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Edinburgh housing development upgrades accessibility

An Edinburgh housing development has unveiled its brand new, modern and stylish lift, which will boost the independence of residents as well as the accessibility of the building.

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Blackwood’s Laura Fergusson Court, a sheltered housing development for those living with disabilities, held a special ribbon-cutting celebration to mark the occasion, and tenant Mike Cavanagh did the honours of declaring the lift officially open.

The new lift is replacing a 40-year-old one, which had seen better days and was no longer fit for purpose. This is just one of the upgrades that the development has made to improve the lives of its tenants this year, having unveiled a sleek, newly revamped lounge in February to commemorate its 35th anniversary.

At Laura Fergusson Court, the emphasis is on tenants being as independent as possible and they are encouraged to undertake all aspects of daily living tasks as best they can. Tenants’ input was an important part of the lounge refurbishment process earlier this year, and they were involved in selecting everything from the colour scheme to the curtains.

Jenny Deed, Housing Team Leader, said:

“We have a lot of tenants with mobility difficulties, so the new lift will make a big difference.

“It has been specially designed with coloured panels on the walls, braille buttons and has a much softer landing.

“While we didn’t have any problems with the old lift breaking down, it was due to be renewed. The brand new lift gives us confidence that it will be reliable for tenants for many years.”

Patrick Connolly, Assets Officer for Blackwood, added:

“The project was completed slightly ahead of schedule. It took a total five and a half weeks to finish the new lift, meaning we could provide tenants with better access quicker.

“Everything went very, very well and the tenants were great. They were very curious; when we took the old lift out, they all wanted to look inside the pit to see what it actually looks like.

“The contractor we were working with, Omega, which installed the lift, had a very good rapport with the tenants, which of course makes a massive difference and the job much easier.”