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The Countdown is on to Perth Theatre’s Reopening Panto!

With just 75 days to go until Perth Theatre’s reopening panto, the countdown is on towards a new generation of theatre in Perth!

Gwilym Gibbons, chief executive of Horsecross Arts, Perth Theatre artistic director, Lu Kemp, Council Leader Ian Campbell from project partners Perth & Kinross Council, plus other partners and supporters pressed the button to launch the 75-day countdown to the first performance of Aladdin.

The countdown will be projected onto Perth Theatre’s Mill Street façade and will be visible after dark from now until the run of Aladdin starts on Saturday 9 December.

The £16.6m transformation of Perth’s historic theatre is nearing completion with the Box Office, café and bar in the restored and redeveloped venue due to reopen on Monday 13 November. From that date, in the run up to panto time, there will be a series of opportunities for members of the public to test the restored and redeveloped theatre, peek back stage, explore the building and check out the performance spaces.

Gwilym Gibbons said: “It is incredibly exciting to reach this stage in the transformation process. With 75 days to go until our reopening production of Aladdin, we are counting the days until we welcome the people of Perth back into their restored and redeveloped theatre!”

Councillor Ian Campbell, Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said: “It is an exciting time for Perth as so many major projects are progressing at different stages, and they all will provide a major boost to the city.  With the reopening of the theatre and the first production getting ready for an audience, it’s a welcome step forward.  Over the next few years we will see a number of positive changes happening across the city centre, and I think it is fitting that the first project to reach completion and kick things off is the renovation of one of Perth’s most iconic buildings.”

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, who are leading the delivery of the project, said: “We are all looking forward to handing over the newly transformed theatre, which will once again take its place as one of the city’s most unique cultural venues.”

Kevin Dickson, managing director, Robertson Tayside, said: “Being so closely involved with the transformation of Perth Theatre has been an absolute privilege for everyone at Robertson. It’s exciting to know that the theatre will reopen in just a couple of months and I am sure that once they step inside, the public will agree that all the hard work has been more than worth it.”

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, commented:

“Perth Theatre plays a hugely important role in the life of the local community so it will be wonderful to see its doors open again welcoming visitors of all ages to the panto. Thanks to players of the National Lottery, they will be delighted and entertained in an auditorium which has been beautifully restored to its Edwardian heyday.”

Philip Deverell, Director, Strategy at Creative Scotland said: “The restoration of Perth Theatre’s beautiful Edwardian auditorium, and the creation of state of the art facilities for audiences, artists and staff will create a vibrant and welcoming theatre space for everyone to enjoy. The new theatre will encourage experimentation and creativity, whilst nurturing talent, and complementing its internationally recognised sister venue Perth Concert Hall.”

Perth Theatre will mark its official reopening with the first public performance of Aladdin on Saturday 9 December at 2pm.

NEW TECH ON SHOW AT CARE VILLAGE TOPPING OUT

Some of the latest building technology was on display at a topping out ceremony at the new Stirling Care Village. The event saw the final solar panels slotted into place on the roof of the new Primary and Urgent Care Centre. The Centre will provide more modern, spacious accommodation for a number of existing health services include Minor Injuries services, X-ray facilities and GP out-of-hours services. It will also house a number of local GP practices, which are relocating to the centre.

Also being built in the grounds of Stirling Community Hospital, is a new Care Hub with more than 100 beds to provide short-term care, assessment or rehabilitation to older people who require additional support following an illness or operation. A comfortable, homely environment will help older people recover, regain their independence and, in the majority of cases, return to their own homes.

The new Stirling Care Village is a £35m development, delivered by hub East Central Scotland, which is a joint venture between Stirling Council, NHS Forth Valley and the Scottish Ambulance Service, who plan to re-locate their existing ambulance station there from the Riverside area of the city. Forth Valley College is also keen to explore opportunities to offer local young people who are considering a career in the health and care sector, a range of training and volunteering opportunities within the new Care Village.

The Care Village will also support the integration of local health and social care services, making it easier for staff to work together to deliver better co-ordinated, more joined up care to local people – a key aim of the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership.

Robertson Construction are the main contractors and the majority of facilities are expected to be completed by autumn 2018 with the ambulance station and final site works completed by autumn 2019.

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland said: “The project is making excellent progress and we continue to work closely with all of the partners, to manage its successful delivery on time and on budget.”

Alex Linkston, Chairman of NHS Forth Valley said: “I am delighted that construction work on this important new facility is progressing well. A lot of detailed planning has taken place over the last few months to reach this important milestone and it is exciting to see the new Primary and Urgent Care Centre take shape.”

Commenting, Bruce Crawford MSP for Stirling said: “I was delighted to attend the topping out ceremony for the new Primary and Urgent Care Centre. This will be home to a number of GP surgeries along with Minor Injuries and X-ray facilities and will be a major component to the overall Care Village development.

“I look forward to the further developments of this site, piecing together the future of quality care and health services in the Stirling area.”

 Stirling Council Leader Scott Farmer said: “It was wonderful to be present at the topping out ceremony for the new Primary and Urgent Care Centre, and to see how this fantastic facility will utilise some of the latest building technology to provide excellent accommodation for a range of health services.

“The Care Village is an important and big step forward in delivering health care for the Stirling area. It is vital that we invest now on a service fit for the future, and the Care Village will ensure that the best care is provided for our residents.”

Area Service Manager for the Scottish Ambulance Service, Neil Gillies said: “The new ambulance facility in the Stirling Care Village is part of our strategy to upgrade stations to better meet the needs of staff and patients. The station will be well positioned to serve the local community and provides excellent facilities for staff.”

Official Opening for Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries

134 years after the world’s first Carnegie Library opened its doors, the plaque for Fife’s newest cultural hub was officially unveiled by Provost of Fife Jim Leishman MBE.

Boasting a modern, purpose-built museum and art gallery that integrates with the historic listed buildings of the town’s Heritage Quarter, DCL&G has firmly established itself as the ancient capital’s new kid on the block since opening its doors to the public in May.

Jim Leishman said: “I’m extremely honoured to be here today to officially open this remarkable cultural facility and add another significant date in its proud history as the world’s first Carnegie library.

“Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries really does win the hearts of all who visit and today’s event has been a celebration and thank you to the many organisations hundreds of people who shared this vision and helped make it a reality. They have delivered the museum that Dunfermline deserves, showcasing our unique and important place in Scotland’s history. It’s already raising our cultural profile and opening up new tourism opportunities for Fife but most importantly, it’s all about the cultural opportunities that it will give for generations to come.”

Delivering DCL&G has been a decade long journey, funded by Fife Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and Carnegie Dunfermline Trust. The project was managed by hub East Central Scotland.

Carnegie Dunfermline Trust Chairman, David Walker, said: “Andrew Carnegie would have been extremely pleased with the outcome of this project which has added to and enhanced his first endowed library.  In his own “Gospel of Wealth” he wrote – ‘Closely allied to [a] library, and where possible attached to it, there should be rooms for an art gallery and museum.’  All these years later, this is what Dunfermline has now achieved so successfully.”

The building is managed by Fife Cultural Trust on behalf of Fife Council. Since opening its doors to the public on 18th May, average visitor figures have held strong at 5,000+ per week.

Fife Cultural Trust Chief Executive Heather Stuart said: “Thanks to the dedication and commitment shown by the project team, staff and over 450 volunteers, we have created a vibrant visitor attraction that will be enjoyed for many generations to come. We are immensely proud of what we have all created together. It’s fantastic to see this opening plaque hanging on the wall at long last – it all starts here.”

Architect Richard Murphy, who has already won several awards for the facility and is nominated for this year’s prestigious Doolan Prize, also offered his welcome to guests. He said: “We have made a contemporary building right at the heart of the city’s historic core and, not least, made a building that is easy to use and find your way around. I very much hope that this new building – acting in tandem with the existing library – will help to regenerate the town centre, bring in visitors to Dunfermline, and most importantly, be taken into the hearts of the people of Dunfermline as “their” museum. The initial signs are all very positive.”

 

OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC ATHLETES OPEN NEW £3.15 MILLION NATIONAL CURLING ACADEMY

Minister for Public Health and Sport Aileen Campbell today (Wednesday) threw the first stone to declare the new £3.15 million National Curling Academy open.

The world-class facility at Stirling Sports Village, the latest hub project to complete, is Scotland’s first dedicated curling academy which ensures that from now on Team Scotland, Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes and community players have year-round access to high-quality ice to train on.

As well as helping the sport develop from a grassroots perspective, the National Curling Academy provides a year-long training environment where the continuous delivery of outstanding coaching and support programmes to our world-class athletes can take place.

Welcoming the new Academy, Minister for Public Health and Sport Aileen Campbell said:

“I’m delighted to have thrown the first official stone at the excellent National Curling Academy. This outstanding facility will really help the sport grow in Scotland as our world-class athletes and club members can now practice right throughout the year on the highest quality ice.”

Stirling Council Leader Scott Farmer said:

“The opening of the National Curling Academy further cements Stirling’s reputation as a hub of excellence for sport and physical activity. This year round, high quality training venue will make a significant difference to both our world-class athletes and local community clubs.”

Performance Director at the sportscotland institute of sport, Mike Whittingham, said:

“We’re delighted that sportscotland and Stirling Council’s investment partnership has resulted in a world-class facility and home to curling in Scotland. The sport now has a terrific opportunity to attract new, grassroots curlers while, simultaneously, a dedicated hub for our performance athletes can help them continue to achieve excellent results on the world stage.

“The technology in the National Curling Academy is cutting-edge and a welcome addition to our Olympic and Paralympic training programmes.”

Women’s 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Team GB skip and Olympic, World and European bronze medallist, Eve Muirhead, believes the new facility gives the British Curling programme a real edge over rival nations:

“I am really impressed with the new Academy and it has made our lives easier and I know it has made the coaches’ lives easier as well. Video will be available so that you can analyse your game right down to the tiniest margins – if anyone has a facility like that I don’t know what makes it better and I can’t see anyone beating this.

“It’s fantastic turning up to training knowing that you have this facility on your doorstep and it has made a big difference to us already and I know it will right up to the Olympics and for the future of curling.”

hub East Central Scotland managed the entire project from the early development and procurement stage, to commissioning the main contractor and project team and final hand over on completion.

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, said:

“Our teams worked closely with sportscotland and Stirling Council to deliver a first class facility on time and budget that will ensure a bright future for Scottish Curling.”

David Cairns, managing director of main contractor Robertson Central East, said:

“Stirling is Robertson Group’s headquarters so it was a particular pleasure to work on such a major project on our doorstep. The construction phase went smoothly and I’m sure that those who use the National Curling Academy will enjoy the high-quality facility for a long time to come.”

The National Curling Academy was awarded £1,425,000 from sportscotland and £1,726,566 from Stirling Council to make a total project cost of £3,151,566.

 

CARRONGRANGE PUPILS RAISE OVER £600 FOR ZOO

Kids from Carrongrange School in Falkirk managed to raise £620 for Five Sisters Zoo in West Lothian with support from Hub East Central Scotland and Ogilvie Construction.

The pupils arranged a coffee morning event which raised £120 and hub ECS and Ogilvie, who are constructing the new Carrongrange school building, each donated £250 to support the initiative.

The new school building is due to open soon and will offer 190 pupils a state of the art learning environment.

Five Sisters Zoo is non-profit enterprise with a collection of over 180 different species of mammals birds and reptiles.  A large part of the zoo’s focus is to provide a home for three bears and four lions who were rescued from lives performing in travelling circuses.

