Ambassador Homes to develop two new sites after securing £4.6m funding from Maven Property

Properties previously delivered by Ambassador Homes

Private equity and property manager Maven Property has raised £4.6 million to fund the development of two residential property sites in Renfrew and Clackmannan in conjunction with Ambassador Homes.

The sites have planning consent for the development of 94 private houses and 35 affordable homes, and groundworks are underway at both locations.

Both sites are in prime commuter locations with significant new-build housing demand and the developments have a forecast total sales value of £20.6m. Maven has raised the capital via a £1.6m equity fundraise from its UK-wide ‘Investor Partners’ co-investor network, and a bank development loan of £3m.

The Clackmannan development, situated in a commuter town to the east of Stirling, comprises 77 family homes. The private homes are expected to be sold for between £145,000 and £240,000 and will be released for sale in early January 2018. The development will also include 35 affordable housing units, built under contract with Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association (a member of the Places For People group). The first housing completions are anticipated in July 2018.

The Maitland Gardens development of 52 private homes is located in the Moorpark region of Renfrew. The development has recently been released for sale and the first housing completions are anticipated in March 2018 with purchase prices ranging between £160,000 and £170,000. 

Colin Anderson, investment director at Maven, said: “We are delighted to be working with Ambassador Homes on these high quality residential development projects and are pleased to be able to play a small part in helping to address Scotland’s well documented housing shortage. This is an exciting time to invest in the residential sector as house price growth has been and is expected to remain strong in the right locations and we are delighted to offer our Investor Partner network the opportunity to participate.”

Gordon Coster, managing director at Ambassador Homes, added: “Having worked on the pre-development phases of these sites for over two years now, we are thrilled to have partnered with Maven to secure the funding to progress the developments at Clackmannan and Maitland Gardens. We are encouraged by the initial levels of interest in the properties and are confident that their optimum positioning in key commuter locations will result in a very strong uptake.”

Avant Homes secures planning permission for £35.2m Bishopton site

David Knight, Avant Homes Scotland managing director

Stirling-based homebuilder Avant Homes has been granted planning permission to build 121 new homes for a £35.2 million development in Dargavel Village in Bishopton, Renfrewshire.

Avant Homes acquired an 11.5-acre site, which is located off Slateford Road at the location of the former Royal Ordnance Factory and sits 12 miles west of Glasgow. Dargavel Village is part of a major transformational project in Bishopton led by BAE Systems.

The properties to be built by Avant Homes will be a mixture of innovatively designed homes including three-bedroom semi-detached and detached and four and five-bedroom detached houses, all complete with the developer’s new interior specification.

Construction is due to start on the development immediately, with the first homes ready for occupation in 2018.

Avant Homes Scotland managing director, David Knight, said: “We are committed to continued investment in Scotland and the central belt is a key focus for us. The last 12 months have seen high demand for our product here and our Dargavel Village development in Bishopton demonstrates our dedication to providing much-needed homes in the area. The site is important historically and we’re looking forward to giving it a rich future for homebuyers.”

The history of the site dates back to the 16th century, when the Grade B listed Dargavel House was built by the Maxwell family. From World War One, the site was home to a munitions factory run by the Ministry of Defence and then BAE Systems, until manufacturing ceased in 2001.

Jon Gettinby, Bishopton programme manager for BAE Systems, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Avant Homes to Dargavel Village. Working closely with all of our development partners, such as Avant Homes, is key to achieving our vision for Dargavel Village to be an aspirational place to live.”

Avant Homes Scotland is an operating company of the Avant Homes group. The homebuilder currently has 12 developments in its portfolio stretching from Pitdinnie Grange in Cairneyhill to The Dukes in Ferniegair.

For the financial year to 30 April 2017, Avant Homes posted both record revenue and operating profit numbers. Revenues increased 45% year-on-year to £369m, whilst operating profits rose 107% to £45m. These were delivered having achieved 1,636 total completions, up 35% compared with the prior year.

