OVER £1m has been pledged to Bury Council to kickstart housing developments on unused brownfield sites – bringing the Radcliffe regeneration scheme one step closer.

The area will receive two payments of £515,000, one now, and one in the upcoming financial year.

The former Millwood school site on Fletcher Fold, and a piece of land off of School Street are both set to benefit from the cash, which will prepare the land for a total of 116 houses.

Cllr Eamonn O'Brien, leader of the council, believes this is a great step towards the highly anticipated regeneration plan.

He said: "This money is primarily aimed to over come natural barriers, extra costs that you don't get when you develop unused sites.

"It's used to open up the site, removing the previous construction so you can get it into a position to get all the infrastructure in place before starting to build.

"These are upfront costs that often turn off developers, that are ultimately profit-driven companies – there has been some interest over the years from developers that's not progressed so quite clearly this is a site that needed this money."

The cash is part of the Greater Manchester brownfield housing fund, an £80m pot that enables all ten of the region's boroughs to use their brownfield sites for housing needs, meaning fewer greenbelt sites need to be built on.

Local authorities can start preparation work on the derelict land, paving the way for developers to take on the project and allowing the new houses to be built at market value.

Now that funding has been granted for this project, the council are looking to put other sites forward for the scheme, allowing other areas to benefit from cash.

The planned progress for the former Millwood school site will be a big boost to the Radcliffe regeneration scheme – kicking the process into motion.

Cllr O'Brien added: "Not only is there capacity for 90 much needed homes on Fletcher Fold, but it can also contribute to the outer regeneration framework.

"Because that site is near the canal, we were really keen to open up and invest in it because it's a natural spot that we want residents to be able to enjoy.

"Housing is great and it's a need, but more importantly that's 90 people who will make a life in Radcliffe, spend money there and contribute to local businesses – maybe even set up their own business.

"You can change a place superficially but regeneration is as much about people who contribute to the life of a place. It's great to have homes that meet that need and use a site that's empty."