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North West homeowners offered free double glazing to tackle road noise

Around 600 homeowners in the North West who live near motorways or major A roads could soon get free double glazing to reduce noise levels.

A new Highways England initiative will see the owners of more than 3,000 homes across the country being offered upgrades to windows, bi-folding doors and patio doors in bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms and studies by spring 2020.

Funding for the free noise insulation scheme is part of a £39 million special fund which Highways England is using to reduce noise levels for people living close to motorways and major A roads; it also includes installing noise barriers and low-noise road surfaces.

Ian Holmes, Principal Noise Advisor at Highways England, said: “Motorways are vital for connecting the country and supporting the economy but, at a local level, noise from the vehicles using them can affect people’s health and wellbeing.

“We’re committed to tackling traffic noise across the country and I’d urge anyone who receives a letter from us to get in touch; the scheme is entirely free, from the initial survey to the installation of the new windows and ventilation units.

Highways England has identified locations where new glazing will be the best solution for reducing noise levels, and the owners of some 3,000 eligible properties will be contacted over the next few months to be offered free windows and doors.

Ventilation units will also be fitted which allow air into rooms without windows needing to be opened.

A Cheshire couple, who live less than 80 metres away from a busy motorway, have become the first in England to benefit from the free double glazing scheme.

Fred and June Glass from Frodsham moved into their home around two years ago and were contacted by Highways England contractors due to its location close to the motorway.

The stretch of the M56 near their home is used by over 124,000 vehicles every day, meaning they previously had to put up with constant traffic noise at all times of the day and night. Now, thanks to the scheme, the noise levels in their lounge and bedroom are like a library.

Mr Glass said: “We are delighted to have new double glazed windows and frames installed, free of charge, to help with reducing the noise levels.

“The entire process has been really easy and the communication with Highways England’s contractor, Forrest, and the care taken during the installation was superb.

“We’re really satisfied with the end result and have noticed a huge difference in day-to-day noise levels.”

Highways England has appointed Forrest to carry out the first phase of its free noise insulation initiative.

Darroch Baker, Divisional Director at Forrest, said: “As a contractor with the ability to manage all aspects of this important scheme, including resident communication, property surveying and installation of the proposed improvements, we are thrilled to be appointed by Highways England.

“The project is a great opportunity to contribute to improvements in the health and quality of life of the population most exposed to high traffic noise levels.”

More details on the free noise insulation initiative are available at


School children unveil safety-themed artwork at Stockbridge Village scheme

School children from across Stockbridge Village gathered at The Withens housing development on Friday, to unveil designs that they have produced for hoardings at the site.

Villages Housing Association, a member of the ForViva Group, is investing £12.4 million in The Withens extra care facility, which is being built on land next to the older people’s apartments at Roughsedge House.

The scheme will include 90 new properties, including 64 extra care homes and 26 bungalows for affordable rent, and will be the first new homes built in Stockbridge Village for a decade.

Children from Stockbridge Village Primary School, St Albert’s Catholic Primary School and St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School all created artwork for the site based on health and safety and what makes a safe construction site.

The youngsters got kitted out in their own hard hats and high visibility vests as they took part in a health and safety workshop on the site run by contractor Forrest.

Six pupils from Stockbridge Village Primary School have now formed a Health and Safety Team that will carry out mini site visits, document the development by taking photographs and send out a newsletter to parents about the progress on site.

The children will also meet each term with the Site Manager and the school’s Chair of Governors to give feedback from their school and be involved in some decision making.

Nigel Sedman, Director of Investment and Regeneration at ForViva, said: “We were delighted to welcome pupils from local primary schools along to The Withens to unveil their fantastic artwork – it really brightens up the site.

“It’s great news that Stockbridge Village Primary School’s new Health and Safety Team will see pupils even further involved with The Withens, which will provide the first new homes in the area for ten years.”

Ted Macdougal, Divisional Director from Forrest said: “Health and safety is the number one priority in our Business so working with ForViva to proactively engage with children across Stockbridge has been really useful to raise awareness of potential hazards or risks in the near vicinity of a live construction site, all in a fun way. The artwork, which is installed on the perimeter hoarding of the site, raises a smile every time our operatives arrive on site.”

Work started on site at The Withens in August 2017 and completion of the facility and bungalows ear-marked for February 2019.


Ground Breaking Work Starts at Liverpool Waters Development

Building work at Liverpool Waters, one of Europe’s largest redevelopment projects, is officially underway after a ground-breaking ceremony for Plaza 1821 marked the beginning of a wave of construction work at Princes Dock.

