Scotland Loves Local Town Centre Living Award
Winner: Clackmannanshire Council (Primrose Street, Alloa)
The transformation of Alloa’s former Co-op site into 60 high-quality flats has been rewarded for its re-energising impact on town centre rejuvenation.
The Primrose Street project saw Clackmannanshire Council and Kingdom Housing Association presented with the Streets and Spaces prize, sponsored by Page / Park.
Judges were told: “Creating this type of development in the town centre was a new step for the Council, and marked a new chapter in the evolution of Alloa town centre – once again making it a living place, particularly for older people. Services such as shops, a post office, public transport, Council offices and library are now easily accessible.
“The development will have a hugely positive impact on the surrounding area and is providing a housing solution to maximise the time the local ageing community can remain within their own homes, supported by further improvements around the town centre.”
Clackmannanshire Council, working in partnership with Kingdom Housing Association, recognised that residential development has an important part to play in supporting the regeneration of Alloa town centre and diversifying it as a living space.
The former Co-op site was regarded as a blight on the area – sitting empty and derelict.
The design of the flats – an intergenerational development – is dementia-informed.
Council leaders and the landlords acknowledge that providing adaptable, affordable housing helps meet the long-term needs of many – providing suitable, energy-efficient homes for older people, while freeing up other larger properties for larger families.
The Primrose Street nomination added: “The council acquired the site with an existing, acceptable, but unremarkable planning permission in place. The council had an ambition to create a high quality town centre living environment for people of all ages and an exemplar for independent living. Kingdom Housing Association shared that ambition, and took forward the development of the site.
“Its completion, along with the related streetscape projects and Alloa Hub are re-energising this blighted part of Alloa town centre.
“The town centre is ready to welcome its new residents, both with the physical changes made and the alignment of Council, business and third sector services in making a great living environment.
“Even before the development has been occupied, footfall around the area is markedly higher, with streets and alleyways that were often avoided, particularly after dark, now seen as safe and pleasant spaces to pass through.”
A key component of the support network around the development is the opening of Alloa Hub – a new space for the community which is home to a range of activities focussing on physical and mental health, in a converted former public toilet only a few yards from the development.
The new housing is also directly opposite the main library and community access point for council services.
The runners-up were Argyll and Bute Council (Campbeltown Town Centre Regeneration) and South of Scotland Community Housing (Wigtown’s former Bank of Scotland redevelopment, Dumfries and Galloway).
Runners - Up
Argyll and Bute Council (Campbeltown Town Centre Regeneration)
South of Scotland Community Housing (Wigtown former Bank of Scotland redevelopment)
Town Centre Living was sponsored by Page Park Architects