hub East Central Scotland

Deputy First Minister marks start of work on new Bertha Park school

Bertha 7Deputy First Minister and cabinet secretary for education and skills, John Swinney MSP, performed a turf cutting ceremony yesterday to mark the official start of works to build a new secondary school at Bertha Park in Perth.

Due to open in August 2019, Bertha Park High School will be the first additional secondary school to be built in Perth and Kinross since 1972. Perth and Kinross is one of the fastest growing areas of Scotland and as a result Perth Secondary schools will be near to capacity by 2021. A review of the school estate identified a new Perth secondary school as a priority.

Mr Swinney said: “Bertha Park marks the 100th school in our £1.8bn Schools for the Future programme and I am very pleased to get work underway on this milestone project.

“We are providing £19.6m towards the school as part of our aim to ensure our children and young people have access to inspiring environments which enable all of them to engage with their learning.

“We have made fantastic progress and have wonderful, award winning schools across all parts of Scotland which stand as testament to that.

“Bertha Park will be a very welcome addition to the school estate and I look forward to seeing the project once it is complete.”

BerthaParkImage-e1486731065880-1-672x372Designed by NORR architects and being delivered by Robertson Group, the project forms part of Perth & Kinross Council’s ongoing capital programme of school upgrades and improvements through hub East Central Scotland to enhance the environment for learning and teaching across the area.

Gary Bushnell, chief executive of hub East Central Scotland, said: “It is great to see the project progressing well and we look forward to delivering a high quality building for the community next year. We work closely with Perth & Kinross Council to support their education and learning strategy and this is now our sixth major school project in the region.”

Councillor Caroline Shiers, convener of the lifelong learning committee, added: “Bertha Park Secondary School is the hundredth new school to be built under the Scottish Government’s £1.8 billion Schools for the Future Programme and this project will be a unique opportunity to build a new school community from the ground up.

“We look forward to welcoming our first cohorts into the innovative learning environment that will be Bertha Park High School. The council will work with the parents and carers of the young people who will become pupils at the new school and continue to communicate with them throughout this process to ensure any questions are fully addressed.”

Perth City Hall and Perth Museum and Art Gallery designers selected

Perth City Hall Mecanoo 3

Mecanoo’s plans for Perth City Hall

The designers for the revamped Perth City Hall and Perth Museum and Art Gallery have been unveiled following a competitive process.

Metaphor has been appointed as the “interpretation and exhibition designers” for the city centre venues and will work with Mecanoo and Hoskins Architects, the architects of the respective projects, to develop new interiors and exhibition spaces in both buildings and bring the stories of Perth’s Ancient Roots and its Modern Scots to life.

London-based design practice Metaphor has a track record of major cultural projects in the UK and beyond which include Shakespeare’s Globe, the Ashmolean Museum, major galleries in the V&A London and in the National Museums and Galleries of Scotland. It is currently developing the exhibitions for the proposed St Kilda visitor centre to be located on Lewis.

Councillor Ian Campbell, leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said: “The council’s plans to make culture accessible to everyone have taken another step forward with the appointment of Metaphor. Interpreting and explaining art and artefacts is a key part of a successful cultural venue and will ensure the Museum and City Hall are the top-class attractions that Perth and Kinross deserves.”

Helen Smout, chief executive of Culture Perth and Kinross, added: “The museum collections of Perth and Kinross are of National Significance and we will be bringing the stories they tell to life at City Hall and Perth Museum – for local people and visitors from across the UK and the world.”

Dutch practice Mecanoo was appointed to transform Perth City Hall into a £20 million major arts hub in August.

BAM Construction will work with hub East Central Scotland to redevelop the Edwarian building, with construction expected to start work in 2019 and the grand opening scheduled for 2021.

The contractor will also lead the £10m Hoskins Architects-designed revamp of Perth Museum and Art Gallery with Ogilvie Construction tasked with building the new collection store on a separate site.

Mecanoo approved to lead Perth City Hall transformation

Perth City Hall Mecanoo 4Perth & Kinross Council has formally approved the appointment of Mecanoo to redesign Perth City Hall, despite criticisms over its selection procedure.

