GRANTS to make homes 'greener' are available to first-time buyers in a rural borough.

Up to £15,000 is available to make properties energy-efficient or undertake crucial renovations.

Ribble Valley Council is now giving out 'The First-Time Buyer Greener Homes Grant' in a bid to make houses in the borough affordable and tackle climate change.

The grants will help first-time buyers purchasing a property with an energy performance certificate of D to H increase the rating to C or above, or address significant disrepair.

The property must be over 10 years old, in the council tax bands A to C and located in Ribble Valley.

Applicants must be a first-time buyer aged 18 or over, with a Ribble Valley connection and income under £60,000, or combined household income under £80,000, and intend occupying the property as their main residence.

Rachel Stott, Ribble Valley Council’s housing strategy officer, said: “The provision of affordable housing is one of the biggest challenges we face.

“Ribble Valley has the highest house price to income ratio in Lancashire and one of the highest in England, which is forcing many first-time out of the communities they grew up in.

“This funding will enable first-time buyers with a local connection to consider purchasing properties in need of renovation at the lower end of the market, rather than just new builds.

“The grants are also available for recently-purchased and occupied properties that need significant repairs, or works identified on their energy performance certificate.”

The size of the grant depends on the cost of the works and is at Ribble Valley Council’s discretion.