Best small retirement housing design for Global Awards shortlisted

LONDON: The shortlist for the best small retirement housing design has been declared.

Over 250 designs have been considered by the awards secretariat. One of the finalists in this category is shown below.

A Melrose-based housing developer has broken ground on a new 14-flat retirement complex in the town centre, with support from Bank of Scotland.

Rural Renaissance Limited (RRL) is the parent company of JS Crawford Contracts, a fourth-generation family housebuilding and construction company building high quality housing in the Borders for more than 75 years.

The business has seen substantial growth in recent years and has a current annual turnover of £7m. The firm is one of the largest property developers in the Scottish Borders and has live sites in Melrose, Kelso and Galashiels.

RRL recently commenced the construction of 14 flats adjacent to Waverley Road near the centre of Melrose. The four-floor complex will feature a mix of two and three-bedroom properties and is being built in conjunction with a new gym and health spa behind the complex for new homeowners.

To support the project, RRL received a six-figure development funding package from Bank of Scotland. With construction now underway, the firm expects the flats to complete by Christmas 2022.

The business has created 40 jobs and one apprenticeship position to support with the project.

Michael Crawford, managing director at Rural Renaissance Limited, said: “While Rural Renaissance has been building housing in the Borders since 2010, the new Westgrove project will be our first aimed at those looking to retire.

“Bank of Scotland helped massively with setting this project in motion. The financial support has given us the ability to push ahead with the build and create a host of new jobs for local people.

“As a Borders business, we’re passionate about the local area. Above providing suitable homes for all, our calculations show that the new development will provide an economic boost for the town with roughly £1.5m of investment in the local area.”

Douglas Spowart, relationship director at Bank of Scotland, said: “With the number of people in Scotland aged over 65 set to rise to around 1.3 million over the next 10 years, the demand for senior living accommodation will likely continue to grow.

“The decision by Rural Renaissance to expand into this sector is therefore a timely one and we’re proud to have supported the firm with its first retirement project in the Scottish Borders.

“The new Melrose development is another example of the incredible innovation being shown by firms across the country. As we look to move beyond recovery and towards growth, we’ll continue to stand by Scottish businesses looking to innovate and explore new opportunities.”

The Global Award winner will be announced in December in London. (Globals)