SENIOR councillors are set to release millions of pounds of funding to improve council housing stock in the Redhall area of Darlington.

Darlington Borough Council is looking to regenerate its existing housing stock on the estate and build new properties to replace 56 flats in The Courts area that no longer meet modern standards.

The authority is planning to tie the physical improvements around the estate to a number of schemes to improve the overall health and employment opportunities for local residents.

Members of the council’s cabinet will be asked to release £5.5m from the housing capital revenue account to pay for the upgrades and building work when it meets on Tuesday at the town hall.

A report prepared for councillors by Paul Wildsmith, director of neighbourhood services, and Ian Williams, director of economic growth, said the improvements to Redhall would increase the sustainability of the estate, in particular the demolition of properties in the Courts, which are difficult to rent out due to their condition.

Other properties in the estate will benefit from improvements to heating and insulation and to their overall appearance, with the estate’s street lighting and road networks also set to be overhauled.

The report notes that the improvements to the housing stock will lead to less call outs to the council about repairs and problems and should help to tackle high levels of fuel poverty.

It is also hoped that by attracting more people to live in the area, more service providers will be attracted to the estate, including shops, small businesses and healthcare.

The report concludes: “In addition to the physical improvement works proposed, neighbourhood regeneration can only be successful if wider issues such as training, employment and health improvements are addressed.

“We also need to work closely with the Redhall Community to support and empower residents to play a key role and build capacity within the community for the longer-term future.”

The regeneration of Redhall is the final stage of a 15 year scheme to improving council housing stock around the town, with work to rebuild and renovate properties in Cockerton currently underway.