The selection panel considering proposals from five shortlisted architects recommended the Dutch practice to transform the Edwardian venue into a £20 million major arts hub last week.

However the choice was criticised by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) which said the recommendation highlighted a “variance from the procedure set out in the bid documents”.

Scoring criteria to assess the shortlisted entries against the brief, which were developed by RIAS and agreed with council officers, were weighted 80% of the scoring criteria attributable to architectural quality and 20% to the fee price. The relatively high ratio of quality to price was agreed “to reflect the importance of the design concept to the council”.

report recommending the appointment of Mecanoo to the project show that the firm initially came third in the competition, based on the combined scores for quality of design and proposed fee.

The practice did, however, comfortably top the shortlist based on design alone.

Council officers felt the low marks on fees had disproportionally weighed against the firm, and that Mecanoo’s design concept “is the only one which, on the basis of the estimated construction cost, can be delivered for the available project budget”.

Backing the recommendation, the local authority said that the proposal from Mecanoo best meets the core requirements from the competition brief.

Following a meeting of the full council yesterday, a spokesperson told Scottish Construction Now: “Today councillors agreed to recommend to the East Central Scotland HubCo that Mecanoo be added to their list of approved architects for the redevelopment of the City Hall. This is a key Tay Cities Deal project which is part of the wider strategy to develop a cultural and creative industry corridor along the Tay.

“The project brief had three core requirements, a building which delivers the operational needs of a major museum attraction; responds sensitively to the surrounding public realm; and is affordable and deliverable within the £20m budget, £11m of which represented the construction cost element.

“Mecanoo’s design best met these core requirements of the brief in terms of quality and the ability to be delivered within the council’s agreed budget for the project. This design also attracted the greatest support from local residents and businesses and taking into account initial views from Historic Environment Scotland which is a statutory consultee.

“As part of our wider plans for the transformation of Perth, the council remains committed to delivering an outstanding cultural venue and we are looking forward to working with all our partners on this exciting next phase.”

The council voted in June to bring Perth City Hall back into public use with the vision of increasing the city’s capacity to display collections of national significance, house major touring exhibitions and feature national and oversees loans.

The competition challenged architectural firms to come up with a grand vision for redeveloping the building into a cultural attraction capable of bringing visitors to the city from around the world.

Austin-Smith:LordMVRDVHoskins ArchitectsLDN and Richard Murphy Architects were shortlisted alongside Mecanoo following a design competition which attracted global interest and over 70 initial expressions of interest.

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In its submission, Mecanoo said: “The project endeavours to create a new gateway to Perth; to its history and its pride. Perth City Hall has been under a ‘dust blanket’ for many years however its grandeur and resonance within the hearts and minds of the community has meant that it has not been forgotten.

“Our scheme proposal aims to re-activate Perth City Hall by a number of ‘light touch’ interventions that open the building up to the public realm at ground level (The Vennel and the café/bar) and provide a flexible platform in which to best display Perth and Kinross Council’s permanent and temporary collections.

“The design is about transparency, permeability, accessibility and creating an interactive environment for all.”

BAM Construction, which was appointed by hub East Central Scotland to redevelop the building, is expected to start work in 2019, with the grand opening scheduled for 2021.

BAM entrusted to bring Perth City Hall back to life

PerthCityHallBAM Construction has been appointed by hub East Central Scotland to redevelop Perth City Hall.

The building, which closed its doors to the public in 2005 and whose future was until recently the subject of much speculation, is to be converted by Perth & Kinross Council into a world-class visual arts visitor experience after much consultation.

The restoration takes on increased significance given Perth’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021.

Built in 1914 and located on King Edward Street in the heart of the city, the Grade B listed building, originally designed by Glasgow architect HE Clifford and Lunan, is an iconic landmark featuring an ornate façade with a 3-bay coupled Roman portico, arched decorative doorways and striking cornicing.

