How Scotland House in London is Helping Scottish Businesses

Scotland House in London has recently been opened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.The latest Innovation and Investment Hub was officially opened in London after Worksmart’s Team created the state of the art facility in London’s Victoria Embankment through 16 weeks of Interior Fit-Out.

Scotland House will provide touchdown facilities and a place to meet customers and target new markets, secure investment and showcase products and services. The Hub is aimed at helping Scottish companies take advantage of business opportunities in London and on the international stage.

It also brings together officials from the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Visit Scotland under one roof to provide a Team Scotland approach to supporting businesses and attracting visitors and investment to Scotland.

Officially opening Scotland House, the Rt. Hon. Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland said: “London is a very important trading market and a meeting place for the world’s business leaders, but for Scottish businesses it can be challenging and costly to try and break into these markets.” The new hub will play a critical role in attracting investment to Scotland, helping businesses trade internationally and raising Scotland’s international profile. We are already seeing the benefits of our presence in Dublin and I look forward to our next investment and innovation hubs in Brussels and Berlin.”

Worksmart were delighted to attend the event and even more delighted to hear the First Minister speech thanking Worksmart’s Team for the fabulous delivery of the facility with some great Scottish materials used in the Specification. The First Minister also thanked CDA Architects for their role along with all of the other Client Design Team involved in the successful and dedicated delivery of the Project.

Worksmart had the pleasure of working with an excellent team on Scotland House. Working with MITIE, CDA, TUV SUD and Graham & Sibbald, all of whom were focused to ensure the projects smooth delivery and that this was a very high quality fit-out over the 6000 sq ft.

Worksmart`s business continues to grow and develop and prove to the markets project after project in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales that we deliver every time for our Clients and the Clients Design Teams. Communication, consistency and determination are paramount to the continued delivery of our Interior Contracting Refurbishments and Fit-Out Projects.

With Scotland House being located in the heart of London – on the banks of the River Thames – this is a very exciting prospect for businesses in Scotland. Scotland House presents an opportunity for all Scottish companies who looking to become more prominent in London. After all, a 2013 government report calculated that 22% of the UK’s entire GDP comes from London. If Scottish businesses are able to tap into this huge market, it will help to strengthen not just the Scottish businesses who have expanded down to London, but also help improve London-based businesses and the UK as a whole.

Expansion into London can also be a great way for an organisation to increase their customer base. London is the biggest city in the UK worth over 8 million people living there – almost 3 million more than the entirety of Scotland. Therefore, a huge number of people can be reached if a business markets themselves right, and it will obviously be far cheaper to market to a city as opposed to an entire country.

With London having such a dense population, it can also be far easier for a business to recruit high quality candidates. With London, as is Scotland, being home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world, there is a chance to empower and employ the future workforce by offering graduates the chance to work with your business, and therefore ensure the next generation of workers are the best quality they can be.

So how can Scotland House help? With their excellent facilities, Scotland House is the ideal place to meet new clients and hold meetings. The stunning office space can also be a great place to network, therefore increasing the number of Scottish businesses who will build strong connections with London business, and potentially gain valuable investment.

The advantages of a Scottish business expanding down to London are significant. The large number of both potential clients and investors in London, as well as London’s reputation as a global powerhouse in the world of business, will mean that your business will grow exponentially as a member of Scotland House. If you would like to join Scotland House, you can visit Scotland House’s website and register your interest.


Building a sustainable Business in the East of Scotland

Since our inception in 2002 we have completed a number of interiors projects throughout the East of Scotland, but we recognised that in order to grow a sustainable business it was necessary to open an office in Edinburgh and recruit accordingly.
This vision came to life on 5th January 2016 and in just over a year our ambition for growth in Edinburgh has been fully vindicated. We have been fortunate enough to have been offered the opportunity to tender for some fantastic refurbishment projects and our conversion rate has been good which has enabled us to build a team of Contracts Managers, Site managers, Joiners, labourers and apprentices.

We have priced a wide variety of fit-out work covering all sectors, the length a breadth of Scotland and the UK and we are very grateful for the support and opportunities we have been afforded.
Interior fit-out can be a fickle business at times, you are regularly one project win away from a good quarter becoming great, which can prove a real challenge in managing resource. Our levels of repeat business has always been high and our newest office is confident of continuing this trend by developing strong relationships with property professionals and clients throughout Scotland.

With the latest Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Construction Market Survey, covering the fourth quarter of 2016, suggesting that business sentiment strengthened following a slump in confidence in the wake of Brexit, this surely has to be a good sign. However the report also acknowledges that ‘there remains some unease about access to skilled labour’ with skills shortages restricting companies growth. This is a real challenge we continually face when recruiting Surveyors and skilled tradesmen and one which we are meeting head on with the commitment and investment in our apprentices.
Whatever happens in the macro economy, the impact on our local market and our business remains to be seen, one thing is for sure the world is still turning and with hard work, dedicated staff and a slice of luck Worksmart Contracts will continue to prosper.

Investing in and Developing the Worksmart Team

Worksmart continues its development and investment in the Construction Industry with a wide spread approach to Tradespersons and Staff.

Three years ago Worksmart identified skills shortages in the Construction industry following the recession and set out plans to grow the Worksmart Team in a variety of methods.

