Work has started on a £13 million affordable housing development on the site of the former Rossendale United FC grounds in Newchurch.

The 95 homes, which are being built by Vistry Partnerships, will be available for affordable rent via Together Housing Group.

The development, which will comprise 23 two-bedroom houses, 62 three-bedroom houses and 10 two-bedroom apartments, is possible thanks to funding from Homes England. We were announced as one of the government housing agency’s strategic partners in January 2019, receiving £53 million to help deliver 1,152 additional affordable home starts by March 2022.

In addition to a children’s play area on the site, a financial contribution will be made to deliver a replacement playing pitch at Marl Pits Leisure Centre in Rossendale.

The first homes will be ready to move into November 2021 and the development is expected to be complete by September 2022.

The football stadium was last used by non-league Rossendale United in 2011 and was badly damaged by a fire in 2012. Since then the site has become derelict.

Hilary Brady, Head of Development for Together Housing, said: “The site has lain abandoned since the club left nearly 10 years ago. This development will not only improve the appearance of the derelict site but the affordable housing will attract new families into the area to address the surplus school places.”

Andy Coates, Construction Director for Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Together Housing once again. Our land-led developments continue to unlock opportunities to deliver much-needed affordable housing across the region.”

Alyson Barnes, Leader of Rossendale Council said: “We’re extremely pleased to finally see the commencement of this project. The 95 homes, all of which offer affordable rent, will be a great addition to Rossendale as will the opportunities for the local jobs market with the extra construction jobs that will be necessary to complete the building work.”