Proposals to build thousands of new homes across Sunderland have been given a major boost today thanks to Government funding.
Sunderland City Council has been told it is one of 44 areas across the country to have been shortlisted for funding for major infrastructure projects.
The local authority has made a bid of £17.8m from the Government's Housing Infrastructure Fund Forward Funding Bid, to support the infrastructure needed to create 3,286 new homes.
Three of the four development sites in the city, Chapelgarth (750 new homes), Cherry Knowle (800 new homes) and South Ryhope (450 new homes), already have planning permission.
If granted, the money would fund a number of projects including:
*Extensions to two existing primary schools in the Doxford Park and Ryhope areas
*The completion of the Ryhope Doxford link Road
*Improvements to the A690/A19 junction
*The provision of sports and leisure facilities for community and school use
New homes would help meet demand for larger family homes in the city and are in line with the council's Economic Masterplan and Sunderland's Housing Strategy.
The masterplan's aims include encouraging growing families to stay in the city and more students to stay in Sunderland when they graduate by providing a wider choice of housing.
Meanwhile, the Housing Strategy strives to offer more hosing choies through the development of new homes.
Cabinet Secretary Councillor Mel Speding, said: "We're delighted to have won through the first round of this bid. We need more and a greater choice of housing in the city, particularly larger family homes.
"This ambitious proposal will provide over 20% of the city's future housing needs as well as supporting more than 5,000 new jobs planned for the International Advanced Manufacturing Park.
"But we need to make sure that we have the necessary infrastructure in place to support the development, including the provision of roads and schools, which is why we welcome today's announcement and look forward to submitting a more detailed bid in the coming weeks."
Councillor Harry Trueman, leader of Sunderland City Council, added: "New housing and a greater choice of housing is a key part of the city’s economic transformation.
"The right mix of good-quality housing of all types, sizes and tenures will underpin our skills offer to new business investment by meeting the needs of our current and future residents.
"It is important that we support housing growth to meet a growing population and to support economic growth."
The Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) was set up to unlock the development of new homes in areas of greatest housing demand by delivering physical infrastructure, including transport, utilities, schools, community and healthcare facilities, with forward funding available for a small number of strategic and high-impact infrastructure projects.