THE final phase of the Brackenhall regeneration has begun.

More than 400 tenants began being moved out of their council houses in 2001 and in March 2002 the bulldozers moved in.

Since then, 160 private and housing association houses have been built in a development called Ferndale and every single one has been sold.

Now the final stage of demolition and building is under way and Peter Beck, regeneration manager for the project, is confident there is a bright future ahead for the once troubled estate.

He said: "Towards the end of the 1990s the Deighton and Brackenhall areas of Huddersfield were suffering many social and economic problems.

"There were too many empty two-bed council houses and it was a place where people chose not to live and wanted to leave.

"There have been problems and times when people have been very much against what we have done here in Brackenhall.

"But I think now people are starting to understand that it is working really well and definitely for the good of the area.

"There has been a massive transformation here and I think people now respect and enjoy their surroundings much more than before."

Mr Beck also announced that money made by Kirklees Neighboured Housing from the sale of private houses will be pumped back in to the area.

The dividend collected so far is fast approaching £5m.

"It is a large amount of money and very exciting for the area. I am sure the money will be used in the right places at the right times."

One of the major hurdles for the scheme has been integrating people living in the new and private homes with the existing council tenants.

Margaret Lees, secretary of Chodd - named after the roads on the estate the group used to represent - said the changes have been hard but people are now looking forward.

"We did not want this, but now it has happened we have to make the best of it," she said. "We have worked hard to try and get the new community and the old one to work together and that is so far proving very successful.

"But we are still Brackenhall and we will remain Brackenhall."

Mrs Lees also praised the work of Linda Andrews, development worker for the Deighton and Brackenhall Initiative, who she said had been influential in the scheme's success to date.