Tens of thousands of new homes and other vital infrastructure projects were given the green light with nearly £1.3bn of investment confirmed today (4 August 2020) by housing secretary Robert Jenrick.
Over 300 successful projects in England are being told they will receive a share of the £900m Getting Building Fund, which was announced by the prime minister in June, to invest in shovel-ready housing and infrastructure projects, creating jobs and supporting economic recovery across the country.
All projects have been selected by local enterprise partnerships and mayoral combined authorities in each area and endorsed by the housing secretary.
Ministers claim the investment is expected to deliver up to 45,000 homes, create up to 85,000 jobs and reduce around 65 million kgs of CO2 emissions across England.
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: “As we get Britain building we are also laying the foundations for a green economic recovery by investing in vital infrastructure for local communities, creating jobs and building environmentally-friendly homes with a huge £1.3 billion investment announced today.
“This government is determined to level up all parts of the country and this funding will not only give a much needed boost to our economic recovery, it will help build the good quality, affordable homes the country needs.”
Successful projects being funded include:
- £23m for phase 1 of the development of commercial space at Mayfield Park in Greater Manchester, expected to deliver 3,200 jobs and attract over one-million visitors a year;
- £14.88m to accelerate the National Brownfield Land Institute, a project aiming to create a leader in sustainable construction which will support the housing deal and drive levelling up across the region;
- £12m to support a new high-speed railway station in Thanet, Kent, improving transport in the area and creating 800 new jobs.
To deliver a further 26,000 new homes while protecting greenfield sites, the government has also confirmed a £360m investment in mayoral combined authority areas through its £400m Brownfield Fund.
A further £8m of funding has also been announced to help speed up the delivery of these new homes on brownfield sites and the government is inviting bids from the mayoral combined authorities for the remaining £40m of the fund.
Details of the new £2bn Green Homes Grant scheme, which will see the government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements of over 600,000 homes, have also been announced.
Tradespeople must register for TrustMark accreditation to take part in the scheme, which will cover green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, to the installation of low-carbon heating, like heat pumps or solar thermal.
Households on low income can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.
Business and energy secretary Alok Sharma said: “Green home improvements will save people money on their energy bills, help to cut carbon emissions, and create new work for many thousands of builders, plumbers and other tradespeople. Our TrustMark scheme will guarantee that building work is completed to a high standard by accredited tradespeople, ensuring consumers are fully protected.”
The funding commitments come ahead of a radical overhaul of the planning system due to be announced shortly. Ministers claim the planning reforms will bring about a simpler, faster, people-focused system to deliver the high-quality, energy efficient homes the nation needs.
As part of the changes, ministers say developers will have to contribute fairly to the infrastructure needed to sustain communities, ensure designs keep in with local character and work as part of a new interactive online planning system.