Awards for project bringing new life to empty homes

A project which has brought 100 empty homes back into use across Argyll and Bute has won two major awards.

The council says the project means local people have more options when it comes to finding affordable housing.Kelly Fearns and Moira MacVicar

The awards from the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership recognise work during the past year in providing advice to homeowners.

The council received the Scottish Empty Homes Champion of the year award for Outstanding Project, with judges recognising elements such as innovation and commitment to best practice.

The second winner was the Campbeltown Townscape Heritage Initiative, which received the prize for Best Before and After Photo after providing grant funding to enable a tenement to be brought back into use after it had been placed on the Buildings at Risk Register.

The awards were presented at Shelter Scotland’s annual conference aimed at sharing best practice and experiences of bringing privates sector empty homes back into use.

Kristen Hubert, empty homes coordinator for the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, said: “Argyll and Bute Council are a deserving winner of this award.

“Over the past two years the council has built up an effective and wide ranging strategy for tackling empty homes, not easy when covering such a huge geographical area.”

A total of 20 empty homes have been brought back into use in the Helensburgh and Lomond area.

Empty homes officer Kelly Fearns and housing services manager Moira MacVicar are pictured at the awards ceremony in Glasgow.