The Liversage Trust is an Almshouse Charity set up under the will of Robert Liversage in 1529 for the relief of poverty and operates exclusively within the city of Derby. It has maintained almshouses since the 17th century. The original almshouses were adjacent to St Peter’s Church in the city centre and were upgraded in the early 18th century. They were demolished and replaced by the London Road almshouses of 1836 which are Listed Buildings. The Trust’s office is situated at the London Road Almshouses.
Robert Liversage left in trust a number of pieces of land to provide an income for his charity and the Trust still enjoys income from some of this original endowment which has increased in value over time. For instance, the Nottingham Road estate has 25 houses and flats which are not almshouses and are let commercially. The Trust also owns a number of commercial properties within the City.
The Trust has, since the 16th century, owned a large area of land adjacent to Nottingham Road / Keys Street, part of which was once the site of the Royal Crown Derby factory. This estate was rebuilt around 1900 in its present form as an urban village and continues today as one of the Trust’s estates of sheltered housing, now designated as a Conservation Area.
Between 1966 and the present day, further Almshouse estates have been built at Franchise Street / Drewry Lane and Arthur Hind Close. So the Trust now operates four estates of housing within the city for people aged 60 or over, providing over 160 almshouses, with a community centre on each estate.
In the mid-1980s, the Liversage Trustees also became Trustees of the Queen Victoria Memorial Home of Rest Charity, after acquiring a nursing home situated on Wheeldon Avenue. The intention was to provide an extra care facility for those Almshouse residents who could no longer live independently. Operational difficulties soon forced closure, but proceeds from the sale of the site were used to build a new purpose-built residential care home. Liversage Court, a forty-bed home, opened in 1989 and is Care Quality Commission registered for people aged 65 and over. It was rated “GOOD” in every respect by CQC in February 2016.
In April 2014, The Liversage Trust became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, moving liability from individual Trustees, to a new corporate entity. It took over all the functions, acquired the property and assumed the liabilities of both former Charities, and continues to operate to a Scheme made by the Charity Commissioners in 1971 which stands, as amended, by subsequent Schemes.
The Trust’s future is to maintain in perpetuity what remains of the property left by Robert Liversage, and continue to contribute to help relieve the housing need of Derby's older population, as well as make small grants for the relief of poverty in the City more generally.