ALMOST 600 families in the Ribble Valley have been able to purchase homes thanks to the government’s 'Help to Buy' scheme.

Its Conservative MP Nigel Evans has welcomed the figure as evidence the initiative is making a real difference for those seeking to get on the housing ladder in East Lancashire's priciest borough.

The latest government figures for ‘Help to Buy’, launched when the Tories came into power in 2010, reveal that 586 families in Ribble Valley used the scheme to buy homes.

Mr Evans also praised cuts in stamp duty on property purchases for helping people afford their new houses.

Mr Evans said: “This is fantastic news for nearly 600 families in my constituency who have been able to get the security of their own home through Help to Buy schemes.

“Home ownership is so important to young people and provides a real platform from which to start building a family and settling down.

“I am pleased that successive governments recognised the difficulties for young people when trying to secure a house and have created a solid foundation from which they achieve the dream of home ownership.”

The figures run to April 30.