Connect with us

Current

GMI Construction begins work on Sheffield’s new office complex (GB)

Voice Of EU

Published

on

GMI Construction, acting on behalf of its customer Scarborough Group International (SGI), has officially started on-site to deliver a new 62,862ft² state-of-the-art office building in Sheffield city centre. Currently the biggest speculative office development underway in the city centre, ‘Endeavour’ forms the fourth and final phase at the acclaimed Sheffield Digital Campus (Sheffield DC).

 

GMI is contracted to deliver the impressive eight-storey Grade A office building, which offers highly efficient floorplates of up to 10,323ft². A private 3,584ft² roof terrace on the sixth floor overlooking the city’s transport interchange, the iconic Park Hill Flats and panorama beyond is also included. Scheduled to be completed by the end of summer 2022, the fully funded development is the final of four visually impressive buildings on the Sheffield DC site, which have all been delivered by GMI.

 

The design of Endeavour has been modified to respond to trends in respect of the future use of workspaces, accelerated by the pandemic making the office environment a safer place to work including reduced touchpoints, but also appreciating the increasing prevalence of agile-hybrid working styles many businesses are adopting. The development, which has a GDV of €31.5m (£27m), will create up to 140 construction jobs and, once complete, will accommodate up to 800 office workers.  It is a major vote of confidence in Sheffield city centre, where the supply of existing and pipeline office space has diminished, leaving a major shortage of space to cater to existing and future demand. 

 

Adam Varley, Head of Commercial at SGI, said: “We are pleased to announce the start of speculative construction on-site to deliver the final phase at Sheffield DC which brings nearly a quarter of million sq ft of prime business space to the city centre.  GMI Construction is a trusted long-term partner on the project and, together with our design consultants CJCT Architects, they have helped us to evolve the building in line with the future of workspaces. We are delighted to report that there is already strong interest from potential occupiers looking for a well-located, premium workspace with flexible, open plan floor plates in the city centre. The building’s impressive design really creates a sense of arrival, with a double-height entrance reception and new social space allowing visitors and colleagues to interact.”

 

Kate Josephs, Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, said: “Easily accessible, high-quality office space is absolutely central to attracting investment into our region and Endeavour offers great potential for co-working in the heart of Sheffield. As a council we are committed to delivering infrastructure, space and buildings that reaffirm our position as England’s fourth-largest city and create an environment where we can thrive for years to come, and I believe that Endeavour will be a great asset to our city and complement the transformation of the city centre that is currently taking place.”

 

Councillor Paul Turpin, Executive Member for Inclusive Economy, Jobs and Skills at Sheffield City Council, said: “The next couple of years will be a vital time for new developments and regeneration as we begin our Covid-19 recovery and start to look towards the future of our city. I am pleased Endeavour will have an “excellent” BREEAM rating and is taking wellbeing into account using the WELL building standard. Well-being and sustainability must be the focus of new developments in Sheffield. Sheffield Digital Campus will play an important role in boosting the local economy and offering an attractive setting for colleagues to come together; whether you’re working in the office multiple days a week or just visiting for an important meeting. It’s essential that we have a variety of flexible spaces on offer in the city centre that best meet the needs of those using them – for some people that will be open plan hospitality venues such as Kommune, Cutlery Works, or a coffee at Marmadukes, and for others it will be purpose-built, dedicated office space such as Endeavour.”

 

Lee Powell, Divisional Managing Director of GMI Construction Group, said: “It is fantastic to continue our work at Sheffield DC and start on site with Endeavour, the final phase of this impressive project.  It is the last parcel of land on this prime site and so there are tight constraints on space for construction but our experience in delivering the other buildings on site allows us to apply value engineering to complete within the 71 weeks schedule.”

 

Source link

Current

Courts Service contradicts Garda declaration journalists were barred from court

Voice Of EU

Published

on

The Courts Service has openly contradicted An Garda Síochána’s declaration that journalists were barred from a court sitting in Waterford earlier this month on the orders of a district justice.

