Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Monday, 19 October 2009 12:55 UK

Energy upgrades for 'vulnerable'

Dials on a gas boiler
The funding aims to make properties cheaper to heat

Homes of some people deemed to be vulnerable and in fuel poverty will be made more energy efficient, the Scottish government has said.

It has announced that £675,000 will be targeted at five housing projects in Fife, Aberdeenshire, the Highlands and Orkney.

The schemes bid for funding from the government's Energy Efficiency Design Awards.

The projects include a converted rope making mill and a former hospital.

Finance and Sustainable Growth Secretary John Swinney said the funding would help reduce fuel costs and harmful emissions.

He said: "Around a quarter of Scotland's properties, particularly older buildings, are classed as 'hard to treat' and the Energy Efficiency Design Awards encourage innovation in designing energy saving solutions for existing homes.

"The winning projects have all demonstrated a unique approach to make the biggest impact on bills and emissions, taking into account the type and location of the building."

The five projects were picked out of 17 applications for funding.

Sixteen flats for vulnerable young people at West Bridge Mill in Kirkcaldy will get improved insulation and heating system following an award of £103,423 to Link Group Housing Association.

The building is a category B listed former rope mill.

Another Fife scheme - John Wood House in Upper Largo - has been awarded £99,850. The category B listed former hospital has been converted into eight flats for rent.

Aberdeenshire Council has secured £168,580 for the Moray Street Insulation Project which consists of 20 granite-built flats.

Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association will receive £163,315 towards improvements to semi-detached timber frame bungalows on Skye and Raasay.

Westray Development Trust, meanwhile, has been awarded £140,241 to make nine properties on Westray, Orkney, more efficient.

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