People in Dunoon can look forward to Argyll and Bute Council’s ambitious multi-million pound Queen’s hall renovation project moving forward as the contract for the main works was awarded to McLaughlin & Harvey.
Dunoon-based Councillor Dick Walsh, the Council Leader, welcomed the news, saying: “We’re delighted this project is moving into the construction phase. Work is set to start on site soon and I for one can’t wait to see the renovated building taking shape.
“The agreed design for the hall is far more aspirational than the one originally envisaged in 2008. Following extensive public consultation, we have added outside landscaping and a gym facility as well as a major road realignment to the design. The completed building will both meets the needs of local residents as well as creating an iconic welcome for marine visitors to Dunoon.
“This council is fully committed to investing in the future of our area, creating new job opportunities and unlocking the potential in our economy of opportunity. Despite the challenging financial climate facing local government we have been able, through our prudent financial planning, to make big investments which are going to make a real difference.
“Like the Dunoon Pier restoration we want a range of companies to be involved. In the contract we have stipulated that specific elements of the project, including brick work, joinery work, ground work and painting and decorating, be offered as subcontracting opportunities.
“Although these big contracts are often awarded to companies based outside the area we ensure, as far as possible, that there are local sub-contracting opportunities, supporting local businesses and jobs.
“It was great to have the Grammar School involved in the pier restoration, with pupils producing beautiful wooden engravings. We’re keen to have the pupils involved in this project too. With McLaughlin & Harvey we’ll be working with the school to support their Exit into Employment programme. This is a course aimed at young people who want to move straight into employment/ an apprenticeship and who have a clear idea of what type of work they are interested in. There will also be the opportunity for young people to complement their university of college applications with relevant and meaningful work experience.”
Martin Keys, Contracts Manager from McLaughlin & Harvey, said: “We are delighted to be working with our new client, Argyll and Bute Council, on this very prestigious project which will commence construction in November. Dunoon is a beautiful coastal town that is really going places and I feel privileged to be playing a part in its resurgence. I’m confident that the Queen’s Hall re-development will deliver long-lasting value for the local community.”
The council’s project team will meet with the contractor soon to discuss the exactly how the project will progress from this stage. More information will follow.