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Major Invergordon Housing Development Application Given Green Light in First for the Area Since Cromarty Firth Freeport Status Award

18 April 2024

Major Invergordon Housing Development Application Given Green Light in First for the Area Since Cromarty Firth Freeport Status Award

Plans for 66 new homes on land at the edge of Invergordon, have been given the green light by The Highland Council North Area Planning committee. The consent for the much-needed housing is the first granted in the area since the nearby Inverness and Cromarty Firth was awarded Green Freeport status. The newly formed Inverness & Cromarty Firth Green Freeport company - incorporating Port of Nigg and Port of Cromarty Firth - places the Highlands at the heart of the drive towards net-zero and is expected to create over 10,000 new jobs locally in the coming years.

Speaking about the decision to grant planning permission for the new housing, Rhona Donnelly, Managing Director of developer Capstone Construction said:

“Capstone Construction is delighted to have been granted approval at The Highland Council North Area Planning committee on Tuesday 16th April for the first housing development since the official award of the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport announcement. This is an exciting opportunity for Invergordon and the Highlands.

“Capstone is not only looking forward to delivering a housing development which Invergordon can be proud of but also working with the planning department and the local community together with their representatives to safeguard the ancient woodland at Rosskeen for future generations.”

Calum MacPherson, Chief Executive of Inverness & Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, commented:

“The granting of permission to this much needed mix of affordable and private housing is an extremely positive statement from the Highland Council and is further testament to their commitment to growing the Highland economy and maximising the once in a generation opportunities that the Green Freeport will bring. Not only will the new development in Invergordon mark a significant step in providing housing for skilled workers moving to the area - importantly, it will also provide affordable housing for those that wish to stay and work in the region."

Affordable Housing

Capstone Construction - along with the Highland Council - will build 66 new homes at a site near Rosskeen on the northern edge of Invergordon. The 6.2 hectare development will comprise a combination of affordable housing and private dwellings as well as associated infrastructure and outdoor recreation areas.

The ramping up of activity at the Port of Nigg and Port of Cromarty Firth - as well as in the supply chain for the two industrial sites - resulting from Freeport status is expected to lead to an influx of skilled workers putting pressure on an already stretched Easter Ross housing stock.

Plans for woodland neighbouring the new housing scheme will see quality open spaces developed for the expansion of recreational pursuits for new and existing residents. Informal links will be provided from the developed neighbourhood areas to permeate into the woodland with active travel links for walking and cycling.

Capstone Construction also has plans in place for the long term protection and enhancement of the areas of ancient woodland to the north east and south of the site with the intention of placing the area under community ownership such as that enjoyed at nearby Evanton Community Woodland.

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Capstone Completes Groundworks at Residential Development in Inverness

16 April 2024

Capstone Completes Groundworks at Residential Development in Inverness

We recently completed groundworks at a new residential development in the Slackbuie area of Inverness, which led by Highland Housing Alliance (HAA), will comprise 24 new homes including 18 two-bedroom cottage flats, four three-bedroom semi-detached homes, and two four-bedroom semi-detached houses.

The homes at Slackbuie View will all be available at MMR tenure which is typically priced lower than private rental costs and slightly higher than affordable housing. This offers residents well-priced rental opportunities as demand for homes continues to soar across the Highlands.

The development is also a natural extension of the existing Slackbuie community that is well connected to public amenities located nearby. As part its developer contribution, HHA has provided more than £180,000 that will benefit local primary and secondary schools, and community facilities.

Funding for the development has been supported by the Scottish Government, The Highland Council, and the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal.

“HHA is a trusted delivery partner with an ambitious and commendable vision to improve the housing market across the Highlands. The 24 new homes in Slackbuie will be a welcome addition to the neighbourhood, offering close proximity to a range of local amenities and community services, as well as Inverness city centre just a short distance away. Completion of the groundworks marks a significant milestone in our construction timeline and we’re looking forward to seeing the homes take shape.”Rhona Donnelly, Managing Director at Capstone Construction

We are on track to complete construction of the homes in early 2025, with the first residents expected to move in during 2025.

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Capstone Construction to Gift Ancient Woodland to Invergordon Community Group as Part of Plans for Affordable Housing Development

22 December 2023

Capstone Construction to Gift Ancient Woodland to Invergordon Community Group as Part of Plans for Affordable Housing Development

As part of plans submitted for a much-needed housing development in Invergordon, Capstone Construction will gift part of the land’s ancient woodland to a local community group to be enjoyed for generations to come.

