The Sheffield City Region (SCR) Housing Investment Board has approved a further £717,000 investment to build homes for first-time buyers and affordable rent or shared ownership.

To date, £1.23million in loans and grants has been approved by the innovative SCR Housing Fund, and will see 98 new homes built in the region.

Twenty-five houses and apartments will be aimed at first-time buyers in Mexborough, and 35 affordable homes for rent and shared ownership in Darfield.

The Board approved a grant of £367,000 in May for a 35-affordable home scheme to be built by the Together Housing Association at Nanny Marr Road in Darfield. Work is set start on site in September, with the homes ready to move into by December 2020.

The City Region’s Local Growth Funding is providing £350,000 – 50per cent grant and 50per cent loan for exceptional costs in developing the Leach Lane, Mexborough site. Essential work includes diverting mains drains, clearing undergrowth, and raising the ground level near the canal bank to avoid the risk of flooding.

The two, three, and four bedroom homes will have good local transport links to employment, and Mexborough town centre, a regeneration area, will also benefit from the development.

With housing a key priority for the City Region, the plans have been welcomed by Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones, who chaired the meeting of the Housing Investment Board which approved the spending.

Mayor Jones said: “These are exactly the sort of visionary schemes we want to see in this region. It’s providing the right homes in the right places to ensure we can underpin the economic growth of the region.”

Melissa Kroger, Director at the developers Fenwood Estates, said: “The Leach Lane site has been stalled since 2007 and it’s great that thanks to the backing from Sheffield City Region and Homes England, we can now finally proceed. Fenwood Estates recognise that this site will be a landmark waterside regeneration scheme for the area and we are very excited to finally break the ground and begin the development!”

Hilary Brady, Group Head of Development at Synergy Housing Solutions Ltd, a member of the Together Housing Group, said: “We have worked closely with the City Region and are grateful they have been able to make a swift decision to ensure additional housing can be delivered.”

The Mexborough and Darfield schemes follow hard on the heels of the first project to be approved under the City Region’s unique £10million ‘fast track’ housing pilot in March. Work is already underway on site to build 38 affordable flats close to the iconic Park Hill flats in Sheffield with support of £517,000 from the City Region.

All three schemes are co-funded by Homes England.

Mayor Jones added: “We’re working to complement and plug the gaps in current national housing investment programme, unlock development opportunities and deliver much-needed new homes across the city region.

“One of the main barriers to development across the City Region is challenging site conditions, and both schemes will develop brownfield sites. Both will also be providing new employment and apprenticeships.”