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Motherwell Bridge Group acquires Web Access Engineering company

Leading Scottish engineering group Motherwell Bridge has expanded its portfolio following the acquisition of Web Access Engineering Ltd, one of the leading specialist access and training organisations in Scotland. Together with Hi-Rope, a Motherwell Bridge subsidiary since 1998, this latest acquisition will create the country’s most highly skilled and successful specialist access provider to onshore and offshore industry.

Modern, alternative access techniques are becoming a major growth industry in a move away from traditional scaffolding and cradles for a wide range of applications and projects. The most prominent and widely accepted is rope access or ‘abseiling’. These methods are cost-effective, reducing project time and cost, and offer significant safety benefits with an excellent safety record.

Motherwell Bridge first entered this specialist service market with the acquisition of Aberdeen based Hi-Rope, a key player in the UK offshore oil industry where rope access techniques first came of age. Their impressive client base includes oil majors and large engineering companies around the world, with projects completed as far afield as Russia, the Far East, Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

According to Hi-Rope’s General Manager, Pete Robinson the company is geared to develop and search for new market sectors. "Hi-Rope’s business is primarily offshore related and it is important to retain this focus whilst providing our clients with new services and innovative ideas. However, we also recognise the significant benefits our skills and capabilities can offer to other industry sectors, particularly civil and onshore. Linking up with Web Access Engineering provided immediate entry to new markets in addition to an extensive pool of skills and technical capabilities."

In 1999, as part of their development strategy, Hi-Rope began working with Web Access Engineering. Based in Edinburgh, Web has focussed onshore in the civil engineering and industrial sectors, power generation, utilities, transport and communications markets.

Both companies worked successfully on a number of projects which neither company could handle individually, at the same time moving into new areas such as Nuclear Decommissioning and Transport Infrastructure.

In addition to their access capabilities, Web also offers a comprehensive range of training courses, including ECITB registered courses and support for specific client needs, in one of the best training facilities in the country. "This was also an important aspect of working with the Web, not only to provide training for Hi-Rope personnel but for our client personnel too." says Robinson.

In February 2001 Web was acquired by the Motherwell Bridge Group. Gordon Bisset, Web’s General Manager, is delighted with the move. "This will present substantial opportunities for Web, in terms of accessing new markets and new clients, as both Hi-Rope and Web now have the combined expertise and experience to confidently bid for and carry out much larger scale projects."

"With guidance from Motherwell Bridge, we can ensure solid growth in the onshore civil sector whilst consolidating Hi-Rope’s offshore position."

Motherwell Bridge Group Chief Executive John Lumsden said: "Hi-Rope has been a successful Group member for several years and I am convinced the acquisition of Web will help the company consolidate its position as a leading provider of access solutions."

Both companies already have eyes on overseas expansion, targeting American and European markets.