RGU to collaborate on Grampian Housing Association community regeneration project at Torry

A collaboration between Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the Torry Development Trust will bring together expertise in health and social care, architecture and the creative arts, to inform and design the regeneration of the former Victoria Road School in Torry.

RGU to collaborate on Grampian Housing Association community regeneration project at Torry

The project, for which partner Grampian Housing Association received planning approval last month, will provide an innovative and sustainable housing development and learning centre for the community of Torry.

RGU will bring together professional disciplines from across the university, initially from the schools of architecture and health sciences, to work in collaboration with the Torry Development Trust.

Professor Elizabeth Hancock, vice-principal for academic development and student experience, said: “RGU has a strong focus on collaborations that enhances the community, our staff and students and our partners. We are delighted to work with the Torry Development Trust in this significant and innovative project.”

Senior students will give their time and unique expertise to work with the Trust, which will be closely aligned with their academic and practical course work. 

David Fryer, lead trustee with the Torry Development Trust, said: “This is most welcome news, as securing planning consent for our regeneration project at Victoria Road is a big step towards restoring and re-purposing the fine granite buildings of old school. 

“Joint working has brought in support from across all sectors and will build a long-term project that will bring benefits to Torry and Aberdeen as the granite city.

“We greatly value the contribution of Robert Gordon University, bringing their accumulated knowledge and skills of the University in the Community to our regeneration project.”

Students from many disciplines, including architecture and occupational therapy, will work in interprofessional groups in this important collaboration for the benefit of the community. According to RGU, a specific emphasis of the collaboration is the adoption of a salutogenic approach, which focuses on the positive impact to create health and wellbeing in daily life.

Neil Clapperton, chief executive of Grampian Housing Association, added: “Having RGU as a partner will be an asset in delivering our ambitious community regeneration project. 

“Responding to people’s housing and social needs is at the heart of the design of this development and the students’ perspective will be invaluable as we continue to work with the community to bring our joint aspirations alive.”

David Murray, from David Murray Associates chartered architects, is the lead architect on the regeneration project. He commented: “It is fitting that this project absolutely meets the Scottish Government’s guidance for communities to be resilient and to take control of their circumstances. In the spirit of the age, it builds on the new sense of community we are all experiencing.”

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