Scottish Funding Council

£360m of upgrading work required on college buildings

£1.83m of urgent works are needed at Ayrshire College’s Ayr campus, the report said

A new report has estimated that it would take over £360 million of work to bring Scotland’s entire college estate up to an acceptable condition.

A review was commissioned by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to take stock of college buildings across the country and to help manage future estate development following a major period of prolonged investment.

Over the past 10 years almost £900 million has been invested in the college sector estate as a continuation of new investment made since 2000.

The review, which included all of Scotland’s 25 colleges, estimated that around £360m is needed to bring the sector’s existing estate up to an acceptable wind and water-tight condition and to maintain it at that level for up to five years.

Property consultants Gardiner & Theobald, which carried out the survey, said that Ayrshire College’s Ayr Campus faces the most costly bill for “very high” priority repairs needed within a year with an estimated £1.83m of urgent works.

West College Scotland’s Finnart Street campus in Greenock has the biggest five-year maintenance backlog bill at £15.53m. The external fabric of the 1970s tower was described as “very poor”.

John Kemp, interim chief executive of the SFC, said: “Over the past decade nearly £900m has been invested to provide new and inspiring college buildings that are amongst the best in the UK.

“However, the college estate is extensive and some parts of it do require attention.”

Shona Struthers, chief executive of Colleges Scotland, said that some campuses required “significant investment”.

She said the report does not take into account any costs required to make buildings fit for purpose or flexible to changing curriculums or provision.

She added: “Students require a modern environment in which to study, learn and gain the skills required for the workplace.

“Increased capital investment would, therefore, not only significantly benefit the learner experience, leading to improved retention and attainment, but would also allow colleges to contribute fully to Scottish Government priorities.”

Further education minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said that ministers had asked for the survey to “ensure there was a robust and consistent assessment of the condition of buildings right across the college estate to help identify priorities for future investment”.

She added: “This report clearly identifies areas where college buildings deliver on our ambitions, but equally it outlines some challenges in the condition of buildings in some specific colleges.”

Balfour Beatty signs £55m Forth Valley College construction contract

The New Falkirk Campus is due to commence construction this year

The new Falkirk campus is due to commence construction this year

Balfour Beatty is to deliver the final phase of construction work to the new £55 million Falkirk campus of Forth Valley College.

The infrastructure group will be responsible for the construction of the 20,709 square metre Science and Engineering campus and its associated facilities in Grangemouth, which on completion will become the Forth Valley College headquarters and house over 2,000 full-time students.

The search for a contractor to build the campus began in December last year when the full business case was approved by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Funding Council. The £83m facility will be located on the college’s former Middlefield site on Grangemouth Road and will include modern, flexible and technology-enabled spaces and will boast industry standard workshops, laboratories and classrooms.

The state-of-the-art campus will also have a Learning Resource Centre, food outlets, hair and beauty salons, conference space and sports facilities. In addition, the campus will be built with sustainability in mind and is aspiring to achieve a BREEAM rating of very good or excellent.

Architectural firm Reiach and Hall, which also designed the College’s new Alloa and Stirling campuses, has been appointed to design the new campus. Other key partners include the Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Futures Trust and AECOM.

falkirk-campus-signingBalfour Beatty said it has utilised a range of its in-house capabilities, including mechanical and electrical engineering expertise and specialist geotechnical knowledge to meet the project’s requirements and provide the client with an integrated, sustainable design.

Hector Macaulay, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s regional business in Scotland, said: “This is another great win for our business in Scotland, and we are delighted to be able to provide over 2,000 students in Falkirk with a stimulating and exciting study environment.

“Throughout the project lifecycle, we will work closely with a variety of key community stakeholders including the Polmont Young Offenders Institution, Forth Valley Community Focus and The Engineering Trust to drive further benefit and deliver on our added social value promises.”

Works are due to commence this Autumn, and at construction peak will employ over 250 individuals including 18 apprenticeship positions and opportunities for 10 long term unemployed people.

Work to start on new homes at historic Inverness College site

MidmillsThe demolition of all non-listed buildings at the Inverness College site at Midmills in the city centre is to begin next month to make way for more than 80 retirement homes.

