Golden oldie block is a now a beauty

AN ugly-duckling housing block has had a major makeover and is now an award- winner.

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Fortrose House, in Partick, is more than 50 years old, but it has now been given a new lease of life.

And for its efforts, the housing association behind the revamp has won a top design award.

Partick Housing Association won the Domestic Retrofit Project of the Year title for the refurbishment at the Retro Expo Awards 2013.

The block, which has now reopened to residents, was a joint venture between the association and City Building Ltd.

Project manager Kate Waddle said she was delighted at the affect the revamped building has had on the community.

She said: "The building was in urgent need of rejuvenation.

"The occupants and local residents have remarked on the hugely positive impact the transformation of Fortrose House has had on the area.

"The works have enabled the tenants to enjoy thermally efficient, comfortable homes.

"Meanwhile, the building work is breathing new life into an ageing building and significantly improving the aesthetic impact of it on the surrounding environment."

Fortrose House was opened in the 1960s by the former Scottish Special Housing Association, and was taken over by Scottish Homes in 2001.

It features 53 flats, 11 of which are owner-occupied, and 42 owned by the housing association.

The improvements, which included new insulation, kitchens, bathrooms and windows along with new front doors, cost £2 million.

Glasgow City Council assisted in financing the project by providing a Private Sector Grant of £174,917 towards owners' costs.

Energy firm SSE provided funding of £40,300 to help improve the power facilities. This led to the majority of the building being rewired.

Before the work started, tenants were living with dampness, water ingress and heating issues.

Co-chairman of the Retro Expo Awards judging panel, Paul Ruyssevelt, from University College London, commented on the high standard of all buildings involved, including the winner.

He said: "Entries to the awards this year displayed considerable innovation and a clear commitment from industry.

"All entries displayed high-quality retrofit technologies, practices and projects."

Fortrose House is one of 12 city projects undertaken by Patrick Housing Association.


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            Michelle McManus            

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