A community and heritage centre in Masham is one step closer to opening its doors as organisers announce the purchase of the historic property.

The purchase of 15 Silver Street in the North Yorkshire market town is a joint venture between Peacock and Verity and housing association Karbon Homes, backed by a significant boost in funding of £72,000 from Harrogate Borough Council’s Community Led Housing Team, who have also awarded the project an additional £150,000 towards refurbishment costs.

The new community space will provide local jobs and unique learning opportunities for residents and visitors. Four affordable rent flats will also be created as part of the redevelopment.

Alan Hodges, chair of the Peacock and Verity Trustees, said: “The successful purchase of 15 Silver Street is a major step forward for Peacock and Verity. We’re extremely grateful for the generous funding from Harrogate Borough Council and the support from Karbon Homes which has allowed it all to happen. We’ve secured the building for the benefit of local people and visitors to Masham for years to come, and we can fulfil an urgent need for affordable rental properties to enable our young people to live and work in the area.”

The ground floor of the property will be restored into a Victorian grocers from the 1850s, when the building was in its heyday, as well as an Edwardian-style tearoom inspired by the cafe which was part of the building in the 1900s. It will also bring a Post Office main counter back to Masham and create a new heritage centre celebrating the story of the town and surrounding area.

The four one-bed flats on the upper floors will be managed by Karbon Homes and kept exclusively available for residents with a connection to Masham, providing much-needed affordable homes for local people. The development of the flats is being supported by funding from Homes England, through Karbon’s strategic partnership with the government’s housing delivery agency.

Phil Lacey, Yorkshire development manager at Karbon Homes, said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Peacock and Verity on this fantastic project, bringing 15 Silver Street back into use and developing much-needed affordable homes in the town.

“We know the vital importance of building new affordable homes in places like Masham, where local people often find themselves priced out of living in the town. We want to see local people not having to move away to find the homes they need, and these flats play a vital role in achieving this.”

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has also awarded £71,850 to the project which will allow the major restoration and conversion to begin. The first job for developers is to repair the roof, remove the old shop awning and restore the original Georgian shop front.

Alan Hodges continued, “Additional support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund will allow us to start work on transforming the building into a community asset that celebrates the history of our town whilst looking to the future.”