On January 18, 2023, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced that disused and unloved brownfield sites all across England will soon be regenerated to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs.
Starting immediately, local councils across England will be able to bid for a share of £60 million ($74 million USD) from the Brownfield Land Release Fund 2, which will help to revitalize neglected urban areas back into use, support regeneration projects and boost local economies.
The funding will deliver 5800 new homes by March 2027, create around 18,000 new jobs in the housing and construction sector, while helping thousands of first-time buyers into homeownership.
Minister for Housing Lucy Frazer said, “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.”
This is part of the Government’s plan to prioritise brownfield land for new housing, transforming underused sites into places where people want to live and work, while protecting our cherished green spaces.
Cabinet Office Minister Alex Burghart said, “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.”
£35 million of the £180 million fund has already been allocated to areas from Exeter to Sunderland and 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 4 years, helping to transform communities and level up the country.
Cllr. James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said “The LGA is delighted to continue to partner on the Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF2) through our One Public Estate Programme. Councils are at the forefront of housing delivery, with BLRF2 supporting them to meet the needs of their communities by releasing their surplus land for new, high quality, energy efficient homes.”
- Chorley – £650,000 will remediate the site within the town centre, which housed the former theatre and more recently the bingo hall. This bring forward delivery of 29 high-quality energy efficient new homes, reinvigorating the town centre through the formation of a new civic square in front of the historic town hall.
- Blackburn – £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 – £223,000 will 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.
The application window for this round will close on 31 March 2023 with successful projects expected to be announced over the summer.
£35 million was released from the fund in November 2022 to 41 councils, supporting 59 regeneration projects from Exeter to Sunderland. Over 2,200 homes – including over 800 affordable homes – will be built for local communities.
This program 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.
Photo of downtown Chorley is by Karl1587 via Wikipedia.