Funding increased for Galashiels care project following site contamination
Eildon Housing Association has been awarded up to £1.8 million to enable the development of 39 extra care homes in Galashiels after its projected bill was increased by the discovery of asbestos on the site.
Eildon is currently seeking planning consent for the new development at Langhaugh, however following demolition and clearance works on the former mill site issues with contamination have emerged. This has resulted in an indicative worst case funding gap of £1.8m for the overall scheme, which the council funding will now cover.
The bulk of this gap funding will meet the extra costs associated with high quality communal space that specialist older people’s services of this type require.
The decision by Scottish Borders Council’s executive committee follows on from an agreement in August to provide £1.73m to support the delivery of 49 extra care homes at Todlaw in Duns by Trust Housing Association.
The funds come from the council’s affordable housing investment budget and its use is in line with its commitment to the delivery of extra care housing set out in Integrated Strategic Plan for Older People’s Housing, Care and Support Needs.
Planning consent has already been secured for the Todlaw scheme.
Both developments will help enable older people to live independently in their own homes for longer.
Significant private borrowing by both Eildon Housing and Trust Housing along with anticipated Scottish Government grant funding will also help deliver both projects.
Councillor Mark Rowley, executive member for business and economic development, said: “The delivery of extra care homes right across the Scottish Borders has been identified as a priority and I am delighted that we’ve now been able to support a second development.
“Thanks to ongoing work with our partners, the Todlaw homes in Duns will the first of around 150 to be built over the coming years and hopefully Eildon Housing’s development in Galashiels will follow closely behind.
“Providing appropriate accommodation is vital to increasing the amount of care that can be provided to people in their own homes, helping them to live independently and in their own communities for as long as possible and also reducing the impact on various public services.
“That is increasingly important as the proportion of older people living in the Scottish Borders is expected to rise dramatically, and research has shown that over 60% of people going into residential care could have avoided this if extra care housing schemes had been available.”
Nile Istephan, chief executive of Eildon Housing Association, added: “Eildon is delighted to progress this exciting scheme which is instrumental in the delivery of the progressive new Older People’s Housing Strategy for the Scottish Borders.
“This is part of a major programme of affordable home building in the Borders, whereby Eildon is committed to delivering over £100m of investment to create 750 new high quality affordable homes for our communities.”