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Friday, September 19, 2014

Homeowners apply for grants to help them reap the benefits of Firbeck Revival

Private homeowners living on Firbeck have been applying for grants to help them share in the £5.5m Revival of their estate.

The Firbeck Revival project was drawn up following consultation with tenants and residents about how they wanted their homes to be improved.

Earlier this year two rows of terraced houses were fitted with double-glazed uPVC windows and doors along with new roofs and internal roof insulation. Outside, they have a fresh new look thanks to external wall insulation in the form of cladding, new canopies over the front doors and the removal of the old brick bin stores. The council-owned properties on the estate have already been given new kitchens and bathrooms, and work on the outside of the properties is underway 

The Council wants owner-occupiers to share the benefits of the Firbeck Revival, and a grant scheme was set up so they could have these energy efficiency measures in their homes.

There has been a 100 per cent take up of the scheme, and one homeowner who has applied for a grant is Leann Downes.

The mother-of-three said: “We are really pleased the Council has been able to organise this kind of grant scheme. We would never have been able to get a loan to have such a large amount of work done and we would have struggled to get the right builders for the job.

“The application process was straightforward and this has given us the impetus to do work on the inside of the house as well.”

The Council contacted all the owner occupiers to talk to them about the scheme and the options available. They would have to repay the grant if they sold the property.

Elsewhere on the estate, demolition work is under way on 10 three-storey blocks of flats. The Council assisted the residents to find new homes.    A cross-party group of councillors recently agreed that consultations should start soon on building up to 44 new council homes on the estate to replace some of the flats with homes that meet modern requirements of today’s families.

Councillor Jane Houlgrave, portfolio holder for Housing, said: “I am very pleased that owner occupiers living in Firbeck are being given the chance to apply for grants to have work carried out on their homes. The area is being transformed and I’m delighted that owners see the benefits of participating in the revival of the neighbourhood.

“The plans to build new homes on Firbeck show that the Council is ambitious to transform areas that are in need of revival and provide much needed accommodation for those who need it.”

Councillor Houlgrave added: “Tenants told us what improvements they wanted, and now we are delivering those improvements. Homes are not only smarter, but will be easier to heat thanks to the external wall insulation. I’m very happy that this long-awaited project is turning out to be a great success.”

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