Raining’s Stairs development awarded another top accolade

Ark Estates has received an award and high praise from the Scottish Civic Trust for the Raining’s Stairs Development.

The Inverness city centre residential development was commended by judges in the Scottish Civic Trust’s My Place Awards who declared the development: “…a building of significant architectural quality,” and, “…a key element within the overall city centre regeneration and transformation.”

The Raining’s Stairs Development - designed by Trail Architects, and built by William Gray Construction, with support from the Highland Council, Scottish Government and Highland Housing Alliance - consists of 16 new one and two bedroom flats - as well as a small retail unit - with six flats available at affordable rent and 10 being leased at mid-market rent by the Highland Housing Alliance.

The development - which was also recognised as the best Best Residential Project at the prestigious 2018 Inside Housing Development Awards - was built on a challenging, sloping city centre site that had become rife with anti-social behaviour causing detrimental impacts to adjacent businesses and the broader community.

Speaking about the award, William Gray, Ark Estate’s Managing Director, said:

“We are delighted that the Raining’s Stairs Development continues to receive recognition with this latest accolade from the Scottish Civic Trust. The award is testament to all those who worked on the project and especially Trail Architects whose design for this high profile site not only met but exceeded the brief, resulting in one of the most eye-catching and transformative developments in the city centre.”

Martin P English, Architect and Director at Trail Architects, said:

“This project was never going to be straightforward, given the site condition and location. Without many brave decisions by those proposing and commissioning the project it could never have been realised. The responses locally but also from further afield to the completed building have been truly humbling. The credit is due to all involved in what has been a genuine team effort at all stages.”

The Scottish Civic Trust’s full endorsement reads:

“The stairs are a core path through the city of Inverness, linking Inverness Castle to the surrounding neighbourhood. The once vibrant area centred around the stairs had a healthy mix of shops and housing but had fallen into decline since the 1970s.

“Located in a conservation area, the Raining’s Stairs Development is reinvigorating this important part of Inverness with a building of significant architectural quality and profound, transformational benefits to the community. The architecture takes cues from the historic, traditional character of the area, while using contemporary materials and detailing.

“The Raining’s Stairs development is a key element within the overall city centre regeneration and transformation.”

The My Place Awards are supported by the Scottish Government and celebrate the individuals and projects that have had a positive impact on their local neighbourhood and have delivered positive benefits to that community.

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