fund and Future High Streets Fund.

The history centre, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will co-host the regional’s written and pictorial history collections with a second history centre being built in Hoole, Chester. This scheme has been driven by Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, a shared service of Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester councils. The centres will replace the archive service’s current facility and open the collections to new audiences across Cheshire.

The centres will have climate-controlled environments and will feature event and gallery areas to host performances, workshops and exhibitions, more space for people to conduct research and better spaces to make the collections more accessible to the public.

Other professionals involved alongside MC Construction include Bowker Sadler Architecture, Davis Partnership and Wardell Armstrong.

Swansea construction firm bolsters job market with ongoing success

Premier Forecourts and Construction, specializing in services for fuel forecourt projects, such as electrical vehicle (EV) charging installations, is currently in the process of recruiting for a substantial number of essential roles, thereby fostering a welcome increase in job opportunities throughout the UK.

The Swansea-based business, renowned for its success working on both public sector and retail and commercial projects, is hiring a Commercial Manager, several Site Managers and Site Operatives of varying skill levels, including Ground Workers and multi-skilled Carpenters. These roles have been created following a sustained period of success for the business, which also boasts an Investors in People Gold Standard.

For 30 years, Premier Forecourts and Construction has delivered diverse construction projects, building an enviable reputation for its services across a range of sectors in the process.

The business is currently experiencing a prolonged period of sustained growth as it diversifies into other areas of construction, in addition to its specialist forecourt work. It has also seen an increase in workload in the electric vehicle (EV) charging installation sector, and despite the COVID pandemic, the company has grown from strength to strength over the past four years. The current job opportunities at the firm represent the latest chapter in its development.

Steve Evans, Managing Director, Premier Forecourts and Construction, said:

“I’m pleased to be hiring on the back of what has been a great year for the business. We pride ourselves in being a fantastic place to work and our commitment to developing and supporting our people is reflected in our People Strategy.

“Our People Strategy encapsulates the embodiment of our values: People First, Leading Safety, and Solution Focused. These values are the driving force behind our organisation’s identity, to craft an inclusive, high-performance, and empowering culture that nurtures growth and excellence.

“We are also proud to have secured the Investors in People Gold Standard. Our workforce is undoubtedly the cornerstone of our enterprise, and by putting our workforce’s well-being at the forefront, we ensure to foster a working environment where you can thrive. I look forward to seeing new faces in the business who we will help develop and thrive in tandem with the business over time.”

Turf cutting marks start on site for new eco Tri Station in Tyne and Wear

Work has commenced on a sustainable tri-service station which will become home to officers from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS), Northumbria Police and North East Ambulance Service.

The new station, which will be built by North of England contractor Esh Construction, is set to be the first of its kind in the country to be carbon neutral.

A breaking ground ceremony officially marked the start on site for the emergency services hub which is set to drive forward blue light services’ commitments to minimise carbon footprint.

The hub is located on a vacant site between Marine Drive and Campbell Park Road in Hebburn and is expected to be operational by Spring 2024. It will include staff accommodation and appliance bays for emergency vehicles, as well as a free-standing training building. Externally, the site will feature charging ports, with a view to all three services having a fleet of electric vehicles.

Modern sustainable technologies will be utilised throughout the hub, including solar photo voltaic roof panels, ground source heat pumps and a rainwater harvesting and re-use system. A wildflower meadow will feature among the landscaping of the grounds to help promote local biodiversity.

Andy Radcliffe, Chief Executive of Esh Group, said: “It was a pleasure to be part of the breaking ground ceremony and to experience how significant this development is for the local area. As we all work towards a carbon neutral future, this is a pioneering scheme which can lead the way for sustainable blue light buildings.

“At Esh we pride ourselves on creating a legacy in the communities surrounding our construction sites. As such, we will harness the benefits of our strong regional presence to deliver a wealth of social value initiatives which includes re-investing more than 65% of the project spend within Tyne and Wear by procuring local labour and supply.”

Esh Construction will engage with local schools to deliver employability workshops, arrange presentations to promote safety around a live construction site, and provide volunteers and donations to support worthy causes throughout the project

Chris Lowther, Chief Fire Officer of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It was a proud moment to play my part in the beginning stages of Hebburn Tri Station’s community journey. This is an important building for not only the residents of Hebburn and Jarrow but also the wider regions of Tyne and Wear.

“The building represents the unification of blue light colleagues being based under the one roof, and it also shows our commitment towards promoting the values of carbon neutral facilities.

“This is a very significant project for the Fire Authority as the new Tri Station is being funded as part of its Capital Programme scheme showing crucial investment for emergency service provisions that will be beneficial for generations to come.”

