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South Wales sustainable homes get £100m funding boost

Biophilic Living Swansea

An ambitious plan to deliver 10,000 new sustainable homes across South Wales in a decade by the country’s largest social housing provider, Pobl Group, has been boosted by a £100 million sustainability linked loan from Lloyds Bank.

Development is planned all along the South Wales M4 corridor, from Newport and Monmouthshire in the east to Swansea and Pembrokeshire in the West. The not-for-profit organisation aims for 95% of the new homes it develops over the next four years to have an EPC B rating or above, while delivering close to 1,000 homes which meet EPC A standards.

Pobl Group is also investing in innovative zero carbon renewable energy sourcing schemes, including the Penderi Energy Project. Penderi is the largest energy retrofit scheme of its kind in the UK and the main phase of installations was completed in July, covering 518 out of 644 homes in the Swansea community.

It is anticipated that the innovative scheme, supported by £3.5m EU funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government, will see the community generate as much as 60%of their total electricity requirements, reducing bills as well as carbon emissions by as much 350 tonnes per year.

The sustainability linked loan from Lloyds Bank incentivises Pobl Group to meet its targets on energy ratings for new homes, invest in retrofitting its existing properties, and build significant numbers of new affordable homes over the next four years. Achieving these targets will lower Pobl’s borrowing costs.

James O’Connor, Director of Corporate Finance at Pobl Group, said: “As Wales’ largest social housing provider, our latest high efficiency homes represent a change to how housing is built and managed on a really significant scale.

“Integrating solar panels and smart batteries, leveraging heat networks, improving insulation and providing electric vehicle charging are just some of the raft of measures our team is reviewing and delivering as part of our sustainable development plans.

“This work is supported by the finance provided by Lloyds Bank, which helps us to make a major difference to South Wales’ current and future housing needs.”

Lloyds Banking Group is the biggest supporter of social housing in the UK and recognises the fundamental role providers play in meeting the country’s housing needs. The Group is working with homelessness charity Crisis in a two-year partnership to help tackle the shortage of good quality, affordable homes in Great Britain. The Group’s CEO Charlie Nunn visited one of Pobl’s flagship developments at Loftus Garden Village in Newport earlier this year to see and learn more about its development plans first hand.

Jatinder Dhaliwal, Regional Housing Director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Pobl shows a palpable sense of responsibility to the climate and its customers, which are central to its ambitious development plans that will enhance the lives of thousands of families across South Wales.

“We’re proud to back pioneers like Pobl as they have quickly understood and responded to the opportunities and challenges that net-zero presents for UK housing.”