Initial plans for the renovation of the disused Borrodale School in Glendale will be on show for community feedback on Thursday 25 August.
The drop-in event at the former school from 3pm-7pm invites local residents to give input on early plans and designs for the building’s conversion to 5-6 affordable homes, which would be protected for use by local communities.
The school building is in community ownership, having been purchased by the Glendale Trust with support from the Scottish Land Fund in 2014. Skye-based contractors will begin works shortly to make the building wind- and water-tight and to stop further decay, with funding from Historic Environment Scotland, the Architectural Heritage Fund, Rural Communities into Action Fund, Crown Estate Scotland and Foundation Scotland.
In partnership with the Glendale Trust, the Communities Housing Trust is leading the project to renovate and convert the derelict buildings, with a focus on retrofitting and recycling building materials to minimise waste, and support and encourage rural trades. The project partners include University of the Highlands & Islands, Zero Waste Scotland, HIE, Climavore and Built Environment, Smarter Transformation.
Plockton-based architect Olli Blair has drawn up initial plans for the homes, which would offer a mix of affordable tenancies allowing choice for people locally, such as social rent equivalent, mid-market rent, low-cost home ownership, or housing for keyworkers. Homes would be allocated by the Communities Housing Trust, prioritising people with a need to live or work in the area, and perpetually protecting the homes against use as holiday- and second-homes.
Ronnie MacRae, chief executive of the Communities Housing Trust, said: “This is a community-led project, with local people taking a leading role in developing the community with a long-term view, and we would urge people nearby to come and share their views on the plans. We hope that the Borrodale project will act as a blueprint for community renovations to address repopulation, skills development in rural areas, reuse and recycling of materials, environmental concerns, and economic growth and opportunities.”
There are over 43,000 long-term empty homes across Scotland, and an urgent need for affordable housing. The renovation will focus on transforming an eyesore into an asset, providing housing for the local community as well as supporting economic growth of the region.
Clare Gray, Chair of The Glendale Trust said: “We are very pleased with the plans and the architect’s vision to repurpose the buildings while keeping much of their original external appearance. It will be good to see work starting soon on the gable wall of the school house, as a key project milestone.”
Drop in to the community consultation event at Borrodale School, Glendale (IV55 8WL) on Thursday 25 August, from 3pm-7pm. On hand to answer questions and discuss comments will be the Glendale Trust, the Communities Housing Trust, and architect Olli Blair.
Feel free to download and share the event poster below:
CHT is happy to welcome two new team members, Nicola Doctor (left) and Katy Martin (right).
Nicola joined us in June as the new Communities Officer, and has previously worked for CHT as a Skills & Development Project Manager. She has twenty years' experience with the local authority, and has worked to organise and promote community participation in local and rural development issues.
I am very happy to rejoin CHT as housing and skills are absolutely critical factors for the future vitality of rural areas. The provision of affordable lower cost housing is almost certainly key to retaining people to work and live in rural areas. I am passionate about supporting communities to grow and flourish, and encouraging employability through training and skills initiatives targeted at young people, which all helps the sustainability of future generations.
Katy joined us in July as the new Admin Assistant, and is returning to work after having her daughter.
I stay in Inverness with my husband, Alasdair, daughter, Connie age 1, our cocker spaniel called Ralph and cat called Milo. I am really happy to get back into work after having my daughter in December 2020 during the pandemic and am really looking forward to working with you all and working somewhere that makes a difference to other people's lives.
This blog features a variety of CHT’s developments and projects located throughout the central and northern Scotland. It also includes the latest news and updates regarding the Trust.