Heron Bros’ apprentice and placement student were joined by Councillor Deirdre Hargey to ‘cut the first sod’ and mark the start of construction on £105 million Belfast Leisure Transformation Programme.

Mark McGrogan has been employed by Heron Bros as an apprentice as part of a social clause in the Belfast Leisure projects. He helped cut the first sod at the Robinson Centre with Councillor Hargey and was joined by John Paul Higgins, Senior Contracts Manager from Heron Bros and Gareth Kirk, from GLL.

Heron Bros has begun work on the new £20m Robinson Centre. The centre is due for completion in Summer 2019 and will specialise in aquatics and will provide, among other things, a 25 metre by eight lane gala pool with 250 spectator seats; a learner pool with movable floor and diving provision; sports hall; café; community facility an outside provision including a five-a-side pitch.

Ulster University student, Caron McCormack, jumped in the deep end at Andersonstown Leisure Centre as she joined Councillor Hargey to highlight work on the new £25 million centre. Caron is pictured with Councillor Hargey in the empty swimming pool to highlight work beginning on demolishing the old centre. Heron Bros Project Manager, Paul McNamee and Gareth Kirk, from GLL also attended. The facility is due for completion in Autumn 2019 and will focus on water-based family fun with fast paced water slides; a surf simulator and children’s wet play adventure area.

Ken Whan, Operations Director at Heron Bros said: “Heron Bros is proud to begin construction work on Belfast Leisure Projects. The three leisure centres, collectively valued at £60m, will enable us to expand on our impressive portfolio of leisure facilities while providing significant community benefits to the wider Belfast area.”

Grainne O’Kane, HR Manager at Heron Bros commented: “We are delighted that Mark and Caron have joined the Heron Bros team. Mark is completing a Level 5 Civil Engineering Apprenticeship programme, while Caron is on her Industrial Placement from BSc (Hons) Construction Engineering and Management. They are both embarking on an exciting journey with us on Belfast Leisure Projects developing a career that can last a lifetime. Apprenticeships and Industrial Placements are an important way for young people to ease the transition between the world of education and the world of work. Mark and Caron can look forward to putting the theory they learn at College and University into practice with Heron Bros. They will develop job skills that cannot be taught in a classroom and most importantly gain valuable experience whilst learning. As a company, Heron Bros aims to maximise the positive impact we can have in the communities in which we work, providing apprenticeship and placement opportunities is one way of achieving this.”

In addition to the construction work at Andersonstown and Robinson Centres, Heron Bros is also due to begin work on a £15 million redevelopment of Brook Activity Centre in the Colin area in the New Year. While this new facility will focus on outdoor sports provision with a number of 3G pitches, it will also include a 25 metre pool – bringing this amenity to the local area for the first time.

If you’re interested in working in the Construction Industry but lack experience and qualifications, our upcoming Construction Employment Academy is a very exciting opportunity.