Top awards for multi-million pound Council housing investment



Unstone Estate Photo

A multi-million-pound scheme to make hundreds of council homes in North East Derbyshire warmer and easier to heat has won two prestigious awards and been named runner-up in a third category.

The awards were made at the Building Communities 2023 Awards held on 3 March in Leicester. They were organised by the Efficiency East Midlands organisation and showcased the best projects carried out by private and public sector organisations in the region.

Over the past 18 months the Council’s housing partner Rykneld Homes together with contractors Sustainable Building Services (SBS) have carried out £12 million of improvements to 427 hard to heat homes across the district using Council and Government Green Homes funding.

The properties, which are of a non-traditional build, have had External Wall Insulation installed to make them easier to heat and keep warm, and where needed new roofs, windows, soffits, facias, and gutters have been installed.

Not only will the homes now be more energy efficient, but the investment will help residents to control their fuel bills and support the council’s efforts to cut carbon emissions in the district.

The Council and Rykneld Homes successfully applied for £2.13 million of government Green Homes funding towards the scheme which was carried out against the challenging backdrop of Covid restrictions and national supply chain shortages.

Rykneld Homes and SBS were named winners of the Refurbishment Project of the Year and Carbon Reduction Project of the Year categories and runners-up for Collaborative Working.

Council Leader, Alex Dale, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Rykneld Homes and SBS to win not one but two awards and be named runner-up in a third.

“The council is committed to improving its housing stock to benefit tenants and it’s great to know that our investment has earned recognition in our region. The work will also benefit the wider community as it helps to improve the environment for everyone by reducing carbon emissions.”

Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Carolyn Renwick said, “The council is determined to improve housing across the district and tackle the legacy of hard to heat, non-traditionally built homes. We are now looking to carry out further insulation projects in future.”

Richard Welton, Chair of Rykneld Homes, said: “The strong partnership working between Rykneld Homes and the Council has delivered great benefits to our customers in terms of improved homes and strong, customer focussed services. We are delighted to have worked with SBS on the insulation scheme. Its great success is testament to the hard work and professionalism of both Rykneld Homes and SBS staff who delivered this fantastic project despite the immense challenges posed by the Covid pandemic.”

Improvements have been made to homes in Mickley, North Wingfield, Dronfield, Unstone, Eckington, Renishaw, Holmesfield, Barlow, Wessington, Holymoorside, Cutthorpe and Woolley Moor.

Now all the houses are insulated the total carbon saving in North East Derbyshire will be 335 tonnes per annum and 9,715 tonnes by 2050.

Gary Lawson, managing director at Sustainable Building Services, said: “We have been working with Rykneld Homes for more than half a decade to deliver energy efficiency and whole-house improvements to upwards of 650 properties to date.

“We are incredibly proud of everything that our partnership has achieved, transforming the lives of hundreds of people living in the upgraded homes, and to have this recognised at the Building Communities Awards is testament to everyone’s hard work. We look forward to continuing to deliver this all-important housing decarbonisation work with Rykneld Homes into the future, looking to double the number of properties upgraded in the next two years.”