CONSTRUCTION works are underway to deliver 54 affordable homes at Elm Grove in Alloa.

Clacks company Marshall Construction this week announced that works began on the homes, including social and mid-market rented properties for two housing associations.

It comes as a welcome boost for the company following 12 weeks of absence due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The 54 homes are a mix of single storey, semi-detached and terraced houses as well as cottage flats.

There will be open spaces at the centre of the site with cycle routes added.

Gareth Bland, development and bid manager at Marshall Construction, said: "As a local employer, we are committed to building more than homes and making sure that we add social, economic and environmental value to the wider communities that we work in.

"We are also taking care to maximise the local supply chain where we can to ensure that we support the wider Clackmannanshire economy.

"Marshall Construction have been delivering developments like this for a number of years and are well-versed in the need to offer value for money without compromising on quality.

"We are currently working on several other affordable housing projects in Scotland and we aim to develop our portfolio for delivering homes in partnership with housing associations."

The social and mid-market homes will be taken on by Kingdom and Ochil View housing associations.

Bill Banks, chief executive at the Kingdom Group, said: "We are delighted that the partnership project between Kingdom and Ochil View is now able to progress on site post-lockdown.

"The project will provide a mix of house types to meet the local needs including a selection of homes for older people, family homes and properties designed to full wheelchair accessibility standards.

"The tenure mix will help provide choice for both social rented tenants and applicants who will meet the criteria for mid-market rented homes"

"Marshall Construction has designed the units to meet our high design standards and the specification will include various sustainability features.

"As part of the contract Marshall Construction will also be working with us to deliver a number of employability, training and education initiatives, which provide a community benefit."

The total project cost comes in just under £8million and more than £3.7m comes from the Scottish Government's affordable housing programme.

George Tainsh, chief executive at Ochil View Housing Association, added: "Bearing in mind that it has been 16 years since the former Clackmannanshire Council flats were demolished and the site acquired for redevelopment, the association is delighted that a site start has finally been achieved and that through a partnership approach between Ochil View and Kingdom Initiatives much needed affordable housing for rent will now be delivered.

"We are equally pleased that local contractors Marshall Construction have been awarded the contract and we look forward to seeing the development take shape."