Monday, 27 March 2017

CLG to meet 10 market renewal bodies to help find wind-down funding

Hunt for funding to help pathfinders shut up shop

Housing market renewal pathfinders have been given the chance to secure wind-down funding following the government’s decision last year to end the programme.

The Communities and Local Government department has organised meetings with the 10 pathfinders to find ways of accessing cash to cover their closing down costs, including redundancy payments and shutting offices, a spokesperson confirmed. Bridging Newcastle Gateshead, due to close in April, has appealed for £15 million to help it wind down.

The pathfinder’s chiefs will use a meeting in the next few weeks with Henry Cleary, deputy director of the CLG’s housing and growth programme team, to argue for a specific wind-down fund. Possible alternative sources of funding include Whitehall’s £1.4 million regional growth fund and the Homes and Communities Agency’s affordable rent programme.

BNG predicts it will cost between £10 million to £15 million to safeguard the £224 million invested in its work. ‘There must be recognition of the exit costs and that they bear most on those areas having greatest multiple deprivation,’ a letter to housing minister Grant Shapps from both councils’ leaders said.

A spokesperson for the CLG said: ‘The department wrote to councils in December offering them the opportunity to meet with the HCA and officials to discuss the potential for other forms of funding in renewal areas.’

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