Building Briefs – June 26th

(from left) Barrhead’s director of asset management, James Ward, along with multi trade operative, Brian Miller, and contracts manager Gareth Thomson from Turners

Repairs contractor appointed by Barrhead Housing Association 

Barrhead Housing Association and Turner Property Services have entered into a new contract which will see Turners provide responsive repair and void management service to over 930 Barrhead properties.

Under the initial one year contract, Turners will provide responsive repairs for Barrhead’s homes in the East Renfrewshire area, which includes Barrhead, Neilston, Newton Mearns & Thornliebank.

Barrhead will also continue to provide a range of minor works to all of its properties through a recently introduced but highly successful in-house Repairs Operative service, under its subsidiary Levern Property Services.

The repairs contract has been designed to deliver a first class service to ensure that customers in all areas that Barrhead works in receive a consistently high standard of responsive repairs.

Turners was selected following a rigorous procurement tendering process that began in April 2018, assessing criteria including customer service, value for money and most importantly the quality of the service being provided.

Barrhead Housing said that bringing benefits back to the community is at the core of its values and mission statement and the contract has a built-in element of introducing Community Benefits, with a strong emphasis on using local subcontractors and suppliers where possible. Barrhead and Turners will also be looking at the possibility of employment and apprenticeship opportunities for local residents through a specific Community Benefits clause.

Barrhead and Turners are now in the process of mobilisation to ensure there is no disruption to ongoing services to residents and the new contract will commence on July 2.


Six people treated after fire breaks out in Leith tower block

Residents were evacuated from a tower block in Edinburgh last night after a fire broke out in a stairwell.

The blaze was reported around 10pm on Monday in Citadel Court on Admiralty Street in Leith.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said six people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, as residents left the 20-floor building.

Around 20 firefighters were called out during the height of the incident.

The fire is thought to have started in a stairwell on the fifth floor and was brought under control by midnight.

A fire service spokeswoman said: “An investigation into the cause of the fire is under way.”


North Ayrshire sheltered housing development official opens

A state-of-the-art housing development which is expected to have a major positive impact on the lives of older people has been officially opened in North Ayrshire.

The £5.3 million Glencairn House development at Bill Smith Court, Stevenston, has been designed to specifically meet the needs of older residents, as well as showcasing an innovative district heating system.

Featuring 28 high-quality and accessible sheltered homes, the development illustrates North Ayrshire Council’s commitment to provide affordable accommodation that will meet tenants’ needs now and in the future.

The development was officially opened by Provost Ian Clarkson alongside residents who have been enjoying their new surroundings since they first started to move in a few weeks ago.

Glencairn House replaces Afton and Caley Court and was funded by North Ayrshire Council, with the Scottish Government contributing £1.652m.

It features a landscaped courtyard with a mural made up of handprints from neighbouring Glencairn Primary School pupils - just one of the features which helps provide a homely and relaxed feel to the complex.

Glencairn House is situated on the newly-named Bill Smith Court, and among the guests were the family of the late Mr Smith, a long-serving councillor and dedicated campaigner for Stevenston.

The development also reflects the council’s commitment to energy efficiency with the inclusion of solar panels and a biomass district heating system, shared with Glencairn Primary School. The heating system is powered from renewable, sustainably sourced biomass, which lowers our carbon emissions, and provides lower energy bills for ours tenants. The energy gained from the solar panels goes into the communal supply for the lighting of the building.


Preliminary Skolie Burn Bridge replacement works to start

Initial works on a £2.4 million project to replace Skolie Burn Bridge between Addiewell and Loganlea have been announced to begin in August 2018, prior to the main bridge replacement works starting early 2019.

Thought to have been built in the mid 1800’s, with an extension added at a later date, Skolie Burn Bridge now requires to be replaced. The current bridge has had restrictions in place for a number of years, so is not suitable for all traffic.

The work will take place in two phases, with ground investigations work and grouting commencing in late August 2018. The main bridge replacement work will start in early 2019 and will see a temporary bridge installed to ensure that vehicular and pedestrian access is maintained between Loganlea and Addiewell at all times.

A series of drop-in information sessions have been arranged at the Pit Stop Community Centre in Loganlea for local residents looking to find out more about the large-scale project.


