Ballantine Castings of Bo’ness lands Albert Bridge deal

The Albert Bridge work got under way in August. Picture: Robert Perry
The Albert Bridge work got under way in August. Picture: Robert Perry
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A FORTH Valley ironworks is looking to secure additional conservation work after landing a major contract to help restore the Albert Bridge in Glasgow.

The bridge across the River Clyde linking Saltmarket and Crown Street dates back to 1871 and has about 200 tonnes of ornamental cast iron that is being replaced by Ballantine Castings of Bo’ness.

Work began about four weeks ago and is due to continue through into next year, leading to the addition of five new employees to take staffing at the foundry up to 34.

Gavin Ballantine, who brought the family-owned business out of receivership in May of last year, said the contract is a “huge” deal for the company.

It has helped to offset a downturn in orders from the offshore and power generation sectors.

“For a big conservation project like this to be kept in Scotland is fantastic,” he said.

The firm, which has an annual turnover of some £2.5 million, is quoting for similar types of jobs down south.

London in particular offers numerous opportunities for restoration work, the firm noted. Previously known as the Ballantine Bo’ness Iron Company, the business folded in September 2013 after struggling through the recession.

With financial assistance from Scottish Enterprise, Ballantine acquired the land and assets of the old company, making him the seventh generation to run the facility.

Work on the £2.6m Albert Bridge project got under way in August after more than two years of delays. Cast iron parapets will be strengthened, with original façades, painting and lightwork restored.