Building Briefs – June 8th

The Cornerstone Building
The Cornerstone building

Edinburgh Napier University acquires office space to support estate strategy

Edinburgh Napier University has bought three landmark buildings totalling 9,964 sq m (107,255 sq ft) at South Gyle Crescent for an undisclosed price.

The premises, alongside two adjacent properties Edinburgh Napier owns at South Gyle Crescent, will give the University options for future development.

The Royal Bank of Scotland previously occupied all three premises (Forthstone, Broadstone and Cornerstone) that the University – which has campuses at Sighthill, Craiglockhart and Merchiston - has just acquired. The bank vacated Forthstone at the end of last year and Broadstone over a year ago. The third building, known as the Cornerstone Building, was previously being marketed to let by Ryden prior to being sold prior to formal marketing. The top floor continues to be let to Blyth & Blyth and the engineering firm will continue to lease the premises.

Gerry Webber, Secretary at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “We need to support our academic ambitions through the continued development of our estate, and we have been actively exploring options to address this for some time.

“Space is at a premium across most of our campuses and this purchase provides us with flexibility.”


PoLHA to build new homes in Leith

St Nicholas Court
St Nicholas Court

Port of Leith Housing Association (PoLHA) and its subsidiary company Persevere Developments Ltd is offering more people the opportunity to live in Leith as it gets set to work on building more new affordable homes this year.

At Persimmon’s Silverfields development, adjacent to Pilrig Park, construction work will begin this month on eight two bedroom flats for mid market rent which will be available for tenants to move into next spring.

St Nicholas Court, PoLHA’s sheltered housing complex on Ferry Road, is being extended. Eight one bedroom flats, which are being built by CCG Ltd, will be completed by March 2017.

The development, once finished, will also comprise a new sun lounge and guest suite, and additional landscaping including allotment plots for the residents to grow their own fruit, vegetables and flowers.

The new extension works are also coinciding with a heating upgrade and new bathroom installations to the existing development.


Further plans unveiled for Paisley Museum redevelopment

Further plans have been unveiled to create an international visitor attraction at Paisley Museum in Renfrewshire.

The £56.7 million project aims to extend the facility and turn it into a national museum of textile and design.

Renfrewshire Council has set aside £15m for the development and a previous £15m funding bid with Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) was unsuccessful earlier this year.

However, councillors will be asked later this week to approve a fresh application to HLF and the creation of a project team to continue development work.

If successful, members will begin working on a new funding submission to go to HLF in December.

Alongside the project, work is underway to create a publicly-accessible museum store in a vacant unit on Paisley’s High Street for next year.

The museum attraction is due to be open for 2021.


Sale of Dumbarton Harbour sites a boost for regeneration

Dumbarton HarbourThe sale of two large adjoining sites at Dumbarton Harbour for residential and commercial development will boost the number of temporary and permanent jobs in the town as well as contribute to the regeneration of the wider Dunbartonshire area.

Vacant for over a decade, both sites were part of Hiram Walkers, one of the largest whisky distilleries in the world, until as recently as 2001 producing 25 million gallons of whisky a year.

Property advisers Bilfinger GVA, together with joint letting agents DM Hall, were responsible for the sale of the two waterfront sites. Culross Ltd will develop the 7.31-acre site primarily for residential property whilst the adjacent 4.96-acre site was bought by a retailer to complement ongoing commercial activities in Dumbarton Town Centre.

Following the demise of the Hiram Walkers distillery most of the buildings on the sites were demolished except for the remaining tower. At one point it was hoped to convert this tower into flats but as this has proved commercially unviable, it too will now be demolished.


Galloway Group reaches new level top industry accreditation

Dundee-based engineering and fabrication company Galloway Group has taken an important step in its future growth plans.

It has achieved BS EN ISO 1090-2 status to manufacture structural steel to exacting CE-marked European standards for a wide range of projects.

Managing director Jim Mathieson said the status will give customers in the UK and abroad extra reassurance on the firm’s strict manufacturing standards.

Galloway also works with firms across, marine, oil and gas, nuclear, process industry and pharmaceuticals sectors.

It recently manufactured 12-metre high steel frames for a prestigious new high-rise development in London.


Solar power boost for Scotland

The Scottish Government’s forthcoming review of Scotland’s energy strategy must make greater use of the nation’s amazing renewables potential and set out plans to secure half of all our energy needs from renewables, environmentalists said today.

