New government funding to help regenerate rundown estates announced by communities secretary

A new government strategy and additional funding has been launched by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid to "breathe new life" into rundown estates - a task which includes the creation of well-designed public spaces to improve local neighbourhoods.

Lord Heseltine: Estate regeneration must be locally-led
Lord Heseltine: Estate regeneration must be locally-led

As part of a new blueprint for regenerating deprived housing estates, an additional £32 million of new funding is now available, along with £140 million from the estate regeneration fund.

Councils, housing associations and developers can now bid for a share of the £172 million of government investment to improve local neighbourhoods and deliver higher-quality housing.

Advice is also on offer on how to transform areas from a new ‘national strategy’ to address issues such as resident protection and finding the necessary finance.

The government says estate regeneration has the potential to deliver thousands of additional homes over the next 10 to 15 years while providing well-designed public spaces and a better quality of life in areas often characterised by poor quality housing and social deprivation.

The new national strategy was developed by an independent advisory panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine and the Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell.

Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: Rundown estates offer huge potential to become new thriving communities providing homes, jobs and opportunities and places that work for everyone. That’s why we’re determined to ensure the success of regeneration projects through the national strategy to transform the lives of thousands of people by delivering better homes in better estates.

Lord Heseltine said: "The national strategy puts residents at the heart of reshaping their estates, working with local authorities and developers. Estate regeneration must be locally-led and this strategy sets out blueprints for success, to help guide the progress and provide aspiration for delivering tangible plans."

Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell said: "The funding we are providing will help kick-start a renaissance for those estates that face tough challenges and have often been overlooked. I’d urge communities keen to rejuvenate their places to join together, apply for funding and make use of the national strategy to drive forward their local-led proposals. Building more homes is central to this government’s vision of a country that works for everyone."

The strategy was devised after discussions with more than 100 areas across England. Through a combination of practical advice and guidance, the new national strategy seeks to help local partners to improve and speed up the progress of estate regeneration.

The strategy has guidance that covers:

• resident engagement and protection – this includes a model residents’ charter to help ensure a better standard of resident protection

• good practice guide – steering schemes through all the key stages including the range of finance options available

• alternative approaches to regeneration – providing advice on community led housing development

• case studies – illustrating and highlighting examples of design and quality, along with community engagement

The £32 million additional grant funding includes £30 million for enabling work such as feasibility studies, viability assessments, masterplanning, community engagement and partner or procurement advice, and £2 million for local authority capacity building to support estate regeneration work.

The £140 million loan fund was initially announced in January, and is designed to cover costs such as land assembly, leaseholder buy-outs, re-housing costs, demolition, and preparatory construction works.

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