Glendale Gateway Trust’s Community Bonds Scheme to fund affordable homes for the elderly has got off to a flying start, thanks to generous donations from the public.
The trust is delighted to have raised over £20,000 since launching the scheme, which aims to provide five flats in the former Wheatsheaf hotel building in Wooler, plus another four when it converts the former Abbeyfields home for older people off the High Street.
The trust is asking people to loan it £1,000 in exchange for a community bond which would be held for a minimum of three years. It would then be redeemed when the owner wanted the money returned.
Since the launch of the scheme just 10 days ago, £9,000 worth of bonds have been sold, with the trust receiving a further £12,000 in donations from the public.
Trust chair Patsy Healey said: “We hadn’t expected donations – though they are of course most welcome.
“Clearly there are generous local people who appreciate what we are trying to do with our plans for affordable homes in Glendale.”
The Nigel Vinson Charitable Trust has already donated £40,000 towards the cost of buying the Abbeyfields building, also known as West Mansfield House, and Wooler Parish Council is planning to lend £30,000 from the Archbold Trust, initially at zero interest rate, towards the cost of the affordable homes plan.
Once built the council will be paid 4% interest on the money - paid for out of income from rents - which will help fund local projects in the town.
When converted into flats, the two properties will provide nine affordable homes for rent. The intention is to give priority to older people in the locality.