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Valleys Taskforce Empty Homes Grant helps property undergo transformation

A grant scheme helping property owners and first-time buyers to get empty properties back into use has helped to transform a home in Maesteg.

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

During two phases of the scheme, over £460,000 of funding has been committed with works benefitting properties in valleys communities like Maesteg, Pontycymer, Brynmenyn and Tondu.

To be eligible, applicants had to be owners or prospective owners who intended to occupy the empty home as their main residence for a minimum five-year period from the date of the certification of grant-aided work.

Under the scheme, Bridgend County Borough Council provided match funding of £100,000 with Welsh Government providing the remaining amount.

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. 

When we bought the house, it had been empty for over two years, possibly three, and was in quite a bad state, looking derelict, with the windows hanging out, a soil pipe right through the middle of the kitchen and asbestos in the roof.

Having applied for the Empty Homes Grant, it went through really quickly, we were very impressed with the whole process and have been extremely grateful for the funding.

We received around £12,000 via the grant which was a massive help, paying for things like the electrics throughout the house, a new boiler and re-plastering the ceilings.

Sam Mathias-Chapman who received a grant for work at her home in Maesteg

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.

Under the scheme, the home owner was required to make a mandatory contribution of 15 per cent of the total cost of eligible works – capped at £3,000 if the maximum grant of £20,000 is approved - with the local authority then providing 35 per cent of the remaining amount and Welsh Government, 50 per cent.

The scheme was managed on behalf of Bridgend County Borough Council by Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Housing Strategy and Investment Service.


The front and rear view of the Maesteg home, before and after its transformation. Credit: AMB Building & Construction

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