Page last updated at 20:16 GMT, Friday, 5 March 2010

Revamp plan for Byker Wall estate

Byker Wall
More than 9,000 people live on the estate

Plans for a revamp of a Tyneside housing estate, which was given listed status in 2007, have been unveiled.

Up to £48m could be invested on Newcastle's Byker Wall to refurbish homes, install solar panels and give public buildings a makeover.

The government is writing off about £40m worth of debt from the estate's construction to allow Newcastle City Council to borrow cash for the revamp.

A community trust could also be set up to oversee the area's management.

Housing minister John Healey said: "This announcement is the basis for helping build a new future for Byker - it needs a unique vision for a unique place.

"While there is still a great deal of work to do this plan puts us on the right track, and I'm giving government backing worth £44m by writing off the local housing debt."

The plans for the estate have been prepared by a special taskforce set up by the housing minister.

The decision to create a community trust and press ahead with the regeneration scheme will be voted on by the estate's residents later.

Byker Wall, an array of colourful flats, was built between 1969 and 1982 to replace demolished terraced houses.

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