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MSP for Housing & Welfare opens new £5m Dunbritton Housing Association development in Helensburgh

Dunbritton Clyde View

Cruden Building & Renewals: 15th August 2013

Margaret Burgess MSP and Minister for Housing and Welfare officially opened Dunbritton Housing Association’s latest housing development this week. The development, at Clydeview, Helensburgh provides 39 purpose built amenity flats for tenants over the age of 60. 

This project, which brings some much needed affordable housing for older people to the area of Helensburgh, represents a £5 million investment, of which £2.989 million was from the Scottish Government Housing Association Grant (HAG), £473,000 from Argyll & Bute Council’s Strategic Housing Fund (SHF) and £1.543 million loan funding from Bank of Scotland, which is part of a £4 million development Bank facility. 

Thursday’s opening ceremony was attended by representatives from Argyll & Bute Council, Cruden Building & Renewals Ltd, Helensburgh Community Council, design consultants, Dunbritton Housing Association staff and Committee and some of the neighbours.

Sephton MacQuire, Convenor of Dunbritton Housing Association started the proceedings with a speech stating “I would like to thank Margaret Burgess MSP, Minister for Housing and Welfare, on behalf of Dunbritton Housing Association for attending today to open our first progressive care facility, an amazing development by the architects, Austin Smith Lord and the engineers, URS.” 

Sephton extended his thanks to Argyll & Bute Council’s Planning and Social Work departments, the many council officers who had assisted with the project and Councillor George Freeman, spokesperson for Housing and the Strategic Housing Fund, a fund which has supported a number of the Association’s developments. He also thanked Cruden Building & Renewals Ltd, the Scottish Fire Service and the neighbours, for their acceptance and patience during the demolition and construction work. Sephton finished by thanking the Director, staff and Management Committee of Dunbritton.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “I am delighted to mark the completion of 39 new social rented flats which will provide particular needs supported care for older residents. We are committed to delivering high quality social rented housing in Argyll and Bute and have pledged to invest more than £24 million in affordable housing between 2012 and 2015 in the area. Not only will this new development increase the supply of affordable homes, it will also provide new opportunities for older residents who need additional support to get accommodation in their local area.”

After the speeches concluded, a tour was given of some of the properties and the large garden areas, and refreshments were provided in the nearby Braeholm Coffee Shop.

This site was bought by Dunbritton in 2009 from the Church of Scotland. The former Clydeview residential home was closed in 2008 and permission was granted for the demolition of this building in 2011, making way for a brand new facility. Building work by Cruden Building & Renewals commenced in March 2012. 

Looking at this new, modern building, which complements the surrounding houses so well, it’s easy to see why this is a sought after development to stay in. The facility is designed to offer flexible care solutions to ensure that older people can remain independent for as long as possible. There are various flexible design features and amenities available should the tenants need them to facilitate them staying in their own home. Carr Gomm are the organisation who will be facilitating care for tenants.

Foyer areas are carpeted and heated, with banisters around all walls and a lift for ease of movement around the facility. Each floor has different colour décor to distinguish each level and this is complemented with individually coloured doors to each flat. The flats are bright and enhanced by lots of natural daylight and have either one or two bedrooms with plenty of built in storage, an open plan living room/kitchen area and a bathroom, fitted with a walk-in shower. The large windows give excellent views of the garden areas, across Helensburgh and over the Clyde.

Councillor George Freeman,Lead Councillor for Community, Culture and Strategic Housing, who participated in the celebrations said “I am delighted to see the completion of the new Clydeview which, like the old Clydeview, will provide much needed accommodation for many local people but in a modern flatted environment. The old Clydeview and the services that the staff provided for many years were held in high esteem by our local community. I have no doubt that the same will apply with the new development. This project has only come about as a result of very close partnership working between Dunbritton, Argyll & Bute Council and the Scottish Government and was a project that the Council was happy to support with a contribution of £472,000 from our Strategic Housing Fund. I am delighted that the majority of tenancies being offered at Clydeview are to those who reside within Argyll & Bute, with a number of those with mobility problems benefiting from ground floor, barrier free accommodation. It may have taken some time in coming but I believe that the new Clydeview is a fitting replacement and can be considered as the local Phoenix given that it has virtually risen from the ashes of the OLD Clydeview.”