£1 Million ‘Living Fund Budget’ Agreed To Help Regenerate Region’s Town Centres

£1m Town Centre Living Fund

Members of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Housing Sub-Committee discussed proposals for a new £1m Town Centre Living Fund at their meeting on Monday (6 March).

The fund was a key part of the Administration’s agreed budget (28 February) and will see investment being made to bring empty and derelict properties back into use for housing to help regenerate town centres.

The investment will be funded using the income the council receives from council tax on second homes to increase the supply of affordable housing in town centres and settlements in order to bring these empty properties back into use.

Each application to regenerate a property will be assessed, based on its ability to deliver a number of priorities, including contribution to town centre regeneration, increasing the supply of affordable housing and bringing empty properties back into use.

Other factors will include feasibility, design and business cases.

Each submission will be assessed individually to ensure flexibility in addressing the variety of complex circumstances present in town centres.

It is anticipated that applications may be submitted from a number of sources which may include individuals, community groups, residential and commercial property owners, empty home owners and Registered Social Landlords.

Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Cllr Ronnie Nicholson commented: “By encouraging the refurbishment of empty properties and providing homes for our communities we will support the ongoing work aimed at improving the sustainability and vibrancy of our town centres and settlements.

Town centres across Scotland are changing as a result of online shopping and the preference for many businesses to develop out of town centres, we need to find new ways to bring people into our towns.

One way is to provide more housing and that is exactly what this fund is aimed at doing”.

Full details of all the budget measures can be viewed at www.dumgal.gov.uk/budget

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