From the establishment of Ings Property Company in 1945, subsequently the charity York Conservation Trust, our business model has been to conserve and repurpose York’s significant buildings.
Helping to ensure they continue to play a full role in the life of York, we let our buildings and those rents support the maintenance and conservation work across our historic building portfolio. Occasionally, we also acquire additional buildings of particular interest, to which the Trust could add conservation value.
As far as practical, we have sought to do this entirely from our own resources, without income from grants or donations, though with some bank lending where necessary and supportable. Essentially, that model remains in place today, however, grants and donations now have an important role to play in our planning.
Addressing conservation deficit
Grants and donations form part of our financing largely due to the ‘conservation deficit’ of some very significant buildings of high communal value. Conservation deficit is the amount by which the cost of repair and conversion, if appropriate, of a historic building exceeds its market value when completed. These include York Theatre Royal, St Anthony’s Hall and Gardens, and Fairfax House. These buildings generate low rents compared to the long-term costs of maintaining them in good, compliant and occupiable condition.
Welcoming a wide range of tenants to our historic buildings
We are delighted to welcome a wide range of tenants to our historic buildings and through them, and this website, we promote public interest in York’s built heritage, the stories it reveals and its contemporary relevance.
Roughly half of all our occupants are residential tenants: people studying or working in York for a relatively short time, but we do have residents that have been living in our properties for over twenty years. The majority of our residential accommodation is in, or very close to, the heart of the City and is let unfurnished through assured shorthold tenancy agreements.
Recently, we have begun offering guest accommodation to York’s visitors and have furnished these apartments in a way that we hope encourages further interest in the buildings and their place in the streetscapes of York. 87 Micklegate, 14 St Saviour’s Place, 69/71 Micklegate and Trinity Cottage are managed by the Trust’s guest accommodation partner organisation Wheelwrights York.
Public access to some of York’s most significant buildings
Our commercial tenants offer the best public access to our most significant buildings. Built in 1732, no trip to York can possibly be complete without a visit to the magnificent Assembly Rooms, the first example of Palladian architecture in the country. Surely, one of the most glamorous ASK Italian Restaurants, it offers a great family experience in an exceptional, chandeliered Corinthian columned ball room!
For a fascinating insight into Georgian York visit Fairfax House where our tenant and partner York Civic Trust runs an exceptional museum of Georgian life. You’ll find the unmatched Terry Collection of Georgian furniture, regularly changing exhibitions and friendly volunteer guides on-hand to bring the period and previous owners to life.