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Caerphilly Politics South Wales

Support for ‘UK first’ hub to make homes energy efficient

Coleg Y Cymoedd Ystrad Mynach campus, pictured in June 2021 (Pic: Google)

CAERPHILLY Council is hoping to set up a new training course specialising in retrofitting homes and making them more energy efficient.

It is believed the retrofitting hub, at Ystrad Mynach’s Coleg Y Cymoedd, will be a UK-first.

Cabinet members backed a plan on Wednesday to secure £1 million of UK Government funding for the project, which they hope will boost the local authority’s work to meet climate change targets.

As a social housing provider, the council has to follow national guidance on energy efficiency and plans to retrofit its properties across the county borough, making them all net-zero by 2050.

There is an “urgent requirement for suitably qualified and registered surveyors” to carry out assessments and recommend how affordable homes can meet targets for greater air tightness, ventilation and energy efficiency, the council said.

“The capacity does not exist currently within south Wales to deliver against these statutory requirements hence any investment in a centre of expertise locally is welcomed,” Paul Hudson, the council’s business enterprise renewal team leader said in a new report.

Developing the new retrofitting hub will rely on £1m from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, one of the schemes set up in Westminster after Brexit to replace European grants.

Shayne Cook, the council’s cabinet member for housing, told the cabinet meeting on Wednesday he was “really excited to see the proposals for the retrofitting hub”.

Cllr Shayne Cook

Mark Williams, the council’s corporate director for economy and environment, said a delegation from Caerphilly Council had visited a similar hub in Ireland and was not aware of any similar hubs in the UK.

The meeting heard the new hub at Coleg y Cymoedd could be set up within 12 to 18 months once the funding for the project was secured.

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