All posts by Neil Fordyce

Sharkey achieve Ska Silver Award

In October 2013 Sharkey were appointed by Lloyds Banking Group to undertake the multi-phased refurbishment of Scottish Widows RIBA award-winning Dalkeith Road offices in the heart of Edinburgh.  As with every Sharkey project environmental sustainability was at the heart of this large and challenging scheme.  Working in partnership with our client and supply chain we worked tirelessly to ensure that our impact on the environment was minimised, whilst still maintaining our trademark quality and exceptional service delivery.  Through a series of successful environmental initiatives Sharkey were delighted to be awarded the RICS Ska Silver Award.  These included:

  • A partnership with the charity Spruce Carpets meant that 60% of the existing flooring was removed and refurbished for low income households to use in future projects. The remaining 40% of flooring was either damaged or unusable but was saved from landfill by being recycled for other uses
  • Our partnership also supported Spruce Carpets in their aim of providing training and work experience opportunities for people who have found themselves excluded from the job market.
  • 100% of timber utilised on the Dalkeith Road project was FSC accredited
  • Fluorescent fittings were replaced with low-energy LED lights, significantly improving the energy efficiency of the building

SKA rating is an environmental assessment method, benchmark and standard for non-domestic fit-outs, led and owned by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). SKA rating helps landlords and tenants assess fit-out projects against a set of sustainability good practice criteria.

If you would like to find out more about this interesting project please have a look at our case study:


Sharkey help those in need change tactics

As part of Sharkey’s community support initiative our Account Director Mark Halliday and Account Manager Scott Hagart, led a successful 2-day programme in our Edinburgh HQ in conjunction with The Royal Bank of Scotland and Street Soccer Scotland.  The programme was designed with the aim of motivating a group of individuals through a series of employment workshops and light-hearted teambuilding challenges with the ultimate goal of empowering the participants with the skills and confidence necessary to break the cycle of social exclusion and secure a positive destination.

The charity Street Soccer Scotland, founded in March 2009, was inspired by how sport and in particular, football can be the catalyst for positive social change. Street Soccer Scotland use football-inspired training and personal development as a medium to empower individuals who are affected by social exclusion to make positive changes in their lives.

The participants, Ricky Moore, Tom Hilson and Raymond Hamilton were coached and guided in areas including preparing for an interview, understanding human resources, health & safety, team building, motivation, teamwork and attitudes, behaviour in the workplace and mock employment interviews, allowing the team members to benefit from practical experience of what to expect when entering the working environment.

Sharkey were also delighted to further support the participants by donating laptops, with the addition of full IT support, to each attendee, enabling them to learn vital skills whilst also allowing them to produce professional CVs and complete job applications.

‘We anticipate that once the group has completed the programme, the attendees will be highly motivated, will have grown in confidence, and will have reached a willingness to move on to the next stage of considering their options and planning for the future. It is crucial that the support continues from this point and is readily available so that they are encouraged to engage with agencies who will provide the necessary direction to help them move along the right path to securing a positive destination. It’s been a very enjoyable and highly productive couple of days’ said Mark Halliday.

Positive feedback was also received from the participants:

‘I took a lot from the couple of days we completed especially the confidence it’s gave me to go for an interview and put myself across well enough, it was a really good experience and the guys at Sharkey were amazing’ said Raymond Hamilton.

‘I really enjoyed the course, I found getting an insight into the company from a local boy’s perspective was good. I thought the Belbin session was excellent for me but also to see how a team is structured. Improving my CV was very helpful and hope I can maybe get some work experience through the programme’ said Ricky Moore.

‘I thought the course was really cool I enjoyed the time with the guys, it was relaxed which was good it’s helped build my confidence to look for work easier now’ said Tom Hilson.

The Sharkey team were fully supported in this worthwhile endeavour by both The Royal Bank of Scotland and Street Soccer Scotland. We therefore, would like to thank Jamie Hogg (RBS Business Community Partner); John Paterson (RBS Retail LCO); Alan Finlayson (RBS Project Lead, Workplace Services, Shared Services); David Duke, (Street Soccer Scotland, Founder & CEO) and Andy Hook (Street Soccer Scotland, Development Manager – East).

‘The guys were delighted to be involved and all of them definitely gained something from attending, Tom thanked me after the session on Wednesday for having the chance to be there

– Andy Hook, Development Manager (East), Street Soccer Scotland


Sharkey support Scotland’s legal profession

Established in 1949, The Law Society of Scotland is the professional governing body for Scotland’s solicitors. With their existing premises at Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh no longer fit for purpose and with no way of expansion due to planning limitations, the Society took the decision to relocate to Atria One in Morrison Street, Edinburgh, at the core of the city’s burgeoning financial district.  In August 2015 Sharkey were appointed by the Society to undertake the Cat-B fit-out of 19,000 sq ft of stunning Grade A office space.

