Building Briefs – December 21st



HallhillWork begins on Dunbar affordable homes

Work has begun on a new development of 525 new homes which will see the expansion of the East Lothian seaside town of Dunbar.

Places for People and Castle Rock Edinvar are working in partnership with East Lothian Council and Mansell Homes to build 131 affordable homes as part of the development at Hallhill, to the south of the town.

Supported by £2.3 million grant assistance from Scottish Government, Places for People will deliver 60 of the affordable homes which will be available for social and mid market rent and for shared equity. Sale prices of the 12 Shared Equity units are expected to start at £78,000 based on a 60 per cent equity share.

East Lothian Council have an £8.3m agreement to purchase the remaining 71 affordable properties from Mansell Homes which will become part of the council’s housing stock. The deal includes £2.1m in Council House Building Grant from the Scottish Government. The first homes will be ready by summer 2016.

 

Wind farm gets near £83m financing

A wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway has received funding of £82.7 million.

Construction on the 23-turbine Blackcraig site, owned by Blue Energy, is expected to start next month and be completed by March 2017.

The UK Green Investment Bank, KKR and Temporis Capital have put together the financing package.

 

Lanarkshire rail contractor grows staff numbers 40% as sales surge

Lanarkshire-based QTS rail contracting business has increased employee numbers by 40 per cent after recording strong growth in sales amid buoyant sector conditions.

The group grew average employee numbers by 40 per cent annually in the year to 31 March, to 241, from 172 in the preceding period as it staffed up to cope with a big increase in workloads.

QTS achieved £70.6 million turnover in the year to 31 March up eight per cent from £65.4m in the previous, with growth fuelled by a big increase in activity south of the border.

 

Engineers piloting drones to inspect Forth Road Bridge

Engineers are taking advantage of the Forth Road Bridge closure by fast-tracking maintenance work to avoid more traffic disruption after it reopens next month.

Bridge operator Amey said it was also using drones for the first time in order to gather difficult-to-access data during the shutdown.

A number of repairs and upgrades have been brought forward, meaning closures scheduled for next year will no longer be required.

These include joint sealing, patching works and an overhaul of the bridge lighting, as well as carriageway upgrades.

 

Aldi plans rejected in Crieff

Aldi’s bid to set up shop in Crieff has been blocked by Perth and Kinross Council just months after Tesco scrapped its own plan to move into town amid fears it could hit the “vitality and viability” of town centre traders.

Officials also decided to refuse consent after claims the former Tesco site, also on Broich Road, could be revived after the land was sold to London and Scottish Investments earlier this year.

The council had asked Aldi to consider using the former Tesco site which is the local authority’s preferred location for a retail development.

 

Ian Esson, Scotland Partnership Co-ordinator for the Trussell Trust (centre) with Craig McHugh (left) and Craig Morris (right), both members of the company’s employee led Steering Group, at the collection point at Clark Contracts’ head office in Paisley
Ian Esson, Scotland Partnership Co-ordinator for the Trussell Trust (centre) with Craig McHugh (left) and Craig Morris (right), both members of the company’s employee led Steering Group, at the collection point at Clark Contracts’ head office in Paisley

Contractor builds donations for local foodbanks

Staff at building company Clark Contracts teamed up with the firm’s sub contractors and customers to stage a two week drive to collect food and toiletries for donation to 10 foodbanks across Scotland.

The initiative set up collection points at the company’s main offices in Paisley and Edinburgh and at 22 of its current building sites.

It was the brainchild of the company’s employee led Steering Group which has, for many years, engaged in a wide variety of activities to support local and national charities.

The food and toiletries collected are being donated to Trussell Trust foodbanks in Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Renfrew, Johnstone, Paisley, Greenock, Tranent and Whitburn.

 

Scottish Government challenging court’s decision over wind farm

The Scottish Government and energy firm SSE are challenging a court’s decision over a Highland wind farm.

The Court of Session ruled the government was wrong to approve the 67-turbine Stronelairg development near Fort Augustus earlier this month.

Lord Jones held that Scottish ministers reached their decision in breach of environmental regulations following a judicial review brought by the John Muir Trust.

SSE said the wind farm would have created enough electricity to power 114,000 homes and would have generated £30m for the local economy.

SSE originally wanted to build 83 turbines at the Garrogie Estate but that number was reduced to 67 after discussions with the Highland Council in 2013.

 

Swim programme receives cash boost from housebuilder

Sales advisor, Sharon Thomson, presents a cheque to SWL chair, Susan MacFarlane
Sales advisor, Sharon Thomson, presents a cheque to SWL chair, Susan MacFarlane

A West Lothian swimming performance programme has received a cash boost from a local business under its Community Champions scheme.

Persimmon Homes East Scotland has handed over a cheque for £1,000 to Swim West Lothian – to help fund training for the talented youngsters.

Swim West Lothian supports over 75 swimmers with a performance based programme including professional coaching and additional pool time. The athletes compete in both Scottish and British swimming competitions.

The group are the latest to receive funding from the housebuilder. In total £24,000 will be donated by Persimmon Homes’ East Scotland region by March 2016. It is a slice of £750,000 that is being given away by the company nationally.

Persimmon Homes East Scotland is currently building a range of new homes at Calderwood in East Calder and Duchess Grange in Bathgate.

Community Champions is a year-long programme with £750,000 to be spread across the housebuilder’s 26 regions. Groups and charities who have already worked hard to raise funds themselves can apply for match funding of up to £1,000.

To apply for funding, visit www.persimmonhomes.com/charity.

 

You’re hired! Christmas job joy for redundant apprentice

Kingdom chief executive Bill Banks welcoming Declan Whiteford with Sandy Milne, Kingdom’s area maintenance manager
Kingdom chief executive Bill Banks welcoming Declan Whiteford with Sandy Milne, Kingdom’s area maintenance manager

A young apprentice who lost his job due to a downturn in business has landed a new apprenticeship just in time for Christmas thanks to Kingdom Housing Association.

Eighteen-year-old apprentice joiner Declan Whiteford of Glenrothes was shattered when his career seemed over before it had begun and he was made redundant two years in to his apprenticeship.

Securing a trade apprenticeship is not easy nowadays, due to the amount of young people applying for the limited apprenticeship opportunities available and Declan Whiteford was delighted that he managed to get a joinery apprenticeship two years ago, with a local joinery firm.

Declan faced a struggle to find a new apprenticeship in a tough jobs market and set about contacting local firms seeking employment and the chance to complete his training.

His luck changed when he contacted Kingdom Housing Association which has an in-house maintenance team who carry out maintenance repairs and improvements to their own housing as well as contracting with a number of developers and contractors for new build projects and planned maintenance works throughout Fife and East Central Scotland.

Declan started his new job with Kingdom as an apprentice joiner on 14th December.

 

Kind-hearted Cruden help support Rutherglen Foodbank

Cruden foodbankKind-hearted colleagues from Cruden Building and Renewals have held an office food donation over the last few weeks, with all items being donated to Rutherglen Foodbank in time for Christmas.

The efforts of the staff were boosted by financial donations from those working at the organisation’s Glasgow headquarters with £165 also being used to purchase food items.

The donation was organised by Kellyann Cassidy, accounts, Cruden Building and Renewals.