Building Briefs – October 6th

Vinci appoints new UK construction boss

Vinci has appointed Bruno Dupety as chairman and chief executive of its UK business, with immediate effect.

The firm said Dupety would also act as international director.

The appointment follows the retirement of John Stanion after 22 years with the company.

Dupety began his career as a civil engineer and joined the Vinci 1999.

His most recent role was that of chairman and chief executive of Vinci’s engineering arm Soletanche Freyssinet as well as executive vice president of VInci Construction.


Bridgegate public realm receives national award

Land Engineering has received a British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) award for its public realm works at Bridgegate in Irvine.

The project was completed on behalf of Irvine Bay Regeneration Company as part of a wider programme of works in Irvine town centre being carried out in partnership with North Ayrshire Council.

The works involved a comprehensive programme of high quality public realm and streetscape improvements to transform and re-establish the area as a landmark location for Irvine town centre. Comprising high quality natural stone, the streetscape is enclosed by Rivergate Shopping Centre, Bridgegate House, High Street, Hill Street and A listed former Trinity Church.

The outcome is an urban piazza, opening up connections to the landmark Trinity Church and bringing together the new and historic aspects of Irvine Town Centre.

Substantial consultation was carried out with local people before and during the project. For example, a successful ‘pop-up-shop’ provided a place for over 500 people to share their views on the plans.

The project follows on from successful public realm improvements in Kilwinning, also delivered by Irvine Bay and Land Engineering, which transformed the town centre and has seen an increased programme of events plus new retail businesses opening.


Glasgow gives go ahead for student flats

Plans for a new city centre student flats have been approved by Glasgow City Council.

The scheme, by Glasgow firm Inehaze, is a seven-storey development on the north side of Renfrew Street.

The site is in the Central Conservation Area, near Glasgow Film Theatre and St Aloysius Church, and is currently used as a car park for a nearby multi-cultural centre.

The planning report states the block will provide 85 rooms in clusters of four, five, six and seven-bedrooms, with each having a kitchen/living room.


Plans for a 180 bedroom canal-side ‘apart hotel’ revealed

Detailed plans for a 180 bedroom ‘apart hotel’ have been submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council.

The eight storey building will be operated by Urban Villa Hotels.

Designed by Grzywinski + Pons Architects and Michael Laird, the hotel will slot into a wider master plan for the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh.


Work starts on Inshes Gate and Pirnhall Premier Inn extensions

Construction work has started on extensions to the Premier Inns at Inshes Gate, Inverness and Pirnhall, Stirling.

Both extensions have been designed by Lawrence McPherson Associates and the construction works are being carried out by Ogilvie Construction. Inshes Gate is due for completion in November 2014 and Pirnhall in February 2015.

The 22 bed extension at Pirnhall, which will be the second extension to this Premier Inn, will bring the total number of bedrooms to 80 and the 16 bed extension at Inshes Gate, which is also the second extension, will increase the total number of bedrooms to 74.


Hopes to restore glory of Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle – the home of the city’s sheriff court – could be reverting back to its old splendour if it is turned into a top tourist attraction.

The new Inverness Castle Working Group met for the first time last week in private to discuss how to best transform the building.

The unused south facing doors could be restored, leading on to the grand staircase making it a magnificent entrance for an art gallery or museum or both.

Most of the castle is an A-listed building but through the old doorway is a small courtroom which could be removed and opened out to make a grand entrance hall.

Key members stressed that the discussions at this stage were focused on finding ways to best accommodate a range of visitors and the local community.

The task force will also be compiling a list of high-quality proposals for the 19th-century court and North Tower, which will go out to public consultation next spring.


More cash for Rothesay Pavilion repairs

An extra £335,000 is to be spent on essential repairs to Rothesay Pavilion - but the work won’t be completed until the spring of 2015, a year after part of the building was fenced off on safety grounds.

Sections of the Pavilion have been fenced off since April of this year amid growing worries over the deteriorating state of the building - with the northern elevation, facing Mackinlay Street, and the northern end of the eastern elevation, which faces the sea, giving particular cause for concern.

