Drone expert to snap Wigan link road from the sky

Mike Dinsdale with his drone and members of Jones Bros and Wigan Council on the A49 site
Mike Dinsdale with his drone and members of Jones Bros and Wigan Council on the A49 site

A Wigan lensman specialising in drone footage and construction photography has been appointed to capture the development of Wigan’s A49 link road.

The council appointed Jones Bros Ltd to deliver the large-scale scheme following a tendering process and construction began on-site last year.

The town hall agreed with the Welsh-based contractor that they should work closely with local suppliers and sub-contractors where appropriate to ensure the scheme can be contributed to by local people.

Following a “meet the buyer” event held by Jones Bros and the council in 2018, Mike Dinsdale from Orrell was chosen to photograph the development and capture its progress using a drone.

He said: “Before setting up my photography business, Midi Photography, four years ago, I was a building surveyor and I took photographs for a hobby.

“I accessed support from the council’s business team who put me in touch with the Growth Hub and I was given the help I needed to turn my pastime into a full-time job.

“I only photograph construction, architecture and interior spaces as that is my background but it was great to get a job in Wigan. Working with Jones Bros has allowed me to look at new technologies, such as digital photogrammetry, which is where the drone takes hundreds of high-resolution photographs to create a digital map of the site.

“Thanks to this opportunity, I’ve been asked to tender for further work in Wales, which is absolutely fantastic. I think it’s great to involve local people and companies as it instils a sense of pride.”

Jones Bros are also supporting other local companies by acquiring office space with Office Bay in Westwood Park, working with Paul Blackledge Drilling and using security and cleaning services from another Wigan-base business, Radius.

They have also held apprenticeship recruitment events at Wigan and Leigh College to give local young people a chance to work on the scheme.

Eryl Evans, project manager at Jones Bros said: “We share Wigan Council’s vision around supporting communities and it’s really important to us to work with local people.

“There’s a fantastic skillset in Wigan and it’s only right we utilise this expertise for this fantastic scheme. We have made some great contacts while here and the companies we are involved with are providing vital services that are enabling us to deliver this scheme safely and efficiently.

“We look forward to the next stage of the development and hope to welcome some apprentices on site.”

The link road is part of a wider plan for investment in the borough’s road network and is in line with the council’s commitment to generating economic growth and improving infrastructure.

In addition to relieving congestion and improving air quality in the area, the link road will connect Warrington Road and Goose Green to Westwood Park and the town centre at the Poolstock and Chapel Lane junction.

The A49 scheme is due to be completed in Spring 2020.

See this week’s Wigan Observer for a reader’s exclusive aerial image of the link road workings.