The Bridge Effect

Is the New Forth Road Bridge Crossing Project bringing business to local companies and when complete will the project attract more businesses to Fife or allow them to drift south more readily?

According to the Transport Scotland website the new Forth Replacement Crossing and associated works are costing between £1.45 Billion & £1.6 Billion with completion scheduled in 2016. Along with the Aircraft carrier project taking place within sight of the bridge, there is reason to be optimistic about spin off business for locally based businesses. Having two business centres with over sixty local businesses being represented and located between these huge projects in the Rosyth Europarc near to Dunfermline, it has been a difficult to see evidence of interaction with locally based businesses. The Fife business centres provide offices to let, meeting rooms, industrial space and storage and yet we know of a very small number of small local Fife B2B businesses that are providing services to the projects and just one from Perth and Kinross. It could of course be argued that it is still early days and as the bridge reaches ever upwards local enterprises may see more benefit. The main concrete bases should be finished within a few weeks and then the Steel work begins in earnest.

What about post completion? It is interesting that Liberty Business Centres have an ever increasing number of office rental clients who live in locations south of the Forth, such as South Queensferry, Barnton, Crammond and Broxburn. In general these Company owners have chosen to base their Business in Fife because of cost savings on office space, easy parking, access to good employees and a reduced travel time as they are traveling against the traffic on the way into and from the workplace. We can only see this trend increasing after the New Forth Crossing is complete. The rising number of agile workers has also meant that those who live in the commuter belt can now decide whether they go into Edinburgh office space to work or utilise a local Business Hub or coworking facility, such as the Liberty Hubspace. Roll on 2016.

If you have picked up work directly or indirectly from these large projects then why not let us know via the comments below. It would be great to hear of more examples of local businesses benefiting from any associated contracts.

  • Jerry Alexander

    I have just come back from a CBI trade association meeting which was held in Edinburgh this morning, with Alistair Merrill the Director of Procurement at the Scottish government and it was interesting to hear of the changes that have already taken place and the new initiatives which will come after the Summer recess, including the Reform Bill and the findings of the Independent review on Construction Procurement.
    These should influence how small firms can access public procurement channels
    in the future. The main one just now is the Public Contract Scotland Portal,
    but certainly not all local authorities are using it.

    There were encouraging words and
    a request for business to engage with the government to improve the current
    system. They have targets and want to make the changes, but with all huge
    political and multifaceted organisations it will be painful.