River Clyde Homes exhibition moves from high-rise flats to local gallery

River Clyde Homes, the Inverclyde-based housing association, is pleased to announce that the Dark Side o’ The Clyde photographs that have been shown in high-rise flats in the Broomhill area of Greenock for the last three years are being collected and exhibited at The Beacon Arts Centre from Tue 17 April – Sat 26 May.

The photographs were shown as part of three consecutive Doors Open Days and attracted positive attention as part of the Broomhill regeneration. Now people have a chance to see the entire collection in its (largely) monochrome glory for the first time.

Many photographers avoid taking pictures at night as it’s one of the most challenging fields in photography but a project entitled ‘Dark Side o’ The Clyde’ revels in capturing the dark nooks and crannies of a shadowy, alternative side of Inverclyde.

Using modern cameras with old ‘legacy’ lenses, the inspiration for the project is based on the grainy images of Inverclyde from the 1930s. Many of the photographs highlight the beauty of the dark lamp-lit streets & lanes and the mystery behind the façade of derelict buildings & factories.

When the £26m Broomhill regeneration project began, River Clyde Homes wanted to capture the moment for posterity. Not just the physical changes to the buildings, but the strong, resilient community. We knew who we wanted and we’re privileged that the Dark Side agreed to the three-year undertaking.

As the project developed, elements of colour were introduced and, as the regeneration nears completion and the area goes from strength-to-strength, we’re proud to present these unique images of a revitalised neighbourhood.

Jenny Speck, a River Clyde Homes Board member and a Broomhill resident, said: “I remember thinking that the idea of turning a flat on the twelfth floor of a multi-storey block into a gallery was mad. But to my surprise each event was attended by a couple of hundred people who came to see the fantastic photographs and enjoy the views across the Clyde. To bring the collection together at The Beacon is great news and is a unique snapshot of the regeneration of the Broomhill area.”

River Clyde Homes outlines £17m investment plans

River Clyde Homes has unveiled the details of its multi-million pound investment plans for housing in Inverclyde.

Just over £17 million will be spent in the coming year to upgrade homes and make them more energy efficient, around £10.6m of which will be spent on major works to improve the housing stock.

In a first for the Association, solar panels will be installed in 150 existing properties as part of a £3m drive to improve energy efficiency for customers. A total of 310 additional homes will be converted from inefficient electric storage heating to gas central heating and a £400k programme to improve insulation of lofts and wall cavities will take place. The previously announced major works to replace an ageing heating system at the apartments in Kilblain Court, Greenock will begin soon.

Over £1m will be spent on planned maintenance works as a new roof replacement programme begins, 45 properties will receive new kitchens, bathrooms and electrics, and £250k will be spent on replacing windows and doors.

In response to customer feedback, £3.2m will be invested in improving the built environment in neighbourhoods and £450k to improve and paint communal areas in flatted accommodation.

To help customers stay in their own homes, a budget of £300k has been set aside for aids and adaptations to properties.

Albert Henderson, chair of the River Clyde Homes Board, welcomed the news: “Our fundamental aim is to help improve lives and places and these plans go some way to doing that, particularly in the area of energy efficiency and tackling fuel poverty. Throughout last year we consulted with customers over what mattered to them and I’m pleased to see additional investment in neighbourhood environments and communal areas within blocks.”

He added: “This £17m investment in existing properties, coupled with 89 new build coming on to the market and the demolition of unpopular properties in Banff Road, Cumberland Road and Slaemuir shows that River Clyde Homes is committed to the continued regeneration of Inverclyde.”

Full details of the investment plans will be communicated to customers in advance of the programmes commencing.

Arc-Tech installs specialist heating services at Inverclyde education projects

M&E contractor and installer Arc-Tech (Scotland) Ltd is progressing well on the installation of the mechanical & electrical services on three education projects.

Undertaken on behalf of hub West Scotland and Inverclyde Council, each project will receive an extensive suite of mechanical & electrical services. To meet building regulations and achieve BREEAM accreditation, St Ninian’s primary school in Gourock will incorporate renewable energy systems in the way of a CHP (combined heating and power) unit and solar photovoltaic panels.