Sharkey’s reputation for positive and effective collaboration with the client and the consultant team helped ensure that the project was delivered in the highly professional manner our clients have come to regard as our hallmark.  As always we worked to achieve the highest possible standards to ensure we continue to enhance Sharkey’s reputation for exceptional service delivery, employing the quality benchmarking of individual items of work to guarantee total satisfaction at project handover and beyond. Our highly skilled and experienced workforce provided a professional yet relaxed approach to help build the strong relationships across the team which are fundamental to the success of any project.

Sharkey have completed an array of projects in Edinburgh’s financial hub, including projects for clients such as Lloyds Banking Group, Standard Life, BlackRock, Deloitte and Anderson Strathern. These successful projects from repeat clients, with a combined floor area of almost half a million sqft, further demonstrate our ability to create an outstanding client experience through exceptional service delivery.

Sharkey support RBS in their fight against child poverty

On Friday 25th and Saturday 26th September, 2015 Sharkey supported The Royal Bank of Scotland by sending a team to take part in the RBS Corporate Generation Challenge. The gruelling two-day adventure consisted of 10 physical and mental challenges with a target of raising vital funds to support the STV Children’s Appeal and Prince’s Trust.

Based at The Royal Bank of Scotland’s world headquarters at Gogarburn, the RBS Corporate Generation Challenge brought together 30 teams drawn from The Royal Bank of Scotland, their corporate customers and corporate partners. Each team was competing for the coveted winner’s prize and consisted of four team members from all age ranges; Under 25, 25-35, 35-45 and 45 years of age and over.

The Sharkey team, comprised Graeme Maclean and Sabrina McKelvey from our finance department, Billy Ratcliffe our RBS Account Delivery Manager, together with one of the newest members of our expanding surveying team, Kenny Millar. The team finished the challenge in a very creditable 8th place and were delighted to have raised £5000 in the process.

Split over two days this demanding challenge included a 10km relay race (Sharkey finishing 3rd), football skills tests, scrabble, orienteering, beep test, tug of war (which Sharkey won alongside RBS), army team building challenges, 100ft inflatable army assault course, Jenga, Connect 4 and finished with a lively music-themed quiz.

It wasn’t all hard work however, as on the Friday evening the competitors were allowed a little relaxation time, with a street party inside the Gogarburn facility and a charity auction and dinner, all of which were great fun and provided an ideal opportunity for everyone involved to socialise and interact.


‘Thanks to you all for taking part.  It was a fantastic event that has made a big difference to two great causes.  We are motoring towards the £200k mark which is exceptional. I think we can safely say that the ‘proof of concept’ has worked and we’ll be back again next year – bigger and better.  I hope we see you all there again’

-Chris Wilson, MD Branch & Private Banking, Scotland, The Royal Bank of Scotland


Sharkey would like to thank The Royal Bank of Scotland and everybody involved for making this such a successful event and helping to raise such a substantial amount to help fight child poverty. We are already looking forward to next year’s event!

STV Children’s Appeal

One in five children and young people in Scotland live in poverty, affecting over 220,000 people. The STV Children’s Appeal was launched in 2011 by The Hunter Foundation and STV to raise funds and to help make a real difference to those who need it most, by providing practical help like food and warm clothes; creating opportunities for training and employability; and enabling social and emotional support.

The Prince’s Trust

The Prince’s Trust supports 13 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed and those struggling at school and at risk of exclusion. Many of the young people helped by The Trust are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health problems, or they have been in trouble with the law. Three in four young people supported by The Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training. The Prince of Wales’s charity has helped 750,000 young people since 1976 and supports over 100 more each day.

Sharkey working hard to protect Edinburgh’s modern heritage

This unique and innovative 1970’s building, situated on Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh was designed by the late Sir Basil Spence and consists of a series of interlocking hexagonal modules varying in height from one to four storeys providing 180,000 sqft of floor space.

Sharkey were appointed in 2013 on a design and build basis to undertake a comprehensive multi-phase refurbishment of this fully occupied building including an M&E upgrade, statutory compliance work and the re-planning of floor plates to incorporate LBG’s latest design standards.

An important part of the agenda has involved supporting LBG’s environmental sustainability goals and we are delighted to have been awarded two SKA Silver awards to date, a tally we hope to add to before project completion.

Whilst maintaining the balance of working around 2,000 members of staff in a live environment with the constraints imposed by a listed building has brought numerous challenges, our experienced team has worked in close liaison with the client to deal quickly and effectively with these and we remain firmly on track to complete this project early in the new year.


‘Our project has transformed the office space in the area handed over and given the staff a taste of the improved environment that will be rolled out across the building. I have received a great deal of positive feedback from the staff and the business not only on the quality of the end product but also praising the way in which it was delivered’

David Stewart, Senior Construction Manager, Lloyds Banking Group


If you would like to find out more about our experience in commercial refurbishments please have a look at our sectors sections: