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17 September 2020

Redevelopment of office accommodation to affordable homes for rent in Fort William

Redevelopment of office accommodation to affordable homes for rent in Fort William

Robertson Group will be delivering affordable homes for rent for Lochaber Housing Association at Fulton House in Fort William town centre

Robertson Property identified an opportunity for residential conversion of the former planning department offices of Highland Council situated in Gordon Square and developed a plan for Lochaber Housing Association which resulted securing consent for the residential development. The former offices will now be transformed by Robertson Construction Northern to create 12 properties, comprising a mix of 1- and 2-bedroom flats to meet the need for affordable rent properties in Fort William.

Katherine MacKintosh, managing director, Regeneration Robertson Property, said: "Fulton House has been unoccupied since 2017. The building is situated in a prime town centre location which is ideal for a change of consent to residential. Working on behalf of Lochaber Housing Association with Communities Housing Trust we are delighted to have been able to obtain a change of consent and the works to deliver this much needed accommodation will commence later this month.

"Not only will Fulton House become home for 12 households, but it will contribute to the on-going regeneration of the town centre. We are working with a number of partners to identify regeneration opportunities across the UK where we can implement a change of consent to help bring forward much needed housing stock for housing associations and local authorities. We look forward to seeing the transformation at Fulton House and to continuing our on-going relationship with Lochaber Housing Association."

Funding for the £1.529million project is being supported by a grant from the Scottish Government (£1.056million) with the balance being provided by the housing association's private finance facility with Unity Bank.

Hughie Donaldson, Lochaber Housing Association's Chair said "Although the redevelopment of the building was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are delighted that work has now been able to start on site. It's pleasing to be involved in a project that will bring life back to a disused building and to contribute to the regeneration of the town centre, as well as, of course, providing much needed affordable housing for the town. We are very grateful to the Scottish Government for its financial support without which the development would not have been possible".

Ronnie MacRae, Chief Executive Officer of Communities Housing Trust said ''As Development Agents for Lochaber Housing Association, we are excited to see the commencement of this town centre renovation project which forms part of the Association's wider development programme. This project will deliver 12 energy-efficient, comfortable homes for the town of Fort William in direct response to the housing need of the area. We're pleased to be working closely with Robertson who have delivered an efficient process which enabled purchase and renovation works to start very quickly, all with strong support from Scottish Government, and we look forward to watching the progress on site."

Robertson Construction Northern is due to commence works on the site mid-September with an expected completion date of May 2021.