Highlighted

Posts that are added to this category will appear in the slider atop the homepage. Make sure to set a Featured Image (through the Themify Builder panel). And make sure they are a member of another category too.

Kier Construction Scotland wins main building contract for Burrell refurbishment

New Central Access Core at the Burrell Collection. Image courtesy of John McAslan + Partners

Glasgow City Council’s contracts and property committee has confirmed Kier Construction Scotland as the preferred bidder to deliver the Main Building Contract to take forward the Burrell Collection’s ambitious refurbishment plans.

The appointment marks the next phase which will see the sensitive repair of the building envelope, renewal of the building services, creation of a new internal access core and refurbishment of the museum’s interiors along with external landscaping.

Kier Construction Scotland is set to start onsite at the Burrell early summer 2018 with procurement for the Burrell’s visitor experience contract taking place later this year.

New Central Access Core at the Burrell Collection. Image courtesy of John McAslan + Partners

Chair of Glasgow Life, and depute leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor David McDonald, said: “The refurbishment of the Burrell Collection will unlock the great potential of Sir William’s incredible gift to the city and the appointment of Kier Construction as the main contractor is a significant milestone. We are protecting and enhancing the Collection for the current and future generations – and creating a home for these treasures which, in its location at the heart of Pollok Country Park, is nothing short of exceptional.”

Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction Scotland, said: “It’s an honour to be working with Glasgow Life in the restoration of the home of the Burrell Collection – a national treasure for Scotland.

“We have a solid record of successfully working on major heritage projects of this scale, including the restoration of The Mackintosh building at Glasgow School of Art and the refurbishment of Edinburgh College of Art and Aberdeen Music Hall.

“We are committed to working closely with the local supply chain to help create a range of diverse employment and training opportunities and provide opportunity throughout the life of the project to help increase footfall in Pollok Park during the construction period as we deliver this important project.”

Gallery space and displays at the Burrell Collection. Image courtesy of Event Communications

In a further boost to the museum’s refurbishment, the Burrell Renaissance has received an additional £1.4 million funding from four major supporters. The Wolfson Foundation and The Headley Trust have each pledged £500,000. The Gannochy Trust has pledged £250,000 and The Taylor Family Foundation has pledged £150,000.

Chair of Burrell Renaissance, Sir Angus Grossart, added: “We are grateful for the support of those who have committed so generously to the Burrell Renaissance, including The Wolfson Foundation, The Headley Trust, The Gannochy Trust and The Taylor Family Foundation. That significant support reinforces our ambition to ensure that Sir William’s legacy will have a physical context and the international engagement that his great collection deserves.”

Gallery space and displays at the Burrell Collection. Image courtesy of Event Communications

The cost of the project is estimated at £66m with Glasgow City Council agreeing to fund up to 50% of the overall project cost. Support of the project has been overwhelming with over 94% of the estimated project costs now raised including £15m from the National Lottery.

Plans for the refurbishment and redisplay of the Burrell will see the museum’s public space increase by 83% and gallery space increase by 35% with store rooms on the lower ground floor open to the public for the first time. As well as improved facilities including café and retail opportunities, landscaped terraces will link the museum to its parkland setting, enhancing the visitor experience.

A re-interpretation of treasures of the Collection will also tell much more of a story about their importance and how they were collected, with an increase in artworks on display across the museum’s collections.

BAM considered a perfect fit for Edinburgh Airport

BAM Construction has been awarded a £10m contract to fit-out the new terminal extension at Edinburgh Airport.

Once complete the new three storey terminal building will provide expanded domestic and international arrival facilities including baggage reclaim, border control, additional food/beverage outlets, expanded lounge space and new office accommodation at Scotland’s busiest airport.

At the start of 2017 BAM was appointed to deliver the first phase of the terminal expansion project which forms part of a wider £80m investment in the airport.

Work on the project is already well underway with the new terminal building due to open in late 2018.

Bruce Dickson, regional director at BAM Construction, said: “This is an exciting and significant project and we are delighted to be part of the team delivering it.  All airport users will benefit from an enhanced travelling experience befitting Edinburgh’s standing as a global business and tourist destination.”

