BURNLEY and Pendle should be the UK’s top priority when it comes to reviving old terraced homes, says a leading think tank.
Regenerating ageing housing stock is the key to bringing greater prosperity to the neighbouring boroughs, not just buidling new homes, according to Centre for Cities (CfC).
Analysts have identified 10 cities, mainly in the south and south-west, where they say prosperity is dependent on new housebuilding.
But CfC has also pinpointed another 10 locations where a combination of housebuilding and refurbishment is the solution. For the purposes of the CfC study, which examines 64 locations nationwide, Burnley and Pendle is combined into one “city” unit.
A CfC spokesman said: “For some cities, lack of housing prevents people accessing jobs or means they are stuck in cramped accommodation. In other cities, incentives to retrofit empty houses could improve local quality of life.
Both approaches, adapted to local needs, would generate the jobs and growth the UK needs.”
Burnley and Pendle both recently succeeded, as part of a Pennine Lancashire bid, to tackle housing revival via “clusters” of properties.
In Burnley this cash is being directed at Brennand Street, around Gannow Lane and parts of Trinity ward.
And in Pendle investment is being made via a loans scheme in Colne’s Waterside district, Railway Street in Brierfield and Bradley and Southfield in Nelson.
Coun Joe Cooney said: “Once these homes are brought up to scratch, they'll provide decent homes for well over 300 people.”
Elsewhere the report praises Burnley and Pendle’s “resilience’ in weathering the economic downturn with business start-ups holding relatively firm and house prices increasing.
Ryan Gifford, a regeneration official at Burnley Council has told councillors: “The report highlights the fact that Burnley’s economy has been surprisingly resilient during the economic downturn while others have been unexpectedly affected.”