Lancaster City Council: Housing Retrofit Action Learning Set

Lancaster City Council is looking to retrofit housing stock, engage with residents to explain the benefits and encourage more local contractors to bid for tenders.


The challenge

Lancaster City Council has a clear objective to aim for net zero by 2030. The district has a very diverse range of existing buildings with Lancaster being a historic city with many old buildings. Morecambe is a coastal town which bring challenges with retrofitting plans. The district also includes rural areas.

There are challenges associated with co-ordination of introducing the benefits of retrofit to residents and building occupiers, and ensuring that they are familiar with the new technology when it is introduced.

Part of the role of Lyn Page, from Lancaster City Council, is to liaise with businesses and contractors who will be undertaking the retrofitting of the housing stock. Her challenge was that she was unsure how to get the message across effectively to contractors and construction companies that the new accreditations and ways of working would become standard and that, as a council, they wanted more local contractors to bid for contracts in the district.

The solution

Liaising with other councils and local authorities through the Action Learning Sets made Lyn realise that their challenge wasn’t unique in the Lancaster District and that if the issue is managed in smaller pieces, then it is easier to address. There are other organisations trying to get the same message out. No matter how much they shout about what needs doing, the businesses and the training providers in the district need to make the changes as they see fit. The responsibility to make sure the relevant curriculum is available for employers doesn't just sit with Lancaster City Council, but also with the training providers and the Construction Industry Training Board.

The impact

As part of our Community Wealth Building agenda, Lancaster City Council would like local contractors to bid for local contracts.

How is the new approach being sustained?

By taking a collective approach and including training providers, colleges, universities, the Local Enterprise Partnership, Lancaster Skills Hub and employers, the council can highlight the changes in the construction sector, source and market training opportunities and events about PAS 2030/35 accreditation, and continue promoting the net zero aims of the council.

Lessons learned

Lyn learned it was not solely her responsibility to arrange the curriculum activities with local training providers. They will supply the training if the demand is there.

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