Hjaltland is granted £200,000 by government for Lerwick flats

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Hjaltland Housing Association has this week been awarded £200,000 from the Scottish government which will enable the association to continue work on the North Star and Mooney’s Wake site in Lerwick.

The money represents the final tranche of funding from the Scottish government for this development. A previous award of nearly £450,000 allowed Hjaltland to acquire the Market Street site and do some initial design work on the project. This latest funding will allow progress to be made on the building of 15 flats on the site of the former nightspot and one-time cinema and the adjacent former pub. Both buildings are currently being demolished.

Hjaltland senior technical officer Paul Leask said: “Hjaltland is delighted to receive this funding which will allow us to progress development of 15 very much needed single-bedroom flats in Lerwick, which is a pressure area in terms of housing.”

This week’s funding boost brings the total investment from the government’s Innovation and Investment Fund (IIF) to £624,000. SIC has provided matched funding and Hjaltland will have to make up the difference through private finance.

Mr Leask said the building work would now go out to tender before the end of the year, with a site start expected in March. The construction is expected to take 18 months, with the flats ready by the end of 2013.

Hjaltland is currently on site at a 10-house development at Herrislea, Tingwall, at a two-house site in Eshaness and at the old Baptist kirk in Lerwick. This is being converted into six flats to be known as Sinclair Thomson House after a prominent local Baptist.

Meanwhile £60,000 of Scottish government funding has been awarded for two homes in Fair Isle.

The island, which is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, applied for funding with little hope of success but heard yesterday the money, which was awarded at the maximum rate of £30,000 per property, had been granted.

Inverness-based NTS group manager for countryside and islands north Alexander Bennett said the IIF money was part of a scheme to get derelict property not inhabited back into use.
The funding will be used to renovate the Midway croft house and to convert space within the old South Lighthouse into a flat.

Mr Bennett said: “We hoped we would be successful [in our funding application] but thought the chances were medium to low. But it has come through and we’re delighted. A lot of thanks must go to Shetland Islands Council for their letter of support which helped secure the funds.”

The family which owns the Midway croft and croft house is keen for the property to be re-let, he added.


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