Four historic almshouses dating back to 1883 in the heart of Rushden have been brought back into use and refurbished to make them fit for 21st century living.
Beginning in December last year, the £115,000 refurbishment by East Northamptonshire Council and Spire Homes has transformed the four former bedsits into two spacious one-bedroom bungalows that are specially equipped for older people.
Located in Wellingborough Road, the almshouses had previously undergone a refurbishment in the 1950s but were in need of extensive work inside and out.
The work has seen both the internal and external parts of the buildings completely revamped, whilst the properties’ unique characteristics and period charm have been maintained.
The refurbishment has ensured the bungalows are specially equipped to make life easy for their older residents.
On top of installing brand new kitchens, extra insulation, new roofs and doors, to bring the almshouses up to a high quality, residents will also benefit from having wet rooms instead of bathrooms, and all steps, both inside and outside of the properties, have been removed to reduce the risk of trips and falls.
Pathways have also been extended and repaved with ramps installed at the back doors.
In total, more than £115,000 has been invested by East Northamptonshire Council and Spire Homes to transform the almshouses.
John Farrar, chairman of Spire Homes, said: “This project has been a careful balance of retaining the unique features of these almshouses while significantly improving them for residents.
“They are a fantastic example of how we can adapt homes for the changing needs of our tenants, as we’re seeing more older people in need of secure, affordable housing that is suitable for their needs.
These almshouses have a significant heritage within Rushden so we were really pleased to be able to provide funding for their refurbishmentCllr Gill Mercer
“It’s also worth noting that the team has been careful to reuse materials where they can, like the roof tiles and boilers, to reduce the environmental impact of the improvement work and to make this refurbishment even more cost effective.”
Cllr Gill Mercer, chairman of East Northamptonshire Council, said: “These almshouses have a significant heritage within Rushden so we were really pleased to be able to provide funding for their refurbishment.
“We’re delighted with the results achieved by Spire Homes, Longhurst Group and R.G. Gill & Son.
“The design of the refurbishment will definitely improve the quality of life for older residents.”