Councillor Jenny Laing with Bill Robertson, chairman and founder of the Robertson Group (left), and Nigel Munro, senior project manager, Henry Boot Developments

Councillor Jenny Laing with Bill Robertson, chairman and founder of the Robertson Group (left), and Nigel Munro, senior project manager, Henry Boot Developments

Main beams for new AECC arena arrive on site

The major steel beams spanning the width of the main arena at the new £333million AECC site are being installed at the site using two specialised cranes.

The 14 beams – or trusses – are being lifted into place using two crawler cranes working together to lift them into place. Each of the beams weighs 84tonnes which is the same as about 56 medium-sized cars.

The 88-metre-long steel trusses span the width of the arena, and given their size, were brought to site in sections and bolted together on the ground.

The new AECC is being built by Aberdeen City Council along with partner Henry Boot Developments, with the Robertson Group as the main contractor.

It is set to generate 600 new jobs during the construction period and 352 full-time-equivalent permanent positions by year 10 of operations.


Edinburgh cafe to make way for flats

Campaigners have admitted defeat in a two-year battle to save a popular community cafe from demolition.

More than 7,000 people signed a petition in a bid to reprieve Earthy at Canonmills Bridge. But the cafe will shut its doors for the final time next month to make way for the development.

Leith-based Glovart Investments won planning permission in 2013 to build six flats, three townhouses and two restaurants.

Developers had to go back to the council for permission to bulldoze Earthy in 2015.


Glasgow Quay Odeon cinema to get luxury transformation

The Glasgow Quay Odeon cinema is getting set for a huge makeover this summer.

Some of the screens will see a range of upgrades including plans to install luxury reclining seats and high definition screens.

Screen one will benefit from the iSENSE screen, which promises state of the art sound and 4K projection.


New cinema planned as part of Scotsman Hotel refurbishment

A new cinema is set to be opened under £10 million plans aimed at revamping the Scotsman Hotel building on North Bridge.

Hospitality company G1 Group – which owns 50 venues across the country including Ghillie Dhu, Espionage nightclub and Biddy Mulligans in the Capital – has lodged a listed building consent request for permission to refashion the layout of the Edwardian building and add new leisure features, including a two-screen cinema.

If the proposals are approved, the cinema, which it is hoped will be open to the public, would be accessed via an entrance on Fleshmarket Close.


University-owned hotel opens after £2.7m refurb

A university-owned hotel in the heart of Edinburgh has reopened following a £2.7 million refurbishment.

The seven-month development of KM Central includes renovations to its 45 double en-suite rooms, as well as an upgrade of its stylish breakfast room.

The three-star property is part of a collection of year-round hotels owned by Edinburgh First – the commercial property arm of Edinburgh University.


Flat plans revealed for former Gayfield Square art gallery

A former artist studios and workshop would be demolished to make way for flats on Gayfield Square under new plans which have been lodged.

The new five-level apartment block would replace the now vacant commercial site previously occupied by gallery Gayfield Creative Spaces, who left the premises in January.

Developer Stone Acre Gayfield Square Ltd is seeking council approval to replace the current single-storey building after re-working a previous design.


£10m Kirkcaldy cinema and leisure complex plan given boost

Fife Council has decided against the need for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a £10 million cinema and leisure complex on the site of the former Kirkcaldy swimming pool, paving the way for a formal planning application to be submitted.

Merof LaSalle Investment Management had asked the local authority for a screening opinion into its proposals and Fife Council has swiftly confirmed an EIA – which could have delayed the plans – will not be needed.


Latest plans for Edinburgh schools unveiled in bid to tackle rising demand

Talks are to be held over the replacement of an Edinburgh high school as the council unveiled how it plans to tackle the increased demand from growing pupil numbers across the Capital.

A report outlining the proposals will go before councillors next week as the new administration laid out what it plans to do with the school estate over the coming months and years.

Priorities include a consultation on the design of the replacement Castlebrae High School and the start of an informal consultation on future school provision in west and south-west Edinburgh.


Civils contractors report continued growth

Latest workloads survey of civil engineering contractors suggests that their workload continues to rise and orders have also picked up.

Results from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Workload Trends Survey for the second quarter (Q2) of 2017 showed that workloads continued to increase across Great Britain, the 16th consecutive quarter of growth since 2013 Q3. Overall, 40% of respondents reported that workloads had risen and 27% of respondents reported that workloads had fallen.

The picture was less rosy in Scotland, where workloads declined for a second consecutive quarter, according to a net balance of 24% of firms.

Compared to 12 months ago, new orders increased for a net balance of 3% of civils contractors across England, Scotland and Wales. While this is a slender positive indicator, it is better than three months ago when a balance of 9% reported a fall in orders.

In general orders have slowed in roads, railways, electricity and water & sewerage. Gas continues to be a big growth market for civils contractors, as is groundworks.

Expectations for the next 12 months remain unchanged, with once again a slim net 5% balance of firms saying that they expected their workloads to.

However, for the first time since 2012 Q4, pessimists outnumber optimists when it comes to expectations for new work orders: a net balance of 2% expect them to be down this time next year.