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New programme makes building ‘recycling’ easier

buildingsCommunities Secretary Hazel Blears today unveiled “Revolution to Recycle,” a series of measures designed to help local communities recycle buildings both during and after the current recession.

The Government said the troubled economy has sparked a renewed interest in communities maintaing local buildings, from post offices to pubs.

The Revolution to Recycle features a new single advice line — 0845 345 4564 — and other Government support to make it easier for people to take control of community assets. A range of options aims to make it easier for people to hand  over buildings as a gift to a community group, sell at below market price or keep a building off the market while a local project develops plans and secures funding.

As of today, it’s estimated that more than £1billion worth of buildings are under community control, with some agreements dating back to the 1970s.

“Local people have been leading a revolution to recycle buildings for the community, particularly during the downturn,” Blears said. “We want to help more local people get their hands on local buildings so they can put them to work for the community. For too long, too many have not even seen it as an option. And when they have it has felt like an endurance test.”

She continued, “We want to change the odds in their favour, and for them to know that taking the first step could be a simple phone call. From today the national advice line, backed by experts at local and national level who have been there and done that, can help guide people through the financial, legal and planning barriers. It is more achievable than people think to recycle a building.”

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