Dunoon Pier project ‘progressing well’

Dunoon Pier black and whiteArgyll and Bute Council has said its £2.83 million structural repair and refurbishment of Dunoon’s iconic Victorian-era wooden pier is reaping the social, economic and environmental benefits the use of local sub-contractors and work placements.

Work to the buildings is expected to be complete by the end of September and the structural repairs by the February.

The Phase 1B work is being carried out by WH Kirkwood, builders and civil engineers from Greenock. The £1.7m structural element is being delivered by Glasgow-based civil engineering company George Leslie Ltd, with local sub-contractors and suppliers also being involved in the work.

As part of the contract award the council included a community benefit clause which requires the main contractor, where possible, to look to use local sub-contractors and to promote opportunities for sub-contractors and local people to gain work experience, training and mentoring opportunities.

After the summer holidays both contractors wish to explore opportunities to engage with the local secondary and primary schools as part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum.

To date one local firm has secured a significant sub-contract, Shearwater Marine Services, who are providing specialist diving and marine support services whilst at the same time receiving specialist training in health and safety and management from the main contractor.

Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, Dunoon-based Councillor Dick Walsh, welcomed the progress.

He said: “It is really pleasing to see this project moving forward at pace. As probably the best remaining example of a Victorian-era wooden pier in the country, the refurbishment of Dunoon Pier is a flagship project for the council.

“The council is focused on creating the right environment for economic growth, safeguarding jobs and helping to create new ones, which is why the use of local sub-contractors and suppliers is to be welcomed.

“Going forward we are hoping, as a second phase, to bring all the buildings back into a sustainable economic use, whatever that may be.”

Initial work on the Phase 1A structural element has involved:

  • Lifting the decking to check the condition of the piles, which were not previously accessible. This identified some further piles which will need to be replaced, paid for through the project’s contingency budget;
  • Around a fifth of the piles and bracings have been replaced on the pedestrian access, and works to replace the piles and bracings on the pedestrian access should have reached the halfway mark by the end of July;
  • The refurbishment and replacement of the decking boards is following on from the piling and bracing work;
  • The handrail refurbishing work is underway, starting with initial preparation and priming;
  • All the materials for the traditional works is on site, with the pile encapsulation system expected to be delivered by the end of July.

The Phase 1B work on the buildings is also going well:

  • The internal and external rot surveys were completed at the end of June, now giving a complete picture of the condition of the buildings;
  • The scaffold has gone up around the waiting room building. Nine windows from the western end of the building have been removed due to the presence of rot in the wall plate and roof rafters. This means that the scaffold, as well as providing access, is also giving structural support to this part of the building while these areas are repaired;
  • The work on the waiting room roof will begin next Monday, 20th July. In the interim the mountings, faces and dials of the clock tower are being refurbished. As the present clock system is old and replacing the motor would prove difficult in the future, a specialist sub-contractor, James Ritchie and Sons Clockmakers of Broxburn, has been appointed to carry out refurbishment works and to fit modern clock movements directly on the back of the dials;
  • The external rot repair work is underway, which will be followed by the contractor painting the outside of the building;
  • Proposals are currently being developed to refurbish the gates at the pedestrian access to the pier which, in conjunction with new signage, should provide a more welcoming entrance.

Local businesses to have benefitted directly from the council’s investment in the pier include:

  • John Tyre & Sons, Dunoon – Providing all metalwork for pier refurbishment works including pile shoes, bolts and fixings and new decking spikes, etc.
  • Cowal Building Supplies, Dunoon – Main source for all general building materials, consumables, paint etc.
  • Ross MacArthur, Dunoon – Plant and labour hire
  • West Coast Tool & Plant Hire, Dunoon – Plant hire
  • DC7 Vending, Dunoon – Drinking water supplies
  • Steven Gibson, Dunoon – Electrical services
  • Gleaner Oils, Dunoon – Fuel supply
  • Argyll 1st, Dunoon – Site welfare servicing
  • Hunters Quay, Dunoon – Accommodation for staff.

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