Launch event marks start of repairs at Hockmore Tower

Published: Monday, 8th August 2016

An event to mark the start of repairs at Hockmore Tower under Oxford City Council’s £20 million tower blocks repairs project will be held at TheVenue@Cowley on Barns Road from 3-6pm on Tuesday 2016.

The City Council’s Board Member for Housing, Cllr Mike Rowley, and ward members for Cowley, Christine Simm and David Henwood, will join Hockmore residents at the event for a detailed presentation of the proposed repairs by officials from project contractor, Willmott Dixon Energy Services (WDES).

WDES, who started work on Evenlode and Windrush towers in Blackbird Leys earlier this year, have commenced site set-up at Hockmore, with installation of aerial systems and scaffolding already underway. They have also started installation of the curtain walling system and insulation of the outside of the building. Preparatory work to install new heating systems in the flats has also begun.

Repairs on the two remaining towers, Foresters and Plowman, will start in September and October, respectively. The tower blocks repairs project will see all five tower blocks in the city repaired to a high standard to improve their energy efficiency and increase their life span. The project will also improve the grounds, car parks, fencing, landscaping, and front entrances. 

Councillor Mike Rowley, Board Member for Housing and Property Services, said: “I’m delighted to see the remarkable progress being made in the transformation of our tower blocks. These repairs reflect the Council’s commitment to raising the standard and quality of housing for the people of Oxford. Increasing the life of the tower blocks means guaranteeing the provision of good quality and affordable housing for our residents for another generation.”

Richard Crook, WDES Construction Manager, said: “The project overall is proceeding to programme as envisaged with the contract being on time and in budget. Overall in each block we are planning the cladding of the blocks, the new heating and ventilation of the blocks, along with the improved fire strategy all as originally designed and set out by Oxford City Council.

Evenlode Tower cladding is now starting to the outside and all repairs will be finished in February 2017. Windrush Tower is following on and again is progressing well and on target to complete in April 2017. Hockmore Tower works are now on site and initial works have commenced and we look forward to the public launch of the project. Hockmore is due to complete in June 2017.

Foresters and Plowman Towers will be starting September and October respectively and will finish around the same months in 2017. We are enjoying the help and cooperation of the residents in each block and look forward to delivering to them Tower blocks that befit the 21st century during next year.”