In what is the first major application for new housing in the area since the Cromarty Firth was granted Freeport status, Capstone Construction and the Highland Council have submitted plans to build 79 new homes at the site near Rosskeen on the northern edge of Invergordon. The development - to be sited on a virtually tree free site extending to approximately 6.2 hectares - will comprise a combination of affordable housing and private dwellings as well as associated infrastructure and outdoor recreation areas.

The ramping up of activity at the Port of Nigg and Port of Cromarty Firth -as well as in the supply chain for the two industrial sites - resulting from Freeport status is expected to lead to extensive job creation in the area, with the expected influx of skilled workers putting pressure on an already sparse Easter Ross housing stock.

Plans for woodland neighbouring the new housing development will see quality open spaces developed for the expansion of recreational pursuits for new and existing residents. Informal links will be provided from the developed neighbourhood areas to permeate into the woodland with active travel links for walking and cycling. Trim trails, features for natural play and outdoor gyms are among the facilities which could be created in already occurring clearings along these pathway links

As part of the planning application Capstone Construction is in process of preparing a woodland management plan for the long term protection and enhancement the area of ancient woodland to the north east of the site. The plan will include works to improve biodiversity and foraging opportunities incorporating the recommendations in the ecology report of removing the rhododendron, felling/cutting of dead and dying trees and arranging on site for habitat, and new under planting. It is the intention to explore this area for community ownership similar that in operation at nearby Evanton Community Woodland.

Another area of scheduled ancient woodland to the south of the site will also be subject to a woodland management plan for the long-term protection and enhancement of this area. It will incorporate planting to enhance the new path routes and recreational facilities that will be provided in this area. This area will be more maintained and manicured for public use and enjoyment of outdoor activities.

Capstone Construction Managing Direction, Rhona Donnelly, said: “We have gone to great lengths to make sure the surrounding woodland is not only safeguarded but has improved access for the local community. Our ultimate aim is to gift the ancient woodland to a local community group so that it will be protected for future generations, and we have reached out to POGS (Invergordon) to explore the possibility of them forming the community company to take over the woodland.”

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Capstone's Support for Inverness Women's Aid: 'Operation Love Your Refuge' Event Donation

4 October 2023

Capstone's Support for Inverness Women's Aid: 'Operation Love Your Refuge' Event Donation

We were delighted to support Inverness Women’s Aid by donating a range of essential supplies such as high-vis vests, foot covers, painting kits and gloss paint for their ‘Operation Love Your Refuge’ event that took place on Saturday 30th September. At the event, volunteers united to ‘pour’ love into the charities refuge's accommodation, which encompasses 7 flats and 4 bedsit rooms. With new families moving in very soon, the focus was on rejuvenating the building through cleaning, painting, maintenance, and sprucing up the garden.

Since 1979, Inverness Women’s Aid has been a beacon of hope for women, young people, and children facing domestic abuse in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch, and Strathspey. Funded by the Highland Council and Scottish Government, and affiliated with the Scottish Women’s Aid network of domestic abuse services across Scotland, Inverness Women’s Aid receives around 500 referrals per year, a number that is constantly growing.

Pictured: Craig MacLellan, Capstone's Procurement Manager, alongside Lisa Buchanan, Manager of Inverness Women's Aid.

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Congratulations to Beth Saunders on Earning her SVQ in Business & Administration: A Testament to Professional Growth at Capstone

25 September 2023

Congratulations to Beth Saunders on Earning her SVQ in Business & Administration: A Testament to Professional Growth at Capstone

We're delighted to announce that Beth Saunders, our Receptionist & Admin Assistant, recently achieved her SVQ in Business & Administration. This achievement not only underscores Beth's commitment to professional growth and a passion for excellence, but also adds significant value to our team. We believe in fostering a culture of continuous learning and Beth's accomplishment is a testament to that. Congratulations, Beth!

Commenting on the completion of the course, Beth said: "I really enjoyed completing my SVQ through JB Management; they were efficient and helpful. This course has enhanced my understanding of the various procedures within the company and highlighted the importance of team communication. It has also taught me how to handle specific situations should they arise. Overall, pursuing my business qualification has given me a better understanding of my day-to-day tasks here at Capstone and emphasised the importance of adhering to the correct guidelines in the workplace."

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Highland Cross Duathlon's Success Amplified by Capstone's Generous Support and Employee Dedication

20 June 2023

Highland Cross Duathlon's Success Amplified by Capstone's Generous Support and Employee Dedication

Congratulations to the 716 competitors who completed the Highland Cross on Saturday, June 17th, 2023 — a duathlon that spans an impressive 50 miles, combining a challenging 20-mile walk or run with an exhilarating 30-mile cycling journey through the breath-taking landscapes of Scotland, from Kintail to Beauly.

