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Historic almshouses get £330k facelift

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

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A £330,000 PROJECT to restore historic houses to support people in need of a little extra help has now been completed.

SCC Developments has completed the refurbishment of 300-year-old almshouses in Bagots Street, Abbots Bromley, to ensure they will provide ‘comfortable homes for people in need for decades to come’.

The renovation of the Grade 2-listed building has included increasing the size of the houses, re-roofing the building and curing problems with damp.

Simon Cavey, contracts manager for SCC Developments, has now handed over the keys to the charity that manages the almshouses, marking the completion of the eight month project.

He said: “We are proud to think we have contributed to the future success of a facility that has helped so many people in the local community over several centuries. Given the building’s age and historical importance it has been a complicated task.

“But it has resulted in the creation of comfortable, modern accommodation very much fit for the 21st Century.”

The almshouses were built in 1705 and paid for with a bequest by landowner Lambard Bagot.

Originally, the six residents, or ‘inmates’ as they were called, were intended to be elderly men. They were given a quarterly allowance and every two years a new coat, with LB embroidered on the pocket.

The almshouses continue to support men and women in ‘reduced circumstances’, with a focus on helping those with a connection to the village.

Mithra Tonking, Abbots Bromley Hospital Trustees chairman, said: “SCC Developments’ commitment to creating these revitalised homes has been remarkable. They have shown great care in making sure the refurbishment has been carried out to the highest quality.

“They have contributed a lot of ideas that have helped us use our funds efficiently or allowed us to do more to make life for residents even more comfortable.

“They have also worked very hard to look after the needs of those residents remaining in almshouses adjacent to the site, reducing inconvenience to them to an absolute minimum.”

Key to the £330,000 refurbishment has been the extension at the back of the building to create more living space in each home.

Two of the former six single houses have been knocked into one, and the original trustees’ office added to another leading to four one-bedroom houses and two two-bedroom houses.

Mike Lewis, vice-chairman of the Abbots Bromley Hospital Trustees, said: “People often think of almshouses as being part of history. Our houses are seen as an example of how Abbots Bromley supports local people, so it was important that we modernised them and kept them in use.”

The work has been funded by the charity and financial planning, plus grants from the Homes and Community Agency, through the Almshouse Consortium, St John’s Hospital, an almshouse in Lichfield, and the Baron Davenport Trust. The refurbishment was designed by architect Malcolm Knight, of the Bernard Taylor Partnership.

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