Eco-friendly Conwy estate stars in film

A new film shot by tenants tells the story of how a housing estate has been transformed by a £4 million investment in eco-friendly improvements.

The DVD about the massive facelift on the Peulwys estate in Llysfaen was given rave reviews when it was premiered at a special screening

Housing Association Cartrefi Conwy used a pioneering type of external wall insulation to renovate and improve the appearance of 265 homes on the estate

In addition, the installation of new high efficiency boilers, loft insulation and draft proofing will help cut tenants’ fuel bills by up to £350 a year.

Video cameras recorded hundreds of hours of footage following the project’s progress – from the initial consultation with tenants, right through the programme of work until its completion.

Most of the filming was done by tenant Rob Redhead, who also chairs the Partnership Board, assisted by fellow tenants Jason Lawley and Andy Owen.

The premiere of the 20 minute DVD, Peulwys Estate to Parc Peulwys – A Journey of Change, was attended by an audience that included local councillors, council officers, tenants and partner organisations.

The DVD was produced by TAPE Community Music and Film which is based at the TAPE Community Arts Centre, Old Colwyn.

It celebrates how the work was completed on schedule, on budget and the difference it has made to the lives of tenants and residents.

Footage on the DVD shows the estate before, during and after the improvement work and shows tradesmen working on various aspects of the project.

The film shows residents taking part in a number of consultation events and how children from the estate were made aware of the dangers of playing  on building sites.

Speaking at the premiere, Cartrefi Conwy Chief Executive Andrew Bowden said: “The DVD shows what the Peulwys Estate was, what it is now and, perhaps, what it can be in the future.

“The home improvements we carried out on the estate were by Cartrefi Conwy and our partners, including G Purchase Construction and SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy).

“We wanted to record the improvements we were making and to be able to use the DVD to demonstrate the tangible changes we were able to bring about in such a short period of time.

“I’m delighted the bulk of the filming was done by one of our tenants and that we were able to work so closely with TAPE.

“The whole project has been a massive success from its conception in March right through to completion with 265 homes renovated.

“Thanks to the insulation work we have done and the new, much more efficient, boilers that have been fitted in every home, there will be up to 70,000 tons less carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere over the next 25 years.

“And we should see every household saving up to £350 a year from their heating bills. That means a considerable number of people will be moved out of fuel poverty.

“Despite the fact we had to erect 12 miles of scaffolding around the homes and working on up to 70 properties a time, our health and safety record was exemplary. The engagement with children, their parents and the wider community was key.

“This was a very positive scheme which we should all be proud of. With the tenant  survey showing a satisfaction rate of more than 90 per cent, tenants are delighted they now live on an estate that has the appearance of being newly built as opposed to something that was not designed to last.”

Rob Redhead said: “What the DVD has done is highlight just what can be done. It clearly demonstrates that you don’t need to demolish perfectly good homes even if they were built with a short-term objective in mind.

“What has happened is that Cartrefi Conwy has listened to Peulwys tenants and come up with an agreed plan. As a result we now have home that are fit for the future.

“These are homes tenants take pride in and want to live in. Residents may have had to put up with scaffolding and work going on in and around their homes but the end result has been well worth it.”

Cartrefi Conwy’s Asset and Sustainability Manager, Adrian Johnson, says the DVD has really captured the work done to improve the housing stock and the community involvement that was evident from the start.

He said: “This was a massive scheme and a first, not only for Cartrefi Conwy but also for the county as a whole.

“I cannot recall a project as big as this,  and being able to engage with owner occupiers who were able to access the scheme through 100 per cent grant funding, saving them thousands of pounds in the process if they had carried out the work themselves.

G Purchase Construction manager Steven Walker added: “The scheme has made a massive difference to the appearance of the estate and to the fuel efficiency of homes.

“The community involvement has been superb. We have not had one reported accident which shows the level of engagement from across the community and how children in particular have taken our health and safety message on board.”

“As a company we are privileged and pleased to have worked in partnership with Cartrefi Conwy on this project.

“I think it is further evidence of Cartrefi Conwy’s innovative and forward thinking methods and I look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Bill Persse, Project manager for SSE says the Peulwys project has been proved to be an absolute success.

He said: “Tens of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide, which normally would have gone into the atmosphere, have been saved through the better insulation and cladding to these homes coupled with the fitting of far more fuel-efficient boilers.

“This is important if we are to reach our targets under the Community Energy Saving Programme and, perhaps more importantly, we have helped hundreds of tenants come out of fuel poverty so they are now better able to heat their homes.”

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