The development of the first phase of one of Scotland’s leading research locations for marine sciences has won an award through a national initiative.
Robertson Construction has won a Gold Award through the Considerate Constructors Scheme for Malin House, part of the new multi-million pound European Marine Science Park development by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) at Dunstaffnage, near Oban.
The accolade to Robertson Construction Northern Limited, the infrastructure, support services and construction group, is only awarded to projects which meet strict criteria, putting them in the top one percent of sites in the UK.
Earlier this year, the development was Highly Commended in the 2013 Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) awards.
Malcolm Sinclair from Robertson Northern, commented: “We at Robertson Northern are incredibly proud of our achievement. This prestigious Gold Award is a first for us. Projects have to demonstrate a clear understanding of the duty of care construction companies have not only to their clients but to their neighbours, employees, sub-contractors and the area they are working in.
“We gave this considerable thought and as a result undertook a number of community projects including inviting local schoolchildren to the site to learn about construction and site safety, upgrading the local primary school woodland walks, updating and revamping the local Sea Cadets Hall in Oban, providing bird boxes to local residents and upgrading a driveway to a local house and the nearby Church of Scotland car park.
“We left feedback forms in the local shops and encouraged an open door policy, including inviting the local community to visit.
“All of the community projects were undertaken as a direct result of the Science Park construction and, along with our sub-contractors, we have delivered a building which is in one of the most striking, beautiful and inspirational places in the UK.
“As a local, I am extremely proud of what we have achieved.”
Morag Goodfellow, Senior Development Manager at HIE, said: “I am delighted that Robertson Northern have been presented with the Considerate Constructors Gold award. It reflects the care and thought that they put into the whole Science Park construction project at Dunstaffnage, not just in terms of the physical building, but in terms of their wider impact on the environment and in the community.”
The Dunstaffnage site is already an internationally recognised centre of excellence for marine science, with the Scottish Marine Institute being home to the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS) - an academic partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands and the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology.
The state of the art building at Dunstaffnage, near Oban, will provide space for the growth of existing and new businesses which wish to tap into the region’s world leading reputation in marine science research and development.
In August 2010, the HIE Board approved an investment of £7.5m to create this first phase of the Park. HIE contributed £4.5m of its own grant-in-aid budget from the Scottish Government, and attracted the remaining £3m towards this first phase from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).