Council officer named ‘Outstanding Individual’ at national empty homes conference

Perth and Kinross CouncilIsobel Butt, Perth & Kinross Council’s vacant property development officer, has been recognised for her work to bring both residential and commercial empty properties back into use.

A collaboration with colleagues from the environment service and housing & community care service saw Isobel awarded the Scottish Empty Homes Champion of the Year Award as the winner in the category of Outstanding Individual.

Isobel collected the award from George Clarke of Channel 4’s “Amazing Spaces” at the 2015 Scottish Empty Homes Conference held in Edinburgh.

The Vacant Property Development Project was started in 2012 as part of Perth & Kinross Council’s integrated approach to regeneration by working with owners of long term empty properties and offering advice and encouragement together with sign-posting towards available local and national grant funding and loans.

David Littlejohn, head of planning and development, said: “Perth & Kinross were one of the first council’s in Scotland to employ a vacant property development officer and since 2012 Isobel, and assistant project officer Katrina Morrison, have made a huge difference through their painstaking work with owners to bring properties back into use. This award is a testament to Isobel’s talent and perseverance.”

Councillor John Kellas, convener of the council’s enterprise & infrastructure committee, said: “The Empty Homes Initiative is a great project to reinvigorate properties throughout Perth and Kinross and bring them back into use. There are a range of options available to people who want to take part and we have seen great success since the initiative was introduced. Well done to the team, and congratulations to Isobel on this wonderful achievement.”

Kristen Hubert, Scottish Empty Homes Partnership national manager, added: “Isobel is a deserving winner of this award. Not only has she been highly successful in bringing empty property back in to use in Perth & Kinross but she has shared her ways of working. This has inspired enthusiasm across a number of sectors from housing to town-centre regeneration about what can be achieved when you approach issues like wasted empty homes with a problem solving attitude. Many congratulations to her.”


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