Rishi Sunak opens Wensleydale affordable housing scheme

IRishi Sunak opens the Askrigg Foundation development with the Vicar of Upper Wensleydale, the Rev David Clark, left, and the Rev Malcolm Stonestreet, former Vicar of Askrigg.

A development which has created three affordable homes for rent in a Yorkshire Dales village has been opened by Rishi Sunak.

The MP cut a ribbon to formally mark the completion of the refurbishment of an almost derelict building in the centre of Askrigg.

The homes for affordable rent by local people have been created in the building with a shop – Heather and Grouse – selling local arts and crafts on the ground floor

The development was carried out by the Askrigg Foundation charity. The MP is one of the charity’s patrons.

Mr Sunak, who saw the building in 2018 before work started, said the transformation of a redundant shop and upper floors into a hub meeting local housing needs was a great example of community action.

“The Foundation and everyone who supported the project deserves great credit for delivering it, despite the problems and delays caused by Covid,” he said.

“It meets the local need for affordable housing for rent and also serves as a superb showcase for the amazing creativity and skills of Dales craftsmen and women.”

The Askrigg Foundation was established in 1971 by the then Vicar of Askrigg, the Rev Stonestreet, for the benefit of the local community and to serve its many visitors.

Mr Stonestreet was on hand at the opening to assist Mr Sunak, along with the current Vicar, the Rev David Clark.

Afterwards, Mr Sunak crossed Main Street to the nearby King’s Arms to meet villagers.

Elizabeth Fawcett, chair of the Foundation’s trustees, said the affordable housing and shop development was a huge project for such a small village and was a real achievement for the trustees and had secured the property for future generations.

“We were so pleased Mr Sunak was able to attend, to meet our founder and to see the completed project which is making a real difference to our community,” she added.

“The event was a great opportunity for the village to come together to celebrate and to meet their MP and Prime Minister who has maintained a keen interest in the project.”

Mrs Fawcett said the completed project comprised two flats – one with a single bedroom and the second with two – and a two-bedroomed cottage as well as the shop – Heather and Grouse –  which is run by a co-operative of local artists.


  1. Did he fly in by helicopter?
    The sooner they are out of power the better- his Brexit has ruined a lot of our farming communities- the Australian trade deal is a disaster, as are the bee killing pesticides that are banned in the EU.

  2. Rishi Sunak should be trying to save Barclays Bank in Leyburn as well as doing the niceties in the community. He is so far removed from what really matters!!!

  3. He must have a couple of spare rooms in his country house he could let out for a peppercorn rent.

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