Ainscough Crane Hire’s Exeter Depot has successfully lifted into place the drilling rig that could pave the way for the future of clean energy in the UK.

Working with drilling specialists H. Anger’s Söhne, Ainscough Crane Hire used three cranes to put the rig into place. The main crane used was a 200T, which was on site for three weeks, in addition to 500T and 90T cranes, which were on site for three and five days respectively.

The lift enabled the start of the process of two wells of 4.5 km and 2.5 km being drilled into granite at the site near Redruth in Cornwall. Water that has been heated by the granite to a temperature of approximately 200 degrees Celsius will be produced at the surface from the 4.5 km well, where it will be used to power a turbine that will generate electricity.

It will take seven months for the holes to be drilled, and it is believed that when complete the 4.5 km hole will be the deepest of its kind in the UK. The project’s success ultimately depends on whether the water will be able to permeate the rocks and if the required amount of heated water will be extracted to drive the turbines.

The project was undertaken on behalf of Geothermal Engineering Ltd, the environmental specialists dedicated to bringing clean, renewable energy to the UK. Nine Ainscough Crane Hire staff completed the work, with the team working closely with all parties to overcome delays caused by adverse weather conditions.

Exeter Depot Manager Ryan Dobson said: “This was a fascinating project for our team to work on, and we wish the teams at H. Anger’s Sohne and Geothermal Engineering the best of luck for a project that could have a great positive impact on the future of clean energy in the UK.”

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Ainscough’s Glasgow depot recently carried out a successful three day job at Glensanda Quarry in Oban, Scotland, which involved an unusual method of transportation to and from the site.

Working for Aggregate Industries, the team carried out a series of lifts at the quarry to dismantle a crawler crane and load the sections onto a selection of trailers.

Glensanda Quarry is the largest granite quarry in Europe, exporting to markets all across Northern Europe. It has an annual production capacity in excess of 9 million tonnes and a massive 760 million tonnes reserve of granite.

Due to its location on the banks of Loch Linnhe, the site is only accessible by sea due to the surrounding rugged mountainous terrain. This meant the team was required to ship the LTM1090-4.1 crane on a barge owned and operated by Aggregate Industries.

The impressive journey required a drive to Al Port at Rhugh Garbh before a two hour sail across the water, which included an impressive view of Glensanda Castle, a 15th century fortress that was once occupied by the Macleans, one of the oldest Scottish clans in the Highlands.

The foot passengers also arrived at Rhugh Garbh to make the crossing on a smaller boat. Due to the remote location crane operator Joe Dougal and supervisor Robert McConnell stayed at the onsite camp over the course of the project.

Glasgow depot manager Gavin Egdell said: “We are proud to be Aggregate Industries preferred contractor and have carried out multiple projects on this site for several years. This type of job definitely isn’t an everyday occurrence for the team but overall the lifts were very successful and we hope to continue building on this great relationship in the future.

“It is also a real bonus to take part in a job with such a breath-taking backdrop, and on a good day you can see Ben Nevis to the north and Beinn Ghlas Wind Farm to the south.”


Ainscough Crane Hire has played a key role in the erection of the tower crane that will enable the construction of the 100 Embankment office development in Salford’s Greengate.

The second and final phase of the Embankment scheme, 100 Embankment is being delivered by BAM Nuttall on behalf of joint venture partners Tristan Capital Partners and Ask Real Estate.

In order to enable the construction of the building, Ainscough Crane Hire was appointed by HTC Wolffkran Ltd to lift into place the tower crane that will allow workers to erect the nine-storey building.

Ainscough worked with HTC Wolffkran Ltd and BAM to develop an intricate sequence for the positioning of support cranes which would in turn enable the building of the 500T mobile crane that allow the tower crane to be fixed in place.

Due to the intricate nature of the surrounding environment, there was only one available site for the lift pad. In advance of the rigging, the project team undertook various activities to counteract the complexity of the surrounding areas.

This included the use of carefully placed spreader mats to ensure the crane’s arrival would not impact upon the surrounding structures, such as the 8m high river wall. The river wall was the most sensitive structure close to the activity, and the team undertook a monitoring programme across 72 hours in order to confirm it was safe for the crane to be put in place.

The programme involved a remote computer controlled instrument being installed on a position thought to be least impacted by additional movement and weight, with staff alerted if agreed parameters were exceeded.

It was also imperative to determine the activity would not have any implications for nearby underground travel, with the site surrounded by a series of busy roads.

Once the process began the combination of collaboration between BAM, HTC Wolffkran Ltd and Ainscough Crane Hire ensured the lift was completed safely and to schedule.

Bob Beardmore, Technical Manager, Heavy Cranes said: “This was a challenging job and its success was a result of an excellent show of teamwork by all of the involved parties. The lift took place in a complex area of Salford, and duly required a high level of preliminary research and precise preparation. When complete 100 Embankment will be a key visual touchstone of one of the most vibrant new developments in Greater Manchester, and we are proud to have played a role in its creation.”

Greg Williams, Regional Engineer – North West, BAM Construction Ltd, said: “A lift as complex as this presented a few difficulties but as a team we all got through them. I would like to thank the Ainscough Crane Hire team for its perseverance. From speaking to them this was one of the hardest rigs they have done and they acted like true professionals.”

When complete, 100 Embankment will encompass 166,000 sq ft of BREEAM Grade A office space. Located at the intersection of Manchester and Salford, the site overlooks the River Irwell and lies above the former Manchester Exchange railway station.


Ainscough Crane Hire’s Ipswich Depot has played a pivotal role in the cleaning of one of the town’s key landmarks.

The Sir Bobby Robson Bridge was built in 2009 and named in honour of the legendary Ipswich Town manager, who died that year. The 60-metre cable-stayed footbridge is second tallest structure in Ipswich and sits above the River Gipping, providing a link between West End Road and the residential area opposite.

The local Ainscough team was hired by Suffolk Highways, to provide a full contract lift with a 60T crane. The project saw the crane’s man basket being lifted to 40m to allow three members of the Suffolk Highways team to complete a safety inspection of the bridge, enabling the officials to confirm it remains safe for pedestrians and cyclists to use.

The inspection also provided officials with the perfect opportunity to clean the bridge, removing the significant amounts of algae that had settled upon it since it opened nearly a decade ago.

Having begun on 29th October, the work took four days to complete with local television and radio reporting from the site on the project’s progress.

Ipswich Depot Manager Pete Wallis said: “Our Ipswich team was proud to deliver a lift that allowed the Sir Bobby Robson Bridge to be given a vital safety inspection as well as well as some much needed TLC. Since it was built nearly ten years ago the footbridge has become a landmark for the town and our team worked to ensure that the staff from Suffolk Highways were able to get as close as possible to the bridge in order to complete their work. It is very rewarding that we were able to help the job be completed swiftly and safely, with minimum disruption to pedestrians.”

Sir Bobby Robson managed Ipswich Town between 1969 and 1982, with the team winning the FA Cup in 1978 and the UEFA Cup in 1981. He later went on to manage the England national team and club sides including PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona and Newcastle.