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The Spires Grand Opening

Last Friday we marked the official opening of our new homeless prevention scheme. Our Chief Executive Rob Wakefield and The Mayor Councillor Javed Iqbal cut the ribbon in a small ceremony, before welcoming guests to look round the new building.

“The Spires” in Maudland Bank will provide much-needed step up accommodation for homeless people and those at risk of homelessness. It offers a secure tenancy for up to three years for those hoping to get back on the housing ladder. As well as safe, well-appointed apartments, the scheme also includes spacious communal and training rooms to allow Gateway colleagues and partner organisations to deliver key life skills’ training such as running a home, budgeting and cooking, as well as helping people secure jobs, training and access benefits or legal advice. Staff will be available on site round the clock to support tenants.

We extensively refurbished a former sheltered accommodation scheme, that had seen declining demand over the years, into 26 self-contained apartments, a communal lounge, teaching kitchen, laundry and support staff working spaces, totalling approximately 2000 m². The £2.2m redevelopment project was supported by Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council and overseen by AG Project + Building Consultancy, working with Conlon Construction. The nine-month project saw the building go through an extensive programme of works including significant structural alterations, adaptations, and full refurbishment of the property. The new scheme includes rooms suitable for those with disabilities and is fully accessible.

Fiona Fisher, Head of Housing Services said,

“This was a fantastic project to be involved in and it speaks to our mission to build aspirations and strong communities across the city and beyond. Our customers told us clearly that they wanted us to take a lead role in helping tackle homelessness, so it’s a lynchpin of our strategic objectives endorsed fully by our Board. The opening of The Spires, following on from our work to support the Fox Street Centre a few years ago, is a big step along that road.

I’d like to thank all our partners who worked with us to make it happen, from initial design and funding to the high spec building and landscaped grounds we see today ready to welcome our first tenants. We are sure The Spires will offer the safety and sanctuary they deserve to enhance their life chances and move them forward, which is what Community Gateway is all about.”