20 England town centers transformed thanks to ambitious regeneration projects
- 20 places in England to transform thanks to an ambitious regeneration program with Wolverhampton and Sheffield the first districts selected
- Homes England to speed up regeneration and deliver new homes as part of Leveling Up white paper
- £120million for City Authorities Combined will deliver 7,800 homes in the North and Midlands on disused brownfields
Cities and towns across the country will be transformed through a radical new regeneration program that will breathe new life into disadvantaged communities.
Under plans set out in the Leveling Up white paper, due out next week, derelict sites in cities and town centers will be transformed creating new homes, jobs and beautiful new communities across the country. ‘England.
Wolverhampton and Sheffield will be the first of 20 places that will be supported by the government to deliver ambitious regeneration projects that will boost local communities and create urban areas where people will be proud to live and work.
In Wolverhampton, local leaders are being given the tools that will catalyze the rebirth of the city and the wider corridor from Wolverhampton to Walsall, building on the government’s £20million investment in the Leveling Fund and the new DLUHC headquarters in the city center.
In Sheffield, new regeneration opportunities will take advantage of the government’s £37m leveling fund and upcoming electrification and upgrades to the Integrated Rail Plan which will reduce journey times between Sheffield and London to just 87 minutes.
All 20 areas will be prioritized in the new £1.5bn Brownfield Fund. In addition, to kick-start regeneration efforts in these areas, and as part of a wider brownfield funding package worth £120m, £28m will be allocated to the West Midlands Combined Authority and £13 million to the South Yorkshire Combined Authority, to fund the projects most needed to support local upgrading ambitions.
The regeneration program will be led by government housing delivery agency Homes England, which will be refocused and tasked with supporting the Leveling Up scheme. He will use his vast powers and expertise to help local leaders regenerate large areas of towns and cities as they adapt to economic trends such as the rise of online shopping.
The UK government will also be happy to work in continued partnership with devolved administrations to explore how best to help places across the UK reach their full potential.
Homes England will partner with local leaders, the private sector and community groups to boost regeneration and provide new housing, health, education and leisure facilities, roads and railways.
Local authorities will be helped to ensure that the government’s record infrastructure investment, worth more than £96billion, is used to its full potential. This includes £12bn of affordable housing, the £4.8bn Upgrading Fund and a £2.6bn Shared Prosperity Fund, as well as Access to Fund 1, £5 billion for brownfields and DLHUC land.
The 20 neighborhoods will benefit from developments combining housing, leisure and retail in new sustainable, walkable and beautiful neighborhoods.
Upgrade Secretary Rt Hon Michael Gove MP said:
We are on a mission to regenerate the nation, transforming the abandoned areas of our cities and towns into thriving places where people are proud to live and work.
We are refocusing Homes England and empowering local leaders to support upgrading, delivering transformational Kings Cross-style regeneration projects across the country, starting in Wolverhampton and Sheffield.
This huge investment in infrastructure and regeneration will spread opportunities more evenly and help reverse the geographical inequalities that still exist in the UK.
Homes England chairman Peter Freeman CBE said:
A sense of place and, indeed, pride in place is crucial to thriving communities. Our expanded mandate will allow us to further support ambitious local leaders in creating and regenerating places alongside a wide range of public and private sector partners.
We have many years of experience delivering a wide range of brownfield and regeneration projects which, combined with the full use of our statutory powers and funding, means we are well placed to transform places and communities.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said:
Here in the West Midlands, we have truly pioneered a brownfield approach to housing, using government money to remediate old derelict industrial sites and turn them into thriving new communities, while protecting the irreplaceable lands of the green belt.
I am therefore absolutely delighted that the government continues to support our work, putting additional funds on the table so that we can build on the progress we have already made. I am particularly pleased to see the new funding for Wolverhampton, which is really at the heart of the brownfield revolution underway in the West Midlands.
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of South Yorkshire, said:
I warmly welcome this support for the regeneration of Sheffield and South Yorkshire. This is a much needed recognition of the potential of our region.
Giving Homes England a greater focus on regeneration is also a very positive move, as is their commitment to supporting local and regional leadership. We have always advocated for a more concerted approach, and lasting progress can only be made from our communities. The main challenge will be to ensure that this is accompanied by the long-term transformative investments that we need, and that they connect not only housing and buildings, but also skills, public services and the environment.
We look forward to working with the government to realize the ambition we all share to create a better future for Sheffield and South Yorkshire.
The government will also launch a £1.5bn fund for building leveling homes next week, providing loans to small and medium-sized builders and developers to deliver 42,000 homes, with the vast majority going outside London and the South East – helping to rebalance the economy and spread prosperity and opportunity more evenly.
Funding in total of £120m will also be given to 7 city authorities combined to transform derelict brownfields into vibrant places where people want to live and work. Seven MCAs – West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Liverpool, South Yorkshire, North of Tyne and Tees Valley are set to gain 7,800 homes.
An additional £30million is being awarded to 3 combined city authorities in Greater Manchester, Tees Valley and the West Midlands on disused brownfield sites. Meanwhile, £8m from the Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF) is being allocated to 13 councils which will free up land for a further 898 homes. The BLRF has so far awarded £69m to help councils clear their brownfields for 6,856 homes by March 2024.
The government has already made significant investments in upgrading and regenerating much-loved towns and villages. Through programs such as the £900m Getting Building Fund, the £400m Brownfield Housing Fund, the £150m Community Ownership Fund and the £3.6bn Towns Fund , the government has supported places to develop their local economies.
The £4.8bn Leveling Up Fund invests in infrastructure that improves daily life across the UK, including in Sheffield, Aberdeen, Aberystwyth and County Antrim. The next rounds of the Leveling Up Fund and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will build on this investment.