Winners announced for 2015.

PEOPLE and businesses who help drive Glasgow forward have been celebrated at the Inspiring City Awards.

More than 400 guests packed into the city’s The Crowne Plaza Hotel for the gala awards ceremony, organised by The Herald and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, in association with award-winning city brand PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW.

The awards recognise individuals and firms who have made an outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of Scotland’s largest city during the past 12 months.

Now in their third year, they continue to grow in popularity and received a record number of entries from those who have worked to make a difference to people’s lives across a variety of sectors, including, sport, business, art and culture, community and the environment.

Speaking at the event on Thursday night, Councillor Frank McAveety, the newly appointed Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “The Inspiring City Awards 2015 is a truly special occasion celebrating the very best that Glasgow has to offer from the worlds of industry, education, sport, culture, the arts and the environment.

“Glasgow has a distinguished history of producing talented people who have developed the cultural and economic fabric of the city and succeeded in making their mark on the global stage.

“The awards are the perfect opportunity to reward those individuals and businesses who go the extra mile to make a difference to our great city. I would like to congratulate all of last night’s deserving finalists and winners.”

The awards were supported by ten partners this year including Glasgow Airport, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow Taxis, Glasgow Clyde College, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Inspiring 500, Royal Bank of Scotland, Virgin Trains, St Enoch Centre and AHR Architects.

A year on from the event, the shadow of the Commonwealth Games still looms large across the city and the work of John Gallacher MBE in re-shaping Glasgow’s housing areas and overseeing the completion of the Athlete’s Village project was recognised when he received the Legacy Award, supported by the St Enoch’s Centre.

Another top accolade for the evening went to Maurice Taylor, founder and chief executive of the Chardon Group. The hotelier and owner of award-winning La Bonne Auberge brasserie in Glasgow was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award, supported by Glasgow Airport, for his outstanding contribution over the last 50 years in the hospitality sector for Glasgow and the UK.

The Art and Culture Award, supported by AHR Architects, went to Glasgow Life’s Celtic Connections Festival which has grown from an event held in a single venue to an 18-day festival staging over 300 gigs that attracts more than 105,000 music fans.

Richard Blair, Director, AHR Architects said: “I am delighted to have been a sponsor and host at the Inspiring City awards. It is a great way of showcasing what Glasgow has to offer and building on the momentum of 2014 through 2015. All the award winners have certainly achieved that with some significant contributions.”

The Industry and Business Award, supported by Glasgow Clyde College, went to University of Strathclyde for the second year running in recognition of their dedication to learning and development.

The University of Strathclyde also scooped the Education award, sponsored by Glasgow Taxis.

Duncan MacDougall, Director of Commercial and International Business at Glasgow Clyde College, said: “It’s been great to be part of the Inspiring City Awards this evening. Glasgow Clyde College wishes to thank all of the people and organisations entering for these awards.

“The short-listed finalists have been outstanding and everyone should be proud of what they’ve achieved.

“It has been a fantastic, uplifting event showcasing a wealth of talent from all across Glasgow. I hope all the finalists enjoyed their evening and congratulations to all of tonight’s winners.”

Two high profile business people were also recognised for their success, with Bill Munro, the founder of Barrhead Travel, receiving the Outstanding Contribution by a Business Leader Award, supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Angela Morrison awarded the Outstanding Contribution by a Young Business leader, supported by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, for her inspirational success story in founding her business amiProperty and developing it into a £1million pound turnover business.

Susan Fouquier, regional managing director of Business Banking at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Tonight’s awards have been truly inspirational and the Royal Bank of Scotland has been privileged enough to be part of this celebration of the outstanding companies and organisations who not only contribute to the city’s commercial success, but add to its character and culture.

“All of the finalists and winners are testament to the difference businesses and individuals who go that extra mile make to the people around them and in the cities in which they work. “We are delighted for everyone recognised here tonight and wish everyone the very best for the future.”

This year, the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Award, supported again by Glasgow Caledonian University’s School for Business and Society went to Celtic FC Foundation for their assistance to people in the community who face daily challenges.

A new sponsor for this year, Inspiring 500, introduced a new category to recognise the hard work of individuals and organisations that help drive development of young people in the city.

The Industry and Young People Innovation Award was awarded to SmartSTEMs for their work in improving the efficiency of STEM engagement in Scotland by connecting industry, education and volunteers to schools and community groups.

The awards also recognised the Outstanding Contribution by Organisations to Enhance Glasgow’s Environment, the award went to The Coach House Trust. This year the environmental category was supported by Virgin Trains.

Anna Doran, General Manager for Virgin Trains’ Anglo-Scottish services said: “The awards provided a great opportunity to celebrate the work that individuals and organisations put in to make Glasgow such a great place.

“We were delighted to sponsor this year’s event, which showed how much momentum the city has following last year’s Commonwealth Games.”