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Blow for school project

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By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Blow for school project

A HOUSING provider has pulled out of plans to create eight flats within the Lockerbie Old School (LOS) redevelopment, saying it’s no longer financially viable.

Cunninghame Housing Association (CHA) yesterday publicly confirmed their withdrawal from the project and said it was ‘with much regret’.

They had been a delivery partner on the scheme and had worked closely with the LOS team for the last four years, providing assistance and advice on the delivery of the project, as well as drawing up their own proposals for eight assisted living flats.

Acting chief executive Linda Anderson said: “CHA’s focus has always been on assisting LOS with the delivery of this much needed community resource for the benefit of the people of Lockerbie whilst also providing support by purchasing and developing the rear of the Old School building into eight one bedroom wheelchair accessible flats.

“Sadly, in the current environment, the proposed purchase and development of the rear of the building is no longer financially viable, giving rise to significant additional risks for the Association which, as a charity and responsible registered social landlord had to be considered. The Association has decided it could not satisfactorily mitigate these additional risks and has therefore taken the decision to withdraw as a delivery partner for the project.”

A spokesperson for CHA also wished Lockerbie Old School Trust well in “their continued endeavours to deliver this much needed facility for Lockerbie”. He stated that although unable to assist with the physical delivery of the project, the Association can continue to offer support through its social and economic development department in relation to business planning, financial projections, governance and funding.

Responding to the move, LOS said: “This last minute decision has been difficult for both parties, but we have come this far and learned a great deal along our journey; including a very steep learning curve in the world of construction, procurement and project management this year! As a result, we know that we will be just fine going it ‘alone’, alongside our trusty design team and supportive funders.

“We wish CHA well and thank them for their help. We have learned so much from them and as a result we have become an organisation who can stand alone and will make the Old School a fabulous place for the community to learn, hang out and grow in.”

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