A £7M housing development in Carlisle has welcomed its first residents into their new homes.

Millers Close in Botcherby, includes 66 new houses available for affordable rent.

The development has been created by Home Group, in collaboration with Homes England, Carlisle City Council and local contractor Top Notch.

David Armstrong, senior delivery manager at Home Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome our first customers into their new homes.

“Everyone at Home Group gets great satisfaction from seeing happy residents being able to access high quality housing in their local area at an affordable rate.

“We have worked hard with everyone involved on the project and want to thank Carlisle City Council, who have been very supportive from the beginning, and Top Notch, for their ongoing efforts in delivering a quality product on time and on budget.”

Including a mix of two and three bedroom bungalows and houses, the project received grant funding from Homes England to help increase the area’s affordable housing provision for local residents.

Julie Nash, 55, who moved to Carlisle two years ago, lives in a two bedroomed bungalow on the site with her husband Roger, 56.

She said: “We used to live just around corner. We watched it from when the first diggers went in. As soon as the signs went up we applied.

“Through health reasons, I’m actually needing a bungalow more than a house, so it was absolutely ideal. It’s in the same area as where we were, so an ideal location too.

“It’s a nice new property, so no work to be done. Home Group have been really good. They’ve been really helpful and all the questions we’ve needed to know, they’ve had the answers for.”

The former site of Botcherby Mill, the land was later home to a dairy and a range of commercial businesses, before remaining vacant and unused for some time.

The location represented a priority for Carlisle City Council in creating new homes for the area, with its industrial heritage recognised by the chosen street names; Millers Close, Bedstone Place and Runnerstone Court.