First residents get keys at historic housing project

Annie O'Donnell, Norfolk Court's longest standing resident receives the keys to her new home from Nicola Sturgeon, MSP-2
Annie O’Donnell, Norfolk Court’s longest standing resident receives the keys to her new home from Nicola Sturgeon

DEPUTY First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled Glasgow City Council’s – and Scotland’s – largest ever single housing association grant-funded project.

The completion of the £24 million housing development of 201 homes by New Gorbals Housing Association (NGHA) marks the first milestone in the regeneration of Laurieston – one of eight Glasgow City Council’s priority Transformational Regeneration Areas (TRAs).

Delivering a wide range of new homes, much needed community facilities, and creating many new jobs, the £100 million planned revitalisation of the area is delivering a major boost for the city.

One new resident receiving her keys was Annie O’Donnell. At 76, Annie is the longest standing resident of Norfolk Court – the last remaining tower block in the area – having moved there in April 1976. She will be joined in the new Laurieston community by over 100 of her neighbours over the coming months.

Also starting a new life in the development are David Wilson and Aimee MacLeod with their daughter Eva, aged 7, one of the youngest residents. The family will move in to a flat which has been specially adapted for Mr Wilson, who is a wheelchair user.

Welcoming the completion of this stage of the project, Ms Sturgeon said: “The supply of affordable housing continues to be a high priority for this Government, and we are working with the entire housing sector to increase the supply of affordable homes, and deliver vital support for construction and house building companies throughout Scotland.”

Laurieston was the most densely populated and urban area of the Gorbals and has a rich, fascinating history. This regeneration project has been an active consideration by the council and NGHA for nearly 20 years. The Council led and funded an award-winning master-planning exercise in the mid-2000s, which was developed in partnership with NGHA. 

The landmark project was financed by Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government with development consortium Urban Union appointed by the Council to transform the area in 2012. Janice Russell, director, Urban Union, said, “Our vision was to deliver quality housing for the people of Laurieston, using our fresh approach to building not just homes, but communities.”

The second phase, set to begin in September 2014, will include 69 new homes for sale by Urban Union and 39 for mid-market rent by NGHA. 

A third phase is also in the pipeline – a further 55 new homes on the corner of Eglinton Street and Cumberland Street, on the site of the former church. This third Glasgow City Council funded phase by Urban Union will include 46 socially rented units for NGHA along with nine shared equity homes, providing a range of affordability options.