Work underway to create new central Glasgow office space

Over 20,000 sq. ft. of new Grade A office space will be available in the heart of Glasgow by the end of the year.

Works are underway at 241-243 West George Street to renovate the 22,085 sq ft. property and create a number of open plan offices ranging from roughly 3,700 sq. ft. to 5,200 sq. ft. in size.

The works are being carried out by developer City Site, which acquired the building in late 2016, and are scheduled for completion in December 2017 and will be ready for occupation by tenants in the New Year. The entirety of the property was formerly let to URS.

Real estate advisory GVA, who are acting as sole letting agents, anticipate that the new space will be welcome as an undersupply of Grade A stock remains an issue in Glasgow.


Perth hotel being demolished for multi-million-pound hall and gym

A landmark building has been razed to the ground to make way for a multi-million-pound redevelopment.

The Waverley Hotel in York Place, Perth, has been demolished, with the annex to the rear on Caledonian Road next to come down.

The corner site will then be at the centre of businesswoman Ann Gloag’s £3.6 million plan to build a multi-use hall and gym in its place.

The new facility will be linked to the adjacent Trinity Church of the Nazarene, of which Ms Gloag is a member.


Minister unveils new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service training facility

The most vulnerable members of Scotland’s communities will receive greater support to stay safe at home – thanks to a new training facility launched by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Firefighters will assist a growing elderly population by learning how to look out for signs of danger that could lead to slips and trips, and also identify the needs of those living with dementia.

The crews will be trained at the Safe and Well House at SFRS Headquarters in Cambuslang which recreates a domestic environment with hidden hazards.

The facility was officially opened by Annabelle Ewing MSP, minister for community safety earlier this week.


Helicopter lift signals start of Dumbarton Castle conservation work

A helicopter lift will signal the start of a £42,000 conservation project by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) to restore a stone sentry turret at the castle where Mary, Queen of Scots took shelter before fleeing for France.

The sentry cupola, which would have provided shelter to soldiers standing watch over Dumbarton, was constructed during renovations which took place between 1600 and 1700. These were intended to convert the medieval castle visited by Scottish royalty into a modern artillery fortress. In winter 2016, it was struck by lightning, and since then HES has been developing plans to conserve the prominent feature.

Debris and surviving stonework from the tower was removed, with HES stonemasons hand-carving replacement stones for the ornate domed cupola roof.

Work to restore the turret is now beginning on site, however due to the challenges posed by the location of the tower, a helicopter is being used to lift materials to the upper levels of the castle. Scaffolding will then be erected around the remains of the turret to allow staff access, and to build up traditional wooden propping to support the roof as it is reconstructed. Once the keystone at the summit of the dome has been fitted, the roof will be self-supporting and the props removed. HES stonemasons will then undertake repointing work on the turret and the surrounding area, before the scaffolding is removed in Spring 2018.

The project to restore the sentry cupola is part of a wider programme of investment in Dumbarton Castle by HES. This has also seen invasive ivy and scrub plants cleared from parts of the Castle and Rock, improvements to utilities, and extensive conservation work on the Governor’s House. Further work to conserve the Magazine and French Prison is planned through 2018 and 2019.


£1m investment to revive historic Lanarkshire country house hotel

A country house hotel in South Lanarkshire has been given a £1 million makeover as its new owners set out to build a hospitality group with a distinctive Scottish welcome, with support from Bank of Scotland.

The Strathaven Hotel, an 18th century former country house set in three acres of grounds, was acquired by its new owners in January, and their refurbishment programme is now almost complete.

The new hotel’s restaurant and bar area has already been completely redesigned and the final phase of the refurbishment is now almost complete with the grand ballroom due to reopen imminently.


Residents praise plans to regenerate Paisley’s West End

Residents and business owners in Paisley’s West End have welcomed plans to regenerate the area.

Public consultation over the summer shows strong support for the draft Paisley West End Regeneration Masterplan, which outlines proposals for around 150 private and social homes and the potential provision of new commercial units.

This would be developed through demolition of low demand tenement flats and commercial ground floor properties on the east side of Well Street and vacant residential blocks on Clavering Street East.

Vacant land formerly used as the University of the West of Scotland Halls of Residence would be cleared and community growing areas on Sutherland Street would be relocated within the West End under the masterplan proposals.

Consultation started in the summer and is being conducted with residents and business owners in the masterplan area and with people in the wider community.

The feedback so far demonstrates strong support for the regeneration plans, with more than 80% of Renfrewshire Council tenants and residential property owners in the Well Street area who have responded to the consultation to date agreeing with the proposals for demolition.

Residents and business owners commented on the benefits of the area’s central location, good public transport links and the close-knit community.

Consultation also showed the challenges facing Paisley’s West End, with high levels of vacant properties in a poor condition and issues including anti-social behaviour and vandalism.


Rent rises and decrease in landlords on horizon for UK private rented sector

The cost of privately renting a home in the UK is set to increase as landlords pull out of the sector in the coming year, surveyors have warned.

The August residential market survey conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has found that nearly two-thirds of surveyors expect that more landlords would exit the market than join it in light of policy changes such as a surcharge on second properties.

Over 60% felt landlords would exit the market over the coming year, while only 12% felt there would be a greater number of entrants. Moreover, for the next three years, 52% felt there would be a net reduction in landlords, with only 17% suggesting a rise.

As a result, private rent rises were likely to outpace house prices in the next five years, the RICS found.

In Scotland, the report found that surveyors expected house prices to increase in the next quarter but concerns were raised that less people were buying homes due to the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).


New chair for Hebridean Housing Partnership

Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) has appointed a new chair for the organisation following its AGM last week.

Norman MacLeod agreed to accept a nomination for the role, taking over from Iain MacMillan who stepped down at the AGM.

Mr MacLeod has considerable experience of the housing sector and local business environment, having served as a councillor with CNES for several years and also managing the Western Isles branch of Scottish Fuels.

During the AGM, HHP chief executive, Dena MacLeod, stated that HHP remained committed to providing warm, affordable homes that are fit for the future.


Action for Children benefits from Toolstation carrier bag sales

Toolstation has donated a proportion of the funds generated by the 5p carrier bag charge over the past year to ‘Youthbuild’, an Action for Children project working in Glasgow to find employment for young people aged between 16-19 years old who have faced barriers in their lives.

The money was raised at over 270 Toolstation branches across the UK. A further eight charities benefitted from the donations which have been used to buy tools and equipment to support young people getting into construction.

Source: Scottish Construction Now!

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