13 April, 2024

‘The Ice Blocks’ Revamped into Cost-Effective Dwellings for the Energy Deprived

In a heartening documentary, Richard Worrell recounts his life in a block of flats situated in one of England’s most underprivileged districts, known as “the ice blocks”, and the changes following an impressive £7.9 million community renewal scheme.

This initiative has transformed over a thousand apartments within 21 tower blocks across Walsall’s housing estates by integrating advanced energy efficiency measures. The refurbishment has significantly improved living conditions, making heating affordable for the inhabitants.

Through strategic partnerships with Soltherm and Surefire Management Services, Watmos Community Homes has successfully secured crucial funding from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF), with a substantial investment of £7.9 million, the largest for a project of this scale.

Richard shares his personal insights on how this investment has positively impacted the lives of the community’s most at-risk individuals. “I was involved with the estate, more than 20 years ago. And I worked with residents, and we used to call these places ‘the ice blocks.’ So that says it all really, doesn’t it?”

The documentary illuminates the significant impact of this project on the community’s quality of life.

“You noticed the difference instantly once the thermal cladding was in place, it just made it so noticeably more comfortable. It just makes this place so much nicer to live in.” Richard Worrell – Resident

This film illustrates the transformation from cold, unwelcoming homes to warm, inviting spaces that provide health, comfort, and energy to the residents of Walsall struggling with fuel poverty. The Watmos Regeneration Project is featured on the Soltherm official website.


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