Preserving the Past, Investing for the Future

The Duchy continues to repair, restore and upgrade its rural residential properties across all Estates, with record levels of capital investment and the ongoing roll-out of its quality specification and Design Standard.

 Over £2m has been spent on refurbishment projects in the year to March 2017, adding to a similar level of investment last year. More than 50 residential properties in Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire have now been restored and refurbished in line with the Duchy Standard, providing comfortable and contemporary living accommodation in historic rural settings.

 Commenting on the roll-out of the Duchy Design Standard published in 2015, Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow said: “The establishment of a common quality standard across our residential portfolio has been extremely well received. We see this reflected in higher numbers of viewings and even waiting lists on some of our Estates where people have already seen the improvements in design and finish that have been introduced.

 “In the last year, none of the properties refurbished to the Duchy Standard have been on the market for a single day. We start to receive expressions of interest as soon as work commences. This allows our tenants to get involved in the process and feel that the finished product is something in which they have played an active part.

 “We are also finding that tenants who have moved into a refurbished property tend to want to stay there. As a result, none of these properties have come back to us after the original letting, giving our tenants long-term security, peace of mind and a real sense of ownership and pride in their new home.”

 The Design Standard is applied to all large-scale refurbishment projects and is being rolled out across the Estates whenever possible. An annual repair and maintenance programme for rural residential properties is also ongoing to ensure that the assets are protected for future generations.