systems go for Kings
new Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre has been given the final
go-ahead. Building work will start next month on construction of the
state-of-the-art waterside complex. This milestone marks the
completion of detailed legal agreements, and is the culmination of
work by project partners Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Vision,
English Partnerships, and Northwest Development Agency to bring
forward the development of the key site. The city council has
appointed Bovis Lend Lease to build the 'civic facilities', the
arena and convention centre, at Kings Waterfront .
Liverpool City Council Leader Mike Storey said:- "This is
great news for Liverpool. It's been a long and complicated journey,
but I'm delighted that our dream for a world class arena on the
waterfront is now becoming a reality. The building blocks are all in
place, and I'm looking forward to work starting on a facility that
the region has needed for a long time. It will be one of the
centrepieces of our celebration in 2008 and the years beyond."
The project is being funded from four sources:- European Union
Objective One (£50 million), English Partnerships (£67 million),
Northwest Development Agency (£14 million), and Liverpool City
Council (£11 million). Infrastructure work on the 14.6 hectare site
started in June, but completion of the latest contract agreement
enables the main contract can now go ahead. The council has agreed a
'fixed cost' contract with contractor Bovis Lend Lease, which
protects city council taxpayers.
Bovis Lend Lease will be responsible for the majority of risks in
building the project, including inflationary costs, adverse ground
conditions, performance of subcontractors, delays caused by poor
weather and labour and materials shortages.
The city council's Chief Executive, Sir David Henshaw, said:-
"We have put together a sound financial package
which protects the interests of council taxpayers. It also means the
Arena will start life debt-free, a remarkable achievement which will
sustain its long-term financial viability. We are on course to
deliver a truly world-class facility, which will make Kings
Waterfront one of the great international destinations for business
and leisure. Months of hard work by the project partners and
Government officers are now coming to fruition, and we can look
forward to a venue which delivers huge cultural and economic
benefits for Liverpool, Merseyside and the North West, for many
decades to come."
Arena and Convention Centre will include a 9,500 capacity arena, an
auditorium with a capacity of 1,350, a multi-purpose hall of 3,600
sq metres, total exhibition space of 7,000 sq metres and 18
additional meeting rooms. It will be supported by a 1,600 space
multi-storey car park, and a public piazza where outdoor events can
be held. An adjoining hotel development, privately funded, will
cater for business and leisure visitors.
Chief Executive of Liverpool Vision, Jim Gill, said:- "The
arena and convention centre is the cornerstone of Kings Waterfront.
We welcome the news that the contractual arrangements are now in
place and construction work can now commence. These facilities
will play a critical role in the regeneration of Liverpool City
English Partnerships' Area Director, Eliot Lewis-Ward said:-
"We have always believed that the Kings
Waterfront development will bring about huge benefits for Merseyside
which is why we have invested almost £70million and have already
started the infrastructure works. It's great news for the partners
and local people alike that work will soon be starting on the
A legal team
from DLA Piper, led by Mark Beardwood, advised English Partnerships.
Bovis Lend Lease has pledged to use as
much local labour as possible to build the new facility.
"Construction will begin in October," said Jason Millett,
Chief Executive of Bovis Lend Lease in the UK. "For us it's a
great opportunity to be involved in another spectacular stadium and
one of the biggest sports venues that will be built in Britain prior
to the Olympics. I look forward to seeing the transformation that
will come to this part of Liverpool."
Already, there have been many enquiries from conference organisers
who wish to use the facility.
Chief Executive of the Liverpool Arena and Conference Centre, Bob
Prattey, said:- "Although marketing is
at an early stage,
we have already had great interest, particularly from the conference
sector. We are in detailed discussions with around 50 organisations
wanting to hold specific events, which is very encouraging."
NORTHERNERS ARE THE ULTIMATE COUCH POTATOES!
Northerners love getting away from it all, in a survey commissioned
by Energizer. The results showed that a staggering 47% of people in
the North of England want their holidays to last longer, whereas
bizarrely, 2% of Londoners would
rather have a longer working day!
The survey also revealed the average household now containing 29
battery-operated devices that save you time. Saying that the top 3
battery operated goods that we can't live without are remote
controls, cameras and portable music systems. The biggest couch
potatoes are those in the North West, with 68% of those surveyed
unable to live without their remote control if the batteries run
out. 1 in 3 people will try to extend the life of their batteries by
switching them around with 1 in 10 going as far as trying to heat a
battery up in their hands to make it last longer. Perhaps because of
their dependence on
the remote, some respondents in the North were even prepared to go
to such extreme measures as trying to reactivate a battery by
blowing on it, rather than putting their hands in their pockets to
buy new ones!
