Building Briefs – October 9th

University of Glasgow to divest £18m from fossil fuel industry

The University of Glasgow has become the first in Britain to commit to divesting from the fossil fuel industry.

It is planned the university will withdraw £18 million in investments in the industry over a ten year period.

The commitment is subject to reassurance that the financial impact for the university is acceptable.

That will be monitored by the university’s governing body, the University Court.

Full divestment will mean the reallocation of around £18m of current investments over a decade.

The decision was made after a period of consultation by an independent working group taking evidence from the Glasgow University Climate Action Society and the University Investment Committee.


Registers of Scotland launches UK-wide HPI consultation

Registers of Scotland (RoS), in association with the Office for National Statistics, the Land Registry for England and Wales, and Land & Property Services, Northern Ireland, has launched a public consultation on creating a UK-wide house price index (HPI).

The consultation is the first step in creating a single HPI across the whole of the UK, which was a recommendation of the 2010 National Statistician’s Review of House Price Statistics.

Over 120 stakeholders in Scotland will be encouraged to take part in the consultation, which may include written submissions, face-to-face meetings and workshops. Similar activity will be taking place across the rest of the UK via the other members of the HPI Working Group.

The consultation paper considers and asks for views on how the new HPI should be compiled and additional analysis that could be included. Any user of house price statistics is welcome to contribute to this consultation, which is now live on the Office for National Statistics website.


ACHA energy efficiency projects to top £8m

Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) has confirmed a record investment of £8.2 million in energy efficiency works in its homes in 2014/15.

The community-based housing association has issued contracts in Islay, Oban, Bute, Cowal, Helensburgh and Dunbeg for roof renewal, insulation and external roughcasting which make up this record sum.

The Association also received good news from the Scottish Government that it will receive £195,000 in grant through the Green Homes Cashback Scheme. This will allow a further 30 homes to be added to the existing programme of works.


Kingdom awarded warm homes cash‏‎

Kingdom Housing Association has successfully applied to the Scottish Government’s Green Homes Cash Scheme for a grant to help make homes warmer and cheaper to heat.

The association has been awarded £131,250 to improve properties in Dunfermline and Falkirk which are in conservation areas and cannot benefit from conventional wall insulation.

The contractor for the project is McGill from Dundee, who assisted Kingdom to apply for the grant funding.


HLF turn down Egyptian Halls grant application

The Heritage Lottery Fund has turned down the latest request for grant funding from the Egyptian Halls Building Preservation Trust to restore the eponymous Alexander Thomson designed warehouse on Glasgow’s Union Street, citing ongoing ‘risks’ in its reasons for denying the funding sought.

The Trust is set to make a second bid for the cash within the next six months.


Borders to Edinburgh railway track laying under way

Track laying is under way on the multi-million pound rail link between the Borders and Edinburgh.

The line between Tweedbank and the capital is due to open to passenger trains on 6 September next year.

Seven new stations are being built along the length of the 30-mile stretch of railway.

Stuart MacKay, of main contractor BAM, said it was a “real landmark” to start putting down the track and added that the project remained on schedule.

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