Glenpark Early Learning Centre, also located in the region, will have a similar level of specification but as well as photovoltaic panels, renewable energy air source heat pumps will be installed to supply the underfloor heating. These systems as well as saving fuel and CO2 emissions will be beneficial to both the environment and client.

John Gallacher, managing director of Arc-Tech, said: “Arc-Tech is working closely with the project teams across both projects as a strict contract programme is in place given the requirement to have both facilities ready for the upcoming academic year.

“Our staff have vast experience in the area of underfloor heating both in design and installation. With this experience we understand the challenges that underfloor heating can bring to the construction process and with our projects in Inverclyde, we have ensured that they have been installed under watertight conditions efficiently and to the highest quality standard.”

Arc-Tech is also involved in a third project with Inverclyde Council and hub West Scotland at Moorfoot Primary School. A similar M&E Service package is being installed as part of the new extension to the existing school building. This project is also due for completion for the upcoming academic year.

‘Pioneering’ Inverclyde food and drink incubator receives planning consent

Riverside Inverclyde Property Holdings, the organisation charged with delivering the economic redevelopment of  Inverclyde in the west of Scotland, has been given planning permission by Inverclyde Council for a new food and drink incubator in Greenock.

The incubator and its other areas of support for businesses will be the first of its kind in Scotland, assisting Inverclyde’s growth in the food and drink sector as Scotland aims to double its turnover to £30 billion by 2030.

Baker Street Food & Drink Enterprises will be built on land recently cleared at the corner of Greenock’s Baker Street and Drumfrochar Road, and is part of a wider £3.5 million project including a road re-alignment being delivered by Riverside Inverclyde for Inverclyde Council.

Baker Street will see the development of six manufacturing units ranging from 45 to 95 square metres. Aimed at enticing the growth of small and medium sized food and drink businesses, the building will also include shared office space, storage unit, research and board room facilities for its tenants as well as shower and change areas.

The incubator will aim also to facilitate growth for the businesses based at Baker Street, with the expectation that they will expand in a sustainable manner before moving onto larger premises in Inverclyde, allowing a constant flow of new firms to move in.

Riverside Inverclyde will also provide a business growth programme to support the businesses, as well as potential match-funding support for machinery and equipment. All of this is aimed at assisting with the transition into Baker Street alongside support towards achieving Safe And Local Supplier Approval (SALSA) standard accreditation for the units.

Fiona Maguire, chief executive of Riverside Inverclyde, said: “We have already seen interest in the incubator from businesses and expect to see further demand as the project develops. Alongside the road realignment project, this popular and busy corner of Greenock will have a completely new feel and flow and we look forward to getting started with this project.”

Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s environment and regeneration convener, said: “The food and drink sector in Inverclyde has the potential to be an area of real growth and opportunity. Baker Street will play a key part in this and we look forward to seeing the completed incubator hub.”

Dr Gerry McCarthy, chair of Riverside Inverclyde, added: “This incubator offers Inverclyde some exciting opportunities, not least to grow the number of local producers but hopefully to see some of the early companies grow to be success stories and offer employment opportunities.”

The development is due to begin this summer with a completion date of early 2019. The Baker Street incubator is being support by £900,000 from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).

£270m Inverclyde schools investment on track for early completion

The new St Patrick’s Primary

Inverclyde Council’s £270 million school estate investment is on track to be completed five years early with work set to begin on the programme’s final major project.

St Mary’s Primary school in Greenock is to undergo a £6m refurbishment and extension. Gourock Primary is also due to undergo a £1.7m extension.

Elsewhere, the new £9.2m St Ninian’s Primary in Gourock and £3.4m Glenpark Early Learning Centre are scheduled to be completed in the coming months, along with the refurbishments of Moorfoot Primary in Gourock (£5m) and Lady Alice Primary in Greenock (£3.8m).

Education & communities convener, Councillor Jim Clocherty, said: “To sustain this level of investment through such a sustained period of economic uncertainty and budgetary pressure is something we can be proud of in Inverclyde.

