Work begins on Raining’s Stairs housing development

An artists impression of the flats at Raining's Stairs

Work has started on a new housing development at a prominent gap site in Inverness.

Work began on the site beside Raining’s Stairs on June 5 and the housing should be complete by next summer.

Sixteen new flats will be built by city firm William Gray Construction.

The development is a partnership between the Highland Housing Alliance and Highland Council, with funding from the Scottish Government delivered through the city region deal, which has a £5million allocation for affordable housing.

The Raining’s Stairs, which link the Crown area and the city centre, has lain derelict and run down for some years and permission was granted for the new development in December.

This development will be made up of one and two bedroom flats, with six flats available at an affordable rent from Highland Council.

A further 10 flats will be available at a mid-market rent from the Highland Housing Alliance as part of the affordable housing project.

The development will also include a commercial unit, suitable for use as an office or retail space.

Builders William Gray Construction have worked with the housing alliance on a previous project on Academy Street which delivered 31 new flats.

Housing alliance chief executive Gail Matheson said: “The Raining’s Stairs development will regenerate the area, building 16 new flats for rent to local people and families.

“The inclusion of a ground floor commercial unit will offer a local business opportunity further enhancing the area.”

The apartments will take their name from the adjacent stairs, which were named after John Raining, the founder of a school which was established in the area in 1747.

Highland Council leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson, welcomed the sixteen new homes at Inverness’ Raining’s Stairs.

She said: “Highland Council and partners are breathing new life back into Inverness city centre. Affordable housing is essential across the Highlands and it is fantastic to see this new development taking place at a key location in Inverness.

“The City-Region Deal money will see similar projects provide much needed affordable housing across the Highland region.”

Willie Gray, managing director of William Gray Construction and Ark Estates, said: “This is a part of the city which is crying out for regeneration and we are proud to be helping bring that about at the same time as providing much needed high quality affordable rental housing.”