The Complete List of North West Empty Home Grants

Property development is more than just planning, profits and paint.

To become a successful property developer and not just flip the odd property here and there you must have a long term defining goal and aim to bring empty properties back in to use, provide homes for local communities and to ultimately improve the local area.

Table Of Contents

  1. The Solution
  2. The Background
  3. Part One – The Plan To Bring Empty Homes Back In To Use – Central Government Initiatives & Funding
  4. Part Two – The Plan To Bring Empty Homes Back In To Use – Additional Benefits For Property Developers
  5. Part Three – The Plan To Bring Empty Homes Back In To Use – Finding grants and other schemes at local government level
  6. The List of Councils & Their Empty Home Grants

Having a drive to really benefit the location you operate in helps everyone.

Personally I believe there’s no better way to achieve this than bringing run-down, derelict, empty homes back in to use. It’s good for the neighbours, it’s good for the street, it’s good for the community, it’s a real win-win.

But the cost of doing so can be astronomical for some property owners, and simply not cost efficient or viable for many developers either on some properties.

However the sheer scale of empty homes in the UK is one that can’t be ignored. So what’s the answer…

The Solution

renovationThe good news is that to help local communities, there is currently UK and European government funding available to local councils, to help assist bringing these properties back to use.

But unsurprising many homeowners, landlords and local property developers are simply unaware of the funding available, or how to apply and claim.

This article aims to change that… by bringing all the local council grants, funding information and key contacts in to one central resource.

Please read, use and share this resource as widely as possible so that we can all help and inform as many people as possible to find out about what funding is available in their area.

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The Background

Currently in the North West (according to central parliament) demand for property by far outstrips the supply – it’s estimated that over 19k new homes are needed each year, whereas the actual numbers provided are more like only 10k per year.

That’s created an estimated shortfall of approximately 38,340 homes needed in just 3 years in the North West alone (source: Page 7 – House of Commons Library – Housing Demand & Need (England))

Put simply, it’s not enough!

To help resolve this and to improve communities there’s plenty of drive at the local authority level to get empty homes back in use.

Regional councils regard them as a serious issue – causing damage to adjoining properties, becoming a magnet for anti-social behaviour and being hazardous in general.

So how can we bring these homes back in to use together?

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Part One – The Plan To Bring Empty Homes Back In To Use

Central Government Initiatives & Funding

In 2012 The Homes and Communities Agency allocated just under £100 million through 2 rounds of the Empty Homes programme. The funding has brought many empty properties back into use as affordable housing, which is fantastic.

A further £30 million was also made available to community and voluntary groups via a separate funding programme run by Tribal Education on behalf of government.

The Empty Homes scheme now forms part of the targets of the Affordable Homes Programme 2015 – 2018 – pot of money from central Government worth £3.3bn.

They’re seeking to top this up with £20bn of private property investment.

Delivered in two rounds, house builders and private property developers can now opt as part of the second round to bid to receive funding direct.

A very detailed outline of the scheme can be found here.

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Part Two – The Plan To Bring Empty Homes Back In To Use

Additional Benefits For Property Developers

There are other perks too – you can pay a reduced VAT rate for the cost of renovating an empty property that’s been empty for two years or more. You can pay just 5% instead of 20%. More information here.

So – good reasons to be in the property development business!

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Part Three – The Plan To Bring Empty Homes Back In To Use

Finding grants and other schemes at local government level

What is brilliant is that central government’s financial pledges mean that your local authority may have funds to help you source and fund your project.

Bring Empty Homes Back In To UseThey’ve got plenty of reasons to as we’ve discussed – empty properties can blight otherwise attractive neighbourhoods, and can attract many elements of anti-social behaviour, such as fly tipping and vandalism.

There are many empty homes grants and funding schemes available for the enterprising developer across the many councils in the UK North West.

However if the idea of trawling through 41 different council websites to find the grants available and which council is most proactive when it comes to bringing empty homes back in to use fills you with dread, don’t worry.

(Note: if you’re a local council and would like to add your details here to this resource please contact us with your detail and we would be happy to add it for you).

We’ve already done the hard work for you!

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This is a fantastic resource – save it, share it, visit it regularly.

