This sprawl­ing Vic­to­rian villa is one of Kil­ma­colm’s best-kept se­crets...

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

The Herald - Scotland's Homes - - News -

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. newsquestscot­lande­ 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.

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