Praise for support behind project providing flats - The Worcester Observer

Praise for support behind project providing flats

Worcester Editorial 28th May, 2021 Updated: 28th May, 2021   0

A CITY charity which turned an empty listed building it owned into 25 flats for the homeless has praised Unity Trust Bank for ensuring the £2.2million project was a success.

Using its own reserves, with £1million in funding from Homes England and a loan of £500,000 from Unity Trust Bank, Worcester Municipal Charities has transformed the old Probation office in Shaw Street into beautiful flats, and renamed it Stillingfleet House.

The flats will be completed next month and some of the city’s young homeless people, who have been living in the Fownes Hotel during the pandemic, are expected to be among the first tenants to move in.

Paul Griffith MBE, chairman of Worcester Municipal Charities, said: “When it was occupied, the building generated £150,000 a year in rent but we struggled to find new tenants so faced selling it for very little or developing it at great expense.

With Homes England’ grants not being paid in full until a project is completed, and an unexpected dry rot repair bill of £100,000, Worcester Municipal Charities turned to Unity Trust Bank for support.

Mr Griffith said: “Having to fund everything up front ourselves was a pinch point and we felt vulnerable. Unity’s timely offer helped dig us out of a deep but temporary cash flow hole and we were absolutely delighted.


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