GPL Civil Engineering Ltd

"Safely delivering the UK's Infrastructure"

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Airport City North Spine Road takes shape

GPL Group Airport Spine Road

GPL Group are making excellent progress on the Airport City North Spine Road project – a £9m year long contract for BCEGI which will see them constructing vital infrastructure for the future development of Airport City, Manchester.

Airport City Manchester is one of the most connected, intelligent and enterprising business destinations in development today. The site will eventually comprise 5 million sq ft. of offices, hotels, advanced manufacturing, logistics facilities, hybrid and ancillary retail space.

GPL have been contracted to construct a 1km link road connecting the Terminal 2 roundabout on the M56 Airport spur to Aviator Way off Ringway Road West. This road will form a crucial link to allow future development plots on either side forming Airport City North. The road is already taking shape with vegetation clearance, watercourse diversions, ground improvement and drainage works substantially completed. Utility diversions and road construction is now ongoing.

The project involves various logistical challenges around diverting major services including water, HV electric, communications and gas supplies. Interfaces with existing roads have had to be carefully considered, including building temporary roads to take traffic away from the main interface location and the construction of a 5m high, 125m long pair of reinforced earth walls ramping the road from Thorley Lane to the T2 roundabout.

The project has also required programme alterations due to some feathered friends, after duck eggs were discovered at an old ditch location on the route of the temporary road. Work was reprogrammed following the construction of an exclusion zone, allowing the ducklings to fledge before continuing works.





GPL invests £780k in two new £390k 39 tonne excavators – the first in the North West

Galvac vacuum excavation

GPL Group has taken delivery  of two 39 tonne chassis vacuum excavators (or VacEx). Manufactured in Germany by MTS and priced at £390k, they will be the only two of their kind currently in the North West.

Both units, which are Dino 5 models, were purchased by Galvac, GPL Group’s specialist vacuum excavation division. They have a skip capacity of 12.9m3 with the ability to be powered by remote control to excavate subsoil and soft rock during construction work.

Galvac provide vacuum excavation to some of the UK’s leading construction and utility companies as a safe, cost effective alternative to conventional excavation methods. Vacuum excavation is regularly used during the removal and replacement of utility pipework to ensure no damage.

The first of the new units delivered to Galvac is a high tip and is the only one of its kind in the North West. The second unit  is what is known as a triple fan. There are currently only a few other triple fan units in the country.

The ‘high tip’ will enable the unit to tip material to go straight into an accompanying truck, removing the need for double handling of waste on site and allowing the excavator to continue its task of removal.

The triple fan 39 tonne unit is highly powerful and will reduce time on projects significantly due to its ability to excavate at up to 250m away.

Mick Thomas of Galvac, GPL said: “This is a significant investment for us and will truly position us as a major player in this area. The two new units will join our existing fleet of five 26 tonne units which means we can offer clients flexibility on projects to suit their needs.

“With the significant work on our highways and utility networks, not only here in the North West, this equipment will be in high demand and we already have a healthy pipeline for our new additions.”

Galvac has delivered intensive training for the operators of the new equipment. The dedicated team at Galvac will all receive 120 hours of training by a qualified operator before they are put in control of any of the units. In line with GPL’s commitment to the highest standards of health and safety, there will always be a two-man fully trained team working with the units on sites.




Region’s mayors recognise achievements of GPL Group apprentices

GPL Apprentices

L to R: GPL apprentices Mustafa Sonmez, Phil Burke, Gary Riding

Following a twelve month dedicated training programme, apprentices from GPL Group are celebrating completing their Level 1 course and securing full time employment within the construction industry.

The 10 apprentices, whose ages range from 17 to 27 years, have completed the company’s inaugural Group Apprenticeship Programme. They were originally chosen with the assistance of local charity The Broughton Trust, Salford City Council and Lomax Training.

The group studied for the Intermediate Apprentice Programme in the company’s Utilities division through a mix of formal classroom and site based learning. Those individuals will now be moving on to undertake roles within GPL or working directly within GPL’s clients. GPL Utilities division is one of the largest metallic pipe replacement specialists in the North West, working on both replacement and maintenance contracts.

The average age of the 10 apprentices is 22.7 yrs and seven were previously unemployed or NEET (not in education, employment or training). By taking on these 10 apprentices, The Broughton Trust has calculated that GPL Group could be putting over £588,000* back into the community.

Martin Gallagher, director at GPL Group said: “When we embarked on developing an apprenticeship scheme, we wanted to ensure we gave a wide range of candidates an opportunity. We were wary that the industry often views apprentices as being school leavers, but we were conscious that there are plenty of local people who were still looking for that first work opportunity.

“It has been a year of education from both sides, but we believe that our programme is a great introduction into the careers available in our area of construction. We have been pleased with our apprentices’ performance which has now been reflected by the fact they are all going on to continue with full time employment in our sector. We are currently reviewing which area of the business we would like to focus on for our next intake of apprentices later this year.”

Curtis White, one of the older apprentices at 27 yrs old said: “GPL Group has given me a real opportunity to get a qualification and to gain work-place experience. The role is varied and I enjoy coming to work. I wouldn’t have thought that a few years back and now I am looking forward to developing a career in the construction industry.”

Mr Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester’s Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner, and the newly elected Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett have both closely followed the company’s scheme.

Tony Lloyd met the apprentices at GPL when they embarked on the course last year and has been impressed by the opportunities the initiative has given local young people to work on engineering and utility contracts across the North West and beyond.

Tony Lloyd said: “GPL has embraced the opportunity to bring young local people into its business, investing in their skills, their careers and their futures. The success of this scheme can be held up as an excellent example of how investing in apprentices can contribute to stronger communities and a vibrant economy.”

Mr Dennett added: “It is vital that companies like GPL recognise the opportunities that bringing young people into a business can bring. As well as motivating the individuals, it has a positive effect on other employees and the culture of the organisation.

“GPL has created strong Corporate Social Values that are reflected in the enthusiasm of these young people, who are all moving their careers forward. This enthusiasm can only have a positive impact on our communities in Salford as other young people are encouraged to pursue the array of work place training opportunities available to them.

“It’s great to see Salford based businesses like GPL providing real sustainable opportunities for our young people and I hope we can continue to build on their success within our City.”

* Calculation for savings through NEETs Calculations via The Broughton Trust




Double framework success for GPL Group

SGN NGN logo

GPL has recently been appointed to two high profile frameworks for gas mains replacement works in the UK for SGN and NGN. The projects combined are worth £50 million to the company, over the next five years.

The company has been awarded a place on SGN’s five-year framework and is tasked with delivering 60km of gas mains replacement per year across the Oxford and Reading area, as SGN deliver a new gas network to the region.

SGN manage and distribute natural and green gas to 5.9 million homes and businesses across Scotland and the south of England.

GPL was initially tasked to start the project in September this year, but the start date has moved earlier, with ten teams from GPL now starting in July. It will involve approximately 40 team members from GPL dedicated to the project.

As this is a huge project in the region, customer service along with health and safety are of paramount importance. GPL has proven excellence in these areas and, recognised by SGN, will help to deliver the new gas network.

Further North in the UK, GPL has been appointed by Northern Gas Networks (NGN) to its 12 month framework to help deliver replacement gas networks in the Leeds and Bradford area.  The team is tasked with replacing 15km of old metal gas pipes with more durable plastic ones during the 12 months. 20 team members will be involved in the project with support from five office based GPL staff.

NGN regularly leads OFGEM league tables for customer service. When delivering new gas mains, NGN ensures it works with local authorities, businesses and residents to plan and deliver work with minimum disruption.

Following a successful bid in 2012 to be included on NGN’S five year framework in the North East, GPL is today a Direct Service Provider (DSP) for NGN, meaning they report directly into NGN. The company has strengthened this existing relationship and has continued to be successful in securing places on further frameworks. This is a big achievement for a company of GPL’s size, as we now compete with the larger players and continue to be recognised nationally.

GPL is delighted to have been recognised by both NGN and SGN to win places on their frameworks. The company’s extensive experience and commitment to safety when delivering installation and maintenance projects in the gas mains arena, means we now secure work nationwide with the largest providers.




GPL wins capital works and maintenance contract with Amey

GPL Group has been appointed to a three year framework with AMEY to provide Capital, Asset Maintenance and R&M services to United Utilities.

United Utilities runs a variety of capital works and maintenance programmes to ensure its network is safe and efficient, while continuously improving drinking water quality.

The three year framework is worth excess of £5m per annum to GPL who will deliver asset maintenance services across the North West.

Work is set to start in June this year.




