A joint venture of building firms from Northern Ireland has almost finished work on six schools in the Western Isles of Scotland.
FMP — made up of Farrans, H&J Martin and Patton — won the £70m contract to work on the islands of Lewis, Harris and Benbecula two years ago.
It is part of the Western Isles Schools Project (WISP), funded by the Scottish Government.
The deal was FMP’s biggest ever capital project on the Western Isles and involved new build and refurbishment work — and working in difficult conditions.
Grant Robinson, managing director of FMP, said: “The WISP contract represents a significant piece of business for FMP.
“Given the experience of this team we were always confident in our abilities to deliver a project of this magnitude.
“It has been a challenging and rewarding series of projects. Working on the islands created significant access and logistical barriers, while the extreme weather conditions forced us to halt work on a number of occasions.
“FMP is therefore delighted to have completed this £70m project within the timescales and equally important within budget.”
Mr Robinson said the project had also provided opportunities for the long-term unemployed in the area.
FMP worked with Construction Skills, the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation and Skills Development Scotland to target redundant apprentices to give them a second chance to complete their apprenticeship training.
He said the joint venture hopes to continue its work in the education sector.
“Our business growth strategy is to remain focused on export and we firmly believe that the opportunities exist across Britain, especially within the education sector,” said Mr Robinson.
FMP was formed seven years ago and has since secured contracts worth £350m, including work on 45 schools. Projects in Northern Ireland have included Ashfield Girls School, Girls and Boys Model and Orangefield PS.