Plaza 1821 is a £21 million, sixteen-storey residential tower which will house 105 one and two bedroom apartments. The building will also have dedicated amenity space on the ground floor.

Plaza 1821 is a PRS (Private Rented Sector) development by Peel Land and Property on behalf of The Regenda Group. North West based construction firm Forrest, has been appointed as the construction partner for the project. Once complete, Plaza 1821 will be owned and managed by Redwing Living, a subsidiary of Regenda.

The new development will be the first building to be constructed since Peel unveiled its vision for the 60-hectare Liverpool Waters site just over a decade ago. Two other buildings, Your Housing Group’s Hive City Docks and Moda Living’s The Lexington, are also due to begin construction at Princes Dock in the near future.

The news is the latest in a series of major announcements regarding the £5 billion Liverpool Waters development as the project moves into its delivery phase. Last year saw the revised masterplan for Central Dock unveiled, significant progress on plans for the new Liverpool Cruise and Isle of Man ferry terminals, planning permission being granted for the first development at Central Dock and Everton Football Club exchanging contracts with Liverpool Waters to make Bramley-Moore Dock the club’s new home as they finalise plans to leave Goodison Park.

Lindsey Ashworth, development director at Liverpool Waters said: “2017 was a breakthrough year for Liverpool Waters so it is fitting that the first building work now starts this new year. 2018 will be a significant year for the project and Plaza 1821 marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter here and we are looking forward to seeing our vision for Liverpool Waters becoming a reality.”

Neil Baumber, development director for residential at Peel Land and Property, said: “This is the first PRS development that Peel Land and Property has developed and it is great to have Regenda and Forrest as our partners on this project. We are all focussed on expanding the residential offering available at Liverpool Waterfront and delivering a quality development that is in keeping with this prime location.”

Fiona Coventry, managing director of Redwing Living, said: “We’re really excited to see work begin on Plaza 1821, which is a flagship development for the Regenda Group and Redwing Living, and part of our ambitious plans for the Liverpool City Region. Plaza 1821 will offer beautiful and spacious apartments in a highly sought after location, with views over the River Mersey and back across the city. Liverpool Waters is a spectacular project, and we are rightly proud to be involved.”

Mark Nicholson, CEO at Forrest said: “Commencing work on creating this high quality residential development on such a prestigious site as Liverpool Waters is a truly exciting opportunity for us. The culmination of six months working collaboratively with Peel Land and Property and the design team to reach this stage is a credit to all involved and the ground-breaking ceremony marks the start of the much-anticipated construction phase”.

For all the latest news on the development, please visit


Forrest Tops Out at X1 The Plaza

Contractor Forrest has reached full height at residential development X1 The Plaza.

A topping out ceremony was held on site with attendees from developer X1, property consultancy Knight Knox, consultant Savills, designer DK-Architects, structural engineer MDA Wirral Ltd, in addition to the project team from Forrest.

Celebrating by signing company names into a cast concrete plinth the team also gave a nod to tradition by placing a tree on the top floor which is seen to bestow good luck on the building. The tree will be planted in the soft landscaping during the end of the construction works.

This project team has already successfully worked in together on the adjacent residential development, X1 Eastbank, which was completed last year. Forrest is also currently progressing with two additional schemes for the developer in Salford, X1 The Gateway and X1 The Landmark.

With all apartments at X1 The Plaza sold off plan following a very high volume of interest the scheme, which commenced in January, will be ready for a phased handover between February and April 2018.

Matthew Fisher, project director at Forrest commented, “Reaching full height on this scheme is a proud milestone in our construction programme. We wanted to host a gathering for all the project team to mark the occasion and celebrate progress to date.”

Melissa Green, operations & regional director at X1 stated, “This is our second successful project working with Forrest and it is fantastic to see such popularity with regards to both sales and rentals at X1 The Plaza.”


Drone captures Southern Water’s project to reduce its carbon footprint with solar power

This eye in the sky captures thousands of solar panels that have been installed at Southern Water sites to help it reduce its carbon footprint.

Working with their solar energy partner Forrest, Southern Water has installed a total capacity of 4.2 MWpk at three sites – enough energy to provide electricity for between 1,000 and 1,400 UK homes every year.

The generation of this additional solar powered energy is helping Southern Water generate 17% of its total energy needs from renewable sources to run the business across Hampshire, Sussex and Kent.

Around 3,200 solar panels have now been installed at Hardham in West Sussex, 5,700 free-standing solar panels have been installed next to our site in Otterbourne, Winchester and more than 7,300 panels are in place and ready to go at Testwood in Totton. The drone footage has captured images of the Testwood and Otterbourne sites.

