WARRINGTON Borough Council has agreed a deal to lend £90million to a housing association which will see 1,400 social and affordable homes built across the north west.

St Helens based Helena Partnerships will receive the money with developments likely in Warrington, St Helens and the wider region.

Leader of Warrington Borough Council, Clr Terry O’Neill, called the deal a ‘win-win’ opportunity.

He added: “This loan will help drive regeneration. It will stimulate house building and create jobs.

“It will bring much-needed affordable properties within reach of hundreds of families.

“It will help close the gap by bringing regeneration to some of our most deprived areas. And as a related benefit it will bring in much-needed income, which will help us to protect essential council services.

“Warrington Borough Council has been one of the first local authorities to do this, but other councils are gradually starting to do the same. This is good news because there’s currently a shortage of long-term finance due to the banking crisis, and as a result the UK is building about 100,000 new homes a year fewer than we actually need.

“It’s also good news for the local and regional economy in general, because every £1 spent on house building leads to £4 being spent in the wider economy.”

Warrington Borough Council has been providing loans to housing providers since 2010, following the withdrawal of long-term finance by banks in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis.