Students will help to transform one of Bolton’s empty properties into a new home.
Bolton Council has joined forces with Bolton College and the University of Bolton on a pilot project to bring a rundown house back into use.
The council is now seeking to either work with an existing homeowner or buy a private property outright.
The ambition is that the students will help to refurbish a property on Victoria Grove, Halliwell – which is Bolton’s longest standing empty property and has been empty for 24 years. The house has been empty since April 1993 according to council tax records.
The council is now seeking to buy the private property. Should the sale not go ahead, an alternative property will be sought for the pilot project.
Bolton College will provide up to four students on full-time study programmes, from different trades such as plastering, plumbing and electricians to assist with the physical makeover.
A student from the University of Bolton will assist with the design specification for the refurbishment project.
Another will compile a dissertation about empty homes management.
Both institutions are now identifying students to take part in the refurbishment, and the hope is that work will start on the makeover in the next few months.
The students will be working with professional contractors that the council will employ.
Once the house has been refurbished the council will look to ensure it is brought back into use and the costs recovered via sale or rental.
Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Elaine Sherrington, said: “This is a really exciting project which I am delighted to support. It is an opportunity to give young people a chance to work on a small scale project, which supports their studies, looks great on their CVs and helps us to refurbish a property.
“They will be working alongside our contractors and benefitting from the expertise and experience of professionals from the trade.
“We do have a long term empty property in mind for them to refurbish, which before the students can work on it, needs structural issues resolving.
“The university and college have been very supportive and we are looking forward to working together on this.”