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One Public Estate Launches £25m Self and Custom Build Fund

The Right to Build Task Force welcomes today’s opening of the up to £75m Brownfield Land Release Fund, which includes a dedicated £25m fund for self and custom build projects.

The fund, announced in the Autumn and coordinated by One Public Estate, went live today, with local authorities invited to bid for funding for projects before the 2 June application deadline. The dedicated custom and self build scheme provides capital grant funding to bring forward local authority land for housing development, giving proactive local authorities the chance to progress sites with viability issues for custom and self build projects.

Right to Build Task Force acting head Mary Elkington said: “It is fantastic that the Brownfield Land Release Fund includes this £25m allocation for self and custom build, and we encourage as many councils as possible to apply. This will make a genuine difference to those authorities working to deliver a more diverse route to delivering high-quality housing.  Support for replicable exemplars of this innovative route to housing helps in scaling up custom and self build. These sites will showcase the wide range of benefits that custom and self build can deliver, complementing wider housing delivery.”

Eligible land must be wholly owned by the local authority, and most authorities can apply, with the exception of some Mayoral Combined Authorities. Importantly, self and custom build schemes on greenfield land, as well as brownfield, are eligible for support.

The scheme is designed to unlock sites that may otherwise struggle to come forward, with funding available for a range of uses, including:

  • Site levelling, preparation and groundworks,
  • Provision of small-scale infrastructure,
  • Highways works or other access challenges,
  • Addressing environmental constraints,
  • Providing services to plots, and more.

The window for applying is narrow, with submissions due by 2 June, and awards announced over the summer. Applications must meet a range of criteria to be considered, including a score for innovation for custom and self build, with funds awarded over the summer.