SIX crime-hit Merseyside and Cheshire estates will be handed at least £10,000 each to deter muggers and vandals by redesigning their neighbourhoods.
The schemes are among 88 across the country that will share a £1.2m pot under the Government's "Operation Gate-It".
Communal spaces such as grassed areas and alleyways that have been out of bounds for scared residents will be given make-overs to make them safer and more attractive.
The schemes are:
* Norris Green, Liverpool - the project will aim to "reclaim" a densely-populated housing estate and a thoroughfare between Hasfield and Clanfield Road.
* Birkenhead - the project will help to make Bentinck and Craven Streets safer, by deterring incidents of anti-social behaviour.
* Tranmere, Wirral - perimeter fencing and self-closing gates will be installed around wasteland near Old Chester Road, Tudor Road and Oriel Road to create recreation space.
* Bluebell Estate, Huyton, Knowsley - new barriers will restrict illegal motorbike riding in South Alt Park, bordered by the Bluebell Housing Estate, with trees cut back to improve visibility.
* Lander Close, Warrington - overgrown planting, poor sight lines, lack of lighting, and dark and windy paths which deter residents from using the community space will be tackled.
* Windmill Hill, Runcorn - better lighting on dark paths and back alleyways that intersect roads will cut the opportunity of crime on the site.
The Birkenhead project will receive £40,000, while the other five new schemes will each enjoy £10,000 funding.
Hazel Blears, a Home Office minister, said it was "completely unacceptable" that local residents felt too intimidated to make use of such communal areas.
She added: "By reinvesting in these areas, through better design, lighting or simply gating them off, local people are able to reclaim these spaces for themselves and so drive out the anti-social minority.
"This builds up pride and confidence in communities and shows that people taking a stand can really make a difference."
All the projects will be managed by the environmental charity, Groundwork UK, and delivered in partnership with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.