Over the centuries, the endowment estate of St John’s has grown and expanded into a diverse portfolio, including agricultural, commercial and residential properties. Most of the estate falls within the boundaries of the city centre but a few are on the outskirts of Bath.
The income derived from the estate is used to fulfil the historic charity’s main objectives; the provision of Almshouses for the elderly poor and grant giving for people living in the city and organisations, within a certain radius of the centre.
Many buildings are listed and require specialised and appropriate repair, so too the maintenance and refurbishment projects, which are carried out by the Property Department of the charity. Given the range of buildings within the portfolio, a sensitive approach to conservation and upkeep is always employed.
One or two of the more ‘interesting’ properties lie within the busiest prime commercial area of Bath, such as Old Bond Street, whilst a few residential ones are located in areas such as Beauford Square.
Recent trends in the property market have resulted in a change from a more passive traditional landlord role for St John’s into a more proactive style of portfolio management, namely to make the best possible contribution to the charity.
A gradual transition from core building and surveying work to greater participation in estate management and income generation from the endowment portfolio properties has taken place, over the last few years.
The Property Department of St John's Hospital, as well as dealing with the day to day running of the estate and the associated income generating aspects of this role, is also responsible for the Modernisation Programme, of the city centre Almshouses, which was initiated by the Trustees in 2009. Phase One of the programme is now complete, following the £1.8 million refurbishment and renovation of Chapel House. Phase Two – John Wood House and Fitzjocelyn House - has also been completed and Residents are now successfully resettled into their redesigned and modernised apartments. Phase Three will involve the modernisation of Rosenberg House and the creation of 15 new fully supported flats.
(For more details on this project, go to the 1174 Appeal section of this website to be found under Supporting the Charity).