£60m Fund to Enable Councils to Regenerate Brownfield Land

Funding available to support local authority partnerships in England to help unlock surplus land and property.

One Public Estate (OPE) is a partnership between the Office of Government Property (OGP) in the Cabinet Office (CO), the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). The joint aim is to bring public sector bodies together in order to create better places by using public assets more efficiently, creating service and financial benefits, and releasing land for development to create new homes and jobs in local areas.

Since 2017, OPE has partnered with DLUHC to deliver the Land Release Fund (LRF) and subsequent Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF), a programme that enables councils to bring forward their surplus land for new homes.

The BLRF is offering up to £180 million of capital grant funding to unlock and accelerate the release of these sites.

The aims of the Brownfield Land Release Fund are to:

  • Release local authority owned land within three years of receiving the funding for housing development that otherwise would not come forward during that period
  • Encourage the use of public assets to drive innovative delivery, where possible supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) / Low and Medium Volume Builders (LMVBs), creating new delivery models, supporting high-quality design and adopting modern methods of construction
  • Demonstrate a return for Government investment into these small sites.

All local authorities across England are eligible to apply.

Applications must be coordinated via an OPE partnership.

BLRF2 will offer up to £180 million of capital grant funding over three years from 2022/23 to 2024/25 to unlock and accelerate the release of homes. Up to £60 million will be available in 2032/24.

There is no fixed lower or upper limit for each application. As a guide, the average size of a BLRF project is 53 homes, while the median is 29 homes. Applications will need to detail and evidence their funding requirement against compliant capital costs.

The deadline for applications is 31 March 2023.

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)