DCLG funds for regeneration of sink estates

8 Dec 16

The government will plough £32m into a strategy to regenerate England’s run down estates, communities secretary Sajid Javid has announced.

The strategy, published today, is the outcome of an initiative spearheaded by former prime minister David Cameron, who launched a drive to revitalise “sink estates” at the start of the year.

He commissioned a panel, chaired by former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine and housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell, to lead government efforts to regenerate 100 of the most dilapidated housing estates in England.

Announcing the panel’s strategy today, Heseltine said it “puts residents at the heart of reshaping their estates”, alongside local authorities and developers.

The community-focused strategy provides guidance on good practice including engaging with residents, improving social outcomes and finance and delivery.

Heseltine described it as setting out “blueprints for success” to guide progress and deliver “tangible outcomes”.

It comes alongside £32m worth of new grant funding, adding to a £140m, loan-based estate regeneration fund that has already been launched.

Local authorities and housing associations will be able to apply for funds from a pot of £30m to support them during the early stages of regeneration schemes.

The money is intended to help finance, for example, feasibility studies, viability assessments, community engagement and partner or procurement advice.

A further £2m worth of grants are available to help local authorities build commercial skills and capacity in estate regeneration.

Both funding opportunities are available for the 2016-17 financial year.

Barwell urged communities to join together and apply for funding, making use of the national strategy to take forward ideas.

“The funding we are providing will help kick-start a renaissance for those estates that face tough challenges and have often been overlooked,” he added.

The government said the strategy has the potential to deliver thousands of additional homes over the next 10 to 15 years, along with well-designed public spaces and a better quality of life in areas characterised by poor quality housing and social deprivation.

Javid said rundown estates have huge potential to become “thriving communities” providing homes, jobs and opportunities for everyone.

In November, think-tank ResPublica published research calling on the government to provide more public funds for estate regeneration and increase other forms of investment in estates, outside of the private sector.

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