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NCE Live News Updates 21 June: Network Rail fires starters gun for £1.4bn of work

Also today: Stansted owner reveals plans to transform terminal at Essex airport; ISG data centre win.

5.30pm: Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner today flew from Gatwick airport for the first time.

The one-off Thomson service to Menorca took place ahead of scheduled services later in the year to Cancun in Mexico and Phuket in Thailand.

The Dreamliner is designed to cut CO2 emissions, and boasts up to 860mm of legroom in economy as well as dynamic lighting to mimic dawn and dusk.

About 800 Dreamliners are currently on order from airlines around the world.


5pm: Hundreds of people have died following flooding and landslides in northern India.

The army has been called in to assist the rescue operation, with charity ActionAid saying that 5,000 people are missing presumed dead.

It follows heavy monsoon rains in the state of Uttarakhand.

ActionAid regional manager Debabrat Patra said: “ActionAid is particularly worried about the rampant dam construction all over the state which affects hundreds of villages along the banks of the Alaknanda, Bhagirathi and Mandakini. 

“With no forest left to hold the earth, the threat of major landslides looms large.”


4pm: The prime minister is on Monday due to announce a £10M initiative aimed at creating 100,000 engineering technicians by 2018.

The scheme, which will work through both new and established apprenticeship programmes, has been developed by the ICE working with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Gatsby Foundation.

“To help UK companies succeed in this ever-growing competitive global marketplace, we need people with the highest professional skills and abilities,” said IMechE chief executive Stephen Tetlow.

“This initiative will ensure that the UK has a growing stream of engineering technicians being developed to a level that is recognised and respected around the world.”


12.15pm: A joint venture of Temple and RSK has been awarded a £1.5M deal to provide environmental services for the second phase of High Speed 2 (HS2).

The partnership will assist scheme promoter HS2 Ltd complete the appraisal of sustainability process for routes from the West Midlands to Leeds and Manchester.

Work will involve attending consultation events; logging issues and responses; undertaking appraisals of scheme refinements; and post-consultation work.

HS2 Ltd commercial director Beth West said: “This contract award is a positive sign of the progress that continues to be made on phase two beyond Birmingham.”


12pm: WSP is to advise Birmingham City Council on an overhaul of its infrastructure and its transport policy.

The consultant was appointed as part of moves to focus on mobility in the West Midlands city.

The Mobility Action Plan for Birmingham will see a phased implementation plan.

Councillor Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This is about looking at transport from a different perspective – much more of a European city perspective, whereby they set a long-term strategy and use long-term funding opportunities to incrementally add to the system.” 


11.30am: The Environment Agency has improved its flood warning system.

The warning area around the River Ouse in Cambridgeshire previously covered 9,000 properties, meaning alerts would be issued to all of them when only small numbers were at risk.

The area has now been divided into seven smaller zones.

“By redefining more specific flood warnings in this area, we can make sure that the alerts and warnings we issue get to the right people at the right time – giving people vital time to get prepared for flooding,” said Environment Agency flood resilience expert Adam Foster.


11am: Contractors are under starters orders for £1.4bn of Control Period 5 rail work.

Network Rail is seeking firms for a range of infrastructure work in the central region between 2014 and 2019.

Up to nine companies are expected to be appointed to the framework, which will be split into nine lots and cover jobs between £5M and £100M.

Contractors have until 18 July to register their interest in this framework. Another agreement covering jobs below £5M is also being procured.


10.45am: The second phase of Norway’s Bergen Light Rail is to be opened this weekend.

The project was completed DKK 300M (£34M) under budget and two months ahead of schedule.

The second phase of the project connects Bergen City Centre with Radal in the outskirts. The line is double track and stretches 3.6km.


10.30am: ISG has secured a £125M data centre project in Northern Europe.

The contractor said it had been appointed by a “global technology company” for the scheme “in the Nordic region”.

It added that the data centre would use latest cooling technology and be the most sustainable facility of its type in the world.

Data centres are by their nature often secretive developments.


10am: Stansted airport is to receive an £80M makeover.



The main terminal building at the Essex airport will be transformed, with a bigger security area, double the amount of seating and other improvements.

Owner Manchester Airports Group is investing half the cost of the redevelopment, with the other half met by commercial partners.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The millions invested in this project will transform Stansted airport’s terminal building and the way passengers use it.”

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