Retirement home provider McCarthy & Stone, which acquired the site from Highland Council, will build 45 homes on the vacant site, with the local authority delivering 40 affordable retirement homes.

It’s estimated that 150 jobs will be created as a result of construction starting.

The remaining building on the site, the historic and listed Inverness Royal Academy, will be converted by Wasps Studios into a studio and art gallery for local artists.

The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) has been working with the Scottish Funding Council and Inverness College to deliver best value and secure the most appropriate end use for the Midmills site that became surplus when the College relocated to its new, state-of-the-art facility on the Beechwood Campus in 2015.

Anna Tozer, strategic disposals manager at the Scottish Futures Trust, said: “Our role is to work with public sector bodies to help them sell sites in ways that not only deliver receipts to be reinvested in public services, but also secures the otherwise uncertain future of significant listed buildings.

“We’ve secured a very positive outcome for this site which ensures much-needed retirement homes will be built. Securing the architecturally significant Inverness Royal Academy building for the local community to use and enjoy as an art facility is a real bonus, helping safeguard its future.”

Construction Scotland Innovation Centre prepares to launch new facility for industry

ACC-ManufacturingFloor_v3The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) is gearing up for a productive 2017 as it prepares to open the doors to its new innovation and collaboration facility to construction companies across Scotland.

The Scottish construction sector employs 170,000 people – 10 per cent of all Scottish jobs – across 31,000 businesses. The new CSIC premises at Hamilton International Technology Park in Lanarkshire will be open to any of those people and businesses to use, and is designed to help them to innovate, collaborate and learn.

The refurbishment and fit-out of the new facility will begin in early January and will be undertaken by principal contractor akp Scotland. The project will involve alterations and refurbishment to form new two-storey offices, alterations to the warehouse area, and services installations relating to the warehouse plant equipment and machinery. Completion is scheduled for spring 2017, and the facility will formally open its doors to industry in summer 2017.

ACC_Office_v1Funded by CSIC, the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise, the new industry-led facility will deliver 30,000 sq. ft. of workshop space housing state-of-the-art construction and manufacturing equipment, complete with a 5 tonne overhead gantry crane for heavy lifting.

This equipment will allow construction businesses of all sizes to prototype and develop new products, processes, systems and solutions, from early stage ideas through to full commercialisation.

The workshop space and equipment will also be used for training purposes, allowing the industry to attract and develop fresh talent and build new skills using the latest virtual reality and drone technology, automated manufacturing equipment and advanced robotics as part of a move towards greater productivity, through adoption of digital and industrial processes.

ACC-Training Suite_v1The facility’s office space will be fitted out to cater for training delivery, events, seminars, meetings and hackathons, where partners are encouraged to work together to tackle key challenges in short, intensive workshop sessions. A suite in one of the seminar spaces will be equipped with the latest hardware and software to allow companies to prepare for impending BIM Level 2 compliance requirements in a live, interactive environment.

The facility will also include a construction incubator where start-ups and very small businesses can collaborate with industry, academic and public sector partners around innovation projects.

New dedicated staff from the Innovation Centre’s sister organisation, the Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group, will soon be joining the CSIC team at the new facility, creating a formidable one-stop-shop for the industry around collaboration, innovation and leadership.
Businesses can access the flexible services, facilities, training and equipment through either being part of a collaborative project, pay-as-you-go, membership or open access models, with a variety of benefits tiered to each option.

ACC-IncubationSuite_v1Stephen Good, chief executive of Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said: “We are really excited about the potential offered by this new innovation facility for industry. Our delivery team are extremely busy getting everything ready to launch this resource to industry in the summer.  It will provide a dynamic environment, away from the conventional building site, where the Scottish construction industry can innovate, take risks, explore and learn, safe in the knowledge that the activity here is protected from the perceived risks of innovating on live construction sites.

“Since we launched in October 2014, CSIC has made fantastic progress, helping 42 innovative projects get off the ground so far, and we hope that having this new facility at their disposal will inspire even more people within the construction industry to get innovating.”

Martin Rowley, joint managing director of akp, said: “We look forward to working with Anderson Bell Christie, Armour, Currie & Brown and Scott Bennett in completing this project for CSIC. Having completed tenant and landlord works within this building a number of years ago, we have acquired knowledge of the building layout and an in depth understanding of the services and existing M & E, which we feel will prove invaluable to the delivery of the project.”

