In a concerted effort to combat climate change and alleviate fuel poverty, Leeds City Council has embarked on an ambitious project to revamp hundreds of council flats across the city. Spearheaded by energy and regeneration specialist Equans, this £25 million initiative aims to not only modernise living spaces but also significantly reduce carbon emissions.

Commencing in late 2022, Equans set its sights on the transformation of seven tower blocks, aligning with Leeds City Council’s commitment to providing top-tier housing while addressing pressing environmental concerns. The completion of six blocks, including Parkway Court, Parkway Grange, and Parkway Towers in Seacroft, as well as Lovell Park Grange, Lovell Park Heights, and Lovell Park Towers in Little London, marks a milestone in this endeavour.

The extensive refurbishments encompass a spectrum of energy-efficient measures, from roof replacements to the installation of cutting-edge external wall insulation and ventilation systems. These upgrades are poised to curtail energy consumption for heating, promising tangible benefits for the residents inhabiting over 600 flats across the seven blocks. Anticipated reductions in energy bills and carbon emissions underscore the scheme’s efficacy, with projected annual energy costs expected to halve and CO2 emissions set to decrease by approximately a third.

Notably, the aesthetic appeal of the tower blocks hasn’t been overlooked, with enhancements including new rendering and fittings contributing to a revitalised exterior. A recent visit by senior councillor Mohammed Rafique to one of the completed Seacroft blocks provided an opportunity to witness firsthand the positive impact of the scheme on residents’ lives.

With work on the seventh block, Moor Grange Court in West Park, nearing completion, the project stands as a testament to collaborative efforts between the council and Equans. Funding totalling £9.6 million from the central government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, supplemented by council investment, underscores the commitment to driving sustainable change.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate, energy, environment and green space, said; “Reducing Leeds’s carbon footprint is a priority for the council, but it’s important that this is done in a fair way that also helps improve standards of living in all our local communities.

“The benefits of such an approach are perfectly demonstrated by the changes at these flats in Seacroft, Little London and West Park, where emissions and energy bills are both set to be significantly reduced.

“The scheme is also testament to the power of partnership working, with Equans playing a vital role alongside the council in bringing about a bright new era for the properties and everyone living there.”

Councillor Jess Lennox, Leeds City Council’s executive member for housing, said; “We are determined to do everything we can to give communities in Leeds the kind of safe, warm and affordable social housing that can transform lives for the better.

“The work that has been taking place across these seven sites shows how we are delivering on that ambition.

“The scheme has been a real success story and, with many Leeds households currently experiencing fuel poverty, it’s particularly pleasing that it should help cut people’s energy bills.”

Sean Corcoran, regional director at Equans, said; “The transformation of these flats will have a long-lasting positive impact on residents’ lives by making their homes more comfortable and reducing energy bills at a time when living costs are so high.

“Housing is one of the biggest contributors to the UK’s carbon emissions, so projects like this play a crucial role in improving the environment. We’re proud to be supporting the council in its ambitions to make Leeds a more sustainable place to live.”

As Leeds continues its journey towards sustainability, residents of Lovell Park Grange, Lovell Park Heights, and Lovell Park Towers can look forward to connectivity with the Leeds PIPES district heating network, further advancing energy efficiency and cost savings.

The integration of innovative solutions such as Leeds PIPES signifies a holistic approach to sustainable urban development, positioning Leeds as a beacon of environmental stewardship and inclusive growth.