THE first phase of one of Glasgow’s biggest housing regeneration projects is complete and the first tenants have moved in to their new homes.

The overall £250m transformation of Sighthill in the north of the city is well underway with the new low rise houses with gardens a far cry from the huge, largely concrete scheme of grey slab blocks that dominated the skyline for decades.

Almost 150 new homes have so far risen from the dust of the demolished tower blocks, with hundreds more to come in the following phases.

The project was made possible from Glasgow’s bid to host the youth Olympics for which Sighthill was to be the Athletes Village.

But in a radical move the plans for regeneration were to go ahead regardless of the success of the bid.

The bid ultimately failed but the silver lining was the new housing could be started earlier and work got underway between GHA, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government to create a new Sighthill.

Before and after pictures show the progress in the transformation of the huge site which will also house student accommodation, a new school campus, new shops, green space and a bridge over the M8.

Residents said they are looking forward to the new community taking shape.

Nan McQueen, 84, has lived in the area for 50 years and has now moved into one of the new homes.

She said: “I moved to Sighthill in 1967 and lived in the high rise blocks in Pinkston Drive for 40 years. I loved it there.

“Now I live in a nice wee house. It has a walk-in shower and a handrail, which are a good help. The house is much warmer too.

“There have been a lot changes in Sighthill. It’s an exciting time.”

Housing Minister, Margaret Burgess, visited the development, which includes a mix of houses and flats, to meet the new tenants with Council leader Frank McAveety and GHA chair Gordon Sloan.

She said: “GHA’s 141 new homes are a welcome addition to this area and to the supply of affordable housing in Glasgow, offering people more choice and opportunities to find a home that suits their needs.

“This development is backed by £6m investment from the Scottish Government, and is not only a boost for the construction sector and wider economy, but it goes a long way towards the regeneration of this area.”

Mr McAveety, said the new homes were just the start of a quarter of a billion pound programme.

He said: “It’s great to see the people of Sighthill in these fantastic new homes, and this is just the first in a number of projects that will completely transform the area.

“The improvement to Sighthill that will be delivered through this £250million regeneration will see almost 800 new homes, a new school and sports campus, far better connections to the city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods and an eco-friendly environment.”

A major element of the first phase of the GHA development costing £13.7m is ensuring a high level of energy efficiency to save money on heating bills.

Mr Sloan said the tenants were pleased with the work.

He said: “These new GHA homes are the first phase in what will be a major transformation of Sighthill.

“Our tenants are already enjoying the benefits of living in these homes.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the regeneration progress as we continue to work with our partners at Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government on this important project.”

The future phases of the development will take place once the last two tower blocks in Pinkston Drive are demolished by the end of 2016.