The LARA Project 

Posted on 18/5/2024

Chris Langdon, Retrofit Group Member, writes:

Are you considering improving your home to cut fuel costs or reduce draughts, but not sure how to find the right suppliers? Are you are concerned about contradictory messages from Camden about what you are allowed to do in a Conservation Area like Belsize? 

If so, join the club! 

That’s why the Belsize Society has recently set up an informal group of members who plan to retrofit their homes.  The group met on 30 April in the Washington pub. We discussed Camden Council’s call for support for its bid to join a new project designed to overcome some of the blockages making domestic retrofit so hard.   Camden is applying to be one of three Councils to pilot the new Local Area Retrofit Accelerator. It’s called LARA for short. 

The LARA pilot project will also aim to set up local delivery groups, which will aim to turn the plan into substantive action, working with local supply chains, businesses, colleges and installers.

For the LARA pilot, the initial funding would go to Camden – if they are successful. Camden’s bid would, they say, “allow residents and local groups to work together to develop an action plan to accelerate domestic retrofit in Camden.”  A main plank of Camden’s bid are a series of workshops in the autumn.  They ask organisations like Belsize Society to commit to engage seriously with the co-designing and participating in the workshops. 

Having offered our support to Camden in principle, we will wait to see if Camden’s bid to join the LARA pilot is successful.