Onsite building works are underway on 16 new homes and a commercial unit for the Highland Housing Alliance at Inverness’ Raining’s Stairs.
Set to be completed in Winter 2018, Raining’s Stairs will bring much needed housing to local people and families and reinvigorate a brownfield area of the city.
New CGIs of the development released by the Alliance show the configuration of the homes, which will feature 16 apartments built in three staged sections that flow to create a single contemporary development. It will also feature an attractive residents’ walkway with landscaping and planting, with a natural stone wall and vertical timber cladding around the buildings. Secure cycle storage features for each building, and are located behind the commercial unit.
The Raining’s Stairs development is being built in partnership with the Highland Housing Alliance; The Highland Council; Ark Estates and William Gray Construction Ltd. It will comprise sixteen, one and two bedroom flats. Six flats will be available at an affordable rent from The Highland Council and ten flats will be available at a mid-market rent from the Highland Housing Alliance, with funding from the Scottish Government as part of the City-Region Deal.
The City-Region Deal business case was approved on 25 May 2017 which releases £5 million funding from the Scottish Government for affordable housing across the Highlands. This pan Highland project will include the development of a package of support to increase the availability of affordable housing for young people led by The Highland Council.
Highland Housing Alliance chief executive, Gail Matheson, said: “With the steel work now onsite, it’s great to see that Raining’s Stairs is taking shape. With our partners, The Highland Council, the Scottish Government and Wm Gray Construction the development we will see 16 homes being delivered for both HHA and The Highland Council. The Raining’s Stairs development will regenerate the area, building 16 new flats for rent to local people and families whilst a ground floor commercial unit will offer a local business opportunity.”
Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “I am delighted to see work get underway at Raining’s Stairs. It promises to provide modern, high quality and affordable accommodation, while also regenerating this city centre location.
“Support for this development is a great example of how the Scottish Government is helping provide the right homes, in the right places, and to a standard anyone would be proud to call home – a core part of our drive to make Scotland a fairer and more prosperous country.
“We are committed to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes over this Parliament – backed by £3 billion of investment. As this projects shows – with support from Housing Associations, local councils, developers and government – I am confident that target can be achieved.”
Highland Council leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson, welcomed the sixteen new homes at Inverness’ Raining’s Stairs.
She said: “Highland Council and partners are breathing new life back into Inverness city centre. Affordable housing is essential across the Highlands and housing is a key priority in our Programme. It is great to see this new development taking place at a key location in Inverness. The City-Region Deal money will see similar projects provide much needed affordable housing across the Highland region.”
William Gray, managing director of William Gray Construction and Ark Estates, said: “We’re very pleased that this project is progressing so well, continuing our successful relationship with the Highland Housing Alliance. This area of Inverness city centre has been crying out for regeneration and more housing for many years and we are delighted to be involved.”
The apartments are named after the adjacent Raining’s Stairs, located within Inverness City Centre. Raining’s Stairs originally served Raining’s School, which opened at the top of the stairs in 1747. The Stairs were named after the school’s founder, John Raining, and connect the Crown area to the city centre.