Bolton steel firm's "Cheesegrater" contract worth £80 million
A BOLTON steel firm’s contract on one of London’s tallest buildings is worth £80 million - and bosses say it will bring job security to hundreds of workers for the next year.
Watson Steel Construction, based in Lostock , is making 18,000 tonnes of structural steelwork for the Leadenhall building, nicknamed the Cheesegrater.
The 47-storey wedge-shaped tower is being built near the famous Lloyds of London building in the City and will be 737ft high when complete.
Much of the steelwork will be on the outside of the building and visible to pedestrians and neighbouring buildings.
Alex Harper, a Watson project manager, said the Cheesegrater contract was providing valuable work to Watson workers and others suppliers in the Bolton area.
For example, the firm covers its finished steelwork in special coverings made by Leighs Paint.
Watson said the work will provide employment to 200 workers until 2014.
It comes after Watsons’ wide range of stadia and bridge contracts at the London Olympic site.
These included steelwork for the main arena and velodrome, and towers for a landmark cable car crossing the River Thames.
Another big Olympic contract for Watson was the Orbit sculpture by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor.
It has a central spiral tower with an outer helix of steelwork, of which no two parts are identical.
Detailed computer-designed drawings are combined with laser-guided positioning equipment to make sure everything fits perfectly.
Elsewhere, Watson made the steelwork for the Reebok Stadium and Gateshead’s Millennium Bridge.
And the inspiration for the official Olympic and Paralympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, came from Watson Steel.