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A roundup of the last three weeks of December

News ...while we were away

Westminster Jubilee Line Station finally opened to passengers just beforeChristmas, marking the start of a full stopping service on the Tube extension.

Schools Minister Jacqui Smith has increased funding for school construction to £970M for2001-01, up from £720M for 1999-2000.

Environment Minister Michael Meacher has appointed Sir John Harman as Environment Agency chairman. Sir John is a former vice chairman of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities.

The RAC Foundation and the Refined Bitumen Association have launched the Silent Road Campaign to promote Whisper Concrete.

Cement and steel manufacturers are among 10 industrial sectors to have agreed energy efficiency targets with the Government. In return manufacturers will get an 80% discount on the climate change levy.

The Construction Industry Training Board is to research the employment barriers facing young women and young Black or Asian people in construction.


Acquisitions and mergers

WS Atkins is to buy Oklahoma City based consulting engineer/architect Benham for £32.3M. The deal strengthens Atkins' presence in the US industrial,transportation and property sectors.

Capita Property has bought civil and structural engineering consultant Edward Roscoe Associates, a firm with 175 staff.

Building Research body BRE is negotiating to buy the Loss Prevention Council.

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