Graham Construction

Godfrey Syrett’s education division is top of the class

A recent high school fit-out by Godfrey Syrett

A recent high school fit-out by Godfrey Syrett

Furniture manufacturer Godfrey Syrett is just weeks away from concluding its fourth Scottish school contract of 2017, after fitting out the new Kelso High School.

The £22 million state of the art facility in the Scottish Borders has been built by Morrison Construction and will accommodate 780 pupils.

After winning the contract following a competitive tender process, Godfrey Syrett took the architects original designs and converted them into a bespoke buildable solution whilst remaining within budget and programme.

Earlier in the year, the firm completed the installation of fitted and loose furniture at two brand new schools in South Ayrshire as part of a contract worth £328,000.

The state-of-the-art Tarbolton Community Campus caters for over 300 children and at Dailly Primary School a new two-storey building has replaced three previously separate buildings, with space for 100 pupils.

The schools form part of a wider investment by hub South West Scotland, which has a large pipeline of investment for schools in South Ayrshire.

The firm also completed a fit-out at the new £8.6m Duns Primary school in Berwickshire.

Godfrey Syrett’s education division accounts for almost 30% of the company’s turnover, with a dedicated team which delivers contracts directly with schools and main contractors.

Divisional director at Godfrey Syrett, Derek Mitchell, said: “2017 is proving to be a tremendous year for our education division, in terms of direct sales to schools as well as supporting main contractors such as Morrison Construction with new projects. We are building a strong reputation in Scotland and look forward to working on further projects in the future.”

The firm is also delivering a further three contracts amounting to £2m in South West Scotland on behalf of Graham Construction. The three secondary schools include a new £26.5m learning campus in Dalbeattie, as well as St Joseph’s College and North West Campus in Dumfries, all of which are being rebuilt under the Scottish Futures Trust.

Graham lends support to University of Strathclyde Engineering Academy

GRAHAM_ACADEMY_STUDENT_VISIT_035Graham Construction has given 24 budding young construction students an insight in to the building of a major project as part of the University of Strathclyde’s Engineering Academy.

Students were given a tour of Strathclyde Sport, the University’s new sport, health and wellbeing Facility, which Graham Construction is currently delivering on behalf of the academic institution.

The Engineering Academy is a pioneering programme which offers an alternative route into university and employment as a Strathclyde student. The first year is an enhanced HNC programme with direct transfer into second year of one of its engineering degrees.

The Academy is a collaboration between the University of Strathclyde, partner colleges and the engineering industry, designed as an innovative route into higher education.


Applicants get a taster of university life while becoming a fully enrolled student after completing one year in college. They also get access to an academic counsellor and the facility’s Virtual Learning Environment.

Entry requirements for the Academy are four Highers at Grade B which must include Maths and Physics.

Graham Construction’s community benefits manager, Debbie Rutherford, who plays a key role in Graham Academy programme, has said: “We’re pleased to support this novel initiative which acts as an accessible entry point to the University of Strathclyde and future careers in the construction industry.

“A site tour is an excellent way for young people to see how a building project develops, gaining an insight into the many different roles which must work together delivering the final result.

“University is a fantastic route into construction and the Academy opens up this pathway to students who perhaps haven’t considered academia as their immediate after-school option.

“We look forward to continuing our support for this project and helping more young people learn about the sector.”

GRAHAM_ACADEMY_STUDENT_VISIT_044Dr Andrew McLaren, director of the Engineering Academy, said: “Strathclyde is committed to ensuring that ability, rather than social or economic circumstances, determine participation in higher education.  The University has many Widening Access initiatives, of which the Engineering Academy is one of the most successful, having opened the door to Engineering courses for hundreds of students.

“Strathclyde’s campus is being transformed to delivering first-class facilities for staff, students and visitors. Strathclyde Sport is an important part of this programme and we are delighted to have worked with Graham Construction to give students an insight into the project.”

Located on a prominent junction within the University campus, and on a major arterial route into the centre of Glasgow, the Strathclyde Sport health and  wellbeing facility will include two four-court multi-use sports halls, a six-lane, 25-metre swimming pool, a fitness suite with more than 180 stations, two squash courts and four consultation and treatment rooms.

The investment is part of the University’s £650 million transformation of its campus, and will support health and wellbeing for the entire University community, as well as enabling students and sports clubs to train and compete at the highest levels.

