Glasgow 2014 Ltd, the Organising Committee (OC) for the Commonwealth Games, has moved to its new premises in the Merchant City area of Glasgow city centre. The OC selected Tontine House in Albion Street as its new headquarters for up to and during the Games.
The Headquarters, which has been renamed Commonwealth House, will become a key "non-competition” venue during the Games. It will be home to over 1000 members of staff and the impressive building is in excess of 108,000 square feet.
Commonwealth House sits on the north-west corner of Glasgow Cross and the renovation work for the modern, fit-for-purpose building started over a year ago at the building in the city's east end.
The interior of Commonwealth House has been designed in line with the Organising Committee's athlete centred and sport focused vision with all 17 Commonwealth sports portrayed extensively throughout the building, including the use of pictograms and sport terminology in designing and naming all the meeting rooms.
The building was fully renovated by City Building, Glasgow City Council's arm's-length construction company, in conjunction with Royal Blindcraft Industries (RSBi) a social enterprise which employs disabled people to make high-quality furniture. War veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq were employed to work during the renovation at Commonwealth House, all of them recruited through the council's Helping Heroes campaign which assists ex-soldiers in finding work.
Glasgow 2014 Chairman Lord Smith said:
“We are delighted to call Commonwealth House and the Merchant City our new home, and this move is a significant milestone in our development as an Organising Committee on the journey to the Games. This stunning building will be the base from which all operations will be centred and home to over 1000 members of staff.
"Commonwealth House will leave yet another tangible landmark after the Games, and a positive legacy for the city, in completely refurbishing a traditional building to a fit-for-purpose Games Headquarters.
Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Gordon Matheson said:
“Commonwealth House will be the perfect new home for Glasgow 2014, providing a gateway to the East End and bringing yet more new life to the Merchant City. After the Games, this building will leave a tremendous economic legacy for the city in the form of high-quality, high-profile office space in a fantastic location."
Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison said:
“With little more than 1,000 days to go before the start of the Games, this move marks yet another significant milestone in the lead up to Glasgow 2014. Following the announcement of the recruitment sponsor earlier this month, this fit-for-purpose building means that the Games headquarters will be able to accommodate everyone taking advantage of the significant job opportunities being created by the Games.
"This will not only leave a lasting legacy for the Merchant City and Glasgow, it will mean the Organising Committee has the best base possible from which to ensure that planning for the Games remain on track and on budget to be an outstanding event.”
Commonwealth Games Scotland Chairman, Michael Cavanagh said:
“It is great to see the Organising Committee re-located to this purpose-built headquarters in the heart of the city, which will be the hub of operations for the Games.
"It cannot be underestimated how important it is for visiting teams to see the Organising Committee operating in such professional surroundings, as a tangible sign of our commitment to delivering an outstanding, athlete centred Games."
Note to Editors:
1. For further media enquiries and pictures please contact Glasgow 2014 Press Officer Matthew Williams on 0141 287 3487 or email@example.com
2. The move will be completed in phases, with each phase reflecting the size of the organisation
The OC will occupy phase 1 (3,140 square metres) from September 2011 to June 2012, workforce will be at 200 towards the end of this phase, after which it will expand as follows: Phase 2 - June 2012 to January 2013 (5,815 square metres) workforce will be at 300 towards the end of this phase Phase 3 - January 2013 to September 2013 (6,800 square metres) workforce will be at 500 at the end of this phase Phase 4 - September 2013 to Games-time (10,000 square metres) workforce will be over 1000 at the end of this phase
3. Background to veterans’ support by Glasgow City Council and City Building (Glasgow) LLP
City Building (Glasgow) LLP employed a disabled veteran who was injured during his tour of duty in Iraq and believed there was a lack of provision and support for disabled and vulnerable ex-veterans.
Working with Combat Street, Poppy Scotland and SSAFA, City Building discussed the possibility of creating an opportunity to develop employment opportunities for other ex-veterans at RSBi.
It now employs six veterans, five working in RSBi and one in City Building. It recruited them through Glasgow City Council’s Helping Heroes project.
More information on Glasgow’s Helping Heroes is available here: www.glasgowshelpingheroes.org
Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries
Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries (RSBi) is the country’s leading example of social enterprise, successfully combining commercial success with socially responsible practices. Managed by City Building, the company predominantly employs people who have a disability or learning difficulties. It is Europe's largest supported employment facility, manufacturing a wide range of office and educational furniture, storage solutions, kitchen units and doors and timber kits for houses and schools.
4. Veterans who worked on Commonwealth House for RSBi
Raymond, 25, served with the Royal Highland Fusiliers and spent six years in Iraq. He left after being badly hurt in a roadside bomb. He had a leg amputated on Christmas Eve 2007.
Raymond mastered the use of a prosthetic limb in three weeks operates a beam saw on the machine shop floor producing furniture.
Kevin, 32, started his working life as an apprentice joiner at City Building and completed his trade. He left City Building 10 years ago and joined the Parachute Regiment where part of his duties included being dropped behind enemy lines as part of a specialist search squad.
He injured his shoulder and upper body in Afghanistan, he came back to Glasgow and has been working with RSBi for six months.
Jamie, 23, was injured while training with the Army in Kenya. He was discharged from the army on medical grounds and Jamie came to work at RSBi via Glasgow’s Helping Heroes.