Building industry boosted as loan cash becomes available

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FOUR Yorkshire housing schemes have been shortlisted to be among the first wave of developments given Government funding so construction can begin.

More than 200 homes could be built on four sites in the region as part of a £420m scheme to boost the industry.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said there had been a “clamour” for the Get Britain Building fund, which has been three times over-subscribed and offers the cash as loans at commercial rates or as equity investments.

“Eighteen of the most difficult sites have already been identified to potentially share £45m to resolve the issues they face, get builders back on site and over 1,300 homes built,” said Mr Shapps.

He added: “I look forward to seeing the results of the competition and the houses that result.”

With housebuilding levels plummeting during the economic crisis, the Government hopes the fund will allow work to re-start on key developments that have ground to a halt.

Among the first in line for the cash are two Miller Homes projects in West Yorkshire. Funding will allow 82 homes to be built at Yarn Street, Hunslet, which will include a mixture of two, three and four bedroomed homes ranging in price from £105,000 to £180,000.

In Dewsbury, the company wants to build 28 homes at Calder View, while in Castleford Merlion Capital Housing is in line for funding to allow the construction of 66 first-time buyer and family homes at Navigation Point in the first phase of a development that could ultimately involve 1,300 homes.

And in York, Advent Developments could get cash to build 37 homes at Bootham Green, a project that will also include the conversion of a grade II listed former school and nursery along with new homes.

The four schemes are among 18 which the Government says could share £45m if they pass legal and accounting checks.

Over the next two years, the Government says the £420m fund could finance 16,000 homes on sites that have stalled, and help create as many as 30,000 jobs.

Mr Shapps said: “With the Prime Minister putting housing centre stage in the road to economic recovery we are pulling out all the stops to get the jobs created and the red tape cut to ensure we get the homes this country needs built.

“So I am greatly encouraged by the clamour from developers large and small to get Britain building by applying for a share of our £420m fund to unlock stalled sites across the country.”

The Government says it has so far received bids to help 392 sites but the fund has ben three times over subscribed.