Work starts on new £6m Saltcoats sheltered housing project

Hub SW - Canal Court pic 1The first sheltered housing project to be delivered by construction and infrastructure-focused partnership hub South West on behalf of North Ayrshire Council is set to get under way following a ground-breaking ceremony.

The £6 million project will deliver 36 new dwellings on the site of the former Canal Court complex in Saltcoats.

Designed specifically to meet the needs of the older population in North Ayrshire, the new unit will provide one and two bedroom wheelchair accessible flats and a social services hub designed to allow older people to live independently in their own homes. The complex includes a range of communal areas including a lounge, dining room, private courtyard and a ‘visiting services’ room.

The development will produce modern, high quality, affordable homes which encourage independent living, promote energy efficiency and also ensure that the long-term needs of its residents are not only met, but exceeded.

Provost Ian Clarkson and Councillor Jim Montgomerie, cabinet member for place at North Ayrshire Council, marked the beginning of the construction phase at a ground-breaking ceremony earlier this month.

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, said: “This is the first sheltered housing project to be delivered by hub South West Scotland, and while we have never taken on a housing project before, we have always ensured we have a diverse and robust supply chain that can deliver any project we are awarded.

“With the Canal Court project we expect to demonstrate our supply chains’ expertise in this field. We have an excellent track record in delivering education and health facilities to the authority and look forward to enhancing our relationship in a new sector.”

Hub SW - Canal Court pic 2The contractor is local construction business Ashleigh Building Ltd and handover of the project to North Ayrshire Council is scheduled to be July 31 next year.

Euan Clark, commercial director of Ashleigh Building Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the construction of the new build sheltered accommodation development at Canal Court, Saltcoats for North Ayrshire Council.

“As an Ayrshire based tier-1 contractor with hub South West, this contract award allows us to continue our established local employment and apprenticeship programmes, and also provide further supply chain opportunities within the region. We have delivered a series of similar projects for North Ayrshire Council and look forward to getting started on the Canal Court site.”

An innovative works-only form of contract has been developed by hub South West with solicitors Pinsent Masons which enables North Ayrshire Council to retain its in-house design team, thereby maintaining consistency with the designs it utilise across its estate and which is also supported by technical and buildability input from Ashleigh Building Ltd.

“Project delivery is supported by KPIs to ensure optimum social and economic impacts and is an integral part of hub South West’s approach. We believe this further demonstrates our exceptional responsiveness to our clients’ particular needs,” said Mr McBrearty.

hub South West has previously partnered alongside North Ayrshire Council in delivering successful projects including Arran’s Montrose House, the new Garnock Community Campus and North Ayrshire’s Professional Learning Academy.

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