Over 50 vulnerable men are to be offered new homes after a partnership enabled Lowther Homes, a subsidiary of Wheatley Group, to buy the Bellgrove Hotel, a private hostel in Glasgow's East End.
The site of the hotel will be developed as part of the ongoing work of the Gallowgate Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) with the 50 residents supported into a better future and offered the chance to move into Glasgow Housing Association homes. The work at the Gallowgate TRA has been underway for several years, with new homes already built at the eastern end of the area.
The hotel was put on the market in October 2020, and the deal for its purchase has been completed with effect from today, 1 April.
The acquisition was funded by Glasgow City Council (partly with funding from TMDF - Transfer of the Management of Development Funding - which the council manages on behalf of the Scottish Government, and Transforming Communities: Glasgow (TC:G). Transforming Communities: Glasgow - a partnership between Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Housing Association (a part of Wheatley Group) and the Scottish Government - is delivering community and housing-led regeneration at eight locations across the city.
Staff from Wheatley Care - a Wheatley Group subsidiary - will work with Glasgow's Health and Social Care Partnership to help the residents move on from the hostel into modern homes with tailored care and support in place for those who need it. Alternative accommodation with care will be offered to those who need it.
The site will then form part of the next phase of regeneration of the Gallowgate, driven by TC:G and by local people through a delivery group, with Lowther developing plans for mid-market rent homes as part of that.
The B-listed Bellgrove Hotel was originally built in the 1930s to provide accommodation for working men. In more recent years it became a hostel.
Patrick Flynn, Director of City Development at Glasgow City Council, said: "The acquisition of the Bellgrove Hotel by the council and our Transforming Communities: Glasgow partners will both allow the regeneration of the Gallowgate and pave the way for the hostel's residents to move to their own homes and receive the support they need. This is a major step forward in the transformation of an East End neighbourhood, and we can look forward to the local community continuing to play a key role of the development of the area in which they live."
Bernadette Hewitt, GHA Chair and TC:G Board Member, said: "All of the residents at Bellgrove will be offered the chance of a GHA home or alternative accommodation to meet their needs with support in place to help them settle. At GHA and across Wheatley, we share the vision that everyone should be able, with support, to lead independent lives in their own home and this is very much part of that.
"Wheatley Care will now provide care and support to the residents while helping them move into a new home that fully meets their needs. We'll work closely with the residents, Glasgow's Health and Social Care Partnership, and other partners.
"GHA has already built over 200 fantastic new homes in Gallowgate and demolished the old Whitevale and Bluevale multi-storey blocks. The Bellgrove unlocks the potential for us not only to improve the lives of the people currently living in the hostel but also to continue the transformation of the community with a further phase of new affordable housing for local people."
Pat Togher, Assistant Chief Officer, Glasgow City Health & Social Care Partnership, said: "We do not use the Bellgrove Hotel as a means of accommodating people who are homeless, however we welcome the opportunity to work closely with residents of the hotel and the Wheatley Group in seeking more permanent accommodation and providing the necessary support for those experiencing complex needs. Glasgow HSCP is familiar with decommissioning arrangements such as the one proposed and will deploy our skilled and experienced workforce ensuring that existing residents transition to more suitable, settled and where necessary supported accommodation ahead of the closure. This is an excellent opportunity to improve the lives of those residing in the Bellgrove and we look forward to working with everyone involved."
Wheatley Group is already working extensively with the Scottish Government, local authority partners and other agencies to help tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. The Group has now provided 200 homes to Housing First, the multi-agency partnership set up to give homeless people a tenancy and support to rebuild their lives.
More information on Transforming Communities: Glasgow is available at: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/tcg.