Loans to kick start housing projects
A £10 million loan fund designed to kick-start stalled housing projects has awarded funding to three projects.
The Housebuilding Infrastructure Loans Fund offers help to housing builders, unable to attract private-sector finance, to invest in the infrastructure needed for projects to go ahead.
The first tranche of loans sees £3 million awarded to projects in Glasgow, West Lothian and Inverness, supporting physical infrastructure such as roads, sewers, pipes and cables.
The second round of the fund, amounting to £7 million, will see the scope widened and some criteria relaxed. The requirement for detailed planning permission being in place at the time of application, will no longer be a prerequisite for loan funding.
Housing Minister Keith Brown said:
“The current tough financial climate, exacerbated by Westminster's short-sighted and economically damaging capital spending cuts, has made it hard for companies to take forward major housing developments across Scotland.
"These first loans that I have announced today will help companies speed up their plans to build the roads or lay the pipes and cables that mean housing developments can proceed.
"We have revised the criteria for the next round of funding, untying the red tape so that more companies can come forward with their infrastructure proposals.”
Gary Watt of ISIS Waterside Regeneration Ltd said:
"Isis is delighted to have been successful in securing support from the Housebuilding Infrastructure Loan Fund.
“The loan will be critical in helping us deliver the next stages of our ambitious regeneration project at Maryhill Locks which, along with other initiatives of this scale and kind, face significant infrastructure challenges that cannot easily be resolved with traditional funding methods".
Allan Lundmark, Director of Planning of industry body Homes for Scotland said:
“With the Scottish home building industry continuing to face challenging market conditions, today’s announcement confirms the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to assisting home builders to invest in the upfront infrastructure needed to unlock development projects across the country.
“This funding encourages efficient investment to support physical infrastructure which is much-needed in the current economic environment.”
- Detailed guidance on how to apply to the second phase of the fund
- Maryhill Locks, Glasgow – a loan of £668,000 provided towards a total housing investment of £9.622m. Housing project will provide 88 units for sale. The developer is ISIS Waterside Regeneration Ltd.
- Armadale Station, West Lothian – a loan of £500,000 as part of a total housing investment of £200m across the major Armadale Station development. Project will unlock site for 400 units with potential for a further 400 units in subsequent phases linked to provision of a primary school. The developer is EWP Investments Limited.
- Ness Castle, Inverness – a loan of £1.9 million against total infrastructure costs of £3.972m. Project will provide roads and other infrastructure which will unlock 360 units in initial phases and a further 450 in subsequent phases covered by master plan. The developer is The Richard Tyser Overseas Settlement Trustees.