Glasgow Social Enterprise Wins Catering Contract for Scottish National Indoor Sports Arena

Date: 21/06/2010

A contract to supply food and drink to workers during the building of the National Indoor  Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will provide new opportunities for local people who have been marginalised from the employment market.  The facility will be the venue for badminton and track cycling during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Unity Enterprise, a Glasgow based social enterprise company, which promotes the ability of people for full social and economic inclusion within their community, has been awarded the exclusive contract to run a cafe for workers on the site in the east of Glasgow. Opening today, the cafe will require up to 12 staff on a full or part time basis and will also offer training opportunities.

The catering contract has been granted through Glasgow City Council’s community benefit clauses for such major projects.  These clauses require contractors to employ new entrant trainees and liaise closely with Local Regeneration Agencies to engage those wishing to access employment opportunities.

More than 200 construction workers a day will buy fresh home style cooked food from the cafe. While secondary to the project’s main aims, any profits from the business, which is hoped to exceed a turnover of £200k per year for two years, will be reinvested in other aspects of Unity Enterprise Services.

Unity Enterprise runs a variety of social enterprise services, with an emphasis on helping  the community. These include: housing services, working with adults with learning difficulties, training and work experience projects to help people back into the workforce and services for carers. Any profit generated is used to fund additional activities.

George McSorley, Unity Enterprise’s Chief Executive, said: “This is a model of partnership which we hope to develop in order to create opportunities for our service users.”

He continued, “The opportunity to be involved in such a prestigious project as the National Indoor Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will excite and instil confidence in the people who work with us or use our services.”

Councillor Archie Graham, Glasgow City Council’s Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games said: “We are delighted that Unity Enterprise has been awarded the opportunity to provide the canteen at the National Indoor Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome site.  This will mean that local people have the chance to get a job and gain skills, underlining the positive impact our community benefit clauses have on those working near to major projects the Council is involved in.” 


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Notes to Editors

  • Last year alone, Unity provided opportunities to 15,540 people and in the 20 years since its inception, it has helped more than 112,000 people across the Central Belt of Scotland.
  • In June 2008 GCC introduced its Community Benefit in Procurement policy as one of the measures to help maximise the social and economic legacy from the city hosting the Commonwealth Games. Through the inclusion of the policy in the procurement of Sir Robert McAlpine as the main contractor for the NISA / Velodrome project, one of the Council’s key objectives, the ongoing development of Social Enterprise’s within the city, is being supported.
  • The Council’s Community Benefit policy will not only help Social Enterprises win work in relation to the capital infrastructure programme for the Games but will also support capacity building within the sector as a whole. GCC through their partners CEiS have helped SRM to identify a Social Enterprise capable of supporting SRM in the overall delivery of their project.
  • SRM have made a number of commitments to working with and supporting Social Enterprises through the delivery of the NISA / Velodrome project.
  • The National Indoor Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome - which will be one of the biggest indoor sports facilities of its type in Europe- will be located on a 10.5 hectare site in the East End of Glasgow, close to Celtic Park and the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village.   It is due to open in 2012.
  • The indoor arena will have 5,000 spectator seats when set up for sporting competitions, while the velodrome will have a permanent capacity for 2,000 seated and 500 standing spectators viewing the 250-metre cycle track. 
  • The facility will be a national training centre for athletics, basketball, netball, track cycling and volleyball, and will include Scotland’s first dedicated indoor velodrome, providing elite training and an international competition standard venue.
  • The facility will also be the administrative base for several national sports federations and Culture and Sport Glasgow’s sports development unit.  Other features include a community sports centre with sports halls, outdoor floodlit five-a-side courts, extensive health and fitness provision, indoor roller sports park, provision for cycling and a crèche.  There will be dedicated and shared facilities for school use.
  • The construction project will require a total workforce of 200, including 20 new apprenticeship places.

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Workers being served by the new Unity Enterprise Cafe workers at Unity Enterprise cafe receive Lunch Unity worker serving lunch worker on a bike Unity worker marks up the menu on a blackboard  Unity worker standing in front of blackboard

worker on a bike eating a sandwich  Unity Workers in front a menu blackboard

Company Profile


A Glasgow based Social Enterprise, Unity Enterprise provides a range and quality of services which assist in empowering individuals, enriching their lives and enabling them to achieve positive outcomes.

Their services include carer centres, housing support services, community care, education, training, business partnerships, travel agency, and cafes. Through these services we provide training, work experience, guidance and support, personal development, education and social activities for young people and adults experiencing disabilities and/or social disadvantages.

Real PR works with Unity Enterprise to develop their own communications office while providing ongoing support.

If you are interested in one of Scotland's oldest Social Enterprise please contact us.

Unity Enterprise website