Eco town gives economy a boost

The economic benefits brought about by the creation of the North West Bicester eco town are beginning to be felt locally through increased employment and apprenticeship opportunities.

At last Thursday’s (23 October) meeting of the Eco Bicester Strategic Delivery Board, members heard more about the Employment and Training Management Plan (ETMP) which has been submitted by lead developer A2Dominion and approved by Cherwell District Council.

The document outlined the efforts being undertaken to create opportunities for local businesses during the five year construction of the phase one Exemplar site, including a pledge to use at least 20 per cent of labour living within a 20-mile radius, the establishment of a local business portal and £5,000 annual contributions during the construction of the Exemplar to Bicester Job Club.

Cllr Norman Bolster, Cherwell’s lead member for estates and economy, said: “The creation of the North West Bicester eco town is about more than delivery of 6,000 sustainable homes; it is about using this as an opportunity to create a strong and vibrant local economy and opportunities for businesses within the area. What the Employment and Training Management Plan does is outline exactly how that will be achieved and it is encouraging to see that during the  six months of construction there are already real prospects on offer to those working in the local construction industry.”

Members of the delivery board heard how, in April 2012, A2Dominion launched a business portal on the North West Bicester project website enabling local companies within a 50-mile radius of the site to register an interest in the scheme and be notified of appropriate opportunities to tender for works on this ground breaking project. To date, 198 registrations had been received and A2Dominion’s principle contractor, Wilmott Dixon, has so far issued 11 of 15 work packages to companies based within a 50-mile radius.

The meeting also heard six Bicester companies were currently being used to supply materials and contracts were in the process of being placed with electrical, plumbing and metalwork sub-contractors, all within a 50-mile radius. Furthermore, of the 50 workers currently on site, 23 per cent live within 20 miles of the site.  The first Exemplar phase also promises to create ten construction apprenticeships.

In addition to the onsite contributions, A2Dominion has also committed to allocating £5,000 per annum to Bicester Job Club to offer added value support and help local people access opportunities arising on site.

Louise Caves, strategic partnership manager for A2Dominion said: “We are committed to sharing the economic benefits of North West Bicester with local businesses and people.  In addition to the business portal which stores the details of local companies to be considered for tendering on latter phases, we are working closely with Willmott Dixon to offer a range of opportunities for people to get involved in the first phase from full time jobs and vocational apprenticeships to six month work placements and two week work experience opportunities.

“With construction of the first homes to due to commence in early November, we believe it’s a really exciting way for local people to be part of such a pioneering and ground-breaking project.”

Work is already under way to construct the first phase of the project, known as the Exemplar site, which will consist of 393 zero carbon homes, a primary school, shop, eco-pub and community centre.  For more information about business, job or apprenticeship opportunities at North West Bicester visit www.nwbicester.co.uk to register.

Bicester is becoming a hot bed for new and existing businesses that want to grow.

“Bicester is becoming a hot bed for new and existing businesses that want to grow. We’ve got a great location, excellent business networks and access to high quality investment opportunities.”
2016-09-24T12:44:28+00:00
“Bicester is becoming a hot bed for new and existing businesses that want to grow. We’ve got a great location, excellent business networks and access to high quality investment opportunities.”

Membership of Bicester Vision has provided the best possible conduit for the military

"Membership of Bicester Vision has provided the best possible conduit for the military to both understand and contribute towards the development and Bicester Town"
2016-12-06T14:46:03+00:00
"Membership of Bicester Vision has provided the best possible conduit for the military to both understand and contribute towards the development and Bicester Town"

Being a member enables us to build a close understanding of the needs of local businesses

“Chiltern Railways provides fast, frequent train services from Bicester North station and the newly opened Bicester Village station to London, Birmingham, Oxford and key locations in between.  Being a member of Bicester Vision enables us to build a close understanding of the needs of local businesses and helps us to shape our future growth strategy.”

Stephen Barker, Chiltern Railways
2016-12-07T09:04:34+00:00
“Chiltern Railways provides fast, frequent train services from Bicester North station and the newly opened Bicester Village station to London, Birmingham, Oxford and key locations in between.  Being a member of Bicester Vision enables us to build a close understanding of the needs of local businesses and helps us to shape our future growth strategy.”Stephen Barker, Chiltern Railways

We have a profound interest in the progress of the Town

“The Bicester Chamber of Commerce and Bicester Vision have a profound interest in the progress of the Town and understand that in some circumstances the continual increase in the numbers of houses and businesses will cause disquiet, to individuals and existing business alike. Change is always with us, and both the “Chamber” and “Vision” endeavour to keep the standards from the past while facing, and working, with the challenges of the future.”

Peter Cox, Chairman of Bicester Chamber
2016-12-07T09:07:17+00:00
“The Bicester Chamber of Commerce and Bicester Vision have a profound interest in the progress of the Town and understand that in some circumstances the continual increase in the numbers of houses and businesses will cause disquiet, to individuals and existing business alike. Change is always with us, and both the “Chamber” and “Vision” endeavour to keep the standards from the past while facing, and working, with the challenges of the future.”Peter Cox, Chairman of Bicester Chamber

The primary objective for Bicester Vision is to provide opportunities for job creation

"The primary objective for Bicester Vision is to provide opportunities for job creation and this supports a key commitment within our Local Plan to deliver employment in line with housing. As a designated Garden Town, Bicester is expanding at the pace so it is essential to attract the inward investment and businesses who will be vital to this success. Through our membership with Bicester Vision, we can work with partners and existing businesses to access to additional channels, resources and innovative ideas to help us to achieve our goal as a district of opportunity and employment."

Karen Curtin, Commercial Director (Bicester) , Cherwell District Council
2016-12-07T09:10:34+00:00
"The primary objective for Bicester Vision is to provide opportunities for job creation and this supports a key commitment within our Local Plan to deliver employment in line with housing. As a designated Garden Town, Bicester is expanding at the pace so it is essential to attract the inward investment and businesses who will be vital to this success. Through our membership with Bicester Vision, we can work with partners and existing businesses to access to additional channels, resources and innovative ideas to help us to achieve our goal as a district of opportunity and employment."Karen Curtin, Commercial Director (Bicester) , Cherwell District Council

The County Council is a key partner in delivering infrastructure for housing and employment growth in Bicester

"The County Council is a key partner in delivering infrastructure for housing and employment growth in Bicester.  Essential to that is the close working across all tiers of government and the private sector to enable all Bicester businesses to prosper and create job opportunities for the community.  The Council has been a founding member and has seen the work of the partnership play an active role in shaping a flourishing Bicester."

Lisa Michelson, Locality Manager , Oxfordshire County Council
2016-12-07T09:30:32+00:00
"The County Council is a key partner in delivering infrastructure for housing and employment growth in Bicester.  Essential to that is the close working across all tiers of government and the private sector to enable all Bicester businesses to prosper and create job opportunities for the community.  The Council has been a founding member and has seen the work of the partnership play an active role in shaping a flourishing Bicester."Lisa Michelson, Locality Manager , Oxfordshire County Council

Bicester Town Council has been part of Bicester Vision since its inception

"Bicester Town Council has been part of Bicester Vision since its inception and are pleased to be able to work alongside the  business community and all tiers of local government to make Bicester the ‘go to’ place for business opportunity."

Sue Mackrell, Bicester Town Council
2016-12-07T09:44:43+00:00
"Bicester Town Council has been part of Bicester Vision since its inception and are pleased to be able to work alongside the  business community and all tiers of local government to make Bicester the ‘go to’ place for business opportunity."Sue Mackrell, Bicester Town Council

Through our work with Bicester Vision we are able identify the development needs of the town

“Ziran Land and its predecessor Stockdale Land has found that working closely with the business community of Bicester has enabled us to successfully develop Pioneer Square Shopping Centre and now to develop Franklin House, which was completed in 2016.  The growth of Bicester enables us, through our work with Bicester Vision, to identify the business, retail and leisure development needs of the town and to work closely with the business community to provide these.”

John Liggins, Managing Director, Ziran Land Limited
2016-12-07T09:47:00+00:00
“Ziran Land and its predecessor Stockdale Land has found that working closely with the business community of Bicester has enabled us to successfully develop Pioneer Square Shopping Centre and now to develop Franklin House...”

Bicester Vision is an effective way for interested parties to collaborate

"Bicester Vision is an effective way for interested parties to collaborate. We have recently worked with Lisa Rawlings at Banbury and Bicester College as being an industry partner for Bicester Technology studio school and supporting them on the curriculum, equipment specification, and funding. As well as facilitating other 3rd Party Logistics firms like DHL to be involved, Solar panel contact via the Low Carbon Hub to support on the building design for sustainable construction."

Steve Thornton, Director UK Logistics & Supply Chain, BRITA UK
2016-12-07T09:49:31+00:00
"Bicester Vision is an effective way for interested parties to collaborate. We have recently worked with Lisa Rawlings at Banbury and Bicester College as being an industry partner for Bicester Technology studio school and supporting them on the curriculum, equipment specification, and funding. As well as facilitating other 3rd Party Logistics firms like DHL to be involved, Solar panel contact via the Low Carbon Hub to support on the building design for sustainable construction."Steve Thornton, Director UK Logistics & Supply Chain, BRITA UK