Funders Working Hard To Make Carn Thomas Housing A Reality

A funder says the groups involved in the proposed Carn Thomas extra care housing project are working hard to make the scheme a reality, but the cost of building here is proving a problem.

Ian Knight, The South West Area Head of the Homes and Communities Agency, was visiting the islands yesterday to see the new work and living units at Porthcressa, which were partly funded by his agency.

School site at Carn Thomas, earmarked for housing scheme

School site at Carn Thomas, earmarked for housing scheme

He says it’s great to see a mix of housing, workshops and community spaces coming together so well and turning what was a very mediocre space into something that’s state-of-the-art.

But the current economic situation means securing funding for similar schemes could get harder.

Ian says the extra cost of building on Scilly can make projects seem very expensive, although the HCA do take that into account when making decisions.

And he says the stringent environmental and planning considerations here also cause problems. On the mainland, projects can be cross-subsidised by adding in some housing that can be sold on the open market.

Ian says his visit yesterday was a good chance for all the funding partners working on the Carn Thomas project to get together and look at every angle of the project to make it viable.

The Council has proposed building 23 extra care housing units on the former secondary school site and is trying to get funding for the scheme.

Ian says there’s currently a bid to the HCA, which will be decided by the end of May. But he says if that isn’t successful, it’s not necessarily the end of the project, it’ll just mean looking at it from a different angle.

The Department of Health have stressed the need for provision for the elderly, especially dementia care, and reducing the need to travel to the mainland.

He says there’s no doubt about the difference this project would make to the islands and everyone is working as hard as they can to make the project come together economically.