Graham Construction

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.

Graham Construction wins enabling works deal at University of Glasgow

The Learning and Teaching Hub set for the Gilmorehill Campus

The Learning and Teaching Hub set for the Gilmorehill Campus

The University of Glasgow has appointed Graham Construction to carry out enabling works for a learning and technology hub.

Marking the beginning of the £700 million first phase of the University’s estate expansion plan, the work will see the existing Maths and Statistics Building demolished from next month.

A spokesperson for the University of Glasgow told the Evening Times: “We can confirm that John Graham (Holdings) Ltd have been awarded the contract to carry out the enabling work to prepare for the construction of a new Learning and Teaching Hub on University Avenue.

“The construction of the learning and teaching hub will be a separate contract which we are not in a position to discuss at this stage.

“The enabling works for the hub include the demolition of the maths & statistics building as well as other elements such as strip-out, service diversions and grouting.”

Last month the University picked Multiplex to manage the £700m first phase of its estate expansion plan which will eventually include six major academic buildings.

More than 2,500 jobs will be created during construction of what ranks as the biggest education development in Scotland – higher than the public investment in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The client project team includes Faithful+Gould as programme and project managerWSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff as multi discipline engineering contractor and Sweet Group as quantity surveyor services provider, while global architecture firm HLM and HOK Architects have also secured contracts.

Footage shows progress at new Borders school sites


A series of new videos and images have been issued to show the progress at a series of new school projects across the Borders.

Footage and photos from the sites of the new Broomlands and Langlee primaries and Kelso High give pupils, staff, parents and the community the chance to see how each facility is developing.

Videos of Langlee and Kelso are available at Scottish Borders Council’s YouTube Channel.

New photos of Broomlands and Langlee primaries, alongside previous images of Kelso High and Duns Primary, are available at SBC’s Flickr page.

Langlee Primary

The new £10m school is fast heading towards its opening, with an expected completion in summer 2017.

The new facility – which is adjacent to the current school building – will include 14 classrooms, sports hall, outdoor MUGA sports pitch, a centre for children with severe and complex additional support needs and provision for early learning and childcare.

Three new jobs have been created during construction by contractors McLaughlin and Harvey, while two unemployed people also received work experience on the site.

In addition, McLaughlin and Harvey hosted pupils from Langlee last year who received a safety tour of the site, while the company has engaged with Langlee Residents Association.

Kelso High

Work on the new school on the northern side of the town is still on course to be completed by autumn 2017.

The £22.5m project will have extensive sport facilities for students and the community to use as well as an eco-garden pond, orchard, allotment, outdoor classroom and arts and craft garden.

The school is being funded by the Scottish Government through the Scottish Futures Trust. It is being developed in partnership with Hub South East Scotland and its appointed contractor Morrison Construction.

Six new jobs have been created directly and indirectly thanks to the Kelso project, while Morrison have engaged with over 700 students at visits to Borders College and local schools. The site has also welcomed nine work experience placements for school pupils, college students and job centre clients.

Over 90 students and staff have also visited the Nethershot site from schools to learn more about the construction industry, while Morrison have engaged with Kelso Community Council in an effort to identify projects they could support.

Broomlands Primary

Broomlands Primary in Kelso will see 12 new classrooms, an early years centre, a new games hall/dining room and upgraded playground created.

Contractors McLaughlin and Harvey started work on the £9.7m school in October 2016 and are still on track to have the facility ready for pupils in 2018.

Duns Primary

The £8.6m project is on course to be completed in summer 2017.

SBC is working alongside development partner hub South East Scotland on the new school, which will see the primary school relocated to the former High School building, as well as the creation of a new Berwickshire Locality Support Centre.

The project is part funded by the Scottish Futures Trust, with Graham Construction contracted by Hub to carry out the work.

Six new jobs and six new and existing apprenticeships have already been created thanks to the Duns project, while Graham Construction has engaged with over 300 pupils in visits, as well as supporting four work experience placements.

An SBC spokesperson said: “These videos and images provide pupils, parents, staff and the local community with a great insight into how each new school is progressing.

“We have already seen the new Leader Valley additional needs school at Earlston open in February, and it is exciting to know that these four new schools will soon be providing new, modern facilities for our young people and communities.”

