Building Briefs – August 8th

(from left) Councillor Joan Griffiths; Councillor Cammy Day; Gerry O’Sullivan, chair of Bield; Councillor Stefan Tymkewycz and Brian Logan, chief executive of Bield
(from left) Councillor Joan Griffiths; Councillor Cammy Day; Gerry O’Sullivan, chair of Bield; Councillor Stefan Tymkewycz and Brian Logan, chief executive of Bield

Bield breaks new ground on Edinburgh affordable homes

One of Scotland’s largest housing and care providers for older people marked their continued commitment to invest in new affordable homes by celebrating the start of construction works on their new site in Edinburgh with a formal sod cutting ceremony.

Bield’s development at Fleming Place, located on the site of the former Eastern General Hospital, will create 40 apartments for peopled aged 50 and over, providing social housing for rent for up to 106 people.

Working in partnership with J Smart & Company, the total projected cost of the development is £4.92 million with an expected completion date of February 2018.

The properties at Fleming Place will provide tenants with all the high quality features that are typical in a Bield property.


Mulholland Contracts awarded top safety accreditation

Mulholland JCBWest Lothian groundwork’s, surfacing and multi utilities contractor Mulholland Contracts has been awarded accreditation from Safecontractor for its commitment in achieving excellence in health and safety.

To become accredited Mulholland Contracts Ltd had to demonstrate that they meet Safecontractor’s rigorous assessment criteria. Under the Safecontractor scheme, businesses undergo a vetting process which examines health and safety procedures and their track record for safe practice.


MSP visits Kier Construction Scotland

Fulton MacGregor MSP last week paid a visit to Kier Construction Scotland.

On his visit, the MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston said: “I was pleased to visit Kier Construction’s offices in Stepps and meet staff and senior management. As a local employer I welcomed hearing about their operations within the constituency as well as projects across Scotland and I was pleased to hear Kier’s long-term commitment to maintain their headquarters in the constituency.

“Construction is an important part of the Scottish economy and I welcome the commitment to address the ongoing skills gap. As the co-convener of the Children & Young People’s Cross Party Group in Holyrood I was keen to put across the importance of long term prospects for young people in apprenticeships.

“I look forward to continued dialogue with Kier Construction Scotland in the coming months and years and am confident that, although challenges exist, the outlook for Scottish construction, and the opportunities for Scotland’s young people to go into this industry, is bright.”

Kier Construction Scotland’s business development manager, Gordon Reid, said: “I was more than happy to welcome Mr MacGregor to our headquarters in Glasgow where the Kier team shared our vision for the future of Scottish construction. It was pleasing to see how receptive Mr MacGregor and his team were to our thoughts on addressing the skills gap across the country, a key challenge to ensure construction remains a driver for the Scottish economy. Through a concerted effort and hard work from everyone across the industry, future generations will reap the rewards.”


Price rise of homes near top football grounds ‘significantly higher’ then rest of country

The price of homes close to Scottish Premiership grounds have increased by almost a third in ten years, significantly higher than the 20 per cent increase in house prices across Scotland as a whole.

Research by Bank of Scotland shows the average value of properties close to top flight stadiums has risen from £100,563 in 2006 to £131,964 in 2016. The £31,401 increase is equivalent to a weekly rise of £60.

The average price for a home in the surrounding postal districts of the 12 clubs contesting the Scottish Premiership for 2016/17 is £131,964 – a third (£37,035) lower than the average for the whole of Scotland (£169,000).

Homes near newly promoted Rangers’ Ibrox Stadium are the most affordable of all Scottish Premiership homes, with the price of the typical home just over double (2.5) gross annual average earnings. This is in stark contrast to homes based in rivals Celtic G40 postal district, where the house price to earnings ratio is 3.7.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle has the least affordable Scottish Premiership postal district with the average property price being more than 7.5 times annual gross average earnings in the area. St. Johnstone (4.7) is in the second least affordable postal district, followed by Partick Thistle (4.4).

The biggest increases in value have been seen in properties close to Caledonian Stadium where the average home value has risen by 90 per cent over the decade, from £122,685 in 2006 to £233,664 in 2016.

Areas around Aberdeen’s Pittodrie Stadium have seen the second biggest increase with a rise in average property prices of 76 per cent (from £90,878 to £160,262). Dens Park has seen the third biggest rise in property prices in the area close to their ground in Dundee during the past ten years with an increase of 54 per cent from £77,883 in 2006 to £120,223.  Scottish Premiership champions Celtic, come in fourth with an increase of 47 per cent.

Ibrox is the only stadium to record a decline in prices over the past decade.


Young roofers to compete on national stage

Leeds College of Building HeatFrom April to July, roofing apprentices from around the UK demonstrated their skills at regional heats to gain a place at this year’s SkillBuild Final, taking place on the 17th-19th November, at NEC Birmingham.

The competition, organised by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), saw fifty-five competitors taking part in one of eight heats, which were overseen by three judges, Matt Timby, Simon Dixon and Bob Coutts, who’s vast experience of roofing competitions range from a past SkillBuild winner to a recognised mentor for the international competition: World Championship for Young Roofers.

The following eight young roofers, who secured highest marks from across all the regional heats, will be heading to the final:

  • Andrew Emerton – Emerton Roofing (Western) Ltd
  • Harry Hillam – Thompson – Timby Traditional Roofing
  • Harry Pennock – J Chillingsworth Roofing Contractor
  • Lee Dowding – Dylan Faber Roofing Ltd
  • Liam Watson – West Country Tiling Co.
  • Sam Blount Graham – Barker Roofing Services
  • Tom Knight – Wheeler Roofing Services Limited
  • William Emerton – Emerton Roofing (Western) Ltd

The competition forms a part of the Skills Show, the nation’s largest skills and careers event, giving the competitors and the roofing industry a greater platform in which to showcase roofing.