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Moray communities plan housing project after buying former school

Published: 03/12/2020

The communities of Tomintoul and Glenlivet have taken a huge step towards realising their aspirations for community-owned housing with the purchase of the former secondary school in Tomintoul.

Tomintoul Secondary School

Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust (TGDT) has been working hard with partners Community Housing Scotland to finalise plans to build 12 affordable houses at the site, which has been largely empty for 20 years.

Earlier this year, the Trust secured a grant to purchase the school site from Scottish Land Fund. The project aims to safeguard the community and was also awarded funding of £253,074 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for demolition of the school as well as live/work units.

An application to the Rural Housing Fund for the build is ready to submit and the Trust is poised to make the dream of community-owned housing a reality.

Following the completion of the sale and signing of the demolition contract, works will begin early in the new year with building works beginning in Spring 2021.

Doug Nisbet, chair of TGDT, said: “This is an exciting and ambitious project that will deliver multiple benefits for our communities over a sustained period. The purchase of the site is a significant step towards our vision for vibrant and sustainable communities and builds on the Trust’s existing developments. We’re grateful to our funders Scottish Land Fund, HIE and Cairngorms National Park Authority for their continued support for the Trust and our communities.”

The development will include a mixture of detached and semi-detached houses and some will include workspace within the property to encourage business development and growth within the area. The homes will also feature advanced energy efficiency features to ensure that they are affordable to run and contribute to our community’s response to climate change.

Fiona Robb, head of strengthening communities in HIE’s Moray area team, added: “We’re very pleased that our grant award to Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust will enable works to get underway and support the provision of three affordable live-work homes. Population retention and growth, across the region, is at the heart of HIE’s mission.

“We recognise that the availability, affordability, and energy efficiency of accommodation has been a major constraint to inclusive growth in the Highlands and Islands. We’re delighted to see the trust bring this ambitious project to fruition in this fragile part of Moray.”

Ronnie MacRae, chief executive of Community Housing Scotland, said: ‘‘CHT are delighted to be supporting TGDT and would like to congratulate them on their ambitious and well thought out project, utilising a brown field derelict site in the centre of Tomintoul. The project will provide an attractive development of high quality, mixed tenure affordable housing that will undoubtedly have long term positive impacts on the economy and social sustainability of the area. 

“We’re very grateful to have initiatives such as Scottish Land Fund and Rural and Island Housing Fund which have taken it this far as well as the support of HIE which has been a tremendous boost to this rural area.”



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