Ground breaking ceremony at Dumfries Learning Town

Dumfries and Galloway Council leader Councillor Ronnie Nicholson (in cab), with (from left) Alison Wilson, hub South West construction manager; Councillor Jeff Leaver, chairman of the council’s children, young people and lifelong learning committee and Craig Bridges, framework director, Graham Construction

Dumfries and Galloway Council leader Councillor Ronnie Nicholson (in cab), with (from left) Alison Wilson, hub South West construction manager; Councillor Jeff Leaver, chairman of the council’s children, young people and lifelong learning committee and Craig Bridges, framework director, Graham Construction

Work is underway on the third of the Dumfries Learning Town projects with first sod cut at an event yesterday.

Progress has been made in recent weeks by the partnership of Dumfries and Galloway Council, hub South West Scotland and main contractor Graham Construction.

Planning approval for The Bridge was granted in March, enabling the project to progress on the disused former bowling green at the King George V site in Dumfries.

An innovative community facility, The Bridge will deliver lifelong learning needs in Dumfries for learners across the region.

It will be a unique facility, providing learning opportunities beyond those found in traditional education settings such as schools, colleges and universities.

It will offer learners of all abilities and aspirations opportunities to pursue career pathways and personal interests.

The Bridge will combine school, theatre, cinema, dance studio, lecture and study space, model restaurant, and craft centre and will evolve as demands emerge.

It will be available to individuals and groups that wish to develop new skills, take forward initiatives and enterprises, meet as special interest groups, stage performances, or hold private functions.

The Bridge

The Bridge

Work on the other two Dumfries Learning Town Phase 1 projects – the restoration and modernisation of St Joseph’s College and development of the new NorthWest Campus, a development incorporating a high school, a special secondary school and two primary schools – is already well underway.

Gary Holmes, regional director for Graham Construction, said: “Developing emerging talent is at the heart of our company’s ethos and The Bridge will play an important role in progressing this. We’re proud to be participating and working alongside our partners, to make this a reality. The exciting Dumfries Learning Town programme is one of the largest we have undertaken to date for Dumfries and Galloway Council and The Bridge project brings a new and exciting dimension to education.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council leader, Ronnie Nicholson, said: “The start of work on The Bridge is the final piece in phase one of the transformation of education in Dumfries. Not only does this development bring together academic and vocational opportunities in Dumfries under one roof, it is being developed right in the heart of North West Dumfries, showing the ambition the council has to support the community and the whole of our town.

“The next challenge will be to move onto phase two, which will include the refurbishment of Dumfries Academy (Central Campus) and a new Dumfries High School (NorthEast Campus), completing what will be the biggest ever investment in education in Dumfries.”

Michael McBrearty, hub South West chief executive, added: “Dumfries Learning Town is an exciting and ambitious project that hub South West is thrilled to be a part of. With work to modernise St Joseph’s College and develop the new NorthWest Campus well underway, phase 1 of the Dumfries Learning Town is progressing well. The Bridge is a modern and innovative approach to supporting learning for youngsters in the Dumfries area. So it’s fantastic we’re now moving forward rapidly and we’ll be on site within a few weeks.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council has invested more than £71 million in phase 1 of Dumfries Learning Town, with £54m funded directly by the council and £17m funded by the Scottish Government through the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.

The Bridge project is scheduled to be completed in the winter of 2018/19.

Companies sign-up to hub South West’s Building for Growth programme

Michael McBrearty

Michael McBrearty

Construction and infrastructure partnership hub South West is set to help companies in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway to get clued-up on how to win profitable new business from some of Scotland’s biggest building contractors.

Now in its sixth round, the ‘Building for Growth’ programme will walk company bosses through a programme which provides valuable key insights into how to take their businesses to the next level.

The nine companies which will participate in hub South West’s March 2017 programme include JBB Groundcare, Racam Security and Communications, CHAPS, BMG Ltd, CCI Scotland, Clancy Consulting, CP Construction Solutions, McLaren Electrical Services and Lucion Services.

There has been hot competition for places on the programme, from which 42 companies within the region have already graduated, and participants will learn from, and mingle with, some of the biggest players in the sector.

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, said: “The South West of Scotland is rich in ambitious companies in the construction and related sectors who want to take on greater volumes of business in a sustainable manner.

