Sir Billy Connolly wins Lifetime Achievement award in his home city

SIR Billy Connolly was the toast of the town at last night’s Inspiring City Awards after he was recognised with a lifetime achievement gong.

The Inspiring City awards, in association with People Make Glasgow, paid tribute to the people and businesses who make this city great.

Over 450 guests gathered at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Glasgow for an awards ceremony organised in conjunction with The Herald and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.


Sir Billy, who could not attend the ceremony, was recognised for his role as one of the country’s national treasures and was named as the winner of the lifetime achievement award, supported by Glasgow Airport.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “Billy Connolly is one of Glasgow’s most famous sons and he has done so much to raise the profile of the city throughout his illustrious career.

“The Inspiring City Awards celebrate those who have helped further enhance Glasgow’s reputation and I can’t think of anyone more deserving to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award than Sir Billy Connolly.”

Now in their fifth year, the 2017 awards kicked off with a performance by Sticks n Kicks, Gregor Coleman and The Lockhearts while event host Jennifer Reoch announced the winners in this year’s categories.

The awards had 16 partners including, AHR Architects, City Building, Developing the Young Workforce Glasgow, Glasgow 2018 European Championships, Glasgow Airport, Glasgow Caledonian University – Glasgow School for Business and Society, Glasgow Employer Board, Glasgow Welcomes, Glasgow Taxis, Hacking and Paterson Management Services, Laings Of Glasgow, Scottish Water, Scullion LAW, Simon Driscoll Consultancy and The Watson Foundation.

The awards attracted an astounding number of entries, and the calibre for this year was truly outstanding, with the judges praising the number of people and businesses that have gone the extra mile to make such a difference to people’s lives across a variety of sectors, including, sport, business, art and culture, community and the environment.

The People Make Glasgow award was presented to MCR Pathways for providing their school-based mentoring programme to over 400 young people.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “In its milestone fifth year, the Inspiring City Awards showed, once again, that Glasgow is creative, innovative and a city that cares.

“There are some truly remarkable individuals, businesses, charities and organisations that are working tirelessly, every day, to improve the lives of our people and the reputation of our great city.

“I would like to congratulate all of last night’s deserving finalists and winners – their energy, drive and enthusiasm is what continues to fuel Glasgow’s success.”

One of the top accolades on the night went to City of Glasgow College, which was given the Legacy Award, supported by Hacking & Paterson Management Services, for boosting social mobility and providing unrivalled access to further and higher education for all.

David Doran, partner of Hacking and Paterson Management Services, said: “We were thrilled to be part of the Inspiring City Awards for the second year running and would like to offer our sincere congratulations to all the nominees, finalists and winners who have again showcased what makes Glasgow great.

“Special congratulations are of course extended by all of us at Hacking and Paterson to the winner of the Legacy Award.

“Recognition of their achievements in making a positive difference to the city is well deserved.”

The Art and Culture Award, supported by AHR Architects, went to the Centre for Contemporary Arts for creating their year-round programme which includes cutting-edge exhibitions, film, music and Gaelic performances.

Martin Robinson, regional director, AHR Architects, said: “It was a privilege to have presented Centre for Contemporary Arts with the Art and Culture Award. We are pleased to continue to be involved with the Inspiring City Awards and support those who make Glasgow a great city to visit, live and work. Congratulations to all the winners and those which were shortlisted.”

The awards also recognise businesses working to help the environment.

This year the Environmental Award, supported by Scottish Water, was presented to Woodlands Community Development Trust for their passion and commitment to both social and environmental issues.

Alan R. Thomson, head of corporate relations at Scottish Water said: “We were delighted with the quality and range of entries for this year’s award. The entries received enabled businesses to showcase how important taking care of the environment is within their business decisions and processes. Congratulations to the winners and everyone who submitted an entry.”

Two business awards recognised individuals who are making a difference on a daily basis and inspiring others.

The first was the Outstanding Contribution by a Young Business Leader Award, supported by The Watson Foundation which went to Cat Lever, head of strategy at After Digital.

Philanthropist John M Watson OBE said: “The event was a truly memorable occasion and one which rightly celebrates and rewards the businesses and people which inspire us. We were pleased to again be involved and congratulate everyone who participated. Special mention must go to the winners who demonstrated why Glasgow is such a vibrant and wonderful city.”

The second went to Professor David Hillier, University of Strathclyde, who was awarded the Outstanding Contribution by a Business leader, supported by Simon Driscoll Consultancy.

Simon Driscoll said: “This year’s Inspiring City Awards were truly inspirational and demonstrate once again why ‘People Make Glasgow’.

“Whilst there can only be one winner for each award, it has shown there were many difficult decisions for the judges given the high standard of entrants and every nominee should be very proud of their achievements.