The call by WWF Scotland came as the group published its analysis of solar and wind power data provided by WeatherEnergy which found that for the month of May:

  • For homes fitted with solar PV panels, there was enough sunshine to generate an estimated 100 per cent of the electricity needs of an average household in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness.
  • For those homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was enough sunshine to generate 100 per cent of an average household’s hot water needs in Aberdeen and Dundee, 98 per cent in Inverness, 97 per cent in Edinburgh, and 94 per cent in Glasgow.
  • Wind turbines in Scotland provided 692,896MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 76 per cent of Scottish households (1.8 million homes).
  • Wind turbines generated enough electricity to supply 100 per cent or more of Scottish homes on ten out of the 31 days of May.
  • Scotland’s total electricity consumption (i.e. including homes, business and industry) for May was 1,938,785MWh. Wind power therefore generated the equivalent of 36 per cent of Scotland’s entire electricity needs for the month.

    SNIPEF installs new President and Office-bearers

    Brian Warrender
    Brian Warrender

    SNIPEF is pleased to announce that the incoming President for 2016/17 is Mr Brian Warrender of Inverbervie.

    At the Annual General Meeting held on 27 May 2016 the following office bearers were elected:

    • President - Brian Warrender, Inverbervie
    • Vice President - Gerry Woods, Glasgow
    • Junior Vice President - Gordon Matheson, Falkirk
    • Immediate Past President - John Leonard, Belfast
    • Mr Warrender is the 94th President of SNIPEF and is from the Angus and Kincardine Master Plumber’s Association. His firm, B&B Warrender Ltd, is based in Inverbervie.


      Scotscraig Golf Club unveils restoration programme

      Scotscraig Golf ClubScotscraig Golf Club has undertaken a project to return its famous layout to the original specifications in time for its 200th anniversary.

      Founded in 1817, the world’s 13th oldest golf club and boasts an 18-hole championship course originally laid out by James Braid.

      The ambitious restoration programme will see all of the course’s green-side and fairway bunkers returned to their original size with many being substantially expanded. With additional on-course alterations being completed in tandem with extensive gorse removal, this is the biggest such project undertaken by the club which is situated in between St Andrews and Carnoustie.

      The first phase of the project involved rebuilding 21 green-side bunkers and a comprehensive redesign, rebuild and expansion of the fourth green and its associated sand trap which are both now open for play. Stage two will see 26 fairway and approach bunkers rebuilt in time for the club’s double centenary celebrations next year.

      The far-reaching restoration project is, as a consequence, as much to do with reviving James Braid’s ingenious design as it is about future-proofing a much-loved course and one of Scotland’s true hidden gems.

      Scotscraig Golf Club is currently in the design phase of its next 10-year development plan which will include further considered changes to the respected championship course. In the meantime, the club is preparing for a year of bicentennial festivities in 2017.


      Councillors approve Elgin transport strategy

      Moray councillors have agreed to the preparation of a transport strategy for Elgin.

      Elected members were told that following the decision to scrap the proposed western link road, the council needed a new transport strategy capable of addressing the pressures placed on the roads network from existing and future development.

      A traffic management study carried out 10 years ago identified a west-south distributor road as the best way of improving transport connectivity in Elgin, but that option had now been discounted and would not form any part of the review.

      Councillors agreed to £100,000 of funding from council reserves to enable work to be carried out on the new strategy which it is aimed to have completed by September.

      They were told that a strategy of this scale would normally take six months to a year and cost around £250,000, but the transport model for the western link road could be used as a baseline to help reduce costs.

      Consultation with the public will help to inform the strategy and will begin at the start of the study period.

      Views from the public will be south through a variety of means, including a wide-ranging survey as well as public exhibitions and displays.


      Deal struck to replace storm-hit bridge in Perthshire

      Morgan Sindall has struck a £1 million deal to replace a historic Highland Perthshire road bridge.

      The crossing at Bleaton Hallet was left damaged beyond repair during freak storms in December.

      In March, a huge crane was used to remove the collapsed 35-tonne structure.

      Now, Perth and Kinross Council has awarded the contract to design and build the replacement link to the construction specialists.

      According to the job brief, the company will be required to carry out a ground investigation as well as topographical surveys.

      These will be used to inform the design and construction of the bridge’s abutments.

      The east embankment will need to be stabilised before construction can take place.

      The 82ft crossing provides a vital link between the A93 and Alyth. It was severely damaged when Storm Frank battered the region on December 30.

      Tenders for the work were offered in April and four companies submitted bids.


      Pupils get inside look at Perth Theatre as work continues

      Robertson Construction at Perth TheatrePrimary school pupils from across Perth & Kinross got an inside look at the construction work ongoing at Perth Theatre in a special visit organised by Robertson Group.

      Robertson Tayside, which is leading the £16.6 million construction project, welcomed youngsters from nine schools: Kinnoull Primary School, Craigie Primary School, Viewlands Primary School, Goodlyburn Primary School, Tulloch Primary School, North Muirton Primary School, St Ninians Primary School, Balhousie Primary School and Our Lady’s Primary School.

