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Neglected medieval building bought back to life in Bury St Edmunds Town Centre

26 February 2021
England

Bury St Edmunds Town Trust’s latest project is to restore and renovate 11 High Baxter Street which is a Grade II listed building located in the historic Town Centre Conservation Area in the West Suffolk District Council This is probably the last remaining neglected medieval building in Bury St Edmunds to be restored and bought back into use.

The Trust is a long standing Buildings Preservation Trust (BPT) established in 1979 for the perseveration of the historical, architectural and constructional heritage buildings for the benefit of the people of St Edmundsbury in the county of Suffolk. As a progressive BPT they have partnered up with the local FE college in recent years to provide support in the college’s conservation courses, providing funding bursaries and technical support for work experience and lecturers for specialist conservation skill areas.

The project will build on this by providing students with hands on experience in the college’s new NVQ Level 2 & 3 module Construction and Conservation in the Built Environment course. In addition, to wider information sharing of the buildings history and people who lived there will be done via multi-media with the help from the West Suffolk College and their students, so that it can be used for educational and training purposes in the future.

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is pleased to be part of the Trust’s latest project by providing a grant of £4,076 towards a Project Viability Study and a Heritage Impact Fund loan of £230,000 towards the capital building works to complete the renovations. This will enable the Trust to restore a disused Grade II listed building in the Town Centre and be bought back onto the housing market. The building is of sufficient size so can also be used as a live/work property like it has done in the more recent past. 

Paul Rynsard, Board Member and Project Manager of Bury St Edmunds Town Trust said

“We are pleased to receive a loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund. The AHF initially supported the Trust in our feasibility and option studies for the property in 2019 with a grant. The loan will enable us to complete the project to a level to be able to take the refurbished property to the market to find a new owner who will have the opportunity to finish the house to their specification.

The house is an essential part of the history of this part of the town centre and was in such a bad condition that it was not a commercial development project for the private sector. The Trust using our Board and membership expertise and resources and this funding from AHF will enable the building to be rescued and given a new life.”

Commenting on the investment, Matthew Mckeague, CEO of the AHF said: “This is a challenging historic building to bring back into use, but Bury St Edmunds Town Trust is an experienced organisation with a long track record. The Trust is also incorporating a training element to the project, helping to develop the next generation of craftspeople and helping address the significant shortage of skills we have in many specialist areas. AHF is very pleased to be supporting the Trust with a social investment loan through the Heritage Impact Fund.”

For more information please visit: https://burystedmundstowntrust.org.uk/  

Editor’s notes

1)    The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. We are the only specialist heritage social investor in the UK. We provide advice, development grants and loans.

2)    Photos provided by Bury St Edmunds Town Trust.

3)    For media enquiries please contact Oliver Brodrick-Ward, on 020 79250199 / oliver.brodrick-ward@ahfund.org.uk