Trustees of Adam Cottam Almshouses have been working hard on their almshouse project over the past 4 years, with the assistance of funding from The Almshouse Association. In 2022 they embarked on the next stage of their project using the most recent loan and grant provided by the Association.

Project outline

The 2015 the Quinquennial Inspection Report showed that all 3 dwellings were in dire need of complete refurbishment, so in 2016 the Adam Cottam Almshouses Trust commenced a 4 year refurbishment project to make them damp free, safe and energy efficient.

The work would entail completely stripping out the dwellings and fitting out with new kitchens, bathrooms, windows and central heating.

When one of the properties became vacant in 2017, they began the ambitious programme to refurbish all 3 dwellings. The first dwelling was completed in 2017, the second in 2018 and the third in 2020.

The project


The project started by consulting a local architect to advise on how the dwellings might be refurbished. His estimate to remodel the living space and act as Clerk of Works ran to some thousands of pounds. A meeting between two trustees and the contractor led to a design which was adopted without the need for further architect involvement thereby making a significant cost saving.

The objective was to remodel by making maximum use of the limited space available. This involved removing internal walls in all 3 properties.

All 3 dwellings needed the walls to be completely stripped and tanked with K11 solution to act as a barrier to damp. No. 30 was plastered but Nos 34 & 36 were dry lined which was less costly and, more importantly, dried out quicker!

The almshouses do not comply with modern Building Regulations so ‘escape’ windows have been provided where possible, the contractor keeping the Borough Council Building Regulations Inspector involved at all times. All windows have been replaced with new double glazed units and the ceilings have been lowered and insulated.

New kitchens
New toilets and hand basins
New shower cubicles installed

The bathrooms were fitted with new shower cubicles, toilets and wash hand basins. New units were installed in all kitchens as well as new cookers, cooker hoods, hob units and fridges. All new electrics have been fitted throughout and a new boiler and central heating system installed. New carpets and blinds completed the internal renovations.

Finally all 3 dwellings have been fitted with new front doors/frames to further improve energy efficiency.

Project cost and funding solution

The total cost to refurbish all three properties and temporarily re-house residents was £100,000. The charity was able to cover some of the costs by drawing down from their trust funds and investments, however the remainder was covered by a loan and a grant from The Almshouse Association and a £20K grant from Whalley Parish Council.

The final stage

Existing roof

The 2015 Quinquennial Report highlighted the poor condition of the stone flag roof which requires frequent repairs with many flags delaminated and broken.

In 2021 the charity were awarded an additional loan and grant from The Almshouse Association and in 2022 embarked on the project to remove the existing flags and replace with reconstituted stone flags. In their latest progress update, the charity advised that they have just appointed a painter to paint the external woodwork and elevations and hope to have it finished by early September. Only the lopping of the trees to get organised now!

Work in progress
Completed roofs

Many thanks to Clifford Ball of Adam Cottam Almshouses for sending in photos and reporting on the project. Congratulations to everyone involved.

August 2022