WORK to transform Langholm’s former police station into high-quality affordable housing is set to get underway.
A £92,000 grant to the Eskdale Foundation from South of Scotland Enterprise (SoSE) was the final piece of funding needed for the community development trust to move forward with its plans to convert the closed cop shop into four affordable flats.
The local force relocated to the Town Hall from the Buccleuch Square building in 2010. Since, it has deteriorated and become an eyesore for many of the burgh’s residents.
A public consultation in 2017 returned a consensus amongst townspeople that the best option was to redevelop the structure as rented apartments.
The project, costed at just under £600,000, has also been supported by the Scottish Government’s Rural and Islands Housing Fund, DGC Town Centre Living Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund and Muirhall Energy, with a significant contribution also coming from the Eskdale Foundation.
The foundation’s director Ronnie Tait said: “SoSE’s support has allowed the Eskdale Foundation to progress much more quickly with this project and without their help, it would have been much more difficult for us to move forward with our plans.
“We are extremely grateful to SOSE for relieving the pressure, and for all the help and advice we have received from our community advisor who has supported us on this journey.”
Enterprise chair Professor Russel Griggs added: “The Eskdale Foundation put the needs of their community at the heart of what they do and we are delighted to be able to support this project.
“Local communities are the lifeblood of our towns, villages and our economy. As the economic and community development agency for the region, we are here to listen first-hand to what businesses, communities and individuals need – and then respond.
“The provision of affordable housing and town centre regeneration will be an important building block in Covid-19 recovery, as Langholm seeks to attract employers and rebrand as a tourist town.
“We are committed to continuing to work with communities, such as Langholm and the Eskdale Foundation, to support them in their aspirations as we recover, ensuring we remain a region of opportunity.”