News

Construction hit its fastest level of growth in six years, according to the latest survey of the building sector.

Building firms braced for bleak winter

Construction firms were braced today for a bleak winter after figures showed subdued levels of activity and a nine-month low for growth in new orders.

Lenders call for mortgage rules rethink as market misfires

Mortgage lenders begged ministers to intervene to prevent the financial watchdog pushing ahead with its crackdown on irresponsible lending, as Persimmon became the latest housebuilder to warn that the property market was in a fragile state.

OFT inquiry into gravel suppliers

The Office of Fair Trading will investigate the aggregates industry to assess whether the taxpayer is getting a fair deal from suppliers of sand, gravel and broken rocks to road and house-builders.

'Grim' outlook for building industry as orders fall

Britain's building industry was facing a bleak future today after construction orders suffered a dramatic 14% fall between April and June.

Bovis builds a brighter outlook

Bovis Homes put aside two years of weakness in the housing market yesterday, reporting a first-half profit and sounding a note of optimism for the rest of the year.

UK 'value' falls by £94 billion

The total value of the UK fell for the second year in a row during 2009, official figures showed today.

Firm launches first corporate ISA for staff

Housebuilder Barratt today launched the UK's first company ISA for its staff.

Minor British Institutions: The Kitemark

We all take the British Standards Institution's Kitemark for granted, but it was a revolutionary development. The idea of appending an unmistakable brand of quality assurance to goods and services dates back to 1903, when the clever rearrangement of the letters BSM – British Standard Mark – was devised, a small landmark in the development of a modern industrial society.

Construction sector grows for first time in two years

Britain's embattled construction industry grew for the first time since February 2008 last month as the sector ended two years of "relentless contraction", according to a report today.

Amos checks Lie of the land

Scottish stable emerges from freeze-up with plan to take measure of Big Buck's

Housebuilders say sales are improving

Britain's housing market has put its worst days behind it but continues to be dogged by uncertainty, two leading housebuilders agreed yesterday.

The pain is not yet over for Britain's builders

It has suffered grievously from the collapse of the housing boom and the recession more generally, but the pain for Britain's building trade is seemingly not over yet: employment in construction declined for its 18th consecutive month.

Climate change survey says 83% willing to make sacrifices

More than 80 per cent of people believe climate change is a serious threat and are willing to make sacrifices to combat it, a survey by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) showed today.

Brown to get tough on student visas and foreign skilled workers

Portrayal of immigration concerns as racist is 'lazy elitism', says Prime Minister

America rules out 'two-speed' internet

Web providers warned not to charge heavy users of bandwidth
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor