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Gloucestershire Business News

Urgent call out to contractors! Your chance to work on £18m project - VIDEO

County contractors will get the chance to work on one of Gloucester's most prestigious regeneration schemes next year.

If they have the skills, there is every chance they could win a variety of contracts, ranging from painting to soft landscaping.

The regeneration site in Barbican Way, Gloucester, is currently being transformed with new accommodation for students at the University of Gloucestershire in a £18 million project.

Almost 300 bedrooms are being constructed with a mix of studios, cluster flats and townhouses on the site in the Blackfriars and Quayside areas.

The main developer is Cityheart, with main contractor Vinci and Gloucester-based Keyway providing the plant machinery and vital local back-up.

Now Vinci is calling for local companies to contact them if they are interested in gaining work to put the finishing touches to the buildings during the first and second quarters of 2018.

Senior project manager Mark Garner (pictured) said work was going according to schedule and the first blocks would be handed over to the university next August, with the rest following shortly afterwards.

"All blocks will be ready for the next academic intake in September," he explained.

"We are now at a stage where the timber-framed structure is about halfway through and going really well. With that in mind, we are looking for finishing trades for the first and second quarters of next year.

"We need companies to contact us about joining the project early next year, for work like painting, flooring, cleaning and landscaping, and we definitely want to try to recruit locally."

Mr Garner said throughout the project, which began in May, they have tried their best to recruit locally because, as well as supporting the local economy, workers are not having to travel far and are more familiar with local suppliers.

But he added in some areas they were unable to do so, because so many building companies and workmen were already busy on other jobs.

"We sent a lot of enquiries out for local companies and were successful getting carpentry and plumbing companies to join us, but when we went out to others they said sorry, we're busy," said Mark. "That's great for Gloucestershire companies though, that there is so much work out there keeping them busy."

Finishing trades needed include:

• Painters for the end of March.

• Flooring contractors who can do vinyl flooring on a large scale in mid-April.

• Professional cleaning companies at the end of April.

• Soft landscaping, planting trees, plant suppliers, street furniture, around July.

• External metalwork, balustrading, external staircases, external seating and benches, around June.

Mark added that companies need to be able to take on the relatively large-scale work, but smaller businesses would also be considered if they needed extra workers.

Around 90 per cent of the groundwork, including underground drainage, is already complete and the scaffolding will be coming down in various stages during April and May.

Only around 25 workers are on site now but that is expected to peak at around 110 by February, when it will plateau until June, when the final painting and cleaning work takes place.

"We are really pleased with the way things are going. It's one of those projects that, even when you see the challenges at the start, we have had a plan for them and nothing has taken us by surprise," said Mark.

"Even the archaeological dig went smoothly, which is something that can go either way depending on what is discovered, particularly in a city like Gloucester that has so much history."

Vinci is also working with Gloucestershire College organising walk rounds with construction students to promote the construction industry and help with their studies.

"This is something I'm very keen on myself. They come out and see the real world, how everything is happening, and we can show them how exciting it all is.

Mark added: "We also spoke to them about apprenticeships, but were told local businesses already take up a lot of students anyway so it's already covered very well. That suggests that the businesses around here are thriving."

Finally, representatives from Vinci have met with city councillors to offer their help with local enhancements, such as redecoration and repairs in nearby streets as part of its corporate social responsibility obligations.

If you are interested in working on the project, email Mark.Garner@vinciconstruction.co.uk  for more details.

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