Building Briefs – June 19th

BTEC overall photo
Students at the Dumfries awards ceremony with their certificates of achievement

DGHP helps students complete first steps to a new career

Students from across Dumfries and Galloway have completed the first step to a new career in construction.

The students, from Dumfries, Castle Douglas, Eastriggs, Kirkbean and Stranraer have all received certificates at a special event to mark the end of their course.

Eleven students, ranging in age from 17 to 50, have now completed their BTEC Introduction to Construction course, which ran from January until May.

They have completed a variety of courses during that time including learning skills in plumbing, painting and decorating, joinery, plastering, electrical and brickwork.

In addition they also completed courses in first aid, manual handling, health and safety, construction drawing skills as well as running and planning an enterprise.

The course has been run in conjunction with Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP), Dumfries and Galloway College, Crudens and Morgan Sindall.

A total of 11 students from Dumfries and 17 from Stranraer took part in the course. To enhance their experience on the course, some of those taking part went out on work placements. Six went out with Crudens on DGHP’s site at Thornhill and three took part in work experience with Morgan Sindall.

Following the course, all trainees have been offered a mock interview with the company they did the work placement with. If they have performed well throughout the course, onsite and at the interview, this will improve their chance of the offer of a job should one arise within the company.


UK government ends onshore wind support

Scotland could lose a £3 billion investment due to a UK government decision to close an energy support scheme.

The government announcement lays out plans to close the Renewables Obligation across Great Britain to new onshore wind form 1 April 2016.

Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing said the end of support for the onshore wind sector was ‘regrettable’, adding 70 per cent of onshore wind projects in the UK planning system are in Scotland.

Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said the UK government’s decision to close the Renewables Obligation a year earlier than planned is “neither fair nor reasonable.”


Plans revised for Murray and Montgomerie sports centre

Revised plans for a proposed golf and tennis centre near Dunblane are to be submitted to Stirling Council.

The Park of Keir project is supported by golfer Colin Montgomerie and Judy Murray, mother of former Wimbledon champion Andy.

The council had voiced concerns about a previous version of the plan, which included 100 new houses.

The revised proposals cut this down to 19 houses, and add in the creation of a new 100-acre country park.

The Park of Keir partners said the “world class” tennis and golf facility would provide “state of the art recreational facilities”, creating 150 new jobs and injecting £5m to the local economy yearly.

The proposals would also see a four star, 150-room hotel built, alongside the “Murray Tennis Museum”, designed to celebrate and build on the legacy of Murray and his brother Jamie, a Wimbledon doubles champion.

The original plans were criticised for being sited on green belt land, with council planning officers stating that the housing - included in the plans to help finance the development - could “exacerbate affordability in the local area”.

There was also criticism of the “significant detrimental impact” the development could have on a “sensitive landscape”.

In response to this, the revised plans cut the number of houses to 19, and include a country park which would leave 85 per cent of the site kept as accessible green space, under the stewardship of a charitable trust.


Redeveloped North Ayrshire head-injury unit opens

A grand opening ceremony for a newly redeveloped head-injury unit has taken place in North Ayrshire.

The Kilwinnings Dirrans Centre was officially opened by Shona Robison, the cabinet secretary for health, wellbeing and sport in a ceremony on 15 June.

The new facility features a training kitchen, gym, lounge/dining room, multi-purpose rooms for a range of activities, an IT room and a quiet room.

A garden area is currently being developed with a patio and barbeque area, greenhouse and raised beds for wheelchair users.


Recycling centre temporarily closes in Fife

Fife Council has announced a temporary closure of a recycling centre in Cowdenbeath.

Remediation works are required to take place at the former Kirkford landfill site.

The council needs to close Cowdenbeath Recycling Centre to allow safe access for large vehicles, plant and equipment.

The centre will be closed for one week starting on 22 June, re-opening on 29 June at 9am.


Modernisation of Renfrewshire bus infrastructure to progress

Renfrewshire Council has announced the £1.8 million modernisation of Paisley town centre’s bus infrastructure will progress this month.

The investment will go towards new bespoke bus shelters, raised kerbs and bus bay improvements.

The majority of funding is provided by the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

Contractors have already implemented some of the improvements in Weir Street and Old Sneddon Street.

Workers will be in Gauze Street from 22 June.

The programme will continue for approximately four months taking in Smithhills Street and St Mirren Brae.

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