Ayrshire Housing has just held a community open day to celebrate the completion of a further 33 houses in its £13 million redevelopment of three streets in Ayr’s Lochside neighbourhood. This follows on from the completion of the first phase of 8 houses in March.
When complete next February, 100 new houses for rent and shared equity sale will have been provided. The scheme has been designed by ARPL architects of Ayr and built by Prestwick based, Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd. It is part funded by the Scottish Government.
Alongside the building works, Ayrshire Housing and South Ayrshire Council are sponsoring a series of community initiatives through Lochside People and Place. This project has been developed in partnership with the social enterprise Aspire2gether and receives Scottish Government funding.
Throughout the day, a steady stream of visitors were able to see how the development is taking shape. Returning tenants and residents from the wider neighbourhood chatted with the landscape architect Nic Coombey (above) who is working through People and Place on community led proposals for three open spaces – two in the new development and one adjacent to the nearby community centre.
Complementing Ayrshire Housing’s investment, South Ayrshire Council is employing the same consultant and contractor team on a major programme of work to refurbish its own stock.
Ayrshire Housing’s chair Paul Torrance said, “It’s great to see the pleasure and hope that this project is bringing to so many people. This makes it all the more tragic that Ayrshire Housing like other housing associations is facing deep cuts in government funding. We are already being forced to bridge the gap in the timing of government grants keep projects like Lochside on track. We can do this up to a point. But it requires dialogue with civil servants to ensure that it doesn’t threaten rent levels or compromise long-term building capacity”.
Ayrshire Housing’s Margaret Woods and Jim Whiston presenting new tenant Ms Amanda Beech (pictured) with her keys. Ms Beech works as an access consultant and took pleasure in ensuring that the architect not only met her needs but also her enthusiasm for cooking in designing her new kitchen.