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A £1 billion fund to help boost house building across England and give smaller builders more access to finance has been announced.

Barclays is providing £875 million of the fund and Homes England, the Government’s housing agency, will contribute £125 million.

The money will be used as development finance to help build thousands of new homes across England to help increase the pace and number of homes being built, Barclays said.

Loans ranging from £5 million to £100 million are being made available for developers and house builders.

Barclays said funding is open to new and existing clients and will help diversify the housing market, as at present, nearly two-thirds of homes are built by just 10 companies.

Those behind the initiative said a key priority was supporting small and medium-sized businesses to develop homes for rent or sale, including social housing, retirement living and the private rented sector, while also helping innovation.

John McFarlane, Barclays’ chairman, said: “There is a vital need to build more good quality homes across the country.

“This £1 billion fund is about helping to do exactly that by showing firms in the business of house building that the right finance is available for projects that help meet this urgent need.

“We are very pleased to be working with government to get the country building more homes, more quickly.”

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said: “This new fund, partnering Homes England with Barclays, is a further important step by giving smaller builders access to the finance they need to get housing developments off the ground.”

Chairman of Homes England, Sir Ed Lister, said the Housing Delivery Fund “will provide a new funding stream for SME developers to help progress sites and deliver more affordable homes across England”.

The agreement with Barclays forms part of the Government’s aim to achieve 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s, following 217,000 homes built last year.

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