The reimagined building will create a new 1,500m² flexible exhibition hall that can accommodate displays of differing content and scale.   It will not only be a home to permanent collections of local archaeology and social history, but will also be able to host touring exhibitions. The wider plans include a 150m² learning suite, 250m² collections handling area and up to 275m² of commercial visitor facilities including a café and retail area.

Bruce Dickson, regional director, BAM Construction, said: “Having already been appointed on the refurbishment of Perth Museum and Art Gallery, we are absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to work with hub East Central Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council on the City Hall.  It’s fair to say that, once completed, these two buildings will transform the city’s arts and culture scene while at the same time retaining the links to the city’s rich heritage.”

Five architects have been shortlisted for the project following an RIAS-led design competition and include Austin-Smith: Lord, Hoskins Architects, LDN, Mecanoo and Richard Murphy Architects.

Depute chief executive, Jim Valentine, said: “We’re delighted to be working with BAM on this prestigious project. Having an experienced and knowledgeable contractor on board will help the transformation of Perth City Hall run smoothly over the coming years. This is an exciting stage in the project as we look to finalise the architectural firm which will develop the final designs and the concept of a new cultural attraction really starts to take shape.

“Along with the refurbishments of Perth Theatre and Perth Museum and Art Gallery, City Hall will help to build the foundations for people to use the city centre in new ways, making new connections and inspiring and stimulating new business.”

Gary Bushnell, chief executive, hub East Central Scotland, the procurement partner, said, “We are working closely with BAM and look forward to managing the project to successful completion, creating a unique new home for the museum and gallery.”

BAM Construction has specialist experience in working on heritage and cultural projects and is currently building the new V & A Museum of Design in Dundee. Other cultural projects include the Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh and the Kelvingrove and Riverside Museums in Glasgow.

Scotland-wide hub programme supporting over 9,000 construction jobs

East Lothian Community Hospital

East Lothian Community Hospital

The value of community-based facilities under construction across the Scotland-wide hub programme has reached £1.16 billion and is supporting over 9,000 jobs, figures published today by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) have revealed.

Within the hub programme, nearly 40 schools are under construction along with several community health facilities and care homes.

Major projects being built include:

  • East Lothian Community Hospital in Haddington – £69m
  • Anderson High School in Lerwick – £55m
  • Stirling Care Village – £36m
  • Waid Academy in Anstruther – £24m
  • Largs Academy – £43m
  • Barrhead High School – £23m

SFT leads on the delivery of the hub programme which operates across five geographical territories in Scotland.

In each territory, the local authorities, NHS boards and other participating public bodies have teamed up with a private sector partner to form a joint venture company known as a hubCo that develops and delivers a diverse pipeline of community infrastructure projects.

hub SFT March 2017To date, over 100 projects have been completed which are providing new and inspiring environments for the benefit of communities.

David MacDonald, hub programme director at SFT, said: “The hub programme is a unique way of delivering best-value community facilities that provides the public sector with a quick and efficient way of getting their projects into construction.

“Integral to the hub programme are community benefits. So far, 153 new graduates and over 770 new apprenticeship and trainee positions have been created which represents a considerable contribution to the skill-base supporting Scotland’s economic development.”

£10m investment to transform Perth Museum and Art Gallery

(from left) Wayne Sutherland (hub East Central Scotland), Chris Coleman-Smith (Hoskins), council leader Ian Miller, Helen Smout (Culture Perth and Kinross), Andy Park (Ogilvie Construction), Martin Cooper (BAM Construction)

(from left) Wayne Sutherland (hub East Central Scotland), Chris Coleman-Smith (Hoskins), council leader Ian Miller, Helen Smout (Culture Perth and Kinross), Andy Park (Ogilvie Construction), Martin Cooper (BAM Construction)

Perth and Kinross Council is to invest £10 million in a major overhaul to Perth Museum and Art Gallery and the creation of a new collection store in the city.

The revamp will deliver modern facilities on par with the National Museum of Scotland and other recent major refurbishments.

The local authority has appointed Hoskins Architects to lead the overall design of the project, with BAM Construction carrying out work on the museum and Ogilvie Construction tasked with building the new collection store on a separate site.

