Barr Construction

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Barr Construction
Industry Construction
Founded Late nineteenth century
Headquarters Paisley, Scotland, UK
Key people
Barclay Chalmers, (MD)

Barr Construction was a major Scottish contracting organisation operating throughout the United Kingdom.


The Company began life at the end of the nineteenth century as a joinery firm known as W & J Barr & Sons and gradually expanded into civil engineering projects. The firm was incorporated in 1976 as Barr began to grow its operations out of its native Ayrshire and into larger civil engineering developments.

Firmly established in the civil engineering sector at the start of the 1990s, Barr looked to broaden its skillbase by developing its portfolio in building projects. During the next decade, Barr developed its skills across a number of core sectors. These sectors included Retail, Leisure and Education. The current structure has evolved to reflect the organisation’s strengths in these sectors.

The company is best known perhaps for its stadia work which includes new facilities for Southampton, Fulham, Celtic, and Rangers Football Clubs as well as projects for lower league and rugby clubs. The projects at Airdrieonians[1] and Raith Rovers[2] excited controversy when the resulting debts to Barr Construction caused financial problems for the clubs.

In 2001 the company won the contract to upgrade the A830 road between Mallaig and Fort William in the Scottish highlands.[3] Barr were also involved in the renovation of Home Park, the stadium home to English football club, Plymouth Argyle F.C.

In 2006 Barr built the first "eco-store" for Tesco at Wick in Scotland, using the unorthodox method of ship transport to deliver building materials to the site in order to save on carbon emissions.[4]

In 2007 the company was bought by McLaughlin & Harvey.[5]

For the 2012 London Olympic games, Barr won the contact to construct the Olympic Park Basketball arena.[6]

In November 2014 McLaughlin & Harvey integrated Barr Construction into its business and Barr Construction ceased to exist as a separate business,[7] although the Barr name continues to be used within the group for Barr Environmental.[8]


  1. ^ "Fans out to brew up Barr bill". BBC. 2001-04-03. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  2. ^ Stephen, Kenneth (1999-10-05). "Raith plea to building supremo Barr". Daily Record. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  3. ^ "Upgrade for 'road to the isles'". BBC. 2001-04-30. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  4. ^ "Tesco in ship to store transfer". BBC. 2006-08-30. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  5. ^ "Barr bought by Northern Irish firm". Herald Scotland. 26 May 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Construction starts on 2012 Basketball Arena | October 2009". Builder & Engineer. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  7. ^ "McLaughlin set to ditch Barr Construction brand". The Scotsman. 29 November 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  8. ^ "Barr Environmental". Waste Serviceing. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 

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