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Housing / Twenty million pounds boost to unlock construction of 300 affordable homes in Lerwick

Scottish housing minister Paul McLennan visiting Shetland on Tuesday. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

WORK to create the infrastructure required to build around 300 affordable homes at Staney Hill will get under way next month after the Scottish Government confirmed it will pay for the £20 million project.

Social landlord Hjaltland Housing Association announced on Tuesday that the three year long civil engineering job will be undertaken by local firm Garriock Bros Ltd.

Scottish housing minister Paul McLennan was in Shetland on Tuesday to make the essential announcement.

Without the investment from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) the Staney Hill project would have been unable to move from the planning to construction phase.

The minister said: “This is a significant investment in affordable housing supply in Lerwick.

“It will make a huge contribution to the housing challenges being felt by Shetland, with particular pressures on Lerwick itself.

“Recognising the challenges and barriers facing our rural communities we will continue to support these areas and face those challenges head on.

“High-quality, highly energy efficient and affordable housing is a key pillar of tackling these issues and this project will be a big step in working towards removing those barriers locally.”

Chief executive of Hjaltland Housing Association Bryan Leask said the association appreciated the commitment from the government.

“This project supplements the existing housing schemes we are currently developing through the affordable housing supply programme at Scalloway, Aith, Brae and Walls and reaffirms both ours and the Scottish Government commitment to the communities of Shetland,” he said.

An artist’s view of the Staney Hill housing project. Image: PJP Architects/Hjaltland Housing Association.

The association’s head of investment, Paul Leask, acknowledged the substantial effort that went into taking the project to the construction phase.

“We have completed extensive design work with significant input from the public and other stakeholders and I’m really looking forward to seeing those designs come to fruition,” he said.

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Garriock Bros’ contract manager Arthur Robertson said the work would not only help provide much needed housing in Lerwick but also provide employment security for the company’s workforce.

“This work will help to ensure security of employment for the current workforce and provide opportunities for new personnel to learn and gain experience in the construction industry.”

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