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Retrofit Essentials Bootcamp #1: A day at the University of Salford


[10 May 2023] Our first Retrofit Essentials Bootcamp at the University of Salford was a great success, with providers joining from across the north west region. Read below to hear about what we got up to and our attendees’ key takeaways from the day.


    On 25 April, we debuted the Retrofit Essentials Bootcamp series at the The University of Salford. These in-person events are aimed at delivering our online Retrofit Essentials course to housing providers over one day, with important opportunities for networking, and live Q&As with retrofit experts.

    “I’ve been dealing with a lot around data management at the moment, so it’s been great to discuss some of the alternative website, resources and platforms we can use to help manage our data better. It was also nice to have confirmation that I’m doing some of it right!”

    We were joined by attendees from organisations across the North West, including Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Bolton at Home and Riverside Housing. Participants had a wide mixture of experience, with some well embedded in SHDF Wave 1 and Wave 2 projects, while others were completely new to retrofit. 

    We began the day with presentations from specialists on procurement and PAS2035 guidelines that projects need to comply with, before moving into the first breakout session and Q&A. Kate Watson from Turner & Townsend was on hand to offer her expertise. 

    “We were involved with Wave 1 of SHDF so we had to go through the procurement and resident engagement process – it’s been good to see how things have changed, what some of the new processes are, and the experiences other organisations have had.”

    After some great conversations, we were joined by Jo Coleman from Parity Projects to talk data governance and the importance of developing good practices. Russell Smith, founder of RetrofitWorks, then provided his wisdom on monitoring and evaluation, sharing some sample monitoring plans which proved insightful to participants.

    Lunch saw a flurry of activity, as we split into two groups to tour some of the university’s excellent research facilities. While one group sat down for a bite to eat and a chat, the other was given a tour of the Energy House testing laboratory, featuring an early 20th-century two-bedroom terraced house inside an environmental chamber. Michael Brown, director of strategic partnerships at the university, talked us through how this unique facility allows the accurate and rapid assessment of retrofit technologies.

    “I’ve only been involved in my project for two weeks, so I’ve come to it with a project management background rather than a housing background. All the foundation level information has been really useful, like learning about the different types of installations or pulling together a business case.”

    Attendees, who had travelled in from areas all around Manchester, were able to share learnings, challenges and regional-specific insights. Our topic specialists kept these valuable conversations going with sessions on retrofit interventions, contractor engagement and resident engagement.

    “For me, today’s been really helpful in reinforcing all of the things I’ve already learned in a formal way – I’ve joined SHRA webinars before, but it’s great to have it built up into this package that takes you all the way through the retrofit journey.”

    More Bootcamps coming soon – sign up to be the first to hear

    We will be announcing more Retrofit Essentials Bootcamps in regions across the country soon. Follow us on  LinkedIn or join our mailing list to stay up to date with all our latest news.

    If you're interested in hosting a Bootcamp, get in touch at

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