Uppingham Homes Community Land Trust Awarded Government Funding

An Uppingham First proposal to build affordable housing for younger people in Rutland has received government support in the form of a £75k grant from Homes England. The grant has supported the creation of the ‘Uppingham Homes Community Land Trust’ and an initial proposal to design up to 8 homes to be built on the site of an old disused orchard in Uppingham donated by the Badley family. Residents of Uppingham and its surrounding villages will benefit under the Trust’s rules.

The grant award marks further recognition of the forward looking proposals contained within the Uppingham Town Centre & Business Plan (UTC&BZ Plan – Action 10)) and builds upon a Locality funded pre-feasibility study undertaken by a 2018 Task Group led by Uppingham First Vice Chair and County Councillor Edward Baines. Trustees for the new initiative have been drawn from community leaders and task group members including Edward Baines himself, David Ainslie (Chair of the Limes, Firs and Spurs Residents Association), Graham Allison (Retired Chartered Surveyor), Mark Shaw (Chair of the Beeches Residents Association) Geoff Thompson (Chair of Governors at Uppingham Community College), Margaret Simpson (Rotary in Uppingham and the E J Toon Charitable Trust) and Ron Simpson BEM (Chair of the Uppingham Business Forum). The initiative has the support of the Uppingham Neighbourhood and Business Forums and the Uppingham Vanguard Board. Work is expected to commence on the project immediately.

Further information on the project can be obtained from Ron Simpson rons@clara.net Tel: 01572 823465 Mobile: 07710 328469. Minutes of the inaugural board meeting of trustee can be read at www.uppinghamonline.co.uk       

Commenting on the initiative………

Beeches Residents Association Chair Mark Shaw said, “The trustees’ aim is to provide affordable housing for the aspiring young people of Uppingham and its hinterland .  With this Homes England award, and the dedication of the trustees, there is a huge opportunity to deliver on this amazing community project”. 

Former Town Mayor and Chair of the Limes, Firs and Spurs Residents Association David Ainslie said, “Providing truly affordable housing for young people is critical for the sustainability of our town.  This award is a huge step towards achieving that goal and shows what can be achieved when the community works together for the common good.”

Chair of Uppingham Community College Governors Geoff Thompson said, “We know how difficult it is for some young people to find housing that they can afford in Uppingham.  We have been asking young people what they need from a local housing project and researching the best way to deliver to their needs.  So we are delighted that Homes England has agreed to support this project.”

The primary challenge for the new Trust will be to find a way of creating truly affordable homes to rent and/or purchase. With the help of the national Locality Community Led Housing Network, trustees have been researching innovative new ways of funding and managing start up home opportunities for the under 35s. These include community shares and other forms of community finance as well as the more traditional sources of finance. The possibility of some capital grants toward the cost of building community led housing from Homes England is an added incentive to launch the project at this time. Uppingham Homes CLT  is grateful to the Badley family (Gerald Badley is a retired prison governor who was Uppingham undertaker E J Toon’s last apprentice) for the offer of the orchard site as a first step for the new Trust. It is hoped other landowners and housing developers will step forward with similar offers in the future.