Building Briefs – March 14th

Richard Lyle MSP and Gordon Reid
Richard Lyle MSP and Gordon Reid

MSP visits Kier Construction

Richard Lyle, Scottish National Party MSP for Central Scotland, visited Kier Construction’s Scottish headquarters in Stepps on Friday afternoon.

Richard Lyle said: “I enjoyed meeting with some of the team at Kier Construction at its Scottish headquarters today and hearing more about their current projects, training initiatives and commitment to driving the sector forward.

“Kier Construction, as well as being a large local employer, is also a construction leader with bases throughout the country and a key driver for ongoing economic growth in Scotland. The SNP are working hard to ensure Scotland is a place where people and business can thrive. We will continue to work to keep Scotland moving forward.”

Gordon Reid, business development manager of Kier Construction’s Scotland and north-east England business, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mr Lyle to Kier’s Scottish headquarters and to introduce him to some of the 89 employees who support our activity within Glasgow, Ayrshire and the central belt.

“Our construction expertise across a number of sectors including education and healthcare and our position within a number of significant frameworks has allowed us to steadily grow the business and staff numbers, both at our Stepps office and throughout Scotland.”


Late summer launch for new HARP funding system

The Scottish Government has delayed the launch of a replacement system to manage its Housing And Regeneration Programmes (HARP) funding tool.

The new system, which will directly handle funding applications and claims by registered social landlords, local authorities and developers, will now become operational in late summer 2016.

An earlier launch has been avoided due to “financial year end pressures”.

Applications and claims will continue to follow existing business and payment schedules until further notice.

In the meantime, managers will continue to discuss the HARP Project with stakeholders at their regular programme and liaison meetings, and the Scottish Government has undertaken that suitable training material will be provided to assist users of the system and will provide further details of this as the project progresses.

Queries about HARP should be directed to: Kirsty Henderson, project manager, email: direct dial: 0141 242 5495 or Sharon McGuire, Project Team member and Communication Officer, email: direct dial: 0141 242 5493.


£2.8m primary school refurb completed in Inverclyde

A £2.8 million primary school refurbishment programme in Inverclyde is now complete.

Improved features at St John’s Primary School include a new dining hall, nursery class and a multi-use games area (MUGA). A new gymnasium and playground were also built.

The council has invested £270m in new and improved schools so far, including £41m on the Port Glasgow Community Campus project.

The site contains three schools; Port Glasgow High, St Stephen’s High and Craigmarloch Additional Support Needs School, as well as a modern enterprise centre.

The refurbished £6m Ardgowan Primary School was officially opened last year, while work is underway on a new £7m St Patrick’s primary in Greenock.

Kilmacolm Primary is also undergoing a £4.2m improvement.


SNP conference makes energy efficiency commitment

The SNP’s commitment to taking the action required to meet to improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes was reaffirmed after a vote at the party’s conference over the weekend.

Members backed a resolution to combat climate change which included the Scottish Government’s pledge to make improving energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority and to set out how it will accelerate use of renewable heat.

The resolution also committed a re-elected SNP government to continue delivering carbon reductions in energy generation, transport and the food sector.

The Climate Justice Fund, which seeks to mitigate the impact of climate change on the world’s poorest communities, has also been doubled by the Scottish Government.


New recruit to Savills Architecture and Building Surveying team in Dumfries

Savills’ growing Architecture and Building Surveying team continues to expand with the appointment of chartered building surveyor Jack Thornton to the property firm.

Jack Thornton joined Savills from Edwin Thompson LLP in February where he was responsible for the design, build, maintenance and refurbishment of a wide range of properties, right across the property sector including commercial, agricultural and residential projects.


Farrans reaches milestone on £41.9m wind farm project

A major milestone has been reached at a £41.9 million wind farm project in Scotland.

Northern Irish firm Farrans has begun installing the first of 96 turbines at the Kilgallioch Wind Farm site on the border of South Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

The scheme is being delivered on behalf of Scottish Power Renewables.

The installation required the use of a 750-tonne crane in order to lift the 120-tonne nacelle 88 metres up to the top tower section.

Features of the Kilgallioch project includes creating 65km of road construction, HV cabling, control building construction and substantial tree clearance.

The scheme got underway in June last year, and is planned for completion in June 2017.

Other wind farm contracts secured by Farrans include the £14.9m Harbunhead Wind Farm project and the £12.7m Goole Fields II.

In addition, the firm was recently awarded the £4.9m Grudie Hydro Scheme in the northwest highlands of Scotland.


Entries invited for Scottish Borders Design Awards

The search is on again for the best designed buildings as the Scottish Borders Design Awards return after a three year break.

The competition was last held in 2013, with Abbotsford Visitor Reception building among the winners.

This year’s awards form part of a range of activities held to celebrate the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 and the Festival of Architecture.

The Design Awards are organised by Scottish Borders Council’s planning and regulatory services and are intended to recognise and promote examples of recent good design in the region.

This year, there are four categories:

  • New Build (individual buildings) – residential
  • New Build (individual buildings) - non-residential
  • Placemaking - new developments that contribute to creating a sense of place
  • Work to Existing Buildings - including conversions/extensions

All types of projects are eligible from small to large scale, urban or rural, domestic or commercial, and if appropriate, applications can be considered for more than one category or award.

Projects must be within the Scottish Borders area and have been completed in the period between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2016. Either the owner or the designer can make applications, and there is no entry fee.

Submissions should be made no later than Friday 29 April 2016. Further details and application forms are available from, email, phone 01835 826563 or write to Lead Officer (Built Heritage & Design), Scottish Borders Council, Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells, TD6 0SA.


Council forms team to repair potholes in Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh Council has formed a dedicated team to repair potholes in the region.

The initiative will carry out permanent repairs to road and pavement surfaces in the City Centre/Leith and South neighbourhoods.

Each package of work will cost £120,000 and £60,000. Funding will be used from existing neighbourhood budgets and will add to ongoing patching repairs taking place throughout the year.

In addition, the number of teams undertaking short-term emergency repairs will increase temporarily from three to seven.

The council has committed to spending over £15 million on roads and pavements in 2016/17.

The repair programmes will begin in spring.