Blog :

Housing and Construction News

Housing and Construction News

This week’s Scottish political news has been dominated by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, followed by the appointment of junior Ministers. We have attached a separate one pager on the new Cabinet appointments for further information. Elsewhere, ongoing debate surrounding the EU referendum continued to play out on the digital and print news platforms. Scotland’s very own constitutional debate also hit the headlines this week with the Scottish Secretary David Mundell claiming that there is no mandate for a second independence referendum.


In housing and construction, findings from a Home Office report found that 77,000 incidents of online crime took place against construction premises last year. More on these and other stories are included within this week’s report.


Housing and Construction News


New Scottish Housing Minister appointed


Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart has been appointed as Scotland’s new Housing Minister.  Mr Stewart also has responsibility for Local Government, and will report into Cabinet Secretary Angela Constance MSP.  He is a former Finance Convener on Aberdeen City Council and in the last Parliament was Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee.


Other parties will announce their housing shadows in the coming days.


Home Office statistics reveal that online crimes affected 15 per cent of construction business premises last year


Findings from the latest Home Office ‘crime against businesses’ survey illustrated that there were 77,000 incidents of online crime against construction premises last year. In an article published by Scottish Construction Now, it was also noted that only three per cent of instances were reported to the police. Jim Burberry, partner and member of RSM’s Real Estate and Construction team in Scotland, said: “The data highlights that many incidences of online crimes against construction premises are largely going unreported. Cybercrime is a growing threat for the Scottish construction sector, which employs around 187,000 skilled workers, and the increased prevalence in attacks across the UK makes it a growing risk.”


General political news


Scotland’s new Cabinet announced on Wednesday 18 May 2016


After days of speculation, Nicola Sturgeon announced details of the new Scottish Cabinet and junior ministerial team:

  • The previous Transport Secretary Derek Mackay was promoted to Finance Secretary
  • Keith Brown to Economy Secretary (retaining Infrastructure as well)
  • Deputy First Minister John Swinney became the new Education Secretary. This high profile appointment reflected the importance that the new Scottish Government are placing on education generally
  • Shona Robison remained in her position as the Health Secretary
  • Michael Matheson kept his role as Cabinet Secretary for Justice
  • Angela Constance moved to become the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities
  • Fiona Hyslop remains the Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Secretary role
  • Roseanna Cunningham becomes Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform
  • Fergus Ewing becomes the Rural Economy and Connectivity Secretary.


Nicola Sturgeon is (re) confirmed as Scotland’s First Minister


Prior to the Cabinet changes, Tuesday saw MSPs elect SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister. Prior to the vote on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon called on MSPs from all parties to support her nomination. She said the SNP had won an “overwhelming mandate to govern”, and that she had a “mandate to continue as first minister”. Following the news that her party had failed to gain a Parliamentary majority, winning 63 of 129 possible seats, the SNP also confirmed that it would form a minority government.


Scottish Secretary David Mundell claims there is no mandate for a second independence referendum


In a speech given in Edinburgh this week, Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, claimed there is “no mandate” for a second referendum on independence. Mr Mundell said: “My position is quite clear, and the prime minister’s position is quite clear, that there is no mandate for a second referendum in the SNP manifesto. The votes that many people cast in Scotland’s election were votes to ensure that the SNP government did not have a majority and were not in a position to seek to take forward a second referendum. If the first minister is listening to the people of Scotland, she will stop talking about a second referendum and get on with governing Scotland.” The SNP were quick to respond to the comments made. John Swinney said the SNP would not “quietly forget” that the Conservative Government is “betraying promises” to the people of Scotland. What we can expect is the constitutional debate to ramp up in the build-up and proceeding the EU referendum.


EU Referendum – weekly update


  • Boris Johnson is taken to task by the European Council president Donald Tusk over his comparison of the EU to Hitler
  • Nigel Farage claims that a narrow ‘Remain’ win in the EU Referendum could lead to second referendum
  • Prime Minister David Cameron warns that the poorest and most vulnerable people in the UK would be hit hardest by the economic consequences of leaving the EU
  • Leaving the EU could put jobs within Scotland’s financial sector at risk, Harriet Baldwin MP, the economic secretary to the Treasury, claimed this week during a visit to Edinburgh



If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie McLauchlan on 07734 932 578 or

Physiowizard wins the first MediCity Scotland ‘DEVELOP’ accelerator programme

Physiowizard wins the first MediCity Scotland ‘DEVELOP’ accelerator programme

Medtech start-up PhysioWizard has become the first MediCity Scotland DEVELOP Accelerator Programme winner, offering them 6 months’ free tenancy, one to one business coaching and access to a UK and international life sciences mentoring network.

