A project to make thousands of homes in Merseyside more energy efficient has been recognised for its achievements with a top European environmental award.

The REECH initiative, which is managed by Sefton Council, is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Sefton, Liverpool, St Helens, Knowsley, Halton and Wirral Councils and a number of social housing providers.

The project aims to improve the energy efficiency of homes in some of most deprived communities within the city region. REECH is also working with local SME businesses to help them use use energy and other resources more efficiently.

The project beat competition from Rotterdam and Tampere to pick up the prestigious EUROCITIES award at a recent ceremony in Munich.

The project was recognised in the ‘Cooperation’ category, due to its work on retrofitting social housing and commercial premises to increase energy efficiency and help create new jobs within the region.

The award winners were selected by an independent panel consisting of representatives from a number of bodies, including Munich’s departments of environment and health and European Commission DG Environment.

Cllr Ian Maher, Cabinet Member Regeneration and Tourism and chair of the REECH steering group, said: “The REECH project has been making a major difference to the lives of people across the region through both reducing bills and job creation and I am delighted this vital work has been recognised.

“The EUROCITIES awards recognise energy intelligent cities and it is clear that REECH is playing a major a role in developing energy efficiency through upgrading older properties across the region.

“There is a still a number of schemes in process including large estate-based projects of up to 600 homes where a range of energy efficiency measures are being installed.”

For more information about REECH, visit www.reech.info or call 0151 934 4619

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