Investment in housing

Gatehead housing73 homes in Gatehead and 100 homes in Stewarton are warmer and more energy efficient after the Council carried out a large scale housing improvement programme.

Working with the Energy Agency, the Council secured funding from the Scottish Government which allowed the Housing Asset Services team to carry out external insulation programmes on a much larger scale.

Funding was offered to private home owners which meant that improvements could be carried out on whole streets when the Council’s housing improvement and energy efficiency programmes were already underway.

Energy efficiency features prominently in the Housing Improvement Programme, with £5.49m identified to be spent on external wall insulation and render works in the current year.

Hundreds of homes have already benefitted from external wall insulation and new render finish and this year alone 640 council houses will be upgraded.

As well as improving the thermal efficiency, the smart render finish really lifts the appearance of the houses.

In Gatehead 40 private houses and 33 council houses are in the process of being completely rejuvenated.

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council, who was joined at the Gatehead and Stewarton sites by Councillor Eoghann MacColl, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities said: “For a number of years now the Council has been successful in bidding for funding to carry out improvement works to Weir and Swedish timber homes across East Ayrshire.

“The results have been so dramatic that I committed a further £150,000 to the programme in the 2015/16 Budget. This funding has targeted homes in areas that can be fuel poor and it is fantastic to view homes that have benefitted from this improvement programme and talk to homeowners and tenants who are seeing a difference in their energy bills.”

Mr and Mrs Steele from Gatehead are delighted with the improvements to their home. Mrs Steele said: “Our home looks great, but so does the whole village. This work has made a huge difference, 5 inches of external insulation has been added to our home and we hope that when the weather turns colder we will see a big difference with our heating bills.”

In Stewarton, 37 private homes and 63 council houses on Lothian Road have benefitted from external wall insulation and new render.

Councillor MacColl said: “Timber homes, due to their timber framed construction, are notoriously difficult to heat and cannot be insulated using traditional low cost insulation like cavity wall insulation.

“This programme has been genuinely life changing for people who see a huge difference in their energy bills. It is also uplifting for the whole community. In Stewarton, Lothian Road looks absolutely fantastic. This is a programme which is making a real difference to tenants, homeowners and communities.”

Mrs Murray from Lothian Road said: “I am absolutely delighted with the improvements to my house and to the whole street, it looks brilliant and my house is so much warmer.”

Mrs Ferguson from Lothian Road said: “I don’t have to turn my heating up anymore; I can keep it running on low so I am hoping that I will see a big difference this winter when the weather turns cold. The whole street looks great.”

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