27 Feb 2012
Source: D Jennings
A Wishaw-based steel fabrication company is to appear on smash hit property show Grand Designs after their structural steel expertise provided the heart of a unique airfield property.
GR Contracts Ltd will star in the next season of Grand Designs with property guru Kevin McCloud following the company’s £80,000 contract to design and install a supporting steel structure in the dramatic, one-of-a-kind house.
The contract has provided a welcome boost for GR Contracts which has received over £130,000 in two funding rounds from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE), the Tata Steel subsidiary tasked with economic regeneration.
GR Contracts has also received £100,000 from North Lanarkshire Council through the West of Scotland Loan Fund.
The funding enabled the firm to expand its premises, create a number of new jobs and increase turnover which helped it land a string of new business including the latest structural steel contract.
The homeowner, Colin MacKinnon, enjoys flying micro flight aircrafts to such a degree he commissioned architects to design a house for himself and his partner to be situated parallel to the runway of Strathaven airfield.
GR Contracts used 40 tonnes of steel in total for the highly complex project and Colin was keen to ensure exposed connections were of a very high quality.
The main rooms of the house are on the first floor to allow for privacy with only a garage and extra bedrooms on the ground floor. The structure contains a cantilevered steel frame with a mill-finished corrugated aluminium roof and wall cladding.
GR Contracts was established in 2004 by George McColl and Robert Savage. It currently employs 31 people and supplies structural steel to high-profile companies such as Laing O’Rourke, Carillion and Cruden.
Other recent projects have seen GR Contracts install fabricated steel for three schools in Edinburgh, a hospital in Larbert and a prison in Shotts. The company has also been shortlisted for Lanarkshire’s Best Small Business award at the Lanarkshire Business Excellence Awards which take place on March 2.
George McColl, director of GR Contracts said: “This particular job was very intricate as the design was like nothing we had seen before. The steel frame was manufactured and installed successfully within two weeks and the house looks very impressive.
“With continued support from UKSE we have built a thriving business which has allowed us to secure work with some of the biggest names in the industry. Thanks to the funding we can now undertake further work including similar specialised contracts.“The Grand Designs team were on site filming at our workshop which was an interesting experience. We’re all really looking forward to seeing the programme later this year.”