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Blog & News

Construction and the Community: Light at the end of the tunnel for the Buddies?

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Over the last year, we’ve written about lots of different aspects of the construction industry, from the rise of the robots to the problems of mental health in construction. However, one thing which keeps impressing us is the way in which construction is one of the cornerstones of our communities the length and breadth of the country.  From Arup’s use of discarded foodstuffs to make construction materials to the Social Bite Village in Edinburgh, our industry has much to be proud of, and consequently we’re going to continue to emphasise the positive over the coming months, starting with a nice story of a football club working with its supporters to re-design the tunnel that takes the players from the dressing rooms to the pitch.

Normally, football clubs’ construction works only make the news when there is a new stadium being built. We’ve seen a few impressive new football grounds make an appearance in Scotland in the last quarter century, from McDiarmid Park in Perth to the new St Mirren ground, correctly called the Paisley 2021 stadium, and the soon-to-be-begun new facility for Aberdeen. Massive refurbishments at Ibrox and Celtic Park may make bigger headlines, but the cumulative effect of all the smaller grounds is probably equally large.

Anyway, last summer (August 17), St Mirren began planning a new tunnel at their stadium in Paisley.   The tunnel area had previously had pictures on the white walls, but was then painted black.  We’re not saying this had anything to do with St Mirren getting promoted, but it was a great example of the club engaging with their supporters. The Buddies asked the fans to come up with ideas for laminate panels to go on the walls of the tunnel and the supporters came back with a host of suggestions.  

Glasgow-based Rearo Laminates has now completed the supply work on the refurbishment project in collaboration with laminate suppliers Formica, Gate Creative and Rearo’s own manufacturing team, with the panel installation then being completed by AMJ Joinery. Designed to visually inspire the players before a game, the new panels feature historic victories and inspirational players - and before any Morton fans say there aren’t any, it’s fair to say St Mirren have had some success within living memory, not least when a certain Alex Ferguson was manager – and then again under Alex Smith when they won the Scottish Cup in 1987.  The laminated panels feature a black and white striped design with a Paisley pattern background and the club slogan, “our town, our team” running from floor to ceiling. There is a great video of the new tunnel on YouTube, which you can see here.  It’s a small project in the great scheme of things, but a great example of how different elements of the construction industry have a part to play in almost every aspect of our lives, even if Morton fans may not be so impressed. 

Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment

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