Building Briefs – September 26th

New Waverley ArchesThe Arches at New Waverley named Commercial Project of the Year

New Waverley is delighted to announce that The Arches has been awarded the coveted Commercial Project of the Year title in the Herald Property Awards for Scotland.

The prestigious award recognises the huge progress that The Arches has made in 2016, transforming a formerly neglected part of Edinburgh into a vibrant leisure and commercial quarter in the heart of the Old Town.

The judges were “incredibly impressed” with The Arches, describing it as “a stand-out entry in a hugely competitive category.”

The Arches are a row of 19 newly renovated Victorian arches on East Market Street, Edinburgh – part of the £150 million New Waverley development currently transforming the heart of the Old Town.

The project was delivered in partnership with Edinburgh-based Staran Architects, Union Projects and Horizon M&E Services Design Ltd.

The spectacular C-listed brickwork arches were originally constructed in 1875 to create double-height openings beneath the city’s Jeffrey Street. Now Artisan Real Estate Investors, the developer behind New Waverley, has brought the historic arches back to life, bringing together an eclectic community of independent retailers, cafes and restaurants to provide a refreshing contrast to typical high street environments.


New Edinburgh appointment for surveyor Malcolm Hollis

Independent commercial building surveying firm Malcolm Hollis has expanded its team with them appointment of Ewan Wyllie at its Edinburgh office.

A specialist in CDM, Wyllie joins the firm from Shepherd Chartered Surveyors in Glasgow where he was an associate.


Aldi rolls out investment plans amid record sales

The UK arm of Aldi has said it will invest £300 million in store revamps after posting another year of record sales.

The cash will be used to spruce up its fixtures for beers, wines and spirits and fresh produce, as well as a new “food to go” feature, with more than 100 stores to be refurbished in 2017.

The German-owned firm added that it will open 70 stores in the UK next year as part of plans to increase supermarket numbers from 659 to 1,000 by 2022.

Aldi said its future capital expenditure plans are “unaffected” by the UK’s decision to quit the EU, pledging to make “substantial investments”, including enlarging two existing distribution sites, redeveloping its UK head office in Atherstone, Warwickshire, and opening a new distribution centre in Cardiff next year.


Lidl submit planning application for Easter Road store

Lidl UK has submitted a planning application for a new store on Easter Road in Edinburgh.

The supermarket has previously revealed that it wanted to open a brand new store on Easter Road at the site of the former B&Q.


34 jobs lost at Penman Engineering

Dumfries-based Penman Engineering has made 34 staff members redundant with immediate effect.

The firm made the decision to appoint administrators for the company on 31 August and blamed the delay in the arrival of a major contract.

In addition to the redundancies, union Unite understands that six apprentices are among those being laid off.


Ground investigations to begin on A737 Dalry Bypass Works

Ground investigations which will provide essential information on the existing ground conditions will begin across the A737 Dalry Bypass site today.

The ground investigations, which will be carried out by Ian Farmer Associates and will last for around 12 weeks, will need some works to be carried out on the existing road. Some short-term traffic management measures will be required to ensure the safety of workers and road users, while equipment enters and leaves the site.

The contract for the Dalry Bypass project is estimated to be worth between £34 million and £38m and involves the construction of the new bypass and associated junctions to connect to the existing A737 Trunk Road and local road network.

The four shortlisted bidders for the 4 kilometre long project are: Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Limited; Farrans Construction and Roadbridge; Interserve Construction Limited; and John Paul Construction Limited and Somague Engenharia.

Works on the new bypass are expected to get underway in early 2017.


Council approves £200,000 fund for Kirkcudbright Art Gallery project

Nearly £200,000 has been allocated towards an art gallery project in Dumfries and Galloway.

Councillors approved £199,000 of funding for the Kirkcudbright Art Gallery development on Thursday, 15 September.

The scheme involves transforming the town’s main hall into a contemporary art gallery. The revamped building will host a café, open space area for communities to utilise and a mezzanine floor to increase exhibition capacity.

Alongside funds from the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting the project with £1.23 million in funding. In addition to just over £1.89m from the council, total investment in the project has reached over £3.12m.

It is estimated the gallery will bring 40,000 visitors a year to the town and generate nearly £750,000 to the local economy each year.


West Lothian Council scoops award for house building programme

West Lothian Council has been recognised by at the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Awards for its new council house building programme.

The local authority received the Best Housing, Regeneration or New Build Initiative accolade by successfully demonstrating that it was implementing “innovative” ideas which support “continuous improvement and adaptation in local services”.

In addition, the council was shortlisted in the Best Service Team: Building Cleaning and Facilities Management Service category and Best Service Team: Parks, Grounds & Horticultural Service.


Motherwell, Greenock and Arbroath named ‘most affordable commuter towns’

Living in Scotland’s commuter towns could save workers thousands of pounds, with Motherwell, Greenock and Arbroath cited as the most affordable places from which to commute, according to new research.

The Bank of Scotland study examined house prices from towns within an hour’s commute of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Average house prices were measured against average earnings, both locally and in relation to the nearest city.

With the average Edinburgh house price now at £225,133, by moving further away from the city, workers could pay around a third less for property. Towns that are an average of 30 minutes away from Edinburgh, including North Berwick, Livingston and Bathgate, have an average property price of £154,038 – offering a typical saving of £71,095 or 32 per cent.

Motherwell topped the list as the most affordable commuter town to Edinburgh, with an average house price of £130,268. This is 3.7x the average Edinburgh salary of £35,637. Kirkcaldy came in second with average house prices of £134,708 and a 3.8x earnings ratio.

The average house price in Glasgow is now £161,623. Savvy commuters living up to an hour away, in locations including Perth, Dumfries and Bathgate, are saving an approximate £44,880 on the average house price – 28 per cent.

Greenock is the most affordable town in commuting distance to Glasgow, with an average house price of £120,927. This is 3.9x the average Glasgow salary of £31,211. Motherwell came in second with a 4.2x average Glasgow earnings ratio.

Commuters to Aberdeen could pay more than they would to live in the city. The Aberdeen average house price is £210,522, workers with an average 15 minute journey to work are paying 28% more for property with houses in the likes of Stonehaven averaging £269,126. Stretching further afield doesn’t add much of a saving with a half hour commute costing 11 per cent more in property with the average price at £234,143.

Arbroath proved to be the most affordable location, with an hour commute and an average house price of £127,497. This is 3.4x the typical Aberdeen salary of £37,100. Keith came in second place with approximate house prices of £135,277 and a 3.6x earnings ratio.


David Ogilvie Engineering continues work on train refurb project

David Ogilvie Engineering is progressing with work on a £60,000 refurbishment project in Aberdeen.

The contractor is restoring the former Mr Therm train, a popular children’s attraction at Seaton Park, and the scheme is on schedule to be finished in the next few weeks.

The project is being carried alongside Friends of Seaton Park out as part of the council’s £130,000 investment to revamp the park.


Scotland TranServ to begin roundabout resurfacing project

Scotland TranServ is to begin a resurfacing project in Dumfries and Galloway.

The project will be carried out on the A75 Newton Stewart roundabout from Friday, 30 September.

In order to carry out the scheme, overnight closures will be in place on the junction from 8pm - 6am from Friday until Sunday, 02 October.