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Fresh help for homebuyers as Government unveils £160 million of new funding for home ownership schemes at Cruden King’s View development

Fresh help for homebuyers as Government unveils £160 million of new funding for home ownership schemes at Cruden King’s View development

Cruden’s new housing development King’s View, provided the backdrop as the Scottish Government announced today that more than £160 million of new funding will be targeted in 2016/17 on home ownership schemes to support 5000 households to buy their own home.

More than £80 million will go to the established Open Market Shared Equity Scheme (OMSE) helping up to 2,000 eligible first-time buyers on low to moderate incomes.

The Help to Buy (Scotland): Affordable Home Ownership scheme will help up to 3,000 households next year, backed by £80 million equity support towards the purchase price.

The three year £195 million Help to Buy scheme, which will help thousands of lower income households buy a new-build home, will open for applications on March 1.

Speaking at the launch, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said:

“I am delighted that we can help 5000 home buyers into affordable home ownership in the coming financial year, underpinned by £160 million, which is £35 million more than originally planned for this year.

“Importantly, this new funding is specifically targeted to support thousands of low income individuals and families across Scotland get on or up the housing ladder.

“Since 2007, OMSE has helped over 6,000 first time buyers who would not otherwise be able to afford to buy their first home to get a foot on the housing ladder; and this year we will help another 2000.

“Through Help to Buy, we have already helped 7,500 households buy a new build home and over the next three years our successor Help to Buy Scheme will help another 7,500 as well as boosting the home building industry, and support jobs across Scotland.

“Homes for Scotland and the Council of Mortgage Lenders expressed clear views about how Help to Buy should be improved. We have listened carefully to what they told us and worked with them to develop the scheme to support industry and buyers as much as possible.

“The funding is also good news in particular for the SME sector of the housing industry. Hundreds of small developers will benefit from people buying new affordable homes across urban and rural Scotland.”
Allan Callaghan, Managing Director of Cruden Homes West, said: “The Help to Buy scheme helped many Cruden Homes first-time buyers take their first step on to the property ladder and today, Cruden warmly welcomes its successor which will act as a catalyst to support a new generation of Scottish homeowners for years to come.

“It’s clear that the Scottish Government has listened to the construction sector and our customers and considered the significant role that the Help to Buy scheme played in supporting stability and leading to job creation and economic growth.   The impact of introducing a successor to this scheme will be felt across the sector – from larger operators with significant developments to those on a smaller scale.

“It’s fitting that today’s announcement was made at Cruden King’s View in Toryglen – a new affordable housing development being constructed on a brownfield site in one of Glasgow’s eight Transformational Regeneration Areas.  The delivery of this new quality housing development is going a long way to meet the demands of Glasgow’s housing needs and realise the dreams of many first time buyers.”

Homes for Scotland incoming Chief Executive Nicola Barclay welcomed the further support for the enormously successful scheme which has helped protect vital jobs and boosted the economy, and said:

“As recent research confirms, the majority of Scots aspire to home ownership. The reintroduction of Help to Buy will enable more people to realise their dreams as well as keep the housing market moving.  Providing builders with the certainty they need to plan their investment and construction programmes is crucial if they are to deliver the homes we need.”

Clyde Gateway Youngsters get a Taste of the Hospitality Sector under New Innovative Programme

Clyde Gateway Youngsters get a Taste of the Hospitality Sector under New Innovative Programme

An innovative programme designed to provide 1,000 primary school pupils across the Clyde Gateway area with an insight into the hospitality and tourism sectors got underway today.

‘Hospitality Explorers’, a partnership between Clyde Gateway – an urban regeneration company designed to drive inner investment across the east of Glasgow and South Lanarkshire – and Marriott Hotels will deliver a unique hospitality initiative.

Today, 150 primary five pupils from Blackfriars Primary, Dalmarnock Primary and Wellshot Primary took centre stage as they attended the event at their associated secondary school, Eastbank Academy.  In total, 24 primary schools and all four associated secondary schools across the Clyde Gateway area will take part in this pioneering programme.