The List of Councils & Their Empty Home Grants

Directory

ALLERDALE DISTRICT COUNCIL

BARROW IN FURNESS BOROUGH COUNCIL

BLACKBURN WITH DARWEN BOROUGH COUNCIL

BLACKPOOL BOROUGH COUNCIL

BOLTON METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

BURNLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

BURY METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

CARLISLE CITY COUNCIL

CHESHIRE EAST

CHESHIRE WEST AND CHESTER

CHORLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

COPELAND BOROUGH COUNCIL

EDEN DISTRICT COUNCIL

FYLDE BOROUGH COUNCIL

HALTON BOROUGH COUNCIL

HYNDBURN BOROUGH COUNCIL

KNOWSLEY METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

LANCASHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

LANCASTER CITY COUNCIL

LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL

MANCHESTER CITY COUNCIL

OLDHAM METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

PENDLE DISTRICT COUNCIL

RIBBLE VALLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

ROCHDALE METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

ROSSENDALE BOROUGH COUNCIL

SALFORD CITY COUNCIL

SEFTON COUNCIL

SOUTH LAKELAND DISTRICT COUNCIL

SOUTH RIBBLE BOROUGH COUNCIL

ST HELENS METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

STOCKPORT METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

TAMESIDE METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

TRAFFORD METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

WARRINGTON BOROUGH COUNCIL

WEST LANCASHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL

WIGAN METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

WIGAN COUNCIL

WIRRAL METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

WYRE BOROUGH COUNCIL

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ALLERDALE DISTRICT COUNCIL

http://www.allerdale.gov.uk

What’s On Offer?

Allerdale District Council are committed to a proactive approach to bring more empty homes back into use as part of the Council Plan.

They have now set up an Empty Homes Matchmaker service, which helps unite empty homeowners with people who would like to purchase them. Get yourself on the list for free using the linked Buyer’s Registration Form. There’s also regularly updated listings of all the current empty homes registered.

Find out more…

Allerdale District Council is one of many that form Cumbria County Council. They operate the Cumbrian Landlord Accreditation Scheme. This means you can access up to £1000 to improve energy efficiency or safety measures. It’s not ideal if you’re planning to flip your property – you must tenant the building for at least 3 years after the loan or you will be asked to repay.

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BARROW IN FURNESS BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.barrowbc.gov.uk

What’s on offer?

They operate the Cumbrian Landlord Accreditation Scheme, meaning as a long-term landlord you can access up to £1k to improve energy efficiency or safety measures. You’ll need to be committed to being a landlord for at least 3 years after the loan, so not ideal for property flippers.

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BLACKBURN WITH DARWEN COUNCIL

http://www.blackburn.gov.uk

What’s On Offer?

No grants are currently available to investors in this area.

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BLACKPOOL BOROUGH COUNCIL

https://www.blackpool.gov.uk

What’s on offer?

No grants are currently available to investors in this area.

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BOLTON METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.bolton.gov.uk

What’s On Offer?

Bolton Council operates a Matchmaker Scheme, which matches sellers of empty properties with potential buyers. To join, all you have to do is complete a short registration form online. Your details – excluding business name – will be available to download from Bolton’s website. Additionally, you can also view the current list of empty properties on sale here.

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BURNLEY COUNCIL

http://www.burnley.gov.uk/residents/housing/private-rented-sector/accreditation/aims-good-landlord-and-agent-scheme-glas#sthash.jkk4d4Ln.dpuf

What’s On Offer?

Burnley’s Good Landlord and Agent Scheme (GLAS) is a partnership between Burnley Borough Council and Private Sector Landlords and their Managing Agents who rent out properties in the Burnley area. Benefits of membership include free marketing of your property and access to landlord accreditation and energy efficiency grants.

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BURY COUNCIL

http://www.bury.gov.uk/

What’s On Offer?

No grants are currently available to investors.

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CARLISLE COUNCIL

http://www.carlisle.gov.uk/

What’s On Offer?

No grants are currently available to investors.

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CHESHIRE EAST

http://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/housing/private_sector_housing/financial_assistance/landlord_accreditation_grant.aspx

What’s On Offer?

Cheshire East Council operate a Landlord Accreditation Assistance is a match-funded grant of up to £1,500 for accredited landlords to carry out a range of repairs and improvements to their properties.

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CHESHIRE WEST AND CHESTER

https://eforms.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/?page_id=866

What’s On Offer?

derelict housesAlso run the Cheshire Landlord Accreditation Scheme, in conjunction with Warrington Borough Council and Cheshire East Council.

As before, you must register on the scheme to access a range of grants. Cheshire West & Cheshire Council will also notify you if any grants become available in either Warrington and Cheshire East Councils.

