BOLSOVER: Funding bid to transform empty commercial properties into housing

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Empty commercial properties in Bolsover and North East Derbyshire are set to be brought back in to use as housing following a successful funding bid.

The districts were among 65 areas nationwide to be awarded cash in the second round of the Homes and Communities Agency Empty Properties funding scheme.

Bolsover District Council and North East Derbyshire District Council – along with Groundwork Creswell, Ashfield and Mansfield - supported the successful funding bid by local housing provider, Action Housing and Support.

It will see empty commercial units, such as former pubs or shops, brought back into use as affordable housing.

Cllr Betty Hill, NEDDC Member with responsibility for housing, said: “We’re delighted to have received this money, and will now be working with partners and our communities to identify properties which could be suitable for refurbishment into much-needed affordable homes.”

Bolsover District Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Councillor Alan Tomlinson, added: “Getting onto the property ladder is extremely difficult at present, so we are delighted to have been awarded this money, which will not only help us bring back into use an empty commercial property but provide good, affordable homes for local people as well.”

Groundwork Creswell, Ashfield and Mansfield will be working closely with Action Housing and Support to bring the properties back into use, at the same time as providing training opportunities for local unemployed people in the construction of the units.

A project to refurbish empty homes is also running across the two areas thanks to £216,000 worth of funding from the first round of the government scheme.

The councils have joined forces with Groundwork Crewswell, Ashfield and Mansfield and project leaders are appealing for help to identify suitable properties.

Under the project, a property can be leased from an owner and improved it using the grant funding, to make it more attractive to prospective tenants.

Once complete the refurbished properties will be advertised for rent through both councils’ Choice Based Lettings schemes.

For more information – or to put forward a property which may be suitable for inclusion in the scheme - contact Sarah Clow on (01246) 242582 or (Bolsover) or Rebecca Slack on (01246) 217289 or (North East Derbyshire).