Hellens Group, the North East-based property and construction firm developing Darlington’s Burtree Garden Village, has been allocated £164k as part of a government initiative to create greener neighbourhoods.

Housing Minister Stuart Andrew MP has pledged £15m of support across a number of developments, bringing the total funding for the Garden Communities programme to more than £69m since its launch in 2018.

The Burtree Garden Village development will see 2,000 new homes built over a 20-year period as well as 200,000 sqm of employment space, creating more than 6,000 jobs.

Hellens Group and their partner Homes England are working closely with Darlington Borough Council to incorporate the development of a new public park, later living accommodation and retail facilities , in addition to 500 new affordable homes with an emphasis on green spaces.

Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive of Hellens Group, said: “We are delighted that the government has built on its already generous Levelling Up Building Fund to provide additional funds to Burtree Garden Village.  The award is recognition of the progress we have made to date with our plans to deliver a new green and sustainable community.

“Garden villages are essential to the growth of towns like Darlington because they put beauty and nature at the heart of design and infrastructure.

“I look forward to working closely with our stakeholders to bring this development to life.”

Housing Minister Rt Hon Stuart Andrew MP said: “Building beautiful new homes in the places they are most needed lies at the heart of the government’s levelling up mission.

“Garden villages and towns are perfect examples of the vibrant, green communities we want to see right across the country and today’s funding will allow us to work hand-in-hand with local leaders and industry to deliver the high-quality new homes that we need.”Hellens Residential, which owns and manages a portfolio of over 150 properties for rent and low-cost home ownership, will play a key role in the delivery of affordable homes in the village.

Development of Burtree Garden Village will also include major infrastructure upgrades to help improve local connectivity in and out of Darlington.