Affordable homes to be released on ex-prison site

Monday 5th September 2016, Aberdeen, Scotland. The Development of a former city prison site into affordable homes for key workers is officially underway. Sanctuary will create 124 properties in Torry, Aberdeen, on land once occupied by HMP Craiginches.  Pictured: (Green Tie) Peter Martin, Sanctuary Groups Director of Development and Kevin Stewart, MSP    (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)
Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media

A former prison site is being transformed into affordable homes in a pilot project in Aberdeen.

Construction work has started, with Sanctuary creating 124 properties (18 houses and 106 flats) on land once occupied by HMP Craiginches.

The homes will be available to local teachers, medical staff and other “key workers” for mid-market rent. An £8 million grant from the Scottish Government helped make the project possible.

Peter Martin, Sanctuary Group’s director of development explained, “We at Sanctuary are pleased to work with the Scottish Government on this pilot project. We will deliver much-needed affordable accommodation for those employed in Aberdeen’s public services.

“Our new homes will become an integral part of Torry and provide wider benefits to the community. On top of the employment and training opportunities available on site, Aberdeen City Council has received more than £430,000 for local benefits including community and sports facilities, a car club and improvements to Walker Road Primary School.”

Sanctuary’s site contractor Robertson Construction will recruit eight apprentices over the course of the scheme, with the homes due to be handed to Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association in March 2018.

Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing, took part in a sod-cutting ceremony to mark the start of construction. He said, “I am delighted that the Scottish Government’s affordable housing supply programme was able to support this project with a grant of over £8 million. This will support the delivery of these affordable, high quality homes and will help address the demand for mid-market rented housing for key workers in the Aberdeen housing market area.”

Keith Taylor, regional managing director of Robertson Eastern added, “Across the life of the project there are a total of 74 training and employment opportunities. These include local employment, work placements, apprenticeships and education opportunities, including formal certificates and N/SVQs.

“As a local business it was important to us that we could offer both employment opportunities and grow the skills of the local community.”