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland said:

“We are delighted to support the pupils at the school in their efforts to raise money for the zoo and look forward to presenting them with a fantastic new school building in the near future”

Donald MacDonald, Managing Director, Ogilvie Construction added:

“We work hard to support local communities on all of our projects and it was a pleasure to donate to the campaign organised by the children at Carrongrange. We have constructed a high-quality building which will meet their specific needs for the future.”

HUB EAST CENTRAL SCOTLAND DELIVERING £595M NEW COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE

hub East Central Scotland is delivering £595 million of new infrastructure projects for communities across Perthshire, Tayside, Forth Valley and Fife.

In its first 5 years of operations hub has successfully completed 22 new buildings. Ten of those projects were new schools, with the remainder made up of health centres, care homes and social housing, as well as libraries, museums and art galleries.

Over £250 million of infrastructure is now open and operational benefitting citizens in communities across the region. A further £151 million is currently under construction with another £194 million of work in development.

Projects under construction are supporting over 16,700 jobs, of which almost 8,000 are local residents. More than half (53%) of the new project work is undertaken by SME’s within the territory and in the last year hub once again significantly increased targeted employments and skills outcomes in the region.

Public bodies in the area benefit from a unique strategic development fund established by hub to enable early feasibility work to transform initial concepts into buildings. To date, this fund has provided over £2.6 million to kick start community projects.

Ian Mullen, Chairman, hub East Central Scotland said: “As we celebrate our fifth year of operations, hub is now at the heart of the delivery of high quality public infrastructure that serves communities across the region.

“Our teams continue to deliver high quality buildings designed to meet the needs of the communities they serve. We are moving forward each year, working closely with our public sector Participants to support their strategic development plans and transform them in to high quality community facilities.

“hub has made a significant contribution to the local economy of the region with more than half of the value of work awarded to SME’s within the territory.”

hub East Central Scotland is a public/private partnership established to create a long term development programme for the creation and delivery of high quality community facilities and services at best value.

New Waid Campus completes

Waid Academy Headteacher Iain Hughes has been officially handed the keys to the new £21.5m Waid Community Campus.

At an official ceremony, attended by representatives of all the services the new campus will offer, Ian Rodger, site manager, passed over official ownership of the building to Fife Council.

Waid is one of six secondary schools and two primaries which make up Fife Council’s £250m+ Building Fife’s Future Programme. It is one of a new breed of community buildings which bring a number of services under one roof – with the new Waid taking the concept one step further. The project has been delivered for Fife Council by hub East Central Scotland in partnership with BAM Construction.

Headteacher Iain Hughes said: “The excitement is reaching fever pitch now as we get closer to actually moving in. The old school is a well-loved building with a lot of history behind it, but the opportunities which the new building open to us are beyond compare.

“This isn’t just a school, it is a community building which will sit right at the heart of the community.

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland said: “This is a fantastic new facility that has been purpose built to meet the needs of the local community. Our teams worked closely with Fife Council, their wider stakeholders and BAM Construction to manage the project to successful completion ahead of programme and on budget.

Senior pupils were given a tour of the building this afternoon and the SQA exams will be held there in the next few weeks before the whole school moves over to the new building in June.

 

Awards Double for Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries

 

Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries, delivered by hub East Central Scotland for Fife Council, has been recognised with two prestigious awards from the Edinburgh Architectural Association.

Richard Murphy Architects accepted the awards for Building of the Year and the Large Project category at a ceremony in Edinburgh.

Built by BAM Construction, the new £12.4 million facility which brings an impressive new focal point to the Heritage Quarter and wider town centre and will open to the public in May.

The museum adjoins the world’s first Carnegie library and includes a striking new glass structure. It incorporates three exhibition galleries, café, local history space and kid’s library over two floors.

Work started in December 2014 and Fife Council committed £8.25 million to the project, along with £2.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £1 million from the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust.

