Muirfield staff could find work on V&A, says MP

Jim McGovern MP
Jim McGovern MP

Dundee’s V&A museum project could offer hope to around 250 construction staff from Muirfield Contracts which went into administration last week, according to an MP.

Dundee West MP Jim McGovern says he believes the huge waterfront project could absorb workers from the collapsed construction firm.

The news comes after administrator Campbell Dallas LLP announced that a thorough review of the Muirfield business had resulted in the loss of 258 jobs.

Derek Forsyth, head of business recovery and insolvency at Campbell Dallas, said a core staff of 25 will be kept on to help with the winding-down process.

A meeting organised by the Scottish Government’s partnership action for continuing employment (PACE) team aimed at finding work for the staff is to be held in Dundee today.

It is understood that BAM Construction, which is carrying out the £80m V&A Dundee project, will attend the meeting.

Work on the V&A museum of design began earlier this month and the main building is due to be completed by the end of 2017
Work on the V&A museum began earlier this month

Mr McGovern, who met with the administrators on Monday, said: “If we’re talking about looking at the largest construction project that we have seen in 50 years in Dundee, surely we can accommodate 250 experienced, good tradesmen here in Dundee?

“I would look for the company that has won that contract, BAM, to look into that.

“The situation at Muirfield is extremely sad news as they formed such a notable part of Dundee’s construction industry, and my priority, along with Campbell Dallas, remains to be ensuring that employees and apprentices are able to find alternative and secure employment and training in Dundee.

“At a time when the city is undergoing significant regeneration with different construction projects beginning to get underway, most notably the V&A, it would be disgraceful for so many workers to face uncertain futures for any length of time.

“That is why I am pleased that the construction industry, including BAM, have rallied around and will be attending a jobs fair to meet with Muirfield workers.”

Mr McGovern has called for the circumstances surrounding its collapse to be closely scrutinised.

He added: “I have spoken to the administrators today and I have mentioned the name of the person who apparently bought the company and there seems to be a paper trail there of failed companies.

“I think that has to be scrutinised very, very closely.”

UCATT regional organiser George Ramsay said he is hoping for a good turnout from Muirfield workers at the meeting and said that several potential employers will be in attendance, including Aberdeen City Council.

He said: “Our intention is to try to help as many workers back into work as soon as possible. We have asked all employees affected by the collapse of Muirfield to attend the event.”

He added that the meeting could provide a glimmer of hope to the workers.

“A few of the guys I have spoken to have already been offered some work, but there are still a lot of workers struggling to get through this and we aim to do everything we can to help them out.”

Meanwhile, developer TOR Homes, which appointed Muirfield as its main contractor on a project at the former Eastern Primary School in January, says it is committed to the project.

Director Paul Millan said: “To lose our main contractor at the outset of this construction project is a major setback. However, we have been working on our vision for two years and remain 100 per cent committed to completing the project.”

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