Councillors approve Paisley’s West End regeneration plans

Gillian Lavety, head of development for Sanctuary Scotland, and Renfrewshire Council leader, Iain Nicolson, at the masterplan site

Gillian Lavety, head of development for Sanctuary Scotland, and Renfrewshire Council leader, Iain Nicolson, at the masterplan site

Plans to transform Paisley’s West End into an attractive neighbourhood with 150 new homes and strengthened links to the town centre have been given the green light.

Councillors on Renfrewshire Council’s Leadership Board yesterday approved the final West End regeneration masterplan which sets out the steps to develop the new private and social homes.

The masterplan has been developed by the council and its housing association partner Sanctuary Scotland.

More than 80% of residents in the area have backed the moves to address the high levels of vacant properties in an area once home to thousands of mill workers supporting the town’s weaving industry.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are committed to regenerating Renfrewshire and investing in providing high quality affordable homes which our communities deserve. I am pleased that these plans for the west end of Paisley have been welcomed by the people living there and have received cross-party approval.

“It is an area steeped in history and heritage and these proposals will celebrate this by strengthening the links to Oakshaw Conservation area and Paisley town centre. Working closely with our colleagues at Sanctuary Scotland and through on-going dialogue with residents and businesses in the area, I look forward to seeing the development of a new neighbourhood which is desirable and distinctive, attractive and safe.”

Sanctuary Scotland will now develop plans for a phased delivery of the masterplan which involves clearance of vacant land and demolition of existing low demand tenement flats and commercial ground floor premises on the east side of Well Street, Clavering Street East and Underwood Lane.

All council tenants will be offered suitable alternative accommodation and Sanctuary Scotland will provide private resident owners with a range of options. While businesses in the masterplan area will be supported to relocate, the plans include the potential for limited new retail provision.

The west end is undergoing a complete transformation as Sanctuary Scotland is also developing new housing for social rent at the former Co-Op site on nearby Wellmeadow Street.

Gillian Lavety, head of development for Sanctuary Scotland, said: “We are very excited to be working with Renfrewshire Council on this project and are looking forward to getting started now that the masterplan has been approved.

“The development will create much-needed affordable housing for local people in Paisley and also provide a boost to the town by creating a number of local jobs and training opportunities on site.”

Location announced for £65m manufacturing centre of excellence

Welding Iron Worker Industry Steel Welder manufacturing stockRenfrewshire will be home to the new £65 million National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) with the University of Strathclyde named as the anchor university, it was revealed today.

Work to build the centre, which will help manufacturing businesses throughout Scotland become world leaders in innovation, will begin next year.  The centre at Inchinnan will be located right next to Glasgow International Airport and the M8.

The Scottish Government will invest £48m in NMIS with £8m from the University of Strathclyde. This is in addition to the £8.9m announced in June 2017 for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre as a first step towards the wider centreRenfrewshire Council will provide a further £39.1m through the Glasgow City Region Deal to support wider infrastructure work at the site.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and economy secretary Keith Brown made the announcement during a visit to Rolls-Royce’s manufacturing facility in Inchinnan. Rolls-Royce is a founding member of the University of Strathclyde’s existing Advanced Forming Research Centre.

Speaking after a meeting with some of Scotland’s leading manufacturing companies, the First Minister said: “This exciting facility will be an industry-led international centre of manufacturing expertise. Research, industry and the public sector will work together to transform skills, productivity and innovation, attracting investment and making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

“It will help companies right across Scotland embrace new manufacturing techniques, support cutting edge research and help to further develop the skills of our workforce. The manufacturing jobs of the future offer exciting and rewarding careers for young people. We want to inspire them to work in this sector and revive Scotland’s proud tradition of manufacturing and engineering.

“Inchinnan provides a gateway to the world through proximity to the airport and revives Scotland’s proud tradition of manufacturing and engineering.

“Although the centre will sit on the Clydeside, the benefits will be felt throughout Scotland.”

Unlocking economic potential in manufacturing and innovation is expected to play a key role in this week’s Scottish Budget, alongside digital connectivity, infrastructure and housing.

Economy secretary Keith Brown added: “Manufacturing is a key industry, already accounting for 52% of Scotland’s international exports, and nearly £600m of Scotland’s spend on business research and development.