Work on the project began in November 2016, with the centre expected to open in summer 2018.

Graham Construction opens Dumfries and Galloway office

(from left) Deputy council leader, Rob Davidson, with council leader Elaine Murray and Craig Bridges, Graham Construction's regional development director

(from left) Deputy council leader, Rob Davidson, with council leader Elaine Murray and Craig Bridges, Graham Construction’s regional development director

Graham Construction has officially opened its first permanent office in Dumfries and Galloway to help service its involvement in four major projects in the region.

The lead contractor on The Bridge, St Joseph’s College, North West Campus and Dalbeattie Learning Campus, Graham Construction today held a ceremony to mark the occasion, attended by Councillor Elaine Murray, leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, deputy council leader, Rob Davidson, as well as pupils from Heathhall Primary, who were completing an art competition.

The move to Heathhall expands Graham’s presence in Dumfries and Galloway where it has been operating extensively since 2013, following its first job in Scotland, delivering work for the MoD in Kircudbright 15 years ago.

FREE_PIC_GRAHAM_CONSTRUCTION_002Today the entire Graham Group, encompassing Construction, Civil Engineering, Interior Fit and Facilities Management has delivered or is in the process of delivering more than £2 billion of projects in Scotland – with over £80 million of these in Dumfries and Galloway. It has achieved its highest-ever ranking to date in The Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250, climbing 10 places to 16th after posting another strong set of year end results.

A total of 28 people from the region are employed by Graham Construction and the firm has created 14 new apprenticeships while supporting 22 existing apprenticeships.

It has also arranged 51 different activities with local schools and colleges, including site visits, work experience and class-room based teaching.

Craig Bridges, Graham Construction’s regional development director, said: “It’s exciting to commence the next phase of Graham’s presence in Dumfries and Galloway, building on links to the region which began over 15 years ago but have intensified since 2013.

“We are currently undertaking four major projects on behalf of the local council in partnership with hub South West, each within the education sector. However we’re keen to reach out to a wider-network of clients and supply chain partners, with the new base helping us to start these discussions.

“We have created 28 jobs for the region since starting these major projects in 2013 and looking forward we’re confident we can further expand the local team, taking on new employees and sub-contractors, alongside a developed supply-chain.”

FREE_PIC_GRAHAM_CONSTRUCTION_001School pupils who attended the opening event were tasked with designing posters under the theme of ‘What it means to live in Dumfries and Galloway’ with the winning artwork set to take centre place on the wall of the company’s new boardroom.

Council leader Elaine Murray said: “Building the local economy is a top priority for our Council and we’re committed to improving skills levels and creating job opportunities. It’s fantastic news that Graham Construction is opening a permanent office in the region employment opportunities delivered by Graham Construction, including apprenticeships, along with the knock-on effects in the supply-chain, are vital in delivering a diverse local economy.”

SES Engineering Services wins £3.9m M&E contract on University of Strathclyde’s sports centre

UOS_Sports_Centre_Dusk_001_Final_20thJune16 - Client ApprovedSES Engineering Services (SES) has secured a £3.9 million mechanical and engineering (M&E) contract for the University of Strathclyde’s Sports, Health and Wellbeing Centre.

In its first collaboration with Graham Construction on a Scottish project, SES will design and deliver full M&E services for the new facility, which will sit adjacent to 100 Cathedral Street in the centre of Glasgow.

The £28m project forms part of the University of Strathclyde’s multi-million pound investment on its city centre campus and is the next major step in providing a first class learning and teaching environment for students, staff and the city of Glasgow.

The new Sports, Health and Wellbeing Centre will provide state-of-the-art training facilities and advanced teaching provision for sports coaches, physical education teachers and fitness professionals.

The centre’s features will include a six-lane 25 metre swimming pool, a fitness suite for up to 180 people, squash courts and a multi-use sports hall.

Colin Walker, SES’ business director Scotland, said: “Following previous successful collaborations with Graham Construction in the North West of England, SES is thrilled to work with them again on this landmark higher education project for the city of Glasgow. This proven partnership will be instrumental in achieving the planned project completion of June 2018.

“Central to securing this project was our focus on pre-construction activities and our ability to take ownership of the design process, and our expert team looks forward to working with the client team to deliver the best end result.”