In April 2016, Housing Strategy Team will start to identify potential external investors to help them deliver this target. Get in touch with them here. The Council also operate a Matchmaker service for those wishing to purchase empty properties.

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CHORLEY COUNCIL

http://www.idoxopen4community.co.uk/chorley/List?search=7f74fc676bc34646b2c3e674c840a0cd&bcr=MTIzNg

What’s On Offer?

The Chorley 4 Communities website provides details of all funding schemes available in the borough. The above link will take you – after a brief registration – to all funding housing funding schemes.

The Housing Finance Corporation EIB Scheme is worth a look, but only if you’re dreaming big! It’s aimed at those who are seeking to be social housing landlords in urban regeneration areas. The minimum grant is £2m, designed to match 50% of eligible expenditure.

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COPELAND BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.copeland.gov.uk/

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available for investors.

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EDEN DISTRICT COUNCIL

http://www.eden.gov.uk/

What’s On Offer?

As with the previous Cumbrian district councils, they are part of the Cumbrian Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

This means you can access up to £1000 to improve energy efficiency or safety measures. It’s not ideal if you’re planning to flip your property – you must tenant the building for at least 3 years after the loan or you will be asked to repay.

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FYLDE BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.fylde.gov.uk/

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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HALTON BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www3.halton.gov.uk

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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HYNDBURN BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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KNOWSLEY METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.knowsley.gov.uk/residents/housing/support-with-an-empty-house/support-with-an-empty-house

What’s On Offer?

The council operates a matchmaker scheme for those wishing to purchase empty properties. They also provide a landlord accreditation scheme, which provides advice about energy efficiency grants.

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LANCASHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/

What’s On Offer?

No grants are currently available to investors in this area.

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LANCASTER CITY COUNCIL

http://www.lancaster.gov.uk/planning/housing-strategy/empty-properties

What’s On Offer?

Lancaster City Council is offering grants for the repair and reinstatement of historic timber windows and doors of listed buildings within the Lancaster Conservation Area. The windows and doors must be along street frontages. The Council is offering grants of 50%, up to a maximum of £1,500, for eligible works.

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LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL

https://liverpool.gov.uk/council/strategies-plans-and-policies/housing/housing-strategy/liverpool-housing-strategy/

What’s On Offer?

A total of £5 million has been identified by the Council’s capital programme to bring forward a range of empty home refurbishment initiatives. One of which the provision of loans and grants to accredited landlords. You can register for their Landlord Accreditation Scheme here. Contracts are also available to Registered Providers of the government’s Affordable Homes Programme. (More info above).

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MANCHESTER CITY COUNCIL

http://www.manchester.gov.uk

What’s On Offer?

As part of the Northern Powerhouse Devolution plans, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) have access to £300 million to unlock previously stalled – but fundamentally financially viable – developments. You have to be dreaming big, as the minimum loan is £1m, to be repaid to the scheme over 3 years. Read the plans and register your interest here.

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OLDHAM COUNCIL

http://www.oldham.gov.uk/

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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PENDLE BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.pendle.gov.uk

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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PRESTON CITY COUNCIL

http://www.preston.gov.uk/

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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RIBBLE VALLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

https://www.ribblevalley.gov.uk/info/200291/housing/1048/empty_properties

What’s On Offer?

If you are renovating the property with the intention of creating new social housing, the council can offer you two grants.

Renovation grants

empty homes grantsRenovation grants may be available where substantial works are required to the dwelling to make a dwelling fit to live in. To be eligible, the property must be within Council Tax bands A-D and does not currently meet the fitness standard for a habitable dwelling.

The grant assistance available is 50% of the conversion work, up to a maximum of £10,000 per flat, £15,000 per two/three bedroomed property. The property must meet the decent homes standard on completion.

Conversion grants

This grant is available where premises are converted to provide rented accommodation. The Council supports the conversion of previously unused premises into rented accommodation e.g. empty space over shops.

Again the grant assistance available is 50% of the cost of the work, up to a maximum of £10,000 per flat, £15,000 per two/three bedroomed property. The property must meet the fitness standard on completion.

In return for the financial assistance provided there are various conditions attached, including the investor or partners acting as a landlord for five years from the completion of the grant. The landlord must also accept nominations of suitable tenants from Ribble Valley Council.

