The team behind the world-famous Palm Jumeirah in Dubai are coming to Cumbrae after winning the contract for the island’s £48 million flood protection scheme.

Van Oord has been appointed as contractor for the project by North Ayrshire Council, and will work alongside subsidiary Mackley Civil Engineering.

The family-owned company, who worked on the Dubai landmark in the early 2000s, has provided a wide range of innovative flood management solutions for organisations across the globe.

The project will be managed on behalf of the council by Turner & Townsend, with support from the principal designer Royal HaskoningDHV.

Councillor Todd Ferguson admits the news that Van Oord will be building the flood defences is exciting, and hopes they will bring a little piece of Dubai magic to the island.

He said: “Following significant project delays the community will be delighted by the announcement to appoint contractors this week.

“It is really exciting to have the company who built the world famous Palm Jumeirah in Dubai coming to Millport.

“While we might not be getting an artificial palm island off of Cumbrae, I am sure that they will bring the same level of strategical beauty to this project.

“It is a wonderful next phase in the history of Great Cumbrae and personally I cannot wait to see the finished results.”

Preparatory works for the project will start this month, with construction works beginning in mid-March and lasting into next year.

The offshore breakwaters will be constructed in autumn and winter 2023, with sheltered water created allowing the construction of a marina which is financed by the Ayrshire Growth Deal.

The marina proposals are currently being developed and the intention is that the marina construction will follow on shortly after the completion of the flood protection scheme.

The community will also be given the opportunity to communicate with the contractor about how the works will be carried out and the impact the works will have on local people.”

Paul Hesk, managing director of Van Oord UK, said: “I am delighted that North Ayrshire Council has entrusted Van Oord with the delivery of its critical coastal protection works at Millport.

“We pride ourselves on working collaboratively with clients in many different countries in their battle against flooding.

“Our project team is looking forward to working closely with North Ayrshire Council, the local community, and other stakeholders, in order to reduce flood risk at Millport.”