As the second year of a planned winter works programme on the Crinan Canal draws to a close, principal contractor Mackenzie Construction is opening a community fund to help make a difference in the community which has been their second home for the last six months.

The winter engineering programme is a key project in Scottish Canals’ Asset Management Strategy, with the Crinan Canal receiving significant investment as part of Scottish Canals capital programme across Scotland’s canals for 2022-23.

This year’s works began on site in September, with framework contractor Mackenzie Construction installing new lock gates at locks 12 and 13 at Dunardy and lock 14 at Crinan, upgrading mechanical and electrical equipment for operating the gates at lock 14, and upgrading the electrical and mechanical elements of Cairnbaan Swing Bridge.

The contractor has now announced the launch of the Mackenzie Construction Community Fund, designed to give something back to the communities that are a second home to much of the team over the multi-year works programme. This comprises an allocation of workdays from the Mackenzie Construction team to deliver benefits locally, supported by a small fund.

Gavin Chesney, Contracts Manager at Mackenzie Construction said: “We’re delighted to invite local community groups, schools, charities, and volunteer groups to apply for support from our community fund. This will allow us to contribute to the community, making a positive impact on the people here, while demonstrating our thanks for their patience during our works here over the previous and coming years.

“As civil engineering contractors, we’re keen to receive applications aligned to our resources and expertise, including ground works such as drainage works, path and road upgrades, and landscaping works – applications of this type will be favoured by the selection panel.”

The community fund is a further example of the contractor’s commitment to being an active and supportive partner in the communities where they operate. Already, they have contributed millions of pounds to the local economy, not only in accommodation spend but also by employing local labour and utilising local suppliers.

Community engagement has also been a key factor for Mackenzie Construction throughout the project, highlighted in this year’s programme by their support and facilitation of two sell-out lock chamber tour open weekends and school engagement, including visits in-school and on the canalside.

Gavin Chesney continued: “We’re passionate about people and the planet, values we share with Scottish Canals, and these values will underpin our evaluation of the community fund applications we receive.

“In particular, we will be looking for applications linked to community health and wellbeing; the environment and sustainability; reducing inequality; or creating or promoting opportunities for young people. We’re excited to see the ideas the community bring to us.”

Richard Millar, Interim Chief Executive at Scottish Canals, said: “We encourage our contractors to go above and beyond, and we’re delighted to see Mackenzie Construction launch their community fund at Crinan. Their work on the canal during our planned winter works programme is vital in safeguarding the historic infrastructure for all to enjoy for the years to come and, alongside this, we’re pleased to see them demonstrate their commitment to the local community. We look forward to seeing the benefits for local groups.”


The Mackenzie Construction Community Fund is now open to applications from any community group until midnight on Friday, 30th June 2023. Please send applications to

Any applications already received do not need to be resubmitted.

All applications will be given full consideration with the successful project(s) applicants being informed by Monday, 31st July 2023.

Works will take place in August/September 2023 – consideration will be given to applications for support up until March 2024.