Building Briefs – July 22nd

investors_in_young_people_450x253Skills Development Scotland wins Investors in Young People Award

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has been awarded the Investors in Young People (IiYP) accreditation for its commitment to supporting youth employment.

The award follows the success of its Young Talent Programme that aims to recruit and develop Modern Apprentices (MAs) interns and trainee careers advisers.

The recognition comes alongside Skills Development Scotland’s Living Wage Employer accreditation as every employee, including Modern Apprentices, are paid above the living wage.

SDS has also published a Corporate Plan outlining its ambitions for the next five years, these include a commitment to increase equality of opportunity across services, work with employers to provide more work-based learning and increase the number of Modern Apprenticeships delivered across Scotland.


Silver lining for Edinburgh housing development

An Edinburgh housing development has received a silver award from The Considerate Constructors Scheme.

The Pennywell Living development – which is currently under construction by Urban Union on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council and 21st Century Homes – received the silver accolade at the annual Scottish Considerate Constructors event, held in the capital.

The Considerate Constructors Scheme is an initiative introduced by the construction industry to improve and enhance relations with communities where building works are taking place.

The Scheme encourages sites to adopt best practices beyond what is outlined in statutory requirements with the main areas focusing on impact on the general public, workforce and the environment.

The development in Pennywell was reviewed in five categories: appearance, respecting the local community, protecting the environment, safety and valuing its workforce. It received the silver award as it was deemed to have excelled across all five areas, since its launch last summer.

The extensive development is a result of a major investment of £42 million by the City of Edinburgh Council and includes £7.9m grant funding from the Scottish Government.


Average monthly rents hitting record high of £549

The cost of renting a home has risen by just over 3 per cent compared with last year, according to new data.

The average monthly rent in Scotland is now at a new high of £549, the latest Scotland Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move has reported.

It found that growth in Scottish rents accelerated to 3.1 per cent in the year to June, up from 2.7 per cent in May and 1.6 per cent in April.

June’s figure represents the fastest year-on-year increase since April 2014, when annual growth stood at 3.5 per cent.

Landlords’ total annual returns stand at 13.8 per cent in June 2015, up from 9.5 per cent a year previously, while there is evidence that some tenants are struggling, with 9 per cent of all rent paid late - an increase from 8.8 per cent in May.

Glasgow and Clyde saw the biggest boost in rents year-on-year, with typical rents up 4.6 per cent since June 2014.

Rents in the Highlands & Islands have jumped 4.3 per cent in the past twelve months, taking the average monthly rent to a record high of £563.

Similarly, rents in the East and South of Scotland have both reached a new peak following annual rent rises of 4 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively.

In contrast, Edinburgh & the Lothians has experienced the smallest yearly increase of only 0.8 per cent.


£2m Carnoustie housing project completed

Angus Council has completed its new housing development in Carnoustie’s Camus Crescent with families settling in to their new surroundings.

The 16 new affordable houses have been built on the site formerly occupied by Camus House.

Eleven are council homes for rent – specifically eight 1-bedroom cottages, two 2-bedroom cottages and one 4-bedroom family home, whilst the other five properties were built in partnership with Houses for Heroes Scotland.

Keys have now been handed over to the charity which provides housing for veterans in Scotland.

The five Houses for Heroes properties are fully wheelchair-accessible, as are two of the council’s houses, which have similarly been designed to fully barrier-free standards. This means that existing tenants with special needs could move to Camus Crescent and have homes better suited to their requirements.

The £2 million project is funded in part by the Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme.


Morgan Sindall to deliver bridge infrastructure repairs

Morgan Sindall is to carry out vital infrastructure repair works at the Ruthven Bridge in Kingussie.

The B970 Road will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians from 29 July for six weeks.

The project includes an over £600,000 contract with Morgan Sindall, with 25 per cent funding from Forestry Commission Scotland secured from the Scottish Timber Transport Scheme and the remainder of funding by The Highland Council.

The closure will affect part of the B970 Kingussie – Speybridge Road at Ruthven Bridge, commencing at its junction with the Shinty Pitch access road and its junction with the private road at Ruthven Steading.

Once the B970 road is closed, demolition of the existing bridge deck will begin.

This will be followed by preparation of the abutments and piers to receive the new deck, erection of the new deck and finally road surfacing, white lining and approach walls.

The B970 road will re-open on 11 September.


Alyth Museum damaged during flood

Alyth Museum in Perth & Kinross is to remain closed until further notice, the local authority has announced, after the venue was damaged by flash flooding last Friday, 17 July.

It is understood damage to the building was limited and did not affect the upper levels; however, the flood water reached the reception area and foot of the stairs, damaging carpeting and electrical items.

Water has also seeped into the timber structure of the building, but the collections and displays remain intact. Any items at risk have since been removed for safety as the building dries out.

It is anticipated that the museum will re-open its doors within the next few weeks.

Perth & Kinross Council has said it will provide updates regarding the re-opening of the museum via its website here.

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