Glasgow based City Building has won a £2million contract to supply kitchen units and worktops for homes in East Ayrshire. The range of units and worktops will be manufactured by Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries (RSBi) which is a supported facility operated by City Building. The three year contract will provide 3000 kitchens for East Ayrshire Council’s Housing Asset Services which will install the fixtures.
John Foley, managing director of City Building, said: ‘We’re delighted with this contract win. The RSBi produces furniture and construction products to high standards, while giving genuine and lasting employment opportunities to local people, including those with disabilities. We look forward to working in partnership with East Ayrshire Council on this important project.’
Recently the RSBi gained Gold Certificate standard from the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA), an independent industry authority which recognises high quality products and professional craftsmanship. This is understood to have been a factor in City Building’s successful bid. Said Chris McAleavey, head of housing services at East Ayrshire Council: ‘We are confident that the finished product will match our high expectations. RSBi is well known for its high quality products and unique social ethos.’
City Building has been successful in gaining a separate contract with East Ayrshire Council, to fit kitchens, bathrooms and to carry out rewiring.
One of Europe’s largest supported employment facilities, RSBi has 240 workers of whom more than half have a disability. The company works closely with a range of organisations including Glasgow’s Helping Heroes and various disabled ex-servicemen and women’s groups.
City Building has delivered more than £28 million in cash surplus over the last five years, which is passed to Glasgow City Council for investment in frontline services.
City Building’s award-winning training academies in Queenslie and Laurieston are the most successful apprentice-training centres in Scotland.
photographs by Stuart Maxwell
The earth trembled in Gorbals on Sunday 3 October as two Norfolk Court tower blocks were demolished. The implosion reduced the 37 year old flats to 20,000 tonnes of rubble in ten seconds and was felt underfoot by the 600-strong crown of onlookers who congregated around Cumberland Street beyond the safety exclusion zone.
Said pensioner Mary McGuire who lives in one of the two remaining Norfolk Court blocks: ‘It’s sad but happy. The people who lived there used to be really nice folk. They’ve all long since moved to new homes.’ Her neighbour, Bridie Minto (82) said: ‘That block was still being built when I moved into my flat. It is sad to see them go.’
Anne Bunton who lived for 29 years in one of the 132 flats in one of the demolished blocks, missed the ‘blow-down.’ ‘She’s working today,’ said daughter Elizabeth. ‘That’s why I’m here to video the event.’ Born and brought up in the Gorbals, Elizabeth said: ‘A lot of history has just gone down. A lot of families have come and gone through those flats over the years. It is sad. But people have their memories even if the skyline changes.’
The 23 storey blocks cost around £1 million to be demolished. The blowdown was commissioned by Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) and carried out by contractor Safedem. Said GHA’s Executive Director of Development and Regeneration, Alex McGuire: ‘This is another step in the regeneration of the area.’ Around 200 affordable rent homes will be build in Laurieston South of the Norfolk flats in the next couple of years. The actual demolition site will be used for homes in a later phase of regeneration.
For more dramatic pictures and information see website: www.localnewsglasgow.co.uk
By Alan McCrorie
Glasgow Housing Association’s new chief executive celebrated his first day in post by helping front a major community regeneration plan targeting eight areas of the city.
Martin Armstrong joined Communities and Housing Minister Alex Neil MSP and Leader of Glasgow City Council Steven Purcell in Maryhill to announce eight ‘transformational regeneration areas’.
The partnership between GHA, the Scottish Government and the council aims to build thousands of homes in the target neighbourhoods. The first scheme, in Maryhill, should, if approved, provide 400 new homes. Initial plans are for 300 owner-occupied and 100 for tenants at Maryhill Locks.
There are plans in hand for 300 homes in Laurieston, mainly for rent. However, the partnership hopes to build a total of 1700 homes for rent, sale and low-cost ownership there.
The plans also call for new health and community facilities, as well as green spaces and commercial and retail properties.
The regeneration model would be rolled out across the city to include Sighthill and Shawbridge, Red Road, North Toryglen, Gallowgate, Ibrox and East Govan.
He said: ‘There’s more than just houses,’ said Martin. ‘We want to establish a sense of sustainability in the community that hasn’t been there in the past.
‘It would be wrong of me to put a timescale on it, but clearly what we’re going to do is to give urgency to the transformational regeneration areas. What we want to do is work with these eight communities and ensure there’s a realistic timescale that we can deliver.
He added: ‘GHA will be part of the partnership to make sure the houses are built to a good standard, they are retained at an affordable rent level, and also we will play our part in other initiatives surrounding employability to ensure we create a good, stable environment in which people can live and educate their children.’
Steven Purcell said: ‘This will be about building homes that people want to live in and creating employment in a time of recession. It’s good news for people in this part of the city who’ve waited a long time to see their community change in the way that other communities across Glasgow already have.’