RJ McLeod secures multi-million pound contract for ambitious transformational project

ONE of Scotland’s largest, privately-owned civil engineering and building contractors is the latest company to secure a multi-million pound contract to deliver a significant programme of works for the Helix, a major £41million transformational project in central Scotland.

RJ McLeod, whose head office is located in the east end of Glasgow, has been awarded an £8.5million contract to deliver the Helix project’s ‘Public Realm’ elements. These are the regeneration of 100 acres of unused land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into one of the newest and most innovative ‘people parks’ in Scotland (working title ‘Central Park’), and the creation of a canal hub with visitor facilities as part of a new canal link.

The canal hub will feature the Kelpies – two 30m high, stainless steel horses’ heads designed by world-renowned sculptor, Andy Scott – and is set to become a major tourist attraction drawing over 350,000 visitors per annum, further cementing Falkirk’s position as a top visitor destination in Scotland.

The full scope of works to be delivered by RJ McLeod, which will form a core element of the Helix, includes: 

  • A major new lagoon supporting a mixture of publicly available water-based sports and leisure activities
  • Over 5km of new paths connecting into the wider 350-hectare Helix development and beyond, accessing over 400km of wider path networks
  • Enhancement to the wetland and woodlands areas to protect and diversify the biodiversity in the Falkirk area, and to provide outdoor learning opportunities through interpretation and access
  • Creation of new wildflower meadows and enhanced native planting schemes
  • Visitor facilities such as a café and public toilets
  • A significant multi-use, formed outdoor events area to support a range of local, regional and national events
  • Splash play, environmental play and exploration areas for children and families

A number of full and part-time jobs, as well as 12 traineeships, will be created over the course of the construction phase of the works.

Mike King, programme director of the Helix Trust, said, “The ‘Central Park’ is the beating heart of the project and this latest contract award will help establish key connections between the various elements of the Helix.

“The award also signifies another significant step forward in creating what will be one of the most exciting and unique community and visitor experiences in the UK.

“RJ McLeod’s track record for delivering large scale projects made them a sound choice to take this ambitious programme forward.”

Jamie Corser, business development manager of RJ McLeod, said: “We are very pleased to be awarded this contract, not just because we are able to play our part in delivering this exciting project but it also assists in us being able to provide sustained employment for our staff and operatives, many of whom are from the central belt.”

Additional funding for the central park development was received through a contribution from Avondale Environmental from the Landfill Communities Fund.

John Holt, director of Avondale Holdings Ltd, said: “I am delighted to see that the Helix project’s vision of a beautiful urban parkland is now on track to become a reality. The Helix will undoubtedly make a positive difference to the environment and to the lives of local people.”

RJ McLeod’s contract follows three other major awards announced by the Helix Trust in the last 10 weeks and confirms that the first phase of this ambitious project is gathering momentum and on course for completion in summer 2013.

These contracts are: 

  • A contract to Dundee-based architects Nicoll Russell for the design of a new visitor centre and unique public space inside one of the 30m high Kelpies’ heads
  • A £13.5million contract to Balfour Beatty for the delivery of a number of elements of the project, including a canal extension, new motorway under-bridge and boat turning pool, and most recently
  • A £5million contract awarded to Yorkshire-based SH Structures for the fabrication of the full-size Kelpies.

The Helix is set to place Scotland even more firmly on the global tourism map, creating a second top 10 tourist destination for the Falkirk area along with the Falkirk Wheel.

Notes To Editors

The Helix project is transforming land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a vibrant new parkland set to become an international visitor attraction.

Key developments in phase one – opening summer 2013 – include a central park with its own enclosed lagoon and outdoor events space. There will also be a new canal link featuring the Kelpies® – two towering sculptures in the shape of horse’s heads.

The project, which is being driven by a partnership of Falkirk Council, Scotland’s Canals and Central Scotland Forest Trust through the Helix Trust, has been awarded £25million by the Big Lottery Fund’s Living Landmarks programme.

For more details visit www.thehelix.co.uk 

For further information contact Lally Cowell at McGarvie Morrison Media on T: 0141 221 9041 / lally@mmm.pr

The Helix Trust is a company limited by guarantee and is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC040959

Contact: Lally Cowell
Phone: 0141 221 9041
Email: lally@mmm.pr
Website: http://www.mmm.pr