A Building Preservation Trust (BPT) is a not-for-profit organisation whose main aims include the preservation and regeneration of historic buildings. BPTs may cover individual towns, cities, or whole counties. They may also specialise in particular types of building. Some were formed to save a single building and others, known as revolving fund trusts, seek to conserve a succession of buildings by repairing them and finding suitable alternative uses and owners.
The first Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) loans were made to BPTs in the late 1970s and the AHF has continued to support BPT organisations across the UK ever since.
This summer, the AHF is excited to see the completion of several projects delivered by BPTs, each of which have brought previously dilapidated and unused buildings back into use as high-quality family homes with the support of an AHF loan. You can find more information about these projects below.
Image: Bargain Farmhouse in Nursling, Hampshire, England. Photo by Romsey and District Buildings Preservation Trust.
Romsey and District Buildings Preservation Trust
Grade II listed Bargain Farmhouse in Hampshire has been fully repaired and restored by Romsey and District Buildings Preservation Trust. This 16th-century, timber-framed and thatch-roofed building had fallen into significant disrepair prior to its acquisition by the Trust in 2020. With the support of a £375,000 loan from the AHF, the Trust has been able to transform the building into a comfortable family home, ensuring its long-term survival.
Images: The exterior and interior of 11 High Baxter Street in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England. Photo on the right is by Bury St Edmunds Town Trust.
11 High Baxter Street
Bury St Edmunds Town Trust
With a loan of £230,000 from the AHF Heritage Impact Fund, Bury St Edmunds Town Trust has completed works to the Grade II listed town house on High Baxter Street. The Trust worked with a local college to offer training days and site visits to construction students during the conservation works on site. Funds raised from the sale of the house will allow the Trust to take on more historic building projects around Bury St Edmunds.
Images: The exterior and interior of Caerwent House in Monmouthshire, Wales. Photos by the Spitalfields Trust.
The Spitalfields Trust
In Wales, the Spitalfields Trust is finalising works to transform the previously derelict, Grade II listed Caerwent House into two new homes. With £550,000 loan investment from the AHF, the Trust has worked with local contractors to carefully repair and restore the 17th-century building. The new homes will be put up for sale over the summer.
Image: Yew Tree Cottage in Surrey, England. Photo by Farnham Building Preservation Trust.
Yew Tree Cottage
Farnham Building Preservation Trust
In Surrey, Farnham Building Preservation Trust has completed works to the Grade II listed Old Yew Tree Cottage, with £65,000 of AHF investment into the repair project. The Trust acquired the building in 2015 and was able to conserve many unchanged original features as part of its repair and renovation of the property into a modern family home. Surveying and recording work undertaken as part of the repair was able to use dendrochronological dating to date the oldest part of the house to 1551.
The AHF has loan funds available for Building Preservation Trusts and other not-for-profit organisations across the UK who want to bring historic buildings back into use. For more information, please visit: Our Loan Funds | The Architectural Heritage Fund (ahfund.org.uk)