New Pharmaceutical Facility in Dundee progressing well

Work is progressing well on a new facility currently under construction on the Ninewells Hospital site which will house the NHS Scotland Pharmaceutical ‘Specials’ Service.

The NHS ‘Specials’ Service manufactures medicines when available licensed medicines do not meet the specific needs of patients. Examples include the provision of medicines for patients who have swallowing difficulties such as stroke patients and paediatric patients, specialist ointments and creams for dermatology patients and medicines for patients who cannot tolerate preservatives and other ingredients contained within licensed medicines.

The two current NHS Scotland manufacturing units based at Ninewells and the Western Infirmary Glasgow will be amalgamated into the new purpose-built state-of-the-art facility.

The service will also provide support to Research & Development in NHS Scotland and Scottish Universities by providing medicines for use in clinical trials.

Dr Baxter Millar, Head of NHS Scotland Pharmaceutical ‘Specials’ Service said, “This is a hugely important and exciting opportunity for establishing a national pharmaceutical manufacturing service on the Ninewells site that will contribute to the care of NHS patients throughout the UK over the next 30 years and beyond.

“The new facility will be fully compliant with the current standards demanded of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities as well as allowing for future increased production capacity.  There is also an opportunity for a number of new jobs being created locally with the work of the two existing units coming together.

“As well as supporting the NHS, this new service strengthens the existing excellent relationship between the NHS manufacturing units and NHS researchers and Scottish Universities in the provision of medicines for use in clinical trials.”

The project to design and build the new facility is led and managed by hub East Central Scotland, the public/private development partner.  Construction of the building is being undertaken by Robertson Construction Group and once completed the facility will be maintained by Robertson Facilities Management.

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, said, “The project is making excellent progress and we are working closely with NHS Tayside and Robertson Construction to manage the successful delivery of a high quality facility for NHS Special Services.”

The building is planned to be completed in December 2018 with the service up and running by the summer of 2019.

LEVENMOUTH CAMPUS OFFICIALLY OPENED

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney MSP paid a visit to Levenmouth to join Fife Council Leader David Ross in officially opening the new learning campus.

The opening ceremony was also attended by special guests Mayor of Bruges and Vice-President of Bordeaux Metropole Madame Brigitte Terrazza and Fife Provost Jim Leishman.

The £50million learning campus campus is home to the new Levenmouth Academy and Fife College Levenmouth Campus and opened its doors to pupils and learners at the start of the academic year but was officially opened today.

Council Leader David Ross said: “The new Levenmouth Academy is part of Fife Council’s +£200m Building Fife’s Future programme. This is part of our commitment to delivering school buildings which equal the learning and teaching experience of our children. We are providing facilities which enable our children to take full advantage of everything that a modern education can provide.  This building is a flagship facility for the area and will benefit the whole community and help our children to reach their full potential.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “It is fantastic to see students and staff in Levenmouth Learning Campus. Such state of the art accommodation can inspire students, staff and parents, making a positive difference to learning outcomes as well as the wider community. That is why the Scottish Government is committed to improving Scotland’s school estate and is investing £1.8 billion in our Schools for the Future building programme – providing almost £26 million towards the new Levenmouth Academy.”

The building uses a combination of natural lighting and ventilation, this helps with reducing the use of mechanical systems and the school’s carbon footprint. Using high frequency and LED lighting along with a biomass boiler as the primary heat source are cost effective, lowering the overall running costs of the school.

The new Fife College Campus is located on the same site as the new Levenmouth Academy, and opened its doors to students in August 2016. The campus has been built with the capacity for 350 full-time and 200 part-time learners and its approach to development has been based on the economic priorities of Fife.

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, said: “It is great to see Council’s vision to partner with Fife College and create a unique learning opportunity for the community.  The construction project delivered significant additional local benefits for the community with almost half of the workforce locally employed, as well as the creation of 25 work placements and 22 apprenticeships.”

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