Pro Bono Work Sees Blackburn Terraces Transformed on Behalf of Charity Trust

Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors has recently administered the transformation of terraced cottages at the Nancy Derbyshire Almshouses, in Blackburn, on a no-charge basis for a local charity.

The works, which were carried out on behalf of the Nancy Derbyshire Trust, saw the complete refurbishment of 2 terraced ‘almhouse’ cottages, drastically transforming their overall condition and making them more suitable for vulnerable residents.   

There have been Almshouses in the United Kingdom for more than 1,000 years, which provide affordable housing and support for the needy or vulnerable, often older people. The Nancy Derbyshire Trust own the terrace of six Almshouses in Blackburn, which were designed by local architects Stones & Gradwell and constructed in 1895.

Following the vacancy of two of the properties in 2019, the Trust approached Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors to discuss the options for internal alterations and refurbishment. We were subsequently delighted to agree to specify, tender and oversee the refurbishment of both properties by contractors, on a fee-free basis.

Our role involved measuring the properties, preparing plan drawings, scoping the works, making recommendations to trustees, then writing a Specification/Schedule of Works. From here, we prepared tender documents, and selected suitable contractors to price the works. We also arranged Asbestos Surveys and dealt with all issues relating to Building Regulations applications. Following this tendering process, Lea Hough acted as Contract Administrator, project managing the works through to completion.

The main contractor successfully completed the refurbishment of both properties under our supervision and the works have significantly improved the overall condition of the two bungalow properties. The properties now meet with all modern standards and will provide comfortable accommodation for years to come. Both properties are now occupied by new elderly residents.

John Barker, Trustee of The Nancy Derbyshire Trust, said:

On a personal note I would like to thank you for sorting the works out for us.  It seems to have run very smoothly and I am really grateful to you for all your hard work in dealing with it”.


“We had a Schedule of Condition carried out on a Commercial Property. From vacant possession to our proposed completion date we were really tight on time. Gary managed to carry out the inspection and write a very thorough report in the time needed to ensure we hit our completion date. The price of the report was also extremely competitive. I would recommend Lea Hough to anyone looking for a Professional Surveyors with excellent service & communication at a competitive price.”

Danny Ambler - Fuse Contract Furniture, Blackburn