Funding boost to build 60 homes at Ellesmere's Wharf
A half a million pound grant will allow 60 new homes to be built, while kick-starting the development of a town's wharf.
The government grant of £544,507 will allow a scheme for up to 60 homes to be built at Ellesmere's wharf.
It has been awarded to Shropshire Council, which owns the canal-side land – a former dairy site.
It comes just a week after Oswestry was given a £9.3m grant to improve the town's bypass and unlock land for about 600 homes.
Ann Hartley, Shropshire Councillor for Ellesmere Urban division, said the award was great news for the development of the area.
She said: “This is such positive news for Ellesmere and Shropshire Council. It will help to meet the demand for much-needed one and two-bed apartments in the town, and is another step forward in the development of the brown field area around the Wharf head – which will hopefully kick-start further action in the area.”
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for corporate support, said: "This is brilliant news for Shropshire Council and for Ellesmere. I’m delighted that the council has received another funding award as part of the One Public Estate programme, which is recognition of the work that we are doing in the county.
"Through the programme we work closely with other public sector partners to look at land and property that we own and see how we can develop it for the benefit of our local communities.”
Last year councils were invited to bid for funding from the £45m Land Release Fund, to enable them to bring forward for housing development surplus land that would otherwise not be developed.
Shropshire council has been awarded the full amount it requested to enable the scheme for up to 60 apartments, some of which may be for extra care provision, to go ahead.
It says the funding will be used for ground investigation work, flood risk assessment, initial design, and remediation works to what was previously and industrial area.
The site has been part of the plan for housing development in Ellesmere for several years.
In a letter to Shropshire Council confirming the funding award, Dominic Raab, Minister of State for housing, said: “We look forward to working with you to progress Ellesmere remediation, which will release much needed land for new homes, and I welcome the ambitious plans for growth set out in your bid.”
A total of 79 bids were successful and they will see £45 million being awarded to 41 councils, to support building up to 7,280 homes on council owned land.
The fund was oversubscribed with more than £100 million received in funding requests for 143 projects.
This move comes two weeks after the projects set to benefit from the first wave of funding from the £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund were announced.
Mr Raab said: "We’re determined to make buying or renting more affordable for young families and those on low or middle incomes."