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Extra £32m for estates regeneration programme

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An extra £32m has been made available to councils, housing associations, and developers to demolish and rebuild, or radically regenerate run-down estates.

In January the then prime minister David Cameron claimed up to 100 run-down estates could be overhauled even though only £140m government funding had been made available.

The £140m loan fund is designed to cover costs such as land assembly, leaseholder buy-outs, re-housing costs, demolition, and preparatory construction works. The funding is available over five years from 2016 to 2021.

The extra £32m grant funding announced today includes £30m for enabling work such as feasibility studies, viability assessments, master-planning, community engagement, and partner or procurement advice. A further £2m will boost local authorities’ capacity to support estate regeneration work, the Department for Communities & Local Government said.

The finance prospectus said both of those grants are only available in this financial year.

A new national strategy designed to address common challenges that can stop estate regeneration projects, such as resident protection concerns or finding the necessary finance, has also been published.

Wandsworth LBC’s leader Ravi Govindia (Con), who was a member of the government’s estate regeneration advisory panel, said the national strategy “reflected so much of the local authority feedback and lessons” councils had learned.

He said the guidance and funding would be a “major boost to getting schemes off the ground” and added councils would have a “significant role to play” in ensuring estate regeneration projects meet their area’s needs and deliver growth.

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.”

LGC reported in January how the DCLG’s director-general for housing and planning, Paul Schofield, said tenants would be able to return to their homes at ‘affordable rents’ once regeneration works have been completed.

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