Work has started on the conversion of our new head office in Gilesgate

Builders have started work to convert an old pub into office accommodation for DASH staff with a flat above. The building is run down and badly in need of refurbishment. The conversion will bring a redundant building back into use, and give it a new lease of life. We see this move as a key step change aimed at achieving long-term sustainability for the charity in a challenging financial climate, and at safeguarding DASH’s role as a local provider of housing services which benefit the community of County Durham.

Last OrdersThe building also includes a three-bedroomed flat, which will be let at an affordable rent to those in housing need. The apartment will be a valuable addition to our property portfolio, enabling us to offer reasonably priced accommodation in an area close to the centre of Durham where there is high demand.

The Last Orders had been on the market since the beginning of 2014, until DASH bought it at the end of August 2016. The building is run down and badly in need of refurbishment. The conversion will bring a redundant building back into use, and give it a new lease of life. Our proposals will improve its appearance and enhance the surrounding environment. The first phase of the works will focus on bringing the building back into active use. We also plan to fundraise to enable us to carry out landscaping and environmental works to the car park area to make it an attractive external space.

DASH plans to rename the refurbished building ‘Hudson House’ as a tribute to the memory of John Hudson, who was a founding member of DASH when it began as Durham Cyrenians, back in 1972. Following a distinguished career as Director of Careers, firstly in Dublin, then in Newcastle and finally at Durham University, John became an active member of many local community organisations when he retired. For many years, he held office as Shincliffe Parish Councillor, and was a Citizens Advice worker and School Governor of Belmont Community School. John was a valued and hard-working Board member of DASH until he sadly passed away in 2012. We are delighted that his wife Pat has allowed us to honour his memory in this way, and look forward to continuing our valuable work from our new home ‘Hudson House’.

Madeleine Ashdown

Chair