Sunday, July 3, 2022
BusinessScots engineering company bags new contract in final construction stage

Scots engineering company bags new contract in final construction stage

A SCOTS engineering company has landed a contract for the last piece of vacant land at a Renfrew shopping centre.

Dougall Baillie Associates (DBA), the East Kilbride-based independent consulting engineer, has landed a whole structural design contract on a housing development on the last piece of vacant land at Renfrew’s massive Braehead Shopping Centre.

Working with Bellway Homes, the firm will provide design services at Laymoor Avenue, Braehead for a selection of apartments, terraced, semi-detached and detached homes.

While DBA’s latest contract win is likely to be its last residential parcel to be developed at Braehead, it completes a chain of association with Braehead which stretches back for more than 25 years.

A view of Braehead from the road.
The contract is for the last plot of vacant land in Braehead Shopping Centre. (C) Fergus Adams

DBA Managing Director Fergus Adams claimed that the 40-employee firm was “instrumental” in unlocking access to the development in the nineties.

He said: “DBA founder Willard Dougall was asked to come up with engineering solutions when Capital Shopping Centres, the original developer, was struggling with the problem of how to get traffic from the M8 motorway into the car parks for the retail destination.

“He developed the radical idea of using an existing railway underpass as a road route, which entailed using in situ bridges and re-aligning railway sidings to thread the motorway off-ramp through the bridges from the M8 motorway to the centre.

“Willard negotiated the necessary departures from standard with Transport Scotland and secured the approvals.

“It created two points of access from the motorway network and broke the logjam for the development, letting it grow into the centre we now know.

“His road is still how shoppers and leisure visitors make their way into Braehead today.”

The motorway and road works involved at that time amounted to some £20m of infrastructure works.

Two years after Braehead opened in 1999, IKEA was built and DBA was involved in upgrades to the road networks to accommodate the additional traffic flows.

Five years later, the Xsite shopping, cinema and ski and snowboard centre was developed, creating more infrastructure challenges and upgrades for the road network.

After that, a retail park was developed to the east of the shopping centre and numerous residential parcels started to emerge to the west of the centre, on King’s Inch Road.

DBA was closely involved in the necessary infrastructure design for this continued growth.

“We have contributed a lot to the Renfrewshire area over the course of the years,” said Mr Adams.

“Our most recent contracts with Bellway are now underway. In many ways it is the last piece of the Braehead jigsaw.”

DBA has expanded from its West Central Scotland base of operations to win work throughout Scotland, particularly with large housebuilders and Housing Associations.

In the past year, it has provided services for schemes with values of up to £200m, adding nearly 2,000 new homes to the housing stock.

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