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Work has started on a multi-million pound project to upgrade homes on a Cramlington estate.

Northumberland County Council is investing £2.2m into transforming more than 80 homes at Allerhope.

The properties are all “Dorran” style homes, which were a popular post-war style of construction, using concrete panels.

Dorran properties often have issues with insulation and the work will help to improve the energy efficiency of the homes.

The council has teamed up with with external wall specialists, Alumasc Facades and Westdale services to complete the work. Steel structures will be added to the concrete panels to strengthen the external walls to ensure they can withstand the weight of new insulation and render. A mix of off-white and brick effect render will then be used on the external wall to modernise the properties, as well as new windows fitted.

The first phase of the work started this week, with the project estimated to take two years.

Earlier this year the council picked up a number of national awards for a pilot scheme for the project. At the Energy Efficiency and Healthy Homes Awards, the council received a highly commended in the Landlord of the Year category and commended in the Small Project of the Year (Under £250k) award.

Coun John Riddle, Cabinet member for housing at the council, said: “This is a really innovative project, using specialist technology to upgrade and improve the homes on this estate.

“The work will not only improve the energy efficiency of the property, and help to reduce the risk of fuel poverty for tenants, but will also improve the general appearance of the area.

“Our tenant, whose home was part of the pilot scheme, is extremely happy with the work and has already noticed the benefits with the property feeling warmer and better insulated.”

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