Residents at a Melton block of council flats are enjoying living in a warmer and safer complex following a year-long refurbishment project which cost more than £2million.
Mayor of Melton, Councillor Pru Chandler enjoyed a tour of the completed Beckmill Court development this morning (Friday) with borough councillors and officials, contractors and people who live there.
The work has included the installation of gas central heating in the 57 flats and maisonettes to replace the outdated and inefficient storage heaters, new windows and wall insulation and the fitting of electric showers in each dwelling.
Walkways have also been improved and opened up to reduce the fear of crime and the site, which was built more than 50 years ago, has been landscaped to make it more attractive.
Before cutting a ribbon to officially mark the end of the renovation project, the Mayor said: “When I first came on the council in 2003 I can remember being in a meeting when someone said we need to improve the Beckmill flats.
“Well it’s taken a long time but we’ve done it and it looks very impressive.”
Council leader Joe Orson said: “What has been done here is a massive transformation.
“Not only has the refurbishment updated aging housing stock but it has also improved the experience of its residents by addressing the issues of fuel poverty and resident safety.”
Residents said the improvements were long overdue but they had made a big change to their quality of life there.
Margaret Exton, who has lived there 17 years, told the Melton Times: “The flat is so much warmer. The heating they have put in is wonderful.”
Another tenant, Karen Barber-Stevens, a resident for 30 years, said: “The central heating is fantastic.
“We used to have these electric storage heaters which would come on at night and go off again during the day when you really needed the heat.
“I used to have black mould in my bedroom but the new insulation has got rid of the damp.”
The £2.1 million improvement works were funded by Melton Council and managed collaboratively by the authority and property and construction consultancy, Gleeds, which was appointed as building surveyor back in 2012.
The company has been responsible for upgrading the housing scheme from an aesthetic, thermal and security perspective.
The Principle contractor was Fortem, who focused on improving energy performance in all of the properties.
Scott Kenna, a director at Gleeds, said: “This project is a prime example of how existing, low-performing housing stock can be transformed to bring it up to modern day standards, reducing running costs for tenants, increasing security, a sense of ownership and local appeal.”
The Beckmill Court scheme has been shortlisted for the Sustainable Retrofit Project of the Year at the 2018 SHIFT awards which takes place on November 8 in London.