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Traveller sites get £5.9m grants

A series of permanent sites for Gypsies and travellers will be built after £5.9m was approved by the government.

Nottingham gets the largest amount, £2.1m, towards new facilities and Derby will receive £1.4m for a 25 caravan site on Russell Street in Osmaston.

South Holland District Council has secured grants totalling more than £1.7m for three new sites.

Officials said the work would give travellers decent places to live and make illegal sites less of a problem.

Communities Minister Iain Wright said: "This funding is vital in delivering both new and better sites to ensure that Gypsies and travellers have authorised, decent places to live and to help reduce the £18 million annual enforcement bill.

"It is important that councils ensure there are enough authorised sites for the Gypsy and traveller communities.

"A good supply of legal sites can break the vicious cycle of evictions that is costly in terms of both local tensions and taxpayers' cash."

Refurbishment project

Amar Nath, from Derby City Council's housing department, said: "It puts our proposal on a very concrete footing.

"And we are now that much closer to a permanent site for travellers in Derby.

"We have to accept these people as part of the community and provide for them."

South Holland District Council is to build new sites at Spalding Marsh, Holbeach and Centenary Way.

Gedling Borough Council also received £646,675 towards a new site as part of the Nottingham Gypsy and Traveller Site Development Project.

A site at Meynells Gorse in Leicester is to be refurbished with a grant of £40,766

Courtesy: BBC News

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