One of the UK’s leading independent firms of estate agents, chartered surveyors, auctioneers and valuers has boosted a South Shropshire trust’s campaign to provide affordable housing for local people needing somewhere to live.


Halls has donated £1,000 to Bishops Castle & District Community Land Trust’s campaign to convert the former Stars newsagent in the town’s Church Street to create two flats for local people and a community shop for pop up businesses. The work is due to be completed this summer.


The trust has launched a £50,000 appeal to bring back to life the building that has been empty for six years. Late chairman Bill Bainbridge, who owned the Three Tuns Brewery in Bishops Castle, left the trust £250,000 in his will.


This legacy has been used to repay the bulk of the mortgage on the first two houses built by the trust in Bishops Castle in 2012 – 1 and 2 Kings Head Yard – and to buy Star newsagents building which needs major renovation work.


Anyone wishing to donate to the Stars Appeal can do so online at: .

Owned by 289 member shareholders, the trust derives most of its income from below market rents from its tenants. New chair is Kate Evans.


“Our charitable trust is rooted in the community with a not for profit ethos,” explained Jonathan Brown, trust secretary. “We are building a virtuous circle that underpins the community.


“We know our homes have made a positive difference to all those who have been given a roof over their heads and want to do more.


“Our present project has been made possible only because of the wonderful legacy from Bill Bainbridge. The building costs are high because the building is so old.


“That’s why we depend on the support of businesses like Halls, with whom we have always had a good relationship because they used to manage our first two homes for us.


“They are a genuinely local business with a livestock market in the town and we are very grateful for their donation.”


David Bryan Jones, Halls’ Bishops Castle office manager, is pleased to see renovation work starting on the building, which is just 150 yards along Church Street from his workplace.


“To see this building come back to life in such a prominent position is extremely important for the town and we at Halls are delighted to lend our support,” he said. “Having lived and worked in Bishops Castle for 30 years, I know that the trust has done a good job in providing affordable homes for localpeople who have struggled to find accommodation.”


The trust has also received donations from SWS Broadband, About Music Project and Charles Ransford & Son Ltd, Bishops Castle.


Picture caption:


David Bryan Jones, manager of Halls’ Bishops Castle office, presents a cheque for £1,000 to Kate Evans, Bishops Castle & District Community Land Trust chair, outside the building that is being renovated and converted into two flats and a pop up shop.