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Get Britain Building opened to smaller sites

The government's Get Britain Building scheme has been opened up to smaller projects, as Westminster aims to stimulate the UK's construction sector.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has revealed it is now opening the tendering process to developments of as little as 15 new properties, with the aim of delivering an additional 16,000 new homes across the country by March 2015.

So far, 40 projects across the UK have been given the green light to receive funding as part of efforts to tackle the country's ongoing housing crisis.

This latest development will ensure more developments get underway over the coming months, with the minimum size for tenders previously standing at 25 homes.

In addition, the announcement includes a simplification of the commercial investment and equity risk sharing guidelines for construction providers.

All schemes applying for grants have until a deadline of being able to start work on site by March 31st 2013, with a final completion date of no later than March 31st 2015.

Chief executive of the HCA Pat Ritchie commented: "I'm pleased that we are able to extend the reach of the Get Britain Building programme, giving many more developers who have struggled to secure finance the opportunity to apply for the investment they need to get their stalled projects back on track."

He added that the government is keen to ensure the process of due diligence continues to be upheld for these new projects, with only those that have the full support of local communities being given access to grants.

Earlier this year, the first tranche of funding under the Get Britain Building programme was released, with developer Crest Nicholson receiving £2.3 million in grants for the construction of new homes in Kent.

The company has committed to providing an additional 100 three and four-bedroom homes on the outskirts of Ashford as part of its first phase of works, with up to 1,000 new properties estimated to be built by the end of the project.

In total, Get Britain Building is offering a government-funded cash pot of £530 million to developers across the UK. 

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