The unique hands-on 12-week programme is delivered by MediCity Scotland through a partnership approach with the Glasgow City Region – City Deal, North Lanarkshire Council, Scottish Enterprise and BioCity Scotland Limited. It provides companies in the medtech, digital health and wellbeing sectors with intensive support from a network of expert coaches from industry and the wider eco-system.

The coaches work closely with participants to challenge and thoroughly test the ideas for new products, services and business areas, helping them to identify and test their hypothesis and assumptions before designing a business model which then has a greater chance of success – and especially before raising investment.

PhysioWizard, which was founded by chartered physiotherapist Kirsten Lord in Edinburgh, is the world’s first clinically validated and CE-marked online self-assessment platform that treats people with back pain. To win the MediCity programme, the company pitched against six other firms which included academic spin-outs and industry entrepreneurs who also successfully completed the programme.

Kirsten said: “I was thrilled to be recognised by the independent and distinguished judges at the end of the DEVELOP programme against fellow cohort participants who proved to extremely stiff competition. Lower back pain is the biggest cause of ill health in the world and the PhysioWizard collects data from the patient and uses a series of sophisticated software algorithms to triage the patient’s condition to give advice and treatment. I’m very excited about the business being engaged with MediCity Scotland where we can benefit and grow from the extensive support on offer and the close proximity to like-minded organisations. The DEVELOP programme which has been a hugely valuable experience with expert advice, cohort participation and access to a UK wide life science mentoring network, is second to none.”

Toby Reid, Managing Director of BioCity said: “Our DEVELOP programme is highly practical – there is nothing else like it in the life science sector in Scotland. Our goal is to help participants discover a scalable business model that will allow them to build a successful company with substantially less money and in a shorter amount of time than using traditional methods. Everyone who has completed the programme also then has the scope to be considered for further one-to-one coaching, tenancy to the MediCity Scotland incubator, an investment readiness programme and access to our extensive Life Science Mentor Network, which are all an invaluable source of support.

“The DEVELOP programme uses a process of hypothesis testing that will be familiar to any scientist or clinician.  Companies on the programme use an approach called customer discovery and customer development to test their ideas.  Over the course of the 12-week programme, they get out of their labs and aim to talk to 100 customers, partners, regulators and competitors, testing their ideas about clinical utility, partners, intellectual property, regulatory issues, product features, pricing and distribution channels.  Based on the customer and market feedback, they can then design or build a value proposition and solution that customers will actually buy and use. Undertaking this process early on helps entrepreneurs avoid huge future costs and potentially unforeseen dead ends when much further down the road of business development.”

Toby added: “I’m very pleased to welcome PhysioWizard to MediCity Scotland and look forward to continuing our one-to-one support and mentorship as this innovative company takes its next steps. Life science businesses based at the BioCity Nottingham have had a 91% survival rate over the last 12 years, which clearly demonstrates the benefits that clustering similar businesses together in a supportive environment can bring.”

The next DEVELOP programme due to start in September 2016 is looking for its next cohort of academics, entrepreneurs, start-up and scale-up medtech, digital health and wellbeing firms. A DEVELOP Boot Camp will take place from 13-15 June at MediCity Scotland in Newhouse, Lanarkshire. Anyone wishing to be considered should contact Andrew McGee; Business Acceleration Manager at MediCity Scotland; or, +44 (0)1698 539 613 for more information or, via the events page on the web site.


Property leader Speirs Gumley expands with launch of new Edinburgh office

Property leader Speirs Gumley expands with launch of new Edinburgh office

One of the country’s largest property management companies, Speirs Gumley, has announced that it is expanding operations by opening an office in Edinburgh at the end of May.

