Bindloss Cottages, Milnthorpe

Bindloss Cottages is located just outside Milnthorpe town centre. Originally this property was a private hospital which has been converted into five, two/three bedroom properties owned by an Almshouse Charity.

Due to the build of this property it is difficult to maintain adequate levels of warmth. The external stone walls are 18-20 inches thick. Improvement work has been carried out, the ceilings have been lowered and the roof spaces insulated, there is also an ongoing programme to replace the windows. The current heating system is electric storage heaters. Additionally residents need adequate levels of warmth because they have conditions which are exacerbated by cold temperatures.

The nearest gas main was a considerable distance away from the cottages which initially precluded the Charity applying to South Lakeland District Council for DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change now Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) grant funding for new gas central heating systems.

Bev Townley, Housing Standards Officer, South Lakeland District Council stated, “Residents had no way of accessing affordable warmth and were using expensive secondary heating. When I visited the properties it felt cold and residents were using electric fires to try and keep warm, this was a real cause for concern as power cables can be a trip hazard as well as a fire risk. Thankfully once the National Grid Affordable Warmth Solutuions (NGAWS) team became aware of this situation they generously agreed to help fund the scheme and as a result, several elderly residents will benefit from having central heating this winter.”

NGAWS calculated the construction cost was £16,059, the National Grid Fuel Poor Voucher allowance equated to £7,933 leaving a shortfall of £8,126. The shortfall was fully funded by NGAWS resulting in no cost for new gas supplies to the residents or the Charity. Importantly as a result of this investment the Charity was now able to access DECC funding for new gas central heating systems.

On 5th December 2016, T&K Gallagher Ltd commenced work bringing a new gas main to Bindloss Cottages. Work was completed on 20th December 2016.

Brendan Meanwell, Operations Manager, T&K Gallagher Ltd stated, “We have worked on a number of projects for NGAWS which has always been a pleasure. Although the number of connections was small on this project, c88m of new main was laid and was completed ahead of schedule. This was a real team effort by all involved. It is rewarding to help these customers so they will be able to get funding for gas central heating.”

Feedback from residents was positive;

“The workers were great, they arrived when they said they would, they did an excellent job and now they have finished you can’t tell that they have been! I am delighted that NGAWS have connected me to the gas main; this means that I will have access to affordable warmth and will not be cold this winter. Thank you NGAWS.”

“I am absolutely delighted with the work. I couldn’t fault the workers who were courteous at all times. When they had finished they made a fabulous job of reinstating the grounds. I would like to thank NGAWS for a sterling job.”

Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director, Affordable Warmth Solutions commented, “We were delighted to be able to offer financial support that enabled this scheme to go ahead. The trustees of the Charity were keen to provide affordable warmth to its tenants and with our support they’ve now been able to take advantage of the central heating fund established by DECC.”