Bank Court Development, Keswick
An innovative project saw a disused block of public toilets off Station Street converted into four one-bedroom apartments after Allerdale Borough Council kindly agreed to hand over the property to KCHT for just £1.
These small, modern properties with open-plan layout are popular with single people, who often struggle to find suitable accommodation in the town centre.
Emma Bundock, from Allerdale Borough Council, welcomes KCHT chairman Bill Bewley to the boarded-up Banks Court public toilet block it handed over to the trust for £1 to be converted from an eyesore into four affordable rented flats in 2015. The following year, the innovative development was Highly Commended in the Best Social or Affordable New Housing Development at the Northern Local Authority Building Control’s Excellence Awards.
The conversion of a disused two-storey toilet block into four highly-desirable yet affordable town centre one-bedroom apartments was completed in September 2015. Among the first tenants was Ben Rothwell, who said: “I am originally from Keswick. I have grown up here, went to Keswick School and my parents have lived at Threlkeld for 16 years – but I couldn’t find anywhere to live in Keswick. It is virtually impossible without there being two, three or four of you together. There is nothing, so I ended up living in Cockermouth. But this is great.”
Ben’s neighbour Steve Frampton added: “I have lived in Keswick all my life and this is the first time I have been able to get out of living with my parents. The only other option I’d had was to move to the Workington, Penrith or Cockermouth areas, but all my family are in Keswick. Buying a property here is astronomical. I can’t even consider it but this is absolutely brilliant. I couldn’t be more grateful to Keswick Community Housing Trust.”