The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities have announced that disused and unloved brownfield sites across England will be regenerated to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs. How will the funding help to transform communities and level up the UK?
From today, councils across England will be able to bid for a share of £60 million from the Brownfield Land Release Fund 2. It is said that this will help to bring neglected urban areas back into use, support regeneration projects and boost local economies.
Brownfield Land Must Be Prioritised To Reach Net Zero
A total of 5,800 new homes will be delivered by March 2027, and the funding will see the creation of around 18,000 new jobs in the housing and construction sector. In addition, the funding will help thousands of first-time buyers into homeownership. This is part of the UK Government’s plan to prioritise brownfield land for new housing, transforming underused sites into places where people want to live and work.
Minister for Housing, Rt Hon Lucy Frazer explained that the focus is on creating the communities of the future and reaching our net zero targets: “We want to turn neglected areas into thriving new communities, as part of our mission level up the country. To do this we must prioritise brownfield land to deliver new homes for people, in the right places.”
The £60 million fund we are opening today provides another fantastic opportunity for councils to drive regeneration in their towns and cities – and help more young families onto the housing ladder.
It has been revealed that £35 million of the £180 million fund has already been allocated to areas from Exeter to Sunderland. The remaining funding will be made available to councils over the next 2 years. The full brownfield fund will deliver 17,600 new homes and 56,000 skilled new jobs over the next four years, helping to transform communities and level up the country.
Cabinet Office Minister, Alex Burghart expressed that local people will be seeing the benefits of the funding for years and years: “This funding is absolutely vital for stimulating growth and helping local areas reach their full potential. Neglected land such as this is ready for investment and this funding will pave the way for more than 5,800 young people and families to take their first step onto the property ladder.”
This is great news for businesses and even better news for local people, who are seeing housing as well as jobs moving to their area for decades to come.
Funding Is Helping To Meet The Demand For Affordable Rent
The applicated window for this round will close on 31 March 2023, with successful projects expected to be announced over the summer. The £35 million released from the fund in November 2022 was to 41 councils, supporting 59 regeneration projects. Examples include:
Chorley received £650,000 to remediate the site within the town centre and bring forward the delivery of 29 high-quality energy efficient new homes. Blackburn received £220,000 to unlock 30 new affordable homes and bungalows for independent living, addressing the needs of an older population and the demand for more homes for affordable rent.
Darlington received £223,000 to enable the delivery of 27 homes close to the new government hub at Darlington Economic Campus. The homes will introduce new green corridors to improve access to and from the town centre. This scheme builds on the success of the first Brownfield Land Release Fund, which saw £77 million help councils release over 160 brownfield sites for around 7,750 new homes across the country.