SES’ dedicated offsite manufacturing facility, Prism, which provides an innovative alternative to labour-intensive, time consuming on-site production and assembly will be used on the project with a proposed 4,900 man-hours being removed from site.

The firm is also currently delivering the MEP contract on Edinburgh University’s £25m project to establish a world-leading Data Technology Institute.

Graham Construction hands over Glasgow student development

Elgin Place 4Graham Construction has successfully handed over the £20 million Elgin Place development in Glasgow for iQ Student Accommodation.

The purpose-built development, in Bath Street, offers 323 units of single occupancy studio rooms and cluster flat rooms over 14 floors with a large ground floor retail space.

Elgin Place, iQ Student Accommodation’s first foray into Scotland’s biggest city, contains the highest level of specifications – including an enclosed double-height performance / entertainment and sports space; a WiFi café; social and amenity spaces. It also features a wide choice of bedrooms all with en suite bathrooms, a rooftop social areas and chill out spaces including a BBQ area and outdoor snug.

Elgin Place 1There are film and presentation auditorium space, private dining rooms, a choice of quiet areas and study spaces, iPad bouncepads and tables for games and research, and plenty of social spaces – including a fully equipped gym which will be free to use, gaming rooms and a creative studio.

Gary Holmes, managing director of Graham Construction in Scotland, said: “We’re very pleased to have successfully delivered another high-profile project in such a prime location in the city centre, on time and on budget. The team have achieved a quality of finish on Elgin Place more akin to a fashionable hotel than a traditional student residences development. These are achievements the Graham team pride ourselves on.”

Graham Construction achieves highest level of Investors In People recognition

Graham employees and apprentices

Graham employees and apprentices

Graham Construction has been awarded the highest level of accreditation by Investors in People, the international standard for people management.

The platinum-level award puts the company in the top seven per cent of accredited organisations throughout the UK.

The news comes shortly after Graham Construction celebrated its 15th birthday in Scotland, signing the Scottish Business Pledge and announcing that it has delivered, or is in the process of delivering more than £2 billion of projects and now employs over 350 people in Scotland.

Graham Construction is part of Graham Group, which recently announced a turnover increase to £565 million in its 2016-17 year end results.

Paul Devoy, head of IIP, said: “Investors in People accreditation is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to success. Graham Construction should be extremely proud of its achievement.”

Gary Holmes, Scottish regional managing director for Graham Building Division, said: “This result demonstrates our ongoing commitment to making Graham a place where each individual can attain their personal and career goals. It could not have been achieved without the commitment, ability, loyalty and infectious enthusiasm of our people, which is a great foundation for future success. We view the Investor in People standard as an effective tool to help drive and continuously improve our people strategy.”

The company is working throughout Scotland carrying out projects across a wide variety of sectors. In South West Scotland it is engaged in two very important education projects – the £70 million Phase One of Dumfries Learning Town programme and the £24m Dalbeattie Learning Campus.

Its relationship with the NHS in Scotland has gone from strength to strength – the latest being the building of the £120m Baird Family Hospital and ANCHOR Centre in Aberdeen for NHS Grampian.

The Graham Civil Engineering division has been providing architectural, civil, structural and building services for the HVDC convertor stations of the Caithness-Moray HVDC Link – the largest investment in north Scotland’s electricity network since the 1950s.

The company’s Interior Fit-Out division has started refurbishment works at the Thistle Shopping Centre in Stirling having completed a number of projects throughout the region at retail centres including Ocean Terminal and Braehead (Glasgow).

Meanwhile its commitment to youth skills and apprenticeships continues to grow, with Graham Construction’s membership of the 5% Club, made up of companies committed to ensuring at least 5% of their workforce over the next five years is comprised of young people on structured learning schemes. However, Graham goes far beyond this commitment – with 14% of the current workforce in these schemes, a figure which will rise to 15% by the end of the year. Of this, 9% are apprentices.

The company has also established the Graham Academy to tackle the looming skills shortage in the industry. This is an entry level programme for young people to pursue a career in construction. Over 100 young people have already enrolled in the Academy, which offers nationally-recognised qualifications alongside paid work experience and permanent employment.

University partnership helps to build careers in construction

UOS_STUDENT_VISIT_001Graham Construction has hosted 25 young people from across the UK on one of its major projects as part of a skills and employment initiative.