Capstone, along with many other local businesses, played a crucial role in ensuring the success of the event. We generously donated vans, making sure that volunteers, bikes, and necessary equipment were safely transported to and from the start and finish line. In addition, a group of our staff members helped to clear the cycle route. They tirelessly trimmed branches and filled potholes, ensuring a smooth and safe experience for all competitors.

We also couldn't be prouder of our Small Works Manager, Darren Simpson, who completed the Highland Cross in an incredible time of 6 hours, 18 minutes, and 40 seconds. Darren's two teammates, Ruairidh Macleman and Paul Ross, also showcased their talent, achieving impressive times of 5:32:28, and 5:49:34, respectively. Their performances were truly outstanding, especially considering the scorching heat!

Participating teams were required to pledge a minimum of £500 in sponsorship. Darren and his team took up the challenge and went above and beyond, raising an impressive £1,865 through their JustGiving campaign that will support five local charities chosen by Highland Cross - Àban Outdoor, Caberfeidh Horizons, Friends of Cameron House, Highland Hospice, and Partnerships for Wellbeing.

Capstone's involvement in Highland Cross was not only a testament to our commitment to the community but also a shining example of how businesses can make a positive impact. We are honoured to have contributed to this extraordinary event and, once again, congratulations to Darren and his team, as well as all the other competitors who took part.

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Capstone Construction Sponsors Ollie Stewart's Ascent to Motorsports Stardom in GB Formula 3 Series

14 April 2023

Capstone Construction Sponsors Ollie Stewart's Ascent to Motorsports Stardom in GB Formula 3 Series

We are thrilled to announce that Capstone Construction is proud to be among the select group of local companies sponsoring Beauly's very own teenage racing prodigy, Oliver Stewart, as he continues his rapid ascent up the motorsports ranks by competing in the GB Formula 3 series this year.

Having displayed his incredible talent in kart racing, Stewart was offered the opportunity to make the jump to F3 earlier this year, and at just 16 years old, he clinched his first outright race victory at Thruxton in August of last year, in addition to earning multiple rookie cup trophies across ten events. He competed as part of the Hitech GP team and finished an impressive 10th out of 22 drivers.

Rhona Donnelly, the Managing Director of Capstone Construction, shared her enthusiasm, stating, "We are proud to support Oliver Stewart and watch as he progress’s in the world of motorsports. With his impressive track record and commitment to training, we are confident that Oliver has an extremely bright future ahead of him."

Oliver's progress can be tracked on the GB3 website, which provides links to watch live coverage of all qualifying sessions and races.

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WGC (Scotland) rebranded ‘Capstone Construction’ as  GEG Capital group company looks to the future

24 August 2022

WGC (Scotland) rebranded ‘Capstone Construction’ as GEG Capital group company looks to the future

We will be known as Capstone Construction going forward as we announced our major rebranding.

Explaining the move, our Managing Director, Rhona Donnelly, said:

This rebrand is an important milestone in our journey. The name Capstone Construction better articulates who we are as a business, our long history in the highlands and the future vision of us and our Board of Directors.

“In construction, Capstone refers to the stone placed at the top of a wall or building to mark the successful completion of a structure. Given our excellent track record for successfully delivering bespoke, technically challenging projects for clients across the Highlands - we think the name is apt and captures the spirit and culture of the company as it is today.

“We have a young, ambitious team who have proven to be adaptable and reactive and really want to drive the company into this exciting new phase of its development. The rebrand lets us look to the future, making the most of the synergies that exist across our GEG Capital parent group to better service our extremely valued client base in the social housing, industrial and commercial sectors.”

Founded in 2001, we have grown to become one of the largest privately owned construction companies in the Highlands, Inverness-based investment group, GEG Capital Ltd. acquired WGC (Scotland) in 2022 with the planned rebrand unveiled on August 29, 2022.

Capstone Construction operates as a standalone entity within GEG Capital which supports the existing management team to target growth in the social housing, industrial and commercial construction sectors, enhancing Capstone’s vision, values, commitment to training and reputation.

GEG Capital Director, Jia MacKenzie, said:

“Capstone Construction’s ambitious management team is already starting to realise the potential we identified in them, working with other companies in our portfolio such as Global Infrastructure and Mabbett where real synergies exist.

This fresh new identify really lets Rhona and her team put their own stamp on an organisation with a long history but that is entering an exciting phase of its growth.”

Capstone Construction enjoys an excellent reputation for delivering bespoke, technically challenging, low environmental impact, social housing projects across the Highlands – including the 46-homes in Avoch for the Highland Housing Alliance and Cairn Housing Association which has recently been nominated for the Inside Housing and British Homes Awards. The company hopes to expand its role as a preferred partner in the provision of affordable housing, creating local jobs and supporting the local economy.

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