A major housing award has been achieved by the project which will see the first new council homes built in Edinburgh for more than a generation.

The Gracemount project within the 21st Century Homes for Edinburgh programme came out top in the prestigious Scottish Homes Award 2011 held in Edinburgh.

The City of Edinburgh Council and The Cruden Group jointly submitted the entry for the Community Partnership of the Year category.

The submission highlighted benefits such as:

  • Public and private sector working together to significantly contribute to meeting Edinburgh’s housing and regeneration needs
  • A community benefits programme delivering local employment, training and jobs
  • Support for social, educational and community initiatives

Councillor Paul Edie, Housing Leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, received the award on behalf of the Council last night.

He said: “It’s great news that our partnership with The Cruden Group has been recognised with this fantastic award. It reinforces our belief in the importance of the public and private sector working together for the benefit of the whole community.

“This is an exciting time for Gracemount residents as the first new council homes for more than a generation are beginning to take shape in Edinburgh.

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

On behalf of the Cruden Group, Steven Simpson, Managing Director of Cruden Homes (East) Ltd, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have won the ‘Community Partnership of the Year’ award in conjunction with City of Edinburgh Council. Evolution at Gracemount represents one of the most pioneering regeneration projects in Scotland and we’re proud to receive recognition for our commitment to delivering community benefits at this early stage of development.

“This award is testament to the successes of a strong public and private sector partnership approach, which will continue to generate much needed local employment and training opportunities during the construction of a sustainable and socially inclusive environment for future generations.“

The first phase in Gracemount will see 99 homes built all of which will be affordable with 67 council homes for rent, 20 for mid market rent and 12 for low cost home ownership through a shared equity purchase scheme.

The mix is made up of 26 one bedroom, 40 two bedroom and 27 three bedroom flats and colony style apartments. There will also be 6 four bedroom houses.

Phase two, comprising flats and houses for market sale, launches to the public on Saturday 18 June and will consist of 116 homes including a number of shared equity properties to ensure that the development consists of at least 50% affordable housing. The Council granted detailed planning consent for this phase at the beginning of June 2011.

Demolition of the three multi storey flat blocks on the site occurred in 2009 and construction work followed in October 2010. It is expected the first homes will be ready to move into in December 2011.

21st Century Homes for Edinburgh is the Council’s exciting new programme to build 1,300 mixed tenure homes for sale and for rent across the Capital. This will see up to £150 million of Council-led investment in the regeneration of the Gracemount, North Sighthill and Pennywell & Muirhouse areas of the city.

The programme contributes towards meeting the need for 16,600 new affordable homes in Edinburgh over the next ten years.