business support, charities, community, housing

Jobs boost as Scots Secretary opens housing HQ

A SCOTS housing association unveiled its new HQ today – along with plans to recruit around 20 new staff.

Dunedin Canmore Housing Association said it was advertising a variety of jobs as part of a growth strategy.

The news came as Scottish Secretary Alistair Darling officially opened the Association’s new offices at New Mart Road in Edinburgh. The new HQ is part of the Quadrant – a multi-million pound development next to the city’s historic Corn Exchange.

Dunedin Canmore was formed in April this year as the result of a merger between Canmore and Dunedin Housing Associations. The not-for-profit body now manages nearly 4000 homes around Edinburgh, West Lothian and Fife.

Chief executive Ewan Fraser said: “We merged to provide a better service to tenants and to expand our operations. Opening our new base at New Mart Road is part of that process.

“The new offices will be home to around 100 of our staff. We’re also currently in the process of recruiting 20 new people. Dunedin Canmore operates on a not-for-profit basis, but plays a vital role, providing much-needed homes and investment for local communities.”

Mr Darling, the local MP for the area, said: “Both Dunedin and Canmore have provided a tremendous service for their tenants over many, many years. I am delighted to be able to open their new office. The housing association movement has achieved a great deal and it will continue to do so in the future.”

Association staff who were previously based in offices in Dalry Road, High Riggs and Bonnington Road in the city have moved to the new HQ.

The housing association – behind the car-free housing development at Slateford Green in Edinburgh – is using solar panels to provide heating and hot water for the new offices. There are also bike shelters, to encourage staff and visitors to cycle to the new HQ.

Mr Fraser said: “The new office is just one step in developing a new, dynamic housing association where quality is the key word. By providing an excellent working environment for our staff we hope to deliver an even better level of service for our tenants.”

He continued: “Although we’re a registered charity, with voluntary board members, we’re looking at expanding our services through two subsidiaries. Plans are at an early stage, but we believe these will improve our range our services and increase our financial strength.”

The Association currently has a turnover of around £12 million a year and has assets worth around £176 million. As well as families, it provides housing and support to single people, couples, the elderly, wheelchair users and ethnic minorities. It works in partnership with a wide range of agencies including local councils and the government agency Communities Scotland. You can find out more about the Association online at
http://www.dunedincanmore.org.uk/

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

* Dunedin Canmore staff will be in good company in their new home at the Quadrant. Other organisations moving to neighbouring offices include Trust Housing Association, the NHBC and the Federation of Master Builders.

* The Quadrant was previously part of the Gorgie Livestock Market. It has been re-developed by Quadrant (Edinburgh) Limited, in conjunction with housebuilder Bellway.

* The site includes five office pavilions – two occupied by Dunedin Canmore – and around 80 residential units, including 13 town houses. Dunedin Canmore, through its subsidiary Malcolm Homes, has acquired 12 affordable homes within the development. These will be rented out to key workers.

* The shell of the office buildings and general layout of the new HQ was designed by Susan Stephen Architects in Edinburgh. The Association’s base combines two of the pavilions, extending to 28,816 sq ft. Construction of the shell started in July 2004 and was completed in March 2005. The Association moved to the new offices earlier this month (August 2005).

* The fit out was designed and project managed by Dunedin Canmore in conjunction with CB Richard Ellis Building Consultancy. Faber Maunsell providing mechanical and electrical services consultancy. The fit out was carried out by Sharkey, which started work in March 2005, and completed on programme at the end of July. The work involved taking the building from shell specification to a fully completed office, including wall linings, floors and ceilings, partitions, toilets and all finishes and services. The services specification includes the most up to date LG3 lighting design and full heating and cooling throughout the building. The building design also allows for natural ventilation outside for the annual seasons when cooling is not required. The heating of the central core areas and hot water are boosted by solar panels, in keeping with sustainability policies of the Association. Externally, enclosed bicycle shelters have been provided to encourage cycle travel by staff and visitors.
Issued by THEPRSTORE on behalf of Dunedin Canmore Housing Association

For more information, please contact
Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store
T: 01506 823714
M: 07967 150560
E: Adrian@theprstore.net
Ewan Fraser
Chief Executive
Dunedin Canmore Housing Association
T: 0131 624 5600

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