17:03 Wednesday 15 January 2014

Historic almshouses get £330,000 makeover

Written byHELEN KREFT

HISTORIC almshouses have been given a £330,000 facelift to provide comfortable homes for people in need for decades to come.

SCC Developments has completed the refurbishment of 300-year-old almshouses, Bagot Street, Abbots Bromley, which 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 Abbots Bromley Hospital Trustees, marking the completion of the eight month project.

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

Originally, the six residents, or ‘inmates’ as they were called, 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 Abbots Bromley.

Mike Lewis, vice-chairman of the Abbots Bromley Hospital Trustees, said: “People often think of almshouses as being part of history. But there are still 1,700 almshouse charities, like ours, in the UK.

“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.”

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

The work has been funded by the charity’s own savings 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.

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