Regeneration quango English Partnerships has beefed up its National Coalfields Programme with the announcement of 10 new redevelopment projects.
The £385m programme involves the regeneration of 98 former coalfield communities, which collapsed after pit closures. The programme aims to build 6500 homes and 2 million ft2 of office space over 4000 ha.

The additional sites are located in West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, north Tyneside, West Midlands, Kent and Gloucestershire.

The largest scheme is a 192 ha stretch of land in Manchester's Leigh area. Decontamination will be the main focus of this scheme.

A further 13 sites are being looked at for possible inclusion in the programme later this year.

Regeneration minister Jeff Rooker said: "The regeneration of areas that have been blighted by pit closures is essential to the economy and the well-being of the community."

Rooker announced the move at the Coalfields Communities Campaign Conference at The Lowry in Salford.

Councillor Bill Flanagan, chairman of the campaign, said the announcement should coincide with a speeding up of the scheme.

He said: "The job is to keep the programme on track. I'm sure that with the government's continued commitment we can speed up the process of regeneration even more."