AN HISTORIC Grade II listed farmhouse with links to Henry VIII looks set to be converted into affordable housing.

The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust (WBPT) is looking to 'rescue' Willow Court Farmhouse, in Droitwich with the help of a £259,400 National Lottery Heritage grant.

The WBPT is working with Wychavon District Council and Platform Housing Group to c onvert the empty 16th century building into six new affordable homes.

The farmhouse, which has not been lived in for decades, is in a poor condition, so the first stage of the project will make the site secure and develop detailed plans to save the building.

Research into a possible royal link will be also undertaken as it is thought that the farmhouse was part of the Salwarpe estate lands once owned by the family of Katherine of Aragon, wife of King Henry VIII.

The longer-term plan will see essential conservation work undertaken to stabilise it, including preservation of a historic timber frame hidden inside.

An apprenticeship programme is planned, alongside a series of community events and activities which will help to unlock the lost history of the farm and surrounding land.

Sue Whitehouse, chair of The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players and aim to work with the local community in the area as we develop the project further. Added to the funding we have received from Wychavon District Council and the Architectural Heritage Fund, we are now able to ensure that Willow Court Farmhouse will indeed be safe as houses.”

Gerraint Oakley, executive director from Platform Housing Group said: “We are thrilled to be involved in this project; ensuring that the historical importance of Willow Court Farmhouse won’t be lost is certainly heart-warming. Bringing the property back to life will be a wonderful addition to the local community.”