“Our investment in NMIS builds on our support for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre and will support that and our ambitious target of doubling business expenditure on research and development by 2025. This centre will not only see us continue to reach out worldwide, but also see the rest of the world turning to Scotland for innovation and expertise.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new chapter for Scottish manufacturing, building on a great tradition of innovation. By capitalising on world-class, industry-relevant research and supporting skills-development, the new institute will attract inward investment to Scotland, stimulate the creation of jobs and help companies compete globally.

“The University of Strathclyde prides itself on forging new levels of collaboration between researchers and the public and private sectors to accelerate the pace of research and development, and crucially, to deliver benefit to businesses and the economy. We are delighted to be the anchor university for the Institute and will ensure close engagement with the Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering representing a consortium of Scotland’s leading research intensive universities. We also look forward to working closely with new and existing partners to deliver a step-change in advanced manufacturing for Scotland.”

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson added: “Renfrewshire has long been renowned for its manufacturing expertise and innovation, not least in giving Paisley Pattern to the world, and I am excited about the prospect of helping to play our part in making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

“I believe through our existing manufacturing expertise combined with excellent transport connections by air, land and sea – which will be further enhanced by our Glasgow City Region City Deal projects – Renfrewshire offers the perfect environment for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to flourish and we look forward to working with colleagues to deliver its ambitious aims.”

Managing director at Scottish Enterprise, Linda Hanna, said: “Supporting growth in Scotland’s manufacturing sector is a key priority for us and central to the future of Scotland’s economy. Today’s announcement marks a great milestone in the journey towards creating expertise and capability in a new hub to help drive increased innovation and investment. We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with partners to deliver this ambitious project and grow Scotland’s reputation as a global hub for high value manufacturing.”

Paisley cultural quarter proposal wins FutureTown Design Competition

Baker Street Paisley gardensA plan to transform waste ground in Paisley into a new cultural and arts quarter has been named as the winner of an urban renewal competition.

The ‘Paisley Baker Street’ entry, submitted by Paisley Community Trust, proposes a three to five screen cinema, 500 seat main theatre, 150 seat studio theatre, rehearsal rooms and offices as well as a bar and restaurant and outdoor area and gardens on the site behind Arnotts on Gauze Street.

The Stallan-Brand-designed project has been named Baker Street in reference to the classic 1970s hit by late Paisley-born songwriter Gerry Rafferty.

The plan won a public vote in the FutureTown Design Competition, which invites organisations and members of the public to submit sketches, photographs or short written descriptions of how urban spaces could be renewed.

After receiving applications, Scotland’s Towns Partnership shortlisted entries and held a public vote during Scotland’s Towns Week, 20 – 26 November 2017. Full results and shortlisted designs can be viewed here.

Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said: “The FutureTown Design Competition, now in it’s third year, is all about stimulating conversations and provoking ideas to highlight what a possible future town could look like.

“As our communities strive to meet the challenges of the 21st century, the competition asks: how can town centres stimulate low carbon and sustainable living; encourage digitally-driven tourism; promote culture, health and well-being; deliver connectivity and economic growth, and become places of opportunity and choice for all?

“I’d like to thank all of the shortlisted entries for sharing their innovative ideas in response to these challenges, and showing just how much local expertise, activism and collaboration is at work in our diverse towns.

“In particular, I’d like to congratulate Paisley Community Trust for their winning entry, which proved very popular with the voting public. Their proposal for a performing arts / film theatre and academy shows how culture can be harnessed to create the ‘future history’ of Scotland’s towns, and why Paisley’s creative effervescence makes it a perfect candidate for UK City of Culture 2021.”

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.”

Investment plan unveiled for 1,000 new Renfrewshire affordable homes

Councillor Marie McGurk and Sanctuary’s Gillian Lavety

Councillor Marie McGurk and Sanctuary’s Gillian Lavety

Renfrewshire Council has unveiled a five-year plan to deliver more than 1000 high-quality, affordable homes across the region over the next five years.

