Ashleigh Scotland

hub South West launches network to help companies win business from Tier 1 contractors

The hub Club meeting in Dumfires and Galloway earlier this month

The hub Club meeting in Dumfires and Galloway earlier this month

Construction and infrastructure-focused partnership hub South West has launched a networking arm which aims to better connect businesses throughout Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

The hub Club, which has already held three highly successful  inaugural events this month in Ayr, Cumbernauld and Dumfries, is aimed not only at bringing SMEs closer to Tier 1 contractors such as Morrison, Graham, Ashleigh, Morgan Sindall and Kier, but also at enabling companies engaged across a range of activities to meet each other and do business together.

Gordon Hunter

Gordon Hunter

Gordon Hunter, supply chain development manager at hub South West, who together with his team, has overseen the hub club launch events said: “We have been running a ‘Building for Growth’ programme for companies throughout the South West of Scotland for a few years now and the hub club idea evolved as a natural extension from our basic aim of getting people to meet, talk and learn from each other.

“We all know that people prefer to do business with people they know and The hub Club provides a regular forum for up to forty companies at a time, to sit down in a room together and talk about their businesses, share their experiences and potentially collaborate on projects together.

“We welcome all companies in the South West region to join The hub Club and to participate in our series of monthly events into 2018. Anyone interested can find out more from our website.”

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, said: “Our mission is to enable cost-efficient design and construction of community facilities within South West Scotland and to provide value for money and generate growth in the local economy through a new method of partnership working and procurement.

“A fundamental part of that approach is to ensure that as many local businesses as possible are hired to contribute their skills and expertise to these projects. The hub Club helps us to achieve that objective by harnessing the vast range of expertise that already exists amongst SMEs throughout the region and putting it to work.”

Work starts on Troon school extension

Ashleigh ScotlandPrestwick firm Ashleigh (Scotland) has today began work on a significant new extension at Troon Primary School.

South Ayrshire Council said the project to replace the old dining hall with a new multi-use wing will dramatically improve facilities for the local community.

The £1.97 million project involves the demolition of the existing stand-alone dining hall; construction of a double height assembly / gym hall / dining hall; a single-storey building housing changing facilities, and kitchen; improved accessibility including a new lift.

Internal alterations are also required to allow the new accommodation to connect to the existing building, alongside the relocation and enlargement of the infant toilet accommodation.

The project will be managed by the council’s Professional Design Service.

In the next five years £110m is being invested in schools across South Ayrshire.

Councillor Margaret Toner, lifelong learning portfolio holder, said the project will make a significant difference: “This major new addition to Troon Primary School will deliver real benefits to generations of children in the local community.

“While the work will continue during term time we’ve planned temporary catering arrangements for the next school year which will minimise disruption on day-to-day activity.

“Once completed this striking new extension will significantly enhance available facilities and I’m sure people will be impressed with the building once they see it for themselves.”

Construction work will take 45 weeks to complete.

North Ayrshire Council completes Irvine sheltered housing complex

Vennel Gardens2North Ayrshire Council has completed the construction of a new sheltered housing complex in the heart of Irvine.

Vennel Gardens is the first project in the council’s Sheltered Housing Reprovisioning Programme, which aims to improve and modernise existing complexes and bring them up to a standard that is fit for 21st century living.

Following the demolition of the former Kiln Court complex on the site, North Ayrshire Council Housing Services took forward plans to develop facilities that would provide a benchmark for all other sheltered housing within North Ayrshire. This involved the council’s own architects consulting with the University of Stirling’s ‘Dementia Service Design Centre’, who provided guidance about designing the complex in a dementia-friendly manner.

Vennel Gardens incorporates 16 one-bedroom homes and number of communal areas including two resident lounges, a kitchen, dining area, guest bedroom, visiting services room and low maintenance, easily accessible landscaped courtyards.

The £3.3 million project was achieved through funding provided by North Ayrshire Council, supported by the Scottish Government who contributed £736,000.

The council places a strong focus on sustainability, both in terms of reducing living costs for residents and ensuring that their homes meet their long term needs.

Sustainable features include low emission rate boilers, highly efficient double glazing, high levels of thermal and sound insulation, aerated taps, low-flow showers to reduce water consumption, low energy lighting, and recycling bins within each home. In addition, the communal areas are served by underfloor heating, which is powered by an air source heat pump. The development has achieved a ‘B+’ Energy Performance Rating.

Independent living is actively promoted throughout the development, with features such as level access, wet floor shower rooms, pull down and pull out kitchen units, accessible sockets and switches, and the provision for future ceiling hoists to be installed. All homes include an alert system, with emergency pull cords in each room. These features help to ensure that residents can live in a fit-for-purpose housing environment capable of adequately addressing their current and future needs.

Another exciting aspect of the development is the new Hub facility, known as the Vennel Centre. Community service provision is at the heart of the Vennel Centre; enabling health and social care professionals, in partnership with third sector groups, to deliver various services that local people have advised that they need.

Housing Services worked closely with the North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership in the design of the Social Hub. This communal Hub area within the Vennel Gardens is for both residents and older people from the wider community to participate in organised activities such as coffee mornings, lunch clubs and games etc. Visiting services such as hairdressing, foot care, and optometry will also be available. This list is not exhaustive and, over time, the Hub will offer a wide range of services tailored to the needs and preferences of local people.

The project has also been successful in supporting the economic and social regeneration of North Ayrshire. As part of all council new build developments, the building contractor is required to enter into a Targeted Training and Recruitment agreement. Local North Ayrshire apprentices were given the opportunity to work with the contractor, Ashleigh Scotland Ltd., to develop their skills within the construction industry. In total, the Vennel Gardens project enabled work for a total of 10 apprentices in a variety of roles including joinery, brick laying, plumbing and painting.

Council leader Willie Gibson, said: “We are very proud of Vennel Gardens, which really sets the bar for future sheltered housing across North Ayrshire.

“The project provides a great example of council services working together to deliver better outcomes for local people.

“With a steadily ageing population, we acknowledge the importance of ensuring that our housing stock has the capacity to meet current and future needs of older people and our Sheltered Housing Programme will guarantee our complexes achieve the high standards that our residents deserve.”