COTSWOLD District Council and Lloyds Bank has teamed up to help first-time buyers purchase a home with just a five per cent deposit.

The 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 now 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.

Cotswold District Council leader Lynden Stowe said: “One of our key aims is to maintain vibrant towns and villages across the Cotswolds, and starting up a Local Lend a Hand scheme with Lloyds will enable us to 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 many 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 should make a real difference because the financial advantages on offer will make home ownership much more attainable.”

Marc Page, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank, said: "Helping people to buy their first home is crucial in achieving and maintaining a sustainable housing market."

Cecilie Booth, Director at Sector Treasury Services, added: “Many potential first-time buyers in Cotswold district, including those on the Council’s housing register, or currently occupying affordable or social housing units, are unable to save a sufficient deposit, even though they could afford mortgage repayments on a typical first home.

"This initiative is designed to bridge that gap."

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 5 per cent deposit, and the council will provide a cash backed indemnity of up to 20 per cent as additional security.

Those interested in the local scheme should visit their local branch of Lloyds Bank for details.