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2020: A year like no other


It’s been a year like no other, with unprecedented challenges along the way, but in spite of it all, 2020 has proven to be a great one for Eadon.

We have enjoyed working on a wide variety of projects and have received excellent feedback from clients and built new relationships.

Not so much a highlight, but March 23rd is a day we won’t forget in a hurry – the day that Boris Johnson announced the nation was going into lockdown. We had a seamless overnight transition from normal office working to everyone working at home thanks to our robust IT systems and effective business continuity planning. We have been proud of how well we have dealt with this and the changing situation. Furthermore, we’ve learnt that working from home has it’s advantages; and that the improved work-life balance it provides, can result in better productivity overall.

A huge Eadon 2020 highlight has been being awarded two nuclear frameworks. In April we were awarded the contracts across all Lots of a new multi-million-pound Higher Activity Waste (HAW) Framework. Established by Radioactive Waste Management Limited (RWM,) this new four-year framework enables us to provide support to their HAW Programme to optimise the management of HAW and to fulfil RWMs mission to provide waste management solutions.

And last month we announced the news that we have been awarded a place on the Enabling Innovation Framework (EIF) agreement with Sellafield.

This is a two year framework with the possible extension of extending it for a further two years – a really exciting opportunity for Eadon and we look forward to growing our experience and capability.

We have enjoyed working with Amco Giffen to supply mitre gate designs and fabrication drawings for one set of gates at Gairlochy and sixteen pairs of gates on the Crinan canal this year. This is part of a huge renovation project by Scottish Canals to replace ageing lock gates on the Caledonian and Crinan canals.

Calendonian Canal Inspection

Another accomplishment has been the completion of the design of the Mona Crane – an overhead travelling crane for use in a nuclear decommissioning role. Due to radioactive contamination in the area where the crane carries out most of its lifting operations, no personnel are able to enter once work has started. Therefore, a key requirement of the design was to provide a reliable means of recovering the crane into the maintenance cell where it could be decontaminated and repaired if necessary – an interesting engineering challenge for the team.

We’ve worked on some interesting bridge projects this year. Helping to complete the tender design for the new Gull Wing bridge in Lowestoft was a particular highlight. As well as being listed in the Dezeem top 10 bridges of 2020, the Lille Langebro double swing bridge in Copenhagen was shortlisted for the Dezeen Design Award 2020. Meanwhile the the new replacement swing bridge on the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town won both the Overall Winner” and Bridge Category Winner” awards at the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction’s (SAISC) Steel Awards 2020. Weve also been developing solutions for design competitions which we look forward to  hearing about in the new year.

Lille LangebroBridge, Copenhagen

Our experience of developing innovative solutions for the nuclear sector has come into play in 2020. A metal obstruction blocking access between two areas in one of Sellafield’s historic fuel storage ponds needs removing. We responded with the development of a long-reach diamond wire cutter which we are now building in our workshop. In addition to the diamond wire cutter project we have also been involved in the design of REACH –  a modular access and inspection system developed for nuclear decommissioning. Currently at the prototype stage, REACH uses groundbreaking technology that could help the nuclear energy industry deal with major clean-up challenges.

We’ve learned a lot of new skills over the past 12 months. David Price & Piers Turnball have done GRP training, Jim Hill is currently doing a course on the commercialisation of R&D and the workshop has enabled us to expand our knowledge and further practise our making skills.

This year we have expanded our team with the addition of 4 new members of staff. We’re now planning to recruit a principal engineer, a senior engineer, a graduate recruit and a placement student as we look to grow the team further in 2021 to cater for the increased amount of work and significant orders. And talking of new additions, Consuelo Bottamedi is starting her maternity leave this week to have her first baby. We wish her all the best!

We feel very positive about the year ahead and the projects we have coming up. We are looking forward to working on the Gull Wing Bridge, further canal gate work on the Crinan Canal and the HAW and EIF Frameworks to name just a few.

Gull Wing Bridge, Lowestoft

Of course, we also look forward to the end of the pandemic and to finally being able to see our colleagues face-to-face again. We’re sure the ‘new normal’ will be here for some time yet, but we fully expect our team, our experience and our capability to grow and flourish in 2021.

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