Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust buys secondary school site for new homes
The communities of Tomintoul and Glenlivet took a huge step towards realising their aspirations for community-owned housing last week with the purchase of the site of the former secondary school in Tomintoul.
Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust (TGDT) have been working hard with partners Community Housing Scotland to finalise their proposals to build 12 affordable houses on the site and earlier this year secured a grant to purchase the school site from Scottish Land Fund.
With demolition funding secured from Highlands and Island Enterprise (HIE) and an application to the Rural Housing Fund for the build ready to submit, the Trust is poised to make the dream of community-owned housing a reality.
Following the completion of the sale and signing of the demolition contract, works will begin early in the new year with building works beginning in Spring 2021.
Doug Nisbet, chair of TGDT, said: “This is an exciting and ambitious project that will deliver multiple benefits for our communities over a sustained period. The purchase of the site is a significant step towards our vision for vibrant and sustainable communities and builds on the Trust’s existing developments. We’re grateful to our funders Scottish Land Fund, HIE and Cairngorms National Park Authority for their continued support for the Trust and our communities.”
The development will include a mixture of detached and semi-detached houses and some will include workspace within the property to encourage business development and growth within the area. The homes will also feature advanced energy efficiency features to ensure that they are affordable to run and contribute to our community’s response to climate change.
Fiona Robb, head of strengthening communities in HIE’s Moray Area Team, added: “We’re very pleased that our grant award to Tomintoul & Glenlivet Development Trust will enable works to get underway and support the provision of three affordable live-work homes. Population retention and growth, across the region, is at the heart of HIE’s mission.
“We recognise that the availability, affordability, and energy efficiency of accommodation has been a major constraint to inclusive growth in the Highlands and Islands. We’re delighted to see the trust bring this ambitious project to fruition in this fragile part of Moray.”
Ronnie MacRae, chief executive of Community Housing Scotland, commented: ‘‘CHT are delighted to be supporting TGDT and would like to congratulate them on their ambitious and well thought out project, utilising a brown field derelict site in the centre of Tomintoul. The project will provide an attractive development of high quality, mixed tenure affordable housing that will undoubtedly have long term positive impacts on the economy and social sustainability of the area.
“We’re very grateful to have initiatives such as Scottish Land Fund and Rural and Island Housing Fund which have taken it this far as well as the support of HIE which has been a tremendous boost to this rural area.”