A trust that is continuing the work of one of Aireborough’s greatest philanthropists is planning to create four more almshouses in Guiseley.
The Frank Parkinson Yorkshire Trust has just spent £400,000 installing new heating in its homes in the town.
And next year it is hoping to convert its offices at Laurel Bank, Oxford Road, into four more homes for older people who would struggle to buy their own property – increasing its housing stock to a total of 42.
Plans are being prepared at the moment for the conversion of the building, which was used as almshouses in the past but was not purpose built. Work on the new homes is expected to begin next year.
The trust is the legacy of Frank Parkinson who was born in Guiseley in the 1880s and who became a successful electrical engineer, employing many people at his Crompton Parkinson works.
An important benefactor in the area, he gave funding for the landmark Parkinson building and tower at Leeds University.
Trust chairman Charles Clough said Mr Parkinson, who died at the age of 58, had given a lot of money to good causes during his lifetime.
“He died in 1946 and the bulk of his fortune was given to charitable purposes,” he said. “The largest was the trust I am involved in.”
He said the almshouses were one of the charitable objectives of his trust.
“His son Arthur was one of the first chairmen of the trust and was instrumental in progressing the development of the almshouses,” he said.
“The first ones were on Towngate and opened in about 1950.”
He said it was specified at the outset that the homes would be for the needy, and many retired workers from Crompton Parkinson found their way there.