Work complete on ‘groundbreaking’ £9.8m affordable modular home development

Diana MacLean and Jennifer Higgins

THE first large-scale affordable modular housing development in Scotland has been completed within budget and one month ahead of schedule.

Delivered by Riverside Scotland and Connect Modular, part of The Wee House Group, the ‘groundbreaking’ £9.8 million project will provide 63 low energy affordable homes in Dundonald in South Ayrshire.

The gold accredited Secured by Design development has helped to sustain 60 local jobs with the energy efficient new homes built offsite at Connect Modular’s manufacturing facility in Cumnock, Ayrshire.

The modular homes are 90% complete when they depart the factory with kitchens, bathrooms, plumbing, and electrics installed, leading to a ‘significantly’ shorter build programme and earlier occupancy.

In comparison to a traditional build project The Wee House Company said that fabrication under factory conditions improves quality, reduces waste, negates the impacts of adverse weather, and allows for overlap of site preparation and build phases.

The work has also helped to inspire the next generation of construction workers after Hector Hodge became fascinated by works over the past year as he walked past the housing development on his way to nursery.

Hector cutting the ribon

Hector was made guest of honour at a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the housing development. Hector’s dad, David; MD of Riverside Scotland, Diana MacLean; and Jennifer Higgins, MD of Connect Modular cheered Hector on as he cut the ribbon.

David said, “We live in the village and having a live building site on our doorstep has been a dream for Hector. A real highlight for Hector was seeing the modules arrive on a convoy of lorries and be craned into position. He was fascinated with the process! He is mad about diggers and it’s been a real joy to visit the site with him and watch him bond with the workers.

“We were honoured to be asked to officially open the new homes. It’s a lovely memory for Hector to look back on when he’s older, and possibly working in construction, having been so inspired by this development. These homes were much-needed in the village and its lovely to see new faces and welcome our new neighbours to the community.”

Jennifer Higgins, MD at Connect Modular, added, “We are thrilled to hand over this award-winning development ahead of schedule.Riverside Scotland’s willingness to embrace this evolution in construction on a large-scale project brings us a huge step closer to a housing stock that will achieve a Net Zero Scotland by 2045.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to welcome Hector and David to the site throughout the project. It’s wonderful to see how inspired and interested Hector is in construction. He struck up a real friendship with our site manager, Archie Stobbs and his visits always brightened up our day. You never know, our youngest ever apprentice may join us for real some day!”

Diana MacLean, MD of Riverside Scotland, added,“This nationally significant affordable housing scheme has raised the profile of offsite construction in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“While we are a smaller housing association we have big ambitions which we are able to achieve by being part of the wider Riverside Group.

“By providing high-quality, low energy homes at speed and scale we are helping to tackle climate change, prevent homelessness for our veteran community and help these residents to live in affordable, warm homes during the largest cost of living crisis our nation has faced for the past 40 years.

“We are delighted that Hector could help to cut the ribbon during the completion ceremony. He has become something of a site mascot, and it’s heartening to hear that local residents have embraced the development as an important project for Dundonald.”