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Borrodale School and Schoolhouse

Glendale, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Communities Housing Trust


Retrofitting vernacular buildings into affordable housing  

This former primary school in northwest Skye is a traditional stone construction built in 1880 and in use until 2007, after which the school and schoolhouse have sat empty. In 2014, the local Glendale Trust bought the building with a view to bringing it back into community use, but early plans failed to develop.

Recognising the strong local demand for affordable housing, the Communities Housing Trust has joined as a project partner to provide specialist support to develop a scheme for six affordable 1- and 2-bed homes. Re-purposing the school for affordable housing responds directly to the current housing shortage in the Highlands & Islands region, and the project will also respond to the climate emergency by designing a replicable solution for retrofitting historic buildings – using both old and new technologies. The project will include a training programme to help build the capacity of small contractors in the area.  

AHF grant support contributed to early-stage design team fees and a measured survey. This work was necessary to enable the project to go forward and apply for capital funds, such as under the Rural & Islands Housing Fund. Since the building is unlisted and the project will develop knowledge that can be shared in the future, the project was considered a good fit under the William Grant Foundation Tailored Support Fund programme.

AHF Funding

Project Viability Grant - £10,000 (2021)

Image Credits

Al Mearns
Communities Housing Trust






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