A ceremony has been held to mark the formal start of the project at Elfreda House, a sheltered housing complex for vulnerable residents in Colchester.
Representatives Colchester Borough Council, Colchester Borough Homes and construction firm Kier, met to mark the start of the project.
The works will include the demolition of the existing Elfreda House facility, which is more than 55 years old, and construction of brand new accommodation. The replacement building will include 36 self-contained one- and two-bedroom flats, five more than previous, with self-contained bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms.
The redevelopment also includes shared communal spaces where residents can socialise, and lifts to the upper floors of the 3-storey building.
As part of Kier’s social value commitment to the local community, Kier STEM Ambassadors will commit to delivering employability activities to local schools in Colchester, and offer local work placement opportunities to those wishing to gain experience in the construction industry.
Cllr Paul Dundas, Leader of the Council, said: “It’s great news that work is starting on this important development for Colchester. The new accommodation will deliver improved, fit for purpose homes- for people that need them most.
“We are pleased to work in partnership with Kier and Colchester Borough Homes on this project, as part of our commitment to delivering new homes for the local community.”
Dirk Paterson, Chair of the Colchester Borough Homes Board, added: “The redevelopment of Elfreda House is an exciting and much-needed project to provide high-quality homes to older residents in Colchester. It’s well known that good quality housing has a positive impact on a person’s life and the surrounding community.
“Colchester Borough Homes is proud to support the Council achieve its ambitious housing strategy and I look forward to eventually meeting the new tenants and seeing how their new home has changed their life.”
Ian Gifford, operations director at Kier Eastern & Midlands, commented: “We’re excited to be working alongside Colchester Borough Council in the redevelopment of this important scheme. The new accommodation will benefit the most vulnerable residents for years to come.”
The project is due for completion in Spring 2023.
Image above shows L to R: Chris Bateman (Senior Project Manager at Kier); Cllr Paul Dundas, and Matt Armstrong, Director of Business Improvement at Colchester Borough Homes.