Trust boss abseils to launch work on tower blocks

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The Chief Executive of Cheshire Peaks & Plains Housing Trust has led a group of brave souls to abseil down the side of Pennine Court, Hurdsfield, a 16-storey tower block!

The abseil raised over £800 for East Cheshire Hospice, but also marked the start of a major improvement programme at Range & Pennine Courts. Over the next 12 months the heat insulation and external appearance of the blocks will be improved dramatically, thanks to new external cladding and replacement windows.

The total cost of the work is £3.4 million, which includes a grant of £738,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). As part of this grant, the Trust is committed to using the project to assist in developing the supply chain and installation of low carbon technologies in the North West.

David Malpass, Director of European Programme said: "Cheshire Peaks & Plains have come up with a truly novel way to draw attention to the start of the external works, while raising money for a local charity. Once complete, the improvements to Range and Pennine Court will boost the local economy, as well as helping the Government to reach its targets for savings in carbon emissions. Good luck to Tim and his team!"

The abseil took place on Friday 6th May, with work on the blocks due to begin the next week. Leading the way was Tim Pinder, Chief Executive of the Trust. Other Trust staff and representatives of partner organisations took part as well, including staff from Rowlinsons Construction Ltd, Poynton, who are the contractors carrying out the work. Staff were also available on the ground to chat to residents about the work and answer any questions.

Tim Pinder says "I was both excited and terrified by the chance to abseil down the side of Pennine Court, having only abseiled from 20 metre high indoor climbing walls before. But this was my last chance to do so, because after our transformation of the blocks we won't want any scuff marks from size 10 boots ruining the look of them!"

"We have already refurbished the lifts and the internal areas of the tower blocks and built new attractive entrances, but this last part will be the most visible change to the outside world. Range and Pennine Courts are significant landmarks in the town and set against the backdrop of the peaks, they needed a sensitive, but striking solution, which we think we have come up with. Not only will they look much better, but they will also be much warmer and easier to heat for our tenants, as we are installing highly insulated cladding."

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