Production at Hanson Building Products’ site in Accrington restarted this week, seven years after the company was forced to close the Lancashire factory. The decision to reopen the brick factory follows a £1.6m investment by the company, and was celebrated in a visit by prime minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne.
The re-start will be carried out in two stages with phase one kicking off in January and phase two, which will require further investment of around £350,000, following later this year.
The re-opening coincided with the government’s shortlisting of areas of England under an initiative to create 10 housing zones where housebuilding on brownfield land is being facilitated. The 29 areas shortlisted will now bid to become one of the 10 housing zones, where between 750 and 2,000 homes will be built at each location. Bidders win a share of a £200m funding pot to pay for infrastructure and land remediation to kickstart development.
The 29 areas shortlisted to become housing zones are:
- Thurrock Thames-Side Towns (Thurrock council)
- Elstree Way Corridor (Hertsmere borough council)
- Slyfield Area Regeneration Project (Guildford borough council)
- Suffolk Rural Growth Housing Zone (Babergh and Mid-Suffolk councils)
- Greater Gainsborough Housing Zone (West Lindsey district council)
- Coseley Housing Zone (Dudley Metropolitan borough council)
- Bescot Friar Park (Sandwell Metropolitan borough council)
- Stoke City Centre Renaissance (Stoke City council)
- Derby City Housing Zone (Derby City council)
- Gedling Colliery (Gedling borough council)
- Harworth, North Nottinghamshire (Bassetlaw district council)
- Aire River Growth Corridor (Wakefield Metropolitan district council)
- North East Lincolnshire Town Centre Living (North East Lincolnshire council)
- York Central Housing Zone (City of York council)
- Hoyland and Dearne Valley Housing Zone, Barnsley (Barnsley Metropolitan district council)
- Exemplar Neighbourhood (Gateshead council)
- Sheffield – Rotherham Don Valley Housing Zone (Sheffield City council)
- Preston Housing Zone (Preston City council)
- Penine-Lancashire (Blackburn with Darwen borough council)
- Wirral Waters – North Bank East (Wirral Metropolitan borough council)
- South Bristol HZ (Bristol City council)
- Whitehill and Bordon (East Hampshire district council)
- Weston Super Mare Town Centre (North Somerset council)
- Weston Links/Avoncrest (North Somerset council)
- Ashchurch (Tewkesbury borough council)
- Hinkley Housing Zone (Sedgemoor district council)
- Former Powerstation Site, Poole (borough of Poole council)
- Foxhill (Bath and North East Somerset council)
- Gloucester City Growth Zone (Gloucester City council).