Carillion Kaput & Commonwealth Games – Industry in the Midlands

  • 13 Feb 2018

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Me 119It’s fair to say the Midlands has been in the construction news quite a lot of late and with part of Buildingtalk’s team based within the region, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at all the industry goings on, focusing on the collapse of Carillion, the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham and some articles on our website which involve the second city and the surrounding area.

Buildingtalk Online Editor Max Banner writes…

Firstly, there’s the demise of Carillion. The construction giant’s base is Wolverhampton, so the 1000+ job losses that have been recorded will hit the city hard, although news from the Guardian that 4,400 more jobs have been saved is certainly a positive. We just have to hope as many can be saved as possible; whilst the job losses won’t just be affecting the Black Country city, it is inevitably going to have a massive detrimental impact.

Then there are the projects that have come to a dramatic halt; undoubtedly they are far reaching, across the whole nation. In terms of the Midlands, one example I have seen in the media recently was that of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, which was set to considerably replace emergency services currently provided at City Hospital in Birmingham and Sandwell Hospital.

As implied, the hospital would serve people in the Birmingham area; situated in Smethwick, Staffordshire, this 669-bed hospital was a hive of industrial activity, with 450 to 500 people reportedly working on it each day before the collapse. That number has been estimated at 40 to 50 now, with the future of the hospital in massive doubt. It may well be easy to forget about all these schemes when Carillion is not prominent on the news agenda for a particular week or whatever but this is the reality for numerous unfinished projects across the country that are being left in the lurch.

It isn’t all doom and gloom for the region however; the recent news that Birmingham is to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games brings a gamut of industrial possibilities and excitement for the future to the table. 

As well as the top quality sport on offer, there will be major investment in building projects in the city, including the upgrade of Alexander Stadium at Perry Barr, which will see the proposed capacity increased from 12,700 to 40,000, and a new competition standard swimming pool in Sandwell.

Further benefits surrounding the creation of approximately 1000 new council homes, which will originate from the athletes village, comprising part of a 3000 home development plan in Perry Barr.

Programmes of nature will only work if the transport is improved in tandem with it, which is why I am heartened by investment being brought forward to ensure new Metro Tram lines and rapid bus systems are put in place.

An average 4,526 jobs a year until 2022, 950 thereafter across all sectors, plus £526 million of gross economic benefit for the West Midlands are also elements involved in this bid; so hopefully it will be good news all round for Birmingham and the surrounding areas/counties.

And below are a list of our articles, from the past few months, which example some more industry work in Birmingham:

Birmingham bank on Aggregate for quality concrete:

Birmingham build benefits from Bull protection:

SFS Fasteners for Birmingham tallest residential building:

Birmingham’s Snow Hill is no problem for Aggregate:

University of Birmingham strives for accessibility with Closomat:

Hitting all the right notes in Birmingham with Aggregate:

Safe escape routes for Birmingham students from SE Controls:

Door closing GEZE solutions for Birmingham students:

All of these articles, together with the positive Commonwealth Games news are all hugely positive signs that Birmingham, a fast growing, ever-increasingly more modern, cosmopolitan city with a booming University and student presence, is definitely heading in the right direction infrastructure-wise to achieve this. However, the Carillion news is certainly a worry for the region, hopefully we hear more news in the coming weeks of jobs being saved and the projects currently going nowhere and able to get back to how they were beforehand.



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