Refurbishment of historic Calderdale homes offering support to vulnerable people completed

Refurbishment of historic homes offering support to vulnerable people in challenging times has been completed by a partnership.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 12:23 pm

All 21 homes at the Grade II listed Sir Francis Crossley Almshouses, which are at Margaret Street, Halifax, are now fully occupied after two years’ of work and retain their character while incorporating thermal efficiency improvements.

The internal refurbishment task was a joint effort undertaken by the Almshouse trustees, the Almshouse Association who loaned £60,000, Calderdale Council through financial and other support, the managing agents, Walker Singleton; and local contractors.

The last home to be occupied was the former warden’s house which has just been completed.

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The main entrance to the Grade II listed Sir Francis Crossley Almshouses, Halifax.

Additional external improvements and repairs are also at the planning stage for the future, say the trustees.

To date the concentration has been on bringing the interiors up to modern standards to ensure all dwellings offer comfortable accommodation with Walker Singleton advising the trustees to ensure that a safe and pleasant living environment conforms to current legislation and that best practice property management has been adopted.

Trustees chair Jonathan Dixon said the refurbished homes would offer support in life to people who needed it in challenging times.

“Sir Francis Crossley financed the construction of the impressive Almshouses 167 years ago to provide housing for’people in need in the local community’, and the demand for such housing remains as great as ever,” he said.

Kate McNicholas, Calderdale Council’s Assistant Director of Economy, Housing and Investment, said the “spectacular” almshouses are part of Calderdale’s heritage and provide much-needed, affordable homes to local people.

“It’s great to see their careful restoration reach completion.

“This has been a real partnership project and we were delighted to provide a loan and support from our housing team.

“Bringing unused properties back into use and breathing new life into historic buildings is important in our regeneration work across Calderdale.

“The almshouse project supports our council priorities of strong and resilient towns, reducing inequalities and tackling the climate emergency through the homes’ new, energy-efficient features,” she said.

Almshouse Association Chief Executive Nick Phillips (Chief Executive) said creating affordable homes with environmental efficiency at a time when they were needed was commendable.

“In the light of recent research showing that the Almshouse model adds to not only the mental and physical wellbeing of residents but contributes millions of pounds to the community it is inspiring to see how charity trustees are today driving the Almshouse model forward,” he said.

Sir Francis Crossley, 1st Baronet, of Halifax, was born in Halifax in 1817, and known to his contemporaries as Frank Crossley, he was a British carpet manufacturer and philanthropist.

His first major gift to Halifax was the construction of 21 almshouses in 1855, with an endowment which gave six shillings a week to each person.

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