Bafta-winning Scottish media production company to record A9 dualling

A Scottish Bafta winning media production company has been contracted for hi-tech capturing of the second phase of the £3 billion A9 dualling project – which is billed as one of the UK’s biggest and highest-value road transformation programmes.

Solar panels and a pole with MBPs camera equipment being erected. Picture: contributed.

Edinburgh-based MBP – whose clients include the Ministry of Defence and Coca-Cola – has been awarded a six-figure sub-contract by the project’s main contractor to record the work being carried out as part of Transport Scotland’s A9 Dualling Programme.

A total of 80 miles of single carriageway from Perth to Inverness is to be upgraded to dual carriageway to cut journey times and improve safety.

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The second project, currently under construction and worth £96 million, involves widening 9.5 kilometres of road between Luncarty and the Pass of Birnam.

MBP is supporting the project using its first remotely operated renewable energy camera system, said to be the only one of its kind in the UK.

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The business is using 4K camera equipment powered by photovoltaic panels that provide a 24/7 energy supply, negating the need for any electric recharging or battery changeovers.

Poles to support the 13 camera units along the route have been installed. Each unit weighs half a tonne and has four high-capacity batteries charged by solar and wind energy. Enough power can be stored to film continuously for seven days, ensuring reliability and consistent film quality being captured, even when there is no sunlight or wind.

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The team will deliver more than 600 gigabytes of still images – equivalent to 20,000 images a month – during the course of the contract until completion in spring 2021, and 312 independent films to chart progress.

MBP has been operating for more than eight years, also making films for the likes of the oil and gas, fashion and music industries.

Its MD Matt Brown said: “We are very proud to be involved in this monumental A9 project and producing what we believe is one of the only solutions like this in the UK – renewable energy powered remote camera systems that can communicate with each other across a hugely diverse environment.

“This campaign supports our ongoing growth strategy of diversifying our technologies and further expanding our production offering. We are using some of the most robust and cutting-edge recording equipment… We spent a year testing and developing the solution and chose the 4k resolution cameras as they have been designed for reliable operations in challenging climates; an ideal fit in the often-harsh Scottish outdoors.

“The spread of cameras over areas of interest along the 9.5km section of road will ensure we capture the development as it happens and on a continuous basis. As we can monitor the equipment remotely and there’s no need for cabling, it makes the installation and removal process very easy and leaves no lasting footprint. This makes it not only kinder to the environment, but also ensures there will be no downtime or action missed.”

The controversial A9 dualling is scheduled to complete in 2025.