Cladding to be removed from second Glasgow hospital

The Royal Hospital for Children with the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in the background

The Royal Hospital for Children has become the second hospital in Glasgow to announce the removal of external cladding as a precautionary measure.

Documents reported in The Herald state a “further issue” had been identified in external cladding used at the children’s hospital, but added the risk level was “extremely low”.

The move comes months after it emerged similar insulation panels to those used on the Grenfell Tower were involved in the building of the flagship Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) on the same site.

Work is due to get under way in the New Year to replace panels at the QEUH.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said discussions were continuing about how to replace the panels at the children’s hospital.

The documents said: “Health Facilities Scotland and the main hospital contractor Multiplex had confirmed a further cladding issue on the Royal Hospital for Children had emerged [and] it was intended to replace the affected panels as a precautionary measure.”

A spokesman for NHSGGC said: “Discussions continue with the hospital developer Multiplex about the replacement options available for Royal Hospital for Children.

“Senior Board Directors and Health Facility Scotland are finalising the preferred options and programme of works for the QEUH and it is intended to issue an instruction to proceed in early January.

“Discussions with Glasgow City Council have been positive and it is agreed that a building warrant application will be made for both the adult’s and children’s hospitals when a start date for works will be able to be agreed.”

Talks are also on-going between the Scottish Government and Multiplex over who will pay for the work.

Partnership results in jobs for young people in Possilpark

The Wise Group and McTaggart Group have agreed an official employability partnership which has resulted in full time jobs for four young people from one of Glasgow’s most disadvantaged areas.

The partnership was launched in October this year, the first site being McTaggart’s Ashfield Street, where they are building 48 new homes for Hawthorn Housing Co-operative. Jobs and training opportunities were advertised around the site and Hawthorn tenants were issued communication about the opportunities by the Co-operative, which resulted in nearly fifty people noting interest.

Through the CashBack for Communities programme, The Wise Group were able to offer eight 16-24 year old’s construction-specific training during a two week programme at their Charlotte Street facility, culminating in a two week work placement on McTaggart’s sites. The four young people who impressed McTaggart’s site management team have been offered full time, permanent jobs within the Group businesses.

Connor McCue, aged 18 from Possilpark, is one of the local young people to secure a job and said: “I’ve been on other employability programmes, but none have been able to offer me a job at the end of my placement. The opportunity with the Wise Group and McTaggart’s has been different, they’ve offered me a lot of support and knowing there’s a real job at the end has pushed me to work hard.”

The Wise Group’s chief executive, Laurie Russell (far-right of picture), added: “It is fantastic to see that the new partnership between the McTaggart Group and the Wise Group had already opened up opportunities for four young people to get access to jobs in the construction sector. There is clearly a huge sense of pride that comes from working on a major regeneration project in your own community.  It is even better for the young people that they now have a chance to develop a long-term future with one of the country’s best construction companies.”

McTaggart Group’s managing director, Gary Climson (far-left of picture), said: “We are really delighted with the results from our first project working in partnership with the Wise Group, so far it has exceeded our expectations. Developing a pipeline of young talent to fill roles across our Group of companies is a key business objective. It’s particularly satisfying when we’re able to recruit from the areas we’re building new homes in, as one of our primary aims is to help create sustainable communities.”

Student flats plan next to Mackintosh Building rejected by Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has rejected an appeal for plans to build a student housing development adjoining Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s world-renowned Glasgow School of Art (GSA) building.

Plans by developers Urban Pulse would have seen the former Jumpin’ Jaks nightclub on Sauchiehall Street demolished to make way for a seven-storey block consisting of 181 flats complete with roof gardens, study rooms, common areas and a cinema room.

Opponents said that the block would have restricted daylight to the A-listed GSA building and obscured much of its striking south facade. Fears were also expressed that the proposed building would damage the city’s reputation as a tourist destination and could harm any future UNESCO World Heritage bid, despite Historic Environment Scotland not lodging a formal objection.

The proposals were recommended for approval by planning officials back in March after revised plans submitted by Haus Architects reduced the development by one storey and four flats.

Glasgow City Council’s planning application committee then voted to allow for a hearing to give a chance for those for and against the plans to make their case, before deciding against the development in April.

Urban Pulse then appealed to the government to reverse the decision.

However, delivering his judgement on the appeal this week, reporter Robert Seaton, said: “As a consequence of the proposed development’s adverse effect upon the setting and special character of the Mackintosh building of the Glasgow School of Art and its adverse effect upon the conservation area and setting of other neighbouring listed buildings, I find that the proposed development does not respect, preserve or enhance the historic environment.”