“From the outset we promised that every child in Inverclyde would be taught in a new or fully refurbished classroom by 2025 so to be able to deliver that pledge five years early is nothing short of extraordinary.

“Our school estate programme is without a doubt one of the most ambitious in the whole of the UK and is one that has already delivered learning environments that are second-to-none for the vast majority of our children and young people.”

Kier named as Tier One contractor to hub West Scotland

Kier imageKier Construction Scotland has been appointed as a Tier One contractor to hub West Scotland’s supply chain.

A joint-venture organisation owned by both the public and private sectors, hub West Scotland delivers a range of public sector capital works projects throughout west central Scotland.

It works in partnership with 15 public bodies in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, including NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and six local authorities: East Dunbartonshire; West Dunbartonshire; East Renfrewshire; Renfrewshire; Inverclyde and Glasgow City councils, covering a population of around 1.2 million people.

The partnership designs and constructs a wide range of new community facilities, including schools, health and community centres and facilities for blue light organisations, whilst providing value for money to the public purse and the opportunity to work with local SMEs.

Kier Construction Scotland is already an equity stakeholder and Tier One contractor in hub South West Scotland and a Tier One contractor on hub North and hub East Central.

Iain Marley, chief executive of hub West Scotland, said: “Key supply chain members are a vital ingredient in the success of hub West Scotland where we work in a collaborative partnership to deliver quality, innovative and value for money solutions to our public sector partners.

“Kier Construction Scotland boasts a wealth of delivery experience, and we look forward to working with them as a partnering contractor on future projects, to develop a sustainable future within communities across west central Scotland.”

Brian McQuade, Kier Construction Scotland’s managing director, added: “We are delighted to be appointed as a Tier One contractor to hub West Scotland. We believe that Kier has a great deal to offer the partnership and we are looking forward to working closely with the hub West team and supporting local communities by creating employment and educational opportunities.”

New lease of life for Inverclyde cemetery building

Greenock CemeteryInverclyde Council has lodged a planning application to remodel a 170 year old building at Greenock Cemetery.

Originally located in Wellpark in Greenock when it was built in 1846, Ivy House was moved to the cemetery in 1852 to be used as a lodge for workers.

Greenock Cemetery 2The two-storey brick building is currently used for storage but the council plan to convert it into a facility for cemetery staff.

The rear portion of the existing structure would be demolished and the stonework repaired. New windows and slate roof would be installed providing office accommodation on the ground floor and storage on the first floor.

Greenock Cemetery 3A new single storey extension with shower and toilet facilities as well as an area for staff to eat meals would be provided with the building linked to the office.

The application is pending consideration by the planning department.

Funding secured for £12m Ardgowan distillery and visitor centre

Ardgowan distilleryA project to build a new lowland malt whisky distillery and visitor centre in Inverclyde can begin next year with the award of near £1 million from the Scottish Government.

The Ardgowan Distillery, which plans to build the flagship project on the Ardgowan Estate near Inverkip, 30 miles west of Glasgow, secured £982,000 from the government’s Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) grant scheme – providing vital capital towards construction costs.

The award was announced this morning by Fergus Ewing MSP, the Scottish Government’s cabinet secretary for the rural economy and connectivity, ahead of the AgriScot 2017 exhibition in Edinburgh.

Ardgowan distillery 2The distillery now plans to commence construction next year – with ambitious plans for a world-leading lowland malt whisky distillery by 2020.

Commenting on the award, distillery chief executive officer, Martin McAdam, said: “The Scotch whisky industry supports over 40,000 jobs in Scotland, and is a vital component of Scotland’s ambitious food and drink growth strategy.

“This £12m project will move Inverclyde up the rankings for food and drink production in Scotland. During construction the project will support 35 jobs and contribute over £2m to the local economy.”

Ardgowan Distillery 4Once up and running, the distillery will create six new full-time jobs, with up to 15 additional jobs in the visitor centre and retail operations, with around 47 further jobs created in the wider economy during the first five years.

