Masterplan building work starts at former Bute farm

Builders John Brown (Strone) Ltd started work on a new development of four family homes at Ambrismore on Monday, April 13, 2015.
Builders John Brown (Strone) Ltd started work on a new development of four family homes at Ambrismore on Monday, April 13, 2015.

Construction is under way on the latest phase of Mount Stuart’s far-reaching Masterplan for the re-use of its redundant buildings and sites around Bute.

Main contractor John Brown (Strone) Ltd (JBS) arrived on site at the former farm at Ambrismore, near Scalpsie Bay, on Monday to begin the task of creating a small, environmentally-friendly and affordable four-dwelling development for residential let.

Three of the properties will be entirely newly built, with the fourth the result of the conversion of a former barn on the site.

All will be heated by a single biomass boiler, fuelled by waste material from the Bute Estate’s sawmill at Piperhall, and are due to be ready for occupancy by November.

Mount Stuart Trust’s operations director Adam Ellis-Jones said: “Ambrismore will provide four modern, attractive and energy efficient single-storey family homes, and everyone associated with the Trust is delighted to see the project getting off the ground.

“[JBS] is a local company with a proven track record in building high quality, eco-friendly homes to exacting standards, so we’re obviously excited from that point of view.

“However, there’s another equally important element of JBS’s engagement – its commitment to providing apprenticeships and employment opportunities to local

people.

“It’s a demonstration of Mount Stuart’s commitment to working for the benefit of the island of Bute and its inhabitants that we are building affordable new homes using the expertise and skills of local people.“

Ambrismore is the latest project in the Mount Stuart Masterplan roll-out, which has already seen the refurbishment of the historic Kennels and Stables buildings and the construction of Kerryniven, a new sustainable ‘Bute Home’.

Further redevelopment projects will start to take shape across the island within the next few months as part of the Masterplan’s second phase.

“All are on schedule to be completed by late summer 2016,” Mr Ellis-Jones added.

“Together with Ambrismore, these will provide a total of 37 new bedrooms in modern, attractive properties which will be a fantastic addition to the high quality accommodation already available across Bute.

“These new properties are roughly 50% for residential let and 50% for holiday accommodation so will benefit existing and new island residents as well attracting more visitors to Bute.

“Both categories, of course, contribute to a vibrant and dynamic local economy so we’re very much looking forward to watching the developments progress and welcoming the first residents and visitors through the doors.”