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Grants helping to get empty properties back into use in Bridgend County Borough

A grant scheme is helping property owners and first-time buyers to get empty properties in the Valleys Task Force area of Bridgend County Borough back into use.

The Valleys Taskforce Empty Homes Grant, which was launched in September 2019, allowed homeowners or prospective owners to apply for grants of up to £20,000 for renovations and up to £5,000 towards energy measures.

During the first phase of the scheme, which ran until March 2020, £76,820.42 of funding was paid out with works completed at eight properties in valleys communities like Maesteg, Pontycymer, Brynmenyn, Blaengarw and Tondu.

Under phase two, which ran from July 2020 until February 2021, 23 applications have been accepted and surveys are now underway.

The properties are all in the Valleys Task Force area of Bridgend County Borough and had been unoccupied for a period of six months prior to purchase and at the time of the grant application.

Mr G Jones, who received a grant during the first phase for work at his home at the Mill View Estate, Maesteg, said: “The property needed some TLC – it is a 1970s build which had not been modernised internally, all of the ceilings had polystyrene tiles and the electrics had not been touched since installation.

“The grant helped us replace the electrics and remove all dangerous tiles, as well as repair render on the outside of the house. Although the amount did not cover all costs, it certainly helped us complete the work sooner than we could have hoped.”

The grant supports the delivery of Bridgend County Borough Council’s priority of returning empty properties into use in Valleys areas to help regenerate communities, provide more choice and suitable accommodation for residents.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council delivered and managed the scheme through the Housing Strategy and Investment Service.