You might have heard that we are currently investing record amounts in improving our council housing stock.
The funding is being used to ensure homes achieve the Welsh Government’s Welsh Housing Quality Standard.
The work being carried out includes installing thousands of new kitchens, bathrooms central heating systems, roofs, walls, the list goes on!
We want to make sure the our local economy and community is able to benefit as much as possible from this huge investment.
We do this in a number of ways, such as taking on local contractors to carry out the work where possible and encouraging them to take on local modern apprentices.
Helping to modernise Plas Madoc
One of the recent schemes where this has happened is in Plas Madoc.
Hundreds of houses on houses on the estate are going to be modernised and work is already well underway.
Two apprentices from Wrexham’s Coleg Cambria have been able to get valuable on site experience on the site.
Kieron Yardley and Morgan Jones, both from Wrexham, are currently in their first year of an NVQ qualification in bricklaying.
As part of this course, they are completing apprenticeship schemes with Sustainable Building, one of the contractors working in partnership with us on the Plas Madoc project.
Real experience with the professionals
Kieran said: “We study two days in Bersham Road at college and spend three days on site per week. We need to do the college work obviously but it’s a massive help being able to get experience on a real work site, working on real houses with professionals.
“We get to do a mix of jobs, working on roofing and helping to install external insulation on the houses. It’s all great experience and it will be massive help with our careers.”
Morgan added: “It’s a good career to get into because there is so much construction work around at the moment and new houses being built everywhere. It’s getting busier all the time so that’s great for us!”
Another successful partnership
Paul Sinclair, Site Manager for Sustainable Building, said: “We’ve been proud to work alongside Wrexham Council on their housing improvements project and have developed a very successful partnership over the last few years.
“As well as the roofing and external wall insulation work on properties in Plas Madoc, we’ve also worked on council properties in areas including Llay and Coedpoeth.
“We are fully committed to delivering community benefits in the areas we work and we’re delighted to have been able to recruit two very promising local apprentices who will no doubt benefit greatly from the ambitious work being carried out on the Plas Madoc estate.”
Investment to benefit our communities
Local Member for Plas Madoc, Cllr Paul Blackwell, said: “This is an exciting time for Plas Madoc. It’s great to see that work has now started and we’re already starting to see the benefits it’s having on some of the properties where work has been completed.
We are now putting much needed investment into this community and I’m delighted we’ve been able to recruit two modern apprentices as part of this project.”
A record £56.4m has been invested in the housing improvements programme in 2017/18. The funding includes a £7.5m Major Repairs Allowance which the Welsh Government awards to local authorities to help them achieve the standard.
This has resulted in many succesful communtiy benefit schemes accross the county borough. As well as employment and training, community benefit schemes can also include contractors donating improvement work to local facilities and making contributions to local community groups.
Lead Member for Housing, Cllr David Griffiths said: “We’ve carried out improvement work all over the county borough, and as a result, our contractors have been able to give support to a number of community groups. We’ve seen local facilities receive refurbishment work and other support, contractors purchasing supplies from local business, as well as a boost in local employment.
“There is still some work to do to achieve the Welsh Housing Quality Standard but we are on track to meet the Welsh Government’s deadline and we will continue to work hard to ensure that as much of this investment as possible is pumped back into our local economy.”
In the main picture: Morgan Jones (Modern Apprentice, Sustainable Building), Paul Sinclair (Site Manager, Sustainable Building), Kieron Yardley (Modern Apprentice, Sustainable Building), Ceri Postle (Plas Madoc Estate Re-modelling Project Manager, WCBC
If you’d like to find out more about Community Benefits and the Welsh Housing Quality Standard, visit the council website
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