Wooler residents asked to invest

Patsy Healey at the Wheatsheaf, Wooler

Patsy Healey at the Wheatsheaf, Wooler

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Mini-bonds are being offered to help fund the Glendale Gateway Trust’s affordable housing programme.

These will cost £500 each instead of the £1,000 for the full bond.

In the coming year the trust will be offering to rent five flats in the Wheatsheaf building plus four in West Mansfield House in Wooler, mainly to older people.

It launched its fundraising appeal last October and has been delighted with the response.

“The public have been extremely generous so far,” said trust chairman Patsy Healey.

“We have raised more than £120,000 towards our target of £150,000. £1,000 for a bond may be beyond the means of a number of people who would have liked to participate in this scheme, so this is designed for them.”

The terms for mini-bonds will be identical to those for the full bond: they are redeemable any time after three years and pay zero interest rate.

“As a number of people have pointed out, that’s not much less than you’re getting from your bank at the moment,” said Patsy.

The trust has arranged a flexible bank loan to cover purchase and redevelopment costs, and have got a considerable grant from the Homes and Communities Agency for the project. There have also been significant donations from charitable trusts and local organisations.

Money from the bonds will mean the trust has to borrow significantly less money at commercial rates.

Work has already started at the Wheatsheaf, a former hotel, and is expected to start next month on West Mansfield House, the former Abbeyfields home.

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