PoLHA welcomes Homes for Scotland award for Leith Fort

An ambitious 94 affordable homes project, which is creating a new community at Edinburgh’s Leith Fort, has been named as affordable development of the year at this year’s Homes for Scotland awards.

The £11.5 million housing project, which has been developed through a partnership and is co-owned by Port of Leith Housing Association (PoLHA) and the City of Edinburgh Council, is built on the former 18th century Leith Fort site.

Sixty two of the one to four bedroom colony style properties for mid-market rent have been developed by PoLHA through its subsidiary Persevere Developments Ltd, and 32 units owned by the CEC for social rent.

Keith Anderson, chief executive of Port of Leith Housing Association, said: “We are very proud that this new place to live has been recognised as the affordable development of the year. Following a lot of hard work and dedication shown by our project team over a number of years, Leith Fort has been given a new lease of life.

“Many of the residents have relatives who lived in the former Leith Fort and have fond memories when going to visit, so it’s wonderful to give them the opportunity to set down their roots and allow their own grandchildren, and children the chance to create their own memories.”

Leith Fort was also commended at last week’s Edinburgh Architecture Awards and is also in the running for the forthcoming RICS, RIAS and Scottish Home awards.

The main contractor for Leith Fort was CCG (Scotland) Ltd and the development was funded by PoLHA, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government.

Cllr Kate Campbell, housing and economy convener, said: “The council and Port of Leith Housing Association set out to deliver modern, affordable homes on the historic Leith Fort site but the development has created so much more than housing. It has community spirit right at its heart.”

Nicola McLachlan, project architect, Collective Architecture, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Port of Leith Housing Association, The City of Edinburgh Council and the local residents within Leith. The project heralds an exciting time in Leith’s rich history and plays an important role in stitching the Fort back into the community - both physically and socially - and encourages positive interaction between neighbours.”

CCG chairman and CEO Alastair Wylie said: “Leith Fort is not just a housing scheme. The development has literally broken down walls and created a more open community environment thanks to the construction – both in its form and the opportunities that were provided as a result of the works. It will ensure that the new residents as well as the surrounding community will benefit for a long time. We are extremely proud to have been part of such an important project.”

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