Irvine Housing Association’s multi-million pound investment in Pennyburn
Over the last three years Irvine Housing Association (IHA) has attracted inward investment of £6.7 million to support the regeneration of the Pennyburn estate, Kilwinning.
As well as energy efficiency improvement works to existing properties, the latest project to be completed sees 22 new homes being developed in the heart of the community.
The new housing development, built by Lovell was opened by Pennyburn Regeneration Youth Development Enterprise (PRYDE) on Friday 19 June 2015. Representatives from PRYDE unveiled a plaque to mark the completion of the £3.1m regeneration project, financed jointly by IHA and its parent company, The Riverside Group.
When IHA joined Riverside in 2011 the Association made a commitment to the local community that the 48 flats that sat within the centre of the estate would be demolished and replaced with high quality, attractive, energy efficient new build housing.
The community has been involved throughout the entire build from consultation on the design and a demolition fun day, to health and safety visits and competitions with Pennyburn Primary School.
All tenants of the flats were given the opportunity to return to the new homes. The majority of those decanted have happily settled elsewhere in Pennyburn or throughout North Ayrshire, with only 3 families returning. Joan and James Gordon have transferred from a three-storey property within the estate that no longer suited their needs.
Minister for housing & welfare, Margaret Burgess MSP, visited Joan in her new home. Joan said: “We were absolutely delighted to transfer to one of the new houses. We love the house, it is big inside yet still feels cosy. We couldn’t be happier.”
Also in attendance were representatives from North Ayrshire Council, local MPs and councillors, representatives from the Pennyburn community, representatives from the Scottish Government, business contacts and contractors that were involved in the project and Irvine Housing Association and Riverside board members and staff.
Louise Wilson, who was the original chair of the PRYDE shadow board and now teaches at Pennyburn Primary School, said: “As the shadow board members said, the regeneration of Pennyburn is more than building new homes, it’s about neighbourhood empowerment and building a resilient community and we have all achieved that.”
Alan West, chair of Irvine Housing Association, added: “We are committed to creating homes and places where people want to live, and we’re proud to be delivering on the promise we made to the community when we joined Riverside four years ago.
“Due to prioritisation of funding, and as a standalone organisation we were unable to access funding to support a new build development. With Riverside’s backing we’ve been able to breathe new life into the area and build homes that meet the community’s aspirations for regeneration.
“I’d like to thank the board and shadow board of PRYDE for their dedication and commitment to regeneration within Pennyburn.
“This is the sort of improvement and change we dreamed of delivering for our customers and I’m sure the new development will have a significant positive impact on the wider community of Pennyburn and other local stakeholders.”
Max Steinberg, chair of Riverside, said: “On behalf of Riverside and Irvine Housing Association, we are absolutely thrilled to open this new development.
“This type of community-led regeneration delivers long-term sustainable change and the regeneration hasn’t stopped here. Irvine has also been successful in securing £3.6m of funding to carry out energy efficiency and improvement works to both owned and rented properties within the estate. This included ECO and Scottish Government funding as well as investment from the Association. Add this to the cost of the development and that’s a total inward investment of £6.7m.
“Our work does not stop here – as well as physical regeneration, regeneration is about more employment, less financial crisis and more support to those that need it – all services that Irvine provide.
“Riverside is dedicated to investing in and regenerating communities nationwide and this development lives up to our whole ethos of ’Transforming lives, revitalising neighbourhoods’
“When people asked why Riverside wanted a role in Scotland, our answer was to be able to do things that help deliver this vision. This project will certainly do this both for the new residents and those who have returned from the flats.”
Theresa Potter, project manager of PRYDE, said: “IHA made the community’s dreams a reality by demolishing the flats and building new homes. PRYDE’s shadow board has been instrumental in the regeneration of Pennyburn and in re-energising the heart of the local community. PRYDE are delighted to be a part of building resilient and responsive communities.”