ACCRINGTON'S pioneering housing scheme Project Phoenix looks set to rise from the ashes after a massive cash boost.
It was announced this week that Hyndburn's share of Elevate funding to improve the housing market has been doubled for the coming year.
The borough will get £6.7M of the £45.2M available for East Lancashire as part of a 15-year scheme to improve town centre neighbourhoods in East Lancashire.
Many homes in West Accrington have already been bought under compulsory purchase orders and the owners relocated.
But those left behind in the Project Phoenix area, which covers the Blackburn Road corridor around Lonsdale Street, Rutland Street and Pearl Street, have complained that they are living lives of misery in streets with boarded-up houses and broken windows.
Residents have told how vandals have moved in, stealing roof slates from the empty houses.
But now the extra cash will allow Hyndburn Council to buy up and knock down another 188 terraced houses in the area and councillors are optimistic that the demolition work will start in the near future.
Councillor Tony Dobson, the Cabinet member with responsibility for housing market renewal in Hyndburn, has welcomed the announcement.
He said: "This is great news. It will allow us to get on with key projects like Project Phoenix. We can expect to see demolition in the Project Phoenix area in the very near future.
"As with many big projects it's like the tip of an iceberg, there's a lot going on underneath the surface that people don't see but residents living in the Elevate areas can expect to see impr-ovements soon."
Councillor Jean Battle, leader of the Labour group, was also enthusiastic about the cash boost.
She said: "It is excellent news, long-awaited. I hope that the demolition of the houses will start soon and the next phase will speed up a bit more. It is going to be of great benefit for a lot of people and they will actually see the way the Government is committed to improving poor quality housing."
The money will also be used to support neighbourhood management in West Accrington, Church and Clayton-le-Moors, which is about improving the quality of life for residents in the area.