Building Briefs – April 1st



  • Edinburgh’s Wemyss House sold for 20% ahead of asking price

A well-known office building in the heart of Edinburgh has traded in a deal worth more than £5 million.

Wemyss House, which is located at 6-8 Wemyss Place and faces onto Queens Street Gardens in Edinburgh’s historic New Town, has been purchased by an Austrian private family office.

The transaction represents a net initial yield of around 5%, with Knight Frank representing the vendor – also a private investor – and Savills acting for the buyer.

Consisting of 12,368 sq. ft. over five floors, the high-quality office building incudes Savills; Quartermile Ventures; and Opus 2 International, the legal software company, among its current tenants. It also features a residential penthouse on the fourth floor, which is owned separately.

 

  • Aberdeen Cyrenians issues urgent appeal to oil and gas sector for PPE

Organisations providing services to people who are homeless urgently require personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure their staff can safely look after those in their care – this is the message from one charity in the North East that has approached the local oil and gas sector for help.

Aberdeen Cyrenians is a charity dedicated to supporting people affected by homelessness, violence, domestic abuse and other forms of social exclusion. Its chief executive Mike Burns said there is a very urgent need for the correct PPE to make sure his teams can operate safely.

He added: “We understand why this equipment is in short supply, and we know the NHS must take priority. But please remember than social care workers and those looking after the elderly and vulnerable outside of hospital settings, hopefully preventing hospital admissions where possible, are also on the frontline of this pandemic, also urgently need help. That’s why we approached oil and gas sector businesses last week in the North East. We have sourced some protective equipment already and my thanks goes out to those companies that have been able to help. But we urgently require FFP3 masks and alcohol hand gel.

“Of our three residential units in Aberdeen, one is an intensive support facility, supporting residents who have chaotic lifestyles, and two housing support units where residents are also likely to have chaotic or semi-chaotic behaviours relating to addiction and mental health issues. Most residents do not watch the news, few read newspapers nor process risk in a way that helps with social distancing so it’s a massive challenge at present to keep both residents and staff safe.”

Cyrenians works with people at crucial periods of transition from addiction, mental health and homelessness. All services are provided on a basis that recognition of people’s rights to choose if they want to access the support provided. The charity is also the Lead Partner in the delivery of Scotland’s Housing First Pathfinder Programme for the Aberdeen / Shire consortium.

Oil and gas sites PPE usually includes eye protection, respiratory protective equipment, various shields, headwear, gloves and boots, some of which may be suitable for organisations responding to the pandemic.

Mike Burns added: “Whether you are in charge of a nail bar in Aberdeen or an oil company working internationally, please donate some of the PPE you are not using during this lockdown.”

To donate PPE to Cyrenians contact ineedhelp@AC2U.org and 0300 3030903 option one. Homeless Network Scotland has a webpage providing information for those people and organisations working in the Scottish homelessness sector during COVID-19, at www.homelessnetwork.scot/covid-19.

 

  • Berwickshire Housing Association helps vulnerable people with wind farm cash

Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) is now working with a newly-established volunteer action group to provide emergency grants funded through wind farm cash to local families in hardship.

BHA co-owns a 7.5MW wind farm at Hoprigshiels near Cockburnspath with Community Energy Scotland. It provides around £40,000 a year in community funding, which is now being utilised to help those in need.

The money – part of a £20 million a year community benefit pot paid by wind farm developers to communities in Scotland every year – is usually spent on local projects.

But a growing number of groups are now repurposing the funding to support those in hardship because of the ongoing health emergency.

Helen Forsyth, BHA chief executive, added: “The community at Cockburnspath are amazing and we are humbled by the commitment and determination they are showing in this crisis. Our only role is to give our blessing to their choices about how they spend the money from the wind farm but we are very supportive and hope it brings relief and comfort to those in the area in need.”