He concluded: “I find that the proposed development does not accord overall with the development plan.

“I have found no material considerations that would still justify granting planning permission. I have considered all the other matters raised, but there are none that would lead me to alter my conclusions.”

The developers had previously said their proposals were in line with aspirations to rejuvenate Sauchiehall Street “and re-establish this important city district”.

A spokesperson for the developers said: “We are of course very disappointed with the decision made by the reporter.

“We had very high hopes of delivering a state of the art building on this tired and dilapidated site that would have replaced the eyesore that presently exists and have helped stem the ongoing decline in this part of Sauchiehall Street.

“What is particularly disheartening is that the decision by the Reporter followed an extensive and indeed unprecedented consultation period, which included extensive discussions with the Glasgow School of Art, and concluded in an enthusiastic recommendation for approval by the professional planning team at Glasgow City Council.

“We now believe that as a direct result of the Reporter’s decision yet another key tenant is now vacating Sauchiehall Street in the New Year leading to the further degradation of this property and adding to the on-going decline of this great street in the centre of Glasgow.

“We have sought to engage with the City Planners early in the New Year to explore a possible way forward for the future of this site if indeed this is at all feasible.”

Mr Seaton’s judgement concludes: “The proposed development would undoubtedly have some economic benefits, and as student accommodation proposed on a city-centre site close to a number of campuses would make efficient use of existing infrastructure.

“However, I am not persuaded these positive aspects would outweigh its detrimental effects on the historic environment.

“As a consequence of these effects it does not show all the qualities of a successful place.”

The reporter’s decision is deemed to be final.

However, individuals unhappy with the decision made by the reporter may have the right to appeal to the Court of Session, but this can only be made on a point of law.

A spokeswoman for the GSA said: “The Glasgow School of Art welcomes the Reporter’s decision to refuse the Appeal for the proposed development at 294 Sauchiehall Street and specifically the recognition that while economic benefits of development are important these should not outweigh the detrimental effects of proposals on the historic environment.”

McAleer & Rushe unveils plans for new four-star hotel in Glasgow

McAleer & Rushe has signed an Agreement for Lease with Ireland’s largest hotel chain to deliver a new four-star hotel in Glasgow city centre.

The proposed c. 250 bed Maldron Hotel will come with bar, restaurant and business conferencing facilities and will centrally located on Renfrew Street adjacent to the Theatre Royal.

The £30 million project, which is subject to planning approval from Glasgow City Council, is projected to be delivered by mid-2020, representing Dalata Hotel Group’s first Maldron hotel in Scotland. Once construction is completed, Dalata will operate the hotel under a 35-year lease, subject to five-year rent reviews linked to the Retail Price Index.

This latest McAleer & Rushe project represents a long-standing partnership with the Dalata Hotel Group in delivering hotels across the UK and Ireland and follows the recent announcement of its sale of the planned Maldron Hotel in Newcastle to a major institutional fund, the UK Commercial Property Trust Limited (UKCPT).

Stephen Surphlis, property director at McAleer & Rushe, said the hotel’s strategic positioning on Renfrew Street will support Glasgow’s growing economy, positively contributing towards the surrounding urban environment and create construction as well as indirect employment.

He added: “The announcement of our latest lease deal with Dalata represents the growing confidence in key regional UK cities for hotel operators, particularly in Scotland. This major new four-star Maldron Hotel will be an exciting addition to this dynamic consumer and business hub.”

Glasgow’s Garment Factory undergoes £6m revamp

The Garment Factory office development in Glasgow city centre has achieved practical completion following an extensive refurbishment project undertaken by Castleforge Partners.

A category ‘B’ listed building located at the corner of Ingram Street and Montrose Street in the Merchant City Central Conservation Area, the Garment Factory is one of Glasgow’s most notable buildings. It provides 47,382 sq ft of high quality retail and design-focused office space over seven floors.

The £6 million refurbishment project, undertaken by a team which includes lead contractor ISG, project manager PMP and architect Morgan McDonnell Architecture Ltd, involved combining the restoration of the original features, including exposed ceilings, steel and brickwork, wooden flooring and ornate staircases, with the introduction of contemporary finishes throughout to provide a 21st century workplace.

An impressive over-sized entrance lobby/reception with two new high-speed lifts, on-site café and breakout space has been created on Montrose Street to serve the office floors above. Two new retail/restaurant units on Montrose Street and Ingram Street have been formed and offer quirky features including covered outdoor dining areas and a triple level spiral staircase, which is attracting interest from leisure operators and boutique breweries. The basement area has shower and changing facilities as well as lockers and a cycle storage area, event space, games room and communal kitchen with LED lighting throughout.

