Skip to main content
Member NewsNews

Historic Willow Court Farmhouse, Droitwich will be ‘safe as houses’ with Heritage Fund support

By April 3, 2024No Comments
Willow Court Farmhouse Stakeholders stand in a line by the building. They are wearing hard hats and hi-vis and have their fingers crossed.

The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust has received a second round of support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the Willow Court Farmhouse, Droitwich it was announced today. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to save and transform this historic 16th Century building into six new affordable homes.

Delivery funding of £2,328,595 has been awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust (WBPT) progress the plans to convert the grade II listed farmhouse.  The WBPT is working together in a new partnership with Wychavon District Council and Platform Housing Group to restore and convert this empty Grade II listed property.

The collaboration between a Building Preservation Trust, Local Authority and Housing Association to rescue a heritage building at risk for sustainable use as affordable housing establishes a model that has potential to tackle two important issues: creating a viable secure use for historic buildings at risk and providing more affordable rent homes.

The farmhouse, which has not been lived in for decades, is in a poor condition, so the first stage of the project was to make the site secure and develop detailed plans to save the building.

Now with planning permission granted and the funds received from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, essential conservation work can be undertaken to stabilise it, including preservation of a historic timber frame hidden inside, and create six new affordable flats. An apprenticeship programme is planned, alongside a series of local community events and activities which will help to unlock the lost history of the farm and surrounding land.

The property is currently owned by Wychavon District Council, who have been working with the Trust for the past five years to find a sustainable, viable future for the building and it is intended that upon completion, the flats will be leased by Platform Housing Group as affordable rent homes.

Commenting on the award, Sue Whitehouse, Chair of The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust said: “We have reached the very important delivery stage in our project at Willow Court Farmhouse after much hard work from our dedicated team and incredible support from the local community. We’re delighted that we’ve received this support from National Lottery players and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, added to the funding we have previously received from Wychavon District Council and the Architectural Heritage Fund. We are now able to ensure that Willow Court Farmhouse will indeed be safe as houses!”

Cllr Rick Deller Executive Board Member for Housing and Regulatory Services on Wychavon District Council, said: “I’m delighted with the support of Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust, Platform Housing Group and National Lottery players we have been able to rescue this historic building and use it to make a real difference to people’s lives by providing new quality affordable places to live.”

Steve Eaves, Director of Regeneration for Platform Housing said, “Regeneration is going to be an important solution in solving some of our local housing issues and Willow Court is a great example of finding viable answers. It’s great news for everyone involved and our thanks go to Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust, Wychavon District Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund. We’re excited that this project can go ahead and we look forward to giving the building a new life.”

Image: Willow Court Farmhouse Stakeholders

Leave a Reply