CONSTRUCTION of the new Forth bridge, nearest the bottom in this artist’s impression, will provide increasing opportunities for Scots firms for the next three years, the transport minister has said.
Keith Brown said businesses would benefitfrom the construction of the crossing ‘all the way into 2016, when the bridge is completed andopen’. New figures have shown thatshow more sub-contracts are going to Scottish companies. The latest sub-contract and supply orderfigures revealed that at the end of December, a total of334 Scottish firms had been directly awarded subcontracts or supply orders totalling £130 million by the project’smain contractor. By the end of 2012, Scots firms hadwon 63 per cent of subcontracts and 89 per cent of supply orders, up from 60.5 per cent and 86.5 per cent respectivelylast July 2012 .
Mr Brown said: “This is excellent news and continues to show how crucial this project is for Scotland’s economic recovery as well as its future prosperity.
“We always said that the main contract would provide increasing opportunities for Scottish firms during the construction period.
“This will continue all the way into 2016 when the bridge is completed and open, and begins providing a significantly improved economic artery across the Forth.
“I’m particularly pleased that Scottish firms are obviously succeeding in winning an increasing share of the available subcontract and supply business.”
Mr Brown spoke out as he visited the new Forth Replacement Crossing education centre, which aims to inspire future generations of engineers.
The centre, on the south bank of the Forth, provides a dedicated new facility for schools, colleges and other groups on educational visits to the site.
The transport minister said: “The current bridges of the Forth are stunning feats of civil engineering from the 19th and 20th centuries, and the inspiration for generations of engineers across the globe.
“It is absolutely right that we use the new 21st century bridge to educate and inspire the engineers of the future in just the same way.”
He also said this would be a “pivotal year” for the new bridge as its permanent structure should start to become visible.
Mr Brown stated: “2013 will be a pivotal year for the most significant Scottish infrastructure project for a generation.
“Over the course of the year the permanent structure will become visible as the bridge towers start to rise from the waters of the Forth and, of course, this is the year the people of Scotland will vote for the permanent name for their bridge.”