Belfast firm signs the biggest work deal yet under Project Gigabit




Fibrus has just started to connect tens of thousands of people living and working in rural Cumbria to lightning-fast broadband under a deal worth more than £108m.

Around 60,000 premises in the county will be connected to the fastest broadband on the market.

Dominic Kearns, CEO of Fibrus, said: “We are committed to supporting local communities, ensuring any work undertaken in our name supports apprenticeships and allows more people to reap the benefits of full-fibre. ”

The firm has committed to creating at least 90 apprenticeships following the government investment.

These will cover a range of roles, from underground and overhead cabling to surveying, and Fibrus has also committed to establish an apprentice training academy at Newton Rigg near Penrith.

Areas in Cumbria to benefit

Locations set to benefit from the new super-fast broadband include:

  • Beckermet
  • Bootle
  • Borrowdale
  • Broughton-in-Furness
  • Buttermere
  • Coniston
  • Gilsland
  • Grasmere
  • Hawkshead

 


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Kier leads switch to hybrid battery generators

The decision to switch follows a  trial of 10 battery storage units on the contractor’s sites.

Kier has established a monthly saving per unit of seven tonnes of carbon, an overall reduction in generator run time of 59%, and a cost saving of over £2,000, after BSU hire costs are accounted for.

Hirer Sunbelt Rentals will supply the battery storage units to Kier sites.

Generators and BSU work in tandem as the main source of electricity to site operations.  When the battery is running low, the generator automatically starts and recharges it, turning off once fully charged.

This means generators can be downsized, leading to significant fuel savings, reducing both costs and carbon.

Chris Lilley, Kier Group health, safety, wellbeing and sustainability director, said: “This is a positive step forward for us to achieve the commitments laid out in our Building for a Sustainable World framework.

“It will help us

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Demolition worker crushed by excavator

Ace Demolition Services Ltd had been contracted by Southend Borough Council to demolish Futures Community College, in Southchurch Boulevard, Southend-on-Sea.

Shannon Brasier, who was 20 years old at the time, was working with a colleague to load a fuel hose into the rear compartment of a 21-tonne excavator, when the excavator moved round and crushed her between the excavator and a mobile fuel tank.

Brasier, from Dagenham, suffered life-changing injuries, including to her neck, skull and face, which she was fortunate to survive.

An HSE investigation found that Ace Demolition Services Ltd failed to implement suitable controls to segregate pedestrians and construction plant, allowed two pairs of keys to be used during the refuelling process and allowed operatives to act as signallers/banksman for the excavator without having received adequate training.

A director, John Gilligan, was responsible for supervising the refuelling and drove the excavator before the refuelling was complete.

The

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Electrical contractors still confident despite staff shortages

The latest Building Engineering Business Survey, backed by trade bodies ECA, BESA, SELECT and SNIPEF, revealed that 75% of firms expect to perform better in Q4 2022 than the same period last year.

Almost four out of five businesses saw their turnover stay the same or increase between April and September this year, and most seem to expect the trend to continue in the short term.

But just over half listed staff shortages as their number one or number two worry for their business while 52% highlighted shortages in electrical skills as a particular concern.

Closely following was overriding concerns about price inflation of materials as there continues to be a global shortage of semi-conductors.

ECA Director of Legal and Business Rob Driscoll said: “Today’s engineering services landscape is more complex than ever. The major increase in energy prices has significantly increased demand for certain services, but residual concerns remain

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Pension provider B&CE changes name to People’s Partnership

The announcement coincides with the 80th anniversary of the not-for-profit organisation, which began life providing holiday stamps to the construction industry during the Second World War.

Today, it provides a range of straightforward financial products, including The People’s Pension, which has more than six million members.

With assets under management currently more than £17bn and serving more than 100,000 employers across the UK, it has grown to become one of the biggest pension schemes in the country.

Patrick Heath-Lay, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We have always been the people’s partner. Founded for social good, as a not-for-profit – or profit for people – organisation, our customers, our members, are always our main focus. And whatever we do, that will never change.

“Our purpose is to help people, from all sectors across the UK, to build financial foundations for life, giving greater financial security to millions.

“So, this isn’t just

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