CSIC’s move to Hamilton International Technology Park was brokered by Knight Frank, acting on behalf of Conygar Investment Company.

The Innovation Centre will occupy a total of 34,866 sq. ft. in the recently-refurbished Watt Place as part of a 10-year lease.

Sarah Addis, senior surveyor at Knight Frank, added: “CSIC’s move to Watt Place highlights the level of demand in the market for modern, well-located industrial units.  The property delivers the ideal combination of high-quality warehouse and office facilities, which in today’s market is difficult to find.

“The Innovation Centre will join companies such as Scottish Power, Babcock, First Direct and First Engineering at Watt Place, demonstrating that businesses are looking to areas outside of Glasgow’s core to meet their needs. The University of the West of Scotland has also announced the development of a state-of-the-art campus at the complex, bringing further investment to the area.”

Contractor sought as £83m Falkirk Campus business case approved

new Falkirk CampusForth Valley College is looking for a contractor to build the New Falkirk Campus after the Scottish Government and the Scottish Funding Council approved the full business case for the £83 million project.

The estimated value of the main construction contract is £58m with the build anticipated to commence in September 2017, enabling the college to take occupation by October 2019.

The new state-of-the-art facility will be located on the college’s former Middlefield site on Grangemouth Road. It will include modern, flexible and technology-enabled spaces and will boast industry standard workshops, laboratories and classrooms.

The campus will also have a Learning Resource Centre, food outlets, hair and beauty salons, conference space and sports facilities. In addition, the campus will be built with sustainability in mind and is aspiring to achieve a BREEAM rating of very good or excellent.

Architectural firm Reiach and Hall, which also designed the College’s new Alloa and Stirling campuses, has been appointed to design the new campus.

Other key partners include the Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Futures Trust and AECOM.

Forth Valley College principal, Dr Ken Thomson, said: “Now that the full business case has been approved, the green light has been given for us to put the plans out to procurement so we can begin the process of choosing who should build what will be a fantastic new campus, a wonderful learning environment and a legacy building that Falkirk and Scotland as a whole will be proud of.

“All going well we should be looking at work starting in September 2017 with a completion date in August 2019. Situated close to the inspirational and innovative Kelpies, the Helix Park and the Falkirk Stadium, the new Campus will also further enhance what has developed into one of Scotland’s most vibrant economic and cultural hubs.

“It really is exciting times for further education in the Forth Valley area and we are delighted to be leading the way and showing that we are living up to our dynamic and inspirational mission statement of Making Learning Work.”

Deputy First Minister and cabinet secretary for education and skills, John Swinney, said: “I am delighted that the new Falkirk campus for Forth Valley College has been approved and that ‎students and staff will get the new state-of-the-art facility they need and deserve.

“This government is committed ‎to providing excellent college facilities across the country to enable the delivery of high quality learning and training, with over £550m invested in the estate since 2007.”

John Kemp, interim chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “In just over six years Forth Valley College has been able to build new, state-of-the-art campuses in Alloa, Stirling and now Falkirk. Today’s announcement means that all of the college’s 14,500 students will soon be learning in modern and inspiring buildings. I am pleased SFC has been able to play a key role in making this happen.”

First Minister opens City of Glasgow College’s new £66m Riverside Campus

First minister Nicola Sturgeon with Paul Little, principal and chief executive of City of Glasgow College as they meet cadets

First minister Nicola Sturgeon with Paul Little, principal and chief executive of City of Glasgow College as they meet cadets

A new £66 million “world-class campus with the ‘wow’ factor” opened on the banks of the River Clyde yesterday.

City of Glasgow College’s Riverside Campus was officially opened by first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who described the state-of-the-art facility as “world-class” before meeting college staff and students during a tour of the campus.

She added: “I am thrilled to be able to open the Riverside Campus of City of Glasgow College, which will provide students from around the globe with access to state of the art equipment and world leading training opportunities.

“Scotland has a strong maritime history and now 10,000 students a year will be able to come to the Riverside Campus to continue that proud tradition.

“This is an excellent example of our capital investment programmes at work.  The Scottish Government is happy to have supported the construction of this new campus – part of a £228m investment in the City of Glasgow College estate – and I look forward to visiting City Campus on Cathedral Street, too, when it opens next year.”