A Sunday afternoon of dragon boat racing here in Salford


Sunday, 4th June saw a team of 12 from GPL Group take to the water at MediaCityUK. The team’s vessel was a traditional Chinese style Dragon Boat as they were taking part in the UK Chinese Dragon Boat Festival organised by the Manchester based Xinhua Chinese Association.

The event is an example of Chinese culture embracing the wider community by inviting local businesses, local schools & universities and multinational corporates to enter a team into the dragon boat race against Chinese organisations and students in the North West. It is a celebration of the Chinese Duan Wu Festival—one of the most important festivals on Chinese lunar calendar.

GPL rose to the challenge and lined up against companies including; Pinsent Masons, Beijing Construction Group and Manchester Airport as well as local Chinese organisations and students.GPL dragon boat

For their first time in the festival – GPL Group finished an impressive fifth place out of 30 boats in total.

After two heats, the best times were taken and the GPL team made the final six boats. After a gallant effort the team came in fifth place with a time of 54.78 seconds. Winners on the day were Rowbocops a mere 4.8 seconds ahead with a time of 49.9 seconds.  It was a close race and there were some tired arms in the GPL boat, but they still managed to hold up a few drinks after to celebrate the day.

It was a great team event on a glorious sunny day. GPL will be looking to take part next year and, who knows, with a bit more practice they may be further up that leader board!




GPL Apprenticeships


DSC_4418 (800 x 566)

GPL were pleased to welcome the new Interim Regional Mayor for Manchester and respected representatives from Balfour Beatty Utilities, National Grid, The Broughton Trust and Salford City Council to its premises to promote the development of the new Group Apprenticeship Programme.

DSC_4282 (800 x 566)Mr Tony Lloyd , the new Interim Mayor and current Police & Crime Commissioner was introduced to the new apprentices and was clearly impressed by the initiative that gives local young people the opportunity to build a career in civil engineering by taking on roles working on engineering and utility contracts across the North West of England.

Mr Lloyd said “This is an excellent example of local businesses investing in local people, creating opportunities for unemployed youngsters to learn new skills and build a career for themselves while giving something back to the community and helping the local economy to thrive.

DSC_4432 (800 x 566)But it’s not just about providing the opportunity, it’s about the will and determination of the young people to embrace it and make something out of it. It’s clear meeting them today, that this team of apprentices are full of passion and ambition and are more than ready to get started in their new careers.”

Currently training within GPL are 15 apprentices and 1 trainee Quantity Surveyor. The apprentices were selected with the assistance of local charity The Broughton Trust, Salford City Council and Lomax Training. The 2 year apprenticeship scheme will train young people to undertake roles in the Utilities Division, as Joiners in the Civils Division and within the Special Projects Division.




SMART Motorways

SMART motorwayGPL have been awarded the Formwork, Rebar and Concrete package for the installation of CCTV and Gantry Bases on the M60 around Manchester.

The initial package of works will commence in March 2015 with completion within 23 weeks.

The package forms part of the SMART motorway scheme being undertaken by Manchester Smart Motorways (MSM), a joint venture between Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Gallifords, BAM Nuttall and Morgan Sindall. The works are between Junction 8 of the M60 and Junction 20 of the M62 and are expected to be complete by September 2017.




ISO 18001 Accreditation

NQA CertificateGPL are very please to announce that after a period of hard work and assessment, the company has achieved ISO 18001 accreditation.

An effective occupational health and safety management system promotes a safe and healthy working environment by providing a framework that allows your organisation to identify and control its health and safety risks, reduce the potential for accidents, aid legislative compliance and improve overall performance.

Thanks go to Martin Gallagher, GPL’s HSQE Director and his team for their hard work to date in securing the accreditation and the forthcoming challenge of maintaining the standards set.






Filter Drains

Filter Drains 2GPL have been awarded a number of further schemes by the Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald Joint Venture (BBMMJV). The first is a package of Filter Drain works throughout the Area 10 Network and involves the replacement of stone media to improve drainage.

8,500m of filter drains are to be excavated and replaced on day / night shifts with the works commencing in February and completed by 31st March 2015. the works are in the verges and central reserves of the M53, M56, M6, M60 and M62 motorways.

GPL have also been awarded works at Tarbock Island (Junction 7 of the M62) to install cross carriageway ducts at night and a package of works on the A41 on The Wirral.

The works on the A41 are a series of Bus Stop improvements which form part of the Local Network Management Schemes ( LNMS) for the Highways Agency.

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