Northern authorities gain over £7m for brownfield land release

Northern councils have secured over £7m from the latest round of awards from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities.

The government announced at the weekend that 41 councils would receive a share of nearly £35m from the £180m Brownfield Land Release Fund. The money is to be used to regenerate derelict council-owned sites. A total of 59 regeneration projects could build over 2,200 homes – including over 800 affordable homes.

The Northern allocation accounts for 22% of the funding pot. NHC data from the Northern Housing Monitor shows that the North has 23% of England’s brownfield housing potential with housing brownfield capacity for over 310,000 homes, however the overall cost of remediation of Northern brownfield land is £3.8 billion.

According to a statement from DLUHC in July, when the phase two bidding process opened, bids were to be assessed “on a number of gateway criteria including: market failure; deliverability; and value for money”, and would be prioritised based on an “assessment of the strategic case, innovation and consideration of the bid’s ability to meet the council’s Public Sector Equality Duty, combined with a place-based metric”.

In the North West, five councils secured a share of nearly £5m: Blackburn with Darwen Council, Chorley Council, Lancaster City Council, St Helens Council, and Wigan Council.

In the North East, Darlington and Sunderland Councils gained over £2m and Yorkshire and the Humber secured £258,000.

A project in Hull will see £175,000 allocated to “release land to deliver 10 new affordable homes for the local community, as part of the city’s regeneration drive.”

Lancaster City Council secured the biggest pot, receiving more than £2.7m, amounting to 37% of the Northern funding pot. Most of this money will go towards the city’s Canal Quarter regeneration project, which aims to build 580 homes and more than 75,000 sq ft of commercial space.

Funding from the second round of funding will be delivered through One Public Estate, a partnership between the Local Government Association, the Office of Government Property, and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities.

DLUHC said that “the remaining £140 million is to be allocated over the next two years – creating up to 17,600 new homes in total across the country, as well as support up to 54,000 jobs in the sector”.

The full list of Northern Brownfield Land Release Fund Round Two awards:

  • Blackburn with Darwen Council: £220,000
  • Chorley Council: £650,000
  • Darlington Borough Council: £223,049
  • Harrogate Borough Council: £33,000
  • Hull City Council: £175,000
  • Lancaster City Council: £2,769,343
  • North East Lincolnshire Council: £50,000
  • St Helens Council: £812,142
  • Sunderland City Council: £1,943,657
  • Wigan Council: £506,168