Trust ApprenticesA FORMER pub in Brotton is being transformed into affordable housing by a dedicated band of charity workers.

Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Cllr Sue Jeffrey, and Cabinet Member for Health & Housing, Cllr Lynn Pallister, were invited by the East Cleveland Youth Housing Trust to see the work the Trust is carrying out on the old Crown Pub on Brotton High Street.

The Trust purchased the pub in 2015 and has set about transforming it into three two-bedroom and one one-bedroom flats.

Carrying out the conversion are a number of trainees who have been given an opportunity straight out of school to learn new skills like bricklaying, plastering and installing disabled aids on their way to completing an apprenticeship. It is hoped the skills learnt will help them progress into full-time work in the building trade.

Once the flats are finished, they will be let out at below market value to families who have trouble finding and affording suitable accommodation.

Cllr Sue Jeffrey said: “I was very pleased to be able to come and see the work the Trust is doing to provide affordable housing to residents who need it. I was also very happy to hear that as well as supporting local people into work, they are also supporting local businesses when purchasing their building supplies.”

This scheme is the biggest project the East Cleveland Youth Housing Trust has taken on, with previous schemes generally focussing on pre-existing housing left to rot by their owners.

Drisc Wardle, a Trustee at the East Cleveland Youth Housing Trust, said: “I met people who explained to me what the Trust did and I just thought it ticked all the boxes. It’s like a win-win situation, it helps young people to get into training and then it funds itself by helping people who can’t afford accommodation pay rent below the market value. It’s all good stuff.”

Cllr Lynn Pallister said: “The fact that the Trust is turning this previously derelict pub into something that will benefit those who have been unable to afford high-quality housing in the past is wonderful. The work being done by the apprentices is first class and they should all be very proud of what they are doing.”

To find out more about the Trust, go to www.ecyhtrust.com.