Worcestershire handed £3.6m 'green' bonanza

Worcester News: County Hall: celebrating after Government windfall County Hall: celebrating after Government windfall

A £3.6 MILLION 'Green Deal' bonanza has been handed to Worcestershire - with around 750 homes due to get better insulation.

Worcestershire County Council is celebrating after being one of the country's big winners from a Government funding pot to keep energy bills down.

Last year the Department for Energy and Climate Change invited councils to bid for cash to launch their own insulation projects.

The fund is worth £88 million and large parts of the country have been handed nothing, with just 24 councils successful.

Bosses at County Hall say the fund will be treated as one-off money to improve "hard to treat" properties, such as older ones belonging to housing associations which have seen little investment in recent decades.

A major project is being prepared to identify where it can be spent and the council estimates 750 properties will benefit.

The cash is set to be farmed out to district councils so they can help administrate the spending.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader, said: "This is a very welcome £3.6 million from the 'Green Deal' fund and we will work closely with the district councils to get as many homes insulated as we possibly can."

Councillor Anthony Blagg, cabinet member for the environment, said: "We've been quite successful in getting such a large amount of money in what was a competitive process.

"Some of the other councils in the West Midlands weren't as successful and we are working with the districts to make the most of it."

The largest amount went to Cambridgeshire which got £7.8 million, while Bristol was awarded £7.2 million and Manchester £6.1 million in the three big winners.

The only other West Midlands conurbation to get anything apart from Worcestershire was Telford & Wrekin, which secured £4.8 million.

Several others ended up with smaller amounts like £1 million or just over £2 million.

Worcestershire's award comes less than a year after Carillion decided to scrap a seven-year deal with Worcester City Council to offer homes better insulation.

The project would have led to the construction giant sending assessors into homes to improve their energy efficiency through things like better insulation or replacement boilers, including private properties.

But it was dumped after the company said the project, which was part-funded by the Government, was proving too complicated and was not working elsewhere in the country.

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