Sick Kids hospital site offers shot in the arm for Edinburgh’s housing emergency

Sick Kids hospital site offers shot in the arm for Edinburgh’s housing emergency

Councillor Jane Meagher, Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work convener at the City of Edinburgh Council (middle) was joined by Graeme Gemmell, senior development and delivery manager at Home in Scotland (right) and Andrew Dallas, project director from The JR Group at the sod cutting ceremony

The delivery of much needed social housing in the city is a step closer thanks to a new development in one of Edinburgh’s most well-known former hospitals.

Home in Scotland has instructed construction partners The JR Group to assist in the delivery of 31 one- and two-bedroomed apartments at the site of the former Royal Hospital for Sick Children, known locally as the ‘Sick Kids’.

Twenty of the apartments will be available for social rent, much in need in this area, as well as across the city.

The remaining 11 apartments will be made available for mid-market rent.

The homes located opposite The Meadows, will be among the most energy efficient, with a range of green technologies, including exhaust heat pumps, and with each home benefitting from a direct link to solar panels.

The hospital, which specialised in paediatric healthcare, moved to a new site in 2021 and has remained empty since.

Home in Scotland, which has around 5,000 properties across Scotland, expect to complete the £8.9m development by the summer of 2025.

The partners marked the project commencing at the milestone project with a sod-cutting ceremony last week. They were joined by City of Edinburgh housing convener, Councillor Jane Meagher who put the ceremonial spade in the ground.

Audrey Simpson, director for Home in Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to be able to build these homes and help regenerate a site which has lain dormant for some time.

“It’s also great to know we are delivering much needed homes for the local community at a time of a national housing crisis.

“Despite the challenges, Home in Scotland remains committed to a large development programme to help provide the affordable homes Scotland so badly needs.”

Councillor Jane Meagher, Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work convener at City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This is a site full of memories close to many people’s hearts, including my own. Many parents like me spent long nights at the Sick Kids when their children were little so to know that parts of the original building will be respectfully transformed is most welcome. Particularly when we will see much needed affordable homes created – 20 of them for social housing which we desperately need.

“We face a drastic housing emergency in Edinburgh which demands urgent and united action. Every additional home created is crucial, particularly in central locations like the Meadows where it is hard to secure land.

“We are also striving to become a net zero city by 2030, so I’m pleased that each of these new homes will be installed with solar panels and innovative heat pump technology. It’s good to see this work get underway.”

Andrew Dallas, project director for The JR Group, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Home in Scotland on such a milestone project. The ‘Sick Kids’ site sits in a beautiful location of Edinburgh, and we are thrilled to play our part in regenerating it and breathing new life into the area.

“What we are building here for our client is light and spacious, energy efficient homes fit for the future, and we look forward to progressing with the works.”

Home in Scotland is also working in partnership with Taylor Wimpey to deliver over 70 affordable two-bedroom apartments and two and three-bedroom terraced homes in Maybury and Ratho Station. All the properties are expected to be completed by 2025.

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