TENANTS have begun moving into 'new' council houses made available through a scheme to bring long-term empty properties back into use.

Berneslai Homes has bought and refurbished three unloved homes and refurbished them using funding through the Empty Homes Community Grant, with apprentices from Barnsley College carrying out the work.

Work on a fourth house will begin soon, and Berneslai Homes hopes to buy another seven before the end of the scheme next March.

Investment and regeneration manager John Lythe said: "There are many empty homes in Barnsley and there’s a great demand for housing.

"The grant helps to bring properties back into the housing supply to meet local needs and helps tackle homelessness, prevent neighbourhood decline and regenerate areas."