Loreburn Housing Association has been given the go-ahead by Dumfries and Galloway Council to build dementia-friendly housing alongside an innovative “youth foyer” on the site of the former Garrick Hospital in Stranraer.
The proposals, which were designed by Aitken Turnbull Architects, will see the creation of eight one-bed and four two-bed “extra care” dementia-friendly homes. New parking spaces for 37 vehicles will also be created on the site.
Built alongside the new homes, the Youth Foyer will offer supported accommodation for up to 12 young people, in order to combat youth homelessness and to increase employment and opportunity.
Youth Foyers, which are recognised as international best practice, provide safe and secure housing, support and training for young people aged 16 -25. The Stranraer Foyer will be a first for Dumfries and Galloway and only the second foyer in Scotland.
Young people living at the Foyer will be expected to be either in education, an apprenticeship, other employment or training, and will have access to volunteering opportunities within the community.
The Youth Foyer will also offer community access areas, a state of the art conference facility, breakout spaces and access to WiFi, creating a transformational space for Stranraer and Wigtownshire.
Lorraine Usher, chief executive at Loreburn Housing Association said: “Our idea to create dementia-friendly accommodation alongside a youth foyer in Stranraer has been on the cards for a long time, so to have got the go-ahead from Dumfries & Galloway Council is really exciting news for the whole community, as this is a development which will bring so many benefits. Everyone at Loreburn is delighted and I am especially pleased for development team who have worked hard to bring this project to fruition. By offering shared space which is accessible to grassroots and public bodies alike there is an opportunity to address issues that lead to poor health and wellbeing outcomes for people in the area.
“The Foyer will be there to give a helping hand to young people who are motivated to study or work, and the young people living there will be expected to make a positive contribution to their local communities. All youngsters must be either working, studying or volunteering.
“Loreburn is committed to creating great places to live and great communities for all. As the Foyer will be located right beside the dementia specific accommodation, it will also offer opportunities for intergenerational projects that involve both the young people and older people. This will help reduce social isolation in older people and increase civic participation for young people. Loreburn already has a successful track record of bringing younger and older people together through projects like the Galloway Gateway.”
She added: “The building will be for the whole community, who will be able to use its meeting rooms, break-out spaces and WiFi. The architects for the development have an excellent track record in residential design, and it will also be eco-friendly and sustainable, using a district heating system and photovoltaics.”
Work on the new development is expected to start on site in spring 2018 and finish in summer 2019.