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Cash boost to improve homes

PUBLISHED: 17:33 05 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:29 03 July 2010

MORE than £3m will be injected into improving housing in Southtown in Great Yarmouth.

The success of a pioneering project in turning around a rundown seafront district of Yarmouth has led to the town clinching a further £5.

MORE than £3m will be injected into improving housing in Southtown in Great Yarmouth.

The success of a pioneering project in turning around a rundown seafront district of Yarmouth has led to the town clinching a further £5.3m of regeneration cash.

The award from the government's regional housing pot was announced on Monday after the achievement of the borough's secondary holiday area regeneration project (SHARP). The project used grants out of £4.5m of government funding to encourage hoteliers and householders to improve their properties, drawing in at least £2.5m of private investment.

In a matter of two years, boarded up hotels and run-down guesthouses in the Wellesley Road area were replaced by smart flats and rejuvenated tourist accommodation.

The new regeneration cash will allow £1.9m to be spent on extending the SHARP project to Camperdown and Nelson Road South and permit £3.4m to be injected into improving housing in Southtown, one of the borough's most deprived areas.

Alan Warnes, the council's private sector housing services manager, said the aim of the Southtown Housing Improvement Project (SHIP) was to help vulnerable households in a district where some repair needs dated back to the 1953 flood.

He said: “Over two years we will be funding basic house repairs and bringing homes up to a decent standard by providing modern facilities such as kitchens, plumbing, heating and insulation.

“We will be talking to homeowners, including private landlords in the project area, to establish their needs and the general condition of their properties.”

As well as the £5.3m, the council has also landed a further £1m for use throughout Norfolk and Waveney as part of the government's equity release scheme

Mr Warnes, who was chosen to lead the scheme for all councils in Norfolk and Waveney, said it allowed a home owner to borrow against the value of their home - the loan was only repayable when the property was sold.

Bob Peck, the council's cabinet member for community housing, said: “The original SHARP project shows how Yarmouth is determined to help as many residents it can to enjoy a higher standard of housing.

“Two of these new schemes will aid some of our more vulnerable home owners, while the other will again work closely with the tourist industry to make part of the secondary tourist area a more attractive place to live in and for holidaymakers.”

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