Many old Glasgow buildings have been turned into homes, from churches and canal side warehouses to fire stations and schools.

The latest re-invention, in the city centre, is one of the most unusual.

An old stable complex which once housed police horses and the horses from the city cleansing department that pulled the carts, is now home to 52 flats for rent.


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The stables in Bell Street, once home to dozens of working horses is now meeting a modern-day housing need.

The building has been transformed into 52 mid-market rented flats designed for renters, often younger, working in the city who are caught between the social housing sector and home ownership.

Lowther Homes, part of Wheatley Group, took over the stables and retained many of the original features including ramps for the horses and drinking fountains as they turned it into houses for people.

And in a link with the building’s origins the original entrance gate has been restored by the same company, Sillars Blacksmiths, who made it in 1898.

Katie Leighton, 22, is one of the first tenants in the B-Listed Merchant City development.


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She said: “I love my new flat here. Everything is lovely and new and it feels safe and secure. The location is perfect. You have train stations nearby and I can walk to my work in 10 minutes. You couldn’t get anywhere else in the city-centre as nice for such good value.”

Lowther Homes spent £7m on the regeneration project turning the 19th century municipal building into a 21st century residential development.

David Fletcher, Wheatley Regeneration Director, said: “This project has brought great quality, much-needed affordable homes to the city centre – while restoring a building in a way that pays tribute to its history.”

In recognition of the role that mid market rent aimed at the large population of people who are not a priority for social housing but who are not yet able to afford ownership, the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council provided assistance and finance worth £2m.

Derek Mackay, Finance Secretary visited the development to see the transformation and hear about the history of the site.

He said: “I am delighted to see the difference these high quality, new homes are already making to people and the positive impact this development will have on the wider community, bringing together elements of the old and new to create a vibrant and unique space.”