A £1MILLION deal to upgrade East Renfrewshire Council’s social housing stock will secure employment for more than 150 staff with a disability or learning difference.

Around 350 properties across the local area will also benefit from new kitchens as a result.

Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries (RSBi), City Building’s manufacturing division, has been handed a £500,000 contract to supply the kitchens.

A separate contract to fit them, also worth £500,000, has been awarded to City Building’s construction division.

Work will take place over the next four years, helping to improve living conditions for hundreds of council tenants.

Councillor Danny Devlin, East Renfrewshire’s housing and maintenance convener, told the Barrhead News: “We are pleased to continue our work with City Building on this exciting project.

“We are committed to providing high-quality, safe homes for our tenants and these kitchen upgrades will further improve our housing stock.
“We look forward to the work getting underway in this new year and beyond.”

Based in a specially-adapted factory in the Springburn area of Glasgow, more than half of RSBi’s 250 staff have a disability.

The workforce includes people with sight and hearing loss, wheelchair users, veterans with post traumatic stress disorder and others who have additional learning needs.

The business designs and crafts products such as kitchens, bathrooms, office furniture and timber kits for new homes.

It also supplies goods and services to organisations such as NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Scottish Enterprise.

Ben Kerr, RSBi manager, said: “We are extremely proud of our new contract with East Renfrewshire Council, which we achieved with the support of the Scottish Government’s Supported Businesses Framework.

“RSBi provides employment for many people who might otherwise struggle to get work and ensures they have an opportunity to contribute their skills to society but we are so much more.

“We have found exciting ways to enable people of all abilities to work together as makers, innovators and craftspeople.

“Buyers come to us for our high standards and quality products, not just because some of our staff are disabled.”