Published by Michael Ord for South Tyneside Homes in Housing and also in Communities
left to right tenant Mrs Irene mood. Clare Lewis (Customer Liaison Officer - Vinci Construction)..Dave Cutting (Head of Asset Mgmt South Tyneside Homes), Cllr Ken Stephenson, Julie Blenkinsop (CLO for South Tyneside Homes), Mark Whittle (Director of Inve
Tenants of the three tower blocks in Jarrow Town Centre are full of praise for external refurbishments carried out to the buildings as part of the South Tyneside Homes Decent Homes programme.
Work has been ongoing to the 132 homes within the three high rise blocks, Wilkinson, Ellen and Monastery Courts, since February 2012, to fit external insulation boarding and rendering, insulation in corridors, new composite doors and windows to the flats, new heating tanks, thermostats and radiator valves. Additionally the communal areas have received new flooring and have been redecorated. Tenants who own mobile scooters can now store them in the newly created scooter-storage areas.
This complex and challenging programme with an investment of £2.9 million has improved the energy efficiency and fuel costs of the properties and has visually transformed and enhanced the area of Jarrow. South Tyneside Homes is currently carrying out research with NHS South of Tyne and Wear and Newcastle University into how residents’ health and wellbeing and sense of security has been enhanced as a result of the works. This is an exciting undertaking as there is currently a great deal of emphasis on environment and personal health.
The programme has been managed by the South Tyneside Homes Decent Homes Delivery Team and the work carried out by the company’s partner contractor Vinci Construction UK.
Customer satisfaction has been very high with residents commenting on the benefits of the new facilities installed and savings already being made.
This work is part of an ERDF collaborative project with Narec (National Renewable Energy Centre) to install low-carbon and renewable energy technologies and systems into selected properties, helping to improve the housing stock in the region and regenerate off-gas or non-traditional construction properties to make energy-efficiency housing improvements and major refurbishment of non-traditional homes in parts of South Shields as well as the three tower blocks in Jarrow town centre.
Funding assistance for this work was also provided by energy company SSE (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy). Ross Thomson, Energy efficiency Project Manager at SSE commented, “SSE is delighted to have been able to work with South Tyneside Homes during such an ambitious programme of refurbishment and energy efficiency works. The funding is provided by SSE to help reduce carbon emissions within domestic properties across the country. To hear of the benefits enjoyed by the occupants of such properties in the South Tyneside area as a result of this funding, is excellent news.”
Officers from South Tyneside Homes and Vinci Construction joined ward member Councillor Ken Stephenson and Wilkinson Court tenant Irene Mood at a photo-shoot to mark the end of the external works.
Speaking about the work, Mrs Mood said, “It’s fantastic ! Especially the heating. Everything is so much warmer now and there are no draughts. They’re a long way better now and look lovely.”
Councillor Stephenson said, “I think the people are already feeling the benefit of this work, especially with the heating. This is great for the residents.”
Keith Shivers, Regional Director of Vinci Construction UK Building Division, North East said, “We are delighted that we have provided the residents of Jarrow Town Centre affordable apartments which are fully insulated to keep them warm over the cold winter months, and, in the long run, reduce their energy bills. It was a pleasure working for South Tyneside Homes and we look forward to work with them in the future.”
Mark Whittle, Director of Investment for South Tyneside Homes, said, “The three high rise blocks in Jarrow Town Centre have been a focal point of the town for many years and we are especially proud to have them refurbished in a way that not only enhances their external appearance but which, more importantly, makes them more energy efficient. This represents a major achievement in our Decent Homes programme. The tenants are to also benefit from internal improvements to their flats in the new year, which will enhance them even further.”
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