MORE than 100 empty homes in the worst areas of Goldthorpe will be revamped as part of a project worth almost £2 million.

A government grant of £961,000 has been awarded to bring half of the 200 empty privately-owned houses back up to liveable standard. It is being matched by the council, meaning more than £1.9 million is available in total.

Coun Linda Burgess said: "This is really excellent news for Goldthorpe, and particularly for the families who will have access to decent homes, and the families who will see their area improve."

Part of the money will be used to buy some of the poorest, lowest-value houses, which will be refurbished and sold to first-time buyers.

Some will be used to offer grants to private landlords to refurbish their properties, if they sign various agreements including and be registered and regulated through the council and Berneslai Homes.

There will also be advice and support to other landlords to bring properties back to rentable states, and also works to increase security in streets and areas where properties have been left vulnerable to vandalism, break-ins and fly-tipping.

"It's a real boost to the area," added Coun Burgess. "We know there are more than 200 empty properties, and it does create serious problems."