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Reviving old buildings a priority for the general public

Nearly half of UK adults want to see abandoned or derelict buildings in their cities (49%) revived for new purposes such as housing, business or retail, a survey commission by mortgage lender Together has revealed.

Almost half (46%) are worried the situation will only get worse if it isn’t addressed urgently.

Two fifths of respondents felt ‘unsafe’ because of the state of abandoned buildings in their cities, while 40% believe these directly contribute to poor economic growth.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition had an empty homes programme between 2012 and 2015 that handed local authorities money to bring empty homes back into use, but it was dropped when the Conservative Party was re-elected with a majority in 2015.

Elliot Vure, corporate director at Together, said: “These findings underscore a pressing need for action. Most Britons are calling for the revitalisation of these abandoned buildings, recognising the potential they hold for regenerating communities and economies in cities across the UK.

“While we’re pleased to see that regenerating previously developed land is a central tenet of the Levelling Up agenda, it’s crucial that the Government shows more ambition in supporting the potential redevelopment of abandoned and derelict buildings.

“This will be paramount in addressing the housing crisis, which will be a key feature in the upcoming General Election.”

When asked how these abandoned buildings should be repurposed, the most popular option was more private houses or flats to rent or buy (35%), followed by community or social housing (26%).
Nearly a quarter (24%) wanted to see them turned into local or independent businesses (24%), community spaces (22%) and schools or youth centres (18%).