Housing minister charts progress at Arbroath affordable homes development

Angus Council logoMinister for housing and welfare, Margaret Burgess, visited Arbroath last week to see how work to develop a derelict site into affordable homes, commercial and community space is moving on in earnest.

The minister was taken on a tour of the Baltic Mill site by Angus Council housing officers.

Phase 1 of the project by local company Dens Road Ltd started in February 2015 and will deliver commercial, retail and community space, including business start-up units. Phase 2 will create 36 affordable housing units for mid-market rent by converting the iconic grade A listed Baltic Mill into apartments and also building new purpose built flats behind. The old original chimney will also be retained as a landmark.

Angus Council’s housing spokesperson, Donald Morrison, said: “This site is in a key town centre location in Arbroath and these works will greatly contribute to the on-going regeneration of Arbroath. There is a real need for more affordable housing in Arbroath and this new development will help alleviate this demand. However it is not just about building houses, it’s also about boosting the economy so the commercial and business aspects of the development will be really valuable in providing and sustaining job and training opportunities for local people.

“This is another step in our vision to develop Arbroath into a great place that our residents can be proud of, where our businesses can thrive and tourists consider as a must see destination on any visit to Scotland.”

Margaret Burgess said: “Angus Council, backed by £800,000 from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund , is to be congratulated for spearheading the £5 million regeneration of Baltic Mill, an iconic Arbroath landmark. The development will breathe new life into the A-listed building by providing affordable space for local businesses and social enterprises, creating job opportunities that will benefit the local community.”

The project will last two years and will be a major element in plans to regenerate central Arbroath. The work will cost around £5m, with £1.08m funding from Angus Council’s survive and thrive programme and £800,000 from Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

A spokesperson for Dens Road Ltd added: “We are very pleased to be working on such an important project with Angus Council and the Scottish Government to provide much needed regeneration and quality affordable housing in Arbroath. We are also delighted that we can help to re-use and retain these important iconic buildings which have been empty for many years but which have had a major contribution to the cultural history of Arbroath.”

Baltic Spinning Mill in Dens Road was originally built in 1861 as a linen weaving factory, owned by successful manufacturer Andrew Lowson. It is thought to have got its name from its association with ports in the Baltic Sea, from where Flax was supplied for the weaving process. Over the years it has had other uses including a distillery, sail makers, and in WWII, was a military training facility.

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