Forrest designed and installed the panels. The project across the three sites has been managed by Arcadis.

Energy Manager at Southern Water, Martin Ross, said: “The use of renewable energy helps Southern Water reduce its reliance on fossil fuel derived energy, lessening the impact on the environment and helps to cut operating costs. We are excited about the prospect of developing further schemes that maximise energy generation from renewable sources and energy from waste.”

Darroch Baker, Divisional Director at Forrest, commented: “These are the first projects successfully delivered as part of the renewable energy framework in partnership with Southern Water. The three sites are ideal for solar PV in terms of ground conditions and climate and, by using this space which would otherwise stand empty, our client is reducing their carbon footprint and enabling the best value out of their land.

“These installs continue our strategy in working alongside water utility organisations across the UK to reduce energy costs and carbon across very energy intensive sites.”

To view drone footage of the solar panel sites at Testwood and Otterbourne, please follow the link:


New CEO Joins Forrest

Forrest announces the appointment of its new CEO, Mark Nicholson.

The Board is pleased to confirm that it has selected Mark to be the new Chief Executive Officer for the organisation to strengthen the existing management team. He will commence the role on 9 October 2017.

Mark joins from his previous position as Managing Director – Building (Scotland, North, Midlands/South West) at Carillion plc which he held for the past 10 years. Prior to that he held positions as regional Managing Director roles for both Bovis Lend Lease (UK) Ltd and Jarvis Construction (UK) Ltd. Mark is a qualified Chartered Surveyor.

During his time at Carillion, Mark has been instrumental in the construction of a series of major UK, and in particular North West projects, including Greater Manchester Police HQ, the BCO award winning 1 St Peter’s Square, the new main stand at Anfield and the major redevelopment of First Street in Manchester. Mark’s success has been based on an ethos of working very closely with his clients and ensuring that for every project there is high quality client service and project delivery.

Bob Holt, Chairman at Forrest, said: “Mark is a leading name with a distinguished reputation within the industry. His leadership ability, combined with his focus on client service, will drive the next chapter at Forrest. This is a truly exciting time for the business and we welcome him onboard.”

On being selected for the role, Mark said: “My new appointment at Forrest is a fantastic opportunity in my career. Forrest has a major order book in construction, an established brand in refurbishment and an exciting energy service offering, a combination which is unique and offers a really exciting future for the Company. Forrest has recently completed a major turnaround and I look forward to leading the business, supported by the Board and the new management team, into the next stage of its growth and development.”


Pioneering science park smart-microgrid scheme moves a step closer with key appointment

Forrest selected by Britain’s Energy Coast to develop Energy Masterplan to bring energy independence to Cumbrian science park


Britain’s Energy Coast (BEC) has appointed Forrest as their chosen partner to develop the Westlakes Science Park Low Carbon Energy Masterplan.

The appointment is a critical step for BEC, the owners and operators of Westlakes Science and Technology Park in Cumbria, as it looks to bring low carbon power generation and export capabilities to Westlakes in a bid to develop energy resilience and minimise the carbon footprint of the site.

Securing this unique project by competing against 17 other organisations during the open tender process, Forrest was selected for the scheme near Whitehaven in Cumbria based on technical expertise in addition to their approach to partnering and social value.

Over the coming months Forrest will be developing the masterplan, based on smart-microgrids and energy technologies, to develop a bespoke route map for the two square mile site. Efficiencies of the existing property portfolio, asset and maintenance plans and future developments will be taken into consideration for a fully integrated solution. This may include distributed energy, building management systems, solar PV, electric vehicles, district heating, energy efficiency measures and demand side response.

With low carbon energy ambitions being key to the delivery of BEC’s business focus and corporate strategy, their ambition for the site is for it to become grid independent for power and heat. Energy storage and demand management will be part of the mix.

Darroch Baker, Divisional Director at Forrest said “Being selected for this pioneering scheme demonstrates our commitment to working with innovative clients to drive their low carbon objectives. BEC has some really exciting ideas for future energy activity and we’ll be critical in supporting at strategic level to achieve these and recommend new opportunities which have not yet been considered”.

BEC CEO, Michael Pemberton, commented: “Following our change in strategic direction last year we have been committed to leading the way in sustainable building and low carbon property issues. We went out to an open market for this project to ensure we brought the best thinking to our doorstep. Forrest’s track record in bringing pioneering projects to fruition, together with our shared values as organisations, made them a great fit. With the property industry responsible for a third of all carbon emissions, the intersection between property and energy has never been under more scrutiny, we want to lead positive industry change with this scheme.”

