A HELENSBURGH firm has won a place on a new £1.5bn framework to help local authorities and housing associations in Scotland commission new homes to meet demand for social housing.

Stewart & Shields Ltd is one of 19 construction companies across Scotland to have been appointed to the Scotland Excel ‘new build residential construction’ framework.

Scotland Excel says the framework will help to reduce the time it takes social landlords to engage a contractor to build new homes, including flats, houses and bungalows, as well as care homes and accommodation for supported living.

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Stewart & Shields previously won the contract to build the new pavilion at Hermitage Park in Helensburgh, being constructed to the tough 'Passivhaus' energy-saving standard, and a £2m contract to upgrade the Drumfork Community Centre in the town for the Royal Navy.

It's also currently building 10 new 'Passivhaus' homes for Argyll Community Housing Association in Garelochhead.

The framework was developed by Scotland Excel, Scotland’s centre of procurement expertise for local government, in conjunction with 11 funding councils, including Argyll and Bute Council.

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Argyll and Bute councillor Rory Colville, who is a member of Scotland Excel’s joint committee, said: “Scotland’s 32 local authority areas have set out plans which will see more than 40,000 new homes started across the country by 2024.

“Scotland Excel’s new build framework supports these plans and, in particular, the delivery of much-needed social housing. I am pleased to see a Helensburgh company among the suppliers, which offers the potential to create jobs and sub-contracting opportunities for local people and businesses.”

Stewart & Shields had to meet rigorous standards to be appointed to Scotland Excel’s New Build Residential Construction framework and the company has agreed to provide a range of community benefits including creating employment and training opportunities, paying the ‘real living wage’, and engaging with supported businesses and social enterprises where the value of works exceeds £1m.

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