Cairngorms regeneration project secures £507,000 for affordable homes in Tomintoul

The Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust (TGDT) has secured the final tranche of funding required to deliver ‘much-needed’ affordable housing for the local community.

The £507,000 package will go towards the development of 12 new homes on the site of the former Tomintoul secondary school.

The sum includes a £349,750 loan finance from Social Investment Scotland (SIS), in addition to a grant of £157,250 from its recent growth challenge.

Since it was formed in 2012, TGDT has committed to a range of projects seeking to create a ‘sustainable and vibrant’ future for the area.

As part of a community consultation process, the lack of affordable housing was identified as a key concern among local residents – with 82% highlighting it as a high or very high priority area. A previous feasibility study showed a waiting list for 39 council-rented properties in Tomintoul.

More recently, there has also been concern over the impact of short-term holiday lets on the local housing market, with increased holiday accommodation only contributing to the lack of housing for those living and working throughout the Highlands.

TGDT said the completion of the development will help unlock additional accommodation for the community – with eight of the properties being retained as community-owned dwellings for let and four to be sold on at a ‘discounted rate’.

Tilly Smith, chair of TGDT, said, “Availability of housing in our development area is a significant barrier to population growth and retention, and we know there is strong demand for affordable new homes in the Tomintoul and Glenlivet area. The project will bring a dozen new properties to the market, offering a much-needed, long-term solution to help bridge the gap and provide an economic boost for the area.

“Securing the latest funding package represents an important step in our wider regeneration plan, contributing to our broader ambition to create a thriving, sustainable community that will attract future generations to live and work here.”

Chris Jamieson, head of investments at SIS, added, “The Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust is working hard on an ambitious plan to revive the local community with affordable housing at the core of its plans. Feasibility studies have shown that the demand is high, and these 12 new community-owned homes will provide a welcome boost for the community.

“We’re pleased to support a project that will have clear benefits, both in the short term for the tenants who move in, and in the longer term, for the economic prospects of the wider area. We are looking forward to supporting TGDT and watching the build progress over the next few months.”

TGDT said demolition of the old school building will be completed in January, with the subsequent building work expected to be complete next summer.