The site visit was attended by young people aged between 16 and 17 years, from different corners of the United Kingdom as part of a ‘Built Environment Taster Course’ organised by Glasgow Caledonian University in partnership with HeadStart, a programme run by nationwide education charity EDT.

The staff at Glasgow Caledonian university organised a challenging an exciting four-day course which included lectures, tutorials and even a sightseeing tour around the city.

Young people apply to get an insight into the construction industry as a potential career opportunity after they leave school. Using a Built Environment university course as a pathway into the sector.

Students were given a tour of the University of Strathclyde’s new sport, health & wellbeing facility, which Graham Construction is currently delivering on behalf of the academic institution.

Graham Construction contracts manager, Tony Dixon, said: “We always endeavour to accommodate young people onto projects, showcasing the opportunities which a career in construction can lead to.

“This is a major development utilising many different techniques which can each be studied in depth by potential students.

“Feedback from these tours is always positive and we’re glad to see so many enthusiastic youngsters who want to find out more about construction.

UOS_STUDENT_VISIT_003Dr Nicola Callaghan, a lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “The Built Environment Taster Course was very successful, promoting Higher Education as a clear route into the construction industry.

“I’d like to thank the University of Strathclyde and Graham Construction for dedicating a morning to guiding the students around the site. We put together a varied itinerary over the four days and this was definitely one of the highlights.”

EDT (The Engineering Development Trust) has been established for over 30 years as a charitable trust providing hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) activities and engineering experience to encourage young people into technology-based careers.

Located on a prominent junction within the University campus, and on a major arterial route into the centre of Glasgow, the Strathclyde Sport health and wellbeing facility will include two four-court multi-use sports halls, a six-lane, 25-metre swimming pool, a fitness suite with more than 180 stations, two squash courts and four consultation and treatment rooms.

The investment is part of the University’s £650 million investment in its campus over the current decade, and will support health and wellbeing for the entire University community, as well as enabling students and sports clubs to train and compete at the highest levels.

Work on the project began in November 2016, with the centre expected to open in Summer 2018.

Scottish public sector work proving valuable for Graham Construction

NHS Grampian project director Jackie Bremner and Graham Construction regional director Gary Holmes shake on the deal - surrounded by senior colleagues from their organisations

NHS Grampian project director Jackie Bremner and Graham Construction regional director Gary Holmes shook on a £120m deal last year

Work on a range of significant public sector projects in Scotland has contributed to a 40% increase in turnover for Graham Construction.

The Northern Ireland-based firm recorded £150 million turnover in Scotland in the year to March 31, up from £110m in the prior period, The Herald has reported.

The contractor is active on a number of public sector projects including the £120m Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre in Aberdeen for NHS Grampian.

It is also working on the £60m Phase One of Dumfries Learning Town and the £26m Dalbeattie Learning Campus in south west Scotland.

The awards underline the value of the public sector work to construction firms in Scotland.

Other builders based outside the country, including Galliford Try, have noted that activity has been stronger in recent years in Scotland than south of the Border, where public spending cuts have had greater impact.

Graham group executive chairman, Michael Graham, highlighted the importance of Scotland to the business when the group celebrated 15 years of doing business in the country.

The group has won business worth £2 billion in total in Scotland in that period.

Mr Graham said: “We started our Scottish business with three people, now we employ over 350 staff, almost all of whom have been recruited in Scotland.”

Multiplex confirms University of Glasgow deal with official signing ceremony

Dr David Duncan, chief operating officer of the University of Glasgow (left) and John Ballantyne, executive director of Multiplex

Dr David Duncan, chief operating officer of the University of Glasgow (left) and John Ballantyne, executive director of Multiplex

Global contractor Multiplex has signed the contract for the construction of the University of Glasgow’s campus development programme, one of the biggest educational infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history.

It was reported back in March that the contractor was selected to manage the £700 million first phase of the University’s estate expansion plan over the next decade.

This week, an official signing ceremony was carried out in the University’s iconic-Gilbert Scott building, attended by the principal and vice-chancellor, Professor Anton Muscatelli, Dr David Duncan, chief operating officer of the University of Glasgow, Professor Neal Juster, senior vice-principal and deputy vice-chancellor, and John Ballantyne, executive director, and Fergus Shaw, construction lead, of Multiplex.

Professor Muscatelli said: “The signing of this contract is a major milestone in the delivery of the University’s campus development programme which will see the most significant investment and expansion in our estate for more than a century, comparable in many ways with the move from the High Street to Gilmorehill in the 1870s.

