First Minister announces £800k for Eildon Housing

Stichill affordable housing playpark issue.
Stichill affordable housing playpark issue.

A boost for Borders housing and the local construction sector – that’s how £800,000 funding for Eildon Housing Association is being greeted.

The Scottish Government announced the funding during the Cabinet’s visit to the Borders on Tuesday and the money will be used by Eildon to acquire land at Coopersknowe in Galashiels for affordable housing.

First Minister Alex Salmond reaffirmed that providing social rented homes, safeguarding jobs and helping the construction industry was a priority.

By March 2016, a total of £12million of Scottish Government funding will have been spent in the Borders, over a four-year period, to assist in the provision of more than 250 additional affordable homes.

Speaking after viewing completed affordable homes at Easter Langlee in Galashiels, Mr Salmond said: “Our investment in the Borders is providing much-needed affordable homes for local people, sustaining construction jobs and providing ongoing local employment opportunities.”

Eildon chief executive, Nile Istephan, said he was delighted with this latest financial support, as it will enable Eildon to secure the Coopersknowe site – located on the opposite side of the road from the association’s development at Easter Langlee.

“Not only will this help us to address the high demand for quality affordable housing, it will also help support the local construction industry and create much-needed jobs and training opportunities,” he said.

One of Eildon’s existing Easter Langlee tenants commented: “We were delighted to secure one of these new homes and, since moving in October, we are settling in well. This development provided the ideal opportunity for me and my family.”

Building firm Persimmon Homes expects to hand over more than 800 new affordable homes in Scotland, including properties in Galashiels, over the next two years.

Councillor Frances Renton, Scottish Borders Council executive member for social work and housing, added: “This will help sustain construction industry jobs and provide much-needed affordable housing, via an anticipated five phases of development in the biggest mixed tenure housing site in the central Borders”.