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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019

Got €1.36 to spare? You could buy 130 houses in this "ghost town"*

*If you’re willing to do them up and manage them.

Source: Channel 4 News/YouTube

THE VILLAGE OF Horden in county Durham was once a thriving mining community.

Now, however, it is deserted, the closure of coal mines ripping the heart out of the north England town.

The housing association that manages the council houses, Accent, says that government funding has been withdrawn for repairing the homes. This, they say, makes any repairs infeasible. They add that they have spent £8.7 million on refurbishments, but people just don’t want to live in Horden, 24 miles south of Newcastle.

To get rid of the homes, Accent offered Durham council 130 houses for just £1 (€1.36). The council declined.

Channel 4′s Ciaran Jenkins visited the town this week and was told the town is “like Beirut”.

Local MP Grahame Morris last week called for a comprehensive renewal plan that would include demolishing homes. It would also see the council selling homes for £1 to residents, who would then get a low interest £30,000 loan to renovate the units.

Unemployment in Durham is around 8%, almost 3% higher than the UK average.

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