FIRST time buyers are being given a hand with getting on the property ladder with a new scheme in partnership with Lloyds Ban .

Cotswold District Council has set aside £1million which should help between 20 and 30 buyers on to the property ladder through the Local Lend a Hand scheme, which is available in local branches of Lloyds Bank.

The scheme will help buyers who can afford a mortgage, but have not previously been able to build up the necessary deposit.

Councillor Sue Jepson, Cotswold District Council leader Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, said: "We want to draw attention to this scheme which should make it easier for young people in the district who want to secure a mortgage on a home for the first time.

"House prices are higher than average in this part of the country and young residents often have to find a substantial amount of money for a deposit if they ever want to own their own property.

"This scheme can make a real difference to their lives because the financial advantages on offer can make home ownership much more attainable."

Subject to Lloyds Bank's usual lending criteria, borrowers are able to select any existing property in the area covered by Cotswold District Council up to a maximum loan of £237,500.

First-time buyers will put down a minimum five per cent of the property price and the council will provide a cash backed indemnity of up to 20 per cent as additional security.

Those interested should visit their local branch of Lloyds Bank for more information.