Skip to main content
Oli Giles, Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust
Oli Giles, Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust

Supporting affordable housing

Like many other rural areas, Tomintoul and Glenlivet face a challenge in retaining and attracting young and economically active families which are critical to sustaining the local economy and services.

Feedback gathered by Tomintoul & Glenlivet Development Trust (TGDT) from local businesses and the wider community showed that a lack of good quality, affordable and secure accommodation is limiting the ability of families to move to or remain in the area, existing businesses to grow, and new businesses to start up. To attract new young, economically active people and businesses this housing shortage needs to be addressed.

The issue of housing was highlighted in the Dorenell Community Development Plan, produced in 2018. The Trust commissioned a Housing Needs and Demand Assessment in 2019 to quantify demand and determine the most appropriate site, size and type of development more accurately. This revealed significant demand for low carbon and affordable housing from both within and outside the Tomintoul and Glenlivet area. 50% of the demand in the Tomintoul and Glenlivet area was from the Glenlivet & Inveravon community.

Following further planning and fundraising, the Trust is now building twelve affordable and energy-efficient houses on the site of the former secondary school in Tomintoul. The new housing will be a combination of affordable to buy (discounted sale) and affordable rental properties, comprising two- and three-bedroom houses, all of which will be protected as affordable through a rural housing burden. Three of the properties will include integrated workspaces to support business growth. 

This ambitious project will cost £2,195,067, with the bulk of funding secured from the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund and Highlands & Islands Enterprise as well as anticipated income from sales and a mortgage from the Ecology Building Society. The contribution of £60,000 as a repayable grant from the EDF Renewables Dorenell Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund will provide cash flow and assist in the overall financial management of the project while ultimately being repaid into the fund, over the next ten years, to enable further grantmaking.

The twelve houses will have a capacity for 54 people, with around 50% of owners and tenants predicted to come from the fund area.

The project is a strong fit with the fund theme of Housing and Sustainable Development and related priorities of Housing Initiatives and Low Carbon and Green Initiatives.

Tilly Smith, Chair of TGTD, said:

"The interest free-loan provided by the Dorenell Community Benefit Fund reduces the overall amount of commercial borrowing against the project and reduces the risk to the Trust and community. The loan will also provide valuable cash-flow to the project which has secured 95% of its costs through grant funding from various sources.”