Affordable homes boost

The flats above Gear for Girls, which the Glendale Gateway Trust is converting into two affordable homes.
The flats above Gear for Girls, which the Glendale Gateway Trust is converting into two affordable homes.

Another two affordable homes are to be created in a north Northumberland village, which has seen homes closed in recent months.

Speaking at Glendale Gateway Trust’s AGM in the Cheviot Centre, retiring chairman David Buckle, said the two new flats, which will be developed over a shop in Wooler’s High Street, are the latest project in what has been a very successful year for the trust.

Library and tourist information services moved into a new extension in the Cheviot Centre in the last 12 months and an £86,000 investment in the Wooler Youth Hostel is expected to bring increased visitor numbers this year.

Another two homes have been completed in the old library building which was gifted to the trust by the Northumberland County Council.

The new project to create a pair of two-bedroom flats over Gear for Girls, in premises owned by the trust, has been made possible by a contribution to the £150,000 cost by a local benefactor.

The money raised in this way triggered funding from the Homes and Community Agency, which supported the refurbishment of the former library.

Work on the project is expected to begin in the next few months and will hopefully be completed by the end of the year.

The news of more affordable homes being built in Wooler may well be welcome, coming as it does soon after of the announcement of the closure of sheltered housing complex Horsdonside, which has meant that around 25 elderly people have been looking for new homes.

Last week, Wooler’s county councillor Anthony Murray told the Gazette that the county council is now looking at a housing needs assessment for the Glendale area.

Giving the annual finance report, treasurer Barbara Rattcliff said despite fears last year that the current economic climate would result in a deficit for the trust, it had managed to make a slight surplus, largely due to savings made by reductions in staff and administration costs.

Patsy Healey was elected as the new chairman and thanks were given to retiring chairman David Buckle for his leadership and work in re-organising the trust’s committee structure. Mr Buckle was re-elected as a trustee.

Retiring trustee Roger Miket was thanked for his ‘long and beneficial service to the trust and the community’. His place will be taken by newly-elected trustee Jane Field.