£14 million boost

By on 28/07/2009 in News

Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet has approved £14 million funding which will be invested across neighbourhoods in North West Birmingham, to support regeneration projects up until March 2011.

Under the banner of the Urban Living Pathfinder programme, the funding- from theHomes and Communities Agency- will support Birmingham City Council in delivering redevelopment projects in Newtown, Aston, Lozells, Birchfield and Soho.

Urban Living is a cross- local authority Pathfinder covering North West Birmingham and parts of Sandwell, funding interventions that address fragile housing market conditions in both areas. In Birmingham, it is tackling areas where housing issues include over-crowding, poor design and image.

The Council has a long-term commitment to create thriving and vibrant communities, which will be achieved through driving forward a growing programme of housing, social and environmental regeneration initiatives and interventions involving full community engagement at all stages. One project that got underway in Spring this year is the redevelopment of the former Crocodile Works factory in Newtown, which will provide 168 new family homes.

Urban Living has dedicated project managers developing community cohesion projects across the area and the Council is leading in the development of some of these projects. These include expanding the pioneering Housing Education Initiative in its work with primary schools into the Aston and Lozells and East Handsworth Wards. Young people are educated about the regeneration process through imaginative ways, which includes debates, discussions and conferences run by young people for young people, with the support of involvement of professionals from across the industry.

Other programmes include the 'Newtown young design champions' - an interactive programme of events that aims to further involve younger people with planning their area, in association with the local secondary schools and the National Curriculum.

Additionally, Newtown Youth-build to provide homes and NVQ training for 18-25 year olds and a range of eco-village initiatives in Lozells centred on sustainable futures, will also be launched.

Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing, said, “I'm pleased the Government has recognised Birmingham's progress in this area. I'm committed to delivering high quality homes for our people and we've already began to regenerate North West Birmingham. This £14 million investment will allow us to build further on our aims to create thriving communities.”

Peter Latchford, Urban Living Chairman, said: “Urban Living is pleased to continue to invest in North West Birmingham in the areas of greatest need and to complement the City Council's regeneration plans. Ultimately, we are there to support local people in continuing to make their neighbourhoods stronger, safer, and more attractive.”

Ends

Notes to editors

1. Urban Living is one of nine Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder areas in the UK set up by Government and funded through the newly set up Homes & Communities Agency (HCA). The Pathfinder covers substantial areas within Birmingham City Council and Sandwell MBC, who are the two local authority partners.

2. Urban Living's ambitious long-term regeneration programme aims to improve neighbourhoods where problems of low-demand housing are most acute. It is stimulating the housing market by replacing obsolete housing with modern, well designed, sustainable homes, through demolition, refurbishment and new building. It is also ensuring that other essential requirements of sustainable communities are addressed - such as economic prosperity, good quality services and delivery of clean, safe, healthy and attractive environments in which people can take pride.

Further information from Belinder Kaur Lidher 0121 303 6969

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