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Scottish firms get boost from £1bn Forth Bridge project

Multiple materials and equipment contracts for concrete production on the £1bn Scottish Forth Bridge project have been awarded locally to boost jobs and economy north of the border.

The project is nine months into a six year construction phase and more subcontracts will be awarded in the future. So far 118 Scottish firms have been selected to work on the project with 870 out of 1,041 supply orders, on the principle contract, going to Scottish companies.

Concerns were raised following the award of major steel contracts to European and Chinese firms.

Principal contractor for the project, Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC), said quotes were received from across Europe and contracts awarded based on price, suitability and “extensive quality and mix tests”.

“FCBC are building the biggest transport infrastructure project in Scotland for a generation, on time and on budget,” said MSP cabinet secretary for infrastructure Alex Neil. “Their supply chain and subcontracts are commercial matters however, we recognise the recent public interest and these latest deals are clear evidence that Scottish firms will benefit from the FRC.”

The FRC project will support 1,200 Scottish jobs and secure a further 3,000. It will also deliver around 45 vocational training positions every year, 21 professional body training places and 46 positions for the long term unemployed.

Contractors due to gain

Ready-mix pre-batched concrete will be supplied from two local businesses. Tarmac, from their facilities in South Gyle and Livingston, who will supply works on the south side of the Forth. Skene Group, from their facilities in Fife, will supply works on the north side of the Forth.

A subcontract for aggregates supply for the concrete to be used in the main bridge has been awarded to Tarmac from the Revelrig Quarry, West Lothian and facilities in Lanarkshire. Tarmac intends to add five extra local employees to its 24 strong workforce as a result of this contract.

FCBC also confirmed that a subcontract for cement and admixture materials has been awarded to UK based Aggregate Industries who will recruit a further full-time managerial position to their depot in Glasgow to support this subcontract.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I may be reading into this to much but it seems to suggest that local companies where given preference, is that legal? Also, these "local" firms i.e. Tarmac although have local quarry's are global business (Tarmac is owned by Anglo American), driven by shareholders who cynically are taking a lot of the profits.
    Surely contracts should be award based on; quality of work (based on previous experience), value for money (not necessarily, but normally cheapest), and commitment to health and safety. I am all up for supporting local businesses but only if they are offering the best value and quality solution. If overseas contractors are winning more work primarily due them undercutting local contractors, it should drive local firms to innovate and provide better value.
    This artical although in on sense is promoting the fact that the "local" economy is going to benefit from the construction may inadvertently be highlighting opportunities for corruption on the scheme.
    ~ RANT OVER ~

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