The Parks Trust, the independent charity that looks after over 6,000 acres of green space and parkland in Milton Keynes has entered an agreement with Milton Keynes Council to take on a 999-year lease of the Almshouses in Great Linford Manor Park.
Built in 1696 the Almshouses are a Grade II* listed building and form part of the wider historic landscape of Great Linford Manor Park, which is currently undergoing a National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Community Fund project managed by The Parks Trust.
Subject to planning, The Parks Trust intends to fully restore the building with a view to letting out three of the Almshouses as commercial offices and the larger central schoolhouse as private residential property. The Trust would like to make the remaining three Almshouses available to the public as an interpretation space, a community resource room, and a public toilet, including separate provision for an accessible toilet. This will complement The Parks Trust’s wider National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Community Fund landscape project to ‘reveal, revive and restore’ the 18th century English Landscape Pleasure Garden.
The Almshouses renovation will cost around £1.3m and will be funded jointly by The Parks Trust, Milton Keynes Council, and a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.
Ben Allott, Head of Property at The Parks Trust said, “the prominent position of the Almshouses within the historic landscape makes them an ideal location for a new lease of life as a community hub and interpretation space. The restoration of the Almshouses demonstrates how the collaborative relationship between Milton Keynes Council and The Parks Trust can lead to beneficial outcomes, in this case for MK’s people and its heritage”.
The renovation works will take around 8-months from the grant of planning permission.