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Scottish Rural & Islands Housing Conf 2019
Easterbrook Hall

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Wed 30 - Fri 1, Nov from
10:30 to 13:30 (BST)


Easterbrook Hall
The Crichton, Bankend Road, Dumfries, DG1 4TA


From £425

About the Conference

The Scottish Rural and Islands Housing Conference covers a range of topical issues concerning rural housing and communities in Scotland.  As ever, the conference aims to update and inform delegates of the changes and initiatives that are taking place and to provide an opportunity for frank and open debate.

Key issues covered at this years conference include engaging communities, the case for rural investment, how we can demonstrate our value and making rural communities sustainable. 

Is This The Conference for You? 

The conference will be of interest to all organisations and anyone with an interest in rural housing issues, including staff and committee members from housing providers.

About the Venue

The conference will be held over two venues with the meeting and dinner at Easterbrook Hall and accommodation at the Holiday Inn Dumfries which is adjacent to the conference venue.

Holiday Inn Dumfries

The pre-conference RIHAF meeting will take place on Wednesday 30 October.

Instead of a study tour this years hosts, Loreburn Housing Association will be hosting a discussion event on their work on Housing, Fuel Poverty and an ageing population. Lunch will be provided .

Thank you to this years main conference sponsor Stewart & Shields for their support of this years conference.

Costs and How To Book

Residential bookings are from £425.00 for RIHAF members.

RIHAF Development of the Year Award

Could you be the next winner of RIHAFs Development of the Year Award?

This year’s conference will see the return of the RIHAF Development of the Year Award. The award is an opportunity for rural housing associations across Scotland to enter their best developments.

It’s easy to enter! Create a PowerPoint with a maximum of five slides which include good quality images of the development along with some text. Ideally, we are looking for images on each slide with either some bullet points or short text highlighting the main points of the development. This should be emailed to kdevin@sfha.co.uk or mstephen@sfha.co.uk by 16 October 2019.

You should include your organisation logo, the name of the development, when it was built and it its location. You should also highlight any issues such as design features, community involvement, sustainability, and in particular why your project should win!

To enter, the development must:

  • Have been completed onsite between March 2018 and March 2019
  • Be located in a rural location
  • Contain a significant proportion of affordable rented housing

All entries will be displayed throughout the conference and delegates will choose a winner to be announced on Friday morning.



Member Price £425

Non-member Price £495

Scottish Rural & Islands Housing Conf 2019 at Easterbrook Hall

The Crichton, Bankend Road, Dumfries, DG1 4TA


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Main Sponsor

Stewart & Shields

Sponsor Host

Loreburn Housing Association

Tea & Coffee Sponsor

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Nile Istephan  profile image

Nile Istephan
Eildon Housing Association

Nile was appointed as Chief Executive of Eildon Housing Association in April 2010. Prior to that he held several senior roles in Scottish Homes, Communities Scotland and the Scottish Government.

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Eildon Housing Association is the major provider of new build affordable housing in the Scottish Borders. The next 5 years will see a record breaking new build programme with over 750 new homes being provided across a diverse rural region.

Polly Jones profile image

Polly Jones
Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

Polly Jones joined SFHA as Head of Membership and Policy in April 2019. Prior to taking up the role, she was Project Manager for A Menu for Change Project at Oxfam Scotland. Polly has 20 years’ experience working on policy and campaigns for a range of civil society organisations. 

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Prior to her move to Scotland, she lived in London and was Head of Policy and Campaigns at Global Justice Now and spent 10 years working for public sector union UNISON. Polly has been Chair of the Trade Justice Movement and Vice-Chair of War on Want. She is an expert on the delivery of public services, committed to exposing the root causes of poverty – at home and internationally, and has a record of working with others to deliver change.

Jeremy Sainsbury OBE profile image

Jeremy Sainsbury OBE
Natural Power

Jeremy has over 30 years’ experience in the renewable energy sector.  He has been instrumental in the growth of international renewable energy consultancy Natural Power - the company employed just seven people when he joined as a Director, and now has almost 370 staff across 14 offices in 4 countries. 

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He is responsible for policy and regulation issues.  Natural Power work in wind, PV, hydro, biomass and renewable heat. They permit sites, carry out SI works, design sites, manage construction, carry our asset management and operations. Their control center is the largest in the UK with the exception of National Grid.

A serving Director of Energy UK, chairing their Renewable Energy Committee and a member of the Generation Committee; he works closely with The Scottish Government on policy for the renewable sector. He regularly works with Scottish Ministers on industry working groups. Jeremy was a founder member of Scottish Renewables, serving as chairman, vice chairman and chair of the grid group. He served on the SR board from 2000-2019. In 2013 he was awarded an OBE for services to renewable energy and to the community of Dumfries and Galloway.

Tony Cain profile image

Tony Cain

Now working as the Policy Manager for the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO) Tony’s career includes work in both central and local government and the Scottish Housing Regulator.            

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His previous post as Head of Housing and Customer Service with Stirling Council included strategic control of customer service, equalities, communications and advice.  He has also worked on secondment to the Scottish Government developing policy in relation to private sector housing.  More recently he spent 7 months working with the Scottish Futures Trust.  Tony is also a member of Shelter’s Scotland Committee and sits and an Ordinary Member on the First Tier Tribunal, Housing and Property Chamber.

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Nick Pollard
Kingdom Housing Association

Nick Pollard joined Kingdom Housing Association in 2015 after 9 years at Argyll Community Housing Association as their Director of Finance and prior to that a successful career in domestic and international banking along with a spell as a financial social housing regulator in England. 

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Nick has responsibility for Finance and Digital services as Director of Finance and Digital.  Nick has been responsible for delivery of Kingdom’s use of Allia Scottish Government Charitable bonds on 3 occasions over the last 4 years and the delivery of Kingdom’s £85 million private placement funding with international investors supporting the significant growth path of the Kingdom group of companies. Nick has also been a non executive board member of several social housing organisations throughout his career.

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