Burnley bids for cash to facelift empty homes

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CLUSTERS of empty boarded-up homes in Burnley could be given a facelift and brought back into use if a bid for Government funding is a success.

Town hall chiefs have applied for a share of £50m. from the Homes and Communities Agency’s “Clusters of Empty Homes” scheme and have made it through to the second stage of the process.

Last month Burnley Council was successful in its expression of interest and has now been invited to submit a formal bid.

If successful, the authority will receive funding to lead a two-year programme bringing groups of 25 or more empty properties back into use. It will include working with owners and seeking to reduce anti-social behaviour.

Mr Mike Cook, director of economic regeneration for Burnley Borough Council, said: “This is excellent news, and the result of a lot of hard work from both Burnley Council and our partners.

“One of our biggest challenges as a town is the volume of empty properties we have, and this funding will help us address the problem.

“We’re working hard to ensure that we get as many resources as possible to pump into this project.

“Creating a sustainable housing market is one of our top priorities and we will continue to put considerable efforts into this.”

The announcement comes a month after East Lancashire received £4.8m. to tackle empty properties, following a joint bid to Government. In Burnley this will see the council and Calico bring 68 properties back into use.