£2m grant for council homes plan

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WIGAN has won the right to build more council housing.

The Government has released funding for 70 homes which are believed to be the first new units to be built in Hindley Green in almost half a century.

Homes and Community Agency (HCA) bosses say that they have been impressed with the way the authority used its last tranche of grant spending on social housing.

To date, 105 family homes and apartments for older people have been delieverd part funded by a grant of £5.5m from the HCA.

The new homes, funded by a grant worth almost £2m, are proposed for land off Thomas Street in Hindley Green.

Chief executive of Wigan and Leigh Housing Ashley Crumbley, pictured above, said the council and Wigan and Leigh Housing enjoyed a “very successful partnership” to provide new affordable housing to help meet the serious shortage in the borough.

The homes already delivered have proved very popular.

He said: “We have worked closely with ward councillors and local communities on all the developments.

“We have also worked with contractors to ensure local people benefit from training and job opportunities.

“The Homes and Communities Agency has been impressed with the homes we have delivered and have recently told us we have potentially secured grant funding of to help build a further 70 homes.

“We are now working hard to make sure we sure the £1.8 million grant. This involves looking at sites across the borough to deliver these homes. The Thomas Street site is one of the sites we are looking at.

“We have received a number of responses from local councillors and we are considering the points raised.

“We will also shortly be arranging consultation with the local community about the potential development.”

Labour ward Coun Keir Stitt said that with more than 6,500 people on the council house waiting list there was an “urgent need” for new homes for families across the Wigan Borough.

He said: “This is great news for Hindley Green.

“It will also be a boost for our local economy bringing construction jobs to the area.”

Hindley Green community campaigner Maxine Read said: “With all the cuts the Government is making, people are looking for local solutions. To put it bluntly the whole country needs more housing and more jobs and things are no different in this area.”

She added that ‘bricks and mortar’ social housing was the answer, not the static caravan plan proposed by Hindley Green Independent Coun Bob Brierley late last year.”

Ms Read claimed: “The people of Hindley Green and the whole of the borough deserve good solid houses not a caravan park!”