Works on the open plan office space over the upper six floors included a full overhaul of the suites with the introduction of new finishes in keeping with the building’s listed status.

The existing stairwells have been retained and refurbished and the building’s mechanical and electrical services have been replaced and upgraded. The exterior of the red sandstone building has also been conserved and the roof has been extensively overhauled.

Rachael Pittaway from Castleforge Partners said:  “It’s great news that we can announce we’ve achieved practical completion at the Garment Factory; it really is a beautiful building in a great location and we’re very proud of the finished result. We wanted to restore the building’s original industrial aesthetic and emphasise the warehouse/factory origins by making features of the cast iron columns and leaving services exposed to allow the original fabric of the building to shine.

“Our aim was to create a flagship office and leisure development in Merchant City and to provide a fantastic working environment for creatives and corporates alike.  We have invested significantly in the upgrade project and are confident the large, efficient floor-plates, which are rare to find in a building with such character and quality specification in Glasgow, will appeal to a wide variety of occupiers.”

Architectural practice Threesixty Architecture and digital services provider Incremental Group were confirmed as the first occupiers for The Garment Factory earlier this year.  Threesixty Architecture has taken the entire top floor, comprising 8,374 sq ft of space, and Incremental Group will occupy the whole of the fifth floor, extending to 8,353 sq ft.  Both firms are currently undertaking fit-out works ahead of taking occupation early next year.

Guy Morgan from Morgan McDonnell Architecture Ltd added:  “It has been a privilege to work on the revitalisation of this Victorian mercantile gem. We have been able to liberate the original layout and character of the building which had been hidden under years of unsympathetic alterations and subdivisions. We are very proud of the 21st century office and retail environment we have managed to create within.”

The Garment Factory is being marketed for let by Ryden.

Citizens Theatre revamp awarded £4.8m of lottery support

Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre has received a grant of £4.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to go towards its transformational redevelopment project.

The project will result in the conservation, repair and expansion of one of Scotland’s oldest, and much loved, working theatres. It will protect the physical asset for future generations whilst preserving and revealing the most significant parts of its heritage: the Victorian auditorium at the heart of the site; its rare collection of original 19th century stage machinery and a unique example of a working paint frame.

The redevelopment will also explore and celebrate the fascinating social and cultural heritage of the building and the company, increase public engagement and ensure ‘The Citz’, as it is affectionately known, continues to make and deliver world class theatre for the benefit of local, national and international audiences.

The redevelopment, designed by architectural practice Bennetts Associates, is a radical reworking of the existing building to provide new learning spaces, rehearsal rooms and a 152 seat studio theatre. It will also improve working conditions for staff and transform front of house spaces for greater use by audiences, participants and the local community. The project will be underpinned by 12 creative heritage focused activities including creating a heritage hub on the theatre company’s website; helping people to share their stories about the Citizens; providing volunteer opportunities; and bringing the work of the theatre to life through specially linked heritage productions, to wider audiences and visitors.

Commenting on the award, Judith Kilvington, executive director of the Citizens Theatre, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this significant support thanks to National Lottery players. This critical funding will allow us not only to preserve our Victorian theatre but also to tell stories which help to uncover and communicate the physical, architectural, social and cultural heritage of the Citizens Theatre to many future generations of theatre goers, participants, and visitors.

“With our increased heritage engagement plans, we will be able to attract new audiences and participants to the theatre for the first time and encourage a deeper level of engagement amongst our existing audiences by offering a variety of ways to explore the Citizens Theatre’s rich and multi-faceted heritage.

“Our redevelopment project is at the heart of the regeneration of the Gorbals and Laurieston and will create a vital cultural landmark and community hub for all the people who use the building.”

Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “We are delighted to bring some Christmas cheer to one of Scotland’s oldest and best-loved theatres. Thanks to players of the National Lottery, the Citizens Theatre will undergo a transformation which shines a light on its incredible Victorian heritage while providing the modern facilities expected today. After 139 years of entertaining audiences, her future as one of the country’s outstanding production theatres is rosy.”

In June 2018, Citizens Theatre Company will move out of the Category B listed building, which it leases from Glasgow City Council, for over two years. Thanks to a partnership with Glasgow Life the company will continue to produce its ground-breaking work at Tramway and provide its Citizens Learning activities at Scotland Street School Museum. The Company will move back into its iconic Gorbals home in autumn 2020.

