Work starts on almshouses development in Shrewsbury

Work has started on site for a £3.3 million development to provide almshouses for elderly people needing accommodation in Shrewsbury.

Morris Property is building the 25 ‘Warden Assisted’ homes for the Shrewsbury Drapers Company Charity at Horse Fair, Abbey Foregate. It will double the number of Drapers’ almshouses in the town and meet a fast growing need. They are the first new almshouses to be built for the Drapers for 50 years.

The three-storey development, to be called Drapers Place, is expected to be completed in October 2016. It will have 21 one-bedroom apartments and four two bedroom apartments, plus a room for community use and a full-time warden.

It is being built on the charity’s land, adjacent to the existing Holy Cross Almshouses, between the bowling club and a former plumbing merchants site. The Homes and Communities Agency, Shropshire Council, public donations and charities are helping to fund the scheme.

The Hong Kong-based Bradbury Trust, named after a Shropshire born benefactor, is making a significant contribution. The community room will be named the Bradbury Lounge to recognise this support.

Shrewsbury Drapers Company has been active in the town since 1444 and currently has 25 almshouses on three sites. This scheme was delayed by legislation changes which affected the funding guidance for the Homes and Communities Agency and the Charities Commission.

Richard Clowes, Master of the organisation, said: “This is a significant development and we are pleased and relieved that we are finally able to go ahead with the project.  There is an consistent and growing need from the elderly for such accommodation which allows them to live independently in the community.

This site is ideal because it is close to facilities and within walking distance of the town centre and its amenities. Our existing almshouses are always full and we expect it to fill the new homes pretty quickly.”

Ian Galliers, Chief Executive of Morris Property, said: “As a long established local business we are delighted to be working with Drapers Company to deliver these much needed homes.

We will bring our experience in building homes of quality on time and to budget to this long anticipated development. We are proud to be involved in Drapers Place.”

Morris Property is currently building 27 affordable apartments on a neighbouring site on behalf of Severnside Housing.

Details of how to apply for the almshouses will be given on the Drapers Company website www.shrewsburydrapers.org.uk at a later date. Residents are required to meet the charity’s criteria.

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Pete White Pete White

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