Building Briefs – August 30th

Louise Dunn, CALA Homes (West) meeting Shalinay Raghavan and team from Building Futures in Glasgow as she handed over their cheque for £1,000
Louise Dunn, CALA Homes (West) meeting Shalinay Raghavan and team from Building Futures in Glasgow as she handed over their cheque for £1,000

£15k CALA Homes (West) bursary winners announced

CALA Homes (West) has announced the winning recipients of its £15,000 community bursary initiative across the West of Scotland following more than 100 applications for a portion of the generous 2017 pot.

The homebuilder welcomed applications from local charities, community groups and organisations who applied for a share of the bursary across three specific regions with Lanarkshire, Glasgow and East Dunbartonshire each receiving a £5,000 allocation from the total funds.

In total, 20 charities across the three regions were selected to receive support from the CALA funding scheme benefiting a broad range of organisations and community groups which helps make a real difference in and around the local communities it is currently building.

Successful applicants included: Make a House a Home in East Kilbride, Building Futures and The Kindness Project in Glasgow, C.O.A.S.T (Carers of Autism Spectrum Together) in Hamilton, Seagull Trusts Cruises in Kirkintilloch and Cue and Review Recording Service in Bishopbriggs.

One of the Glasgow winners, Building Futures was set up by Shalinay Raghavan in 2015 to offer women access to the construction industry through training and support. The funding boost will allow the organisation to fit out a new skills hub.

CALA Homes (West) currently has nine developments across the West of Scotland including The Lawns at Thorntonhall, CALA at Kilmardinny in Bearsden and 21 Mansionhouse Road, Glasgow.


Glasgow streets to be ‘terror-proofed’ with more trees and benches

Glasgow’s main shopping streets are to be terror-proofed with more benches, trees and other design features to frustrate car and truck attacks.

The Herald reports that Glasgow City Council is working with both Scottish police and UK security service experts to protect the largely pedestrianised city centre from the kind of horrors to hit Barcelona, Nice and London over the last year or so.

Glasgow’s Sauchiehall, Buchanan Street and Argyle Street already have street furniture that would limit the ability of a terrorist driver to zig-zag in to shoppers.

However, The Herald understands that specialist designers from Police Scotland and MI5’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure have been asked to help shore up defences.

The move comes both as the city renews and re-invents its main streets as part of a multi-million-pound revamp.

Sauchiehall Street alone is scheduled go get some £7m worth of work under the Scottish and UK government’s City Deal package of aid.


David Wilson Homes launches Botanics development in Glasgow’s West End

The Botanics Showhome - David Wilson Homes (1)David Wilson Homes will open the doors to its new townhouse showhome in the heart of Glasgow’s West End on September 4.

Part of the Botanics development, the new townhouse sprawls four storeys and boasts four bedrooms.

Estelle Sykes, sales director at David Wilson Homes, said: “The Botanics is our flagship development for David Wilson Homes. It is exemplary in design, management and build quality which is why it was no surprise that it won the Pride in the Job award.

“With the launch of the new townhouse showhome comes an opportunity for potential home buyers to experience the sheer scale, space and quality of specification within these homes. The four floors, terraces, cinema room and stunning views need to be seen to be truly appreciated.”


Grant approval for next stage of Aberdeen’s marine facility

Aberdeen City Council has approved a total of £40,000 to support the next phase of development work for the Greyhope Bay plans for a world class facility with marine science and conservation-related education opportunities for all ages and all levels.

The proposal would also provide iconic visitor and community facilities between the current Aberdeen Harbour and the south harbour extension at Nigg Bay.

The council’s communities, housing and infrastructure committee unanimously agreed to award £20,000 each year for 2017-18 and 2018-19 to the Greyhope Bay Trust to support the next phase of development work.

It also agreed the recommendation that officers will continue to explore additional sources of funding to support project development costs and future capital works for the project.

A report before committee said the development phase is now at a critical juncture, with funding being secured for specific elements of the project including feasibility work, preliminary site investigations, outline planning, application, design development and detailed cost planning.

The report said £120,000 has been secured through fundraising to date from Heritage Lottery, Creative Scotland, The Wellcome Trust, Science in Culture, Visit Aberdeenshire (in kind). Nexen Petroleum and the Big Partnership are also sponsors of the Greyhope Bay initiative.

The report said the charity does not have revenue funding to support the management of the project going forward and the delivery of the business case and funding strategy, which includes priorities such as audience development and community engagement, branding / marketing and online content and fundraising.

Project development costs for the next two years are estimated to be £60,000 per year to enable capital funding applications to be submitted in line with the fund-raising strategy and to enable the project to move to full planning application. The report said Greyhope Bay is a potential £8.5 million – £10 million capital project.

