River Clyde Homes marks completion of new Port Glasgow properties

Marcia Ward

RIVER Clyde Homes has announced the successful handover of 24 new homes to customers during lockdown, using a contactless letting initiative.

The Inverclyde-based housing association said the second phase of its new build and regeneration project of 40 homes in the Slaemuir area of Port Glasgow was completed last month. Sixteen properties were handed over to customers earlier in the year.

This handover marks the end of a project that started back in April 2019 and is now finally complete after work was temporarily halted during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The new homes replace the Slaemuir ‘stub blocks’. Slaemuir was one of the last housing schemes to be built in Inverclyde. They are being replaced by 96 modern homes.

Marcia Ward lived in one of the blocks for more than 40 years. She recently received the keys to her new home. Marcia was born in Greenock just after World War Two and moved to Port Glasgow when she married in 1967. She moved into a new home in 1973 in the recently-built Slaemuir development.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Marcia commented. “We had a bath! I no longer had to wash the boys in the sink. It was hard going at first. The rent was £5 a week, which was a fortune in those days.”

Slaemuir has always been a close-knit community and despite early reservations, Marcia soon settled into her new life. “My sister stayed just down the road, which was really handy when I went back to work,” she explained. “And the boys had loads of friends and went to the local school. We live right on the edge of the countryside and the surrounding fields were the boys’ playground.”

Now, after 47 years, Marcia has moved on from the family home. She said, “I’m pleased that all this investment is taking place in the area. While it was sad to say goodbye to the flat after all those years, I wanted to continue living in Slaemuir as it’s the place I call home. This feels like a new beginning.”

Jillian Moffat, chair of the RCH group board added, “The regeneration of the upper part of the Slaemuir area has been a community driven project and one that provides modern, energy efficient homes. This is the second phase and we look forward to starting the third and final development soon. To have completed these homes and handed them over to customers during the current pandemic is quite incredible.

“Tribute must be paid to Cruden Building for their determination and agility to finish the development. Staff at River Clyde Homes have shown remarkable innovation in letting these homes in a safe and timely manner that ensures customers have the homes they were so looking forward to moving into. My congratulations go to all involved.”

Allan Callaghan, MD for Cruden Building said, “Cruden Building is delighted to have completed the second phase of this modern housing development as part of the wider regeneration of the Slaemuir community and it is great to see the new residents moving in.

“We look forward to continuing our collaborative approach, working with River Clyde Homes, on the final stage of this development to provide a further 24 new homes for residents in Slaemuir, and indeed across other developments in Inverclyde.”

The next steps in the Slaemuir regeneration will see the demolition of the last four remaining stub blocks to make way for the 24 new homes. Completion is scheduled for August 2021.