“Simon Driscoll Consultancy were delighted to sponsor the Outstanding Contribution by a Business Leader category allowing true leadership to be recognised and rewarded.

“I would personally like to congratulate all the nominees and winner, not only for the Outstanding Contribution by a Business Leader category but for all the categories recognised on the night and look forward to following their success and achievement over the coming years.

“With the 2017 Inspiring City Awards being such a success we look forward to being part of the 2018 awards.”

The Best Corporate Social Responsibility Award, supported by Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow School for Business and Society, went to law firm DWF for recognising that employees not only want a great place to work but take pride in being part of their principal business.

A new category this year, the Glasgow Welcomes Service Champion Award, was supported by Glasgow Welcomes. It went to citizenM for their random acts of kindness which allow their team to personalise stays for their guests.

Craig Martin, head of HR, Glasgow Airport, and chairman at Glasgow Welcomes Initiative, said: “It’s been fantastic to be part of this showpiece recognition event for the city. We’ve been delighted with the calibre of the finalists for the Glasgow Welcomes Service Champion Award, and we wish to extend our congratulations to citizenM who were deserving winners.”

A second new category this year was the Apprentice Challenge Award, supported by Glasgow Employer Board.

It went to Scottish Water for their team of apprentices which led teacher tours into the Scottish Water premises, allowing them to have the opportunity to understand how Scottish Water can support careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Craig Martin, chairman of the Glasgow Employer, said: “The winners of the apprenticeship challenge show everything that is inspiring about our city. They are exactly the type of young people we should be celebrating and this is the perfect platform to do that.

“The role of Glasgow Welcomes is to inspire and develop our people to deliver outstanding levels of customer service to provide a truly memorable visitor experience, and that’s why we were keen to support these awards.”

The Education Award, sponsored by Glasgow Taxis, went to CoderDojo Scotland at Glasgow Libraries for being part of a global collaboration which provides free coding clubs for young people.

Stephen Flynn, chairman of the Glasgow Taxis Ltd executive committee, said: “The Inspiring City Awards 2017 has provided another memorable night of deserved recognition for so many. Glasgow Taxis Ltd was privileged to again sponsor the Education Award and celebrate the significant contributions made by Glasgow institutions and individuals, people we are proud to serve throughout the academic year. The quality of entries this year was incredible, and every award winner and finalist should be extremely proud of their tremendous achievements over the last 12 months.”

The carer(s) of the year award, supported by Scullion LAW, was rewarded to Contact the Elderly which supports almost 900 older people in the city of Glasgow.

Nigel Scullion, managing partner, Scullion LAW, said: “Scullion LAW supported the awards to recognise and congratulate people who care for others. Thank you to everyone who entered the carer(s) in the community category and congratulations especially to Contact the Elderly.

“Scullion LAW go above and beyond for people supporting them with their legal needs. Our clients’ happiness is core to our success as a law firm, so we felt great synergy with these awards in celebration of the individuals and organisations across this vibrant city who have left their mark on others.

“We love all the things that make Glasgow great especially as we now have offices near to Merchant City and West End, having established ourselves in Hamilton in 1979.”

The sport award, supported by Glasgow 2018 European Championships, went to middle distance runner and Glasgow University student Laura Muir.

Colin Hartley, director of the category sponsors, said: “Glasgow 2018 is proud to lend its support to the 2017 Inspiring City Awards and I wish to congratulate all of this year’s winners on their remarkable achievements within the city.

Sport continues to play an important role in the story of Glasgow, as proven by the outstanding organisations and people highlighted by this year’s Sport Award.

“The Glasgow 2018 European Championships will add another chapter to this city’s proud sporting history next summer and we hope we can inspire more of the exceptional stories we have heard about this evening.”

The Inspiration Award went to Sir Andy Murray, as one of the country’s greatest ever sportsmen.

The Industry and Business Award, supported by City Building, went to the University of Glasgow for its innovative achievements at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital which have encouraged, inspired and fostered growth and development in the city.

Dr Graham Paterson, executive director of City Building, said: “The Inspiring City Awards have become extremely important to Glasgow.”

“Not only do they acknowledge the great work being carried out by individuals, organisations and businesses in the city, but they also showcase Glasgow itself.

“We’d like to congratulate all of this year’s finalists and send our warmest wishes to the winners. They have all made a significant contribution to Glasgow and deserve the credit they have received.

“We are proud to have supported the awards and we hope everyone else who attended the presentation ceremony left the event feeling as inspired as our team from City Building did.”

The Industry and Young People Innovation Award, supported by Developing the Young Workforce, went to Qualitrol Diagnostic Monitoring System for developing an apprenticeship and graduate programme to create opportunities for young people.

Alison McRae, senior director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “This was yet another fantastic year for the Inspiring City Awards. The finalists each represented what is great about Glasgow. This event showcases Glasgow at its best.”

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