Press release - 2 December 2020
Grampian Housing Association and the Torry Development Trust
Approval to move to tender stage for major regeneration of the former Victoria Road School site in Torry, Aberdeen
Project partner, Grampian Housing Association has announced another milestone in its flagship regeneration project. The Association’s Board of Management has approved a proposal to progress to tender stage for the former Victoria Road School in Torry, Aberdeen.
The move comes following the decision by Aberdeen City Council to make Victoria Road School a grant funding priority within its affordable housing programme. The Scottish Government has also confirmed that funding is available over 2020-21 and 2021-22 to complete the project which will be partly funded by Affordable Housing Grant.
Neil Clapperton, chief executive of Grampian Housing Association said:-
“The Victoria Road School project has huge potential both in design terms and for a creative and supportive relationship with the community. It may be a ray of hope in an otherwise bleak 2020.
“We are committed to regeneration in Torry and the project is true to the Association’s wider community anchor role. Development tenders will be invited in March 2021 to realise our ambition.”
David Fryer, lead trustee of Torry Development Trust said:-
“As 2020 draws to a close, the years of planning and development work on the Victoria Road School regeneration project has reached a critical point that sets the scene for a most welcome start on site early in 2021. We believe that the value of partnership working and cross-sector collaboration involving many organisations shows that investment and regeneration in communities is the way forward that not only benefits Torry but Aberdeen as a whole. We believe that everyone will welcome this good news for 2021 and beyond.”
David Murray, architect, DMA said:-
“This is very welcome news for everyone who’s put so much effort into the project over the years. The design and mix of accommodation has been carefully crafted to directly address local needs, to create a unique place and to build on its strong historical and community links. It will provide facilities and amenities which will benefit not just the residents of the new flats and houses but also the wider community. We’re now very keen to get work started on site.”
In addition to moving to tender stage, works to ensure the site is safe and secure will continue including clearing the retained buildings and making them watertight as well as the demolition of two unsafe former storage buildings.
Tenders will be invited through Public Contracts Scotland and it is hoped that the project will be of interest to a wide range of contractors. It will of course provide much needed construction and supply chain jobs.
The plans, which see the retention of two rare public granite buildings and construction of two new build blocks, have massive local support. In total the project will deliver 50 new homes on the site all of which will be for social rent. In an area where there is high demand for affordable housing this is also welcomed by the community.
The focus is on low carbon housing, smart maintenance and lifetime homes with support for an intergenerational community.
To provide support to families in the area, community space and a small nursery will also be included.
There is interest from third sector organisations for some joint initiatives to address a range of issues like fuel poverty, social isolation and active ageing.
Grampian Housing Association
M: 07825 142311
Notes to Editors
Grampian Housing Association’s overall strategy is to develop sustainable communities, with a balance of tenure types including social housing, mid-market (affordable) and market rent as well as low cost home ownership (part buy, shared equity).
With homes suitable for single people, couples, families, the elderly and people with special needs we aim to meet the housing needs of a wide range of client groups.
In recognition of the link between housing need and other forms of social exclusion we also provide money advice and debt counselling, housing support, routes into work and support the development of community facilities.
Services for the voluntary and public sectors include business development, environmental services, office accommodation and a health centre.
Joint projects involving development trusts and housing associations are nothing new and this initiative follows on from the achievement of Helmsdale and District Development Trust in the North of Scotland, and Mull and Iona Development Trust on the islands. Further details of these achievements, and the 250 Development Trusts across Scotland can be found on the DTAS website at www.dtascot.org.uk