The Askrigg Foundation: Creating affordable homes

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The Yorkshire village of Askrigg is very popular with holidaymakers. While that’s good for tourism, local people are being pushed out of the housing market. The Askrigg Foundation is using a community-led housing loan from Charity Bank to put things right.

Social Problem

As with many areas of natural beauty, the village of Askrigg in the Yorkshire Dales has seen significant rises in house prices over the last few years. Holiday cottages and second homes have pushed rent up to the point where many local people are struggling to afford to stay in the area.

Solution

The Askrigg Foundation was created back in the 1970s. Its main aim was to support local communities by providing employment opportunities and bursaries. It bought a building, Askrigg House, which was used as a shop, craft factory and office. Over the years, the building has deteriorated. The foundation wanted to ensure it continued to play an important role in the village. After much discussion, it was decided to convert the property into a shop and three new affordable homes.

Loan

The foundation had some savings and received grant funding towards the build, but it had nowhere near enough money to carry out the work needed. Charity Bank agreed to loan the foundation £130,000. Askrigg House has now been transformed. There’s a thriving shop, which is co-operatively run by 13 artists and craft-makers. And there are three new homes – a one-bed flat, two-bed flat, and two-bed cottage.

Impact

The affordable homes are aimed at people who have lived in the village for at least three years or who work locally. Applicants also need to have a housing need, such as being at risk of homelessness. Rent is set below market average, with the one-bed flat costing just £325 a month. All three homes now have tenants. And, as well as helping local artisans to sell their products, the mini craft market is proving to be a popular meeting place for villagers and holidaymakers alike.

“Charity Bank and Richmondshire District Council have helped to rescue a building that was starting to fall apart. Together, we’ve made it sustainable for the next generation.”

Annie Sumner, Trustee at Askrigg Foundation

“George & I are so happy to have our first home together in the village that he was born in. As we both work locally, it was important that we were able to live in the area but we really didn't think we could due to housing and rental prices. We feel so lucky to have been given this beautiful cottage and to make our home here. We are so excited to have our future in this community.”

Abbey Walker, Courtyard Cottage, Askrigg House

About Charity Bank

Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1,000 loans totalling over £350m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.

Find out more about us here.

Nothing in this article constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.