The company, which has a rich heritage of over 180 years of experience in this sector, currently manages nearly 27,000 commercial and residential units in over 750 developments across Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayrshire and Lanarkshire, including developments such as  Tanalach, South Oswald Road and Kingston House in Edinburgh.

Speirs Gumley has built up a strong reputation for successfully managing historic and iconic buildings including The Beresford on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street,  the listed Wellpark Enterprise Centre, owned by the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, The Merchant Building commercial Offices in Glasgow’s George Square and many more.

With a surge in demand for its services in residential and commercial property management and residential letting, Speirs Gumley has delivered strong growth – increasing in profit by over 30 percent in the last two years alone. This has allowed the company to re-invest this profit in I.T. and to increase staffing levels from 64 to 70.  Now the company is establishing its presence in the capital with a new office at Q Court in Quality Street, Davidson’s Mains, which will formally open at the end of May and create five new jobs in the first year alone.

Lorraine MacDonald, Senior Partner at Speirs Gumley said:

“We’re delighted to be in a position to open an office in Edinburgh and are really excited about the potential for all of our services in the capital. Our Glasgow office is busier than ever, and with confidence returning to the property sector, we really believe that this is the right time for the company to expand.

“We already have 1,400 properties on our books across the capital, and we expect this to grow to 2,000 within a year.   Having a physical presence in Edinburgh will allow us to build significantly on our offering in the east.”

As well as a team of new staff at the Edinburgh office, Lorraine MacDonald and members of her senior management team will also be based in both the Glasgow and Edinburgh offices.

The new office will also be home to a training hub for all Speirs Gumley employees which will deliver induction programmes and company-wide training and development. In the short space of time that this hub has been available to staff, it has been an overwhelming success.




Scottish Political Insider – Scottish Election Special

Scottish Political Insider – Scottish Election Special

SNP return – but lose overall majority


With all the results now in and announced, Nicola Sturgeon has achieved a historic third mandate for the SNP.  But it wasn’t quite the whitewash that many commentators were predicting as the Lib Dems and Conservatives managed a few surprise wins – enough to deny an SNP majority.


The final numbers of seats were as follows: 


SNP 63 (- 6)

Cons 31 (+ 16)

Lab 24 (-13)

Greens 6 (+4)

Lib Dems 5 (-)


The Conservatives had a stunning night, overtaking Labour as the main opposition party in the Scottish Parliament.  Their constituency vote share almost matched Labour but effective targeting saw them gain two seats from Labour – Eastwood and Dumfriesshire – and two from the SNP – Edinburgh Central and Aberdeenshire West – and hold three others against a strong SNP campaign.


Labour had a dismal night, losing every constituency seat they were defending bar two (East Lothian, held by former leader Iain Gray, and Dumbarton) – although they did re-take Edinburgh Southern from the SNP – and took 21 through the regional lists.


The Lib Dems managed to stem the tide from last year’s meltdown, retaining their two constituency seats and winning back North East Fife and Edinburgh Western from the SNP.  They finished on five, winning just one regional seat, in the North East.


The Scottish Greens focussed primarily on the regional lists and increased their numbers from two to six, overtaking the Lib Dems.


Some of last night’s winners:  


  • RUTH DAVIDSON – Scottish Tory leader gains Edinburgh Central from the SNP
  • WILLIE RENNIE – Lib Dem leader gains NE Fife from the SNP
  • HUMZA YOUSAF – SNP International Development Minister who beat former Labour leader Johann Lamont in Glasgow Pollok
  • JACKSON CARLAW – Tory Deputy Leader wins Eastwood from Labour
  • ALEX COLE-HAMILTON – dogged Lib Dem campaigner regains Edinburgh West for the party
  • JOHN LAMONT – Tory Chief Whip retains his Borders seat despite a strong SNP challenge
  • LIAM McARTHUR – retains Orkney for the Lib Dems with a 16% swing from the SNP
  • IAIN GRAY – former Labour leader defends his East Lothian seat with an increased majority
  • CLARE HAUGHEY – the 1st new MSP declared last night – an SNP gain from Labour in Rutherglen
  • JOHN FINNIE – re-elected as a Green MSP, having been an SNP then Independent MSP previously