“These plans are about far more than investment in buildings, however. Our focus is on creating an inclusive and welcoming campus, fit for the 21st century and beyond, which will continue to attract the brightest and best students and staff from across the globe.

“We are confident that Multiplex shares this vision and will deliver buildings that will inspire world-class teaching and learning as well as internationally-excellent research. Multiplex is a truly international company but it also has a very strong Scottish division. We are delighted to be working with the team who successfully delivered the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on time and on budget.”

John Ballantyne from Multiplex said: “The University of Glasgow campus development will transform a significant area of the West End of Glasgow. Multiplex is delighted to be chosen as the university’s Programme Delivery Partner and share their goal to create an innovative, modern campus while remaining respectful to the rich heritage of Gilmorehill. In responding to the unique challenges of this development, our delivery team and supply chain partners are passionate about delivering a project legacy the university and the people of Glasgow can be proud of.”

Separate contracts for carrying out the enabling works to prepare for the construction phase have already been awarded to John Graham (Holdings) Ltd.

In February 2017, Glasgow City Council gave planning permission in principle to the University’s campus development masterplan for the former Western Infirmary site. The project will transform the West End of the city, bringing significant community, economic, environmental and cultural benefits as well as the creation of some 2,500 new jobs.

An initial £430m will be spent over the next five years on the first phase of the campus programme – part of a wider £1 billion investment which includes significant spending on refurbishing and improving the existing estate.

This first phase of the development will see the construction of the following new buildings, together with clearance of the Western Infirmary Site and the new landscaping of the public realm:

  • A Learning and Teaching Hub
  • A Research Hub to facilitate new multidisciplinary cutting edge research
  • An Institute of Health and Wellbeing tackling the public health problems of Glasgow and beyond
  • The Adam Smith Business School including space to grow our postgraduate student population
  • A base for our College of Arts including new performance spaces
  • Significant upgrade of our chemistry building (the Joseph Black Building)

The second phase, expected to start in 2023, will deliver:

  • New teaching and research space for engineering
  • An Innovation Quarter on Church Street to improve engagement with local industry and promote creation of new companies
  • A building for research into chronic diseases
  • The creation of a Social Justice Hub to lead research in the elimination of global inequalities

Enabling work has already started on the Learning and Teaching Hub site on University Avenue – the first new permanent building of the development. The Learning and Teaching Hub will link into the existing Boyd Orr building on University Avenue. Planning permission for the Learning and Teaching Hub was granted in December. It will deliver a 500-seater raked lecture theatre, four flat-floored lecture theatres and 1,000-plus spaces for learning.

In the longer term, the Learning and Teaching Hub should also provide much-needed conference space and facilities for outreach and widening participation work with schools. Its construction will necessitate the demolition of the Mathematics and Statistics building whose occupants recently moved into a temporary home on the former Western Infirmary site in April.

As programme delivery partner, Multiplex is committed to delivering a range of community benefits. These will include developing positive partnerships with external agencies that have a remit to provide jobs, training, and community and development opportunities for local people. It will also create an Onsite Innovation Centre that will be a hub for exhibition, learning and educational engagement about the project.

Subcontractors sought for Aberdeen hospital replacement

Foresterhill Health CampusGraham Construction is looking for subcontractors for major work packages on its planned Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre project in Aberdeen.

NHS Grampian is expected to submit a formal planning application to replace the current maternity hospital at Forresterhill this summer.

The new Baird Family Hospital will provide modern facilities for the delivery of maternity, gynaecology, breast screening and breast surgery services.

The separate Anchor Centre meanwhile will offer facilities for cancer patients from around the region complete with its own pharmacy, research and teaching facilities.

A Meet the Buyer event is being on May 23 at the Beach Ballroom, AB24 5NR from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Specialists in the following areas are invited to attend:

  • Building Envelope
  • Groundworks
  • Concrete Frame
  • Steel Frame
  • Partitions & Ceilings
  • Specialist Medical Physics
  • Clean Room Fit Out
  • Fixed FFE
  • Piling
  • Lifts
  • IPS
  • Bathroom Pods

The £150 million dual project has been designed by Norr and is timetabled for completion by 2020.

Please register your interest in attending to Suzanne Stevenson, Compliance Manager or online here.