Speyside Way 2019


The Speyside Way is a long-distance path that follows the River Spey through the scenery of Banffshire, Morayshire and Inverness-shire in Scotland. The route begins in Kingussie and ends at Buckpool harbour in Buckie, some 107 kilometres away. The Tomintoul spur of the Speyside Way to Glenlivet is just under 14km and is one of the most spectacular sections of this long distance route.  The Company was employed by Cairngorms National Park Authority to provide its expertise on both design and delivery of this path project.

Planning Phase

The initial remit identified by Cairngorms National Park Authority was for the supply of a path condition survey, appraisal and thereafter detailed design and specification of path upgrade. This work was commissioned as part of a wider remit to promote rural regeneration of the Tomintoul and Glenlivet areas and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The objectives of the commission were to

  • To improve the Speyside Way (Tomintoul Spur) to encourage more walkers to visit the Tomintoul Glenlivet area
  • To construct a new footpath linking historic Blairfindy Castle and Glenlivet Distillery.

More specifically the outputs undertaken by the company for the project included :-

Output 1 – Community/Stakeholder Engagement

  • Meet with Crown Estate staff and carry out familiarisation with the Tomintoul (Speyside Way) Spur, Glenlivet Distillery and its environs, Blairfindy Castle.
  • Carry out two information sharing sessions with the Tomintoul and Glenlivet communities.
  • Consult relevant stakeholders over the most appropriate route for a new path connecting Blairfindy Castle and Glenlivet Distillery taking account of factors including choice of setting-off point, land management issues, accessibility and appeal.
  • Following key stakeholder agreement to worked-up proposals report back to the two communities on costed scheme to be taken forward to the Delivery Phase.

Output 2 - Survey of Tomintoul Spur and Identification of Priorities for improvement

  • a pictorial assessment of current path/infrastructure condition
  • a pictorial description of work required
  • a written description of work required
  • an estimate of the time and cost to bring the path/infrastructure into good condition
  • Prepare a report entailing recommendations, rationale and Bills of Quantities for those parts of the Tomintoul Spur to be improved and in respect of the given provisional budgets

Output 3 – New path between Blairfindy Castle and Glenlivet Distillery

  • Prepare a report including survey sheets, annotated maps, photographs and Bill of Quantities detailing a design, line and specification for a new path.
  • Investigate the need for planning permissions and/or other consents. Where they are necessary, the relevant applications and consents should be made and secured by the end of the contract period.
  • Cost of works identified in the report should be proportionate in regards to the overall budget available for capital works in the Delivery Phase.
  • The report must contain sufficient information and detail in order that it can be used as the basis for letting of a commercial contract/s during the Delivery Phase.

This phase of the project was successfully completed by the company in December 2015 with the content of this phase, including a successful planning application, used to support the application to the Heritage Lottery funding body for the delivery phase.

Delivery Phase

Funding for the delivery phase of the project was confirmed in 2018 and from that point the company was appointed as Project Manager to develop and implement the Delivery phase of the project. For this phase of the project the main outputs undertaken by the company included :-

Output 1 - Review existing scope of works, including site walk over. Update all documents as required in to a tender format using NEC 3 Short Form of contract. Tender documents included :-

  • Contract Data
  • Price List
  • Contractors Offer / Employers Acceptance pro forma
  • Works Information - Specifications and Drawings
  • Site Information

Output 2 - Undertake the role of Principal Designer in accordance with Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

  • Provide Pre construction Information for inclusion within Tender documentation
  • Liaison with Principal Contractor during the currency of the project.

Output 3 - Project Management of works inclusive of :-

  • Tender phase - Site visit / meeting with potential contractors.
  • Responding to queries raised by Tendering contractors
  • Inspecting the works to ensure compliance with specifications –
  • This also includes :-
    • Liaison with Contractor to ensure compliance with Environmental requirements.
    • Coordinating and responding to technical queries raised
    • Assessing contractors interim valuations
  • Reporting progress and commercial status to Client
  • Assessed Construction period 20 weeks - during spring / summer 2019
  • Project value approximately £300k

After the tender / procurement stages the works commenced in April 2019 and the Speyside Way spur upgrades completed in August 2019, on time and to budget with zero accidents.


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