HOUSING association River Clyde Homes has handed over the first 50 flats at its waterfront development at James Watt Dock in Greenock.
Over the last five weeks, during lockdown, customers have been moving, in phases, into their new homes constructed by Cruden Building.
When complete, there will be 137 homes over five blocks at the historic dock site.
Among those moving in are John and Elizabeth Bryan, who married 57 years ago and have lived in Inverclyde all their lives.
They had been living in one of the flats behind the historic, but recently closed, Sir Gabriel Wood’s Mariners’ Home in the West End for 11 years.
“We were settled within a week,” said Elizabeth who is happy with the location and its proximity to public transport and shops. She’s also enjoying the views and has been keeping an eye on a family of swans she sees passing daily.
John, who hails originally from Port Glasgow has the sea in his blood, so feels very much at home. He worked in the merchant navy and then at Scotts Yard in Greenock as a rigger.
“I worked at the Great Harbour for a while too,” he said. “And it’s been really nice to look out over the much changed and quieter landscape.”
Elizabeth backs this up, saying: “John’s perfectly happy just watching the ships and boats go by.”
She added: “This is the kind of home we know we’ll be happy in and, as our daughters live in the area, it’s perfect for us. The staff at River Clyde Homes were terrific and helped us along every step of the way.”
It’s a far cry from their first family home in Greenock town centre, which was a room and kitchen with an outside toilet. “I couldn’t be going back to that,” laughs Elizabeth. “Thank goodness for progress!”
The development is scheduled to be completed in August and is part of River Clyde Homes’s programme to build more than 450 new homes. Work is well underway on two more sites in Port Glasgow.
Carine Strain, senior asset and development manager at River Clyde Homes, said: “It’s always a pleasure to hand over new homes to customers, but particularly at this time, when everyone is facing so many challenges in their lives.
“My thanks go to all those who have been involved in getting this magnificent development to completion — from the design team to the planners and our own staff who have managed the project and helped customers settle in.
“Particular thanks must go to Cruden Building who worked tirelessly to ensure the homes could be delivered as soon as possible despite a period of Government restrictions.”
Christopher Dunn, Operations Manager at Cruden Building said: “It’s great to see how happy The Bryans are in their new home and the progress that we are making in delivering this landmark new waterfront development which provides quality, energy-efficient homes with stunning River Clyde views.
“Throughout this development, Cruden has supported the local area by providing 13 full time jobs, three apprenticeships, four work placements and providing donations and support to local schools and nurseries.”