Legacy funds low-cost homes in Warwick

Thomas Oken trustees Anita White and Clive Mason.
Thomas Oken trustees Anita White and Clive Mason.

A centuries old Warwick charity has completed the renovation of cottages in the town to provide low-cost accommodation for local people.

The Charity of Thomas Oken and Nicholas Eyffler, founded in 1571, has completed the £70,000 renovation of four single bedsits on Castle Hill to provide two more cottages for couples.

The project was funded by a legacy from Roger Smith, a former pupil at Warwick School. Mr Smith was born and died in the same house in Emscote Road, which was gifted to the charity, leaving a legacy which has been commemorated with a plaque on the cottages.

Two years ago his legacy also funded a £63,500 renovation and refurbishment of some of the other neighbouring cottages.

Charity trustee Anita White said the residents’ contributions for the properties were about half the market rental value. She said: “Over the years the buildings have been regularly improved and upgraded and now comprise five two-bedroomed terraced cottages, which overlook the castle and share a pretty lawned back garden.”

Mrs White said the trust, which makes significant grants for ‘relief in need’ in the town - including Myton Hospice, Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick Apprenticing and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust - also owns the Guild Cottages in Bowling Green Street.

She said: “These homes are available for couples who have a connection with the town: people who may have been born here, or whose parents were, or who went to a local school or worked here.

“They are ideal for people nearing retirement who earn less than the national average, or who have fallen on hard times.”

For more details go to: www.thomasoken.org.uk or call 01926 491181.