View sought on Skye school’s conversion to affordable homes as remedial works begin
Initial plans for the renovation of the disused Borrodale School in Glendale on the Isle of Skye will be on show for community feedback on Thursday 25 August.
The drop-in event at the former school from 3pm-7pm invites local residents to give input on early plans and designs for the building’s conversion to 5-6 affordable homes, which would be protected for use by local communities.
The school building is in community ownership, having been purchased by the Glendale Trust with support from the Scottish Land Fund in 2014. Skye-based contractors will begin works shortly to make the building wind- and water-tight and to stop further decay, with funding from Historic Environment Scotland, the Architectural Heritage Fund, Rural Communities into Action Fund, Crown Estate Scotland and Foundation Scotland.
In partnership with the Glendale Trust, the Communities Housing Trust is leading the project to renovate and convert the derelict buildings, with a focus on retrofitting and recycling building materials to minimise waste, and support and encourage rural trades. The project partners include the Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association, HIE, University of the Highlands & Islands, Zero Waste Scotland, Climavore and Built Environment, Smarter Transformation.
Plockton-based architect Olli Blair has drawn up initial plans for the homes, which would offer a mix of affordable tenancies allowing choice for people locally, such as social rent equivalent, mid-market rent, low-cost home ownership, or housing for keyworkers. Homes would be allocated by the Communities Housing Trust, prioritising people with a need to live or work in the area, and perpetually protecting the homes against use as holiday and second homes.
Ronnie MacRae, chief executive of the Communities Housing Trust, said: “This is a community-led project, with local people taking a leading role in developing the community with a long-term view, and we would urge people nearby to come and share their views on the plans. We hope that the Borrodale project will act as a blueprint for community renovations to address repopulation, skills development in rural areas, reuse and recycling of materials, environmental concerns, and economic growth and opportunities.”
There are over 43,000 long-term empty homes across Scotland, and an urgent need for affordable housing. The renovation will focus on transforming an eyesore into an asset, providing housing for the local community as well as supporting economic growth of the region.
Clare Gray, chair of The Glendale Trust, said: “We are very pleased with the plans and the architect’s vision to repurpose the buildings while keeping much of their original external appearance. It will be good to see work starting soon on the gable wall of the school house, as a key project milestone.”
Locals are encouraged to drop into the community consultation event at Borrodale School, Glendale (IV55 8WL) on Thursday 25 August, from 3pm-7pm. On hand to answer questions and discuss comments will be the Glendale Trust, the Communities Housing Trust, and architect Olli Blair.