Funding boost for community renovation of derelict Skye school into affordable homes
A disused school and schoolhouse in Glendale, Skye has received a grant of over £47,000 from the Scottish Government’s Rural Communities in Action Fund to undertake further feasibility, design and development work.
The community-led project to renovate the school and schoolhouse into 5-6 affordable homes is being led by the Glendale Trust, in partnership with the Communities Housing Trust.
This project is supported by the Rural Communities Ideas into Action fund, supported by the Scottish Government and delivered by Inspiring Scotland to encourage and support innovative approaches to community-led local development in rural communities across Scotland.
The Glendale Trust purchased the school in 2014 with funding support from the Scottish Land Fund.
£10,000 has also been provided by the Architectural Heritage Fund towards early-stage costs.
A standard renovation for the Borrodale buildings was found to be unviable, so new and innovative approaches are being looked at, particularly in terms of retrofitting for the climate crisis and to maximise benefits and opportunities for the local community.
There are 39,000 long-term empty homes across Scotland, and an urgent need for affordable housing. The renovation will focus on transforming an eyesore into an asset, providing housing for the local community and supporting economic growth of the region.
It is expected that the development will provide a mix of affordable tenures based on demand, such as social rent equivalent, mid-market rent, low-cost home ownership, or housing for keyworkers. This mix allows more flexibility for a small community, allowing for differing financial capabilities and changing circumstances.
Clare Gray, chair of The Glendale Trust, said: “Borrodale School and Schoolhouse are embedded in the landscape and in the collective memory of generations of people from Glendale. We are delighted that the Communities Housing Trust, the Scottish Government’s Rural Communities in Action Fund and the AHF also recognise the value of the buildings and together we can now work to create affordable housing within their walls.”
Ronnie MacRae, CEO of Communities Housing Trust, added: “We are delighted to be supporting the Glendale Trust in renovating the old school, as it’ll provide much needed housing for the community. It will also be an example of community-led, climate-friendly restoration which communities across the country can replicate and use to boost local skills and economy. The homes will help ensure the community thrives into the future, and the support of Scottish Government and others are key here so we’d like to thank them for that.”
Jo Robertson, Scotland support officer, Architectural Heritage Fund, commented: “Thanks to funding from the William Grant Foundation, the Architectural Heritage Fund is pleased to provide grant towards the re-purposing of Borrodale Schoolhouse. This project will use both traditional and new technologies to improve environmental performance and will find design solutions that can be replicated to similar buildings across the Highlands.”