Former Fianna Fáil election candidate Kieran Hartley appeared before Judge Brian O’Shea at Dungarvan District Court on October 13th on a Section 6 public order charge for allegedly committing an offence against a family member of a local garda.

Journalists Eoghan Dalton and Christy Parker were barred for more than three hours from entering the court chamber by two gardaí, who said they had been told the judge had directed that no press be allowed in.

The decision to bar the press – the second time that this has happened to a court hearing where Judge O’Shea was sitting following an incident at a Dublin hearing in 2017 – has now been raised with Garda management.

During exchanges with the reporters, who questioned the decision, one garda said “no one is allowed in this morning”, and while they “honestly” did not “know any details of it” they had been “directed by the court to not allow anyone into it”.

The Garda Press Office later that day insisted “the presiding judge had directed that the court be cleared of persons not involved in the case” as a “voir dire” was in operation.

A voir dire normally occurs when a judge seeks to determine an issue in the course of a trial rather than in advance of one, and very rarely applies at District Court level. Journalists may witness proceedings but not report the details.

Direction

Questioned later, however, the press office said: “The court garda cleared the court as requested by the judge”, and that “it is understood that members of the media who so arrived after that point were inadvertently prevented from accessing the courtroom”.

The Courts Service on Friday said: “At no stage did Judge O’Shea or Courts Service officials issue a direction that the case should be held otherwise than in public”.

“The court sitting at Dungarvan District Court on Wednesday, October 13th, was a public hearing. It involved the hearing of certain arguments in a case, before the ‘substantive’ matter might be heard at another time,” the spokesman said.

“In the absence of an order the law requires that the proceedings take place in public: we are committed to that principle. The alleged actions of gardaí in not allowing access to some media is a matter for Garda management.

“These issues have been raised with Garda management,” said the Courts Service, which is understood to have checked its own records carefully ahead of making its public statement.

When the case came to court on September 22nd, solicitor Paddy Gordon, acting for defence solicitor Frank Buttimer, questioned the legitimacy of statements presented by An Garda Síochána. Mr Gordon claimed they were “not our statements and we want them examined forensically”.

Deferring the matter to the October 13th sitting of Dungarvan District Court, Judge O’Shea instructed that investigating Garda Tom Daly be present, along with his notebook and all original statements.

The judge also asked that Tramore District Superintendent Paul O’Driscoll attend the hearing, which would commence at 10am prior to the main court business.

Candidate

Mr Hartley unsuccessfully contested the 2014 European elections as Fianna Fáil’s Ireland South candidate. He resigned from the party acrimoniously in 2018 following his criticism of its handling of matters related to convicted paedophile Bill Kenneally, whose cousin Brendan was a former Fianna Fáil junior minister.

Judge O’Shea did not issue a written verdict on the present case against Mr Hartley, but it is understood the Garda testaments will stand as presented when it is heard.

Mr Buttimer said he was “not in a position to comment at present”.

Sinn Féin’s justice spokesman Martin Kenny said it was “highly unusual” and that he would be writing to Garda headquarters seeking an explanation. “Justice has to be seen to be done as well as being done, and I find it quite alarming that we’d be in this situation.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Darlington is cheapest for homes, London’s Kensington most expensive

Voice Of EU

Published

on

We all know about the North-South divide. We all know about the Prime Minister’s attempt at ‘levelling up’. We all know about the crumbling Red Wall.

But when it comes to property, the facts of the matter tell their own story. According to Churchill Home Insurance, Darlington in County Durham is the cheapest place to buy a property in the country, at just £58 per square foot.

Which is staggering when you compare it to the most expensive — Kensington in central London, where the average price per square foot stands at £1,721. 

Imposing: The Clock Tower in Darlington, County Durham - the cheapest place to buy a property in the country, at just £58 per square foot

Imposing: The Clock Tower in Darlington, County Durham – the cheapest place to buy a property in the country, at just £58 per square foot

Music giants Robbie Williams and Eric Clapton have homes in this exclusive royal borough home, as do entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson and Sir James Dyson.

