Residents at a Salford tower block are starting the new year with a new-look home thanks to a multi-million-pound refurbishment by Salix Homes.
The Salford-based housing association has recently completed a £7.5million improvement project at Fitzwarren Court in Pendleton, which has seen the high-rise building undergo a major facelift.
The 23-storey building had originally been earmarked for demolition as part of a wider regeneration of the area, but the plans were halted in 2016 when Salix Homes secured funding to modernise the block.
The once-ageing 1970s building has been completely transformed inside and out, with the former blue and green façade replaced with modern tones of grey, green and orange render, as chosen by the residents, who have played an integral role in developing the proposals for the block.
As part of the ambitious investment project, new kitchens, bathrooms, doors and windows have been fitted at all 135 apartments, along with a brand-new apartment conversion added to the ground floor.
The communal areas, lobby and grounds have all been upgraded and a digital property intercom system has been installed enabling residents to contact Salix Homes via a portal to book repairs – the first of Salix Homes’ tower blocks to use such intelligent technology.
The exterior has been completely rendered and a sprinkler system and state-of-the-art fire alarm system have also been installed as part of the landlord’s Safety Enhancement Programme across all its high-rise blocks in Salford.
Sue Sutton, chief executive at Salix Homes, said: “For many years, residents at Fitzwarren Court have been in limbo about the future of their homes, so we’re delighted that our ambitious improvement and modernisation scheme is now complete, and residents can start the new year, and look forward to the future, in their new-look homes.
“Our significant investment has given the building a new lease of life, complimenting the wider regeneration taking place in the Pendleton area, and ensuring this iconic building can stand proud on the Salford skyline for many years to come.
“Salix Homes is committed to raising the bar of building safety in all our homes, having been instrumental in the development of the national Building Safety Charter and the Government’s draft Building Safety Bill. The additional safety measures incorporated into this refurbishment project cements our commitment to delivering the safe, modern and energy efficient homes that everyone deserves.”
A geo-thermal heating system has also been installed under the carpark, which has improved the thermal efficiency of the building and reduced residents’ fuel bills. The ground-source heating system works by harnessing heat from underground, rather than burning fuel to generate heat.
Salix Homes has been working alongside partner contractor Casey to complete the refurbishment programme, which has also included improvements to 10 terraced homes on the neighbouring Rosehill Close.
Alan Taylor, director at Casey, added: “The Fitzwarren Court scheme has been fantastic to be part of and we have been so pleased to assist with improving the lives of those living in the Salford community by undertaking these works.
“The project has transformed the appearance, practicality and sustainability of the block for many years to come. Whilst working on the scheme we have also been able to deliver new apprenticeships, work placements, job creation and assist with community projects, all of which will leave a lasting legacy within the Salford area.”