Ian Lang, capital director at Edinburgh Airport, added: “As Edinburgh Airport continues to grow it’s important we provide infrastructure that is fit for purpose and meets the needs of passengers and our airline partners whilst maintaining day to day operations. BAM Construction understand and share our focus on that and we are happy to extend that partnership as we further enhance passenger facilities at Scotland’s busiest airport.”

Employers urged to play their part as CITB steps in to help Carillion apprentices

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is calling on all former Carillion apprentices to get in contact so it can help them continue their training – and for employers to step forward to take them on.

The UK’s second-biggest builder, which employs 20,000 people in the UK and thousands in Scotland, entered liquidation on Monday after racking up debt and pensions burdens of around £1.5 billion.

CITB said it has worked with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to ensure funding is available so that it can continue to support the training for Carillion apprentices.

It has attempted contact with the 1400 apprentices, and hundreds have already been booked in for events being held across the country this week. CITB is offering every former Carillion apprentice a face-to-face session with CITB Apprenticeships to find out their individual learning needs. Many more need to be contacted so they can take up the career lifeline CITB is offering them through its offer of support.

The Carillion apprentices were primarily in bricklaying and carpentry and joinery – skills that the country vitally needs to build homes and solve our housing shortage.

For this reason, CITB is also calling on construction employers – particularly homebuilders, as many of the skills are applicable and in demand for that sector – to rally round and take on the former Carillion apprentices.

A hotline has been set up for both former Carillion apprentices to get in touch, and for construction employers who are interested in helping them.

The phone number is: 0344 994 4010 and there is also an email carillion.apprenticeshipsupport@citb.co.uk for people to contact CITB’s dedicated support team.

The apprentices were being trained in Carillion centres through England and Scotland, with some of the bigger centres based in Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Sunderland, Sittingbourne and Southampton.

CITB hopes to start placing the first apprentices with new employers as early as next week as the construction sector looks to recover from the collapse of its second biggest firm.

Sarah Beale, chief executive of CITB, said: “We understand it’s a very worrying time for the young people who were on the Carillion apprenticeship programme, but we can help them restart their training and get their careers back on track if they get in touch with us. Our industry needs the skills these young people are developing and we want to help them find new employers and get their qualifications.

“Our industry, which has consistently reported skill shortages and difficulties in attracting apprentices, now needs to step up and support these young people who have so much to offer. There is certainly no shortage of work in construction, with housebuilding and infrastructure particularly strong, so these young people can have great careers despite this setback.

“At CITB, we are committed to doing everything we can to help the former Carillion apprentices, and hope to see many of them restarting their careers very soon.”

Scottish companies affected by the Carillion insolvency can call Scottish Enterprise on 0300 013 3385 or register their details here.

The redundancy helpline operated by Skills Development Scotland is 0800 917 8000, with help also available here.

Banks show support for SMEs affected by Carillion insolvency

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has called on banks to show leniency to the thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Carillion’s supply chain.

Finance and banking trade body UK Finance said this week that major banks are working closely with the UK government to limit the impact of the firm’s liquidation on SME firms.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “It’s absolutely critical that the banks give the innocent victims in Carillion’s supply chain as much leeway as possible in the short to medium term. We therefore welcome UK Finance’s announcement that lenders are putting in place emergency measures, including overdraft extensions, payment holidays and fee waivers, to ensure those facing issues relating to Carillion’s liquidation can stay on track.

“Leniency from the major banks will make all the difference to the thousands of firms in Carillion’s supply chain as to whether they survive its collapse, or follow suit. The construction industry is the cornerstone of the UK economy so it’s in all of our interests to do what we can to support these small companies and limit the domino effect that Carillion’s demise could have.”

The announcement comes after business secretary Greg Clark, economic secretary to the Treasury John Glen, and small business minister Andrew Griffiths, met banks yesterday to seek assurances that they will support small businesses affected by Carillion’s liquidation.

Banks represented at the meeting included Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Santander, Shawbrook and Aldermore. They were joined by the British Business Bank.