Major South Lanarkshire resurfacing works to start

South Lanarkshire Council has announced that major resurfacing works will begin this weekend on Uddingston Road, Bothwell.

The works will take place from 8am to 8pm daily from Saturday 30 June until Sunday 8 July along Uddingston Road from Hornal Road to Blantyre Road.

The project will be carried out under temporary traffic management but drivers are urged to expect delays. Whilst we will make every effort to accommodate local residents, some disruption will be inevitable and we would be grateful for the cooperation of anyone affected during these times.

The council said that it would request that all road users allow additional time for all journeys which involve the use of Uddingston Road during the times indicated and that they plan their routes accordingly. The council also apologised for any inconvenience that may occur during these essential road improvement works.


Perth primary school refurbishment complete

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister and cabinet secretary for education, John Swinney, has officially opened the new Tulloch Primary School in Perth, following a major refurbishment programme.

The works on Tulloch Primary are part of a £55 million programme jointly funded by Perth & Kinross Council and the Scottish Government, which also includes replacement facilities for Kinross Primary School and the brand new Bertha Park High School, also in Perth.

14 open-plan teaching zones have been created in the new school building, providing for up to 434 primary pupils, as well as increasing the nursery capacity to 40 children, a new and improved Additional Support Needs (ASN) base, and nurture provision.

The school’s external surroundings, including its play area, are also being transformed with an increased grass pitch area, Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), outdoor teaching facilities and eco-features. Improved pupil drop-off facilities and enhanced parking have also been provided.


SGN to upgrade gas network in Bonnyrigg

The gas network in Bonnyrigg is to be upgraded by SGN, with the works expected to take six weeks to complete.

To help carry out this work, SGN will close Cockpen Road and Dundas Street to through traffic. Dundas Park, Laird Terrace and Wolsey Avenue will also be closed during stages of this project and local diversion routes will be in operation.

Parking suspensions will also be required throughout the duration of the project although vehicle access to and from premises will be maintained where possible. As works will be carried out on a phased basis not all parking will be affected at once.

Some phases of work will also require temporary traffic signals which may cause traffic delays during busy peak periods.

The work involves the replacement of old, metal gas mains with new plastic pipe to ensure a continued safe and reliable gas supply to homes and businesses in the local community for many years to come.


Businesses urged to consult on Angus transport infrastructure improvements

Angus Council and Amey Consulting have announced a study aimed at improving transport links and unlocking opportunities for businesses to flourish in North Angus.

The intention is to identify potential transport infrastructure improvements and create the associated business case required in a bid to secure funding through the Tay Cities Deal.

A workshop was held at Hillside, by Montrose recently, representing the first stage in the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG). The aim was to fully establish existing transport-related problems and issues and identify opportunities to improve connectivity and enable growth within the North Angus growth area.

Taking part in the workshop were stakeholders from key groups and organisations, community councils and elected members. Their input is vital in the process of learning and understanding more about transport issues in North Angus and how they can best be solved. Stakeholders not only attended the event, they set the study objectives and helped to identify potential solutions to ensure they are focused and suitable to what the desired outcomes are, specifically:

  • To better understand the key problems, issues, opportunities and constraints that should be considered as part of the study
  • To confirm the study objectives
  • To establish options for taking forward to the appraisal stage.

A summary report from the workshop will be produced and issued to all stakeholders.


Funding approved for Aberdeen city centre lighting scheme

Funding has been approved for a creative lighting scheme in Aberdeen.

The Aberdeen in Colour scheme is a City Centre Masterplan project to use creative lighting as a way of permanently showcasing the city’s landmarks and streetscape.

Custom-made lamps would be suspended above a section of Langstane Place, which runs parallel to Union Street, to give it a festival feel.

Earlier this week, the council’s city growth and resources committee agreed to contribute towards the cost of the installation. The majority of costs will be met by Aberdeen Inspired, the Business Improvement District operator, which will oversee development and implementation.

Aberdeen in Colour was drawn up by lighting design consultancy Steensen Varming, which worked on illuminating the Sydney Opera House. In February, the council adopted the Aberdeen in Colour strategy and agreed that partnership funding opportunities should be explored in bringing forward its 12 individual schemes over the next five years.