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Torus dives into a more sustainable future at Lightbody Street

06 March 2024

Welcoming the return of Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, to Hartley Locks, Torus is thrilled to be showing how the landmark Lightbody Street site has progressed and how the £51 million development will go onto improve the carbon footprint of the Group’s development programme and create more skilled employment and training opportunities.

Torus is working hard to improve its green credentials as the North West’s largest provider of affordable homes and Hartley Locks is very much ‘ground zero’ for the Group’s foray into water-sourced energy which will see District Heating provide heating and hot water for the development, powered by an innovative water-sourced heat pump. Water from the adjacent Leeds/Liverpool Canal will be used to generate heat for all homes at Hartley Locks through one of the UK’s largest water source heat pumps. Part of Peel NRE’s District Heating Network and the Mersey Heat Network, the water source heat pump is estimated to result in up to a 74% reduction in carbon generation, seeing Torus making concerted efforts to not only improve the green credentials of the build but help future residents with their energy consumption.

Committed to working with its communities and creating opportunities for people to learn a new trade and get into a construction career, Torus, and Hartley Locks contractor, Eric Wright Construction, are actively creating apprenticeships across the scheme to get local workers, college and school leavers into a sustainable, long-term career. This dedication to upskilling communities has already seen 20 people enrolled onto a number of initiatives including Torus Foundation’s ‘Women in Construction’, Everton in the Community and Laing O’Rourke programmes.

A landmark development for the housing Group, Hartley Locks will see Torus build 185 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, 10 3-bedroom townhouses and 7 new commercial spaces, helping kick start the residential development in this area and provide local businesses with new space in an up-and-coming part of the city.

With all homes built being available via Rent to Buy, Hartley Locks is the first affordable residential development in the area and will actively encourage people onto the property ladder, seeing brownfield land regenerated and repurposed to help address the local need for more affordable housing options.

Steve Coffey, Chief Executive of the Torus Group, said:

“To be welcoming the Metro Mayor to site again is brilliant as it continues to show how we are working alongside the Liverpool City Region to improve the city for its people and communities, and we were thrilled that he has seen so much progress. As a Group, we are committed to building and working in a more sustainable way – in a way that benefits both our tenants and the environment. Connecting to a District Heating Network powered by a water source heat pump on this scale is not only impressive, but also exciting as we can see how different technologies can be implemented across our development programme.

“For us, Hartley Locks is very much the catalyst for wider investment in North Liverpool and although it’s one of our first schemes, it won’t be our last. It’s fantastic to be taking a lead on redeveloping not only this site, but the area, which for a long time has needed investment. To be creating new, high-quality homes and new commercial space to help encourage wider economic regeneration and create a self-sustaining, thriving community to rival areas such as the Baltic Triangle, is something I am incredibly proud of, and Hartley Locks is an example of urban regeneration and partnership working at its finest.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“I have always been bold in my ambition to make our area a leader in the Green Industrial Revolution, having set a target to be net zero by 2040 at the latest – a full decade ahead of national government.

“To help us achieve that goal, we have invested more than £105 million to retrofit 10,000 homes across our area, which is helping thousands of our most vulnerable households to save hundreds of pounds on their energy bills. We are working around the clock to deliver on our goals with the limited funding we have been able to wrestle from government, but I know that we simply cannot achieve our targets on our own. Collaboration between public and private sector is helping us to go further and faster than ever before - and helping more people in our area to get a foot on the property ladder in secure, energy efficient home of their own.”

Speaking about the development, James Eager, Construction Director at Eric Wright Construction, commented:

“Our organisation has an enviable record of delivering high quality affordable homes across the North West and we are delighted to be supporting our valued client, Torus, and support the ongoing development of the Liverpool City Region. This is the latest in a number of successful medium rise residential projects we have successfully delivered, including The Dispensary in Ancoats and Greenhaus, a nine-storey Passivhaus certified scheme in Salford.”

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