CONSTRUCTION and civil engineering giant Sir Robert McAlpine has announced that 90 jobs will be lost in a streamlining of the business which will see its currently separate Scottish division merge with the North East of England.

It is not known how many of the jobs, if any, will be lost in Scotland where the firm was founded by the original Sir Robert, a bricklayer who built the company from scratch and who was known as Concrete Bob for his pioneering use of the material.

One of the UK’s largest private firms, the building and civil engineering company provides design, construction, and project development services to private and public sector clients.

The group’s six regional centres will be reduced down to four - Scotland & Northern, Central, Wales & West, Southern and London.

News of the changes was given to staff in a video address from the recently appointed chief executive Paul Hamer.

The company later issued a statement: “Following a strategic review of its business operations, the board of Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd today announced to its staff some changes to its overall structure and market approach. The changes will enhance both the resilience and agility of the business and create greater ongoing focus on delivering client value through operational and project excellence.

“The changes include the streamlining of the company’s regional operations and the reorganisation of head office and business support functions but do not affect any of its current site and project operations.

“Sir Robert McAlpine anticipates that all changes will be implemented in 2017.”

The company added: “We are streamlining our regional operations into four distinct divisions: Scotland & Northern; Central, Wales & West; Southern; and London.

“This new regional structure will increase consistency in service delivery and reduce duplication of operations to provide better client value.

“We are not pulling out of any region and remain committed to business across England, Scotland and Wales.”

The company has been responsible for some of the UK’s most famous buildings – the Glenfinnan Viaduct, the original Wembley Stadium and the Olympic Stadium in London.

In Scotland, the firm has built the Torness Nuclear Power Station in East Lothian and the St Enoch Centre in Glasgow where they have been building the new City of Glasgow College. It has also been successful in gaining contracts for the HS2 rail development.

The firm was heavily implicated in the blacklisting scandal which saw numerous construction companies pay compensation to people who had been denied jobs, usually because of trade union activity.

Hamer has tried to repair McAlpine’s reputation, saying two months ago: “Sir Robert McAlpine complies fully with all legislation to prevent blacklisting and is committed to fair and transparent recruitment. We have a zero tolerance policy towards blacklisting, illegal or unfair recruitment practices.”