Starting off with a School lever joining us in Office Administration and supporting with further education through College Programmes and then moving on to Apprentices from a variety of backgrounds and ages coming into help with our growing workload and learning from some of the finest quality Tradespersons in Scotland and the UK.

We have two Apprentices now through the Joinery Programme and who are now in the Advanced Craft Programme, and we have added Year on Year and have Apprentices in all years of College and in three Colleges from Ayrshire, Glasgow and Edinburgh and have six Apprentices currently.

We recently had a significant Glazed Partitioning and Glazed Fire Screen Project within the actual Ayrshire College where our Ayrshire Apprentices attend and worked between the actual project and their College attendance over a matter of Months. This was of particular interest to the College, our Local Press and indeed Willie Coffey our MSP. Pictured with some of the Apprentices at our Kilmarnock Office. Also acknowledged by Alan Brown MP, Jim Todd Provost and Fiona Lees Chief Executive at East Ayrshire Council.

In addition our Teams have found enjoyment and career development in our Interior Refurbishment and Fit-Out Projects within Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. Working within several Colleges and Universities such as North Kelvin College, Napier University, Glasgow Clyde College, Ayrshire College, Blackpool & Flyde College, and more. Working on some of the highest specifications from some of the leading Architects and Designers in the UK for some of largest sized Clients in both Public Sector and Private sector.

We have engaged and employed Graduates in various aspects of the Business and they have all done very well with the Programme and reached excellent heights in their respective fields.

Our most recent addition joins us next week from School and takes up the challenge of a Modern Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing to support our #makeitworksmart marketing plan and has a full structure in place to help grow and develop the young person in his career with some excellent support, internally and externally to Worksmart.

The foregoing has all been a valued contribution in Worksmart`s development throughout Scotland and the UK and which will continue to grow and develop throughout our Kilmarnock, Edinburgh and Manchester Offices and be an important of our Companies continued success in our Turnkey Solutions in Interior Contracting, Fit-Out, Refurbishment and Construction in Multitrade Projects and specialist Glass and Glazing Demountable Partitioning Projects.

Worksmart have had great advice and assistance from East Ayrshire Council and their Economic Development Team, Scottish Enterprise and their Account Managers in Company Growth, The Apprenticeship Officers within CITB Teams working with our HR Team for Ayrshire College, Cardonald College in Glasgow and Sighthill College in Edinburgh.

Also to Skills Development Scotland and Microcom training working with us in our Modern Apprentices.

The FIS which we are proud and active members has also been a great help and encouraged the Interior Market to develop Apprenticeship programmes. We were delighted to have one of our Apprentice win the Scottish Silver medal a few months ago.

Our extended thanks to all above for their continued support and guidance.

Worksmart’s Contribution is not only in our own Staff and Trades in Joinery and Glazed Partitioning, Worksmart encourage all of our Supply Chain to join us in investing in Youth, Apprenticeships, School leavers and Graduate Programmes.

Worksmart continues to support local Schools in helping the local Chambers of Commerce and Local Authorities in helping Schools learn about Business and Construction and will continue to do so and hopefully develop shortly into helping Colleges in their specific Apprenticeship Programmes to help our Interior Contracting Market throughout the UK.

We hope that others in our Industry start looking to contribute more or start contributing at all and help Scotland and the UK regain its Construction Industry again, and soon.




Kingsway Court | Spring Update

Works are well underway at our Kingsway Court project for Glasgow Housing Association with the erection of structural steel on site. An introduction to the project can be found here.

All civil engineering works have now been completed and the roof structure can now begin to take shape. Low level block work is being carried out and the external walls are being prepared for cladding. The internal strip out of the high-rise block ground floor is complete with screeded floors and framed walls to form part of GHA’s new facility.

Worksmart have worked closely with the client and their design team to navigate the relocation of various underground utility services to allow for the steel enclosure which will enable our team to fast-track the internal refurbishment and fit-out providing a great new workspace.

Part of the Wheatley Group, GHA have worked with Worksmart on numerous successful projects and Kingsway Court is the first of many to bring the GHA team and housing officers closer to their tenants to provide “better homes, better lives”.

Fun Fact: Did you know Robert Carlyle and Emma Thompson filmed several scenes for The Legend of Barney Thomson at Kingsway Court in 2015?


Glasgow Kelvin College | Spring Works

Worksmart are delighted to progress their expertise in the education sector with the successful completion of another project for Glasgow Kelvin College.

The multi-trade, fast-track works, secured through Public Contracts Scotland involved forming two new classrooms in a former, open-plan staff canteen at the Springburn Campus. A full joinery package was employed with the installation of partitions, architectural glazing and a specialist folding wall as well as data and M&E works. Additional classrooms were created in other non-occupied areas throughout the college.

Estates Manager, Iain Gordon said: “Very pleased with the work that has recently been completed on time and to budget. Especially due to the time restraints during this project meaning the classrooms were used almost immediately after completion.”

The introduction of new learning spaces reflects the college’s continued growth. Greater student numbers require the college to expand and Worksmart are also pleased to announce that we have secured further refurbishment works through Public Contracts Scotland with the college at their East End Campus – John Wheatley building. The Summer Works consist of refurbishing a former crèche into new science classrooms, a full fit-out complete with laboratory furniture. A library will also be converted to house additional classrooms.