Almshouse developments

The Matthew Robinson Trust is a local charity based in Burneston which own the Almshouses facing the square in Burneston, opposite St Lamberts Church. The Trust also owns the adjoining former school (currently used by Seedlings Nursery) and the School Masters house.

There are two properties in the Almshouse building: one with two bedrooms, and the other with one bedroom, along with a former schoolroom. The Schoolmasters House has two bedrooms. The Almshouses have been vacant for some time and are not lettable in their existing condition. The Schoolmasters house has recently become vacant. All the properties need significant refurbishment and modernisation to bring them up to a lettable standard.

Future plans

The Trust is putting in place arrangements to secure an ambitious £500,000 refurbishment scheme to provide decent, affordable homes for local people. The project involves works to the existing Almshouses to create modern facilities, and undertake essential repairs and energy efficiency improvements.

If there is enough funding available, which includes significant resources from the Trusts own funds, it is envisaged that the Schoolmasters House will be extended from its two bedroom configuration into a four bedroom unit. Also, it is hoped to convert the schoolroom immediately adjoining the existing Almshouses into a further one-bedroom unit of accommodation. To facilitate this, the current entrance way into the schoolroom will need to be altered, and to provide enough space for the Nursery to function in future a garden room may also be added. 

The Trust is working with Northallerton based Broadacres Housing Association to provide the necessary professional services; make applications to a variety of bodies to secure loans and grants to fund the works, and let a contract for the refurbishments. It is hoped that Broadacres will also be responsible on behalf of the Trust for the future letting and day to day management of the properties. In this way, the future of the Almshouses and associated accommodation will be secured as affordable homes and as a continued business base for the Nursery.

Planning requirements

One of the constraints the Trust faces is that the Almshouses are Grade II* listed buildings. The School Masters House is also listed by association. This provides various challenges to preserve the heritage and character of the site whilst seeking to modernise living accommodation to a decent standard. Following professional advice, the refurbishments will require planning consent from Hambleton District Council for which an application will be made shortly.

The proposed works will essentially not alter the external appearance or functionality of the buildings although new entrances will be created for the old school room, school and a proposed rear extension to the school master's house.

Plans are available to view here:
Alms Houses Floor Plan
School Master's House floor plan
External plan for School Master's House

Any comments or questions about the scheme can be made to Elizabeth McIntyre (Chair of the Trust) at

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