A Stranraer tenant has talked about the “huge difference” her new home has made to her life since moving into a £4.75million development in the town.
The homes by Wheatley Homes South at Nursery Avenue include a mix of one, two, three and four-bedroom homes and one larger family house.
Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson was given a tour of the 19 new homes by Wheatley Homes South Managing Director Alan Glasgow.
The new homes are highly-insulated, cutting down on carbon emissions, and they also feature highly energy-efficient boilers and solar panels to help reduce tenants’ heating bills.
Mr Carson met Wheatley Homes South customer Sylvia Collins, 78, who previously lived in a private rental property which was unsuitable for her due to her sight and mobility issues.
Sylvia said: “I have had quite a few health problems and, with limited sight, my previous home which had stairs, wasn’t suitable for me. It has made a huge difference to me moving to a bungalow and having everything on one level.
“I’m over the moon at my new home. I have never been happier and I really appreciate all the support and help from Wheatley Homes South and everything they have done for me.”
Speaking after the visit, Finlay Carson MSP said: “It was a great pleasure to speak to Sylvia, who is absolutely delighted with her new home and, rightly so, as it has given her a new lease of life.
“As she explained moving into a bungalow has made it so much easier for her and makes all the difference.”
As well as a visit to the new-build homes, the MSP and Wheatley Homes South looked at how to boost employment opportunities for young people.
The MSP added: “It was good to have a chat with Alan about the need for more apprentices in order to boost the local skilled workforce.
“I am hopeful that Wheatley Homes South will give this careful consideration in the coming months and I hope to have further discussions with them over the possibility.”
Alan Glasgow, Managing Director of Wheatley Homes South, was delighted to give a tour of the new homes – and pledged to help young people in the area.
He said: “I was very pleased to show Finlay Carson MSP around our new-build development at Nursery Avenue.
“As we heard during the tour, new homes can change people’s lives and transform communities. These modern, safe, energy-efficient homes on this development are a great addition to Stranraer.
“We both share the interest in helping young people into apprenticeships. I am proud that since 2018 more than 200 apprenticeships have been created for Wheatley customers across Dumfries and Galloway. I would encourage any Wheatley Homes South customer aged 16 and over who is interested in finding out more about our apprenticeship programmes to speak to their housing officer.”
The plans are part of the commitments made to tenants following the decision to join Wheatley Group in 2019.
These commitments included making improvements to homes and services, upgrading existing homes and delivering hundreds of new homes, jobs, training and apprenticeship opportunities across the region.
Wheatley Group is planning to build 4000 new homes across Scotland by 2026.
The homes at Nursery Avenue for Wheatley Homes South, part of Wheatley Group, were built by contractors McTaggart Construction.
Gary Climson, McTaggart Chair, said: “McTaggart Construction is delighted to have worked with Wheatley Homes South and other stakeholders to deliver this development of new family housing in Stranraer and we hope the tenants enjoy their new homes.
“We are also proud of the positive impact generated via our Community Benefits Programme, including creating jobs for local young people through the Kickstart Initiative.”