“This programme, which already has been a resounding success, will bring in experts in the fields of people management, IT, tendering and marketing, as well as building relationships with hub’s Tier 1 Contractors who will meet the delegates with the aim of  helping businesses to build the skills they need as well as to create the internal capacity for growth.

“Representatives of participating companies will be able to speak freely about the issues which face them in the eight half-day sessions. Measures are taken to ensure that there is no clash with competing businesses.”

The hub South West Building for Growth programme is supported by Kier, Morrison Construction, Graham and Morgan Sindall. It is one of a range of initiatives from hub South West, which enables cost-efficient design and construction of community facilities in the region.

Graham Construction delivers £7m assisted living complex in Bathgate

WLC. Rosemount Gardens. Bathgate.Graham Construction has completed work on the Rosemount Gardens and Court Complex in Bathgate.

The care development, which Graham delivered over three phases on behalf of West Lothian Council in partnership with hub South East, was officially opened by leader of the local authority, John McGinty.

Completion of the £7 million project will allow older people in the community to enjoy a comfortable environment whilst receiving the support within sheltered housing facilities.

The project included building a brand new 30 flat Rosemount Gardens block, with work to refurbish the existing adjacent Rosemount Court sheltered housing development into 16 one-bedroom flats ongoing.

Rosemount Court, which runs adjacent to the new building has also been given a refurbishment, converting existing bed sit accommodation into 16 one-bedroom flats.

The facility also houses shared support resources for older people to enjoy within the local community such as a dining area, laundry area, internal courtyard, hairdressers and multi-purpose rooms.

Neil McFarlane, regional director for Graham Construction, said: “These facilities are a fantastic attribute to West Lothian’s care offering, taking a pioneering approach to accommodation for the elderly.

“Graham Construction has worked in partnership with hub South East and West Lothian Council to deliver the complex, adding to our extensive healthcare credentials across Scotland.

“It’s great to reach this milestone and congratulations to our team for completing such a fantastic project.”

MSP meets apprentices at Monklands Hospital site

Graham Construction apprentices Reiss Fleming, 17, Andrew Coyle, 22, Thomas McGoran, 19, Liam McMillan, 24, Kayleigh Murdoch, 21, Shams Rahimi, 24 with Fulton MacGregor MSP and representatives from Graham Construction and NHS Lanarkshire

Graham Construction apprentices Reiss Fleming, 17, Andrew Coyle, 22, Thomas McGoran, 19, Liam McMillan, 24, Kayleigh Murdoch, 21, Shams Rahimi, 24 with Fulton MacGregor MSP and representatives from Graham Construction and NHS Lanarkshire

Coatbridge and Chryston MSP Fulton MacGregor visited the site of the £19 million theatre refurbishment project at Monklands Hospital yesterday accompanied by twelve students from New College Lanarkshire.

Mr MacGregor, a member of Holyrood’s education and skills committee, was given a tour of the project by senior members of staff from main contractor Graham Construction.

He was introduced to apprentices working on the development and spoke to them about their experience and their route into the construction industry.

Liam McMillian, 24 from Motherwell, one of the apprentices who met Mr MacGregor, said: “It’s been a really interesting project to be involved with, helping me to learn about many different techniques in the industry.”

Last year the construction company launched the ‘Graham Pre-Apprentice Course’, at New College Lanarkshire, giving students employability support, access to sites and regular mentoring sessions.

While delivering the project, Graham Construction has also contributed to skills and employment in the wider community, creating 25 jobs in partnership with North Lanarkshire Working.

These include a number of apprenticeships in plumbing, electrical and joinery trades for local young people, supported by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). In addition, the company has sponsored a pre-apprenticeship course at New College Lanarkshire, offering five-week placements for students.

Fulton MacGregor MSP with representatives from Graham Construction, New College Lanarkshire and NHS Lanarkshire plus NCL students  Raymond Staniard, 37, Kyle Smith, 20 and Patrick McDonald, 19

Fulton MacGregor MSP with representatives from Graham Construction, New College Lanarkshire and NHS Lanarkshire plus NCL students Raymond Staniard, 37, Kyle Smith, 20 and Patrick McDonald, 19

The MSP also met six Graham apprentices alongside twelve students from the college plus course lecturer Brian Biggar.

Mr MacGregor said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the site at Monklands and hear from both Graham’s and New College Lanarkshire about the work going on to improve skills in the area, through apprenticeships and college courses.