The Glasgow Marriott Hotel will help schoolchildren with group working challenges, poster creation and fact finding to give them a unique insight into the role both sectors play in the Scottish economy, as well as learning about some of the potential job opportunities available, should they wish to pursue a career in either field.

Clyde Gateway and the Glasgow Marriot Hotel also run the very successful hospitality programme aimed at school leavers: ‘The Hotel & Hospitality Academy’ which has secured full time employment for over 26 jobs residents of Clyde Gateway in recent years.

Natalie Phillips, Project Manager, Education, Business & Community Growth, Clyde Gateway, said: “A key part of our work is to form close relations with the local community, schools and employers to help provide new skills and create future employment opportunities. While this latest initiative may seem like a bit of fun for the pupils taking part, it’s important to start the thought process early of the different types of jobs out there.

“This latest initiative is just one of a number of programmes undertaken with local primary schools within the Clyde Gateway catchment area.  On this occasion, we are once again pleased to work alongside the Glasgow Marriott Hotel which has done so much to make the Hospitality Explorers programme possible.”

Patricia Rainey, Cluster Director of Human Resources at Marriott Hotels, said: “Over the last few years, we have developed a close working relationship with Clyde Gateway and we are once again looking forward to delivering a worthwhile project which will do so much for local schoolchildren.

“The hospitality and tourism sectors are key drivers for Scottish economic growth and we hope that some of those in attendance are inspired to consider a career in hospitality and tourism.”
Gordon Shaw, Headteacher of Eastbank Academy added:

“Hospitality Explorers is a fantastic initiative.  The primary school pupils are really excited to find out more about what it’s like to work in these important sectors.  Being able to offer this valuable insight to the world of work to 1,000 pupils is a great achievement.”

First Tenant moves in at Medicity Scotland

First Tenant moves in at Medicity Scotland

Medical image analysis company OracleBio has become the first tenant to move into MediCity Scotland, a new medical technology incubator on the BioCity Scotland campus in Lanarkshire.

The company, which was established in 2010 by former Merck & Co employees Drs Lorcan Sherry and John Waller, currently employs a team of eight staff and has an international client base covering a number of top 10 ranked pharmaceutical companies. They are moving to MediCity from their current home in the BioCity life sciences incubator.

Medicity Scotland is expected to enable the creation and growth of over 50 new healthcare businesses over the next 5 years, creating over 350 jobs as a result. Several further potential tenants and corporate partners are in the pipeline. It is housed within a fully refurbished, formerly vacant building on BioCity Scotland’s Newhouse site.

BioCity Scotland received £1.012m of capital investment from Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal, with funding from the UK Department of Business Innovation and Skills, to establish MediCity Scotland, with additional funding from North Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Enterprise. MediCity will follow a similar clustering model to the one already successfully in action at BioCity Scotland. It will bring together entrepreneurs, clinicians, developers, innovators and investors in a supportive environment which will facilitate and accelerate opportunities.

Partners will include 13 Scottish universities, NHS Scotland, and large and small companies.   One of the benefits of clustering similar businesses together is that it leads to a higher survival rate – for example, businesses at BioCity Nottingham have a 91% survival rate.

Dr Diane Harbison, Managing Director at BioCity Scotland said: “I’m delighted that Medicity’s first tenant company is one I already know very well, as they’ve been with us at BioCity Scotland since just after we opened in 2012. I hope that many more exciting companies will follow their lead.

“MediCity Scotland will replicate what has already been achieved on the highly successful MediCity Nottingham site and enhance what BioCity Scotland can already offer MedTech projects or early start-up companies.

“MediCity Scotland will also have the advantage of being included in Scotland’s fifth Enterprise Area, a status which was announced recently by the Scottish Government. Having Enterprise Area Status means that businesses based at MediCity Scotland will be able to take advantage of business rates relief, faster planning applications, skills support and assistance in accessing international markets.”

“These benefits all add up to MediCity Scotland being the ideal place for young and growing MedTech companies to base themselves in order to maximize their chances of success, take advantage of high-quality, newly refurbished facilities, and learn from a community of experts and peers.”