But here’s the twist: anyone looking to take advantage of Darlington’s prices might have to move fast because there are plans to turn this market town into the hottest property in the north.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is opening up a smart new division of the Treasury there over the next five years, moving about a quarter of the department. 

That’s about 400 people, many of whom will be local recruits. ‘We’re giving talented people in the North-East the opportunity to work in the heart of Government, making decisions on important issues for our country,’ explains Sunak.

So what are the draws of these polar-opposite locations?

Kensington is one of the crown jewels of London neighbourhoods featuring not just top museums but also a host of chic cafes, boutique shops, and even Kensington Palace, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge live with their children.

There are three Zone 1 underground stations and several independent schools, and you’re a stroll away from the West End. 

Upmarket: A terrace in Kensington, London, where the average price per square foot stands at £1,721

Upmarket: A terrace in Kensington, London, where the average price per square foot stands at £1,721

Top restaurants include Daphne’s and Launceston Place — both favourites of the late Princess Diana — and the iconic Bibendum with two Michelin stars.

There’s no surprises when it comes to property values in this area; they’re stellar. The cheapest property in Kensington for sale on Rightmove in the middle of October was priced at £40,000 and that was just a space in a car park. 

The most expensive listing, by contrast, was a seven- bedroom semi, with an eye-watering asking price of £30 million.

Of just over 510 property sales in the past year, the average price was a slightly more modest £2,169,235, according to Zoopla, but that’s after prices took a 4 per cent knock as fewer people bought in London during the pandemic.

It’s a different story in Darlington, which has a modest average property price of £172,724, according to Zoopla. 

But things are changing; there have been more than 1,600 property sales in the past 12 months and prices have gently risen 4.5 per cent. The most expensive home on sale is a four-bedroom detached house with grounds, for £700,000.

However that’s still an exception, with many more at the other end of the scale, where there are several two-bedroom terrace houses for sale at £45,000.

If you’re moving in, bone up on railway history — the world’s first steam train service began here almost 200 years ago. 

Otherwise, look out for a twice-weekly street market, the revamped Hippodrome theatre and the odd tribute to comic Vic Reeves and businessman Duncan Bannatyne, both brought up in the town.

Darlington is brimming with well-preserved Victorian buildings while you can stroll in the beautiful South Park. If you’re after the best of local food, the two-Michelin starred Raby Hunt Restaurant is the place to go.

The town has the buzz of a place on the move — there are modernisations under way at both the railway station (2 ½ hours to London, 30 minutes to Newcastle) and the indoor market.

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak’s Treasury initiative is already putting Darlington on the map. ‘I know of several people from London who have moved here thanks to working remotely,’ says estate agent Henry Carver of Carver Residential. 

On the market: North-South divide 

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Facebook admits high-profile users are treated differently

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Facebook’s oversight board said the social media company hadn’t been “fully forthcoming” about internal rules that allowed some high-profile users to be exempt from content restrictions and said it will make recommendations on how to change the system.

In the first of its quarterly transparency reports published Thursday, the board said that on some occasions, Facebook “failed to provide relevant information to the board,” and in other instances the information it did provide was incomplete.

For example, when Facebook referred the case involving former US president Donald Trump to the board, it didn’t mention its internal “cross-check system” that allowed for a different set of rules for high-profile users.

Facebook only mentioned cross-check, or XCheck, to the board when asked whether Trump’s page or account had been subject to ordinary content moderation processes.

The cross-check system was disclosed in recent reporting by the Wall Street Journal, based in part on documents from a whistle-blower.

The journal described how the cross-check system, originally intended to be a quality-control measure for a select few high-profile users and designed to avoid public relations backlash over famous people who mistakenly have their posts taken down, had ballooned to include millions of accounts.

The oversight board said it will undertake a review of the cross-check system and make suggestions on how to improve it.

As part of the process, Facebook has agreed to share with the board relevant documents about the cross-check system as reported in the Wall Street Journal. – Bloomberg

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!