Leeds tower block's new lease of life

SHE'S clocked up nearly a quarter-of-a-century in a landmark Leeds building.

And now Margaret Greenwood is standing as tall and proud as her home, Swarcliffe's Sherburn Court, as it has been transformed into a tower block for the 21st Century.

Margaret was among the dozens of Sherburn Court residents who took part in a special ceremony to mark the beginning of a new chapter in the life of the 1960s flats.

The work, which has renovated the inside and outside of the block, has been carried out as part of the 113m project to breathe new life into Swarcliffe, funded through the private finance initiative.

The locals were joined at day one for the "new" block by staff from Leeds City Council, including housing chief Les Carter, and from Yorkshire Transformations Limited, which co-ordinated the work.

The refurbishment had transformed a former eyesore into a building for the whole community to be proud of, Margaret said.

The 68-year-old added: "Anyone who has lived through a renovation project knows that it's not easy but I think that the team has done a fantastic job.

"They have kept us up-to-date on developments, involved us in all the major decisions about the decoration of communal spaces and developed a new outside area."

While Margaret is a long-term resident, friend Rita Sharp moved in a year ago, into one of the first flats to be completed.

She said: "It's lovely; it's spacious and modern and is much more than I ever expected. The community spirit is wonderful. I haven't just moved into a new home but joined an extended family."

The 14-storey Sherburn Court houses 82 flats. The overhaul has gone from top to bottom, and includes a new roof covering, new windows and upgraded lifts.

The communal spaces have been redecorated and fitted with a new kitchen.

Each flat has been redecorated and been fitted with replacement bathrooms, kitchens and energy efficient heating systems.