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Scotland’s small housebuilders receive help

Words: Laura Edgar
Housing / iStock

The Scottish government has launched a £30 million scheme that will enable people to buy new homes from small and medium-sized housebuilders.

The Small Developers Scheme is an extension of the existing £275m three-year Help to Buy (Scotland) programme, and aims to spread support across the housebuilding industry by helping those who would like a property built by one of 170 registered smaller developers.

The £30 million will enable the Scottish government to take an equity stake in each property of 10-20 per cent of its value, to be paid back at any time. As of October 2015, eligible properties will be restricted to a maximum value of £250,000. The government estimates that the new money will help around 750 homebuyers.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon explained that many of the 4,100 homes bought during the last 15 months of the Help to Buy scheme have been from one of 20 registered larger housebuilders, with small and medium-sized developers receiving a small share of the sales.

“This new support of £30 million will be ring-fenced to support purchases from 170 smaller building companies that develop thousands of quality homes across the country," she said. "These are often in remote locations and keep much needed jobs and skills in rural areas, while having a positive knock on impact on the wider economy.”

Chairman and managing director of Campion Homes Pete Bell said that the development is recognition of the important role small builders play in the growth of the housebuilding industry in Scotland.

“I am particularly pleased that the scheme is now restricted to houses costing a maximum of £250,000 as this will allow more first time buyers to get on the property owning ladder,” he added.