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ROCHDALE METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.rochdale.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/policies-strategies-and-reviews/strategies/housing//Pages/empty-property-strategy.aspx

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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ROSSENDALE BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.rossendale.gov.uk

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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SALFORD CITY COUNCIL

http://www.salford.gov.uk/housing/home-maintenance-and-improvements/landlords/eligibility-for-empty-property-assistance/

What’s On Offer?

The Council will loan money to assist in the renovation of a property that has been empty for more than 6 months, if they feel that it is in a strategically important location or would positively contribute to the Council’s overall housing aims.

Following an assessment visit, the Council will decide which renovation costs it would like to contribute towards. Assistance will be:

  • Repayment Loan;
  • Interest Only Loan;
  • Interest Roll-up Loan;
  • Equity Participation Loan;
  • Secured Interest Free Loan;
  • Direct Financial Assistance

Be aware that the Council may charge 14% of the total cost of the works as a fee for their professional services.

There are also loans and grants available for energy improvements, security improvements or improvements to whole residential blocks. Follow the link for a very detailed breakdown of what you can apply for.

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SEFTON COUNCIL

http://www.sefton.gov.uk/housing/empty-homes/matchmaker-scheme-empty-homes-for-sale-and-potential-buyers.aspx

What’s On Offer?

Operates a matchmaker scheme, pairing up investors with those who wish to sell their empty properties. Register online at the link above.

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SOUTH LAKELAND DISTRICT COUNCIL

https://www.southlakeland.gov.uk/housing/empty-homes/what-can-you-do-with-your-empty-home/ideas-for-empty-properties/

What’s On Offer?

South Lakeland District Council take a very proactive approach to the empty homes puzzle! They can help you locate an empty property through its matchmaker service. Once the property has been sold, you can access the Empty Homes Grant.

Through this, the Council will project manage your renovation project provided you are happy to let them install tenants for the next five years. In this time you will receive 90% rent, and the Council will charge 10% property management fee. At the end of 5 years, the property is returned to you in ‘ready-to-let’ condition.

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SOUTH RIBBLE BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.southribble.gov.uk

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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ST HELEN’S COUNCIL

http://www.sthelens.gov.uk

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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STOCKPORT METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

https://www.stockport.gov.uk/topic/housing

What’s On Offer?

A wide variety of schemes, but for a property investor the Empty Properties Grant is the most accessible. However I would say it’s worth checking out the link to see if any other grants might be applicable for your investment.

The Council will loan an amount from £5 – £15k, based on their assessment of what remedial works the property requires. It’s worth noting that Stockport Council also make the distinction that these funds are available for empty properties above retail units.

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TAMESIDE METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.tameside.gov.uk

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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TRAFFORD METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.trafford.gov.uk/residents/residents.aspx

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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WARRINGTON BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.warrington.gov.uk/info/200955/empty_homes/1571/bring_your_empty_home_back_into_use

What’s On Offer?

Warrington Borough Council offer a limited loan to bring an empty property back into use, up to the amount of £10k. This is subject to their agreement on what works are needed. Interest will be charged at a rate of 5%.

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WEST LANCASHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL

http://www.westlancs.gov.uk/

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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WIGAN METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Docs/PDF/Business/Property-and-Land/EmptyHomeImprovementLoan.pdf

What’s On Offer?

Whilst Wigan MBC do offer an Empty Homes Improvement Grant, it’s unlikely to be suitable for your property investment project. They require a property to be vacant for more than 12 months and – rather crucially – the current owner to have been in possession of the property for 12 months.

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WIGAN COUNCIL

http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/Strategies-Plans-and-Policies/Housing/Housing-Partnership.aspx

What’s On Offer?

Since the end of AGMA’s 2013 Empty to Plenty scheme in March 2015, the Council have no clearly defined offer on Empty Homes.

They do however well understand the important role that private developers such as you have on their housing policy. Head over to the website to register to join a Developers Working Group, which aims to promote a good working relationship between the Council, Social Housing Providers and Private Developers.

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WIRRAL METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

https://www.wirral.gov.uk/housing/information-and-advice/empty-properties

What’s On Offer?

The Council run a matchmaker scheme – called a Developer’s List – which can be joined by completing the application form at the bottom of the link. In the event a property comes onto the market, developers will be invited to make a sealed bid. Read more at http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06921.pdf

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WYRE COUNCIL

http://www.wyre.gov.uk

What’s On Offer?

No grants currently available to investors.

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(Note: if you’re a local council and would like to add your details here to this resource please contact us with your detail and we would be happy to add it for you).

This is a fantastic resource – save it, share it, visit it regularly.

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