Historic cottages transformed into affordable homes

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The historic cottages will be refurbished into affordable housing

A £1.1m refurbishment project in Manchester has turned historic cottages into affordable homes after being abandoned for almost a decade

Known as Westwood Cottages, the six terraced houses in Raby Street, Moss Side, have Grade II listed status and will be redeveloped into affordable homes by MC Construction.

The cottages are owned by One Manchester who appointed MC Construction after the granting of planning approval and listed building consent.

The cottages are in an area of Moss Side earmarked for regeneration, including the delivery of new and suitable housing stock.

The cottages were originally built in 1876 as an early form of social housing

The cottages were built in 1876 as alms houses, a form of charitable housing common at the time. They were built by prominent industrialist John Robinson as a tribute to his sister, Edith Marianne Robinson, who died young. They stand as individual dwellings in one block built in Flemish Gothic style.

Last vacated almost a decade ago, the condition of the cottages has deteriorated significantly. Many original features have been removed and vandalism has occurred.

MC Construction’s team carried out a comprehensive programme of internal and external repairs and refurbishments and the cottages have now been returned to use as two-bedroom affordable homes for rent.

Historical features and heritage-approved materials have been used in the refurbishment

The project team worked closely with local heritage and planning officers to ensure the building was sympathetically refurbished. This involved retaining and restoring key features, including original gothic arched front doors, and using heritage-approved materials such as ironmonger, cast-iron guttering and timber framed casement windows.

Internal refurbishments include the installation of a new kitchen, bathroom, boiler and heating system and a rewire.

Additional living space has been created at each cottage with a single-storey rear glazed extension to form a conservatory, making the homes more suitable for family accommodation.

Historical features such as mosaic porch floor tiles and the front doors have been retained.

The external works have included a refurbishment of the roof, new windows, repairs to the brickwork, chimneys and stonework, and landscaping.

David Lowe, managing director at MC Construction, said: “Working closely with a number of key stakeholders, we have successfully retained a part of the city’s heritage while giving a new lease of life to this historic building to provide affordable and energy-efficient homes for families in an area where there is a need for this type of accommodation.”

One Manchester chief executive Nicole Kershaw said: “I am delighted to see the Grade II listed Westwood Cottages back in use as affordable homes for local families.” One Manchester chief executive Nicole Kershaw, right, with chief transformation officer Charlotte Grover at one of the renovated historic cottages at Westwood Cottages

“The cottages had been empty for several years, and we have worked hard to create light and spacious contemporary homes internally, whilst preserving the heritage qualities and landscaped shared gardens.

“We have also improved the insulation levels to achieve our 2030 energy efficiency targets, meaning the homes will be warm and affordable to run.”

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