Who We Are

Ken Gillespie FRICS 

Chair of both Construction Scotland and Homes for Scotland, and a non-executive Director of Home Group.

From 2006 – 2017, he was an Executive Director of Galliford Try Plc , a FTSE 250 Housebuilding and Construction Group , initially responsible for Construction and Investments and in 2014 appointed as the Group’s  Chief Operating Officer. Ken has been involved in the delivery of a number of significant Infrastructure projects in Scotland and across the UK, including the 2012 Olympics, the M74 link in Glasgow and the Queensferry Crossing.

He has spent his whole career in the Housebuilding and Construction sectors since leaving School and joining George Wimpey Plc as a Quantity Surveying apprentice.

He is a fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and holds a BSc in Quantity Surveying from Napier University in Edinburgh.

Ann Allen MBE

Executive Director of Estates and Commercial Services - University of Glasgow

Ann Allen is the Executive Director of Estates and Commercial Services at the University of Glasgow. A Chartered Surveyor with over 35 years’ experience, Ann has worked for such organisations as John Lewis; HBOS and UK Government. 

She has several non-executive roles; in particular she is Chair of the Architecture Design Scotland Board; a member of the Scottish Futures Trust Board and is a Trustee of National Museums of Scotland and also chairs its Estate Committee

She sits on the Scottish Executive of the BCO; and is a member of the Scottish executive board for Women in Property

Ann was awarded an MBE in the 2019 New Year Honours List for services to Higher Education received a Regional Director of the Year award from the Scottish Institute of Directors in 2018, and in February 2019 she received the Business Leadership Award at the Scottish Property Awards.


Grahame Barn

Chief Executive - Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Scotland

Grahame is the Chief Executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Scotland. CECA Scotland represents 102 contractors across Scotland ranging from large multinational companies engaged in flagship infrastructure projects to rural SMEs carrying out civil engineering works in their communities.  CECA Scotland members currently deliver around 80% of Scotland’s annual civil engineering outturn of £2.4bn p.a. and employ over 25,000 PAYE people with many more in the supply chain.  

Grahame represents the civil engineering contracting community on the HSE’s principal Health and Safety committee for the construction industry in Scotland; Site Safe Scotland. Grahame has been a member of this committee for 14 years.

He has been active on the Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Construction since its inception and has been the Treasurer of the Group since 2015. Grahame also sits on the Industry Leadership Group of Construction Scotland.

Training and lifelong learning in the construction industry is a passion of Grahame. He has contributed and been a part of various CITB committees over the last 16 years.  In addition he was a member of the Scottish Building Apprenticeship & Training Council (SBATC) for 12 years.

Regularly meeting with key clients & politicians in a structured engagement programme to influence thinking and decision-making around infrastructure and civil engineering in Scotland is an important part of Grahame’s role. This is alongside engaging with the Scottish Government, local authorities, major public sector clients and other agencies to achieve a fairer, more balanced procurement process that recognises equitable risk transfer and promotes fair conditions of contracts and payment terms throughout the supply chain.

Grahame lists his hobbies as hacking a ball around a golf course, being constantly depressed by the performance of Dunfermline Athletic FC and shouting at the telly.

Bruce Dickson

Regional Director for Scotland - BAM Construction Ltd. 

After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 1988, Bruce joined the non-cognate Graduate training programme of a major international contractor and trained as a Quantity Surveyor with their civil engineering major projects division.

He joined BAM (then GA Group) as a project quantity surveyor in 1992 rising to Commercial Director in 2009. Bruce was promoted to Regional Director of the Scottish business in 2016, and sits on the board of BAM Construction Ltd.

During this time he has worked on many of BAM’s innovative projects including Zaha Hadid’s Riverside Museum, Page and Parks redevelopment of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Maggies Centre Dundee designed by Frank Gehry and most recently, Kengo Kumas V&A Dundee.

He has an LLM in Construction Law from Strathclyde University and has studied business management at the Roffey Park Institute, Nyenrode Business Universiteit and Henley Business School.

Bruce is a Fellow of the RICS and was for many years an APC assessor and qualified chairman. He is a guest lecturer at the University of Edinburgh School Of Architecture, a regular speaker at industry conferences and Vice Chairman of the Scottish Contractors Group, part of BuildUK. 

He sat on the industry consultation panel for the Scottish Government construction procurement review led by Robin Crawford and Ken Lewandowski which led to the 2014 white paper, and was thereafter the Chair of the Construction Scotland Procurement Group working with Scottish Government and the Scottish Futures Trust on the implementation of the review recommendations. 

Outside of work and industry, Bruce is an LTA Tennis coach, distance runner and keen cyclist.

Emma Dickson

Technical Director - Arcadis

A Civil Engineer with over 24 years experience, Emma has recently joined Arcadis as Technical Director (Rail Civils), with a remit to grow the team to deliver design for the CP6 Rail work bank in Scotland and support other rail projects around the UK as required.

Immediately prior to this Emma was Professional Head of Civil Engineering for SPL (Siemens Powerlines) and CEM on Shotts Electrification.

Emma has worked on an array of construction projects around the UK and Ireland, commencing her career with Tarmac Major Projects. Emma then spent 7 years in Southern Ireland, working with Mowlem, Arup and Laing O’Rourke on major infrastructure projects including the Dublin Port Tunnel. On returning to the UK, she became Agent on Airdre to Bathgate Rail Link, and Low Moss Prison, before becoming Engineering Manager on EGIP Cumbernauld Electrification with Carillion Rail in 2013. 

Emma is a past Chair of the Glasgow and West of Scotland ICE Branch, Senior Vice Chair of ICE Scotland, SCE (Supervising Civil Engineer) for ICE, the Scotland Representative on the ICE FIR Committee and STEM Ambassador.

