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Remodelled 180-year-old Almshouses are officially ‘opened’ by Exeter’s Lord Mayor

By October 20, 2020March 25th, 2021Member News & Updates, Property

Exeter Homes Trust celebrated the completion of remodelling work at Atwill Palmer Almshouses, in Exeter’s New North Road.

Due to the pandemic, the celebration was low key, with just a few people in attendance to mark the occasion and Lord Mayor, Cllr Peter Holland, performing the official unveiling. Exeter Homes Trust was determined, however, for their 150 residents to share in the occasion and so have created a Facebook page to showcase the new apartments and the event.  Alan Williamson, Chairman of the Charity’s Directors board, comments:

“With many of our residents still having to shield, due to the pandemic, we feel it is important to keep them connected. In addition to the Facebook page, we have also been in regular contact, to offer support at this difficult time.”

The programme of sympathetic refurbishment work, part funded by Homes England grant, has provided the Charity’s residents with updated and energy efficient apartments, more suited to modern day living requirements.

The apartments benefit from new kitchens, wet rooms, and utility rooms, with underfloor heating, double-glazing and better insulation. Extensions, at the rear, make the properties larger and more functional in design.

The outside areas have also had a new lease of life, with enhanced landscaping providing new terraces and flowerbeds and there is a community room for residents.

“The Atwill Palmer apartments required updating to meet contemporary living standards and make them more user friendly.

“We are delighted that we have been able to retain the distinctive character of the buildings, while upgrading the apartments to make them more modern and energy efficient.

The Charity owns and manages 143 Properties in the city in 8 locations and is governed by a board of 10 Directors. It is continually re-evaluating buildings and budgets in order to identify improvements that could be made to future proof the accommodation, making it as sustainable and comfortable as possible. Planning consent has been secured, to remodel 22 Almshouses at Grendon Road, and the Trust has also embarked on developing 31 Almshouses at Fairpark, to replace 12 existing dwellings.

To date, since 2010, 43% of EHT’s stock has been brought up to a contemporary standard (61 Almshouses). By 2022, with the addition of Grendon Road, that percentage will be nearly 60%.

Alan Williamson explains why it is important for Exeter Homes Trust to constantly improve the accommodation they supply and move with the times:

“We are committed to providing accommodation for our residents of the very best standard. We are, therefore, continually re-evaluating our buildings and budgets in order to identify any improvements that could be made to future proof the accommodation, making it as sustainable and comfortable as possible.”

Exeter Homes Trust, formerly known as The Exeter Municipal Charity, was founded over 900 years ago. Providing housing for people, who are unable to remain in their own homes due to reduced circumstances.