A NEW Angus Council funding scheme will see 49 new affordable homes built in Arbroath whilst providing jobs and training opportunities for local workers.
The scheme called ‘Survive and Thrive’ will see the former Baltic Mill site on Dens Road converted into 39 mid-rent flats and houses with a further 10 properties being built in Ernest Street.
A further 26 homes will also be created around the county including seven properties on Queen Street in Carnoustie.
The scheme was discussed by councillors on Thursday at a full meeting of Angus Council and they heard how it intends to support the local business sector by stimulating construction activity and at the same time help to meet the increasing demands of affordable housing.
The council intends to rely on prudential borrowing of up to a maximum of £3.2 million to deliver the initiative, which has been generated through savings from the housing division’s staff re-structure.
Arbroath councillor and housing convener Jim Millar was delighted that the initiative will go ahead.
He told the Herald: “This is the first time that Angus Council has ever put together a scheme like this which does not rely on any government grant. It is not just about building houses, it’s also about boosting the economy and sustaining jobs and training opportunities.
“In the case of Arbroath, it will also bring about important regeneration for the town, with the Baltic Mill once again being brought back into use and a former industrial site which has attracted some anti-social behaviour being transformed for residential use.
“I will be meeting with representatives from Angus College in order to maximise the amount of training opportunities from this construction work
“We will continue to monitor the success of the scheme and evaluate it with a view to bringing forward a second round of funding.”
Councillor Donald Morrison also welcomed the proposal and hopes it will put an end to the seagulls that have plagued residents in the area around the proposed new housing in Ernest Street.
He added: “Though on paper some projects may look ambitious and there are risks associated with any development, with an estimated 300 new homes required to be built every year until the end of the decade in order to meet housing need in Angus, the council’s ‘Survive and Thrive’ initiative, together with the separate funding for new social housing from the Scottish Government, can only help reduce our housing waiting lists, while increasing our stock levels that bit more.
“This initiative will be particularly welcomed by those living in Palmer, Sidney and Ernest Streets who have been plagued for years by the noise, mess and attacks by the hordes of seagulls nesting on the former factory roof in Ernest Street.”