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27/08/13 10:26

First Minister opens new homes for Campbeltown

Scottish Government ‘well on-track’ to deliver national affordable homes pledge.

The Scottish Government is well on track to meet its commitment to deliver 30,000 affordable homes, including at least 20,000 for social rent, the First Minister said today as he officially opened a new housing development in Argyll.

Alex Salmond [from 14:30hrs will have] met residents in their new homes at the Park Terrace affordable housing development in Campbeltown, where Scottish Government ministers are undertaking a range of ‘summer cabinet’ engagements in the Kintyre town today and tomorrow.

The £5.267 million development of 32 homes for rent was funded by the Scottish Government, Argyll & Bute Council and Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) and built over two years by local firm MacLeod Construction – providing jobs for 60 workers.

The affordable homes pledge is to be met within the current five-year Parliamentary session. As a result of the most recent housing completions, figures for which are published today, a total of 14,298 affordable homes (48 per cent of 30,000) have been delivered within nine quarters. These include 10,611 council homes and registered social landlord homes – 53 per cent of the social rented housing target – with a further 11 quarters still to go.

The First Minister said: “With more than 14,200 affordable homes completed in just over two years, the Scottish Government is well on track to meet our pledge to deliver 30,000 affordable homes over the lifetime of this parliament, including 20,000 social homes. We are working closely with our housing sector partners to increase the pace of approvals and this will be greatly enhanced by our decision, announced last month, to increase the grant for every new council and housing association property by £16,000 for each new home.

“We have boosted our budgets for new affordable homes considerably and will now invest almost £950 million in the three years to March 2015. Despite reductions to our capital budgets and the challenges facing housing associations, we’re committed to providing more affordable homes across Scotland, especially in rural areas such as Kintyre.”

Alastair MacGregor, Chief Executive of ACHA, commented: “I am delighted that the First Minister has been able to open our new development today and see the real value of investing in affordable homes. This development is about homes, jobs and the wider regeneration of Campbeltown and we are really proud of this.Today would not have happened unless ACHA, the Scottish Government and Argyll & Bute Council brought their resources together in partnership. What we see today has come through the sum of our parts. The completion of Park Terrace brings to 120 the number of new and refurbished homes the Association has provided in the centre of Campbeltown since 2009.”

Mr Salmond added: “Scotland’s countryside – its people, its produce, its place – is one of our greatest national assets. However, the Scottish Government recognises the challenges faced by communities in remote and rural areas, not least in trying to find quality, affordable homes. The Park Terrace development is at the heart of Campbeltown’s waterfront area and forms part to the wider regeneration of the town. It provides much-needed new homes for more than 100 people, having also supported jobs in the area.

“The Scottish Government will continue to use the powers and resources available to us to increase affordable housing provision, given its importance to individuals and families, to local job creation and to the wider economic and social development of local communities in Argyll and around the country.”

Kintyre councillor John Semple, Argyll & Bute Council’s Lead Councillor for Development & Infrastructure, added: “It’s great to see this new development officially opened today. Not only has it resulted in 32 affordable homes for rent in Campbeltown, but with the work carried out by an Argyll & Bute-based firm, it has also provided vital local jobs. This, along with the other regeneration work that is going on in Kintyre, is a real boost for the area and its people.”

Notes to editors

The Scottish Government provided £2.36 million for the project through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme. Further funding contributions were from: ACHA (£1,450,942); Argyll & Bute Council (£1.36m); and Scottish Water (£96,384).

The First Minister visited the Park Terrace development at the waterfront regeneration area, as part of a series of local engagements by senior Scottish Government Ministers while the Cabinet visits Kintyre. Campbeltown is one of four towns to play host this summer to a meeting of the Scottish Cabinet and a Question & Answer session with Ministers – both tomorrow (August 28) in what is the fifth annual ‘Summer Cabinet’ programme.