Hastings has been awarded a second European Union grant of around £1.77m to help improve housing conditions in St Leonards. Sustainable Houses in Inclusive Neighbourhoods (SHINE) targets areas with poor-quality housing and makes them more energy-efficient to tackle fuel poverty. The first project, Climate Active Neighbourhood, was approved earlier this year for the Ore Valley area. SHINE includes energy efficient improvements to 200 homes, an energy advice ‘pop-up’ service, campaigns to improve energy-efficiency, plus energy kits or smart meters for 600 homes. Hastings Borough Council lead member for housing Kim Forward said: “This is excellent news for the town. “It will benefit particularly disadvantaged parts of St Leonards by tackling fuel poverty through introducing carbon dioxide reduction and low carbon technologies. “The project will target residential areas where housing quality is poor and less energy efficient, particularly in the private rented sector but also include those who own their homes as well as local residents in social housing.” SHINE has 15 partners from France, Belgium, the Netherlands as well as the UK, with Brighton and Hove City Council also participating, with funding coming from the Interreg 2 Seas Programme.

“Local residents and tenants will see real benefits from the project because of lower energy bills, while everybody will benefit in the long term through a reduction in our carbon footprint,” Cllr Forward added. “This really is a win win scheme, and I am delighted that we were successful in winning this funding. I look forward to seeing the promised improvements.”

From the Hastings Observer