Rather than going to such extremes to try and make batteries last
longer, it makes more sense to save time and money by buying what
Energizer clams is the world's longest lasting battery, the
Energizer Ultimate. Or you could just get out of the seat and change
the channel your self….
Bringing on Merseyside's manufacturing talent of tomorrow
A time bomb is
ticking for Merseyside's manufacturers who are failing to engage the
next generation of talent, warns The Manufacturing Institute, a
charitable organisation run by manufacturers for manufacturers to
boost skills and productivity.
"If we want to avoid manufacturing becoming a victim of slow death
by the low wage economies of Asia, then we need to develop the next
generation of talented people capable of powering high value,
knowledge led industries", says Julie Madigan, Chief
Executive of The Manufacturing Institute.
The 2003 National Employer Skills Survey found that 95% of
manufacturing and engineering firms believed skill shortages
adversely affected their businesses and that there were some 18,250
At the same time, the number of engineering and manufacturing
graduates has dropped nationally by over 40% in the last nine years.
To help turn the tide, the Manufacturing Institute is working with
industry to develop young industrial skills for tomorrow and
challenge negative perceptions about manufacturing as a career.
Newly appointed education executive Nicola Eagleton is working with
partners to push manufacturing towards the top of the agenda in
schools, boosting awareness of the diverse range of job
opportunities within the industry and encouraging interest in
developing the right levels of expertise.
"Only around 30 out of almost 600 North West secondary schools
currently offer a GCSE course in manufacturing and average pupil
performance is low. This is just one of many areas we need to build
on, if we are to address future skill shortages in the region."
"We are developing links between manufacturers and local schools to
ensure pupils get a real feel of what modern manufacturing can offer
them. At the same time, schools need a clear understanding of the
key skills that industry requires" advises Eagleton.
Among the projects being organised are teacher placements with
industry, factory visits for schools and manufacturing mentors
working directly with teachers and pupils in the classroom.
The Manufacturing Institute is also working closely with the North
West Learning Grid (a consortium of 19 local authorities) on an
interactive online resource for teachers to help them engage their
pupils in manufacturing.
Nicola has joined the Manufacturing Institute, which delivers the
Manufacturing Advisory Service North West (MAS NW), from the
education/business partnership organisation BEST (Business and
Education Succeed Together).
Liverpool kids have it all mapped out...
GIANT maps and a
hard-hitting film have helped hundreds of Liverpool school children
tackle road safety hazards.
Pupils from 15 North Liverpool primary schools have taken part in
the ground-breaking Our Walk to School project. Children aged nine
and ten have spent two years identifying all the road safety hazards
they face during their journey to school.
Liverpool City Council's executive member for regeneration,
Councillor Peter Millea, said:- "This has been an extremely
worthwhile project and one which could save lives.
Seeing road safety hazards through the eyes of children has
highlighted many important issues and enabled the city council to
implement new initiatives to protect pedestrians. This is
particularly important as we approach winter when roads become much
It's wonderful that the large scales maps and the film can be
displayed in the Maritime Museum and I hope that in the near future,
all schools in Liverpool will be able to get involved in similar
projects and help reduce the number of accidents and fatalities on
Potential dangers that the pupils identified included cars parked on
pavements which meant that children were sometimes forced to walk on
a road, a lack of pedestrian crossings, kerbs which are too high and
a lack of walking buses to and from school.
The children made a mini film showing the problems they face on
their journey to school. These problems were highlighted when one
group of children captured on film a pedestrian who narrowly missed
being knocked down by a car.
Each school also produced an A3 map of their local area, with the
help of John Moore's University's cartography department. These
showed what changes they would like to see to make their route to
As a result of all their hard work, the city council's road safety
team have allocated funding to make many of the
suggestions made by the children a reality.
The atlas of all the maps that has been produced was exhibited,
along with the film, at Liverpool's Maritime Museum on Friday 30
Our Walk to School has received a special commendation from the
Prince Michael Road Safety Awards, recognising Liverpool's
innovative way of improving road safety.
The city council's road safety officer who co-ordinated the project,
Martin McIntyre, said:- "Our Walk to School has proved a
really popular and effective way of getting kids actively involved
on thinking about road safety issues in their areas.
We're really proud that the project has received the Prince Michael
Road Safety commendation, and feel it recognises the commitment and
enthusiasm of everyone involved."
The project has been funded by the Department for Transport's
Neighbourhood Road Safety initiative.