A national media outlet recently published a series of pictures displaying the Queensferry Crossing with its carriageway completed spanning the Firth of Forth to the west of Edinburgh.

The addition to the skyline stretches for 1.7 miles and forms the centrepiece of a major £1.3 billion upgrade to the important cross-Forth transport corridor in the east of Scotland. It is being built by FCBC (Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors).

Taken by amateur photographer, Finlay Wells, the view captures the three crossings of the estuary looking south toward Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills.

To the left of the new crossing sits the Forth Road Bridge, which opened in 1964 and the iconic Forth Bridge which opened in 1890. Carrying the north-to-south rail line, the Forth Bridge is recognised a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Ainscough has delivered lifting services to FCBC from the early stages of the project.


Ainscough Crane Hire has delivered a programme of works at Ealing Broadway Station as part of the multi-billion pound Crossrail development in London, on behalf of civil engineers J N Piling.

Ealing Broadway is undergoing significant redevelopment as part of the Crossrail venture which will see London’s rail network capacity increase by 10%. Crossrail will connect commuters with areas along a 118km line from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through two new twin-bore 21km tunnels below central London to the east.

Using a Leibherr LTM 1200-5.1, Ainscough’s team worked at the west London station, lifting a series of 1.8 tonne steel sheet piles, which are used in civil engineering as retaining walls in areas of deep excavation. The crane lifted the material from the Carmelita House car park onto the platforms so the work could be carried out at the station.

11m long sheet piles were used to form a permanent retaining wall as part of the new station on what will be called the Elizabeth line, named after the Queen.

Trains are expected to run through Ealing Broadway and along the network by spring 2018.

Mary Duffy, London Hire Centre Contract Lift Co-ordinator for Ainscough, said: “Being a part of major infrastructure projects like Crossrail is great for us as it demonstrates that we are a trusted part of the supply chain for these critically important schemes.

“The transformation of the 120 year old station will enable it to support millions of commuters that form a key part of the UK economy while also improving the lives of residents and visitors to the capital.”

Mike Nattrass of JN Piling said: “We used a 200 tonne crane to lift a Giken silent piling rig from its transport onto some pre-existing sheet piles which were on the railway embankment at Ealing Broadway.”

“Once the machine was set on the piles, it then serviced the rig lifting sheet piles into it to be installed and once all the piles had been installed lifted it back to the transport. The works were successfully completed and formed part of the Crossrail West Stations project, which is still ongoing.”


Ainscough has completed the assembly of an airside workshop and tool store at Manchester Airport on behalf of modular building specialist, Arcol Modular Buildings Ltd.

Operating under CPA hire arrangements, the

Ainscough Crane Hire team arranged nine modular buildings for the use as maintenance facilities by the airport’s Terminal 1 airside crew.

Using a Leibherr LTM 1055-3.2, an all-terrain mobile crane to assemble the building, the Ainscough team were required to complete the rigorous airside working arrangements which included passing in and out of passport control. The crane too underwent detailed securing vetting before being permitted to operate within the airport’s vicinity.

Eric Watson, from Acrol Modular Buildings said: “Security is naturally the key consideration for the airport and for that reason we needed a crane supplier which we could trust to deliver this work.

“The Ainscough team were professional, methodical and were great to work with.”

Gary Rathburn, depot manager at Ainscough’s Manchester Depot added: “Working airside brings its own routines and requirements for our operators. We are well versed in these and were very pleased to be able to deliver this work for Arcol and for the airport crew.”

Based in the north east of England, Arcol specialises in the construction of cabins and modular buildings.


Ainscough has completed a delicate lift, lifting the canopy of a filling station, on behalf of forecourt structure specialist, Global-MSI.

Operating under CPA hire arrangements, the Ainscough Crane Hire team used four individual cranes to raise the roof by half a metre allowing the Kilmarnock filling station to be accessed by articulated lorries and other high-sided vehicles.

Using two 40 tonne Liebherr LTM 1040-2.1 and two LTM 1055-3.2 55 tonne all-terrain mobile cranes to perform the lift. Positioned diagonally opposite one another, the four cranes were necessary to ensure each corner of the L-shaped canopy was raised simultaneously and therefore, not damaged during the lift.

An additional consideration for the lift planners was the spread of the load of the cranes on the ground. The large underground fuel storage tanks mean careful consideration of crane outrigger positioning was required.

Neil Chesman, Operations Manager at Global-MSI said: “Filling stations are never the simplest of locations to perform lifts of this type in owing to the peculiarities of the ground conditions.

“To deliver this lift successfully required careful planning and the four operators to work in unison to ensure the canopy didn’t flex as it was raised.

“The whole process took two and a half hours to complete and went like clockwork. Our thanks go to the Ainscough operators who were excellent.”

