Photo credit Wellcome Collection via

Shotton paper mill £600m revamp 

The new plans include new plant buildings, warehouse & dispatch and heat and power boiler building. It is owned by Turkish company Eren Holdings. It first opened in 1983 and is one of the most important paper processing plants in the U.K.  

After the work it will produce up to 750k tonnes of cardboard & have capacity to recycle all the paper in wales. It will also produce tissues, a relief to shoppers suffering this hayfever season with shelves empty. 

ARUP will lead the first phase of the project. 

New legislation gives UKIB even more power 

‘Rishi Sunak Photo Credit Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Govt via Flickr

New legislation to allow the U.K. Infrastructure Bank to liaise directly with councils will allow it to lend £4bn to local authorities directly. 

This represents 30% of its total funding. 

Apparently 2 deals are already done. Currently it funds through a separate body the Public Works Loan Board. 

Set up by Rishi Sunak, UKIB funds infrastructure projects and accelerated net zero.

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£1.6bn civils framework winners 

Photo credit Gary Butterfield via Unsplash

£1.6bn of capital funding has been allocated to complete work on rail, nuclear, bridges, roads, maritime, telecommunications, water, and alternative power projects.

The funding is allocated over 4 lots of £30m and above with each lot and each region including 6 regional and 6 national firms and 3 contractors in reserve. 

Winners include Vinci, Sir Robert McAlpine, Buckingham Group, Kier, Graham, Galliford Try and John Sisk. 

Balfour Beatty wins Piccadilly line 

Photo credit Christian Lue via Unsplash

Balfour Beatty has won a 6 year contract to provide maintenance on the Piccadilly line. It will include upgrading the line so it can run new trains due in 2025 which will support 23% more capacity with longer, more frequent trains. 

It’s the first project to be allocated under the London Underground High Voltage framework which was allocated earlier in 2022.  

Elizabeth Line: 1 million passengers 5 days in

Elizabeth Line map

The Elizabeth Line is off to a promising start welcoming 1 million passengers only 5 days after opening. Initially running between Paddington and Abbey Wood, once the full line is open it will run more than 100km from Reading to Abbey Wood.

The new line is funded by farepayers, business and taxpayers in London and will connect hubs across London for the first time.

The Class 345 trains which run on it were built in Derby.

It is Europe’s largest construction project costing £19bn and took over 13 years to build. It is 3.5 years late and £4bn over budget but London is celebrating the arrival of the new line with enthusiasts gathering for the first journeys.

UK’s longest railway bridge under construction

A launching girder Photo Credit Störfix via Flickr

Work has begun on the Colne Valley Viaduct, part of HS2 which will be the UK’s longest tunnel at 3.4km. It is being constructed by a JV with Sir Robert McAlpine, VolkerFitzPatrick and another company.

A launching girder has been shipped from Hong Kong in pieces. It appears similar to a crane and will be perched on the piers to lift and then ram concrete blocks into place. There are 1,000 concrete blocks some weighing more than a double decker bus.