A RENOVATION scheme costing £1.7m has transformed two 835-year-old buildings in County Durham into high-quality sheltered housing.

The Grade II listed Thornley House and Shincliffe House buildings, have been refurbished on the Sherburn House Charity Estate - the site of a former medieval hospital, near Durham. It includes an impressive five-bedroom property.

The project has delivered 14 self-contained flats for over 55s, including 12 sheltered accommodation and two general needs flats, which are available for affordable rent.

A five-bedroom home has been created which is suitable for adults who could benefit from communal living with a home-from-home atmosphere.

Pauline Bishop, Chief Executive of Sherburn House Charity, said: “The transformation of the almshouse properties is incredible and now fits perfectly with the high-quality refurbishment of our care home.

“We are proud to present these modern apartments for future generations of older people who live in or have a connection to Durham.

“It is wonderful to see these properties restored to peak condition and back in use. Interest in the properties has been very high and we expect all units will be occupied by the end of the summer.”

Delivered for Sherburn House Charity by Esh Construction, the scheme received £560,000 of grant funding from Homes England through the Government’s Affordable Homes Programme.

Having previously been rendered unlettable, each apartment now boasts a luxurious living space, their own shower room, open plan living area, and kitchen.

A communal dining and lounge area, as well as an external courtyard, allows residents to relax in the company of others.

Colin Ford, construction director at Esh Construction, said: “Esh has worked on the Sherburn House estate throughout the past five years, firstly delivering the major transformation of Beddell House, and then the refurbishment of Thornley House and Shincliffe house.

“Together with the client, consultant team, sub-contractors and suppliers, we have regenerated these heritage buildings to provide fantastic accommodation for people in later life. As a local contractor, we’re proud to have played our part.”

The latest development forms part of a five-year renovation programme on the Sherburn House Estate, with the refurbishment of Beddell House, a 55-bed residential home, completing in 2020.

Beddell House features a “high-end, hotel style décor and a non-institutional design that removes the stigma associated with care homes”.

Esh Construction worked in partnership with Edwards Architecture, Elliott Associates and J Humphrey & Partners Limited to deliver the scheme.

Thornley House was originally quarters for the Brethren, and were later modified to provide two rooms for each Brother, with an adjacent communal dining hall. Renovations were completed in May.

To find out more about Esh Construction, visit www.eshgroup.co.uk.

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