Two Edinburgh high rises set for face lift

A multi-million pound refurbishment of two of Edinburgh’s 1960s high rise flats has taken a major step forward with the appointment of a contractor to kick start the transformation.

Phase 1 of the work on the blocks at Greendykes and Wauchope Houses will include new windows, re-roofing, insulation and an improved external appearance all designed to bring the buildings up to modern standards.

The awarding of the Phase 1 contract to Concrete Repairs Ltd was approved by the City of Edinburgh Council's Finance and Resources Committee today (29 March).

Work is expected to start in the summer and the whole improvement programme will be completed in the next four years at a total cost of just under £7m.

Each of the 172 flats will benefit from new bathrooms, kitchens, windows, central heating and hot water systems. There will also be improvements to common landings and stairs.

The current gas heating system will be replaced with a new communal energy heating system which will heat the flats and supply hot water resulting in reduced bills for residents.

The Council is consulting in detail with residents before and during the project by holding open days and issuing regular newsletters.

A residents' group has been set up to discuss progress and a show flat will be open next month so residents can see the improvements for themselves.

Work is planned to start in the summer and some disruption will be inevitable. However, the Council will work to keep it to a minimum and will offer help to anyone who needs it.

Edinburgh's Housing Leader, Councillor Paul Edie, said: "I'm sure tenants will welcome the improvements and the reduced heating costs of their home. The improved insulation, new windows and heating and hot water system will be more efficient, better for the environment and cheaper to run.

"This investment is part of our on-going programme to bring council properties up to Scottish Housing Quality Standard. Over half our housing stock now meets this benchmark standard which is great news for our tenants."

Both high rises were built circa 1966 and are 15 storeys high with 86 flats in each.

This year - 2010/11 - the Council has set aside £30m of investment in improvements to council homes to meet Scottish Housing Quality Standard.

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