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Breathing life into a disused building or constructing new affordable homes does more than provide housing ... it can add a heart and soul to whole community
FOR more than a decade, The Herald Property Awards for Scotland have been celebrating the best of new build housing across the country. In that time they’ve shone the spotlight on excellence in one-off projects, luxury developments, social housing and volume homes.
Good housing can make a profound difference on a practical and aesthetic level and that was highlighted very clearly during last year’s awards ceremony when amongst the winners were a contemporary interpretation of Georgian architecture; high quality family homes; a sparkling restoration of a 17th century merchant’s house and a collaboration between two housing associations that resulted in the transformation of a derelict piece of land in Glasgow’s east end.
That development in Milncroft Road, Ruchazie – a joint project between Cube Housing Association, which is part of Wheatley Group and Ruchazie Housing Association – created 60 new social rent, mid-market rent and shared equity homes and won the title of Best Housing Regeneration Project.
David Mackenzie, a director of Cube Housing Association, says building homes on a site that had lain empty for 12 years has had a positive effect, not just on those who now live in the new houses and apartments, but on the neighbouring community too.
“They have seen investment going into the area and instead of a gap site, there are homes that people take pride in; the sorts of homes where people have space to let their children out to play and where they care for their gardens.”
Cube Housing Association doesn’t just provide high quality homes, it also offers a range of support services for tenants, including advice on money and bills and help with getting online and Phil Prentice, Chief Officer with Scotland’s Towns Partnership which this year is sponsoring the Best Regeneration Project category believes that this is the ideal model for revitalising communities.
He says: “Deindustrialisation and more recently the financial crisis has left many scars across Scotland’s industrial heartlands. As the economy restructures around services and key sectors, it is vital that regeneration considers a much more holistic approach, one that looks at health, housing, jobs, education, connectivity and culture. Places like Dundee and Paisley are leading the way; these once-proud industrial giants are now associated more with digital, software, gaming, life sciences, tourism, creativity and education. Successful regeneration brings new confidence and opportunity and allows communities to become vibrant, proud and inspired again.”
Other winners in last year’s awards included Solid House in North Berwick, a striking contemporary home designed by Beecher Architect; the transformation of A-listed Lamb’s House in Leith into a home and studio for Groves-Raines Architects; The Pendelbury, one of a range of spacious properties by Avant Homes and, in the Best Family Home category, for developers building less than 50 units a year, the award went to Apsis Solutions, Charlesfort and the Four Acre Trust for The Highburgh Collection on Highburgh Road. That category this year will once again be sponsored by Lowther Homes, which is part of Wheatley Group.
To enter The Herald Property Awards for Scotland 2017 download a form from www. newsquestscotlandevents.com or contact claire.hunter@ . Closing date for entries is Thursday, 1 June 2017.
WINNERS: Apsis Solutions,
left, and Wheatley Group, right, were praised for their efforts in regenerating communities.