Recent Event Highlights: Blackburn man, 26, died after contracting severe pneumonia, Liverpool 'scambusters' to catch Blackburn with Darwen â€˜cowboysâ€™, Blackburn school introduces fingerprint access scheme, GALLERY: 1850s time capsule found on Blackburn building site, 100 complaints over Blackburn priestâ€™s huge flock of pigeons, Blackburn schools redevelopment plans revealed, and 151 more...
Created by dipity on Mar 6, 2009
Last updated: 02/18/10 at 10:09 PM
Building materials manufacturer McVeigh Insulations has invested Â£20,000 to more than double its capacity after one of its strongest-ever starts to a calendar year. The Â£8m-turnover Hyde-based family firm has a full order book and has bought equipment and expanded its workforce from 10 to 14 to work on projects, including the Hope Academy in Newton-le-Willows.
On April 21, Diane will become the first woman president of the Electrical Contractorsâ€™ Association in 109 years. She is currently the ECAâ€™s senior vice president. The ECA is the UKâ€™s largest trade organisation representing the electrical building service industries, with more than 3,000 members.
THE northern division of construction firm Willmott Dixon today showed how it is bucking the construction industry downturn by smashing its financial targets, recruiting more staff and boosting its order book by millions of pounds. The company set up its northern office in Hollinwood, Oldham, in January 2008 with the aim of achieving Â£100m turnover in its second year.
COWBOY builders, bogus officials and piracy rings operating in Blackburn with Darwen are to feel the heat from an expert team of â€˜Scambustersâ€™.
STAFF and students in a Blackburn high school and sixth form centre are the first in the county to access buildings with state-of-the-art fingerprint recognition technology.
Scientists at the University of Manchester have been promised almost Â£10m to develop super-light materials vital to the future of the UK's automobile and aviation industry. A five-and-a-half-year project in collaboration with some of the key players in those sectors has received a Â£5.7m grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), with a further Â£3m of support promised by industry.
A TIME capsule uncovered at a Blackburn building site has been opened 160 years after it was buried.
A BOLTON engineering company which has developed a process to save the oil industry millions is set to dramatically increase its turnover on the back of a new joint venture in Saudi Arabia. PP Simtech specialises in safety inspections at oil, gas and petrochemical plants. The company is on the verge of securing five projects worth up to Â£5m each, lasting up to five years.
RESIDENTS of a sheltered housing complex say their lives are being made a misery by a priest who refuses to stop feeding hundreds of pigeons outside their homes.
FAST-GROWING Manchester biotechnology business DxS has announced a tie-up with Pfizer, the worldâ€™s second largest drugs firm, in its latest contract success. DxS, which was sold to Dutch pharmaceuticals group Qiagen last September in a deal worth up to Â£80m, will supply a kit for the testing of a drug under development to treat brain cancer patients.
Retail chain Blacks Leisure today asked City investors for more than Â£20m to help fund a major overhaul and expansion of its estate. The group, which operates its own brand shops as well as the Millets chain, is planning up to 35 new stores and the refurbishment of existing sites.
A SCHOOL is set to get a new building and another primary will be doubled in size in a multi-million pound scheme.
A Â£5m programme of support for co-operative businesses has been launched with the aim of rebuilding public trust in the economy. The Manchester-based Co-operative Group said it wants to help new and existing co-operatives by pledging financial help, advice and training over the next three years.
A PRIVATE equity group has bought a 50 per cent stake in the countryâ€™s biggest onshore wind farm on the moors above Rochdale. Scout Moor, which has 26 turbines and generates enough electricity to power 40,000 homes, was developed by Peel Energy, the energy arm of Trafford Centre landlord and Manchester Ship Canal owner Peel Group.
AN IMPROVEMENT grant from Knowsley council has helped secure 14 new jobs linked to the relocation of a Rainford engineering company to Knowsley Business Park.
SHARES in Manchester-based engineering firm Renold motored after it said there was evidence of a recovery and that it has a more robust balance sheet as it seeks potential acquisitions. Renold, which has its headquarters in Wythenshawe and factories in Bredbury and Milnrow, makes gears, chains and couplings for sectors including transport, mining, steel, energy and theme parks.
INFRASTRUCTURE giant Balfour Beatty has snapped up two divisions of Stockport-based Multibuild for Â£1.9m in cash. Balfour Beatty has acquired Multibuild Hotels and Leisure and Multibuild Interiors, which specialise in the construction and fit-out of hotels, cinemas, casinos and other leisure facilities.
TWO men who carried out petrol bomb attacks on homes in Blackburn have been jailed for a total of 13 years.
SUPPLIES were cut off to more than 100 town centre homes and businesses today when workmen hit a water main pipe.
AUSTRALIAN doors manufacturer Austral Monsoon has announced the takeover of Cheshire-based Industrial Door Engineering. The acquisition of the Northwich firm is Australâ€™s third in the UK, following swoops for Dover Roller Shutters and Vanguard Shutters, which have combined HQs in Oldham.
MORSON Projects, a subsidiary of Eccles-based manpower firm Morson Group, has expanded into the power sector with a swoop for a north east company. Morson Projects, which carries out engineering, design and project management services, has bought Power Engineering Systems, which employs five staff at offices on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate, North Shields.
A NORTH west housebuilder today announced a Â£27m land buying spree as it gears up for a market upturn. Wilmslow-based Morris Homes said it had acquired sites in Marple, St Helens, Peterborough, Telford, Worcester and Melton Mowbray.
TWIN Valley Homes is giving potential new customers the chance to literally â€˜sleep on itâ€™, to show them how life can be in their supportive communities.
A CHESHIRE-based building contractor showed today how it is benefiting from the trend towards â€˜staycationâ€™ holidays with a major contract win. GF Holdings, based at Mottram St Andrew, near Wilmslow, has 30 staff working on a refit at Presthaven Sands Holiday Park near Prestatyn, north Wales, as part of operator Haven Holidaysâ€™ Â£5m investment programme.
SHARES in Cheshire-based Pochin's dived nearly 12 per cent after the construction and property group dived into the red during the first half of its financial year and axed its interim dividend. Pochin's, which is based at Middlewich, posted pre-tax losses of Â£4.4m after impairments for the six months to November 30, against profits of Â£600,000 in the corresponding period of 2008.
RETAIL refurbishment firm Styles & Wood has bagged a Â£300,000 contract with Boots and has unveiled plans to move into new sectors. The Altrincham-based company will fit out Bootsâ€™ store at Foyleside, Derry, its 100th major contract with the high street chain and its 10th in Northern Ireland.
THE chairman of Hale Barns-based Formation Group is resigning for â€˜personal reasonsâ€™ after a decade with the business. John Lawrence said he would not seek re-election at the construction management companyâ€™s forthcoming annual meeting but would stay on while the board finds a successor.
STUDENT accommodation specialist Mansion Group is to move its headquarters from Manchester city centre to the Cheadle Royal Business Park in Stockport. Muse Developments is letting a 10,000sq ft building to Mansion Group, which has 50 staff and a property portfolio comprising over 1,3000 student beds.
THE Co-operative Group has announced a series of senior staff redundancies as it restructures its group marketing and food divisions following the acquisition of supermarket chain Somerfield and its merger with Britannia Building Society. The buying and marketing teams in the Manchester-based giant's food business are being combined and will be headed by commercial director Sean Toal.
AEROSPACE engineers in the north west will soon be able to fly virtual models of their designs thanks to a Â£5.3m new facility in Cheshire. The Virtual Engineering Centre at Daresbury will allow designers to build virtual versions of their prototypes and test them in a computer-generated electronic environment.
SHARES in store refurbishment group Styles & Wood climbed seven per cent after the Altrincham firm issued a reassuring trading update following its year-end. The company said trading for 2009 had been in line with expectations, with broker Shore Capital forecasting pre-tax profits of Â£300,000 on revenues of Â£140m.