McAdam added: “We are extremely grateful to the Scottish Government for their generous support, and to all others who have backed the project so far, especially the local community for their enthusiasm and encouragement.”

The distillery has already received full planning consent for the project, which will transform a former sawmill on estate land near Inverkip.

Riverside Inverclyde marks decade of regeneration efforts with opening of 200-year-old Custom House

(from left) Martin Brennan, Provost of Inverclyde; Fiona Maguire, chief executive of Riverside Inverclyde; and Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Mr Guy Clark

(from left) Martin Brennan, Provost of Inverclyde; Fiona Maguire, chief executive of Riverside Inverclyde; and Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Mr Guy Clark

Riverside Inverclyde, the organisation charged with the economic regeneration of Inverclyde, celebrated not only the completion of the refurbishment of Greenock’s Custom House, but also its own 10-year anniversary at a ceremony held at the lovingly restored building.

Martin Brennan, Provost of Inverclyde formally re-opened the 200-year-old Georgian building and unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion

He said: “The upgrading of this building, ably delivered by the team at Riverside Inverclyde, has helped to preserve this landmark for the current and future generations.”

Also present was Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Mr Guy Clark, Fiona Maguire, chief executive of Riverside Inverclyde and project architect, Tom Connelly of Elder & Cannon.

Restoration of the Custom House has been a six-year £6 million project for Riverside Inverclyde. And while the Custom House is the jewel in the crown, the organisation has been the driving force behind much of the Inverclyde’s recent renaissance, including the Riverside Business Park, which employs 600 staff, the creation of James Watt Dock Marina and water-and-wind-proofing of the Sugar Warehouse, designed by Walter R Kinipple, and completed in 1886.

RI_Custom House official launch_3nov17_RI team_small versionMs Maguire said: “It has been a stellar decade of achievements for Riverside Inverclyde, almost too many to list. Being able to cap the 10 years with the completion of this iconic piece of Greenock history is magnificent.

“We are not resting on our laurels, though; we have a number of projects currently in the pipeline, including Baker Street, a dedicated Food and Drink Incubator Hub in Greenock, and the development of a new spur road into Port Glasgow Town Centre.”

RI_Custom House official launch_3nov17_Provost_small versionOver the past decade, the organisation has obtained more than £73m direct investment in Inverclyde, from a variety of sources. These include modern business centres in Gourock (Municipal Buildings), Greenock (Victoria House), and Port Glasgow (Scarlow House).

In addition to developments and restorations, Riverside Inverclyde has setup networks of local construction companies and community hubs, such as the Local Construction Forum, the Regeneration Forums as well as delivery of the Community Benefits Programme, which provides the benchmark to maximise opportunities for local people.

Plans submitted for over 100 affordable homes across five Inverclyde sites

Plans for Dubbs Road in Port Glasgow

Plans for 24 homes at Dubbs Road in Port Glasgow

Sanctuary Group is working with Inverclyde Council to deliver 104 new affordable homes for rent across five sites.

The sites are distinct in character with proposals ranging from 8 to 44 units across 2-4 storeys. Three of the five sites have been submitted for planning with the remaining two to be submitted by the end of next week.

Information on each project location and planning submission dates:

Commencement of the works on site is programmed to commence from March 2018 with a contract completion of summer 2019.

Sanctuary Homes has bought the former Highlanders’ Academy in Mount Pleasant Street in Greenock and the old Lilybank School site in Port Glasgow as well as empty land just across the street on Farquhar Road, known as ‘The Orchard’. It has also acquired the former Auchenbothie nursery site in Port Glasgow and the site of the former clinic at Dubbs Road.

Gillian Lavety, head of development for Sanctuary Homes in Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be progressing plans for affordable housing on five sites in Inverclyde in partnership with the Scottish Government and Inverclyde Council.

“Subject to planning approval 44 homes will be built on the site of the former Highlanders Academy in Greenock. A further 60 homes will be built across four sites in Port Glasgow, including eight family homes at Auchenbothie Road and 24 amenity style flats at Dubbs Road.”