LLAY residents will be able to enjoy cheaper energy bills and be able to breathe a lot easier thanks to a new initiative.
Wrexham Council and Transco, with help from the Welsh Assembly, are working together to connect all houses in the Llay area to the gas supply and have boilers and other energy efficient appliances fitted.
Edwina Hart AM, Minister for Social Justice and Regeneration, visited a number of residents of the Llay community to formally recognise the implementation of the scheme.
Tests undertaken by Wrexham Council's Public Protection Department between June 2001 and February 2002, as part the Air Quality Strategy highlighted poor air quality, especially during winter, in Llay.
Houses in the area had limited access to the gas supply and therefore coal and electricity were the main heating fuels.
In September 2002, representatives of Transco's Affordable Warmth Programme (AWP) were invited to assist in a scheme to identify potential solutions, including facilitating the installation of a gas infrastructure and other energy efficiency measures to 400 homes.
The gas supply network is now being extended and a significant number of homes will have full central heating installed this winter.
All homes in the area will be connected to a gas supply by January 2004, with the scheme fully completed by the end of that year.
Air quality monitoring will continue in the area to demonstrate compliance with the Air Quality Regulations.
Wrexham County Borough Council is fully committed to implementing the scheme and funding has been allocated for the installation of energy efficient boilers, radiators and additional insulation in council-owned properties.
The Private Sector Housing Service is to provide funding through the Home Improvement Grants Scheme to subsidise the costs to homeowners.
The council is currently developing an information pack to assist homeowners to put affordable heating systems into their homes.
Chief public protection officer, Andy Lewis, said: 'This project would not have been delivered without the full support of The Welsh Assembly.
'By working in partnership with other agencies Wrexham County Borough Council's funding of the project brought in significant additional grants and subsidies including EEC grant funding which enabled the project to go ahead.'
He added: 'I would like to thank officers from Development Services, Personal Services - Housing Department, Corporate Services and Environmental Services Directorates for their hard work and commitment to making this a success.'
Cllr David Broderick and Cllr Malcolm Williams are enthusiastic about the scheme and said: 'We fully support the development of this type of project. We are very pleased to see that the works are well underway in Llay, and will continue to assist with their implementation.'