Decarbonisation hub showcased at national conference
A major decarbonisation hub – the first of its kind in the UK – was showcased at a prestigious housing sector conference hosted in Cardiff yesterday (Wednesday).
The One Big Conference was hosted by Community Housing Cymru at Techniquest in Cardiff Bay and a delegation from Adra Housing Association, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai and Bangor University were there to promote the ground-breaking hub called Tŷ Gwyrddfai which is at the forefront of decarbonisation in North West Wales.
Tŷ Gwyrddfai has been developed on the site of the former Northwood hygiene products factory which closed three years ago with the loss of nearly 100 manufacturing jobs.
The development being created will transform the site into a decarbonisation hub that will ensure that North West Wales will be at the forefront of the decarbonisation agenda, working with communities and businesses to retrofit homes over the next 10 years.
The development has benefited from Welsh Government funding totalling £736,000, an innovative combination of support through both Transforming Towns and Circular Economy Programmes. The funding enabled works to provide office space, a new reception area and the installation of Training Pods.
Tŷ Gwyrddfai has also received £500,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund’.
Grŵp Llandrillo Menai will deliver tailored decarbonisation and construction skills to young people and existing members of the construction workforce, especially in areas such as exterior wall insulation, installation and servicing of solar panels, air source heat pumps and battery storage.
Through the involvement of Bangor University, Tŷ Gwyrddfai will also promote innovation in new products, materials and technology to support decarbonisation and climate change adaptation and a “Living Lab” will be established to test and trial new technology and materials aligned to the decarbonisation agenda.
Tŷ Gwyrddfai already accommodates the head office for Trwsio, Adra’s in-house contractor which employs more than 150 staff.
Travis Perkins have also set up a depot on site to provide Adra and its contractors with materials and supplies.
Mathew Gosset, Assistant Director – Assets at Adra, said: “There is some real ground-breaking work going on at Tŷ Gwyrddfai. We are really proud of the development so far and it’s great that we were able to share our experiences with a large audience down at the conference in Cardiff.
“It’s such an exciting development and there’s a tremendous amount of interest in the facility, with a number of Welsh Government delegations having visited the site, as well as local authorities and businesses wanting to learn more or to get on board.
“The development will lead to a more qualified and skilled workforce, which will support the local construction sector and ensure that any value generated through decarbonisation and related capital investment will be retained locally.
“It will also contribute towards reducing carbon emissions in our homes, which in turn will reduce the impact of increasing fuel and energy costs by making our homes more energy efficient and improve the quality of life for our tenants.
Rhianwen Edwards, Director of Commercial and Work-Based Learning, said: “Tŷ Gwyrddfai stands as a remarkable demonstration of our close collaboration with Adra, highlighting the ability of Busnes@LlandrilloMenai’s Centre for Infrastructure, Skills and Technology (CIST) to deliver essential skills and training to the entire supply chain.
“Our vision for this facility is to integrate the specialised training in carbon reduction technologies, already offered at CIST, into both the heart of industry and the community. This will bolster the growth of skills and knowledge within the workforce, facilitating the widespread adoption of carbon reduction and retrofitting technologies and practice.
“Tŷ Gwyrddfai offers an exciting opportunity for local businesses and companies to lead the charge in the shift towards a more sustainable future.”
Andrew Edwards, pro-vice chancellor of Welsh language, civic engagement and strategic partnerships at Bangor University, added: “The Tŷ Gwyrddfai collaboration provides the university with a valuable way of translating its sustainability research into real world applications and puts Bangor University’s world-class R&D at the heart of the local and regional decarbonising agenda.
“The Living Lab will help test and develop products to retrofit and decarbonise housing stock not only within Adra’s remit, but across the sector.”