Central Bedfordshire Council has been awarded almost £1million of Government funding to help kick-start regeneration on housing estates in Houghton Regis, Dunstable and Sandy and speed the building of new homes over the next three years.
The grant comes as part of £32million awarded nationally to over 70 organisations and marks a significant success for Central Bedfordshire, and the South East Midlands LEP area. Compared to other much larger local authorities, including those in cities, Central Bedfordshire has punched well above its weight to win this funding and its award highlights the Council's commitment to maximising opportunities to bring central Government funding to the area, for the benefit of its residents.
The grants come from the Department for Communities and Local Government Estate Regeneration and Homes and Communities Agency Large Site Acceleration Funds, announced by Minister, Sajid Javid, this week. The money will be targeted on estates in the market towns of Dunstable, Sandy and Houghton Regis, to help connect existing and new communities, as significant housing growth is rolled out over the coming years.
Jason Longhurst, Director of Regeneration and Business at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "This is a very positive move from Department for Communities and Local Government, the first time in many years that money has been allocated for regenerating some of the most disadvantaged areas in the country.
"We are constantly striving to make Central Bedfordshire a great place to live and work and we have been proactive in our approach to investing in our communities.
"We are already committed to providing quality, sustainable and well-designed homes to meet our growing population, in line with our emerging Local Plan, which is planning for approximately 20,000 new homes by 2035.
"This funding will put us at the forefront of innovative new approaches and new thinking around housing development, while helping us to improve and speed up the process in the areas of Central Bedfordshire that need it the most.
"Our focus is on ensuring we achieve integration between existing and new communities and to unlock growth opportunities, such as those in the heart of the Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford growth corridor, while engaging extensively with our residents so that they and their children can have the homes they need and the security of a place to live."