New housing projects bring multi-million-pound boost to construction sector

Four housing projects worth a total of £37.7 million have been awarded through Scotland Excel’s new build framework.

New housing projects bring multi-million-pound boost to construction sector

How the Loreburn Housing Association development in Annan will look

Loreburn Housing Association in Dumfries has awarded two major projects to Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd - a £4.8m project to build 27 homes in Annan and a £14.8m project to build 75 homes in Dumfries.

North Ayrshire Council’s £14.6m Harbourside Project to build 79 homes has been awarded to McTaggart Construction Ltd. While Stirling Council has awarded a £3.5m project to deliver 22 homes to CCG (Scotland) Ltd.

These are the first contracts to be awarded through the Scotland Excel new build framework and come as the construction industry works to recover following last year’s Covid-19 shutdown.

The projects could potentially lead to sub-contracting work for the third sector, with supplier commitments to engage supported business and social enterprises to consider opportunities to be part of the supply chains.

Julie Welsh, chief executive of Scotland Excel, said: “This is a positive start to 2021 for Scotland Excel. We ended 2020 reaching the milestone of 100 associate members thanks to several housing associations joining us. And now we are supporting major improvements to Scotland’s social housing stock as three of our members use our framework to award new housing projects.

“This is good news for the construction sector and demonstrates the valuable role of our framework in supporting social landlords as they work with the construction industry to deliver efficient, high quality housing projects that will bring social and economic benefits to our communities.

“Last year was extremely challenging for councils, housing associations and the construction industry and I’m pleased to see signs of recovery. We look forward to working with our members to underpin their efforts to deliver new homes this year as we become the procurement partner of choice for registered social landlords.”

Loreburn Housing Association chief executive, Lorraine Usher, said: “We were keen to work with a partner who could bring the experience of developing public procurement solutions and working with the construction industry. The Scotland Excel framework has a range of suppliers from across the country who have gone through the procurement process and are ready to do business. This is key for housing associations that are looking to form contracts while also being assured that all necessary compliance details have been worked through. Ultimately this means programmes can get underway and progress efficiently.”

The framework was developed to accelerate projects by reducing the time it takes housing associations and councils to engage a contractor to build homes. It helps them find the best suppliers for projects ranging from small to large, including flats, sheltered housing, student accommodation, social rented and mixed tenure properties.

Councillor Joe Cullinane, leader of North Ayrshire Council and cabinet member for Community Wealth Building, added: “Our housebuilding programme is a key part of our transformational ambitions for North Ayrshire which will give communities and our residents high quality accommodation which positively impacts on their health and wellbeing.

“We hope to deliver 1,575 new council homes which is hugely ambitious and one of the biggest and most aspirational undertaken by any local authority. The new build framework will support our ambitions and, through our Community Wealth Building strategy, we are determined to support as many local business as possible to help them secure contracts to keep local money within the local area.”

Stirling Council’s housing portfolio holder, Councillor Evelyn Tweed, added: “This substantial investment shows our commitment to creating more affordable housing within our communities. The development in Cowie will increase supply of affordable housing of all types and will be a welcome boost to the local area.”

Other contracts set to be awarded through the new build framework during 2021 include a further 13 projects (worth £115m).

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