Living the life on the waterfront

New homes handed over

James Watt Dock First Homes

29 April 2021

River Clyde Homes, the Inverclyde-based housing association, has handed over the first 50 homes of its waterfront development at James Watt Dock in Greenock.

Over the last five weeks, during lockdown, customers have been moving, in phases, into their new homes constructed by Cruden Building. The development has taken two years to complete. This includes the period when works were halted because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When fully complete, 137 homes over five blocks, will offer magnificent views over the historic dock and the River Clyde. They are the association’s first properties on the historic waterfront that once defined the area, with its proud ship building heritage.

The Bryans are one couple who are over-the-moon with their new property. John and Elizabeth, who married 57 years ago, are Inverclyde born and bred and have lived in Inverclyde all their lives.

They had been living in one of the flats behind the historic, but recently closed, Sir Gabriel Wood mariners’ home on the south of the town for 11 years. Moving during lockdown was a relatively straightforward affair for the couple and went without a hitch.

“We were settled within a week,” says Elizabeth. She’s happy with the location and its proximity to public transport and shops. She’s also enjoying the views and has been keeping an eye on a family of swans she sees passing daily.

John, who hails originally from Port Glasgow has the sea in his blood, so feels very much at home. He worked in the merchant navy and then at the Scotts Yard in Greenock as a rigger.

“I worked at the Great Harbour for a while too, he says. “And it’s been really nice to look out over the much changed and quieter landscape.”

Elizabeth backs this up, saying: “John’s perfectly happy just watching the ships and boats go by.”

Both agree that sometimes the stars just line-up and believe they’ve found their happy place. “This is the kind of home we know we’ll be happy in and as our daughters live in the area, it’s perfect for us. The staff at River Clyde Homes were terrific and helped us along every step of the way.”

It’s a far cry from their first family home in Greenock town centre, which was a room and kitchen with an outside toilet. “I couldn’t be going back to that,” laughs Elizabeth. “Thank goodness for progress!”

The development is scheduled to be completed in August 2021 and is part of River Clyde Homes ambitious programme to build over 450 new homes. Work is well underway on two more sites in Port Glasgow.

Carine Strain, Senior Asset and Development Manager at River Clyde Homes, said: “It’s always a pleasure to hand over new homes to customers, but particularly at this time, when everyone is facing so many challenges in their lives. My thanks go to all those who has been involved in getting this magnificent development to completion: from the design team to the planners and our own staff who have managed the project and helped customers settle in. Particular thanks must go to Cruden Building who worked tirelessly to ensure the homes could be delivered as soon as possible despite a period of Government restrictions.”

Christopher Dunn, Operations Manager at Cruden Building said: “It’s great to see how happy The Bryan’s are in their new home and the progress that we are making in delivering this landmark new waterfront development which provides quality, energy efficient homes with stunning River Clyde views.  Throughout this development, Cruden has supported the local area by providing 13 full time jobs, 3 apprenticeships, 4 work placements and providing donations and support to local schools and nurseries.”