WORK will get underway later this month on a scheme that will see historic buildings in a North Yorkshire village undergo a £640,000 refurbishment to create affordable homes for local people.

A partnership between local charity The Matthew Robinson Trust and Broadacres Housing Association will result in two Almshouses built in 1680, along with a former schoolmasters’ house and school room, being remodelled into new, modern homes in Burneston.

It follows an approach from the Hambleton Rural Housing Enabler Amanda Madden, who is responsible for kick-starting new rural housing developments in local communities.

Once completed later this year, the homes will be let to people with a connection to the village or surrounding area.

Broadacres is providing its professional services to support The Matthew Robinson Trust in realising its vision of restoring the buildings which are situated in the heart of the village. This has included local consultation, submitting the necessary planning applications, making applications for funding, and choosing the contractor for the refurbishment.

The two existing Almshouses and old school room, which are Grade 2* listed and have been vacant for a while, will undergo an external and internal refurbishment, with a ‘light touch’ approaching being taken to sympathetically repair the fabric of the building.

This will create a ‘new’ one-bedroom property alongside the existing one and two-bedroom Almshouse properties within the Grade 2* listed buildings.

In addition, the former schoolmasters’ house will be extended from an existing two-bedroom property into a four-bedroom family home.

The scheme has received significant financial backing, with Homes England providing a grant of £200,000, The Matthew Robinson Trust donating £50,000, Hambleton District Council pledging £75,000 and The Almshouse Association donating £20,000. The rest of the funding will come via the Charity Bank.

Broadacres’ Chief Executive Gail Teasdale said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Matthew Robinson Trust on this exciting scheme which will provide affordable homes in these historic buildings.

“It’s a good example of how Broadacres is able to offer innovative solutions to support local organisations, charities and communities.”

Elizabeth McIntyre, Chairman of The Matthew Robinson Trust, says ‘This is a great opportunity for the Trust and local community. The two existing Almshouses and old school room have been vacant for a while.  They will undergo a refurbishment to bring them up to good standard of accommodation, with a ‘light touch’ approach being taken to sympathetically repair the fabric of the Grade 2* listed buildings.”

Amanda Madden, Hambleton Rural Housing Enabler, said: “This is an exciting project delivering valuable affordable housing for the community by a very proactive community group.”

The contractor on the scheme is Moody Construction and the architect is P+HS Architects. Identity Consult (employers’ agents) and Fairhurst (consulting and structural engineers) are also providing support.

John Cole, Pre-Construction Manager at Moody Construction, said: “We are delighted to be part of the team to breathe life back into these historic listed buildings. With a sympathetic and sustainable restoration, the scheme will provide much needed homes in the village.”

Architect Ben Lillywhite, of P+HS Architects, said: “It has been a pleasure to be involved with this scheme on behalf of The Matthew Robinson Trust to bring these historic buildings back to life, and described by the design team as a “once in a generation” opportunity.

“The sympathetic design to the refurbishment has been guided by the building’s history and with its future and longevity in mind. Maintaining the Trust’s philosophy, these buildings will provide accommodation to people with a strong connection to the local village.”