Some of last night’s losers:

  • ALEX ROWLEY – Labour Deputy Leader loses his Cowdenbeath seat to SNP’s Annabelle Ewing but returns via regional list
  • MICHAEL McMAHON – veteran Labour MSP for Uddingston since 1999 who lost to the SNP’s Richard Lyle
  • DAVID COBURN – UKIP’s sole Scottish MEP who failed to make a breakthrough to Holyrood
  • JIM EADIE – one term SNP MSP loses Edinburgh Southern to Labour
  • ELAINE MURRAY – former Labour minister loses Dumfriesshire to the Conservative Oliver Mundell (son of David)
  • ELAINE SMITH – Deputy Presiding Officer and one of the class of 1999 veterans loses Coatbridge to the SNP, but also returns as a Central Scotland list MSP
  • THOMAS DOCHERTY – outspoken former Labour MP who failed to be elected in Fife
  • MAGGIE CHAPMAN – Scottish Greens Co-convener fails to wins a North East regional seat
  • JIM HUME – Lib Dem health spokesperson, losing his South of Scotland seat

So what happens next?


The first meeting of the new session will be on Thursday 12 May. The Parliament will meet from 9.30am to 12.30pm for the purpose of Members’ oath-taking, and again at 2.30pm for the purpose of electing the Presiding Officer and two Deputy Presiding Officers.  Thereafter, there will be a debate to nominate a First Minister and ministerial posts can then be confirmed.


It is likely that key Cabinet posts will be announced informally over the coming days but they will not be confirmed formally for at least two weeks, with committee places coming after that.


If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie McLauchlan on 07734 932 578 or

Housing and Construction News

Housing and Construction News

After weeks of campaigning from Scotland’s political parties, the country’s voters go the polls today (Thursday, 5 May). Polling stations up and down the country are open from 7am until 10pm, with the final election results expected in the early hours of Friday morning. Scottish Party leaders had a busy week and used their last full week of campaigning to highlight their aspirations for Scottish education and job creation.

In housing and construction news, a Scottish housing alliance claimed overall housebuilding has dropped by 40 per cent since 2007 and that demand was outstripping supply, leading to a shortage of homes across Scotland. Elsewhere, the Scottish Green Party proposed the introduction of a new Housing and Tenant Rights Commissioner. More on these stories and others are included within this week’s report.

Housing and Construction News

New housing alliance emerges in election week

A housing alliance comprising the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Shelter Scotland, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and the Royal Town Planning Institute signed an open letter to all the parties on ‘Scotland’s housing crisis’. In the open letter, the private housebuilders’ group Homes for Scotland claimed overall housebuilding had dropped by 40 per cent since 2007 and claimed that demand was outstripping supply, leading to a shortage of homes across Scotland. Nicola Barclay, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, said: “We are united in one simple request, that our politicians take whatever action is necessary to end the housing pressure affecting so many of those living in Scotland.”

Greens Propose Housing and Tenant Rights Commissioner

In a news release issued this week, the Scottish Green Party reiterated its commitment to Scottish housing which would see plans to build 60,000 social rented homes over the coming 5 years, make rent fair and end fuel poverty. Its Scottish Greens co-convener, Maggie Chapman, the party’s housing spokesperson and MSP candidate for the North East, also claimed that she wanted to see a much more co-ordinated approach to housing, stating: “Everyone needs a home, and the current housing system does not deliver this. People are being priced out of decent accommodation because rents are too high and ‘affordable housing’ is not actually affordable for most.” The release also saw the proposal for a new Housing and Tenant rights coordinator. Ms Chapman, added: “If elected on Thursday, I will introduce a Housing and Tenants’ Rights Commission non-executive Bill. This Bill would seek to appoint a Housing and Tenants’ Rights Commissioner.” Under the proposals, the Commissioner would work with tenants, Local Authorities, Housing Associations, housing co-operatives and the private housing sector to develop a Charter of Rights for tenants.