City of Glasgow College principal Paul Little was proud to welcome more than 250 guests from all over the world for the milestone event.

Principal Little said: “This is a truly outstanding, world-class campus with the ‘wow’ factor. It represents a bold statement of intent by City of Glasgow College to lead the global maritime college community. Within that community, our Riverside Campus is now the most advanced of all colleges throughout the world.

“We are making a significant contribution towards to the renaissance of Glasgow’s maritime industry. We have made a transformational difference with the opening of this new campus.”

The Riverside campus is the first phase of a new £228m twin-site supercampus and was delivered on time and within budget. The City Campus site at Cathedral Street in Glasgow’s city centre is currently under construction and is due to open in summer 2016. The supercampus is expected to serve up to 40,000 students and 1200 staff a year – the equivalent of six million users in its lifetime.

Riverside Campus enjoys a stunning waterfront location and features a ten-storey student accommodation block and a landscaped recreation area alongside workshops and classrooms that comprise state-of-the-art technology. The new marine engineering workshop features Scotland’s first shipping simulation suite, allowing students to experience the bridge of a super tanker, as well as nautical chart rooms and a ferry-sized ship’s engine. The Marine Skills Centre also has its own jetty and free-fall lifeboats.

Barry White, chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust, said: “SFT’s vital role in the Riverside Campus led to many hundreds of construction jobs being created and the long-lasting legacy will mean many thousands of careers will be founded from the world-class vocational training delivered from this new, state-of-the-art college.”

Laurence Howells, chief executive of Scottish Funding Council, added: “This fantastic new building and the Cathedral Street campus opening next summer will completely transform the experience of being a student for thousands of Glaswegians. For businesses and communities these investments make a strong statement about the future of the city and the part its colleges are playing in creating a strong 21st century economy.”

First projects win funding from Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

construction landscapeA proposal for the UK’s first patented prefabricated timber frame party wall system is one of the first six innovation projects to be approved by Construction Scotland Innovation Centre’s (CSIC) Technical Advisory Group of industry and academic experts.

The new party wall system is the brainchild of Stewart Milne Group, which will receive almost £100,000 of investment by CSIC to help bring the product through the industrial research and development stage and onto the market. Glasgow Caledonian University and Edinburgh Napier University will contribute to product design and performance validation in a laboratory and site environment to analyse the product’s structural, acoustic, fire and thermal performance.

With a total value of over £800,000, the project has also levered £230,000 of government innovation funding from Innovate UK, bringing in additional industry collaborators and expertise.

When the product is fully developed, it should become the first patented prefabricated timber frame party wall system in the UK, with great potential for export. It is expected to contribute to improved whole life performance of buildings with enhanced thermal, acoustic and fire performance as well as ease and speed of installation and cost effectiveness as key benefits.

The project aims to create 24 new jobs at Stewart Milne Group’s Scottish and English production plants, thanks to the creation of two new production lines to manufacture the walls, which can be used in the construction of housing, hotels and student accommodation.

The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, which was launched in October 2014, was set up to transform the Scottish construction industry by encouraging companies to focus on driving profitable growth through innovation. CSIC provides Scotland’s 31,000+ construction businesses with a ‘one-stop shop’ for accessing a team of academic experts and public support. The Centre is supported by Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and 12 Scottish university partners.

CSIC’s initial pilot project, sponsored by construction infrastructure client Transport Scotland to evaluate the performance and suitability of a low cost noise barrier system made from recycled tyres, has just completed. Transport Scotland now have further funding in place to continue developing this product, with the eventual aim of running a pilot on the trunk road network in Scotland.

CSIC’s head of business development, Gillian Fleming, said: “We are delighted to support this Stewart Milne Group project, which has the potential to deliver significant economic impact and help put Scotland firmly on the map in leading edge offsite construction.

“Our industry led Technical Advisory Group, which consists of leading figures from the construction sector and experts from our partner universities, have recommended 4 further projects for Board approval that will commence soon. This, coupled with a healthy pipeline of over 40 diverse innovation project enquiries suggests the construction industry in Scotland is ready to innovate and we predict exciting times ahead for our industry.”

