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19/09/2021

New £3.6m upgrade to Derry housing scheme on the Strand Road formerly known as Rock Mills is officially opened

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Choice Housing have officially launched their £3.6m upgrade of 126 Strand Road, their housing scheme in Derry The ambitious redevelopment of the scheme, formerly known as Rock Mills, has included the remodelling of its existing 86 apartments to an increase of 94 new modern self-contained units - the three largest of which will each accommodate families of four. The renovation project included an overhaul of all electrics and plumbing within the building and the fitting of new kitchens and bathrooms throughout, as well as a number of other upgrades. In April 2017, the first wave of new tenants moved in, with remaining tenants taking up residency in their new homes in August 2018 ahead of its official opening today. Working in collaboration with the Department for Communities (DfC) and the Housing Executive, Choice developed a re-improvement strategy to transform the building. The renovation, which started in November 2016, marks a new chapter for the scheme and for its residents, bringing the very best standards and latest energy saving technologies into the historic building. It is one of the largest housing renovation and refurbishment projects undertaken in the city and will radically enhance the area. Michael McDonnell, Group Chief Executive of Choice Housing said: “We believe in providing good quality housing to those who need it and actively involving tenants in our plans. The renovation work at 126 Strand Road is a fine example of what we are trying to achieve. It was through consultation with our tenants that the decision was made to rename the scheme, helping to express the new character of the development. “This project includes a significant reconfiguration of the building enabling a wider range of tenancies accommodated and a series of major improvements throughout the scheme. "The completion of this scheme is great news for its tenants and for the city as a whole, particularly given the need for quality accessible social housing in the Derry~Londonderry area. We have been pleased to see the support for the redevelopment of this scheme in the local area also”. The renovation project included an overhaul of all electrics and plumbing within the building and the fitting of new kitchens and bathrooms throughout, as well as a number of other upgrades. In April 2017, the first wave of new tenants moved in, with remaining tenants taking up residency in their new homes in August 2018 ahead of its official opening today. During the official opening, Paul Price from the Department for Communities unveiled an official opening plaque to mark the occasion. Paul said:“The refurbishment of this development was essential to ensuring its long term future as a social housing provision for the Derry~Londonderry area. The scheme has made a significant contribution to Northern Ireland’s Social Housing Development programme, with £570k of the project’s capital funding comprising DfC Housing Association Grant”. AMSON Consortium, a joint venture between local construction firm AMS Ltd and Omagh-based O’Neill Electrics Ltd., undertook the refurbishment. Pictured above - Caron Doherty, Choice tenant and Paul Price from the Department for Communities welcoming the launch of the new 3.6m Strand Road Scheme in Derry

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