The report said the project has a strong fit with a number of Aberdeen’s strategic and locality priorities including the Regional Economic Strategy, City Centre Masterplan, and Torry Locality Plan.

The report did say the proposals are not consistent with the existing Aberdeen Local Development Plan as the area is zoned as greenbelt and recognised as undeveloped coast, so the Greyhope Bay Trust would need to work through the Local Planning Authority’s usual processes to request a change to the Local Development Plan to accommodate the proposed development.


Warm homes scheme helps Scottish households save £2.14m

Bob Doris and Maryhill resident George
Bob Doris and Maryhill resident George

More than 5,000 households have saved an average of more than £400 on their energy bills in the last year thanks to the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme.

On a visit to scheme recipient Maryhill resident Cora McCulloch, Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s local government and communities committee, Bob Doris MSP, heard that the external wall insulation she received via the Scottish Government’s national fuel poverty scheme has made “huge” changes to her life, easing worries she had about how to affordably heat her home.

The visit came as Warmworks Scotland launched its annual report, which revealed that 5,334 households received help between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. On average, households saved £401 per year on their energy bills, a combined saving of £2.14m per year.

The £224 million Warmer Homes Scotland scheme provides a step-by-step service to help make homes warmer and more comfortable. Assistance can include upgrading windows or fitting new radiators to fitting new boilers or even working with partners to install gas mains to make heating homes in hard to reach areas more affordable.

Fuel poverty has remained in the spotlight over the last 12 months, with two separate Scottish Government-commissioned working groups, the Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group and the Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force, making detailed recommendations on how the Government should address the issue moving forward. The Warmer Homes Scotland scheme is an integral part of the wider solution.


Housing minister visits new Clyde Valley Housing Group development

CVHA chairperson Campbell Boyd (3rd right) is joined by other staff members and minister for local government and housing, Kevin Stewart MSP (2nd right). Also present was Gail Galbraith, McTaggart Construction (3rd left), Linda Fabiani MSP (far left), and South Lanarkshire Council’s director of housing and technical resources, Danny Lowe (2nd left and Councillor Josh Wilson (right) and (centre) Dr Lisa Cameron MP
CVHA chairperson Campbell Boyd (3rd right) is joined by other staff members and minister for local government and housing, Kevin Stewart MSP (2nd right). Also present was Gail Galbraith, McTaggart Construction (3rd left), Linda Fabiani MSP (far left), and South Lanarkshire Council’s director of housing and technical resources, Danny Lowe (2nd left and Councillor Josh Wilson (right) and (centre) Dr Lisa Cameron MP

Minister for local government and housing, Kevin Stewart MSP, visited East Kilbride to see Clyde Valley Housing Association’s recently completed development of 109 new homes at Mavor Avenue.

Located on a former industrial site, the properties provide new, essential, affordable housing of the highest standard.

Comprising 93 units for social rent and 16 apartments for mid-market rent, there is a mix of semi-detached, terraced, cottage flats and apartment blocks.

The community has been shortlisted for the Herald Property Awards, under the Affordable Housing Development of the Year 2017.

CVHA is one of the top ten housing association developers in Scotland for both social and mid-market rented homes, having already built 114 homes since the start of 2016, with 398 currently on site and another 683 planned across Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire for delivery before 2021.

In total, CVHA has provided 386 new homes in East Kilbride, where Mr Stewart visited some of our new customers. The Ross family recently moved in from a flat and are now enjoying living in a semi-detached house, which is more suited to their needs. The minister was also shown one of the mid-market rent flats, giving him an insight into the range of tenures and properties on offer.

Built in partnership with McTaggart Construction, the project was achieved through Scottish Government investment of £6.3 million and the support of South Lanarkshire Council. It also boosted the wider economy by supporting job creation including 2 apprenticeships, 6 new jobs and 15 work placements.


Aberdeenshire library refurb complete

Refurbishment work on a library in Aberdeenshire has been completed.

Banff Library will officially open from 10am-4pm on September 9.

The team from Aberdeenshire Libraries will host Lego and Coding Club sessions, showcase digital resources available to library users and visitors will also be able to enjoy storytelling, a craft table and demonstrations of the 3D printer.

The library occupies the two ground floor rooms of a C-listed building which was built in 1902 with funding from the Robert Carnegie Trust to house both a museum and a new public library.

The building has been closed since May to improve access to the upstairs museum through the installation of a lift along with energy-efficient lighting and heaters as well as an upgrade of the electrics and security systems throughout.

The works have been funded on the whole by external funding from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund which totalled £295,000 and covered the refurbishment of the library and museum and work to the former Meal House on Banff’s Bridge Street to turn it into a creative studio.

