A Project Development Grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) will help rescue one of England’s most important historic buildings at risk. Supported accommodation for Warwickshire’s most vulnerable young people is being developed through an innovative partnership between the youth work charity, St Basils, Waterloo Housing and West Midlands Historic Building Trust at the Master’s House and St Michael’s Chapel. These are the last remaining medieval buildings on the site of the former 12th century Leper Hospital in Warwick.
The Master’s House, a 16th century timber framed building currently in considerable disrepair, is intended to be brought back to life by the Trust and rented to St Basils as the charity’s offices and the communal centre of the complex of assisted housing for 18-24 year olds with complex needs. The 15th century Chapel, also in poor condition, will be converted as a single residential unit. It is proposed that additional new residential units will be built by Waterloo Housing along the frontage where former alms-houses stood and to the rear of the Master’s House, allowing up to 95 young people over a 5 year period to be accommodated on the site, where they will be able to access the support services they need to make an effective transition into independent living.
The partnership, which was brought together by Warwick District Council, benefited from an AHF Project Viability grant back in June 2017. This provided the evidence to show the project could work and it has been so successful in moving things forward that AHF has just offered another £30,000 development funding for the historic building elements of the project.
By working together, the parties have unlocked an important heritage site with two Grade II* buildings at risk that for years has been blighted by halted development and neglect. As importantly, these old buildings will be used to bring new hope and support to the most vulnerable young people in Warwick and surrounding areas.
“This is an inspirational example of organisations working in partnership to find a solution to a complex and challenging historic building and site. It also provides a great case study of how a forward looking Building Preservation Trust can work with partners to not only find a use for a very significant at risk building, but at the same time deliver a project of real social value.”
For further details about the project visit https://www.wmhbt.org.uk
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 leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK. We provide advice, development grants and loans.
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