Salix Homes has been given the green light by Salford Council to create a ground-breaking training centre for young people.
The £2million flagship scheme will see a disused hostel, which once-supported homeless young people, transformed into a stable place for 16 to 25 year olds to live in while they work, complete their education or undertake training.
The local authority’s planning committee has granted permission for the centre to be fully refurbished and modernised, creating shared accommodation, along with a state-of-the-art training centre.
The scheme, dubbed the Salford Working Out Project, will be the first of its kind in Greater Manchester and will soon be among only a handful in the country that provide this offer.
Lee Sugden, chief executive at Salix Homes, said: “This is fantastic news that we have been given the green light to go ahead with this ground-breaking initiative that will provide much-needed opportunities for those young people who desperately want to work and make something of their lives.
“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).
“There are many struggling to hold down a job or go to college because of their unsuitable or unstable living arrangements – or it could be that they are at risk of homelessness or have no permanent place to live due to their family situations.
“So we want this project to help break down those barriers that are preventing them from accessing employment or training.”
The now-empty Petrie Court, on Cromwell Road, Lower Kersal will be the first stage of the innovative scheme and had previously provided supported accommodation to young homeless people, but closed down in 2014 as part of Salford Council’s funding cuts.
Earlier this year the project received £1million funding from the Homes and Communities Agency to carry out the scheme and will be match funded by Salix Homes.
The housing provider will 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 new facility will also include a gym and an ICT suite.
Lee Sugden added: “We aim to be more than just a housing provider, we strive to make healthy and thriving communities for our customers to live in. We want this to be a centre that the city and Greater Manchester can be proud of, and provide a real lifeline for young people.”
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.
Work will start on the facility later this year with the centre set to open next spring.
The centre will be named later this year and Salix Homes would like to thank the public with their suggestions to name the facility.