Ambitious plans have been announced to create a £2million flagship scheme in Salford providing much-needed accommodation and training for young people.
As part of the plans, housing association Salix Homes has unveiled proposals to convert the dis-used homeless hostel Petrie Court in Lower Kersal into a state-of-the-art training centre with live-in accommodation to help young people transform their lives.
The initiative, dubbed the Salford Working Out Project, will be the only one of its kind in Salford providing people aged 16-25 with a stable place to live while they work, complete their education or undertake training.
The project has just received £1million funding from the Homes and Communities Agency and will be match funded by Salix Homes.
Lee Sugden, chief executive at Salix Homes, said: “Our successful funding bid with the HCA has provided the green light we needed to press ahead with this project, which is fantastic news for young people in our area.
“This ground-breaking initiative will provide much-needed opportunities for those who desperately want to work and make something with their lives, but are struggling to hold down a job or go to college because of their unsuitable or unstable living arrangements – it could be that they are at risk of homelessness or have no permanent place to live due to their family situations.”
As part of the plans Petrie Court, on Cromwell Road, will be fully refurbished and modernised creating shared accommodation, along with a state-of-the-art training centre, gym and ICT suite.
Salix Homes will also work alongside local skills and education providers to deliver training programmes and employment opportunities, as well as one-to-one support and coaching for residents.
The now-empty Petrie Court had previously provided supported accommodation to young homeless people, but closed down in 2014 as part of Salford Council’s funding cuts.
There are currently more than 2,200 people aged 16-25 on the housing waiting list in Salford and more than 6,000 young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETS).
Mr Sugden added: “Young people today often find themselves forced out of the job and housing market, but through this project we can provide supported accommodation for them while they complete their training or education.
“Not only will this project bring an empty building back into use, but this will be the first centre of its kind in Salford and will enable us to break down those barriers that are preventing some young people from accessing employment or training and provide them with the opportunities they so desperately need to transform their lives.”
It’s anticipated that residents will stay at the new facility for up to 12 months, after which Salix Homes will assist them into permanent accommodation, which will form the second phase of the project.
It’s hoped the facility will be open by summer this year (2016).