And finally… Action film showcases Redpath’s Glasgow projects

Construction firm Redpath has released a video which captures the locations of six live projects it is currently undertaking in Glasgow city centre.

The action video, filmed on a drive through the city centre, highlights the concentrated geography of the sites.

The projects include:

  • Buchanan Street – external refurb
  • Bath Street – conversion of St. Stephen’s House from office to serviced apartments
  • George Square – conversion of commercial unit at George House to create a new retail shell
  • Vincent Street – external refurb
  • Renfield Street – Culzean House office fit-out.

Having established the business in Glasgow in 2008, Redpath opened its Edinburgh office 2016.

The majority of its work comes from building consultants such as PMP, Doig & Smith, Trident, Knight Frank, Cushman & Wakefield, Gleeds, Colliers, Galbraith, Workman, etc.

Glasgow student housing plan given towering revision

Merchant Point revisedA student housing project planned for Glasgow’s High Street is set to be even taller than originally proposed.

Revised plans submitted by ADF Architects and Structured House Group show the Merchant Point project to be extended beyond the 12-storey plan lodged to Glasgow City Council earlier this year.

A view of the original plans (left) alongside the revised proposals

Following discussions with the council, the prominent corner elevation has been rounded off to provide a softer view on the George Street junction.

A retail element will still be included on the ground floor levels while a decked roof garden is now included.

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AS Homes launches new private homes arm as permission granted for £20m development

Paul Kelly, MD Briar Homes

Paul Kelly, MD Briar Homes

Family-run Glasgow social housing developer AS Homes (Scotland) Ltd has announced the launch of a new private homes arm as planning permission is granted for its very first development.

The new subsidiary company – known as Briar Homes Ltd – has just been given the green light by Glasgow City Council to build 73 new homes for sale at Boghall Road, Broomhouse, near Baillieston.

The first phase of the circa £20 million development, to be named Calderpark Gardens, will consist of 55 three and four bedroom detached homes which will be marketed by Savills.

An artist's impression of one of the homes

An artist’s impression of one of the homes

Paul Kelly, managing director of Briar Homes Ltd, said: “Before the recession, AS Homes built a mix of private and social housing, but during the tougher economic times we took the decision to focus on social housing. We believe that with the housing market in steady recovery, and more buyers looking for spacious family homes close to Glasgow, the time is absolutely right for us to branch out into private housing again. We have a very successful 20-year history of providing high quality, energy efficient homes and we have drawn on those many years of expertise when developing our plans for Calderpark Gardens.

“We are working with the Housing Growth Partnership, who are partnering with small housebuilders to support the sustainable growth of their businesses, therefore increasing the number of homes they can build with the ultimate aim of addressing housing affordability by increasing supply.

“To have got planning permission for our very first Briar Homes development is a very exciting moment for us, and we expect there to be a healthy demand for these homes when we launch the first phase for sale early in the New Year.”

Briar Homes Ltd also has land in place for a further programme of homes for sale across west central Scotland.

BAM wins £18m deal to deliver new Glasgow schools

Blairdardie Primary School

Blairdardie Primary School

BAM Construction has been appointed by hub West Scotland to build two new primary schools on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

Located on Liberton Street in the East of the city and on Kearn Avenue in the West End, Carntyne and Blairdardie Primary Schools will provide modern state of the art teaching facilities for local children, which, in the case of Carntyne, will include a multi-use games area that will be available for community use.

Designed by Holmes Miller, both projects commenced on site last month with completion of Carntyne scheduled for Autumn 2018 and Blairdardie following in Spring 2019.

The combined contract value is £18 million and funding has been made available through Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) which delivers public infrastructure investment on behalf of the Scottish Government through the hub network and Glasgow City Council.

Carntyne Primary School

Carntyne Primary School

Bruce Dickson, regional director at BAM Construction, said: “We are delighted to have been selected for this contract. The partnership between our local authorities, hub West and SFT is transforming Scotland’s school estate and creating buildings of importance for the wider community.”

Iain Marley, CEO of hub West Scotland, added: “We are proud to be delivering these schools on behalf of our Partner, Glasgow City Council and we are very pleased to continue our successful partnership with BAM. The projects will create high quality inspiring learning environments and bring significant benefits to local communities starting immediately during the construction period and continuing well beyond.”

BAM Construction has completed a number of primary and secondary schools in both East and West Scotland including the £27m Barrhead Secondary School for East Renfrewshire Council which was recently handed-over and Our Lady and St Patricks for West Dunbartonshire Council valued at £25m which opened to pupils in August this year.

Both of these projects were delivered in partnership with hub West Scotland.