Elsewhere on the final week of the 2016 Holyrood Election Campaign

Education and employment the key focus areas this week

The last week of election campaigning saw the party leaders focusing on education and jobs. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon spoke to business leaders in Aberdeen to illustrate how her party would help to create jobs. Ms Sturgeon, said: “As we have shown in recent months, we will relentlessly champion Scottish business and always stand up for our key industries.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale focused her party’s campaign on ongoing cuts to Scotland’s education budget, a message reiterated by Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. Ms Dugdale argued: “A vote for Labour is a vote to use the new powers of the Scottish Parliament to tax the richest 1% so we can invest in schools and stop the cuts to public services. A vote for the SNP is a vote for cuts to children’s education, cuts to frontline services and cutting jobs.” Mr Rennie claimed: “Everywhere I go, people tell me that they are pleased that we are talking about big issues like education and mental health that were neglected while the SNP campaigned for independence. The last thing Scotland needs is a groundhog day debate on the constitution.”

Elsewhere, Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives used the last day to reiterate claims that her party would be a strong party opposition, ready to hold the SNP to account. She said: “Many people are supporting me because they just want an opposition at Holyrood which will really hold the SNP to account for once. Labour has had its chance – I am ready to step up and do a job for Scotland.”

UKIP candidate claims his party are on the brink – and calls for a change in leadership

Alan Melville of the Edinburgh North & Leith Constituency claimed UKIP “stands on the brink of disintegration and all-out civil war,” in Scotland following renewed calls for a leadership change. He is the latest in a string of party members to call for the removal of David Coburn MEP as the party’s Scottish leader.

EU Referendum – Weekly Update

  • The Trade Union Congress has claimed Workers’ rights will be watered down if Britain leaves the EU. A report issued by the union body this week claimed that complete withdrawal from the single market could pave the way for a government “to make sweeping changes to employment law.”
  • Greg Hands, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, argued this week that the UK leaving the EU would cost up to 100,000 jobs while the NHS and other public services would face significant cuts
  • A BMG poll for The Herald found that when comparing a split from Europe versus a split from the UK, 68 per cent voted independence from the UK as their “least preferred option” versus 32 per cent for leaving Europe

Competition reminder

A reminder of the competition question for your chance to win a £25 Amazon voucher, simply email me with an answer to the following question:

Which party will finish second and how many seats will they get?

Good luck!


If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie McLauchlan on 07734 932 578 or

CISC support winners of Scotland’s first construction ‘hackathon’

CISC support winners of Scotland’s first construction ‘hackathon’

The winners of Scotland’s first construction “hackathon” will have their innovative idea for a digital built heritage tool supported by the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC).


CSIC is a partnership between industry, academia and the public sector and the one-stop shop where Scotland’s 31,000+ construction businesses can access a team of experts and public support to help them to innovate.


Hack_Construct, which took place in Glasgow recently, brought together around 65 construction industry professionals and digital experts to work on solving construction challenges via digital solutions. Founded by Darren Lester of SpecifiedBy and Ryan Tennyson of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, the first event was organised and delivered in partnership with CSIC and with support from Innovate UK, the Data Lab Scotland, BIM 2050 and the Knowledge Transfer Network.

Ryan Tennyson commented: “The concept of hackathons as a way of unlocking new ideas and digital solutions may be relatively new in the construction industry, but they have been used in the tech industry for close to a decade. They expose talented software developers, data scientists, web designers and gamers to opportunities in an alternative sector, whilst giving construction industry professionals a glimpse into what can be achieved through involving different people, technologies and skillsets.”

Five concepts were developed, but the winner of Best Overall Innovation at Hack_Construct is a digital built heritage tool, which combines cloud servers with the latest gaming technology to link various sources of information and encourage new content.  The tool, called GeniLoci, seeks to reveal the spirit of a place (its genius loci) by linking people, stories, and heritage information into one accessible platform, creating opportunities for engagement between heritage professionals, community members and visitors.

Leader of the winning team, architect Natasha Huq (Natasha Huq Architect, Edinburgh) is aiming to trial the tool in an ongoing project with Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust, as part of the community engagement element of the Edinburgh World Heritage “Twelve Closes Project”, which aims to transform the Old Town’s under-used medieval closes that are currently perceived as unloved or unsafe.


Natasha said: “We’d like to see recent developments in technology being applied in an accessible and useful way to encourage ongoing community engagement and bring alive the stories of the Closes, not just for tourists but for everyone interested in our built heritage.”