Joe Martin, Head of Funding & Energy at BEC added: “This is a really exciting first step for us – our ambition for Westlakes Science & Technology Park is to become self-sufficient with renewable energy. This will benefit our customers on the Park and provide resiliency against rising energy prices while reducing our carbon footprint. The Park is at the centre of the Energy Coast and our aim is to ensure that it continues to support the growth and development of the UK’s low carbon energy sector.”

Photo Credit: Adamedia Ltd


Forrest Wins Fourth Major Project with X1

Forrest has been appointed to deliver another major Salford development for developer X1, named X1 The Landmark.

Designed by DK Architects, the development will consist of 191 one, two and three bedroom apartments, together with two, three and four bedroom townhouses. It will also feature a double-height gym, residents lounge, courtyard garden, concierge and secure parking.

The £31.2m scheme is the fourth contract Forrest has been awarded by X1. The business completed phase one of X1 Eastbank project last year, and is currently onsite at X1 The Plaza and also X1 The Gateway.

Tim Waters, senior project manager at Forrest said: “Building on our successes on similar projects for X1, our appointment to this scheme further strengthens our presence in delivering high-quality city centre living. The scheme will act as the gateway leading into the Middlewood Locks development in Salford so it’s a key scheme for the improvement of the wider area”.

Melissa Green, regional operations director at X1 said “We are hugely excited to see this project starting on site, and to continue building on our strong relationship with Forrest.

This will be a fantastic development with a really interesting array of apartments and townhouses and the level of finish, such as the 2.4m high windows to all apartments, will lift the bar for quality in the area.

Demand has been great, and we have already sold most of the apartments.”

Apartments in X1 The Landmark were released for sale earlier this year by property consultancy Knight Knox.

Andy Phillips, commercial director at Knight Knox commented: “X1 The Landmark is a superb development in an enviable location close to Manchester city centre – it is no surprise that it has already proven to be so popular! Potential buyers are urged to contact Knight Knox sooner rather than later to avoid missing out on this outstanding development.”

For any sales enquiries, contact Knight Knox on 0161 772 1730.


Forrest appointed to Coal Authority’s Solar PV Framework

Contractor Forrest has secured a place on the Coal Authority’s four year framework to install solar panels across some of its portfolio of land and properties.

Forrest’s specialist in-house energy team will undertake the design and installation of roof and ground mounted solar PV systems alongside two other contractors HBS New Energies and Campbell & Kennedy.

The Coal Authority, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, was established to manage the effects of Britain’s complex coal mining legacy, including mine water pollution.

It is responsible for 75 mine water treatment plants across Britain, which prevents some 4,000 tonnes of iron solids from entering water courses and drinking water each year. Out of the 75 schemes, 43 require some form of at-depth pumping. The consequence of this is an annual power cost of £2 million for the Coal Authority and is why it began to explore various ways to not only offset the demand for electricity on each site but also minimise its climate change impact.

Darroch Baker, Divisional Director at Forrest said “We have a strong reputation for delivering rooftop, ground-mounted and even floating solar systems in both the public and commercial sectors and are thrilled to be appointed by the Coal Authority to this new Framework. We’re looking forward to working closely with the Authority to deliver energy technologies to resolve the impact of mining, and establishing innovative and creative solutions to assist in providing a sustainable future”.

Phil Broughton, Innovation Project Manager for the Coal Authority said: We are pleased to be working with Forrest as they will play a part in our aim to significantly reduce the operational costs of some of our treatment schemes across the country. We believe solar arrays are an innovative way to support our overall sustainability goals”.

This latest win comes shortly after Forrest’s appointment to Southern Water’s solar PV framework.


Ninth Consecutive Gold for Forrest

Forrest is a winner at the RoSPA Health and Safety Awards 2017.

The Health and Safety department achieved the Gold Medal (nine consecutive Golds) award in the prestigious annual scheme run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

They were presented with the award during a ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel on Thursday, July 13, 2017. The award was achieved during a special year for family-safety charity RoSPA, as it celebrates its centenary.

Through the RoSPA Awards scheme, which is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas, judges consider entrants’ overarching occupational health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

Emma Bolton, Health & Safety Advisor at Forrest, said: “Winning our ninth consecutive RoSPA gold is an exceptional achievement for the whole business. It demonstrates a thorough commitment by all employees in ensuring our construction sites are safe, for all operatives and members of the public”.

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of awards and events, said: “The RoSPA Awards are the most prestigious in the world of occupational health and safety, and held in high regard around the world, as winning one demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to maintaining an excellent health and safety record. Achieving the standard required is no mean feat.

“This is a special year in the history of RoSPA, and we congratulate all of our winners in this, our centenary year”.



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