The main library room has been refreshed with new furniture including comfortable seating and themed graphics for the children’s area. The reading room now has new sofas with built-in USB and power sources for relaxing or working on your own device and the Local Studies resources have been transferred to the room along with two new PCs.


£1.4m announced for preparatory work in Midlothian

A total of £1.4 million has been granted to carry out preparatory works for a new relief road and spur road in Midlothian.

The Midlothian Local Development Plan includes proposals for a new road to relieve traffic congestion on the existing A701 and to provide a new link road between the A703 and the A702.

The existing A701 would be upgraded as a primary route for public transport, walking and cycling, while the new A702 spur road would provide improved access from the strategic road network to the Easter Bush campus, where major science-based academic, research and manufacturing premises are located.

The preparatory works, which will include a comprehensive ground conditions survey and other technical work, will be fully funded by financial contributions from developers, such as house builders, who were required to provide this funding as part of local planning agreements.

The preparatory work is expected to begin this autumn and will involve working with Transport Scotland, as the trunk roads authority, as the proposed scheme links into a trunk road at each end (the A720 bypass and A702 road).


East Ayrshire primary school officially opens

A newly refurbished primary school and Early Childhood Centre (ECC) has officially opened in East Ayrshire.

The council invested almost £3.6 million was invested in the project at Hurlford Primary School.

The whole fabric of the building has been refurbished and the external play areas redesigned.

Internally, the building now has been comprehensively upgraded with modern dining facilities, fully refurbished toilets, new play rooms and improved accessibility.


Highland Council announces flood repairs

The Highland Council has advised motorists that repairs are being made to the A832 throughout this week - estimated until Friday 1 September (weather permitting).

Following flooding over the weekend which started on Friday 25 August the A832 was closed just west (2.6 miles) of Gorstan junction between Corriemoille and Lochluichart. The road was closed from 18:30 on Friday 25 August until 12:06 on Saturday 26 August.

Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue staff assisted Highland Council with a temporary road closure, as a 20m section of road had been washed away. A further mile up the road a landslip resulted in tonne’s of debris being washed onto a 70m section of the road and estate land below; the road was impassable.

Police Scotland assisted with the road closure at the Gorstan junction turning traffic away, and road closure signs were put in place to prevent further traffic from the Gorstan end, Highland Council staff erected diversion and road closure signage at Gairloch, Kinlochewe, Achnasheen roundabout and Braemore Junction.

A 20m section of double track road has been damaged at Corriemoille and 70m at Lochluichart. Both sections require some resurfacing after the clear up. The road repairs are estimated to take around one week including repairs to culverts.

The first section was made safe on Saturday and should be complete by Tuesday afternoon. Traffic Lights are currently in operation at this site and should be operational until Wednesday morning. The second section nearer Lochluichart will begin on Wednesday and should be completed by Friday (resources and weather permitting).


Roofing racers take on Hadrian’s Hike charity challenge

Pictured is the Russell Roof Tiles Hadrians Wall team (Alan Young is second from right in red fleece)
Pictured is the Russell Roof Tiles Hadrians Wall team (Alan Young is second from right in red fleece)

Forty staff from Lochmaben-based Russell Roof Tiles factory are taking on a walking challenge with a difference in a bid to raise £5,000 for charity.

Teams made up of staff from its Scottish and English factories are creating their own version of the famous battle of Bannockburn – this time the challenge is to race to a central point on Hadrian’s Wall.  The Wall was the north-west frontier of the Roman Empire for nearly 300 years, and runs for a total of 73 miles.

On 6th and 7th October the team from its Burton-on-Trent site (will start at Wallsend to the East) and the Lochmaben team will start at Bowness to the West and will race each other across the length of Hadrian’s Wall – in a bid to see who gets to the central point The Twice Brewed Inn first.

The aim is to raise much needed cash for the two nominated blood bikes charities Dumfries & Galloway Blood Bikes (D&GBB) and Shropshire, Staffordshire & Cheshire Blood Bikes (SSBB).  Last year generous staff at the company raised an impressive £24,000, enabling both Blood Bikes charities to buy two much-needed new motorbikes.

Dumfries & Galloway Blood Bikes (D&GBB) rely purely on donations to run their service, providing lifesaving medical supplies across NHS foundations, with the transportation of vital blood products organs for transplant and other life-critical supplies for the younger generation, such as premature babies. This is where every minute counts in helping seriously ill and injured patients.

Team Captains for the Scottish team are regional sales director Alan Young and operations director Bruce Laidlaw, Captains of the English team from Burton are area sales manager Michael Palmer and Gary Gough, finance manager.  None of the staff have walked Hadrian’s Wall before.

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