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Government to end Pathfinder programme

The government has revealed plans to wind up its controversial £1 billion Housing Market Renewal ‘Pathfinder’ programme

All uncommitted projects will be terminated immediately and the programme’s remaining funding will be absorbed back into government once live projects complete.

Housing minister Grant Shapps explained to the House of Commons: ‘I have visited Pathfinder schemes on many occasions, and some were very good and some had some problems.

‘We will complete all the committed [Housing Market Renewal] schemes, and we will then roll the funding up into the regional development fund.’

Pathfinder was set up to overhaul nine areas, mainly in the north of England, suffering from low residential demand due to poor quality housing stock.

Between 2002 and 2008 the programme refurbished and ‘improved’ around 59,000 homes, built 3,700 new properties and demolished 16,000.

Will Palin of campaign group Save Britain’s Heritage said: ‘It’s good news that the coalition has realised that Pathfinder has been an expensive failure. What is absolutely scandalous is that demolitions are continuing, even though in most cases funding for redevelopment is not there. The coalition needs to act quickly and decisively to prevent any further destruction of good housing stock.’

In April 2002 the Government announced nine areas needing specific housing market renewal support.

- Birmingham/Sandwell,
- East Lancashire,
- Hull and East Riding,
- Manchester/Salford,
- Merseyside,
- Newcastle/Gateshead,
- North Staffordshire,
- Oldham/Rochdale,
- South Yorkshire.

Readers' comments (1)

  • The statistics say it all - here we are with a housing crisis caused, in part, by a lack of building stock and Pathfinder has 'Built 3,700 and Demolished 16,000' ... What an acheivement. The reasons people don't want to live in these areas is not as simple as poor quality housing stock, its down to jobs, services, facilities and social conditions - even I don't think architecture and good design can solve all the worlds problems. 99% maybe, but not all.

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