Perth is currently bidding to become UK City of Culture 2021 and the museum renovation is intended to support the city of Perth’s future development. The project is anticipated to increase the cultural offerings of the city, improve the quality of life for residents and attract greater numbers of visitors.

Council leader Ian Miller said: “The development at the Museum and Art Gallery is fantastic. The museum will be refurbished to make it more modern and accessible and it will have updated facilities with more display space. I think it will deliver tangible benefits for the people of Perth and I hope it encourages many more people in Perth and Kinross, and wider afield, to visit one of our best cultural assets.”

Chris Coleman-Smith, the project director for Hoskins Architects, said: “We are delighted to be working with Perth and Kinross Council and… as a part of the UK City of Culture bid in 2021 this gives an opportunity to really transform the offer that the museum and art gallery will give to its audience, both within Perth and the local area, but also nationally and internationally. I think it’s got the potential to put Perth on the cultural map.”

BAM regional director, Bruce Dickson, spoke about the project, adding: “We were absolutely delighted to be selected as the contractor for this project by East Central Hub and Perth and Kinross Council.

“We have a long track record on heritage and cultural projects and Perth Museum and Art Gallery provides a great opportunity to continue our work in this sector. It is particularly encouraging to be invited to get involved right at the outset of the project which allows the whole team to engage productively with the single aim of designing and delivering an exceptional end result for our Clients from day one.”

Ogilvie Construction will be tasked with building the new collection store which will house the museum’s 450,000 items whilst they are not on display.

Out of the total investment £3m will be invested in the new building, which will provide a more suitable space for the collection. The collection is currently stored in the museum basement when not on display to the public.

Donald MacDonald, managing director at Ogilvie Construction, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract for such a prestigious project and look forward to working closely with Perth & Kinross Council to deliver a first class facility.”

Perth Museum and Art Gallery will close to the public in late 2018 – early 2019, however planning is still at an early stage so exact times are yet unknown. Some services will start being reduced between now and the closure date. This will allow staff and volunteers to focus on preparing the collections for the move, however exhibitions, events and learning programmes will all continue as planned.

Before the museum closes, all items must be wrapped and transferred into the new collections store.

The museum will stage a ‘review and more’ exhibition on from 14 February showing some of the objects that are being moved, beginning with costumes, and how they are packed and stored.

hub East Central Scotland are the procurement group involved with the project.

Gary Bushnell, chief executive, hub East Central Scotland, said: “We are working closely with all stakeholders involved in the project and look forward to managing it to successful completion, creating a unique new home for the museum and gallery.”

Work starts on new Stirling Care Village

ECShub-Stirling-care-village-sod-cutting-23-01-2017-004CHPKey partners involved in the development of the new Stirling Care Village got together to cut the first sods to mark the start of construction yesterday.

The £35 million development, which is being built in the grounds of Stirling Community Hospital, is a joint venture between Stirling Council, NHS Forth Valley and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Forth Valley College is also keen to explore opportunities to offer local young people, who are considering a career in the health and care sector, a range of training and volunteering opportunities within the new Care Village.

hub East Central Scotland is managing the project and Robertson Construction is the main contractor. The majority of facilities are expected to be completed by autumn 2018 with the ambulance station and final site works completed by autumn 2019.

The Care Village will support the integration of local health and social care services, making it easier for staff to work together to deliver better co-ordinated, more joined up care to local people – a key aim of the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership.

This will be achieved by bringing wide range of health and social services together in two new purpose-built facilities – a Care Hub and a Primary and Urgent Care Centre. The Scottish Ambulance Service also plans to move their existing ambulance station in the Riverside area of Stirling to a new station and workshop on the Stirling Community Hospital site.

More than 100 beds will be created in the new Care Hub to provide short-term care, assessment or rehabilitation to older people who require additional support following an illness or operation. These services will be provided in a comfortable, homely environment to help older people recover, regain their independence and, in the majority of cases, return to their own homes.  The Care Hub will also provide support for patients with dementia and those who need palliative or end of life care.