Darren Lester said: “The judges were impressed by the winning team’s collective enthusiasm, experience and skillsets, which over the course of the weekend developed a concept into a potentially marketable platform, complete with supporting technology and integrated apps.”

The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre is now working with the winning team to help take the project forward.  This support may involve facilitation and academic support.


Stephen Good, Chief Executive at CSIC said: “We are really excited about helping the winning idea move forward. The construction industry is changing, and digital solutions to problems are key to the industry moving with the times. Hackathons are a fantastic way to harness innovative ideas such as this one, and to demonstrate to the construction industry just what can be achieved.”


Entrepreneurial Spark and EMC Join Forces to Create the UK’s Largest Nationwide Free Tech Accelerator

Entrepreneurial Spark and EMC Join Forces to Create the UK’s Largest Nationwide Free Tech Accelerator

EMC UK (NYSE: EMC) has today announced a new partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark, the world’s largest free accelerator for start-up and scale up businesses, creating the largest free technology industry accelerator program in the UK. EMC will be providing training, coaching and mentorship to the thousands of entrepreneurs being supported by Entrepreneurial Spark nationwide.


Supported by RBS and KPMG, Entrepreneurial Spark is already one of the most geographically spread incubator networks in the country. It will now provide companies and entrepreneurs with in-depth technical expertiseprovided by EMC. Locations include Ayrshire, Belfast, Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.


Today’s announcement will now benefit thousands of entrepreneurs and start-ups across the UK as they gain market leading tech know-how from EMC. The partnership reflects EMC’s commitment to supporting the UK Economy. With over 1,000 start-ups and entrepreneurs coming through their hatchery doors every year, the potential is immense and will accelerate as it reaches its target of 13 centers by the middle of 2017. Entrepreneurial Spark start-ups across the UK, including a number of fledging tech firms, have raised over £45million of investment to date


The EMC participation will add to a number of initiatives that provide extra support for technology start-ups, including working closely with the Open Experience, RBS’ new Technology Solutions Centre at Gogarburn near Edinburgh.


Ross Fraser, VP and Managing Director, EMC UK&I, comments, “This is a great opportunity to combine the talent from established companies like EMC and new start-ups to help encourage business growth and innovation in the UK. We want to help share advice which we’ve learnt over the past 35 years, and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. This is particularly key in an environment where digital technology is forming the life-blood of a new generation of businesses. We look forward to the further expansion of the partnership across the UK over the course of this year.”


Jim Duffy, founder and Chief Executive Optimist at Entrepreneurial Spark comments, “I’m ecstatic to have EMC on board as we create the UK’s largest tech accelerator. Our focus is on building the mindset and behaviours of an entrepreneur by focusing their mind, putting them into an environment which pushes their comfort zone, and providing sessions which challenge their thinking. EMC’s resources and insights will be incredibly valuable to the start-up and entrepreneur community in the months and years ahead. As the digital transformation of business continues, every endeavour will benefit from the insights and resources of one of the world’s technology leaders. Britain is creating more start-ups than ever before and we’re excited to work with EMC to help them grow and succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.”


Alison Rose, CEO of Commercial and Private Banking, RBS, said: “We have been supporting Entrepreneurial Spark since 2011 and in that time there has been huge digital progression. In a business environment where digital skills are often essential for growth, the breadth of EMC’s knowledge and expertise will give our entrepreneurs a valuable new pillar of support, making the Entrepreneurial Spark programme even more comprehensive.”



Planning permission granted for Anniesland housing development

Planning permission granted for Anniesland housing development

AS Homes (Scotland) Ltd, one of Scotland’s prominent house builders, has been granted planning permission today (19th April) for a new 61 plot mixed tenure development at Spencer Street in Anniesland, Glasgow.


The work, which will be carried out with one of the UK’s leading social landlords, Sanctuary Housing, will see the development of 23 properties available for private sale alongside 38 social houses.


The application was lodged with Glasgow City Council on Friday, 22 January 2016, after a 12 week consultation period.


