Elderly residents of Colne are set to reap the rewards of the generosity of a 19th Century-born millionaire native of the town, whose foundation - the Peter Birtwhistle Trust - welcomed its nonagenarian tenants to the ribbon-cutting of their 12 new bungalows.
Hoping to strengthen the sense of community in the town, the trust - which now boasts 84 properties in total - unveiled the new houses on Tuesday, March 13th, with their most loyal tenant, who has lived in a Peter Birtwhistle Trust home for 25 years, cutting the ribbon at Birtwistle East Lemes.
"It's taken us four years through the planning and building process, but we've managed it in the end," said Alan Davies, Chairman of the Trustees, who said that the homes - two of which are wheelchair-adapted - would be available to those over the age of 65.
"The trust specifies that the residents must be elderly," Alan said. "These 12 will be alongside another 18 and immediately across the road is a further 22. We own a big house on the main road which is a community centre, which has some activities for the residents and other people.
"It's definitely a hub for us; it's the centre of everything - other organisations use it for things too," he added.
Peter Birtwhistle was born in Colne in 1841 and went to school in Waterside before becoming a teacher and moving to Canada, where he got into the jeweller's business, making his fortune before his death in 1927. He left a cash sum of £72,000 in 1955 to the Trust, which has subsequently built a portfolio of properties worth around £10m.