News / Business
Hello Carnoustie caught up with Karen Nicoll of D J Laing at the brand new show home in Malt Loan.
First we ask about the Malt Loan development (as our meeting took place there). Karen said “Malt Loan is part of a wider regeneration effort in Carnoustie that D J Laing and others like Carnoustie Community Development Trust are keen to promote. Getting the show home ready for The Open was key, we’re very grateful to everyone involved, especially Millers who provided the contemporary furnishings throughout”.
There are 61 new homes that will be finished at Malt Loan by August 2018. The aim of the housing regeneration project is to put homes at the heart of our community, converting more of the central areas to family friendly zones and housing. In time this will involve moving industrial activity out to the edges of town in new purpose-built areas.
D J Laing was founded in Carnoustie by Karen’s parents in May 1975. Karen said “construction has always been a big factor in our lives, lots of our family continue to be involved in the day to day running of the business”, she first started driving a dumper truck at the age of 14 (…under parent supervision and with all the necessary health & safety precautions of course!). Having worked for D J Laing for 28 years of its 43 year history Karen believes she’s served a long apprenticeship.
Karen is the 1st female Board member of the Scottish Building Federation – something Karen took in her stride at the time and was surprised no one else had made it before it – nevertheless her place on the Board marked a significant change in the working landscape for women which definitely falls into the category of local people achieving extraordinary things.
D J Laing will be entertaining their staff plus 200 business people over the 4 days of The Open “it’s really enjoyable, really long days but we know it’s worth it - people are still talking about the last Open even now”.
Karen goes on to say “I really like Carnoustie, we’ve sold a lot of housing to people who want to live here because it’s a great community and a brilliant place to bring up children. The Open puts Carnoustie on the map, there’s something for everyone. We can all see how much effort is going on around town, it creates a real buzz, a sense of occasion. There’s a real potential to do something different, create something really and I can see a lot of the community are working together to make that happen which is exciting. We’ll just need good weather!”.
‘Dibble the Digger’ is taking a day off from D J Laing to attend the Carnoostival event in Carnoustie House Grounds to grab a selfie or two with the kids (big and small) there!
The business is healthy with projects planned for the next 10 years on land that D J Laing owns outright that, they have a good strong team (Karen says the average length of service for their employees is 14 years). The team are about to start on 97 units in Dundee. The future continues to look rosy for D J Laing & Carnoustie.