Review of the year...and what a year
No-one could have foreseen what 2020 would bring...it has been a turbulent year, difficult, frustrating and grim for some, both in our professional and in our private lives. Our thoughts are very much with those who have lost loved ones or who have lost their livelihoods. From a business point of view, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients, colleagues and suppliers for your continued support in such difficult times. We have been fortunate, so far, to stay safe and well and are thankful for that. Here is a taste of what we have been up to this year..
Like many other businesses, we have had to adapt to a new way of working during the pandemic.. working while at home, back to back Teams calls with the occasional appearance of our cat on camera or the deafening barks of our chocolate lab! We have actually found this 'new normal' to be quite productive and it will definitely mean a permanent shift for us to use technology much more for regular meetings and exchanges and to deliver training.
We have also had probably our busiest year ever in terms of CPD with so many events and training courses being delivered online, increasing accessibility and allowing wider learning internationally. We hope this trend continues as it has been a great way to keep our skills and knowledge up to date.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Alison embarked upon an initiative to do her bit to try to help those in the brownfield practitioner sector who might be furloughed. She organised and hosted 20 free webinars through the Scottish Contaminated Land Forum covering a range of topics. The webinars have been a great success and she will be continuing this volunteer role into the new year.
We have continued to work on 2 main infrastructure projects this year which have both had their challenges in these uncertain times:
The early part of 2021 was very busy with the review of a number of tender packages for the NorthConnect Interconnector project and completion of the detailed design for the UK Enabling Works. Leapmoor was also responsible for the preparation and issue to the market of the tender for the UK Enabling Works and subsequent dialogue with tenderers and evaluation of responses. The engagement and quality of tender returns from all contractors was really impressive, especially considering the submissions were prepared in the midst of the first lockdown. Gary also provided valuable interface input to the cables and convertor building tender documents to ensure that all the contracts would 'fit' together with the enabling works. Working with an international team is always challenging, but the added travel restrictions meant that much more reliance had to be placed on video conferencing to get the job done. We currently await updates in 2021 regarding the next steps of the project.
Gary continues to provide support to the Port of Cromarty Firth to assist them in managing their Phase 4 Development comprising construction of 218m of deep water quayside and 11acres of new storage in a premier multi-user port facility. Like many construction sites, progress was affected by closure due to Covid-19 but works recommenced in the summer with all the necessary health and safety precautions being implemented. The site is now nearing completion.
The Vacant and Derelict Land taskforce (of which Alison is a member) published their recommendations to transform how we deal with this underused land in Scotland. The recommendations are now being considered by the Scottish Government but we are hopeful that they will be taken forward.
And finally, 2020 was the Scottish Government's Year of Coasts and Waters and to celebrate the year, Alison (and our daughter) have diligently undertaken beach cleans every Saturday to help enhance our beautiful coastal landscape. They have collected over 30,000 pieces of plastic from the Clyde Estuary so far. It was recently announced that the year has been extended to 2021 so maybe we will manage to do some local business community cleans in the New Year! #SoSSaturdays #SaveOurSeas #YCW2020 #YCW2021
A year that we will all remember...here's to a less turbulent and Covid-19 free 2021!