Housing minister visits Whithorn and Stranraer

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Scotland’s Housing Minister Margaret Burgess has visited Whithorn to see an award-winning green energy project.

The minister travelled to Wigtownshire also to meet tenants in the Stranraer Dick’s Hill neighbourhood renewal project.

South of Scotland MSP Aileen McLeod joined Mrs Burgess last Friday to visit DGHP’s Whithorn initiative, which has made inroads to lifting tenants out of fuel poverty.

She also held talks with Dumfries and Galloway Council about the Westminster government’s plans for welfare reform.

Commenting following the visit, Dr McLeod said: “I was delighted to welcome the minister to Galloway and show her two substantial projects as well as take the opportunity to discuss welfare reform issues with the council.

“The Whithorn project has made a real difference to tenants by installing air-source heat pumps, dramatically reducing tenants’ fuel bills and helping to combat fuel poverty, which remains unacceptably high in this region as a whole.

“In Dick’s Hill we were able to meet tenants and view some of the new properties. This is a massive investment in Stranraer and, on completion, it will be a major renovation of that part of Stranraer. With the growing understanding of the links between poor quality housing, fuel poverty and health inequalities, the benefits of this project will go beyond bricks and mortar.

“Dumfries and Galloway has a good track record of attracting housing finance from the Scottish government, with £6.7 million secured from the government in the past year. That investment has in turn leveraged in other funding – in total more than £22 million has been invested allowing the construction of 167 houses in the past year alone.

“I am always keen to boost the region’s profile by inviting government ministers to visit and see for themselves the reality of what is going on across Dumfries and Galloway.”