Kevin Reid: Why supporting communities is not just a choice, but a responsibility
Kevin Reid looks at why supporting communities is more than a choice for The Cruden Group.
With the season of goodwill in full swing, it’s a poignant time to reflect on how important it is for businesses to embed social value at the heart of everything they do. This has certainly become a strong part of Cruden’s culture over our 80-year heritage as one of Scotland’s leading housebuilders and developers. And despite challenging market conditions and fast-paced regulatory and political change, our mission at the Cruden Group continues to extend far beyond constructing high quality, energy-efficient new homes.
In fact, we firmly believe in building not just houses, but vibrant and thriving communities, and giving back to the communities we serve.
We can create a positive impact throughout the development lifecycle, working with local authorities and stakeholders at the start of every new site to consider how each project can benefit local people in terms of tenure and design. Through our links with local communities, we ensure that we involve other locally based SMEs throughout the build programme, actively providing employment opportunities, including apprenticeships and work experience placements, to empower individuals and bolster the local workforce. We also support a wide variety of community projects, initiatives, charities and schools that need our support, be that through the delivery of a new school play area, the donation of equipment or resource, or through educational outreach. There are many excellent examples of the work we do amongst the communities in which we operate, and extending a helping hand when and where we can has become an important part of our DNA.
Beyond the ‘boots on the ground’ support our people routinely offer, our linked charitable trust, The Cruden Foundation, was set up 35 years ago to support charities across Scotland. And in spite of challenges over the years, none more so than now, the Foundation has recently reached a phenomenal donation milestone of £8 million. As executive chairman of the group and member of the Cruden Foundation Board, I’m incredibly proud of our ethos to go above and beyond in transforming the lives of local people. This milestone signifies a legacy of unwavering commitment to making a real difference where it counts the most.
I am acutely aware of the uncertainty affecting both businesses and charities today. The rising cost of living, combined with various economic and social pressures, places an unprecedented burden on the very organisations that tirelessly serve our communities. With this in mind, supporting charities where possible is not merely an option; it’s an inherent responsibility as a business deeply rooted in an evolving Scotland.
Each year, the Foundation supports over 150 charitable organisations, with a focus on community welfare, medical support and research, education, conservation, and the arts. It’s incredible to reflect on all that we’ve achieved so far. But our commitment at Cruden transcends financial contribution, it helps to uplift the places where we build, live, and work, and is ingrained in our day-to-day values.
As the festive period approaches, the Cruden Group is once again collaborating with the Trussell Trust through our annual food bank campaign - helping to gather much-needed essentials for everyday people in need. Last year, we collected an impressive 7,000 food items, exceeding six tonnes, and distributed them across 8 community food banks. Additionally, we raised £11,000 in cash donations. This year, we hope to make an even greater impact.
Our continuous dedication to supporting local people and organisations is not simply an act of kindness; it’s a recognition that when we help others thrive, we build stronger, more resilient communities. True value is not just added through the houses we build, but through the meaningful places we create for people to call home. In these times of uncertainty and hardship, our commitment to doing good remains steadfast. Together with local people and organisations, we’re sowing the seeds of a brighter future for Scotland’s future generations.
- Kevin Reid is executive chairman of The Cruden Group