Barnsley company helps keep remote communities connected

27 April 2015

A specialist Barnsley manufacturer is helping thousands of people in a remote part of Scotland get a secure supply of mains electricity.

Innovative Support Systems, which makes structural supports for tunnels and embankments, has helped contractors create bridges across two huge ravines so they can get heavy vehicles and equipment across to build a new power line.

The company, which also has contracts with Network Rail, London Underground and the Canal and River Trust, is being given free business support by Enterprising Barnsley, which is run by Barnsley Council. Turnover at ISS has grown every year since it was set up in 2010, doubling in the last year alone.

The new overhead line on the remote Scottish peninsular of Kintyre will help in an area that often sees communities cut off for days when power lines come down. It also means more windfarms can feed electricity back into the National Grid. Constructing the line is part of a £200m project by Scottish and Southern Energy which should be complete by October this year.

Contractors erecting the new power line needed to build a special haul road to get heavy equipment across the mountains and ravines of the peninsular in south west Scotland. Innovative Support Systems helped build giant bridges across two ravines, each 80 metres wide, in just ten weeks, so that 132-tonne transformers can be transported across the mountainous terrain.

The bridges were built using Innovative Support Systems’ unique RamWall, a series of mesh boxes that can be assembled on site and filled with material recycled at the location. As well as supplying the steel mesh, the company trained contractors to build the finished product.

Phil Richardson, ISS director, said: “It’s great to be able to help sort out a really tricky problem like this and it’s pleasing to think that we are helping to bring a secure supply of electricity to people living in isolated areas and help bring power back from windfarms in the other direction. It shows what a versatile product RamWall is and how easy it is to use.”

As well as RamWall, ISS make RamArch, which holds up tunnels. The products have been used everywhere from sea defences in north Wales, a canal embankment in Shropshire to tunnels in London Underground.

The company, which has its headquarters in Mapplewell and manufacturing base at at Oaks Business Park, is being given advice on marketing, HR and health and safety by business coaches from Enterprising Barnsley.

Enterprising Barnsley offers a wide range of free business support to small and medium-sized businesses with growth potential. The programme is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £3,015,276 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

Phil said: “The support of Enterprising Barnsley has been fantastic. They have helped us move into new markets and grow the company. And with more infrastructure projects coming on line, such as in the rail industry, the future is looking good.”

Notes to editor

Attached photograph shows Phil Richardson. Photograph available of equipment crossing ravine on request from Joshua Nutt at

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is part financed by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the

European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.

For more information visit

For information about Enterprising Barnsley go to or contact Mark Storey at or on 01226 772 996

Additional media contact: Kate Betts at or on 01226 766900 or 07792 764891

This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more details about our PR services, please visit

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