“Having heard previously about the skills shortage in construction I am pleased that there is a combined effort from all stakeholders to encourage more people into construction.

“It is also encouraging to see investment at our local hospital and I look forward to seeing the results of this capital investment.”

Chris Macleod, Graham Construction’s framework director, said: “Our aim at Monklands Hospital, as well as completing the project on time and on budget for our client, NHS Lanarkshire, is to leave a legacy of apprenticeships and skilled craftsmanship within the industry, while fully supporting Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce priorities.”

Phase 1 of the project, comprising a new £5.5m 10-bed intensive Care Unit, has already been handed over to NHS Lanarkshire. The company is also preparing to complete Phase 4 which involves the delivery of two new theatres.

The overall project involves a complex, 12-phase upgrade and replacement of the Surgical Department to provide seven new operating suites, including two ultra clean theatres, recovery area, reception and relatives’ area.

James Mulroy, Graham Construction’s senior project manager, added: “We’ve designed the construction programme to ensure that the local community still has full access to the hospital while building work is being carried out. While that makes the project a bit more challenging than normal, we’ve got a great deal of experience in similar developments throughout the UK.”

CITB provides industry employers – including Graham Construction – with funding, training and skills to support their modern apprentices.

Cat MacFarlane, CITB advisor, said: “With over 2,000 new recruits needed each year to meet the demands of Scotland’s construction industry, it’s excellent to see so many apprentices gaining hands-on experience within this major construction project. The valuable experience that they have gained will stand them in good stead to find a rewarding career within the industry.”

The overall project is expected to be complete in spring of 2018.

Graham Construction tops out £20m Glasgow development

(from left) Kayleigh Murdoch, Brian Hepburn, Andrew Coyle, Reiss Fleming, Thomas McGoran, Liam McMillan and Shams Rahimi

Apprentices (from left) Kayleigh Murdoch, Brian Hepburn, Andrew Coyle, Reiss Fleming, Thomas McGoran, Liam McMillan and Shams Rahimi

The future of Graham Construction’s workforce helped mark a significant milestone in the development of a £20.2 million student accommodation building on Bath Street in Glasgow.

Seven of the firm’s young apprentices gathered on the roof of the 14 floor project as part of the topping out ceremony for the purpose-built development, taking place during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

All the apprentices pictured are currently enrolled in the Graham Academy, an initiative launched by the firm to help combat the skills shortage within the industry. The scheme sees young employees take on structured learning courses, which offer nationally-recognised qualifications alongside paid work experience and permanent employment. The entry level programme allows young people to pursue a career in construction.

GRAHAM_BATH_STREET_GLASGOW_017Technical Apprentice, Reiss Fleming, 17, laid the final section of cement on the project, which is due for completion in August. Reiss has been employed by Graham for more than two-years, initially on work experience before being taken on as a full-time apprentice in civil engineering. There are currently 100 young people like Reiss within Graham Construction, on the programme.

Gary Holmes, regional director of Graham Construction, said: “Young people represent the future of the industry and we’re committed in helping equip them for this future, through work placements, traineeships and apprenticeship schemes.

“Reiss and the rest of the young people employed at Graham play a vital role within our organisation in contributing to current projects across the country, while ensuring we have the talent in place to grow the company in the future.”

Reiss was joined by trainees and apprentices, Thomas McGoran, Kayleigh Murdoch, Liam McMillan, Andrew Coyle, Brian Hepburn and Shams Rahimi.

Reiss said: “Being taken on as a full-time apprentice at Graham Construction has been an excellent experience. The Graham Academy has been extremely supportive in giving me advice and expert training as I work towards the qualifications I need to become a civil engineer within the company.”

Bath Street development cgiThe Bath Street student development, located on the junction with Pitt Street, will deliver 330 single-occupancy studio rooms in addition to a large ground-floor retail-space, and basement storage space.

The building is positioned on the site of the former A-Listed Elgin Place Congregational Church – an iconic landmark in the city – which was home to a number of well-known nightclubs, including ‘Shack’ and ‘Trash’.

Graham employs over 300 people in Scotland and has managed over 150 apprenticeships.

Graham Construction is a member 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, it goes far beyond this commitment – with 12% of the current workforce in these schemes.