Building Briefs – July 2nd

Rachel Maitland

Edinburgh energy company eyes growth with new head of supply

Flexitricity, an Edinburgh-based energy company specialising in demand management, has appointed a new head of supply as it prepares to launch its new commercial energy supply offering later this year.

Rachel Maitland, who previously held positions at SSE and Scottish Power specialising in commercial contracts, takes on the newly created role. She will oversee the implementation, launch and ongoing management of Flexitricity’s new service offering, Flexitricity+.

Set to launch in October 2018, Flexitricity+ is a new energy supply service which will open up the financially lucrative balancing mechanism - one of the tools National Grid uses to balance electricity supply and demand close to real time - to selected customers for the first time.

Initially the energy supply service will be most suited to businesses and public sector organisations, particularly those operating community energy schemes, combined heat and power (CHP) generators and cold stores, as well as battery developers.


28 more Carillion staff lose jobs

Fourteen employees at collapse contractor Carillion have transferred to new suppliers over the past week, the Official Receiver has announced.

In total, to date 12,338 staff (68% of the pre-liquidation workforce) have found secure on-going employment.

However 28 staff will be leaving the business later this week, taking the total number of redundancies to 2,403 to date (13% of the pre-liquidation workforce).

Approximately 2,100 employees are currently retained to enable Carillion to deliver the remaining services it is providing for public and private sector customers until decisions are taken to transfer or cease these contracts. A further 1,249 employees have left the business during the liquidation through finding new work, retirement or for other reason.


Kier completes disposal of Wheldon Contracts and Services Limited

Kier Group has completed the disposal of Wheldon Contracts and Services Limited to Eighty Seven Holdings Limited for £0.4 million in cash.

Wheldons, acquired in July 2017 as part of Kier’s acquisition of McNicholas, provides heating services in the housing and commercial sectors for registered providers and contractors.

For the financial year ended 30 June 2017 (prior to its acquisition by Kier), Wheldons reported a loss before tax of £2m. In the financial year ending 30 June 2018, Wheldons is expected to report a marginal loss before tax of approximately £0.6m. Wheldons had gross assets at 30 June 2017 of £4.0m.


Emtec completes Glencoe hotel fire protection works

Emtec Core & Protect Ltd has successfully completed all structural fire protection works at the new King’s House Hotel in Glencoe.

Works involved the application of Nullifire SC802 intumescent paint to the structural steel frame to achieve a 60 minute fire rating, which was completed ahead of programme.

Core & Protect is a specialist in the fields of concrete cutting and passive fire protection. It started trading in October 2016 and has since secured contracts across the UK as far north as Glencoe and as far south as the BBC’s new Welsh Headquarters in Cardiff. It is looking forward to a busy year ahead as the demand for their services continues to grow.


First homes for social rent in over a decade come to Portobello area

The largest development of affordable homes for social and mid-market rent in the Portobello area in over a decade was officially opened by Ash Denham SNP MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, and minister for community safety, last week.

Fishwives Causeway in Baileyfield, Portobello, is the latest development from Port of Leith Housing Association (PoLHA) and its subsidiary company Persevere Developments Limited (PDL), providing 52 high quality homes, including 28 homes for social rent and 24 for mid-market rent.

Although Port of Leith Housing Association already manages both social and mid-market rent housing in the area, according to City of Edinburgh Council records, it has been at least 13 years since new homes for social rent were created in Portobello.

One of the homes has been fully adapted for rent by Visualise Scotland, an Edinburgh-based charity which provides residential support to adults with physical and sensory impairments, learning difficulties and complex communication needs.

Fishwives Causeway is situated by the site of a former clay pit and the design of the development draws on various aspects of the historic environment of Portobello.

The main contractor for the £6.13 million development was Cruden Property Developments and the architect was 7N Architects. It was funded by a combination of private finance raised by PoLHA and an Affordable Housing Supply Programme Grant of £2.8 million.


Rothesay Ferry Terminal works set to begin in August

Work to protect the long-term integrity of the quay wall at Rothesay Ferry Terminal is due to begin this summer.

An £833,000 contract has been awarded to contractor Lochshell Engineering for the project, which will see a series of protective screens installed. The ‘scour baffle screens’ measure 8m wide x 5.6m high and will minimise the effects of propeller wash which currently affects the masonry quay wall located beneath and to the rear of the suspended deck of the ferry berth.

The work will mostly be carried out overnight to minimise disruption to ferry services.

Site works will begin on August 27 and will be completed by November 7.


Hillhead secures Sustrans Scotland funding for new canal side cycle path

Hillhead Housing Association has been successful in obtaining funding towards a new canal side cycle path in East Dunbartonshire.

The Forth and Clyde Canal Project aims to provide high quality, sustainable, walking and cycling facilities along the canal side of the Forth and Clyde canal, in the town of Kirkintilloch.

