hub South West Scotland

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

The hub Club meeting in Dumfires and Galloway earlier this month

The hub Club meeting in Dumfires and Galloway earlier this month

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

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

Gordon Hunter

Gordon Hunter

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

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

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

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

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

Green light given as new Queen Margaret Academy reaches financial close

Work is now about to get underway to start building the new Queen Margaret Academy

Work is now about to get underway to start building the new Queen Margaret Academy

Plans to build a new Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr are a step closer with the official contracts now signed after reaching financial close.

South Ayrshire Council is now preparing to move on site to get work underway to deliver the new facility.

The £25 million project will provide places for 800 young people, with modern classrooms, interactive ICT, a large games hall, two gyms, two all-weather pitches, and hard games courts. The building will also house Psychological Services and a Supported Learning Centre, which are already based at QMA.

The new Queen Margaret Academy will be built in the grounds of the existing school and is expected to open in October 2019. The current building will be demolished after the new school opens with the site to be fully landscaped.

The main contractor for the project will be Kier Construction.

Councillor Peter Henderson, portfolio holder for resources and performance, at South Ayrshire Council, said the latest announcement was an important milestone: “We’re committed to providing young people with the best possible start in life, and delivering a first-class education goes a long way to helping achieve that.

“By investing in this significant new building we’re creating a base to transform the way young people are taught, with the replacement school a more flexible space in which to deliver lessons.

“The building and facilities will also be available for community use, which will help make the project an important local hub. With initial work due to start in the next few weeks I look forward to seeing this ambitious new project take shape in the months ahead.”

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of delivery partner, hub South West, said: “The new Queen Margaret Academy is hub South West’s fifth educational collaboration with South Ayrshire Council, having recently completed the new Ayr Academy, innovative modernisation at Marr College in Troon, and new primary schools for Dailly and Tarbolton.

“The new academy will provide a wonderfully modern and inclusive community facility that will provide excellent resources and opportunities for the area.

“We look forward to proceeding to site with contractor Kier Construction in the coming weeks.”

Managing director of Kier Construction’s Scotland & north-east England business, Brian McQuade, said: “We’re proud to continue our relationship with South Ayrshire Council and looking forward to delivering an exciting new project which reinforces our position as a UK leader across education.

“We’ll be on site soon to start to deliver this state-of-the-art teaching, sporting and community facility at Queen Margaret Academy, which will help to support future generations.

“As with all of our activity across Scotland, we will encourage the use of locally based suppliers and subcontractors, bringing economic growth in the area and providing employment and training opportunities for the people of Ayrshire.”

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.

Kilmarnock’s £45m campus project tops out

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, delivers a speech during the ceremony

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, delivers a speech during the ceremony

The £45 million William McIlvanney Campus in Kilmarnock has passed another important milestone with its topping out ceremony last week.

The event marked a crucial stage in the construction of the leading education facility, which is on target for completion next year.

The new Campus, which will create new opportunities and benefits for the entire community, will bring together Kilmarnock Academy and James Hamilton Academy, along with the merger of Silverwood Primary and New Farm Primary and Early Childhood Centre.

It is the latest initiative to be facilitated by hub South West, the construction and infrastructure-focused partnership which works with forward-looking companies and authorities in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

william-mcilvanney-campus-topping-out-ceremony-131017_37623093226_oBeing delivered by Kier Construction for East Ayrshire Council, the campus will also promote the Gaelic language with a centre of excellence. It will accommodate 1,465 secondary, 383 primary and 80 morning and 80 afternoon early years pupils.

The new Campus honours the memory of the legendary author – known locally as Willie – who was not only a pupil at Kilmarnock Academy but later worked as a teacher. Its name will be a reminder for people who not only admired McIlvanney’s work but knew him personally.

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, said:  “The William McIlvanney Campus is an ongoing success on so many levels. The enthusiasm of all participating partners working on this project is reflected in the excellent progress being made.

“This development has provided many educational activities for students from schools and colleges across the region who have participated in project related events. It has also created a number of opportunities for local apprentices and graduates.”

william-mcilvanney-campus-topping-out-ceremony-131017_36961810334_oCouncillor Douglas Reid, leader of East Ayrshire Council, said: “William McIlvanney was one of Scotland’s most important writers. He started his professional life as a teacher and remained a dedicated supporter of high quality education throughout his life.

“It is entirely fitting that his name will be associated with this exceptional development for generations to come.”

Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction Scotland and north-east England, said: “Throughout the build, we have worked with local suppliers and SMEs to ensure that the project boosts the local Ayrshire economy. We have created 19 apprenticeships, 16 work placements and two graduate traineeships.”

Families cement ties with new Largs Campus during top out ceremony

3The development of the new Largs Campus being built by Morrison Construction reached a major milestone last week.

The ‘topping out’ ceremony was a very special occasion for two local families, the Trotters and Wilsons, who won a competition to have their names engraved on bricks of the new facility.

Two bricks were laid in a wall on-site by North Ayrshire Provost Ian Clarkson during the ceremony.

The ‘topping out’ milestone celebrates the building being wind and water tight and is another exciting step toward the officially opening next year.

The £44 million project will create a modern, fit-for-purpose facility for a relocated Largs Academy, along with a relocated St Mary’s RC school, an amalgamated Brisbane and Kelburn Primary school, and new Early Learning Centre.

Work started last October and construction is on schedule and due to be completed by March 2018.

The Largs Campus project has been developed and delivered in partnership with hub South West Scotland.

Morrison Construction operations director, Allan Cunningham, said: “We are delighted to welcome members of the council and the local community to the campus to see how much progress we have made so far on this fantastic new school. We will be working hard with all stakeholders involved to make sure we continue our excellent progress and deliver a first-class facility for the children of the local area.”

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West Scotland, added: “It’s fantastic to be able to invite the local community and pupils from the schools involved in this project onto the Largs Campus site, and give people the opportunity to see this innovative facility come together.

“This special event further reiterates this new development as a true community campus which will have a positive effect in the area for generations to come.”

hub South West delivers £25m Ayr Academy building

Ayr AcademyA new Ayr Academy secondary school is set to open later this month after being delivered by Kier Construction and hub South West Scotland on behalf of South Ayrshire Council.

Ayr Academy, whose origins can be traced back to 1233 but did not come to be known by its present name until 1796, has moved to the Craigie Estate from its former location in the town’s Fort Street.

The new Ayr Campus will cater for 1,000 school students, with the capacity for a further 300, and will create a modern and inclusive facility where students can learn in a sustainable and well-designed environment.

The £25 million project is a part of a £94m pipeline being delivered by the authority across South Ayrshire in the next 18 months with the aim of enhancing standards through targeted investment.

Ayr AcademyDuring its construction the new Ayr Academy was used as a part of hub South West’s bespoke programme, ‘Your Future starts in Construction’, during which it collaborated with the Prince’s Trust and Ayrshire College to enable local youngsters to gain work experience on a live site and achieve a unique accreditation.

Ayr Academy was the first project in Scotland to reach financial close post European System of Accounts (ESA 10) resolution in January 2016.

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, said: “Ayr Academy Campus is a wonderful state-of-the-art facility that I’m sure all students and teachers will enjoy.

“It is the latest project we have delivered on behalf of South Ayrshire Council over the past twelve months and is great tribute to partnership working that we can now celebrate the finished result. The new campus will be a great asset.”

Ayr AcademyBrian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction’s Scotland and North-East England business, said: “We are pleased to have delivered this leading, modern Academy with fantastic new sports facilities for students and the wider community to enjoy, building on our track record of delivering quality schools throughout Scotland.

“Through hub South West, we have worked with local suppliers and SME’s to ensure that the project boosts the local economy of Ayr and the surrounding area, including training and employment opportunities. During the construction of Ayr Academy we have created 17 work placements, 16 apprenticeships and two graduated traineeships, giving local young people valuable experience of working in this thriving and rewarding industry.”

Green light for £34.5m community campus in Cumbernauld

General View from WestAn agreement has been reached to develop a new £34.5 million high school combined with a theatre and arts venue in Cumbernauld.

The Community Campus, to be built on the site of the existing Cumbernauld High School,
will be home to a purpose-built secondary education facility accommodating 950 students following the amalgamation during the 2014/15 school session of Cumbernauld and Abronhill High Schools.

It will also house a new theatre and arts venue for the Cumbernauld Theatre Trust Ltd which will contain a 400 seat main auditorium, box office and digital arts room, as well as performance and event spaces, administrative and support spaces.

Close Up View of Theatre WingThe project is the latest to be developed by construction and infrastructure-focused partnership, hub South West, on behalf of North Lanarkshire Council.

Cllr Frank McNally, North Lanarkshire Council’s convener of education, said: “the new Cumbernauld Academy and Theatre campus will become a much valued asset for the area. It demonstrates our commitment to giving our young people the best possible start as well as providing excellent facilities for the wider community.”

