Flats deliver homes and jobs

New council houses on Lenzie Road
New council houses on Lenzie Road

A new £1.6 million council house development has meant a new start for local tenants and a new career for five hard-working youngsters.

East Dunbartonshire Council has built 16 new homes, consisting of two and three bedroom flats and a three bed maisonette, on the site of the former Townhead Clinic on Kirkintilloch’s Lenzie Road.

The site was purchased for affordable housing from the NHS in 2012.

The three storey building mixes the old with the new, featuring a priceless piece of Kirkintilloch history in the form of the old Co-op clock.

The new homes were allocated to current tenants who needed to either upsize or downsize or move for medical reasons.

The good news doesn’t end there, for the development gave a vital first rung on the career ladder for six local youngsters who were employed as a trainee for six months - five of whom secured permanent employment with builders McTaggart Construction Ltd and their sub-contractors.

In addition, ten young people also gained work experience in various trades while working on site for a four week period.

Council depute leader Ashay Ghai, who officially opened the development recently said: “This project is a true win-win for everyone involved. Not only have 16 families got lovely new homes to live in, but the appearance of the area is much improved and five young people now have promising futures after gaining vital experience while working on the development. You don’t get much better than that.”

The council received assistance from the Scottish Government, which provided a £480,000 grant towards the £1.6 million build cost.

The development also added benefit to the local community, in the form of a new piece of play equipment in Woodhead Park.

Council officers and the contractor worked with the Whitegates Tenants and Residents Association to come up with the best choice for the local community.

A musical trail was chosen - an interactive piece of equipment for children aged two and over consisting of chimes, rattles, xylophone and a wash board to bring out the children’s musical creativity.