Of the 61 units, 36 will be flats and 25 will be houses. The houses will be a mixture of two storey, two and three bedroom, semi-detached and terraced houses. All of the flats built will be three storey, each comprising two bedrooms, with six flats being adapted for wheelchair use.


The development will transform a former industrial site close to Dawsholm Park and deliver a major economic boost, create jobs and deliver new homes to the area.


Paul Kelly, Managing Director of AS Homes (Scotland) Ltd said, “We are pleased to get planning permission today for what will be a significant development in Glasgow’s north-west, which will help support the city’s private and social housing requirements.

“We look forward to starting on site over the next few weeks and delivering this exciting project with Sanctuary Housing for the people of Glasgow.”



Glasgow International Festival shines a light on Bridgeton

Glasgow International Festival shines a light on Bridgeton

Glasgow’s status as one of the art centres of Europe will take another leap forward next month when Glasgow International, the world-renowned biennial festival of contemporary art, comes to the city.

The city’s east end, and in particular Bridgeton, will play a key role as a base to showcase Glasgow as a unique major centre to produce and display contemporary visual art.   The festival, which comprises exhibitions, events, talks and performances, runs from 8 – 25 April across various venues throughout in the city, including Clyde Gateway’s modern and striking The Albus building, the David Dale Gallery, Crownpoint Studios and the Glasgow Women’s Library, all located in Bridgeton.

The importance that the east of the city will play in this year’s festival reflects the rise in popularity of an area that balances culture and community with business and inward investment.

The swell in numbers of people using Bridgeton train station tells a story itself.  Passenger numbers have more than tripled in the past decade, rising to 647,000 in 2014/15 compared to 206,000 in 2004/05.

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games shone a spotlight on Bridgeton and the East End, and this regenerated area is fast becoming the ideal location for creative businesses looking to get ahead and grow.

Local record label Chemikal Underground has made its home in the district, as has the David Dale Gallery and the British Film Institute Mediateque, showing the cultural dimension of an area undergoing vibrant transformation.

The independent restaurant and brewer WEST Brewery, digital creative agency MadeBrave and software company, Clear Returns are further examples of east end based companies that are witnessing phenomenal success on a national and international stage.

David Wilson, Director of Opfer Logan Architects, saw the exciting potential of moving just over a mile out from the city centre to their new home in Bridgeton.  He said:

“While some may view it as a risk to move from the traditional locations in town, we have been energised by our move to the East End.

“As soon as we became aware of the former Post Office Depot in Bridgeton, we saw the huge opportunity and scope for development.  The main spaces allowed us to create the open plan office and studio space we dreamed of, while providing additional space for rental and development in the future.”

Over £1.5 billion has been invested in the Clyde Gateway area in the last 8 years from both the public and private sector.    The Olympia building at Bridgeton is perhaps the best example of Clyde Gateway’s flexibly in merging business and community.  Work began on redeveloping the building in 2011 by undertaking an £8 million conversion.

The new look Olympia building, which supports 45 jobs, was opened just 18 months later and now is home to a public library with a café on the ground floor, a high performance centre for amateur boxing for Boxing Scotland on the first floor and the University of Glasgow occupying the entire top floor of the building.

Fionna Kell, Senior Manager, Inward Investment & Property Marketing at Clyde Gateway has seen how the area has evolved first-hand.  She explains: “It’s really exciting to see such a variety of businesses come into the area and flourish here.  As Scotland’s leading independent publisher, Peebles Media becomes the latest company to call Bridgeton its new home, we look forward to being part of its continued growth and developed offering in the years’ ahead.”


Cruden announces exciting new affordable private housing development at Baron’s Vale, Helenvale

Cruden announces exciting new affordable private housing development at Baron’s Vale, Helenvale

Multi-award winning Scottish house builder, Cruden Homes, has announced the eagerly anticipated sales launch of the first 30 affordable private homes for sale at its Baron’s Vale development at Helenvale in Glasgow’s new east end at a VIP sneak peak preview event to those who have already registered their interest on Sunday 3 April before the full sales launch takes place on Saturday 9 April.


The development will feature a range of newly designed two and three bed terraced homes and three bedroom semi-detached homes especially designed to meet the needs of the market following extensive research.