Alex Goodfellow, group managing director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems, said: “We’re delighted that CSIC has chosen to support our next innovation and we are looking forward to working to develop a new and exciting product to bring to market to add to our current portfolio of innovative and effective products. The market is growing and the increased interest in timber frame and offsite manufacture demonstrates the value that the industry increasingly places on new and cost effective ways to build.”

Simon Hart, built environment program leader at Innovate UK, said: “The project from Stewart Milne Group was one of the nine winners of our £4m Building Whole Life Performance competition and was scored highly by an independent assessment panel. It is great to see this level of collaborative innovation in construction and we look forward to following the progress.”

Final funding in place for £25m St Andrews green energy

St Andrews green energy centreAn £11 million injection of European funding will allow work to start on the University of St Andrews’ £25m green energy centre on the 36-acre site of a former paper mill at Guardbridge.

Over 225 jobs will be created during the construction phase with the University pledging apprenticeships and local companies encouraged to bid for sub-contracts.

The £11m loan comes from the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) Fund, a joint Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund initiative, managed by Amber Infrastructure Limited.

Hot water from the plant will be pumped underground to heat and cool laboratories and student residences in St Andrews. It will use only wood from sustainable local forests as biomass.

The Scottish Funding Council has also backed the centre with a £10m grant with the remaining £4m coming from the University itself.

Confirming financial close on the deal to build the Guardbridge energy centre, social justice secretary Alex Neil said: “The construction of the Guardbridge energy centre will act as a springboard for the regeneration of the village, which will provide an economic boost for the wider Fife economy.

“The centre’s projected carbon savings will help the environment and the local area will benefit from the university’s commitment to job creation and apprenticeships.

“The project also underlines the sector’s commitment to innovation and research, backed by significant investment from the Scottish Government.

“The Scottish Government is using all the levers at its disposal, including European funding, to maximise employment opportunities that help achieve sustainable economic growth.”

University of St Andrews chief operating officer, Derek Watson, added: “Guardbridge represents a major strategic step for the university. This large industrial site lends itself to the creation of a range of renewable energies which are vital for our efforts to remain one of Europe’s leading research institutions.

“We believe the diverse range of potential uses for Guardbridge has the capacity to re-establish this huge site as a key economic centre in Fife.”

Fife Council leader David Ross said: “The University’s Guardbridge development is a major project, not just for the local community but potentially for the whole of Fife’s economy.

“Following on from planning approval in November 2014, this additional investment for the Energy Centre is another significant milestone for the wider redevelopment of the Guardbridge site and is very much to be welcomed.”

Green light for St Andrews University paper mill plan

St Andrews green energy centre

Plans for the creation of a £25 million green energy centre by St Andrews University have been given the stamp of approval.

The green energy produced on the site of the former Curtis Fine Papers mill in Guardbridge will enable the university to slash fuel bills and help protect jobs.

The proposal would generate power through wood-fuelled biomass, then pump hot water four miles underground to heat and cool labs and residences in St Andrews.

The scheme, which would also result in the centre becoming a knowledge exchange hub, is being backed by a £10m grant from the Scottish Funding Council.

Alongside recently approved plans for a six-turbine wind power development at Kenly to the east of St Andrews, the Guardbridge scheme will support attempts by St Andrews to become the UK’s first carbon-neutral university.

Fife Council’s north-east planning committee unanimously approved the plan and granted full planning consent for formation of a biomass plant and an underground network of pipes, which will carry hot water four miles to the university’s buildings in St Andrews.

St Andrews councillor Brian Thomson said: “This is a good news story. It is a very ambitious project by the university.”

Tay Bridgehead councillor Maggie Taylor said: “The university is making great use of this site.

“I was delighted to see that it is using the existing buildings. They are beautiful brick buildings and they are going to sell the bricks from the buildings that are coming down.”

It is hoped the plans for Guardbridge will boost efforts to revitalise the giant site and bring new investment in renewable technologies and new industry to Fife.

The investment of at least £25m in Guardbridge is expected to support new employment in the Fife village as the biomass facility will use only virgin roundwood, locally sourced from sustainable forests.

The knowledge exchange hub will aim to provide “missing link” facilities which would allow research and discoveries made in university labs to be translated to working prototypes.

