Gracemount housing project is a triple winner

The first Council housing project to be built in Edinburgh for a generation has won its third prestigious award.

The ambitious Gracemount scheme came top in the Excellence in Regeneration category of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland Awards, beating off competition from Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games village.

Judges said that the project was “remarkable” thanks to its well-designed homes and its engagement with the community.

It is the third national award earned by Gracemount, which is a partnership between the City of Edinburgh Council and The Cruden Group, and the first phase of the Council’s 21st Century Homes programme.

 Edinburgh’s Moredun and Hyvots Regeneration project also reached the finals in the same category.

The community was involved in the master planning of the development and the local primary schools helped to design the new play park.

In addition to the new homes, the development supported over 40 local companies and a number of employment opportunities and apprenticeships.

Gracemount won the 'Best Partnership in Affordable Housing Delivery' category of the 2012 Homes for Scotland Awards, and 'Community Partnership of the Year' in the Scottish Homes Award in 2011.

Housing Leader Councillor Cammy Day said: “This is fantastic news for Edinburgh. Winning not one but three national awards is amazing, and I am delighted that the industry recognises our ongoing commitment to providing affordable and quality housing.

"The 21st Century Homes project is a vital element of our long term regeneration plans for the Capital, which will support the economy by providing jobs in the construction industry and other sectors. These new homes demonstrate our commitment to tackling the affordable housing shortage in Edinburgh."

Steven Simpson, Managing Director of Cruden Homes, said: "Cruden Homes is proud to be involved in this innovative new development, which provides not only a secure, sustainable and socially inclusive environment for current and future generations, but has also been significant in generating much needed employment and training opportunities for the community through a successful collaboration of the public and private sectors."

David Ogilvie, Head of Policy & Public Affairs for CIH Scotland, said: “The standard of applications in the Excellence in Regeneration category was particularly high this year. What marked out the Gracemount 21st Century Homes project from the other contenders was the great design mix and positive use of space.

"What has been achieved here is truly remarkable, not least for the fact that the design is tenure neutral, so you have different people living together side by side with a great community feel apparent across the area, but also because there is clear evidence of partnership working between the Council and the developer with the community and other key stakeholders."

Notes to Editors.

21st Century Homes is the Council’s exciting programme of up to £170m of Council-led investment in housing-led regeneration of the Gracemount, North Sighthill, West Pilton, Pennywell & Muirhouse and Greendykes areas.

The Council and its partners have trebled the number of affordable homes built in the city each year. Over 1,300 affordable homes were built last year with a further 1,000 under construction at 25 sites across the city.

Phase 1 of Gracemount consisted of 67 homes for social rent, 20 for mid-market rent and 12 shared equity homes which were sold by Cruden Homes in 2012. Phase 2 started in 2011.

The Grade B Gracemount Mansion House adjoins the site and is used by various community groups including Grow Stronger, a community led vegetable growing initiative which has been working in the walled garden. The stable block and walled garden and grounds are held on Housing Account and managed by the South Neighbourhood office.

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