The 30 properties available for private sale will be sold ‘off plan’, in advance of the properties being built to meet high market demand. Purchasers may also be able to take advantage of the Government-backed Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme which allows buyers to own a home with only a 5% deposit.


In recent years, Glasgow’s East End has seen huge levels of investment and regeneration.   Cruden had huge success as part of the City Legacy consortium building the Athletes’ Village in the East End.  Homes here sold out in record time and now Cruden is back in this thriving area to offer more quality, affordable homes at Baron’s Vale.


Perfectly positioned with the world class Emirates sporting arena, a new Riverside Woodland Park and fantastic transport links on your doorstep, there has never been a better time to buy a home here.


Each of the newly designed stylish homes provide generous room sizes, great storage space, high quality and well-appointed kitchens and bathrooms, and built in wardrobes.   All of the homes at Baron’s Vale will also incorporate low energy design principles using sustainable materials.

Prices for these modern, affordable homes are expected to range between £125,000 for a two bedroom terraced house to £160,000 for a three bedroom semi-detached house.


Liz Mallon, Sales & Marketing Manager of Cruden Homes West, said: “This exciting development will help to support Glasgow’s buoyant housing market and follows the recent successes of our activity at King’s View in Toryglen and the highly acclaimed Athletes’ Village.


“Baron’s Vale offers something for everyone at the heart of Glasgow’s new east end and we are confident that we can support the development of a brand new community for families, downsizers and first time buyers alike.  We expect demand to be very high for these fantastic homes so don’t delay!”


Potential buyers should register their interest on the website to receive priority options to buy at Baron’s Vale, together with VIP access to the latest information about this new development.


New affordable housing development, Baron’s Vale, makes its mark in Glasgow’s new east end

New affordable housing development, Baron’s Vale, makes its mark in Glasgow’s new east end

Cruden Homes’ Baron’s Vale, a new affordable housing development in Glasgow’s New East End, has been put firmly on the map today with a giant Google map pin.

This multi-million pound development will comprise a total of 139 flats and 98 terraced homes and semi-detached homes.

The first phase of homes for private sale will see 30 two and three bedroom terraced and semi-detached properties released and available to reserve off plan in advance of the homes being built to meet high levels of market demand.  Purchasers may also be able to take advantage of the Government-backed Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme which allows buyers to own a home with only a 5% deposit.

Adjacent to the site, 30 two bedroom flats will be built on behalf of Glasgow Housing Association in the first phase, which will be made available for mid-market rent.

Each of the newly designed stylish homes provide generous room sizes, excellent  storage space, high quality and well-appointed kitchens and bathrooms, and built in wardrobes.   All of the homes at Baron’s Vale will also incorporate low energy design principles using sustainable materials.

In recent years, Glasgow’s East End has seen huge levels of investment and regeneration which has transformed the area and changed the perception of it. Cruden had huge success as part of the City Legacy consortium in delivering the Athletes’ Village in the East End of Glasgow.  Homes here sold out in record time and now Cruden is back to offer a new range of high quality, spacious, affordable homes at Baron’s Vale.

Cruden’s strong heritage in successful regeneration projects will also see further opportunities for apprenticeships, training and employment for the community as well as recruiting a number of local sub-contractors.

Sales and Marketing Director, Liz Mallon said, “Cruden has a strong commitment to the demands of Glasgow’s buoyant housing market and we are pleased to make our announcement today with this striking Google map pin in what is fast becoming a vibrant area to live in and an altogether new east end. It’s just a few minutes’ walk to the recently opened Cuningar Loop Country Park, the new Community Centre with dentists, doctors and pharmacy and the Emirates Arena – making it an ideal location.

“Following our ongoing successes at both the Athletes’ Village and our popular King’s View site in the south side of the city, we have once again brought a high quality affordable private housing development to market. Baron’s Vale will pair affordability with quality and style.

Cruden look forward to building a new community in the East End and bridging the much needed gap for affordable living in an area Glasgow with great history and excellent facilities and amenities for families and singles alike.

A VIP preview event will take on Sunday 3 April, ahead of the full sales launch which will take place on Saturday 9 April.  Potential buyers should register their interest on the website to receive priority options to buy at Baron’s Vale, together with VIP access to the latest information about this new development.




Scroll Up