Work to repair houses damaged in a botched insulation scheme is one step closer to going ahead after Bridgend Council appointed contractors to carry it out.

Members of the community in Caerau, Bridgend, said they had spent more than 10 years living in damp and mouldy homes after two projects, known as Arbed and CESP, saw their properties damaged by a programme of improvements to increase their energy efficiency.

In many cases, those living in the more than 100 homes affected said that, because of the poor insulation fittings to external walls they'd suffered with issues such as damp, mould, and structural issues in the 10 years since work began.

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While a specific date has not yet been given it seems as though the work to carry out the wall insulation repairs could begin soon after Bridgend Council announced the appointment of contractors Warmworks.

A council spokesman said the company would partner with SERS Energy Solutions Group, which specialises in the installation and repair of external wall insulations, to begin the removal of any "inadequate insulation" replacing it to meet quality standards

It comes after the Welsh Government agreed to set aside around £2.65m worth of funding to rectify the situation in 2022 for homes affected by the 2012-13 projects which residents said left their homes "falling apart". Try WalesOnline Premium for FREE by clicking here for no ads, fun puzzles and brilliant new features

Man in doorway
Richie Humphries

However, some residents who live in the area said that after years of fighting for the repairs to be made, they would not believe the work was actually starting until they saw it.

Richie Humphries, 79, lives in one of the affected homes and said: "It is good for us to see that there are things starting to happen with the repairs but we've fought for so long now that I can't believe anything's going to happen until I actually see it taking place."

Rhiannon Goodall also lives in one of the houses where the insulation was first fitted and added: "We've had a lot of letters given to us about the situation over the last couple of years with liaison officers appointed and now the contractors but as of yet nothing has happened. To be honest we're ready to see some action now and not just words on paper.

"All the while we're still living with the consequences of this work more than 10 years on with so much damp the water's running off the walls. It's like a trauma in a way, and for a lot of us it's been going on for so long that we won't believe things are moving forward until the work starts."

Woman in kitchen looking at damp wall
Rhiannon Goodall of Caerau in her kitchen

Council chief executive Mark Shephard said: "The appointment of a contractor represents a significant milestone in this project and residents can be reassured by the detailed procurement process that has led to this appointment. Warmworks have delivered 150,000 energy efficiency measures in more than 40,000 households across the UK, consistently delivering the highest levels of quality and customer care. The works are nationally-accredited and are in line with all the latest regulations.

"Residents will soon be contacted directly about opportunities to meet the contractor and more information about the start date of the works will also be provided following discussions between the project team and contractor." For the latest Bridgend news sign up to our newsletter here.