A YOUNG key worker couple have become homeowners for the first time thanks to a scheme especially created for NHS workers.

Mental Health Nurse Amy Darwin, 27, and her partner Paul Hillary, 36, who is a plumber, are settling in to their new home in Waddow Heights, Clitheroe, thanks to the project, which enabled them to buy with a five per cent mortgage.

Under the scheme, which was launched last year, all NHS workers who buy a new Barratt Homes property in England, Wales or Scotland are being offered five per cent of the purchase price to go towards their deposit, up to a maximum of £15,000. Meaning for a home costing £200,000, the buyer would qualify for a contribution of £10,000.

Speaking about how much of a help the initiative has been, Miss Darwin said:  “There was no hassle when moving in and the home was perfect as soon as we moved in.”

Mr Hillary said said: “It was really difficult for us to get a mortgage and Carol in the sales centre (at Barratt Homes) was really kind and held our plot for us. As soon as we moved in, it’s hard to explain, but it really felt like home.”

The Ribble Valley was recently found to be the happiest place to live in the UK. The pair are also pleased with the neighbourhood at the Waddington Road development.

Philippa Stewart, Head of Sales at Barratt Homes North West said: "It is also great knowing we can help support and show appreciation to our carers with the NHS five per cent deposit scheme. We encourage all NHS workers to take advantage of such a great opportunity."