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, said: “The Cumbernauld Community Campus will symbolise a new era in the history and future development of the town.”

Close Up View of Theatre Wing 2Building of the new facility will be led by Morrison Construction.

Operations director Allan Cunningham said: “We look forward to working closely with our partners, hub South West and North Lanarkshire Council, to deliver this exciting new development, our third in as many years.

“These excellent new facilities will provide a strong focal point for the local community and will provide students and staff with an exciting modern environment within which they can thrive.”

The Design, Build, Finance and Maintain (DBFM) contract for Cumbernauld Campus is the third in a series of large school projects designed and built by North Lanarkshire Council and hub South West following the successful delivery of Clyde Valley Campus and Greenfaulds High School.

hub South West offers career boost to Ayrshire school leavers

(from left) Iain Hughes from programme funder CITB; programme graduate Rian Smith from Grange Academy; and Michael McBrearty, CEO of hub South West

(from left) Iain Hughes from programme funder CITB; programme graduate Rian Smith from Grange Academy; and Michael McBrearty, CEO of hub South West

For the second year in a row, hub South West is providing life-changing opportunities for Ayrshire school leavers to progress in the construction industry.

Last year’s successful course saw 11 young people from the area launched towards careers in the construction industry which might otherwise have been closed off to them.

The course, Your Future Starts in Construction, is an industry-leading taster and the first of its kind to be offered by the construction and infrastructure-focused partnership.

Its initial programme, launched last year, was lauded for its effectiveness in targeting the critical juncture in a young person’s career path between the minimum school leaving age and choosing the options to acquire more skills.

dsc_0133_32285025430_oTeachers can refer candidates to the employability programme if they are amongst the planned early leavers – pupils who have elected to leave school before completing exams, and as a result, can expose themselves to greater risk of economic exclusion.

Those selected for the course will then go on to an intensive programme running from May to July, featuring one day a week at college for eight weeks and two full weeks learning employability skills, a week’s work experience on an active construction site, and a series of practical experience sessions in skills such as brickwork, joinery and painting and decorating.

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, said: “Construction underpins such a large swathe of Scotland’s economy, yet is suffering from a severe shortage of skilled and enthusiastic young people.

“By supporting this course, we at hub South West want to invest in, not just the future of our industry, but the future of young people in Scotland who might not get this opportunity. Last year showed that, given the chance, young people who could otherwise be written off, will do more than thrive; they will excel.”

William McIlvanneyCandidates will also have the opportunity to progress to a trade-specific course at the highly-regarded Ayrshire College in Kilmarnock, adding a practical qualification to the experience and skills they will learn.

hub South West partnership enables cost-efficient design and construction of community facilities within South West Scotland. It aims to provide value for money and generate growth in the local economy through a new method of partnership working and procurement.

Kier to carry out £5m improvement programme for two North Lanarkshire schools

Tradesmen inspecting workTwo schools in Motherwell are to receive a facelift this year following the award of a £5 million contract to Kier Construction Scotland.

Kier will start work this summer on Taylor High School, a comprehensive secondary in New Stevenston, and Braidhurst High School, a 600-pupil secondary in the Forgewood suburb of the town. Completion is expected in March next year.

Awarded by North Lanarkshire Council, the contract is the latest initiative facilitated by hub South West Scotland, the construction and infrastructure-focused partnership which is working with the council on its Motherwell Review programme.

The works will include installing a new cladding system, new windows and creating a new extension to the existing school at Taylor High School as well as installing new heating, replacement curtain walling and a new lift at Braidhurst High School.

Managing director of Kier Construction’s Scotland & north-east England business, Brian McQuade, said: “We are pleased to be carrying out additional work with hub South West Scotland on behalf of North Lanarkshire Council, having completed The Muirfield Centre in Cumbernauld last year.

“We are committed to working with the local supply chain to support economic growth in the area. This programme of work will provide around 50 employment and training opportunities for SMEs based within North Lanarkshire.”

Michael McBrearty, hub South West Scotland chief executive, added: “We are delighted that we will be partnering with Kier Construction Scotland which, as well as delivering an excellent and high quality service, also supports many worthwhile initiatives in the construction industry.

“We are also very pleased to be helping North Lanarkshire Council with its far-sighted and innovative plans to provide the best possible local services and facilities right across its thriving communities.”

Isabelle Boyd, assistant chief executive (Education, Skills & Youth Employment), said: “North Lanarkshire Council is committed to providing the very best learning environments for all our young people, and we are delighted that this important work to both schools is about to start.”

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.