Low Port Gardens Improvement Project

Dougie Baird, Project Manager

November 2016

Having joined the project back in March, with a well-developed plan and a team of stalwarts to guide me, I set about finding a contractor to do the work required. We wanted to find a local firm that could demonstrate successful completion of similar projects in the past and could complete the work within time and budget.

From WLC lists and Internet research, we chose P1 Contracts based at Champany from a short list of three firms. The early appointment of a contractor allowed P1 more than two clear months to set up for the intended start date of 4th July 2016. After arranging planning permission, Coal Authority reports, the appointment of an Archaeologist to oversee any excavations, and some manhandling of heavy planters, we were ready to start.

The Lowport Centre kindly allowed us to have quite a chunk of their car park as a base for materials and equipment and many thanks are due to them for this facility. The site was quickly stripped back and the Archaeologist was happy that we could carry on with the work, when we hit our first snag. The boundary wall was planned to be repaired and re-coped in the plan but exposing the wall revealed considerable damage within and the wall repair became a new wall.

Foreman Jim and his assistant David have worked really well throughout and have kept the site neat and tidy at all times. More importantly, they have avoided any major damage to the beautiful flowers planted on and around the site whilst manoeuvring their machinery. There have been issues to be resolved with materials; delivery times, quantities, and style, all the usual suspects for this type of project. The wall is rebuilt, the wheelchair ramp is in place, and the gardens look good.

The improved site is now available for use, and with a following wind, we will have the Notice Board, bins and seats, and the planters, ready for planting as well.

The pictures below demonstrate the progress and changes from start to finish.

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