Communities and Children’s Secretary Carl Sargeant today visited St Tydfil’s Court in Merthyr to see how Merthyr Valley Homes has improved the lives of tenants.
Built in 1963, St Tydfil’s Court is an eleven storey block of flats which are mainly sheltered accommodation for older people. Merthyr Valley Homes has invested £1.9m in installing new kitchens, bathrooms, triple glazing and external wall insulation, re-wiring the electrics, replacing the economy 7 storage heaters with A rated gas boilers and replacing the lifts in the building.
The Secretary met residents who have benefitted from the work and young people who worked with them on an evaluation report on the refurbishment work carried out at St Tydfil’s Court. The young people were involved as part of the Merthyr Valleys Homes Perthyn Project, which worked with the Transitions into Employment scheme to engage with these young people. The Secretary presented the young people, who have all moved on to take part in a Prince’s Trust project, with certificates for completing the scheme.
The report found that since the works have been completed, tenants’ fuel bills have reduced from between £20.00 and £30.00 per week to £8.00 per week, they are delighted with the improvements to their kitchens and bathrooms, are more confident about using the lifts and feel safer and happier living in the flats.
Mr Sargeant said:
"I have been very impressed with the improvements and level of workmanship I have seen at St Tydfil’s Court. There is no doubt the work has resulted in big savings to the residents in terms of their energy bills and provided them with warm, comfortable and pleasant homes.
"However the improvement I am most pleased to hear about is that tenants feel safer and happier than they did before. It’s an excellent example of how improving people’s homes can improve their lives."
Chief Executive of Merthyr Valley Homes Mike Owen added:
"We are delighted with the refurbishment of St Tydfil’s Court – not least because at Merthyr Valleys Homes we are fully committed to involving our members and wider community in planning and developing our services.
The results have greatly improved the appearance of the entrance to the town centre and we have worked very closely with a number of local organisations to ensure that our improvements compliment the collective drive to regenerate the town and the wider Merthyr community. Over and above this we are delighted that as a direct result, we spent a considerable amount of money supporting Welsh businesses and have also created an apprenticeship for local plasterer Jack Tucker."