The repair work will form part of the tendering process for the overall regeneration of the building, for which a funding package of around £8 million is currently being put together.

The overall funding package for the Pavilion’s refurbishment includes a ‘stage two’ application for almost £2.7m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the bid for which has to be submitted by next Friday, October 10.

The council has committed £1.809m to the Pavilion as part of its CHORD programme, to regenerate the area’s five main towns (Campbeltown, Helensburgh, Oban, Rothesay and Dunoon), while Historic Scotland has pledged £500,000.


Looming crisis in capital over office space

Edinburgh is facing a shortfall of premium office space, as development in the city has slowed to 50 per cent of what is needed.

Available office space is at a record high, but a report compiled by the city council’s economy chiefs said this figure masked a looming shortage of grade-A centre.

Much of the available space is not considered viable for occupation in its current condition and many property owners are converting older offices to other uses, reducing the supply of lower-cost office space.


Consultation for Aberfeldy Square proposed environmental improvements

Perth & Kinross Council is inviting residents to a public consultation regarding proposals for Aberfeldy Town Square, on 21 – 23 October 2014 from 12.00 pm – 7.00 pm at the Locus Centre, Aberfeldy.

The proposals are aimed at creating a focal point for the Town Centre, providing a flexible space for events and businesses, thereby increasing the economic capacity of the town and enhancing its growing reputation as hub for the leisure tourism market.

Perth & Kinross Council is working with Aberfeldy Small Business Association (ASBA) to apply for funding from Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE) via the Griffin and Calliachar Community Fund.


65th Premier Inn hotel opens in Scotland

The Leader of Perth City Council, Ian Miller, joined in the celebrations at Premier Inn Perth last week, as he officially opened the company’s 65th hotel in Scotland, which cost £4.5m and created 30 new year round jobs.

The 83-bedroom hotel in Mill Street, once home to Pullar’s Dyeworks, celebrated the launch with a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony by the Council Leader.


Taylor Wimpey recruits two new apprentices in Midlothian

Taylor Wimpey East Scotland has confirmed that two young apprentices have each secured a four year Modern Day Apprenticeship following their participation in the ‘Get into Home Building’ pilot programme that ran at Edinburgh College in August earlier this year.

‘Get into Home Building’ is a partnership Homes for Scotland, The Prince’s Trust and the Construction Industry Training Board, and it is designed to help unemployed young people into careers in the home building industry.

The two apprentices, who are already enjoying their first few weeks in the construction industry, are Jed Smith (aged 20) from Easthouses in Dalkeith who is an apprentice bricklayer at Cameron Gardens in Bilston, and Riley Simpson (18) from Bonnyrigg who is an apprentice joiner at The Scholars in Dalkeith.

Fourteen young people participated in the five week pilot ‘Get into Home Building’ course at Edinburgh College, developing skills across a variety of trade disciplines (including carpentry, plastering, brickwork and painting and decorating), and they gained hands-on experience with some of Scotland’s leading home builders including Taylor Wimpey East Scotland.

In addition to acquiring valuable site knowledge, the students also achieved CSCS site safety cards and received wider training to help improve communication, reliability, teamwork and CV/interview skills.


Morrison Construction stand down to hit home safety message

Morrison Construction Water Scotland held a safety stand down day last month to provide a high impact safety message focussing on a theme of behavioural safety to the one hundred and eighty strong audience including staff, operatives, clients, suppliers and sub-contractors.

The day started with an introduction from Alan Mansfield, operations director for Morrison Construction Water Scotland, before handing over to Paul O’Donnell, senior H&S advisor, Scottish Water who reinforced the message of consistency within the field of Health & Safety as well as the sense of responsibility each and every individual has with regard to Health & Safety.

David White, HS&S director, Galliford Try then gave an empowering speech, challenging the audience to think about their role within health and safety not only in the workplace, but also in their home life too.

Following these introductory sessions, the day was then passed over to DRAMANON, drama-based experts who used the power of acting to convey the serious messages of the day.

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