THOUSANDS of service personnel based around Andover are eligible to benefit from a new scheme designed to help them take their first steps in the housing market.

While civilians are eligible for assistance under the Help to Buy scheme, the forces scheme is much more generous.

The Forces Help to Buy scheme enables military personnel to secure an interest-free Government loan of up to 50 per cent of their salary to put towards the cost of their first home.

Taylor Wimpey, which is building hundreds of new homes east of Andover says its development is proving popular with forces.

Emma Jones, associate regional sales and marketing director for Taylor Wimpey, said: “Saving the deposit required for a first home can be difficult, especially for service personnel who move around throughout their military career.

“The Forces Help to Buy scheme is a fantastic opportunity for these would-be buyers to put some roots down and get on to the property ladder.”

Purchasers can borrow up to £25,000 and the normal term of the loan is 10 years.