Stuart Dixon, Head of Development Home Group Scotland, on how the company believe the value of social housing is worth celebrating
With this year’s Scottish Housing Day Theme focussing on the value of social housing, we have been evaluating some of the new homes we’re working on. As a company, we’re committed to providing the best homes for our customers and believe that the value of social housing is worth celebrating.
In Glasgow, Home Group have completed 1193 new homes and are currently on site with four new projects which will deliver a further 372.
The number of homes delivered by Home Group is one thing, but the quality and design is another. A key element has been the sympathetic approach it has taken wherever it has developed. Ashtree Road and Holmlea Primary School in the south side of Glasgow are cases in point, which are far removed from the ‘spec builders’ who have dominated cities up and down the UK.
Holmlea Primary School will be welcoming new customers later this month. In 2004, the halls in the school fell silent. When faced with an impossible repair bill of £5 million, it was decided that pupils would merge with a neighbouring school and the 100-year-old building was left abandoned. It was left untouched for 12 years until Home Group bought the site and in 2018, exactly 110 years after the school was first built, and work began to transform the building into stunning homes while keeping the eye-catching exterior of the Edwardian baroque style school.
Home Group even invited former pupils to tour the building as work began, to reminisce about their days in the classrooms. The ex-pupils and members of the local community have been delighted that demolition will not take place and the striking building will be resorted and remain part of the landscape.
Ashtree Road represents another way in which Home Group are helping to reshape the landscape in Glasgow. The 24 mid-market rent flats are designed by Graeme Nicolls Architects in partnership with Merchant Homes and recently won two prestigious prizes at the 2019 AJ Architecture Awards.
The design of the flats was inspired by the neighbourhood’s historic association with the weaving industry in the 19th Century that saw an influx of Flemish weavers come to the area to provide a skilled workforce for the emerging textile mills.
Nods to the weaving industry can be found in several aspects of the building including the offset pattern of the tall windows to the decorative brick at the ground-floor level and in the stepped vertical rails of the upper-floor railings.
Another area Home Group is supporting is the development of derelict sites and the sympathetic approach to development is one of the reasons why we were chosen to redevelop the iconic Meat Market in Glasgow’s East End.
Established in 1879 and covering six acres, the site used to house an inn, sheds and accommodation for sheep, bullock and other livestock with around 1000 cattle slaughtered there each week. The Meat Market closed in 1980 and was one of the last remaining in the country.
Home Group are leading on the redevelopment to create over 200 new homes as well as commercial space.
We believe that everyone should have a safe and comfortable home and that social housing plays a big part. We are proud to bring such high-quality home and developments to our customers.