Atrium Homes reveals relocation plans
Atrium Homes has started work on a brand new office base in the heart of Shortlees, its largest community.
The Kilmarnock-based registered social landlord anticipates construction of the new office will be complete by the end of 2015, ready for occupation and marking the beginning of a new phase in Atrium’s operations.
For the last 15 years, Atrium has been based in Kilmarnock town centre in leased offices but with the lease due to end in 2016, the organisation was prompted to consider its options. It looked at a number of possibilities over several years before concluding a deal last year with the Church of Scotland to acquire the former Shortlees Church on Central Avenue. A detailed feasibility study was undertaken before acquisition to assess whether the church building could be converted to offices. However, the study concluded that a new build solution was the more practical and most cost effective way ahead.
Chief executive Stephen Black explained: “We looked at a number of options for offices and agreed that a base in Shortlees, our largest community, would be the best way forward. Due to the technical demands of modern office buildings, it wasn’t really feasible to preserve the former church, but we know that our new offices will be fit for purpose and fully accessible. We are all looking forward to moving to our new home and working more closely with our tenants.”
Work started in January 2015 to demolish the former church to make way for the new building, with the construction phase planned to start in March. The construction work is being undertaken by McTaggart Construction Ltd on a “design and build” basis and once complete, the office will be the operational headquarters for all of Atrium’s service delivery teams, including its newly formed maintenance wing, Atrium Property Services.
Jim O’Neill, chair of Atrium said: “The Board is absolutely confident this is the right decision for Atrium and its customers. Our move into the centre of Shortlees will make us much better placed to deliver local services to that community. However, we’ll be working hard to make sure Atrium staff are still visible and easy to reach in our other communities too.”