The new Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) for the period 2018/19 – 2022/23, which was approved last week by the local authority’s communities, housing and planning policy Board, sets out the key investment priorities for affordable housing in Renfrewshire. It details how the council will meet the objectives of the Renfrewshire Local Housing Strategy by delivering at least 1,000 new homes over the next five years.

The homes will be a mixture of council and housing association properties. As well as new housing for social rent, a mix of housing options are also being developed including properties specifically for older people, families and people with additional needs plus homes which are available to buy at below market prices.

Construction work is due to start on two council projects in Spring 2018 where around 95 new homes will be built as part of the regeneration of Johnstone Castle and 80 new homes at Dargavel Village in Bishopton. It is also planned to bring forward further council new build projects in Paisley and Johnstone over the five year period.

Construction is also underway on housing association new build developments in different parts of Renfrewshire. Sanctuary Scotland is building social rented housing in Renfrew (Andrew Avenue and Inchinnan Road) and homes for both social rent and low cost home ownership at Love Street in Paisley. Work is due to start shortly on the former Co-op site in Paisley West End, where around 40 new homes will be built for social rent by Sanctuary.

Link Group will start work in 2018 on the third phase of the redevelopment of the former Arnotts site – building around 26 flats on Smithhills Street in Paisley town centre for social rent.  In addition, Paisley Housing Association is progressing plans for comprehensive improvement at Orchard Street/Causeyside Street following the designation of a Housing Renewal Area earlier this year.

The council is also working with other housing associations and the Scottish Government to bring forward new build schemes in other parts of Renfrewshire over the next five years.

The draft investment plan was presented to Community planning partners, Renfrewshire housing associations, local stakeholder groups, Community Councils and tenants and Residents Associations for consultation in August of this year. The consultation also included meetings with housing association partners to identify potential sites and new projects in line with the Local Housing Strategy outcomes.

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s communities, housing & planning policy Board, visited a new housing area site to see first-hand one of the new affordable housing developments in Renfrew.

Commenting on the new plan, Councillor McGurk said: “Good quality, energy efficient, affordable housing helps to improve people’s quality of life.  Renfrewshire Council is committed to providing high-calibre homes that people can afford to rent and buy.

“The Strategic Housing Investment Plan isn’t just about building more and more houses. It is about creating homes that people want to live in, in places where they want to live.

“There is a demand for affordable homes for older people, families and those with additional needs. We’re expanding the supply of homes that are the right type, the right size and in the right place to meet the needs of people in Renfrewshire. There are a number of planned developments for additional supported housing, sheltered housing and extra care housing which meet these needs.

“We are already well on track to delivering our target of 1,000 new affordable homes by 2021 and I fully expect that the Strategic Housing Investment Plan will take us beyond that.”

Gillian Lavety, head of development for Sanctuary Homes in Scotland, added: “Sanctuary is proud to work in partnership with Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government to develop much-needed affordable housing in the area.

“Our planned homes will provide modern, attractive and energy-efficient accommodation for local residents, just as Sanctuary’s previous Renfrewshire projects across Paisley, Renfrew and Linwood already have.”

CCG completes specialist Paisley care home and veteran’s activity centre

170925WAR-078 - CopyCCG (Scotland) Ltd has completed work on a stunning care home for visually impaired older people and an activity centre for veterans with sight loss.

The £12 million project was undertaken on behalf of Scotland’s largest sight loss charity, Royal Blind, and its sister charity for visually impaired veterans, Scottish War Blinded.

The veteran’s activity hub, the Hawkhead Centre, located where Hawkhead Road and Barrhead Road meet in Paisley, has seen its design influenced by military aircraft with a stunning roof shaped like the wings of a fighter jet.

Inside, the facility is fully accessible and has been designed so that Scottish War Blinded’s members find it easy to remember and navigate. A sports hall is located alongside various rooms including a specialist arts and crafts workshop, an IT suite, a rehabilitation room, and a peaceful garden room to promote relaxation. Meeting and office facilities are also available for staff throughout the building.

170925WAR-008 - CopyThe exterior grounds also promote accessibility offering members the chance to benefit from private and outdoor space in the form of landscaped gardens.

Royal Blind’s 54-bed care home, Jenny’s Well, is located to the north of the site and has been built to maximise the benefit of the surrounding woodland to residents.  Designed to be a ‘home-from-home’, the specialist facility reaches two storeys and is spread across four inter-connected pavilions which has a sensory garden at its core.

Alastair Wylie, chairman and CEO of CCG, said: “CCG has a wealth of experience working in the care and amenity sectors so we understand how important facilities like Hawkhead Road are to the end-user, in this case Scottish war veterans. Each facility has been designed to be as accessible as possible and we hope the veterans find it a welcoming and comfortable environment.”

The Scottish War Blinded Day Centre and Royal Blind Care Home is due to open in summer-2018.

Green light for new £10m Paisley retail park

How the new Retail Park at Wallneuk Road in Paisley will look

How the new Retail Park at Wallneuk Road in Paisley will look

Two of the UK’s fastest growing High Street brands have signed up as anchor tenants at a new £10 million retail park in Paisley, which has just won planning approval from Renfrewshire councillors.

London and Scottish Investments, the developer who bought the Wallneuk Road site from Tesco, secured planning consent for the development on Tuesday and is currently in negotiations with a number of potential tenants for the single remaining 20,000 sq ft unit.

Supermarket chain Lidl will launch a flagship store at the site and will be joined by The Range.

The development, which will have 400 parking spaces, will create over 100 new long-term jobs, and around 80 more in the year long construction phase.

The site will also have a drive through coffee shop operated by Tim Horton’s, Canada’s biggest coffee chain.

Bryan Wilson

Bryan Wilson

Bryan Wilson, development director of London and Scottish Investments, said: “This development is really good news for Paisley on a number of important fronts.

“The local economy will benefit from our investment in the site, and the jobs it creates. Shoppers will be spoiled for choice, with two of the fastest growing retailers in the country already signed up and a third in the pipeline.

“Most importantly, one of the biggest gap sites in the town will be transformed. That has to be particularly good news for the City of Culture Bid team as our site is on the main route into Paisley from the airport.

“So instead of seeing hoardings and a derelict site, visitors will be met by a new vibrant retail development.”

Mr Wilson added: “I am particularly pleased that this development has the potential to give Paisley’s retail sector the major boost it so richly deserves.

“Our site is only a five minute walk from the town centre, and that means that town centre traders can expect to benefit from the footfall we will generate.

“None of these top brands could be accommodated in the town centre itself, so Paisley is getting the best of both worlds by having them on the edge of the town centre.”

Lidl UK’s head of property for Scotland, Gordon Rafferty, said: “We could not be more delighted to have received planning permission, and look forward to getting started on construction.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their continued support, and very much look forward to opening our doors and offering our fresh, quality, great value products in the not too distant future.”

Mr Wilson added: “We have a contractor lined up, and now we have planning permission, we intend to have shovels in the ground early in the New Year. That means Paisley shoppers could be pushing trolleys round their local Lidl and Range stores at this time next year.”

Renfrewshire park welcomes world’s first KOMPAN Robinia castle

New Playground Robertson Park Renfrew 4.10.17Robertson Park in Renfrewshire has been upgraded with a worldwide first KOMPAN Robinia castle and lots of play equipment to bring greater play value to the area.

Offically opened last week by Councillor Cathy McEwan, the Robertson Park play space draws inspiration from the local surrounding area providing a fun and educational experience.

Play and fitness equipment provider KOMPAN won the tender to enhance the area through landscape design and play equipment.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Designed to be inclusive and fun, as well as physically and mentally challenging, this new play area, combined with the existing facilities, will draw children and adults from near and far, creating a destination play area which is safe, attractive and original.

Made from robinia wood, one of the hardest and most durable woods available, these castles are not only aesthetically pleasing but extremely robust and hard wearing.

Commenting on the design and equipment, Colin Griffin, commercial director of KOMPAN Scotland, said: “We wanted to give children an inspirational play park, very different to more traditional playgrounds by providing our large themed Robinia units. Our Robinia wood castles are based on Scottish Castles so it only seemed fitting that Scotland should be the 1st to experience these castles, making this is a rather special play area.”