Stretching from the Hillhead neighbourhood to the Tintock Tunnel, the scheme will enable walking and cycling for the Hillhead community supporting Hillhead Housing Association’s strategy for the area. This includes aims to improve the general environment for its housing and introduce wider community initiatives to its residents.

Moreover, the project also supports East Dunbartonshire Council’s active travel strategy which aims to increase the proportion of everyday journeys made for commuting or leisure purposes in the area. The council is also keen to deliver a more connected network of active travel routes and infrastructure, which incorporates environmental and design standards.

The funding from the Community Links programme at Sustrans Scotland will provide an opportunity to upgrade the canal side to improve transport links between Hillhead neighbourhood, to Kirkintilloch town centre and beyond.

Sustrans is the primary funder for both the feasibility study and the project itself and has provided vital support for the project facilitating community empowerment and engagement.


Scots rely less on Bank of Mum and Dad to make second step on property ladder

Scottish homeowners looking to sell their first property and buy their second property are less reliant on the Bank of Mum and Dad than those in the rest of the UK, according to a new report.

Despite one in five Second Steppers in Scotland borrowing from family and friends in order to make their next step on the property ladder, the latest Bank of Scotland Second Steppers report found that Scots need less support than their counterparts in the rest of the UK.

Those Second Steppers who do get support from Bank of Mum and Dad receive on average £12,059 in financial support, which is less than half the amount of Second Steppers in the rest of the UK (£25,450). To help with the costs involved with selling their first home and buying their second, most Second Steppers plan to raise the deposit required for this through equity in their current property (60%).

More Scots believe that they will finance their next move with savings (50%) as opposed to help from others (19%). This is in stark contrast to the rest of the UK where a third (33%) believe they will finance their move with support from friends and family and only 39% believe it will be from savings.

Those having to rely on financial support from family and friends mostly look to their parents, with 14% borrowing from the Bank of Mum and Dad. If the Bank of Mum and Dad is unavailable for withdrawals, just 3% of Scots look to Grandparents or friends for support.

A third (31%) of Second Steppers in Scotland say that conditions have improved since last year. There has also been an increase in the number of Second Steppers who are saving to support their next move, with 64% saying that they are making regular contributions to their savings. However, whilst the majority of Second Steppers in Scotland are saving to help with their move, the percentage of Scottish Second Steppers overpaying their mortgage to help increase equity is 26%, much lower than the 37% in the rest of the UK.


Time capsule buried at new West Calder High School

West Calder High pupils Brian Selley, Kerr Martin, Tegan Cunningham and Nathan McDowall with Mhairi Crookston, Ellie Buchanan, John Copland and Freya MacKinnon from Parkhead Primary

A fascinating insight into the life of current school children has been left for future generations at the new West Calder High School.

Pupils from West Calder High School and Parkhead Primary have been working on a project to fill and bury a time capsule at the new school site.

They have been carefully considering what should be included in the capsule, to give people in the future an idea what life was like for school children in 2018. Items chosen for include school ties, photos of the old High School, timetables, jotters and project work.

Pupils from West Calder High and Parkhead Primary meet up on at the site of the new school recently to bury the capsule for posterity.

Work on the new £32 million West Calder High School, West Lothian’s largest single investment in education, is nearly complete, with the new school set to open in August 2018.

The 1,100 capacity school has been designed with the pupil experience at the core, as well as providing facilities accessible to the local community. It is being developed through hub South East Scotland, with Morrison Construction appointed to build the new school.

Morrison Construction provided the time capsule as part of the community benefits programme for the new school project. As a hub South East project, a range of community benefits targets are set at the outset to ensure projects deliver additional payback to the local community through economic, social or environmental improvements.

On the West Calder High School project, these targets in many cases have already been greatly exceeded.


Charity launches urgent appeal to business community for vehicle to help with food distribution

Launch Foods, a not-for-profit enterprise that provides over 7,500 meals over the summer holidays and beyond to feed Glasgow’s primary school children in communities that need it most, is urgently appealing to the city’s business community to help sponsor or donate a vehicle that can tow its Airstream truck and distribute food to children that would otherwise go hungry.

Launch Foods sets out to solve the issue of food surplus going to waste, by prepping 350 free children’s meals every day. Over the summer, Launch is working with the charity Achieve More Scotland, that run sports activities, by producing healthy nutritious free food for the kids participating in these free events.


Maidenhill marks a moment in time with local primary schools

Six local primary school children have helped the team behind Maidenhill to mark the development of the brand new community for Newton Mearns, with a time capsule.

The children, from nearby Kirkhill and Mearns Primary Schools, visited the site and had the chance to bury the vessel on the development, on which homebuilders CALA Homes (West) and Taylor Wimpey West Scotland are building more than 800 homes.

Items within the time capsule were selected by the children, and included recent local newspaper cuttings, information on Maidenhill, and badges and images representing each of the local schools.

They were helped out on the day by site managers Hugh McKay and David McClure of CALA Homes (West) and Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, respectively.

A total of 185 homes will be built during the first phase of construction at Maidenhill.