Work is under way on a multi-million pound affordable homes project under the gaze of ancient Arbroath Abbey.
The £7.1 million Abbey Quarter project has already seen four blocks of unloved and hard-to-let flats cleared as part of what Angus Council chiefs say will be a transformational development for the area.
The 40 new affordable and energy-effiicient homes for rent are being built in the former Guthrie Hill/Smithy Croft area, situated close to the historic Abbey and the town’s High Street.
At a visit to formally mark the start of construction, Angus Council communities convener, Councillor Craig Fotheringham said he was excited about the scheme which it is hoped will breathe new life into the locality.
He said: “Arbroath Abbey is historically and culturally important and the new development will improve this previously unpopular area to become a place where people can enjoy life and living.
“I am delighted to see the start of this two-year project, which is supported by the Scottish Government’s affordable housing supply programme.
“It will deliver modern low-rise affordable council accommodation for single people, couples and families, within an environment that has open spaces, landscaped areas and dedicated parking.
“The Abbey Quarter development will complement and enhance the approach to the Abbey and improve accessibility to Arbroath’s High Street retail area.”
Vice-convener, Councillor Lois Speed said: “We are providing modern sustainable homes within a sustainable environment in a way that is sympathetic to the project’s historic surroundings.
“Housing that will improve people’s quality of life and create places that people are proud to call home.”
Stephen Lynas, business development director of Hadden Group, which has been appointed for the construction works, said: “We’re extremely pleased to be continuing our excellent working relationship with Angus Council which has developed over a number of housing projects and look forward to delivering much-needed affordable homes in the shadow of Arbroath Abbey.”
The start of work on the 24-month Arbroath development comes as the council prepares to welcome the first tenants to its £5.6 million Academy Court project in Forfar centred around the B-listed former Chapelpark primary.
Finishing touches are being put to 29 affordable homes for social rent, comprising 18 one-bedroom flats, six two-bedroom flats, one three-bedroomed flat and four five-bedroomed townhouses, with completion scheduled for February.