Liberty of Earley House to become sheltered accommodation after sale

Reading Almshouses will take over mantle from The Earley Charity

A MUCH-LOVED residential home has been sold to one of the oldest charities in Berkshire. Reading Almshouse Charity, which aim to provide accommodation to those in need, is to take over the Liberty of Earley House.

The sale comes after the Earley Charity launched a consultation over what to do with the home in Strand Way.

In September, the Earley Charity said that it wanted to close the House as a residential care home as it had been subsidising the loss-making venture from its reserves. This, it said, as a grant-making charity made keeping the house an unsustainable option.

Just before Christmas, the charity announced that the Reading Almshouse Charity would take the reins, adding to its portfolio which includes flats in Castle Street – close to Reading’s police station – and 41 apartments in south Reading’s Penton House.

The charity has an emphasis on helping people aged 55 or over.

Bob Ames, who chairs The Earley Charity, said: “We are pleased to confirm that by agreeing the sale of Liberty of Earley House in this way, the Earley Charity has achieved the objectives which it set itself when the process of closing our residential care home began:

  • The future of Liberty of Earley House itself, which remains a lovely building in a lovely setting, is assured
  • An appropriate use (almshouses) has been found for the property, provided by another local charity.
  • A fair and reasonable price has been agreed, which will allow the Earley Charity to expand its local charitable activities in the future.”

It is expected that Liberty of Earley House will close as a residential care home in February, before being reopened as sheltered housing later this year.

The Earley Charity said that most of the former residents of the residential care home have now moved to new homes, and negotiations with the last few residents and their families, which are being carried out in a caring and sensitive way, are nearing completion.

And Reading Almshouse Charity is a proud new owner.

Peter Webb, the charity’s chair, said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with the Earley Charity. We are a well-respected and long-standing local charity with an excellent track record.

“We take pride in providing good quality and affordable accommodation for local people in need, and who are capable of independent living.

“We intend to re-purpose the building to add to our existing facilities and we will be bringing the building back into full occupation as soon as possible.”

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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