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Firm lands £13m deal as part of Luton Airport revamp

By Audrey Watson

Published 22/09/2015

From left, Whitemountain Quarries’ operations manager John Hasson, commercial manager John Donaghy, and Gareth McNern, project manager at Luton Airport
From left, Whitemountain Quarries’ operations manager John Hasson, commercial manager John Donaghy, and Gareth McNern, project manager at Luton Airport

Northern Ireland construction firm Whitemountain has landed a £13m deal to play a major part in the redevelopment of London's Luton Airport.

The Lisburn-based company has agreed a contract to transform the approach road to the terminal building into a dual carriageway, remodel the set-down area and reposition the coach terminal, as part of an overall £100m investment by the airport.

London Luton Airport (LLA) is one of the UK's largest airports and carried 10.5m passengers in 2014. The £100m investment is set to transform the airport by improving overall customer experience and increase capacity from 12m to 18m passengers each year by 2026.

"We are delighted to be involved in the transformation of London Luton Airport," Whitemountain's managing director, Mark Kelly, said. "The work we are delivering is designed to improve access, circulation and parking facilities.

"This is necessary to support the terminal expansion project and is at the centre of a wider strategy to improve passenger and airside facilities.

"These types of civil engineering contacts are significant for the company in its growth across the UK and further afield.

"With extensive experience in road construction and the airport sector, our expertise and ability to deliver quality projects on time positions us very well within the marketplace," he added.

Whitemountain is part of the Lagan Group of companies which ranks among the most successful and diverse engineering, contracting and quarry materials firms in the UK and Ireland. Established for more than 50 years, Whitemountain's customer base includes leading airport operators, in addition to principal contractors in the highways, civil engineering and construction sectors, and public sector roads authorities.

The company, which employs more than 230 people, provides quarry materials, asphalt, surfacing, airfield maintenance, highway maintenance, bitumen and civil engineering sectors.

It has an established reputation as a reliable supplier of superior quality aggregates and surfacing products to major UK and European based contractors.

In August, Whitemountain was represented among a convoy of lorries protesting outside Stormont about the shortage of work caused by political wrangling. At the time, the firm revealed it had no choice but to tell 60 employees that they were on notice with the threat of redundancy.

There will be 130 Whitemountain employees involved in the Luton Airport project, a company spokesman said, adding: "The contract secured at London Luton Airport is within the civil engineering division.

"The number of staff put on notice due to a shortage of work in August worked within the highway maintenance division of the company. Whitemountain are one of a number of companies affected by budget cuts from the Department for Regional Development.

"As a business, Whitemountain are constantly working to expand all divisions of the company throughout the UK and beyond."

Earlier this month, Whitemountain was awarded the tender for the Divis Street/Falls Road section of Belfast's new rapid transport system, although the scheme itself is not now due to begin until August 2018.

Belfast Telegraph

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