A multi-million pound refurbishment of two of Edinburgh’s 1960s high rise flats is due to get underway early next year.

Work by The City of Edinburgh Council is expected to start on the blocks at Greendykes and Wauchope in the New Year and will be completed within five years at a total cost of £5m.

All 172 flats inside will have new bathrooms, kitchens, windows, central heating and hot water systems. There will also be improvements to common landings and stairs.

The current gas heating system will be replaced with a new communal energy heating system which will heat the flats and supply hot water resulting in reduced bills for residents.

The external appearance will also be improved with new windows and re-roofing.

The Council is consulting closely with residents before and during the project by holding open days and issuing regular newsletters.

A residents’ group will be set up to discuss progress and a show flat is being created early next year so residents can see the improvements for themselves.

Work is planned to start in March 2011 and some disruption will be inevitable but the council will try to keep it to a minimum and offer help to anyone who needs it.

Edinburgh’s Housing Leader, Councillor Paul Edie, said: “Tenants deserve a decent standard of accommodation and this council is determined to ensure all of our properties are up to scratch.

“I’m sure tenants will welcome the improvements and the reduced heating costs of their home. The improved insulation, new windows and heating and hot water system will be more efficient, better for the environment and cheaper to run.

“This investment is part of our on-going programme to bring council properties up to Scottish Housing Quality Standard. Over half our housing stock now meets this benchmark standard which is a great achievement.”