Warmer homes in £1m Durham improvement scheme

Residents are enjoying warmer homs on Durham's Sherburn Road estate thanks to a £1m repairs programme led by Bernicia, Esh Living and Roberta Blackman-Woods MP

Residents on a Durham estate are enjoying warmer homes thanks to a £1m roof replacement programme by North East housing association Bernicia.

A total of 155 houses owned by Bernicia on the Sherburn Road estate have had roofs replaced and properly insulated to help tackle problems with cold, damp and condensation.

Contractor Esh Living has delivered the home refurbishments on behalf of Bernicia over the past four months.

Bernicia and Esh Living staff, together with City of Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods, walked the estate to view the properties and talk with local residents to get their views on the repairs.

Former pub landlord Ann Anderson has lived on the Sherburn Road estate for 19 years and is registered as disabled due to arthritis.

“We’ve had a new roof, boiler and kitchen put in,” she said. “The new roof has made it a lot warmer and the house looks nice and neat outside.

“The lads from Esh are great lads, good workers. They picked up all the rubbish, the roof tiles from the garden after they has finished, really made it all tidy.”

Neighbour Nicola Barker said: “I was really pleased with the standard of the job that was carried out on my property. They were very polite and tidy and have done a fantastic job.”

Michael Farr, Bernicia Executive Director of Assets and Growth, said: “Tenants told us about the problems they faced living in cold homes, and the difficulties that led to with condensation and damp.

“We acted on their concerns and put in place a £1m roof replacement programme, fitting insulation and new roof linings to keep more heat in the houses.

“Contractors Esh Living have delivered first class improvement works to 155 properties and hearing how the work has improved people’s homes makes the team feel proud.”

Roberta said: “Residents got in touch to say there was a big issue with damp homes and the paint was peeling off the walls outside.

“The difference now is amazing, it’s more than any one of us had hoped for. It has really given the houses a new lease of life and the tenants are very happy.

“The fact that Bernicia used a local construction company in Esh Living to do the work is really fabulous.

“That has not gone unnoticed. It’s a company based in Durham, carrying out a really high standard of workmanship and we’re all very, very happy about this scheme.”

Colin Ford, Construction Director at Esh Living, part of Esh Group, said: “We believe in constructing local, our head office is located less than three miles away from the site and it’s great that Esh Living was chosen to deliver much-needed improvement works to over 150 properties on behalf of Bernicia in the Durham area.”

Photo shows front row left to right: Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, resident Ann Anderson and Chris Parker, Esh Living contracts manager. Back row: Lee Hornby, Esh Living site manager, Michael Farr, Bernicia executive director of assets and growth and Andrew Clennell, Esh Living senior quantity surveyor – all pictured outside newly refurbished homes on the Sherburn Road estate in Durham.