RESIDENTS are being given a voice on the £500,000 regeneration of their neighbourhood.

People living in the Parkfield and Mill Lane areas of Stockton are being invited to attend a series of workshops to decide how the area should be developed.

About £500,000 is being spent on the two areas as part of Government's plans to improve residential areas.

Work is to be carried out on hundreds of homes, including the renewal of gutters and rainwater pipes, brick-cleaning, repainting, repaving and resoiling of gardens.

Some improvements have already been made in Walter Street and The Groves, and work will continue on the phased programme.

The regeneration follows a long period of consultation with residents over the future of housing in the area.

A series of options have been set out by Stockton Borough Council which, together with Neighbourhood Management, is developing a ten to 15-year vision for the area as part of the Government Neighbourhood Pathfinder programme.

Councillor Paul Kirton, the council's cabinet member for housing and community safety, said: "We are holding the drop-in workshops over four days, in the afternoon and early evening, to give as many residents as possible the opportunity to be involved.

"They will be able to ask questions and make comments on a number of options for regenerating the area.

"We can then develop the most suitable option into a masterplan, which will meet residents' needs, incorporate their views and include sufficient detail to form the basis for a bid for funding."

Residents will be consulted on the completed masterplan later in the summer.

Two workshops have already been held. The next ones are on:

Tuesday, 2pm to 7pm, at Salvation Army on Palmerston Street

Wednesday, 3.30pm to 7pm, at Mill Lane Primary School.

Display stands outlining the background and the various options will be available for the community to study.

For further information on the regeneration programme, call Jo Parker at the housing market renewal team, on (01642) 526686, Lisa Marshall, social regeneration consultations on (01434) 608605, or Sam Lewin, of the neighbourhood management team on (01642) 528338.