On Friday 16 October, the Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison, MP for South West Wiltshire, visited E G Carter & Co Ltd’s housing site of the former Margaret Stancomb school in Trowbridge.

Selwood Housing, a local housing association based in Wiltshire, bought the disused town centre site, which had been derelict for over ten years, from Wiltshire Council in 2018. E G Carter & Co Ltd have started the regeneration and are converting the impressive 19th century school building into three houses, with a range of new build affordable homes constructed in the surrounding grounds.

Renamed Margarets Close, the site is made up of 21 homes in a variety of sizes: nine for shared ownership and 12 for social rent. The regeneration represents a total investment of £4m in the local area and supported 65 jobs. Works were halted for a short time during lockdown but restarted with strict COVID-secure procedures in place and the first residents are expected to move in within weeks.

After a safety briefing, Dr Murrison heard about the history of the site and was shown around some of the new homes. Dr Murrison said, “It was a real pleasure to view the new homes and to see what Selwood Housing has done with Trowbridge’s well known Margaret Stancomb site. I was very impressed and wish the families that will soon be moving in every happiness in their new homes.”

Barry Hughes, Selwood Housing Group Chief Executive said, “As a local housing association, we understand the difficulties many people face in finding affordable and secure homes. We had a really positive response when we announced the purchase of this site, as it holds a lot of memories for many people.

“We’re excited to see the homes ready for local families to move into and particularly proud that some of the new residents will include key workers who are working so hard for us all during the pandemic.”

Paul Walsh, Selwood Housing Group Development Director said, “Brownfield sites like this give us the opportunity to deliver high quality affordable local homes with a fantastic central location. We would like to thank our partners Homes England for providing us with a grant of over £1 million, and E G Carter for their support at every step of the way.”

Phil Barnes, Associate Director at E G Carter & Co Ltd said, “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Selwood Housing. These new homes are not only built to the highest quality but also provide much needed homes for residents with strong connections to the town of Trowbridge. We are looking forward to working with Selwood Housing again in the future.”

The new homes will be ready for handover by Christmas 2020.