On Friday 8 October, we welcomed Lord Callanan and Eddie Hughes to the Grey Mare Lane Estate in Beswick to view progress on one of the country’s 17 decarbonisation demonstrator projects that is underway as part of the regeneration of the area.

The programme of work is being funded in part by the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, providing £3.12m to retrofit over 100 social homes to low carbon standards. The funding bid was submitted by One Manchester in partnership with Manchester City Council. The ministers visited the pilot properties that are being built to test the technology.

The programme of work, which has been designed by Constructive Thinking Studio, will be a whole house retrofit approach that will improve airtightness and thermal insulation in a way that keeps disruption and costs as low as possible.

The works include re-roofing, external wall insulation, including replacement of the windows, new renewable heating systems with smart controls and a heat recovery ventilation system.

The new heating and hot water system will be driven by air source heat pumps and gas is being completely removed from homes meaning lower carbon emissions to help tackle climate change and lower energy costs for residents

The pilot properties will be ready in Mid-November and following consultation with local residents, roll out will start across the estate.

Eddie Hughes MP, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, said: “Manchester City Council, in consortium with One Manchester, was awarded £3.1m through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.”

“I was really interested to learn more on our visit to Grey Mare Lane today about the heat pumps and new roofs that are being fitted in around 160 social houses as part of a neighbourhood regeneration scheme.”

Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council's executive member for housing and employment, said: "The work being undertaken by One Manchester gives a real flavour of the direction of travel we need be taking as a city to properly retrofit the large number of social homes in the city and vastly reduce the carbon emissions of the city's social housing stock. Absolutely crucial work, which is helping the city meet the target of becoming zero carbon by 2038 - and lowering energy bills for our residents, which will prove vital in the years to come."

Nicole, Kershaw, Chief Executive of One Manchester, added “One Manchester were delighted to welcome the ministers to Beswick to showcase our approach to whole house retrofit”

Through our collaboration with BEIS, MCC and Constructive Thinking Studio, we have been able to scale up our retrofit programme and use our demonstrator homes as an example for others to build on. Most importantly though, we are able to improve the environmental impact of our residents’ homes and set the standards for sustainable housing regeneration”.