Procured via the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO), Esh will work in partnership with TWFRS, Sunderland City Council’s Capital Projects Team, Desco and Todd Milburn to deliver the scheme.

RGB South Molton completes renovation project

The South Molton branch of RGB Building Supplies has opened a brand-new plumbing and heating centre, completing a 12-month full renovation project.

The new centre has allowed the branch to double the size of its plumbing and heating (P&H) product offering and install a dedicated trade counter, manned by a P&H specialist.

In addition to the new plumbing and heating centre, the branch has added a tool centre, featuring an increased range of hand and power tools from leading names such as DeWalt and Makita. It has also improved and expanded its range of decorating products and the materials available in its yard.

The bathroom showroom has been completely redesigned with new displays added, and a joinery centre has been created offering a comprehensive selection of floors, doors and ironmongery.

Tom O’Leary, Branch Manager at RGB South Molton, commented:

“We are committed to growing our range to meet customer demand, and we began transforming the branch in January 2022 to ensure we were offering the products that our customers need. The renovations have allowed us to develop and increase what we are able to provide to those who work in the trade, as well as customers who are taking on projects in their own homes.”

RGB Building Supplies’ South Molton branch is located on Pathfields Business Park.

Esh Group launches new careers programme to embed construction into the curriculum

A brand-new school programme which aims to show young people how the curriculum directly links to careers within the construction industry has been launched by North of England contractor, Esh Group.

‘Construction in the Curriculum’ delivers a timetabled subject through a construction and built environment lens in a bid to inform students about careers in the industry and how their education applies to real life job roles.

The first workshop will see Esh staff take over a Maths lesson with students experiencing ‘a day in the life of a Quantity Surveyor’ to highlight the importance of maths skills in the surveying role. Students will apply the curriculum that they have previously learnt to a real-life scenario by calculating volume, length, square area and quantities from bespoke project drawings, as well as percentages and profit margins.

The programme is now being rolled out to secondary schools nearby its construction sites across the North East, Tees Valley, Yorkshire and the Humber, with more than 130 students engaged so far.

Darush Dodds, Director of Corporate Affairs at Esh Group, said: “The launch of this new careers programme builds on our 11 years of experience delivering workshops within schools as we work hard to change outdated perceptions of the construction sector and encourage more young people to consider a career in the industry.

“Programmes which bring together business and education are integral in helping students make informed decisions about their future. With Construction in the Curriculum, we want to introduce students to relatable role models as well as help them understand how their day-to-day education can directly link to construction and the built environment careers.”

Esh has worked closely with a Tees Valley secondary school to align the programme to the curriculum and recently delivered sessions in five schools across the North East and Yorkshire. Sheralyn Cooper, maths teacher at Whickham High School, said: “The session was really engaging, it linked different topics of maths and applied real life experiences to bring the maths to life. The maths was perfectly pitched for the class it was delivered too. Overall, it was the best school engagement project I have ever been involved in.”

The programme launch follows Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement that he plans to ensure all students continue studying maths until the age of 18. Dodds added: “The Prime Minister’s plans places emphasis on the role maths can play in preparing today’s young people for their future career. Many people may see construction as simply building and on-site trades, but the ability to calculate quantities, cost and dimensions, to name a few, is integral throughout the whole sector.

“While the first workshop is maths-based, our next steps will be to integrate construction into more subject areas, including, geography and design and technology.”

Last year, Queen’s Award-winning Esh Group engaged with more than 9,000 secondary school students through employability workshops and over 1,000 primary school students through its STEM-based careers programme.

Truro’s newest builders merchant holding week-long celebration

From Monday 6th February, RGB Building Supplies is holding a week of events to celebrate the opening of its new Truro branch.

Every day between 7.30am and 3pm, the local community and tradespeople can receive expert advice from leading industry names, such as Maincor, Keylite, XL Joinery, Cure It, Bosch and Karndean.

Free food and drink and special offers will be available all week, and visitors will have the chance to win prizes and collect a free Scruffs Winter Essentials Pack and RGB tape, while stocks last.

Founded in Devon in 1850, RGB has grown to become one of the leading independent merchants in the region. The new Truro branch includes a kitchen and bathroom showroom and offers a wide range of building materials, landscaping goods, decorating products, and plumbing and heating supplies.

Richard Jayne, Branch Manager at RGB Truro, commented:

“We’re delighted to have opened in Truro and we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone through the door to celebrate with us. It will be a great opportunity for those who work in the trade and those who are taking on projects in their own homes to speak to some of our suppliers and learn more about the products we offer.”

The week-long celebration will take place between Monday 6th February and Friday 10th February. RGB Building Supplies’ Truro branch is located on Threemilestone Industrial Estate.