A COCKTAIL bar and live music venue has opened in Manchester city centre after a Â£1m refurbishment of the premises. The former Pitcher and Piano in Barbirolli Square has been transformed by entrepreneurs Barry Hogan and Peter Petrondas.
A CONTROVERSIAL shake-up of Blackburnâ€™s town centre roads will create more no-go zones for cars.
A CONSTRUCTION firm with contracts across the north west has become the latest big regional victim of the sector's downturn, with the loss of 181 jobs. White Building Services, a Â£25m-turnover company based in Newton-le-Willows, near Warrington, has been placed in administration.
BT is extending its Â£1.5bn programme for super-fast broadband to the Bramhall, Congleton and Willaston areas of Cheshire. The roll-out will benefit 21,000 homes and businesses and will take the number of super-fast, fibre-based lines in the north west to 335,000 so far.
UPDATE: Motorists have been warned to continue to expect ice on the area's roads.
STORE refurbishment group Styles & Wood has completed its latest contract for Habitat. Altrincham-based quoted company Styles & Wood has fitted out a branch at the Liverpool One development.
UPDATE: The Lancashire County Council roads boss has admitted they could run out of grit if the area is hit by snow again.
SALFORD-based Ocon Construction has secured three contracts worth Â£35.6m to build student accommodation. The first, worth Â£26m, will see Ocon build 776 bedrooms, leisure facilities and a management suite at the University of Sussex campus near Brighton.
IT WAS too cold for a cool street fashion label this week after Manchester-based Bench scrapped an event to launch its new collection because of the blizzards. Bench had booked a secret location at a historic landmark building in the city to launch its autumn/winter 2010 collection today.
SPORTS nutrition products firm CNP Professional is investing Â£2m to bring manufacturing in-house in a move which could boost annual profits by as much as Â£300,000, boss Kerry Kayes said today. He has bought a single-storey building at Hyde, Tameside, to where the company will relocate from Denton next month.
COUNCIL bosses have admitted they will never fix all of Lancashireâ€™s crumbling roads and pavements because it would cost Â£153million.
EAST Lancashire is braced for more snow today as bosses insist they are happy with the way the roads are being gritted.
THE number of registrations for new homes in the north west soared between September and November compared with the same period last year, figures showed today. A total of 1,717 applications were received by the National House-Building Council during the period, up 75 per cent from 982 in 2008.
DEFENCE engineering firm WFEL expects to post record profits for 2009, chief executive Ian Wilson said. WFEL, based at Heaton Chapel, Stockport, anticipates earnings to top Â£6m against Â£5.8m in 2008, with revenues up from Â£29.6m to nearly Â£40m.
A TOTAL of Â£3.6million has been spent by the council to clear buildings for a 400-metre Blackburn link road â€” and there are no guarantees it will ever be built.
THE property market in Greater Manchester is among the top ten weakest in the country, according to new figures. Homes in the region take longer to sell and achieve a smaller proportion of the asking price than elsewhere, says housing intelligence group Hometrack.
THE UKâ€™s biggest construction firm today chalked up a deal to build a training base for Londonâ€™s 2012 Olympics as part of a clutch of contracts worth Â£191 million. Balfour Beatty will build two schools in Greenwich, south-east London, in a Â£100 million deal under the Governmentâ€™s Building Schools for the Future programme.
ROYAL Bank of Scotland, together with funds it manages, is set to end up as the largest single shareholder in Wilmslow-based care homes operator Four Seasons as it edges closer to an agreement with creditors to halve its Â£1.5bn debt pile, it was reported today. An agreement, expected to be formally announced next week, is on the cards after a group of hedge funds which had previously blocked the deal gave it their support.
THERE was no such thing as a bridge too far for structural engineer Gary Thomas. When last weekend's London Triathlon was under threat after construction work on the route between the Excel Centre and Royal Victoria Square meant that the 10k run couldn't take place, Manchester firm Acies came to the rescue.