The centre will also offer affordable accommodation to local companies, with the aim of attracting businesses and skills linked to the renewables sector.

The Guardbridge mill closed on July 23 2008, with the loss more than 250 jobs.

Councillors asked for further information on where the woodchips would come from for assurance about their sustainability.

Deputy First Minister officially launches Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

Nicola Sturgeon and Bill McBride view Philadelphia from 115m high courtesy of Heriot Watt’s ICE project at The Construction Scotland Annual Conference

Nicola Sturgeon and Bill McBride view Philadelphia from 115m high courtesy of Heriot Watt’s ICE project at The Construction Scotland Annual Conference

The vital role that innovation has to play in the Scottish construction industry was reinforced by Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP in Glasgow yesterday when she officially launched the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre.

Ms Sturgeon was joined at the event by Derek Mackay MSP, Minister for Local Government & Planning when they both addressed 300+ delegates gathered for Construction Scotland’s Annual Conference focused on achieving growth through innovation.

Describing the Innovation Centreas an “absolutely fantastic development for the industry”, the Deputy First Minister said the industry should be proud and excited about its potential for the future.

Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland has many creative, innovative companies and academic institutions capable of identifying growth opportunities and delivering industry solutions.

“We are supporting the international competitiveness of our universities by investing over £1 billion in higher education. We are also investing through the Scottish Funding Council £124 million over 6 years in a network of Scottish Innovation Centres allowing us to boost labour productivity and build on our highly-skilled workforces.

“Innovation Centres are about developing the best environment for businesses and academia to interact, taking innovative ambitious projects of excellence that have the potential to bring millions more to the economy and create thousands of jobs.

“The construction industry underpins all of Scotland’s key sectors and therefore underpins the success of our whole economy. Working together we can create the best environment for our businesses to thrive in partnership with academia to achieve our goals and aspirations for the sector.”

In her speech to delegates, Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government will take a hard line on blacklisting in the industry. She said that firms caught participating in the practice will be charged with “great professional misconduct” and banned from bidding for public sector contracts.

The Deputy First Minister said she recognises the perceived problem of public sector procurement focusing on cost rather than quality and design saying there is “a huge emphasis on getting more bang for our buck”, particularly when using public money, “make no apologies for that”.

“But it should never come at a cost of poor quality. We are taking very determined approach and will take on recommendations in the upcoming review into public sector procurement which we hope will take us on way to delivering better quality.”

Ray on stage 2

Ray O’Rourke on stage

Ray O’Rourke – founder and chair of global engineering and construction group Laing O’Rourke – delivered a keynote address during the afternoon session, emphasising how being innovative has been central to his company’s success in the industry.

Making no excuses for imitating companies in other industries, he said Laing O’Rourke looked to the automotive, aviation and shipbuilding industries for their innovations and asked “Why can’t we do it in construction?”

Embracing technology would, he said, attract young people and women into the industry.

He added: “Making the change from trades to technicians will take massive commitment from everybody but we can do it.”

The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre was established in March 2014 and is the hub to connect the 31,000 plus businesses in the Scottish construction industry with academic expertise. This unique partnership between the industry, academia and Government, aims to be a catalyst to drive growth and profit in the construction industry in Scotland. Initial funding of £7.5m was received in spring 2014, with an additional £2m for capital equipment subsequently obtained.

Financed by the Scottish Funding Council, the Innovation Centre is supported by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and 11 of Scotland’s universities – University of Aberdeen, University of Dundee, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow School of Art, Heriot Watt University, University of Highlands & Islands, Robert Gordon University, University of Strathclyde, and University of West of Scotland.

Bill McBride, interim Chair of the Innovation Centre, said: “Today has been a great one for all of us who have been involved in shaping the structure and business plan for the Innovation Centre, particularly as we are now able to, figuratively speaking, open our doors to the industry and invite construction-related companies to engage with us and begin establishing relationships that will help us help them make innovative ideas and projects a reality.

“The Deputy First Minister has been supportive of both Construction Scotland and the Innovation Centre from the outset and we’re honoured that she was able to take the time to join us this morning. For that we thank her and her Ministerial colleague Derek Mackay MSP and we look forward to keeping them informed of progress over the coming months.”