The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has released thousands of pounds worth of funding to kick-start the building of new affordable homes in Huntingdonshire.

The mayor, James Palmer, and his cabinet have approved grant funding of £4.56million to support the construction of 253 new homes in Cambridgeshire, including 48 affordable properties in Huntingdonshire.

Social housing providers Cross Keys Homes and Havebury Housing have been selected to build the homes in the district, with the new properties set to be located in Offord Darcy and Warboys.

According to Cross Keys Homes, which is based in Peterborough, its development schemes are expected to start before the end of March 2018.

The firm's chief executive, Claire Higgins, said: “We are committed to making a positive difference in Huntingdonshire by building many new affordable homes.

“We are already providing new affordable homes at Bearscroft Farm in Godmanchester where we will provide Huntingdonshire District Council with 184 affordable rented and 79 shared-ownership homes over a five-year period, as well as providing 45 affordable rented and 19 shared-ownership homes by summer next year on the former St Ives golf course.

Ms Higgins added: “This extra grant funding from the combined authority is fantastic news as it will help us to deliver even more than initially planned to help support families to live in a home that they can realistically afford.”

As part of its developing housing strategy, the combined authority is to focus on providing 40,000 affordable homes by 2037 and it has committed to exploring ways of supporting new types of building construction.

The authority has said it will look at modular homes and will help to boost small and medium-sized building enterprises, by exploring ways to make development sites more financially viable.

Councillor Ryan Fuller, Huntingdonshire District Council's executive member for housing and planning added: “The delivery of affordable housing continues to be a high priority for the district council, and the council is delighted to be continuing to work in partnership with Cross Keys Homes to deliver much needed affordable housing for local people across the district.”