By Calum Murray, Director of CCG and City Legacy
Winner of Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Sustainable Development
The Athletes’ Village – our journey to success
City Legacy is a consortium of four Glasgow housebuilders – CCG, Cruden, Mactaggart & Mickel and WH Malcolm – and we came together to develop the 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village.
Right from the beginning, we knew this was a very special project and City Legacy was the first of a kind in Scotland to come together in this way and deliver such a monumental build.
The £150m Athletes’ Village, situated in Dalmarnock, in Glasgow’s East End was the catalyst for the huge transformation and regeneration of the area and it has delivered and is one of the most significant and sustainable housing-led initiatives that has ever taken place in the UK.
By the time we entered the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, we were already achieving huge success on the award circuit – having scooped a massive 24 nationwide awards.
But when we received a letter from the organisers of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise inviting us to apply last year, we didn’t hesitate. We knew that winning this award would be the absolute pinnacle for us and a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Sustainability for success
Choosing which category to enter was an easy decision for us – sustainable development all the way.
Glasgow City Council challenged City Legacy to build a development that would showcase the best in contemporary housing, innovation, and sustainable design.
In reality, this was no mean feat. The project was set against the backdrop of an unparalleled economic recession and offered City Legacy the added complication of using 700 homes (400 for social rental and 300 for private sale) and a 120 bed care home to accommodate 6,500 athletes and officials during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – before transforming them into a brand new community, providing leading-edge sustainable mixed-tenure housing set beside world-class sports amenities and planned within public open spaces.
Challenges aside, the team delivered on its promise, and then some. The Athletes’ Village boasts a raft of energy efficiency measures, including thermally efficient & highly insulated timber systems, solar panels, a ventilation and heat recovery system to recycle air and heat, and a district heating scheme that supplies instant heat and constant hot water, while slashing heating bills by around 40 per cent at the same time.
As a result, residents at The Village now live in some of the most eco-friendly and affordable homes in the country all within a stunning riverside development which provides the perfect backdrop for people to live, work and play.
That winning feeling!
Once the application to the Queen’s Award for Enterprise went in, we had a few nail biting months between finding out that we had been shortlisted and being told the good news. It’s fair to say that the feeling of elation doesn’t come close to describing how it feels to win! To be given a Queen’s Award for Enterprise is undoubtedly one of the standout moments of the wonderful journey that the Athletes’ Village has taken us on. It’s been the icing on the cake for the team and personally speaking, a huge highlight of my career.
The success of The Village could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of my fellow directors, John Gallacher at Cruden, Ed Monaghan at Mactaggart & Mickel and Martin Kiely at WH Malcolm and their teams – not to mention my own team here at CCG. Throughout the build, we knew we were working on an exceptional project, but even we were a little surprised by the speed at which the homes sold, and the extent which it has sparked the wider regeneration of this now thriving community.
On the day that the winners of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise were publically announced, we coordinated all of our communications activity to ensure that every member of staff across the four companies received an email telling them that we had won and congratulating them on the huge part they played. We had also put out an embargoed press release so that the media articles also landed on the same morning.
Since the announcement, the entire team has been inundated with best wishes throughout the UK and even overseas. So many people recognise just how big an achievement winning a Queen’s Award is. Equally, staff morale is incredible – our employees are so proud and thrilled to have won.
A fitting end to a remarkable journey
The next step in the journey will continue as myself and my colleague Ed Monaghan head to Buckingham Palace for the official reception and to meet some of our fellow winners.
After that, the Lord Lieutenant is hosting a civic reception for the team and 100 guests during the summer months.
I can’t think of a more fitting way to draw a close to this tremendous project that has played such a big part in our working lives.
My advice for anyone out there thinking of applying? Do it! You never know, this time next year, you could be looking out your best clothes and heading to the Palace too!