The new Primary and Urgent Care Centre will provide more modern, spacious accommodation for a number of existing health services include Minor Injuries, X-ray facilities and GP out-of-hours services. It will also house a number of local GP practices which will re-locate to purpose-built premises within the new Centre.

Alex Linkston, chairman of NHS Forth Valley, said: “I am delighted that construction work is now underway.  A great deal of work has already been carried out by all the partners to reach this important milestone and it is very exciting that local staff and patients will soon have access to these fantastic new facilities.”

Deputy First Minister visits site of two new Perth & Kinross primaries

Perth & Kinross primary schoolsThe start of major construction works on two new Perth & Kinross Council primary schools was heralded by a visit to each site today by Deputy First Minister and cabinet secretary for education John Swinney MSP.

Mr Swinney will firstly visited Kinross Primary School before making a visit to Tulloch Primary School in Perth. The Deputy First Minister met with pupils and staff as well as members of the construction team. During his visit he also viewed the sites and the progress of the steel frames currently being installed.

The new primary schools are part of a £55 million programme jointly funded by the local authority and the Scottish Government in Perth and Kinross which also includes a new secondary school at Bertha Park in Perth.

Mr Swinney said: “I have seen first-hand the transformational effect of new school buildings. Modern, state of the art facilities can inspire students, staff and parents and make a positive difference to learning outcomes.

“That which is why this government remains committed to improving schools in Perth and Kinross and throughout the country. Our £1.8 billion Schools for the Future programme will see the construction or refurbishment of 112 schools with a new project delivered in every local authority area, benefitting over 60,000 pupils by March 2020.”

Perth & Kinross Council education & lifelong learning committee convener, Councillor Bob Band, said: “It’s fantastic to see works beginning on our two new Primary Schools in Kinross and Tulloch.

“The new primary schools at Kinross and Tulloch are part of an overall investment programme of £145m from the council to improve the school estate.

“This is an ongoing commitment and reflects the importance we place on learning in Perth and Kinross.”

Gary Bushnell, chief executive of hub East Central Scotland, a key partner in these projects, added: “We have worked closely with Perth & Kinross Council to reach this key milestone and look forward to delivering two new high quality primary schools that will meet the needs of the communities that they serve.

“It follows our recent successful completions of the new Oakbank and Crieff primary schools, as well as the current construction programme for the new Alyth Primary School.”

Kevin Dickson, regional managing director of contractors Robertson Tayside, said: “This marks the first stage of what will be a transformational project for the region.

“Once complete, over one thousand young people will reap the benefits of state of the art learning facilities at the new Kinross Primary School and Tulloch Primary School. Robertson has extensive experience in delivering projects of this type and we look forward to successfully delivering both schools to the council.”

Kinross Primary School will see an increase in capacity to 566 pupils with a dedicated nursery provision for 64 children.  Along with 18 open-plan teaching zones, within the school there will also be a dedicated gym hall and separate dining facilities.

Tulloch Primary School will have 14 open plan teaching zones with capacity for 434 pupils along with an increase in nursery provision to 40 children.  A new and improved Additional Support Needs (ASN) base and nurture provision are also part of the new build.

Both primary schools will also see their external play area transformed with a grass pitch, Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), outdoor teaching facilities and eco-features.  There will also be an improved pupil drop-off facilities and enhanced parking.

BAM makes a little bit of history with museum handover

DunfermlineCarnegieLibrary&Galleries1BAM Construction has handed over Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries to hub East Central Scotland and Fife Council.

Located on Abbot Street within the town’s heritage quarter, the new museum joins two existing B-listed buildings, the existing Carnegie library and a former bank branch, and has added a purpose-built modern extension to the rear overlooking the grounds of Dunfermline Abbey.

Since being appointed to the project by hub East Central Scotland and Fife Council in 2014, BAM has worked with architect Richard Murphy to create a building that seamlessly moves from old to new and blends a very modern extension into three listed facades. Although set in quite a small footprint, the three storey building makes up in design what it might lack in size. It features galleries with floor to ceiling glass offering panoramic views over Dunfermline’s heritage quarter and out into Fife, two museum display floors and a stunning tiered study area for reading and research. The café area opens out to a landscaped outdoor seating and a children’s play area.

