The Italian styled Militia Barracks were built in red brick for use by local King’s Own Staffordshire Militia and the fire brigade.
The Prince of Wales’s (North Staffordshire) Regiment was formed under the Childers Reforms on 1 July 1881, by the amalgamation of the 64th (2nd Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot and 98th (Prince of Wales’s) Regiment of Foot. These two regular regiments became, respectively, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the new regiment. The militia and Rifle Volunteers forces of North Staffordshire were also incorporated into this new regiment.
Following public fundraising the Barracks were purchased for the benefit of the residents of Newcastle-under-Lyme. In the same year the police force moved into the Barracks.
The Rifle Volunteers of Newcastle became the Territorial Force, following the Territorial Forces Act. It was agreed that the Territorial Force were not deemed to be the successors of the Volunteers by the trustees and therefore they started to pay rent of £50 per annum for use of the building.
Newcastle-under-Lyme corporation became trustees as the existing trustees felt that they were better placed to ensure that the Barracks was used for the benefit of the population.
The borough took in what had been the Wolstanton United Urban District, covering the parishes of Chesterton, Silverdale and Wolstanton, also taking the parish of Clayton from Newcastle-under-Lyme Rural District.
A scheme, known as the Barracks Trust, was drawn up whereby the Barracks was to be used by the Territorial Army as required; otherwise it was to be used or let by the corporation for the benefit of the borough.
Under the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of the Newcastle-under-Lyme Municipal Borough, the Kidsgrove Urban District, and Newcastle-under-Lyme Rural District.
The Trust embarked on a modernisation programme of both the building and its business practices. It changed its grant giving from twice to four times a year and in 2009 took on new managing agents and in 2010 contracted with Newcastle CVS to administer the grant-giving process.