April 2017

BUILD / April 2017 7 NEWS , The contract, worth up to £50 million, is expected to be awarded later this year. The four con- sultancies or Joint Ventures invit- ed to be invited to tender for the work are: • AECOM Limited; • Amey Arup Joint Venture; • Atkins WSP Joint Venture and; • Jacobs UK Ltd. Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown said: “This major contract marks a further milestone towards the dualling of the A96 with all the in- vestment and improvements that will bring to the north-east and the Highland’s, including improved journey time and reliability, im- proved connectivity and improved road safety for all those who use this key artery connecting Scot- land’s two most northerly cities. “When this contract is awarded later this year, design work for the eastern section will step up a gear with route option assess- ment work getting underway. This contract will also provide the suc- cessful bidders with steady work for years to come and many more opportunities for small and medi- um enterprises through subcon- tracted work, so it will be a boost for the local and national econo- my. “At the same time, we are pro- gressing other parts of the A96 Dualling programme with draft Orders published for the Inver- ness to Nairn (including Nairn By- pass) late last year. Design work is also underway for the western section between Hardmuir and Fochabers and we hope to let the public see and comment on the options being developed in the summer.” Four Firms Chasing Multi- Million A96 Contract Four design consultancies or Joint Ventures are to be invited to bid for the contract for a 26mile stretch of the A96 from east of Huntly to Aberdeen - the eastern section of the Scottish Government’s ambitious programme to dual the A96 from Inverness to Aberdeen by 2030. Improved road trans- port links (55%), local authority-sponsored urban regeneration schemes (48%) and airport upgrades (43%) were ranked second, third and fourth respectively among property in- vestors in terms of the potential of- fered by developing adjacent sites. Analysis of the govern- ment-backed projects on an individual basis shows that three-quarters (77%) of property developers ranked Crossrail and Crossrail (2) as offering the most potential for residential schemes, ahead of High Speed 2 (51%), Thameslink (47%) and superfast broadband (14%).2 According to the study, an over- whelming majority (86%) of UK property developers believe that their peers are increasingly looking to capitalise on opportunities gen- erated by the new £23 billion gov- ernment-backed infrastructure pro- gramme over the next five years. Keith Aldridge, Founder & Man- aging Director at Amicus Property Finance, said: “The government’s decision to invest in building new infrastructure and upgrading ex- isting assets provides a tremen- dous opportunity for residential and commercial property devel- opers and we can expect this to continue for many years to come. “The longer-term impact of this infrastructure programme on re- generating existing residential communities and creating new ones cannot be underestimat- ed, particularly when combined with the government’s renewed commitment to addressing the country’s housing gap. We have already seen growing demand among developers seeking short term finance to fund infrastruc- ture-related residential and com- mercial schemes.” Amicus Property Finance’s re- search also revealed that Cross- rail and Crossrail 2 as the highest ranked government infrastructure schemes for commercial property development (71%) followed by High Speed 2 (51%), Thameslink (47%) and Manchester Airport (24%). Amicus Property Finance, part of Amicus Finance plc, the lead- ing specialist financial services group, has seen a strong start to 2017 having provided more than £1 billion of short term property loans last year as it further ex- panded its customer base among brokers, professional landlords and developers seeking finance for residential and commercial real estate assets. As part of its growth journey, Ami- cus Finance plc, which expects to receive its banking licence this year, opened an office in Man- chester last year to significantly expand its presence across the North. The new Manchester office provides a regional hub for SME lending, working capital solutions and short term property loans. Amicus has seen consistently strong funding from the Omni Secured Lending (OSL) Funds. Vintages I, II and III have pro- vided more than £500m of insti- tutional third-party funding to the business. During January and February 2017 alone Vintage III raised more than £200m of new institutional capital, which is be- ing actively deployed to fund new lending activity. Amicus Property Finance’s prop- erty loan portfolio is current- ly made up of 85% residential properties and 15% commercial properties, with 70% located in London or the South East. Its loans are repaid, on average, in eight months and it typically lends between £50,000 and £7 million. (1) Research conducted in March 2017 with 51 UK property devel- opers (2) Additional information on the government’s key infrastructure schemes • Crossrail is a 73-mile railway line under development in London and the home coun- ties of Berkshire, Bucking- hamshire and Essex. The central section and a large portion of the line, between Paddington in central Lon- don and Abbey Wood in the south-east, are due to open in December 2018.