Emma is passionate about encouraging students into construction, and feels we need to target parents and teachers better when conveying the opportunities in construction and engineering. However, we need to improve the construction career message and improve our workplaces to retain those we attract. Emma has taken part in engineering events at schools, and hosted workshops at Strathclyde University, part of the ‘Civil Engineering for Real’ initiative to connect students with industry. Encouraging women as well as young people in general has also been her focus, and has managed to encourage more women student engineers to apply to work in rail, some of whom have returned to full time roles. Emma welcomes a real opportunity to draw from the experience of Skills Group and influence the skills agenda across the industry.

Jonathan Fair 

Regional Managing Director for Scotland - McCarthy and Stone

Following his appointment (in Jan ‘17) have full operational responsibility for the Scottish Regional business, delivering a range of high quality retirement living and lifestyle developments to suit the needs of older people in private tenure.

McCarthy & Stone plc is the UK’s leading retirement house builder with a 70% share of the owner-occupied retirement housing market. Celebrating its 42nd year in business, the company are proud to be the only UK house builder of any size or type to have been awarded the NHBC’s 5* rating for customer satisfaction for 14 years running since the schemes inception.

Jonathan is also a Board Member and Company Director for Homes for Scotland - the industry body representing the private house building industry in Scotland; and in addition, he was previously a Non-Executive Board Member and Trustee of Clyde Valley Housing Association for six years.

His professional background is in project management and architectural design; he has thirty years of experience from working within the property/construction sector across infrastructure, commercial and private residential fields.

Hector MacAulay

Managing Director - Balfour Beatty 

Hector MacAulay is Managing Director for Balfour Beatty’s Scotland and Ireland operations. With over three decades of experience within the industry, Hector has responsibility for leading the business in Scotland and Ireland to ensure the delivery of budgeted performance targets through safe and sustainable delivery of quality projects to our customer’s satisfaction.

In 2012, Hector began to lead the combined civil and building business for Balfour Beatty in Scotland and Ireland, now head-quartered in Motherwell. With a business unit turning over in excess of £350m annually, Hector leads a driven team determined to deliver a first class, customer focussed service, providing exceptional value, quality and certainty of delivery. He is part of the UK Executive Leadership Team for the £2bn revenue UK construction services arm of Balfour Beatty, which is the biggest contractor in the UK. 

Hector passionately believes that the construction industry has a duty and a responsibility to support and enhance communities (CSR) within which it operates and to leave a lasting and sustainable legacy when it moves on. He has driven this philosophy through the business to place Balfour Beatty at the forefront of the industry in delivering real Social Value.


Andrew Richards ACMA, CGMA, BSC 

Board member - Safedem

Andrew has worked in construction and housebuilding for 19 years.

He is currently on the board of Safedem, a specialist demolition and dismantling company, operating with 50 employees from its two bases in Dundee and Glasgow. The business turnover (£10m - £15m per annum) is predominantly public sector generated through contract awards by local authorities and housing associations. Safedem’s work in demolition was recognised globally at the World Demolition Awards 2018, with first place in the Explosives Demolition category.

Andrew has also established an affordable housing development company, Glenesk Homes, to develop small sites (of less than 50 units) on brownfield land across the central belt of Scotland. This new business has been created and financed to specifically target a part of the housing market which is significantly underprovided due to a lack of SME housebuilders. Homelessness, together with the shortfall of affordable housing, is widely regarded as a major issue in Scotland and Glenesk Homes plans to play a part in addressing the shortfall. Most recently, Andrew advised two large privately owned construction/housebuilding companies with their strategies and operations in the residential market.

For Robertson Group, the construction, housebuilding and support services provider, Andrew was on the Group Board and he assumed responsibility for the residential activities. He led a full demerger process, splitting their 3 residential businesses from Robertson Group to form a separately owned and autonomous business.

For Laing O’Rourke, the international engineering and construction enterprise, Andrew advised on its strategy in respect of the UK residential sector and how it engages more actively and profitably as a provider of offsite manufactured housing solutions. To address the acute labour shortages, the plans involved operating with modern methods of construction (MMC) ethos using Laing O’Rourke’s state of the art manufacturing facility for concrete components. He also further advanced separate proposals for a new fully automated and robotic manufacturing facility for steel based modular homes.

Prior to these consultancy engagements, Andrew held a number of positions in the housebuilding, infrastructure and construction sectors

Karyn Watt

Head of Infrastructure - Anderson Strathern

Karyn is the head of infrastructure and a partner in Anderson Strathern's corporate and commercial team. She has nearly 30 years’ construction industry experience and is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in Construction Law. She also heads up the International Sector of the Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group, which plays a vital role in shaping the country’s economic ambitions.

Karyn is also called to the New York Bar qualified and she is a qualified mediator. She is on the Board, Consultative Committee and drafting team of the Scottish Building Contracts Committee and is also the Scottish Panel adviser for the Scottish Contractors Group, The National Federation of Roofing Contractors and the National Association of Shopfitters, among others. 

Spearheading major projects for local authorities and the private sector, Karyn’s involvement encompasses complex strategic procurement and numerous project issues. In recognition of her major contribution to the industry, Karyn was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Incorporation of Architects Scotland in 2013.

Remarkably, Karyn finds time for many interesting pursuits beyond her demanding career. She loves travelling and frequently visits India, from where she imports jewellery. She has also written, produced and acted [badly!] in a Bollywood movie that was shown at the Cannes Film Festival. This venture raised significant funds for Lifeline Express, an Indian charity that transforms the lives of vulnerable people with limited access to healthcare by transporting surgeons to remote parts of the country by train.