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New homes play critical part in evolution of Alloa town centre

It can be incredibly hard to know what to do with urban spaces that have become derelict. The decisions over how and when it’s best to redevelop, as well as finding the funding, are far from easy. But a team at Clackmannanshire Council together with Kingdom Housing Association seem to have started something pretty special.

 

 

Primrose Street in Alloa before work took place

The above space in Primrose Street in Alloa had a Coop in it for many years and more recently had been used for car parking. But it was felt that bringing more people back to live in the town could be a big part of a regeneration of Alloa, and so permission was granted to build sixty new flats. It’s a site just opposite Alloa’s Speirs Centre, which hosts a library and community archives. There’s shops on the doorstep, supermarkets close at hand and easy access to buses and the train station.  

All these factors meant that it was a perfect spot to create housing that would attract every generation. The plan was to create a “new chapter in the evolution of Alloa town centre – once again making it a living place, particularly for older people.” 

 

Artist’s impression of the new development (pic courtesy of Kingdom Housing Association)

It was therefore also decided that a number of the flats would be designed to be dementia friendly. A big part of the intent was to create “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”

Another artist’s impression of the new development (pic courtesy of Kingdom Housing Association)

The teams used age-friendly design elements such as mobility scooter charging points and wide balconies and corridors. There was also early engagement with health and social care professionals and dementia care specialists to help identify simple but effective design measures to benefit elderly residents and those with dementia. Residents began to move in during February 2023 and it is now fully occupied.

Primrose Street now

The development was the starting point of ‘Living Alloa’, an initiative by Clackmannanshire Council, the Business Improvement District body Alloa First and Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface, a third sector body tasked with delivering improvements to the town centre. 

The Primrose Street project was awarded the 2022 Scotland Loves Local Town Centre Living Award. The 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.” 

The broader “Living Alloa” project also won a SURF “improving Scotland’s Place” award in 2022. The judges said:

“The physical regeneration of the former Co‐op site has been an important landmark for the town. It has delivered a new iconic building which re‐ establishes former street patterns. It also complements the investment made a decade ago in re‐developing the Speirs Centre, directly opposite, as the area’s main library, community access point and Registrars.

The judges were inspired by the place‐based approach in Alloa that has rejected a quick physical makeover in favour of a ‘forever’ project that is rooted in delivering positive long‐term outcomes for people and place. Strong local leadership has nurtured community and business support through a clear strategic plan to create a more active, attractive and accessible place. These early projects have been a catalyst to bring stakeholders together. A broad group of partners are now invested in delivering a positive future for the town over the next decade.”

The project was a winner at the Scotland Loves Local Awards 2022

 

Primrose Street in Alloa before work took place

The above space in Primrose Street in Alloa had a Coop in it for many years and more recently had been used for car parking. But it was felt that bringing more people back to live in the town could be a big part of a regeneration of Alloa, and so permission was granted to build sixty new flats. It’s a site just opposite Alloa’s Speirs Centre, which hosts a library and community archives. There’s shops on the doorstep, supermarkets close at hand and easy access to buses and the train station.  

All these factors meant that it was a perfect spot to create housing that would attract every generation. The plan was to create a “new chapter in the evolution of Alloa town centre – once again making it a living place, particularly for older people.” 

 

Artist’s impression of the new development (pic courtesy of Kingdom Housing Association)

It was therefore also decided that a number of the flats would be designed to be dementia friendly. A big part of the intent was to create “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”

Another artist’s impression of the new development (pic courtesy of Kingdom Housing Association)

The teams used age-friendly design elements such as mobility scooter charging points and wide balconies and corridors. There was also early engagement with health and social care professionals and dementia care specialists to help identify simple but effective design measures to benefit elderly residents and those with dementia. Residents began to move in during February 2023 and it is now fully occupied.

Primrose Street now

The development was the starting point of ‘Living Alloa’, an initiative by Clackmannanshire Council, the Business Improvement District body Alloa First and Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface, a third sector body tasked with delivering improvements to the town centre. 

The Primrose Street project was awarded the 2022 Scotland Loves Local Town Centre Living Award. The 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.” 

The broader “Living Alloa” project also won a SURF “improving Scotland’s Place” award in 2022. The judges said:

“The physical regeneration of the former Co‐op site has been an important landmark for the town. It has delivered a new iconic building which re‐ establishes former street patterns. It also complements the investment made a decade ago in re‐developing the Speirs Centre, directly opposite, as the area’s main library, community access point and Registrars.

The judges were inspired by the place‐based approach in Alloa that has rejected a quick physical makeover in favour of a ‘forever’ project that is rooted in delivering positive long‐term outcomes for people and place. Strong local leadership has nurtured community and business support through a clear strategic plan to create a more active, attractive and accessible place. These early projects have been a catalyst to bring stakeholders together. A broad group of partners are now invested in delivering a positive future for the town over the next decade.”

The project was a winner at the Scotland Loves Local Awards 2022

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