How to get a Piling Rig in to the back Venal of the Grassmarket?


Read the Newsletter – November 17.

A challenge overcome at the Grassmarket works this month was to get a 8ft x 9ft Rig, weighing 8.2T in to the back of the site – It could not be driven in due to the location of the site and the drop of level within the site.
Having started the works in August the planning for the lift was already under way with meetings being held with CEC Roads department and Crane Hire Companies.

Following discussions, Bernard Hunter Crane Hire were employed to carry out a Contract Lift. A Lifting and a delivery schedule produced, due to amount of plant & material to be craned in to avoid traffic issues and the day was set – Sunday 8th October.

Works Started 05:30hrs with the setting up of the TM and rigging of the Crane. As per usual despite no parking signs in place there was a VW golf parked in the crane zone! During the Lifts Enthusiastic pedestrians attempting to walking into crane zone but prevented by our ground works team provided by AF Cooper Ltd
Works was completed and the area returned to normal Sunday afternoon use by mid-afternoon with no public issue or complaint.

Thanks go to all the lads involved for a job well done!



Official opening of Raasay Distillery


Read the latest newsletter here.

The official opening of Raasay Distillery took place on Saturday 16th September 2017 with the ‘Isle of Skye’ Pipe Band piping in the new industry onto the island.
R&B Distillers’ Raasay Distillery has been constructed at the site of a former Victorian hotel ‘Borodale House’ which had been empty since 2006.

The site will make the first legal whisky on the small island off Skye. In the past, it was made illegally using illicit stills as it was in other parts of Scotland.

Colorado started works in June 2016 overcoming a number of unique issues. Deliveries having to be planned and organised to fit in with the regular ferry service.

Pre-commencement surveys identified the UK’s most north-westerly population of brown long-eared bats, found in the vacant hotel. To accommodate the coven the site has bat boxes and a “bat hotel”, providing a nesting space for the mammals in the roof of the distillery. The visitor centre opens to the public next month.

Holyrood Palace, Grassmarket Edinburgh and other news


Read the latest newsletter here.

4 – 6 Grassmarket, Edinburgh

The works comprise of the alterations and refurbishment of the existing building to form a bar/restaurant  located on the Grassmarket, Edinburgh and construction of a two storey extension to the rear which will become a microbrewery.

The Grassmarket is a historic market place and an event space in the Old Town of Edinburgh, Scotland, and is located directly below Edinburgh Castle. The site is located beside some of the best surviving parts of the Flodden and Telfer town walls

Challenges include:

  • removal of 1200T of soil from the rear venal
  • Piling operations local to the Flodden wall
  • Working within a busy tourist area

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Works are located in and around the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Abbey Strand Building being encapsulated in Scaffold and existing lime Render being removed to allow the building to dry out prior to reapplication, Alterations to be carried out to existing ticket area with new access facilities being formed within the building
Challenges will include:
• Working within a live visitor attraction
• Working in and around historical and environmentally protected buildings and grounds
• Logistical planning to ensure safety and security


Inchdairnie Phase 2

The construction passed a significant milestone this month with existing cladding wall being removed to allow the construction of a 9m+ height blockwork firewall.

Recent Training, Appointments and other news


Read the latest newsletter here.

After some two and a half years the Visitor Centre at Torahbaig was handed over at the end of June 17. The production at the distillery started January 17 with spirit now being transported down to the Scottish Borders to be placed in bonded warehouses for maturation.

Well done to Ivor and all the team involved in turning around an old Farm Steading in to the second (legal) Distillery on the island! – Many hours of sweat and travel have transformed the old cattle sheds in to Whisky production and the fruits of their labour have been achieved!


Following 4 months of use on site the tower crane was successfully lowered as the next phase of the development swings in to play

The works at Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh a city centre infill site, to provide 11 high quality flatted residences within 4 storeys, with basement car parking for all flats and access for future buildings.

Works undertaken includes:

  • Diversion of existing sewer to avoid the new building foundations.
  • Extensive underpinning works to support an existing boundary wall.
  • Substantial structural concrete foundations, retaining walls, ramps, drainage and floor slabs

The four upper storeys are constructed in steel frame construction, the exterior cladding is a combination of ashlar stone rain screen and insulated render system with large areas of glass.

All of the apartments are to be finished to a very high standard to meet the demands of the expensive residential area.

Recent training carried out for the construction team included Fire Warden and practical extinguisher training. This took place early in June and was well received by all whom participated.

5 site managers/ supervisors have recently enrolled to complete their SVQ in Construction Management and will be hoping to achieve this over the coming 6 to 9 months.

On top of this it was identified that there was a need for PASMA training and 9 employees went through to Glasgow and completed practical training on the building of Mobile Tower Scaffolds

Supporting City of Edinburgh Swim & Dive Gala


This annual event is held at the prestigious Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh and is the host for the day to 540 Primary School children from 46 Edinburgh Primary Schools. This unique event combines participation and performance with relay teams made up of pupils who swim for fun and those who compete at ‘club’ level. This mix of swimmers makes for an exciting day of racing and nail biting finishes.

Team photos were taken, school names were called, divers registered & then the gala started with great excitement as the first race got underway. Swimmers & staff soon got into the way of the Gala & where they had to be poolside for their race! For many pupils this will be their only opportunity to be in a swimming gala, although some teams also have pupils with experience of swimming Galas as club swimmers.

School teams are divided by the size of their schools into heats most entering all 3 strokes, breastroke, backstroke and freestyle. Heats underway, the diving competition started giving everyone lots to watch. Again there were 2 levels of diving competition and the standards were high, with confident pupils performing from poolside and the springboards. Thanks to Vicki Tomlinson & her dive team for running the competition.

Spectators had by now worked themselves into a frenzy of excitement as their Teams progressed through to the Finals. All Finals had 10 teams competing across the pool with each team of the 4 swimmers completing a width. What a noise!

All participating pupils received a certificate, a swim hat and those who finished in the top 3 places in both diving & swimming were clapped to the podium & awarded their medals.