Dr Lorcan Sherry, Chief Scientific Officer of OracleBio ( said: “We have experienced a significant upturn in the demand for our histopathology image analysis services from the pharmaceutical industry over the last two years, especially in the field of oncology clinical trials. We attribute this success to the combination of our expert image analysis capabilities and our pharmaceutical research background, which has resulted in increased and repeat business from our clients. Consequently, OracleBio has experienced substantial growth and we now require more office space to accommodate our current and future expansion.

“We chose MediCity not just for the excellent facilities present there but also to allow OracleBio the opportunity to work alongside and collaborate with other Scottish medical companies in what will be a highly innovative and scientifically-focused environment.”
To find out more about BioCity Scotland and MediCity Scotland, visit

Iconic Glasgow Building Saved for Future Generations thanks to Major Renovation Project

Iconic Glasgow Building Saved for Future Generations thanks to Major Renovation Project

An iconic B-listed building in Glasgow’s Tradeston area has been saved from falling into serious disrepair thanks to the building’s factor Speirs Gumley, a dedicated group of home and business owners, and grant funding from Glasgow City Council.

The building at 33 Dalintober Street/53 Morrison Street was originally designed in 1919 by architect James Ferrigan as a warehouse for the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society, completed in 1933. It sits immediately beside the very prominent Co-operative House, which is adjacent to the Kingston Bridge on the south side of the River Clyde. The building was converted to 60 flats and 4 commercial units in 1999.

A recent survey of the building carried out by chartered building surveyors, Wiseman Associates Limited, discovered major defects in the roof and basement car park, leading to water penetration in both areas. The survey discovered that the 100 year old roof was beyond repair and that the roof covering would have to be replaced entirely. Restoration costs were tendered at £1.135 million and, without these vital works, the building would deteriorate rapidly, homes would suffer from dampness and rot, and would lose value and become very difficult to sell.

Facing bills of around £16,000 per homeowner and £43,000 per business owner, the cost of the repairs looked prohibitive until Factor Speirs Gumley were able to successfully secure grant funding of 50 percent from Glasgow City Council. With this financial assistance from the Council, Speirs Gumley was then able to seek approval from the homeowners and business owners to pay their share of the remaining costs, in order that the vital repairs could go ahead.
Speirs Gumley was faced with the very difficult challenge of having only 12 weeks within which to collect almost £576,000 from 64 owners.

Iain Friel, Managing Director of Speirs Gumley said: “I’m delighted that with the support of the Dalintober /Morrison Street Focus Group and many other owners, together with a huge helping hand from Glasgow City Council, this project is now finally well under way.  The scale of the task in collecting such a significant sum of money in a short space of time cannot be underestimated, and is testament to the commitment of the owners to restoring their property and the dedicated team at Speirs Gumley.  Appointed Surveyors, Wiseman Associates and contractors GDN Contracts have been extremely professional and thorough throughout the process, and work is currently ahead of schedule.  We firmly believe that this project could kick start the transformation of Tradeston area.”

Councillor George Redmond, Executive Member for Jobs and Investment at Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow City Council is delighted to have helped to restore this important part of our built heritage and safeguard it for many decades to come.  This type of support is not just funding the protection of beautiful architecture, but an investment in the regeneration of a part of the city that continues to attract other investment and development and so contributes to the economic strength of Glasgow.”

Greig Douglas of Wiseman Associates Ltd said: “This landmark property is a very prestigious project for our company to be involved in. It’s rewarding for us to see this historic 100 year old building being restored to the condition that the property deserves.”

David Kerr of GDN Contracts said: “This is one of the largest Property Management projects that we have ever been involved in and there has been excellent teamwork from all the parties involved. It’s an extremely prominent building and one that we are very proud to be a part of.  We’re looking forward to restoring this historic property back to its very best.”

Iain Thompson, a key member of the building’s Owner Focus Group said: “We’re so pleased that in the short space of time since hearing the news of the works needed and how much they would cost, that all parties involved managed to raise the funds required for the work to commence. We now are not only having a completely new roof, but also improvements to the underground carpark and stairwells along with a refurbishment of the facade. This will hopefully conclude in us having our very historic and beautiful building in a better state than it’s ever been in before.”

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