A GROUP of North Yorkshire almshouses is being refurbished after an ethical bank gave a loan.

Charity Bank, which lends money to charities and other social sector organisations, has lent £500,000 to the Lady Lumley’s Almshouses in Thornton-le-Dale, near Pickering.

Regional lending manager Jeremy Ince said: “When Charity Bank assesses crities for potential for loans, we are looking to lend to organisations that will be able to help and enrich society as a result of their loan.

“Although it is small, the Lady Lumley’s Almshouses charity has a significant positive impact on the quality of life for residents.

“As well as providing accommodation for elderly residents of the area, the charity provides them with wider help and support.”

The Homes and Communities Organisation also gave a £481,000 grant towards the £1.1 million refurbishment project.

The Grade 2 listed almshouses were built in 1670 as a gift to the village from Viscountess Elizabeth Lumley.

David FitzGerald, chairman of Lady Lumley’s Almshouses, said: “The accommodation is being completely remodelled to make better use of the space. We are damp-proofing the older building, adding a new living and kitchen extension to each house as well as a new bathroom and new heating and plumbing.”