The project has been finished in high quality materials throughout to last as long as the heritage projects that form part of it and surround it.

Bruce Dickson, regional director at BAM Construction said: “While the term can be overused these days, it is difficult not to look at this as an iconic building for Dunfermline that will attract people not only because of what’s on display inside, but because of the building itself.

“Everyone involved in the project should be applauded. Our clients for their vision in embarking on such an ambitious scheme as far back as 2007, the designers for working with us to make that vision possible and the BAM site team who have not had the easiest job of turning all those visions into reality. The combination of refurbishment of listed buildings, very modern glazed new build extensions, significantly restricted access and working space and multiple interfaces made this a very difficult and challenging project. I actually only fully appreciated just how complex it was when I visited the site towards the end of the job and could see everything coming together.

“After all of that effort, it’s difficult to see how this cannot have a positive effect for the town.”

An artist's impression of the museum

An artist’s impression of the museum

Councillors and officials from Fife Council along with project partners undertook a preview tour of the building which will open to the public in spring 2017.

Cllr Helen Law, chair of the City of Dunfermline Area Committee at Fife Council, added: “It’s great to see Dunfermline’s new focal point almost ready to welcome visitors, everything is coming together beautifully. It’s a hugely significant investment in the town centre that we hope will attract up to 280,000 visitors annually as well as contribute a visitor spend of at least £500,000 each year to the local economy.

“The new museum is set to showcase never before seen objects from Dunfermline’s rich history and will demonstrate our unique and important place in Scotland’s history.

The new facility, which will be operated by Fife Cultural Trust, has received funding from Fife Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust.

Fife Cultural Trust’s chief executive, Heather Stuart, believes the new building offers a unique opportunity to welcome visitors with a mixture of the contemporary and heritage.

She said: “It is a great privilege for Fife Cultural Trust to be operating such a fantastic new visitor attraction. It will be a superb museum with world class exhibition spaces along with the first Carnegie library in the world.”

BAM Construction has a track record of delivering heritage buildings having completed the Riverside Museum in Glasgow and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh and is currently building the V & A Museum of Design in Dundee.

New £35m Stirling Care Village given green light

Stirling Care VillageAn innovative new Care Village will be built in the grounds of Stirling Community Hospital following the approval of detailed plans.

A full business case for the £35 million development has been approved by the Scottish Government which means building work will begin in January 2017 and the majority of the new facilities are expected to be operational by autumn 2018.

Final building works, roads and car parking are expected to be completed by autumn 2019.

The new Care Village is a joint venture by Stirling Council, NHS Forth Valley and the Scottish Ambulance Service and is being developed through hub East Central Scotland.

The plans will see the creation of a new Care Hub for older people who require additional short-term care, an assessment or rehabilitation following an illness, an operation or an acute hospital admission. Services will be delivered in a modern, purpose-built facility with more than 100 short-stay care beds.

A new Primary and Urgent Care Centre will also be developed to house a number of existing health services on the community hospital site. In addition, the Scottish Ambulance Service plans to relocate its existing ambulance station in the Riverside area of Stirling to a new facility on the Stirling Community Hospital site.

Stirling Care Village 2Alongside the development of the new purpose-built health and care accommodation, partners are keen to develop a range of onsite recreational facilities, such as a café and a hair salon.

A community information event will be held on January 25 to give local people and community groups an opportunity to see the site plans and provide an update on the construction timetable for the new Stirling Care Village.

Tom Steele, NHS Forth Valley’s director of estates and facilities, said: “A great deal of work has been carried out by all the partners to reach this important milestone. We are delighted that our joint plans have been approved and we are now looking forward to delivering these important new health and care facilities.”

Gary Bushnell, chief executive, hub East Central Scotland, added: “Our team has worked closely with all the partners to achieve this important stage of the project and we look forward to managing the delivery of a high quality facility to successful completion. Our experts will ensure that the Stirling Care Village is completed to the highest standard to fulfil its important role in the community.”