      Two pupils attended from each school with the youngsters given a tour of the theatre by senior project manager Craig Bulloch, during which they received an insight into the building and restoration process.

      Perth & Kinross Council and Horsecross Arts – the creative organisation behind Perth Theatre and Perth Concert Hall – successfully lodged plans to restore the B-listed Edwardian theatre auditorium to its former glory, adding a new 200-capacity studio theatre designed for more intimate shows, live music and comedy events and for nurturing new and emerging talent.

      The newly transformed venue, which is due to be completed by 2017, will have increased workshop spaces for community education and outreach projects, including the thriving Perth Youth Theatre which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016.

      The High Street entrance to the building owned by the council and operated by Horsecross Arts will be retained, with a new frontage created on Mill Street, improving access and facilities for visitors.


      Super College creates time capsule for future students

      (from left) Alisdair Barron (chair board of management), Hannah Dunn (HND Product Design student), Paul Little (principal & chief executive officer), Andrew McAlpine (director, Sir Robert McAlpine), David McFarlane (HND Product Design student), Fraser McPhee (HND Product Design student)
      (from left) Alisdair Barron (chair board of management), Hannah Dunn (HND Product Design student), Paul Little (principal & chief executive officer), Andrew McAlpine (director, Sir Robert McAlpine), David McFarlane (HND Product Design student), Fraser McPhee (HND Product Design student)

      City of Glasgow College has marked a milestone in the development of its twin site super campus.

      A time capsule has been buried under the entrance to the college’s new City campus on Cathedral Street. With a lifespan of at least 50 years, a debossed stone marks the spot for a future generation of students and staff to uncover.

      The 12mm thick, 22 kilo hermetically sealed container was researched and designed by HND Product Design students. Its contents highlight the college’s history, growth and changes over the years. Among the items concealed for posterity are two letters; one from the current Principal, Paul Little to the Principal of 2066, and one from John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland, and cabinet secretary for education and skills.

      Also enclosed are items reflecting the legacy colleges including Corporation of Glasgow Education Committee Handbook from 1932, Charles Oakley Papers from September 1990, and a students’ magazine from 1977 priced just 10p.

      Yesterday’s ceremony at City campus follows the burial of a similar time capsule at Riverside campus to mark its construction. Its contents included interviews with members of staff and footage of the campus being constructed.


      Council invites residents to voice opinions on Cumnock

      East Ayrshire Council is inviting residents to voice their views on recent developments in Cumnock.

      The ‘Town Centre Health Check’ survey asks locals to state their opinion on changes to the town centre throughout the years.

      Recent developments include investing in the new Rothesay House, which houses a number of Council services alongside a library and marriage suite, the refurbishment of the Town Hall and the soon-to-open development of seven new shops in Townhead Street.

      The Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) has also helped restore many underused and ageing buildings via grant-funding from Historic Environment Scotland and East Ayrshire Council.

      To view the survey, visit here.


      Water upgrade project to begin near Ayr

      A water infrastructure upgrade project is due to begin next week near Ayr.

      Scottish Waters’ contractors will start upgrading water mains in the Hollybush area from Monday, 13 June.

      The four-week project involves reducing a short section of the A713 at Malcolmston Farm from two lanes to one.

      Scottish Water said the project will improve its service for customers and reduce the risk of bursts.


      Work to begin on new cycleway canal path in Glasgow

      Work is due to begin on creating a new cycleway path on the Forth & Clyde Canal in Glasgow.

      The 10-week project at Baird’s Brae will get underway on Monday, 13 June.

      The new path will link directly onto the Forth and Clyde Canal towpath, improving access between the canal towpath, Applecross Street, The Whisky Bond and Possil Road.

      Scottish Canals added while the towpath will remain open throughout, some restrictions may apply during peak periods.


      Council to vote on £3.5m Stranraer regeneration project

      Dumfries and Galloway Council is due to vote in favour of a £3.5 million regeneration project in Stranraer.

      The scheme will see a range of improvements delivered to public areas, key buildings, and address empty or derelict properties in the town’s centre.

      In addition, essential repairs will be carried out along with an extension to the former Harbour Masters office at the Marina entrance, while repairs will be delivered at Stranraer Museum including restoration of the building’s external fabric.

      At a meeting of the council’s economy, environment and infrastructure (EEI) committee on 14 June, members will be asked to accept a range of awards successfully bid for by the council from the Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (£1.8m) and Historic Improvements Scotland (£541,292).

      Councillors will also be asked to allocate a further £321,201 from the local authority’s Economic Development Capital Programme to the project. Over £227,000 of private investment has been secured towards the scheme.

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