WORK on a new Lake District housing project, pioneered by a community trust, is now underway.

The Above Derwent Community Land Trust’s scheme in Portinscale, near Keswick, will create much needed affordable homes for local people who live would like to remain in the area.

Building contractors are now on the site at Pow Wood.

The Allerdale Borough Council has worked with the trust over the last four years to establish the organisation and support it with grant funding to help deliver community-led housing.

The trust says community led housing is about local people playing a leading and lasting role in solving local housing issues, creating genuinely affordable homes and strong communities in ways that are difficult to achieve through mainstream housing.

Councillor Marion Fitzgerald, the council’s executive member for policy, governance and people resources, said: “Meeting the housing needs of the borough is a key part of our 10-year Council Strategy and supporting Community Land Trusts to supply housing in the right locations is something we'll continue with going forward.

“Community land trusts are an important element in building resilient communities which is more important than ever at this time.

“We’re delighted to see work on this brilliant project get started and I look forward to seeing the end result.”

Don Thoburn, chair of the Above Derwent Community Land Trust, said: “After four years of hard effort we’re really pleased to see our first housing scheme get off the ground.

"It will provide much-needed affordable homes for local people in the area.”

The Above Derwent Community Land Trust is a non-profit membership organisation, which is created and run voluntarily by and for local people.

It says its aim is to provide permanently affordable homes for income-qualified people in the community.