Global-MSI is a specialist in the design, manufacture and construction of petrol station forecourt superstructures including: convenience stores, canopies, retail, food & refreshment outlets and car wash buildings and is a subsidiary of MS International plc.


Ainscough has helped to complete temporary wall repairs on Roker Pier in Sunderland for ESH Construction after heavy storms led to the closure of the Grade II listed structure.

A historic landmark in the north east, Roker Pier, was hit by storms just days before its unique tunnel and lighthouse were due to open to the public following a £2.5 million restoration project. The storms resulted in 100 metres of coping stones and handrail being washed away.

Ainscough Crane Hire’s operators used a Liebherr LTM 1040-2.1, a 40 tonne all-terrain mobile crane, to recover the coping stones from the sea floor. The Ainscough team worked in conjunction with a team of specialist divers before they were collected to review their damage.

The UK’s leading lifting company, Ainscough Crane Hire, worked on the 2,000 ft pier to enable vital temporary repair work to be carried out to protect it from further damage over the winter and Ainscough’s depot manager, Gary Brown praised the skill and expertise of his team: “Due to the adverse weather conditions and the tight operating space, it was a complicated project. We lifted each stone individually as we were unable to safely put a larger crane on the narrow pier. The diving team worked to collect the stones from the sea floor and we completed the lifts safely, whilst operating through weather windows.

“The expert planning, matched by the skill and competence of the team, meant that we were able to deliver for our customer and played a vital role in the recovery of stones from this historic pier.”

Stuart Rand, site manager at ESH Construction said: “We regularly use Ainscough for complex lifts as we can guarantee that a safe, swift and professional job will be completed, no matter the circumstances.

“The weather conditions made the work challenging but it was completed on time and without incident, a testament to the expertise of Ainscough’s team.”

Ainscough has previously worked closely with ESH Construction, most notably in 2013 when bridge renovations were completed in Monkseaton for the Newcastle Metrolink.


Ainscough Wind Energy Services’ Operations and Maintenance (O&M) team has secured a contract with Greencoat UK Wind PLC (the leading listed renewable infrastructure fund) to provide statutory inspection services to a series of its on-shore wind farms in the UK.

Wind farm operators are required to undertake regular statutory inspections to ensure the turbines safety equipment is in a safe condition for use.

Covering a range of inspections to turbines, meteorological masts and sub-stations, Ainscough engineers will undertake a site visit to carry out physical inspections of the systems which are covered by four key pieces of Government regulation.

These are: The Lifting and Lift Equipment Regulations (L.O.L.E.R), which covers items like eyebolts and lifting equipment; Provision and Use of Work Equipment, which covers ladders; The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, which assesses fire suppression and alarms systems along with the fire extinguishers and The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations which covers items such pressure systems including accumulators.

Mike Appleby, Ainscough Wind Energy Services O&M Team Leader, said: “The focus we have for our customers is to ensure that their turbines keep turning and do so safely. Our engineers have many years of experience in assessing and identifying issues with turbines which can easily escalate into serious problems if not addressed.

“The focus we have for our customers is to minimise downtime while ensuring compliance with the applicable legislation, our engineers have several years of experience in inspection, testing and maintenance of safety equipment and are always furthering their knowledge and expertise by attending training courses and seminars. Our offering of an all-inclusive service for our customers reduces downtime and administration costs for the client.

“This latest instruction to deliver statutory inspection services is a great boost to this key area of the business.”


Ainscough Crane Hire’s Sheffield Depot have been busy assembling the structural steel work of a new superstore for Swedish home furnishings retailer; Ikea.

Working for key client, Wisconco Steel Erectors, construction of the 17m high store on Sheffield Road, in the Tinsley area of the city, started in February.

Using a Terex AC 350/6, a 350 tonne all-terrain crane, to work on up to 17 lift shafts which have been installed using varying sizes of cranes.

Damian Napper, Sheffield Depot Manager, said: “The job has been very successful. We have been working alongside Wisconsco, one of our biggest clients, and reaffirming our relationship.

“For us, it is a huge assembly job, not unlike putting together a piece of flat-pack furniture. You take a methodical and logical approach and it all goes smoothly.

“It’s a great project and as it progresses we hope to be working on different areas of the store’s construction and assembly.”

Wisconsco is installing 3,000 tonnes of structural steelwork and 4,000 pre-cast floor units over a 20 week period and contracted Ainscough to assist with the construction of the lift shafts with more than 90 unit lifts up to 49 tonnes per unit.

Jody Wisniewski, Contracts Director of Wisconco Steel Erectors, said: “We have required a huge input from Ainscough on this project because of the scale of the lifting that needs to be done.

“We are very pleased with the way the job has progressed and we are looking at several large projects in the future where we will consider working with Ainscough again.”

The store is expected to open to the public in the late summer of 2017.