A £6.9m regeneration proposal for a run-down part of Stockton was unveiled to residents yesterday.

The proposal is a joint initiative between Stockton Borough Council and the Parkfield and Mill Lane Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder programme.

It aims to reduce unemployment levels, reduce crime levels, increase house prices, encourage better performance at school by children and get cleaner streets.

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

If adopted, the scheme will give Parkfield and Mill Lane a facelift with the demolition and clearance of selected housing and the potential for the redevelopment of land.

The clearance area is likely to affect Alliance Street, Hind Street, Wilfred Street and Templar Street and numbers 4 to 26 Spring Street.

In this area, 38 per cent of the houses are empty and many fail to meet modern standards or residents' needs today.

Alex Bain, chairman of the Neighbourhood Management Board, said: "This is great news for the future of Parkfield and Mill Lane.

"I have worked for more than ten years to see a project of this nature brought about."

Councillor Martyn Ingram, the council's cabinet member for housing and community safety, said the work should create interest in the local housing market.

He said: "This is a very exciting development for local residents, which is aimed at helping to restore confidence and to help create a sustainable housing market in the area."

If the plan is adopted, it is anticipated the demolition and clearance of 181 properties will be completed by March 2006.

The scheme will be supported by £5m funding from English Partnerships and £1.9m from the Single Housing Investment Pot, which is allocated by the North-East Housing board.

The council's housing market renewal team is visiting all residents potentially affected by the plans to provide further information and advice.

In addition, a series of drop-in sessions is being arranged for residents and a dedicated inquiry telephone line has been set up on (01642) 526686.