Hart Builders signs innovative partnership agreement with Eildon Housing Association

(from left) Back row: Alastair Dee, Colin Macdonald, Gill Henry, Kevin Scott, Nile Istephan.  Front row: Cathie Fancy, Kevin Stewart, Councillor Mark Rowley
(from left) Back row: Alastair Dee, Colin Macdonald, Gill Henry, Kevin Scott, Nile Istephan.
Front row: Cathie Fancy, Kevin Stewart, Councillor Mark Rowley

An innovative partnership agreement has been signed between Eildon Housing Association and Hart Builders which will deliver at least 388 high quality new affordable homes across nine sites in the Borders.

During a visit to the first of these developments to get underway, at Sergeants Park, Newtown St Boswells, the minister witnessed

The formal signing of an agreement will be a key plank in the record breaking investment being made in the Borders by Eildon Housing Association, supported by Scottish Government grant funding.

Handovers will commence in the spring of 2018 once the first houses at Sergeants Park in Newtown St Boswells are completed; after completion Eildon will have provided 115 new homes on this site.

The Partnership is looking to deliver at least 127 new homes in Galashiels along with an extra care scheme for older people providing 38 self-contained apartments. 66 new homes are planned at the former high school site in Earlston with further plans to redevelop Tweedbridge Court in Peebles, replacing it with a mix of 34 houses and flats.

A key element of the Partnership is to work with local communities to create a legacy that goes beyond the provision of the new homes, as such Eildon and Hart Builders are working with the Borders College to explore training, employment and other community benefits that can be factored into the programme.

Kevin Stewart, minister for local government and housing, has offered his support to the agreement and said: “Making sure everyone has a safe, warm and affordable home is central to our drive for a fairer and more prosperous Scotland - and our ambition to deliver 50,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this Parliament will help to deliver this.

“I am therefore delighted that our support of Eildon Housing Association will help this innovative partnership with Hart Builders to provide 388 much needed affordable homes at nine sites across the Borders, and I’d like to congratulate all those involved in getting the first of these developments underway.

“I also welcome the news that over the next three years this building programme will deliver a wide range of benefits for local communities- including employment opportunities, schools’ initiatives and site based work experience.”

Colin Macdonald, MD, Hart Builders (Edinburgh), said: “Hart Builders are delighted to formalise and extend our successful working relationship with Eildon. Working in partnership on nine sites over the next three years offers a unique opportunity to showcase the benefits of a multi-disciplinary approach to developing much needed affordable homes in the Borders. Many of the sites involved in the programme have challenging constraints that require innovative technical solutions which need tested to ensure buildability, affordability and long-term sustainability can be maximised.

“Equally important, our partnership also allows us to jointly develop a wide range of community benefits and offer local training and employment opportunities, capacity building for local businesses, schools initiatives, site based work experience in conjunction with DYW and Scottish Borders College and hopefully some interesting community projects which residents of all ages can be involved in.”

Nile Istephan, chief executive of Eildon, added: “Eildon is delighted to be taking forward this record breaking investment in our local communities. The social and economic impact of housing investment is truly transformational, and the scale of this investment will generate benefits for our communities for generations to come. We appreciate the grant support provided by the Scottish Government alongside our partnership arrangements with Scottish Borders Council, in taking this work forward.

“The scale of the programme, covering several years and being delivered across various sites, means that we are able to carefully plan the delivery of these new homes to make the maximum impact in terms of new homes and training and employment opportunities. We look forward to working with Hart Builders, their sub-contractors, our wider design teams, as well as SBHA, in delivering this ambitious programme.”

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