John McClelland, CBE, who has guided hub South West Scotland Limited, one of the most successful companies in the Scotland-wide construction hub set-up, has retired from his role as Chair and has been succeeded by Dr Willie Mackie, Deputy Chair of Scottish Enterprise where he is also Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.
Mr McClelland’s retirement will close the first chapter in the company’s story which has seen it successfully deliver – from a standing start – more than half a billion pounds’ worth of new community infrastructure in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.
His influence and experience over the seven years of the hub’s operation means that it is now moving on to a future in which it will continue to create jobs, training opportunities and apprenticeships as well as enhancing the quality of life in the communities across its territories.
He said: “Over the period, there have been innumerable achievements by the hub South West team, but perhaps the most significant step was simply grasping an untested concept and seizing the opportunity to do things in a wholly different way.
“We hit the ground running with a new concept, and the performance and the commitment of the hub South West team led by chief executive Michael McBrearty is as good as I’ve seen anywhere in any industry.
“I am proud to say that, with one or two exceptions, all our projects so far have been delivered on time and all have been on agreed budget, which is a remarkable record for any organisation involved in the construction industry. Our various construction partners have been key in delivering these outcomes”.
With more than 36 years of financial services experience and a substantial portfolio of executive and non-executive positions, Dr Mackie has played a prominent role in supporting and promoting both national and regional economic development.
He said: “I am extremely proud and privileged to be part of such a remarkable organisation with an enviable track record. I have also been drawn to the collaborative business model which hub South West has developed since its inception.
“I have been a real advocate of this way of working during my involvement with public and private sector partnerships and I share the hub South West team’s passion for the concept of putting something back into local communities.
“I hope to be able to use my private sector business experience, as well as the relationship-based models I have developed, to work with the hub team in the interests of fostering tangible and sustainable regional economic development.
“I believe that what makes a region work is getting the right people and creating an environment of trust, respect and openness. But you cannot just talk the talk, you also must deliver.
“Top of my agenda will be keeping up and sustaining momentum. I hope to use my connections positively to raise the number of opportunities and broaden the pipeline, as well as diversifying into other sectors and supporting the region through the economic recovery.
“The hub model fits really well with a push towards recovery and I see no reason why we cannot, over the next eight years, match and potentially exceed the spectacular growth that the organisation has already seen.”
hub South West has now delivered £507m of infrastructure projects covering the education, health, leisure, housing, and residential care sectors. In the year to March 2020, £158m of projects were in construction, with £468m in development. In addition, 518 jobs have been created, 634 training opportunities made available on hub South West projects and 100 apprenticeships have been completed since inception.