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Business case approved for £11m Glasgow mental health facilities

Plans for two new Mental Health in-patient wards at Stobhill Hospital were given a major boost this week after the Board of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) approved the full business case.

The final stage of the process of developing the state-of-the-art wards is to submit the full business case to the Scottish Government Capital Investment Group for consideration in November.

Both designed by architects at Keppie, one of the wards will be dedicated to adult acute in-patient care with the other being geared towards older adults with functional Mental Health issues.

Services at Stobhill are designed around the needs of patients in order to enhance the quality of care and speed up diagnosis and treatment. As a result, the hospital has improved the patient experience and enabled staff to work more effectively.

The new wards will build on this and enable greater flexibility across mental Health services and deliver modern facilities for patients and staff.

David Williams, chief officer, Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP), said: “I am delighted the full business case has been approved. This is another major milestone for plans to build modern, state-of-the-art facilities for our Mental Health in-patients at Stobhill.

“The HSCP’s commitment to providing high standards of effective care in appropriate settings is clearly demonstrated by NHSGGC’s decision today.

“This will see our patients staying in modern wards that are at the very forefront of modern Mental Health in-patient accommodation.”

John Brown, chairman, NHSGGC, said: “The new purpose built wards will be designed to be much more than a simple replacement of the existing facility.

“Today’s agreement grants us the real potential to bring together the key strengths of a range of professions in order to tackle health inequalities and ensure we deliver care that meets the needs of our patients.”

Housing workloads ‘keeping Scottish construction sector buoyant’

Workloads in the Scottish construction sector continue to rise amid financial constraints and Brexit uncertainties, assisted largely by the buoyant housing sector, surveyors have reported.

Results of the Q3 2018 UK Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed that 10% more chartered surveyors reported that their workloads in Scotland had risen rather than fallen (up from +7% in the first half).

Private housing workloads improved in Q3 with 27% more respondents reporting a rise rather than a fall, up from +17% in Q2. Meanwhile, the infrastructure sector in Scotland saw further decline, with a net balance of -15% more respondents reporting a drop in infrastructure activity over the last three months (down from -7 in Q2).

In addition to infrastructure, the private industrials category shifted negatively, with a net balance of -8% reporting a decline in workloads. This was teamed with private commercial sector remaining flat in Q2 2018.

Housing sector activity was strong, with respondents in Scotland reporting growth in private and public house building – with 27% and 18% reporting increased workloads respectively.

Despite the growth in recent workloads, financial constraints are reported by 75% of surveyors to be by far the most significant impediment to growth. Anecdotal evidence suggests the difficulties to accessing bank finance and credit, along with cash flow and liquidity challenges are the main reasons for hampering current growth throughout the UK.

The outlook for the economy as a whole has led to a reduced optimism for the construction sector over the year ahead, with respondents pointing to a softening in growth in Scotland. 17% more contributors expect activity to rise rather than fall, down from 39% in Q2, and a net balance of 22% foresee an increase in hiring. As the pace of growth has broadly moderated, since 2014, anecdotal evidence suggests that the uncertainty generated around Brexit, as the date to exit draws closer, is the main reason for the relatively cautious outlook.

Jeffrey Matsu, RICS senior economist, said: “While ongoing capacity constraints have supported steady workload activity, the outlook going forward is far from clear. Recent Brexit-related indecision has added considerably to this uncertainty, but whatever the outcome, the pace of growth is expected to decelerate if only due to cyclical market conditions.”

Glasgow’s Winter Gardens and People’s Palace to close over £7m repair bill

Two Glasgow tourist attractions are set to close at the end of the year following concerns over public safety.

Structural engineers have estimated that it will cost Glasgow City Council up to £7.5 million to bring the Victorian glasshouse up to an acceptable level of safety.

Primary safety issues stem from the Winter Gardens, which date back to 1898, but as the fire escape from the People’s Palace requires access to the glasshouse, it will also have to close.

The local authority is said to be working on options to allow the People’s Palace to remain open independently of the Winter Gardens, however, as of yet, no solution has been found.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The Winter Gardens will unfortunately have to close at the end of this year, due to concerns about the safety of the structure beyond that point.

“We are currently working on options to allow the People’s Palace to remain open independently of the gardens.

“At this stage, we do not know how long the Winter Gardens will remain closed. However, we estimate that investment of between £5m and £7.5m will be required to make it safe for public use.

“With that in mind, we are currently examining how we use both the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

“The aim is to secure a sustainable, long-term future for an iconic building in one of the city’s most-loved spaces.

“A full report of the plans will be submitted to elected members and the relevant committee in due course.”

There is not believed to be any safety risk to those using the venue in the run up to its closure.

Barratt hails strong start to year and healthy forward order book

David Thomas

Housebuilder Barratt Developments said it has started the new financial year in a strong position as it declared conditions remained solid with strong buyer demand.

Britain’s largest housebuilder, which has developments across Scotland, moved to shrug off mounting signs of Brexit fears in the property market and said it expects to deliver a “good financial and operating performance” in the 2019 financial year.

In a trading update ahead of its London AGM, the FTSE 100 firm said forward sales, including joint ventures, came to 12,903 units at a value of £3.14 billion on October 14, compared to 12,277 units at a value of £2.8bn a year ago.

The group completed 53 new developments, including joint ventures, in the first 15 weeks of the financial year, down from 62 last year. It had 365 active outlets, including joint ventures, compared to 371 a year ago.

Shares went up 1.2% to 511.4p, in contrast to a 12% drop earlier this month.

David Thomas, Barratt Developments chief executive, said: “The group has started the new financial year in a strong position, with a good sales rate, healthy forward order book and customer demand supported by an attractive lending environment.

“We are focused on delivering our mediumterm targets set out at our full-year results, while maintaining our commitment to leading the industry in the design and quality of our homes and in customer service, which we believe is fundamental to our ongoing success.”

Barratt plans to increase housing volumes by 3-5% per year to help address the UK’s housing shortage.

Construction leads and tenders – October 18th


Applicant: George Capital LLP

Planning Authority: Glasgow

Details: External alterations and refurbishment.

Location: Empire House, 131 West Nile Street, Glasgow

Agent: Savills, Per Kirsty Strang, 163 West George Street, Glasgow

Reference: 18/02958/FUL

Application Link


Applicant: FI Real Estate Management

Planning Authority: Glasgow

Details: Construction of toy superstore and associated service yard, roadway. Alterations to access formation of permanent car parking

Location: Toys R Us, 480 Helen Street, Glasgow

Agent: James Cullingford, 41 Grey Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Reference: 18/02951/FUL

Application Link


Applicant: Philip C Smith (Commercials) Limited

Planning Authority: Glasgow

Details: Construction of industrial unit (Class 5) and associated access, parking and landscaping.

Location: Site adjacent to 121 Barfillan Drive, Glasgow

Agent: Keppie Planning, Per Calum Glen, 160 West Regent Street, Glasgow

Reference: 18/02945/FUL

Application Link



Contract Authority: Fife Council

Details: Supply and Install Floodlighting Installation to existing skate park

Location: Kinglassie


Publication Date: 17/10/2018


Contract Authority: Link Group

Details: Maintenance and reactive repairs contract for fire detection equipment and alarms, emergency lighting, smoke vents, sprinkler systems, dry risers, fire hydrants, fire extinguishers, fire blankets and intruder alarms as part of the Link Group’s Cyclical Maintenance for 2019/21

Location: Edinburgh


Publication Date: 17/10/2018

Development Manager – Langstane Housing Association

Development Manager

£40,500 to £45,576 + Final Salary Pension Scheme


35 hours per week

Langstane Housing Association has a long history of developing affordable housing and is committed to contributing to the Scottish Government’s target of delivering 50,000 new homes by March 2021. We have set ourselves a challenging development target of building 350 new homes over the next five year period and are looking for someone with the right skills and experience to join us as Development Manager to take a lead role in driving the delivery of these new homes.

The post holder will have a high level of responsibility for managing development projects from inception through to completion, ensuring that we deliver quality homes for our tenants. You will need to demonstrate an ability to work on your own initiative and ideally have a proven track record in the delivery of development projects, and ability to maximise development opportunities in line with Langstane Housing Association’s development strategy.

Working with the Director of Asset Management to identify potential development opportunities, you will make offers and negotiate contracts with developers for Section 75 opportunities. In addition you will take the lead role on land led schemes, working with the project team, consultants, planning authorities and landowners to deliver projects successfully. You will build excellent relationships with stakeholders such as Scottish Government and Local Authority representatives and developers to ensure the Association remains a partner of choice in the delivery of affordable housing across the Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray areas.

You should ideally have a relevant qualification (Architecture, Surveying, Construction Project Management, Planning or similar) or equivalent experience and a knowledge of the development industry and house building process is desirable. Good industry contacts and experience of working on social housing projects would also be highly beneficial.

This is a new post within the Association and offers the right candidate the exciting opportunity to make their mark, shaping the delivery of our development programme over the coming years. In return we offer excellent terms and conditions including a final salary pension scheme, flexible working and a car allowance.

A current driving licence and access to a car for work is essential for this post

For an informal discussion about the post please contact Marcie Ballance, Director of Asset Management on 01224 423024 or

Applications can be downloaded and completed electronically on our website –

Alternatively if you are interested, please contact the recruitment line on 01224 423178, or e-mail for an application pack

Closing date for applications is 2pm on Friday 2nd November 2018 and interviews will be held on Tuesday 20th November.

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Balfour Beatty appointed to £500m Scottish civil engineering framework

Public sector procurement specialist Scape Group has appointed Balfour Beatty to its newly launched civil engineering framework dedicated to delivery in Scotland.

Valued at £500 million, the Scape Civil Engineering – Scotland framework will operate for a total of four years and will provide direct access for any public sector organisation to a principal contractor for civil engineering and infrastructure projects with values between £50,000 and £100m+.

Scape has created a new framework to support delivery of the significant pipeline of infrastructure projects across Scotland.  With the Scottish Government committing to £4 billion of infrastructure projects in 2018/19 alone, Scape said the framework will unlock capacity for rapid commissioning and delivery of projects.

The appointment forms part of the procurement of Scape’s next generation civil engineering frameworks, valued at a combined total of £2.1bn and covering the whole of the UK. Balfour Beatty has also been appointed to lead the Scape National Civil Engineering framework, valued at £1.6bn and covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland. As direct award frameworks, they will each be led by Balfour Beatty and delivered with essential sub-contracting through extensive local supply chains.

The two new frameworks will replace the existing Scape National Civil Engineering and Infrastructure framework, which expires in January 2019, awarded with a value of £1.5bn. Since its launch in 2015 the framework has been widely adopted by the Scottish public sector, with 25 major civil engineering projects commissioned across Scotland to date. In Scotland the framework has achieved 89% of its spend within 40 miles and 98% of framework subcontractors were SMEs.

Victoria Brambini, managing director at Scape Procure, said: “This was a highly competitive procurement and the quality of bids were extremely high. Balfour Beatty demonstrated the right combination of civil engineering expertise and capacity in Scotland, and was able to provide outstanding commitment to add value through innovation and investments that will enhance the levels of private sector spend on community benefits and social value, including significant opportunities for local small businesses to engage in public sector construction.

“We created a dedicated £500m Scottish framework to reflect the strong and growing pipeline of major infrastructure projects in Scotland. We are passionate about delivering community benefits and social value across the length and breadth of Scotland, and we believe in local solutions that will unlock the true value of infrastructure investment for local communities.

“We are very proud to have established a dedicated Contracting Authority in Scotland, Scape Procure Scotland, to meet the specific needs of Scotland’s public sector through our frameworks. We are now partnering with over 70 public sector organisations in Scotland and can assure them of our ongoing commitment to growing levels of support and unique services. The establishment of this Authority goes beyond achieving compliance; we are committed to maintaining our investment in Scotland, as we seek to continue to develop strong, collaborative relationships with the public sector so that we can, together, enable wide reaching efficiencies across their assets, infrastructure and estate.”

Dean Banks, chief executive officer for Balfour Beatty’s UK Construction Services business, added: “Our understanding of the Scottish market coupled with our project delivery and engineering expertise will support Scape’s rapid mobilisation of infrastructure projects for our Scottish customers.

“Through our continued partnership with Scape, we will drive added social value for the communities in which we operate; supporting neighbourhoods, local businesses and local employment to help unlock long-term economic growth for Scotland.”

£23m hotel and student accommodation plans lodged in St Andrews

The proposed student accommodation development at Abbey Park

Plans have been submitted to build a new hotel and student accommodation in St Andrews in a project which would represent an investment of £23 million into the town.

Robertson has submitted a planning application to Fife Council for the site at Abbey Park which aims to boost the local economy and address a clear and identified demand for hotel and student accommodation.

In addition to a 90-bed hotel and 100-bed student accommodation, the mixed-use development will also incorporate a substantial new park which will be around 3,500 sq.m. – similar in scale to St Mary’s Quad.

Katherine Mackintosh, managing director, Robertson Property, said: “The submission of the planning application is a significant milestone and moves us a step closer to delivering on the ambitions laid out in the council’s FIFEplan. There is a clear demand for a mid-range hotel which will help to encourage people, whether in St Andrews for business or leisure, to visit Fife and help to deliver the Fife Economic Partnership ambition to increase visitor expenditure. Similarly, there are around 4,000 students unable to access dedicated student accommodation and these plans will help to ease demand on private properties and the pressure on rental levels.

“The new landscaped park will be a welcome addition to the town and will be open to all in St Andrews – not just those living in the student accommodation or staying at the hotel.

“The proposals has been developed following feedback from community consultations we held in October 2017 and June 2018 which have influenced the design and created the opportunity to move the buildings north and create a new green space at the heart of the development. We remain fully committed to engaging with the local community and look forward to providing updates as these plans progress.”

Proposals for the planned hotel

Robertson is finalising legal agreements with operators for both the hotel and student accommodation and expects to make an announcement regarding the operators in due course.

Pending approval of the planning application, Robertson aims to begin work on the site by summer 2019 with the buildings operational by autumn 2020. The application was submitted on Robertson’s behalf by planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore.

Stuart Bishop, architecture director, Barton Willmore, said: “The proposal has been designed to provide a distinctive mixed-use development in an elegant, responsive and contemporary style, forming a backdrop to a new park set at the heart of the St Leonards area.”

Scottish Borders agrees plan for more than 1,000 affordable homes

Plans by Waverley Housing for Laurel Grove in Upper Langlee

More than 1,000 new affordable homes across the Scottish Borders could be delivered over the next five year period, according to a newly approved plan.

The latest Scottish Borders Council Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP), which is submitted annually to the Scottish Government, was approved by the council’s executive committee yesterday.

It is anticipated that the large majority of the homes would be delivered by local registered social landlords.

In addition to outlining the potential delivery of affordable housing, including how and where these could be delivered, the rolling five year plan also sets out investment priorities and identifies the resources required and potential innovative funding and procurement solutions. It also includes regeneration projects, including a £21.5 million housing-led project planned by Waverley Housing in Upper Langlee.

In the next two years, it is estimated that approximately 751 new affordable homes could be delivered, and up to 1,047 overall by the end of 2024, including several extra care housing developments. This assumes any land and infrastructure challenges are resolved and that the constructions sector has the capacity to deliver the projects. It is also based on assumed funding from the Scottish Government, partner private sector borrowing and the use of the council’s affordable housing budget.

Waverley’s proposals for Beech Avenue

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development, said: “As a council we are determined to support the delivery of much needed affordable homes across the area. This helps young people stay and work in the area, have families and put down roots here. That has a significant, long term positive impact on our local economy.

“More than 1,000 affordable homes would go a long way to meeting housing needs in our communities over the next five years and would also help support the local construction sector, providing a further boost to the economy.

“It is an ambitious plan and there are certainly some challenges, from land supply to funding, but we continue to work very closely with a range of partners, including registered social landlords and the Scottish Government, to maximise opportunities to deliver more affordable homes.”

Waverley Housing’s project, which focuses on Beech Avenue, Hawthorn Road, Larch Grove and Laurel Grove, will see 115 new homes built over several phases, in addition to the refurbishment of some existing homes. The demolition of some existing housing blocks will be required as part of the scheme.

At yesterday’s committee meeting, councillors agreed to provide a grant of up to £300,000 from the council’s affordable housing budget as a contribution towards Waverley Housing’s costs of acquiring six privately owned flats in Upper Langlee. This budget is topped up annually with around £710,000 from second homes council tax income.

A report to the executive committee revealed that similar steps were taken to support Scottish Borders Housing Association to acquire eight privately owned flats to facilitate the Stonefield regeneration in Hawick.

Councillor Rowley said: “Waverley Housing has exciting plans for this important residential area of Galashiels and I am pleased that the council has been able to provide further support to help unlock this regeneration project which will be funded by various partners.”

David Gordon, chair of Waverley Housing, added: “We continue to work closely with a range of partners and our tenants and other Upper Langlee residents to develop final plans for this multi-million pound regeneration scheme.

“We are delighted that the council has made this commitment today, and that we have its ongoing support for the overall project. The ongoing support and involvement of the Langlee Residents Association is also vital to the project and we will continue to provide regular updates on the progress of our plans.”

All images provided courtesy of Camerons Architects.

Scotland’s first Passivhaus schools edge closer with Edinburgh funding agreement

Willmott Dixon is aiming to build the UK’s first Passivhaus school in the London Borough of Sutton

Councillors in Edinburgh have approved funding proposals which will see the first Passivhaus schools in Scotland constructed in the capital.

The City of Edinburgh Council’s finance and resources committee approved proposals to fund the rebuild of Currie High, Trinity Academy and Castlebrae High over the next five years.

Plans to rebuild Wester Hailes Education Centre, Liberton and Balerno High will be brought forward later this year, subject to funding from the Scottish Government.

A report submitted to the committee stated that for all projects, outwith the Castlebrae development, “there will be an overarching principle to reduce energy consumption through adoption of Passivhaus specifications and certification (or a similar standard) where possible”.

Due to the stage of design already progressed for the replacement Castlebrae project, the report stated that delivery of a fully certified Passivhaus solution risked causing significant delay to completion and potentially require additional capital funding.

“It has therefore been agreed by the Asset Management Board that the project will be progressed by the design team already commissioned although they will be tasked to develop an improved solution in terms of energy efficiency within the available budget,” the report added.

Council officers said the technology could save the authority up to £435,000 a year on utility costs.

Several Passivhaus schools have been built in England and the first commercial building to use the technology in Scotland was an Aberdeen nursery built in 2015.

The plans have been welcomed by environmental campaigners.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, told The Scotsman: “It is great news that Edinburgh Council is showing leadership in building schools to these ambitious energy efficient standards.

“Energy efficient construction makes sense from an economic and environmental point of view with initial investment recouped in both financial and carbon savings on heating once the building is being used.”

He added: “It’s important that the council leads by example in this way and does what it can to encourage more public projects and business developments to follow these impressive standards.

“Reducing the amount energy wasted from buildings is a key part of the action needed to cut our climate emissions.”

The Passivhaus Trust, which oversees the technology in the UK, also commended the council.

A spokeswoman said: “It’s an excellent decision, given the benefits to learning outcomes that result from the improved indoor environment of a Passivhaus building.

“Even temperatures all year round and low CO2 help the children stay alert and attentive throughout the day.”