Following the meeting, Greg Clark MP said: “It is essential that small businesses exposed to the Carillion insolvency are given the support they need by their lenders.

“I chaired a meeting this morning of high street banks to ensure that they are in contact with customers impacted, that they have in place the advice and support needed and that any individual cases are escalated and dealt with sympathetically, swiftly and appropriately.

“I will continue to meet with them in the days and weeks ahead to ensure these commitments are being acted on.”

John Glen added: “I am pleased to see that the UK banks are taking such a constructive approach, proactively contacting affected customers, and taking the required steps to help those facing short term issues as a result of Carillion going into liquidation.”

Alongside this, HMRC has outlined the support being offered to those businesses contracted to Carillion that may be concerned about their ability to pay tax. HMRC are providing practical advice and guidance to those affected through its Business Payment Support Service (BPSS).

The Insolvency Service has also confirmed that they have contacted all of Carillion’s private sector service customers, such as those working in facilities and management, with over 90% stating they wish to continue with current arrangements. This will provide funding which enables the Official Receiver to retain the employees working on those contacts.

Separately, the Insolvency Service has confirmed that work has paused on construction sites, pending decisions as to how and if they will be restarted.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the emergency bank support must pave the way for a Carillion task force.

National chairman Mike Cherry said: “The emergency measures put in place by banks for customers hit by Carillion’s collapse will provide some respite at a desperate time for hundreds of small firms. Many hundreds more are still yet to feel the knock-on impacts of the giant’s demise. It’s critical that they also receive support in the months ahead.

“We now need to establish a Carillion task force dedicated to helping all affected small firms and workers to recover and get back on their feet. Following Rover’s collapse in 2005, I was involved in a similar initiative where we successfully supported suppliers and found new opportunities for all of the firm’s apprentices.

“This sorry saga has shown that the Government’s reliance on a small number of huge outsourcing firms poses a risk to the nation’s economic stability. As thing stand, our procurement regime is stacked against small firms. Providing small businesses and the self-employed with more opportunities to secure public contracts will mean less risk and better return for the taxpayer. At the very least we need to see the reinstatement of the target date for achieving 33% of all public sector procurement with smaller businesses, to 2020.”

Scottish companies affected by the Carillion insolvency can call Scottish Enterprise on 0300 013 3385 or register their details here.

The redundancy helpline operated by Skills Development Scotland is 0800 917 8000, with help also available here.

Economy secretary assures parliament over jobs and future of AWPR

Keith Brown on a visit to the AWPR site last year

Cabinet secretary for the economy, jobs and fair work, Keith Brown, has moved to reassure MSPs that disruption and job losses caused by Carillion’s collapse would be minimised in Scotland, though the minister stopped short of giving an opening date for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR).

The UK’s second-biggest builder entered liquidation on Monday after racking up debt and pensions burdens of around £1.5 billion.

The firm formed one-third of the Aberdeen Roads Ltd (ARL) consortium leading the £745 million AWPR work alongside Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try.

In a topical question at Holyrood, Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin raised concern for jobs dependent upon the project and also the knock-on effect on smaller companies in the supply chain in the North East and throughout Scotland.

In response, Mr Brown said that support is available to any workers who may be concerned for their jobs, with help and advice to be made available to subcontractors through a designated Scottish Enterprise helpline.

Furthermore, the cabinet secretary assured parliament over the contract to deliver the AWPR scheme with the other firms involved in the consortium making clear that they will fulfil their contract obligations and had “very quickly” notified the London Stock Exchange of their intention. Mr Brown confirmed that Transport Scotland will support and work with them throughout this process.

The economy secretary said he was unable to give a “cast-iron guarantee” that jobs would not be lost as a result of the liquidation of the company, but said there was a “good chance” employees would continue to work on existing projects.

When asked about the future of Carillion employees working on the bypass, Mr Brown said: “I think it is likely that the two remaining contractors will require work to be done that was previously done by the employees of Carillion.

“I don’t want to be too definitive, but there’s around 70-plus employees, direct employees of Carillion, employed on that contract plus 190 employed on other terms, including some agency staff.

“We can’t give a cast iron guarantee on the workers but I think there is a good chance that many of those will be reemployed and for those that are not we have offered the assistance I have previously mentioned.”

On the day of Carillion’s collapse, the joint venture firms indicated that the announcement leaves a financial hole of £40-80m in the AWPR project.

Galliford Try said: “The terms of the contract are such that the remaining joint venture members, Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try, are obliged to complete the contract.  Our current estimate of the additional cash contribution outstanding from Carillion to complete the project is £60-80m, of which any shortfall will be funded equally between the joint venture members. The companies will discuss the position urgently with the official receiver of Carillion and Transport Scotland, to minimise any impact on the project.”

Mr Brown had said the Scottish Government’s Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE), which helps people facing redundancy, would be available for those under threat.

He said PACE would also be available if anyone should lose defence jobs.

Gillian Martin MSP said: “Our first thoughts when businesses face such serious difficulties should always be for those who may be facing uncertainty over their jobs and their future, and it was encouraging to see parliament united in support of them today.

“I am grateful to the cabinet secretary for the support being made available both to Carillion employees and to subcontractors who may have concerns at this time.

“Early confirmation from the other partners in the Aberdeen Roads consortium that they intend to press ahead and deliver the AWPR contract will be hugely reassuring for my constituents. I know people and businesses across the North East are looking forward to the opening of the much-needed £750 million new route this year, and I will be engaging with the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland going forward to ensure that remains on schedule.”

Meanwhile, the Scottish  Government has set up helplines for anyone who may be affected by the failure of the construction firm.

Scottish companies affected by the Carillion insolvency can call Scottish Enterprise on 0300 013 3385 or register their details here.

The redundancy helpline operated by Skills Development Scotland is 0800 917 8000, with help also available here.

It was also announced today that banks and government were working together to mitigate the effects of Carillion’s collapse on businesses within the supply chain.

Skanska to shed 3,000 jobs as part of ‘comprehensive restructure’

Skanska has revealed it is to cut around 3,000 jobs across its global operations as part of restructuring plans to improve profitability.

The Swedish group said this morning that the comprehensive restructuring, which follows a strategic review initiated in autumn 2017, will involve quitting the US power sector and focusing on its core business in the UK.

The move follows “unsatisfactory performance” across several construction units in Europe, outside of the Nordic regions, and a slowdown in European infrastructure development (PPP).

The cost of starting the restructuring process to improve profitability has impacted Skanska’s year-end results. The review and following changes have resulted in a SEK1.1 billion (£99 million) charge in the fourth quarter and will cost SEK600m in 2018. Operating income for full-year 2017 is expected to be about SEK5.3bn.

In a trading update the group said: “In order to improve profitability Skanska will reduce the size of unprofitable business units and increase focus on cost control and risk management. Skanska will also make a number of organizational and leadership changes.

“Due to the unsatisfactory performance of several construction units Skanska will take the following actions: restructure the construction operations in Poland, leave the power sector in the USA, focus on the core business in the UK and continue to adapt to tougher market conditions in the Czech Republic.”

Skanska will reduce the size of unprofitable business units and increase its focus on cost control and risk management. The company will also make a number of organisational and leadership changes.

In residential and commercial property development, opportunities and growth ambitions remain, said Skanska.

However, due to a thin project pipeline in Europe, infrastructure development will now mainly focus on the opportunities in the USA.

Interserve’s financial health ‘being closely monitored’ by UK government

Shares in the construction and services firm Interserve fell this morning amid reports that its financial health is under special scrutiny from the UK Cabinet Office.

Stock was down as much as 15% in early trading on the London Stock Exchange after the Financial Times said a small team had been put together to keep an eye on the outsourcing specialist’s financial health.

The firm has been suffering from problem waste-to-energy contracts and, following a series of profit warnings in which the Board admitted to “a realistic prospect” of the group breaching its financial covenants with lending banks.

Last month it secured additional short-term funding to ease off its immediate financial troubles last month until March 31 at least.

Interserve is involved in a three-year restructuring programme launched by new management in October aimed at improving efficiency, its procurement process and simplifying the business.

On Wednesday, the Financial Times reported that the Cabinet Office was monitoring Interserve.

In response, Interserve said: “Last week we announced that we expect our 2017 performance to be in-line with expectations outlined in October and that our transformation plan is expected to deliver £40m-£50m benefit by 2020.”

It said it expected its 2018 operating profit to be “ahead of current market expectations and we continue to have constructive discussions with lenders over longer-term funding”.

The UK government has said it does not believe any of its major suppliers are in a similar position to stricken contractor Carillion which entered liquidation on Monday after racking up debt and pensions burdens of around £1.5 billion.

The Cabinet Office said: “We monitor the financial health of all of our strategic suppliers, including Interserve.

“We are in regular discussions with all these companies regarding their financial position. We do not believe that any of our strategic suppliers are in a comparable position to Carillion.”

Carillion faces legal action over workers’ pay and pension rights

The Unite union is set to take legal action against Carillion after claiming that the collapsed construction and support services firm breached its legal obligations to give notice of redundancies.

The company, which employs 20,000 people in the UK including thousands in Scotland, was placed into compulsory liquidation yesterday morning with debts of £1.15 billion and a pension shortfall of over half a billion after talks with the UK government to save the company were unsuccessful.

Unite Scotland pointed to current labour laws, which say employers with a workforce of more than 20 at one location are legally obliged to give employees 30 days’ notice of possible redundancies.

Carillion had been involved in the £745 million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) and had contracts with Registers of Scotland, the Scottish Children’s Reporter AdministrationWest of Scotland Housing Association and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde among many others.

Network Rail awarded Carillion a contract last year to deliver platform extension works and the firm is also responsible for two facilities management contracts worth £158m with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) which cover 83 military sites in Scotland.

In the last six months, the company issued three profit warnings and yet in that time was awarded contracts worth more than £2bn by the UK government.

Unite’s Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Given (yesterday’s) drastic events it’s clear that Carillion was legally obliged to give notice to the workforce in December of the possibility of redundancies.

“It hasn’t done that. So Unite is taking advice about legal action to secure the pay and pension rights of our members.

“Obviously saving jobs is the priority but we also have to make sure that workers don’t pay the price for what is boardroom greed and recklessness.”

Unite Scotland said that the collapse of Carillion should be a stark warning about the obsessions across the UK, in Westminster, Holyrood, and local government about the privatisation of public services.

The union believes that for a long time putting public services out to private tender has “started an undercutting merry go round” which may have affected Carillion. According to Unite, the company has lost hundreds of millions because major contracts turned out to be loss-makers after tender bids were perilously low.

Pat Rafferty added: “This is what happens after years of worship at the Holy Grail of privatisation. It starts with the mistaken belief that private provision is best and ends with the tax payer picking up a billion pound tab when reality proves that is not true. There needs to be a government inquiry to establish just what went wrong at Carillion so that lessons can be learned. Meantime the administrators have to determine what contracts held by Carillion can be brought into public control.”

Unite has welcomed the fact that the government and the administrators PwC have to date given guarantees about financial support for the continuation and completion of public contracts formally held by Carillion.

The Scottish Government has confirmed it is in talks with UK counterparts and liquidators to work out how best to support Carillion employees and contracts.

Housing association planning to transfer Carillion repairs deal to new contractor

West of Scotland Housing Association (WSHA) is working to transfer its repairs and maintenance work to a new contractor following the demise of Carillion.

The construction and support services business, which was placed into compulsory liquidation yesterday morning, had been providing facilities management services for WSHA since it was appointed last August.

The contract saw Carillion deliver WSHA’s planned maintenance programme, installing new kitchens, bathrooms and heating systems in tenant’s homes.

Following yesterday’s announcement, West of Scotland Housing Association told our sister publication Scottish Housing News: “West of Scotland Housing Association has been working with Carillion PLC over several months to transfer the day to day repairs and planned maintenance contracts to Robertson FM.

“We want to assure our tenants and owners that we are working towards a smooth transfer of services which will mean they will not be adversely affected by the recent announcement made by Carillion.”

The UK’s second largest construction company, Carillion had been in emergency financing talks with its lenders and the banks since last week after suffering from debts of £1.15 billion and a pension shortfall of over half a billion.

Its current Scottish projects include the extension of platforms at Edinburgh Waverley station and the new £745 million Aberdeen bypass.

The firm is also responsible for two facilities management contracts with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) worth £158m which cover 83 military sites in Scotland.

Carillion goes into liquidation after rescue talks with lenders fail

Construction and support services business Carillion was placed into compulsory liquidation this morning after talks with the UK government to save the company were unsuccessful.

The UK’s second largest construction company, which had been in emergency financing talks with its lenders and the banks since last week, employs 20,000 people in the UK, has debts of £1.15 billion and a pension shortfall of over half a billion.

Its current Scottish projects include the extension of platforms at Edinburgh Waverley station and the new £745 million Aberdeen bypass.

The firm is also responsible for two facilities management contracts with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) worth £158m which cover 83 military sites in Scotland and was responsible for providing the day-to-day repairs for West of Scotland Housing Association (WSHA).

A key supplier to the UK government with high-tariff contracts within the HS2 and Crossrail projects, Carillion also has contracts in the rail industry, education and NHS.

Philip Green, chairman of Carillion, said: “This is a very sad day for Carillion, for our colleagues, suppliers and customers that we have been proud to serve over many years.

“Over recent months huge efforts have been made to restructure Carillion to deliver its sustainable future and the Board is very grateful for the huge efforts made by Keith Cochrane, our executive team and many others who have worked tirelessly over this period.

“In recent days however we have been unable to secure the funding to support our business plan and it is therefore with the deepest regret that we have arrived at this decision.

“We understand that HM Government will be providing the necessary funding required by the Official Receiver to maintain the public services carried on by Carillion staff, subcontractors and suppliers.”

“It is regrettable… but taxpayers cannot be expected to bail out a private company.”

David Lidington MP

The announcement follows a troubled period for the contractor which delivered a massive profit warning in July last year and the removal of Richard Howson as its chief executive.

In November it revealed that it expects to breach its financial covenants by the end of December and that full-year profits will be “materially lower” than current expectations.

And just this month the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed it was investigating “the timeliness and content of announcements made by Carillion between 7 December 2016 and 10 July 2017”.

An application was made to the High Court for a compulsory liquidation of Carillion before opening of business today.

An order has been granted to appoint the Official Receiver as the liquidator of Carillion.

The Official Receiver will make an application to the High Court for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PWC) to be appointed as Special Managers, to act on behalf of the Official Receiver.

The UK government is expected to step in with funding to ensure Carillion’s public services contracts continue.

MP David Lidington, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “It is regrettable that Carillion has not been able to find suitable financing options with its lenders but taxpayers cannot be expected to bail out a private sector company.

“Since profit warnings were first issued in July, the Government has been closely monitoring the situation and has been in constructive discussion with Carillion while it sought to refinance its business. We remained hopeful that a solution could be found while putting robust contingency plans in place to prepare for every eventuality. It is of course disappointing that Carillion has become insolvent, but our primary responsibility has always been keep our essential public services running safely.

“We understand that some members of the public will be concerned by recent news reports. For clarity – All employees should keep coming to work, you will continue to get paid. Staff that are engaged on public sector contracts still have important work to do.

“Since its inception in the 1990s private finance has helped to deliver around £60 billion of much-needed capital investment in infrastructure in the UK across a range of projects and we will continue to maintain partnerships with responsible firms in future.”

Carillion was created in 1999 when the Tarmac Group demerged into a building materials company that kept the Tarmac name and a company focused on support services and construction services, called Carillion. It included the former construction business of George Wimpey, which it swapped for its Tarmac house-building division.

Since 1999, Carillion has acquired Mowlem (2006), Alfred McAlpine (2008), Vanbots (2008) and Eaga (2011).