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Regeneration blossoms at final phase of Muirton development

The completion of a 12-year regeneration project brings the community together to mark the occasion.

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The completion of the final stage of the Muirton regeneration project in Perth brought together Caledonia Housing Association, Perth & Kinross Council, Fairfield Housing Co-op & Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, this week.

To mark the end of the project, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart, Caledonia Housing Association chief executive Julie Cosgrove, and Caledonia HA chairperson, Penny Coburn, planted a blossom tree in the Carnegie Place play area along with a ceremonial plaque with a little help from young Alfie Smullen, one of Fairfield Housing Co-operative’s local tenants.

The £52.5million Muirton regeneration has spanned 12 years with nine phases and was undertaken by a partnership agreement between Perth & Kinross Council, Fairfield Housing Co-op and Caledonia Housing Association with Caledonia leading the project.

It has seen the demolition of 564 dwellings - predominantly tenement flats - replaced with 409 mixed tenure new homes, on the site adjacent to the former St Johnstone football ground. This has included 180 homes available for affordable rent by Caledonia Housing Association with a further 84 homes for affordable rent by Fairfield Housing Co-op.  Caledonia Housing Association have also provided 46 homes for sale via the Scottish Government’s Shared Equity scheme and 101 homes have been developed for private sale by Urban Union.

The long-term regeneration objectives were to revitalise an area of Perth with high levels of unemployment and high levels of deprivation, creating a greater sense of community pride and engagement. The development masterplan has created a community flat, neighbourhood play areas and an innovative electric car sharing club for residents via Co Wheels. 

Speaking at the event, Julie Cosgrove, Caledonia Housing Association’s chief executive, said:

“We are immensely proud of the regeneration of Muirton. This project hasn’t just been about building houses, but also about restoring a sense of community and reinvigorating the area. 

“Before the regeneration, the area suffered from poor housing, low demand and high levels of anti-social behaviour. Now there is high demand for the quality housing that has been built and we see a community that’s much more settled.”

Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, Kevin Stewart MSP, added:

“Over the last 12 years we have worked in partnership with Caledonia Housing Association, Perth & Kinross Council and Fairfield Housing Co-op to deliver a range of homes which meet the varying needs of tenants. It’s a great example of the high standards being set and the benefits of partnership working.

“The Government’s £15million of funding has helped to support affordable housing in Perth and Kinross in 2018-2019, with over 210 new homes estimated to be completed by the end of March 2019.

“Making sure everyone has a safe, warm and affordable home is central to this Government's drive for a fairer and more prosperous Scotland, improving quality of life for families and the wider community.”

Councillor Peter Barrett, convenor of the housing and communities committee, who represented Muirton Park over the whole regeneration program continued:

“The transformation to Muirton Park has been profound. The difference is not just physical, even though the look and feel of the neighbourhood is now completely different. There is still a strong sense of community and a much more diverse community.

“There is a complete mix of tenures: council, Caledonia and Fairfield housing, shared equity, social rented, mid-market rent and private ownership, where previously we had a monolithic council house estate of hard to let houses. This has been an excellent example of urban regeneration delivered by committed local partners.”

Bob McDougall, chairperson of Fairfield Housing Co-operative, said:

“We have been delighted to play our part along with other partners in the transformation of Muirton and the delivery of much needed high-quality housing choices for those in need. The range and quality of housing and surrounding environment that we have achieved is fantastic and the popularity of the area today is testament to this.”

Neil McKay, managing director at Urban Union, added:

“Reaching today’s major milestone in the regeneration of Muirton is something we can all be extremely proud of. Working closely with Caledonia Housing Association, Perth & Kinross Council and Fairfield Housing Co-op has allowed us to deliver a project that will have a transformative impact on the local community, giving residents a sense of pride in the place they call home.”

Photo: (pictured left to right) Penny Coburn, Caledonia chairperson; Julie Cosgrove, chief executive at Caledonia; Kevin Stewart MSP; and Alfie Smullen, Muirton resident.