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Ground-breaking initiative to provide affordable housing to transform lives of Bristol’s young homeless

19th Apr 2018

Hydrock is proud to be part of a team working on a ground-breaking initiative to create vital housing that will transform the lives of young homeless people in Bristol.

East Street Mews will create 11 contemporary apartments through the conversion of an empty property in Bedminster, to provide much-needed affordable housing in the city for this vulnerable group of people.

The apartments on East Street will provide a solid foundation on which young people can build towards the next stage of their lives in education and employment. The restored property will also include space on the ground floor for local businesses.

East Street Mews is the brainchild of Bristol-based property developer Cubex, property industry charity LandAid and local charity Developing Health & Independence (DHI). Realising there was a major gap in provision for young homeless people who are not eligible for other forms of support, they decided to donate their time, investment and expertise to address the problem.

They have enlisted the support of other businesses in the property and construction supply chain, including Hydrock, Willmott Dixon, The Bush Consultancy, GVA, JLL, Palmer Capital, Creation Design, Spirit Public Relations, Carbon Consult, TFT, and Cook Brown Building Control. All the companies who have pledged to help are donating their time and skills free of charge, and contractor Willmott Dixon will help restore and convert the row of three properties near the Bedminster roundabout into high quality housing. The building, which is owned by Bristol City Council and will be managed by DHI, will provide next step housing for young people on the street or without a place to call home.

The project team is currently working up plans and designs for converting the property, which has been empty for many years and needs significant restoration. It aims to submit a planning application in the next few weeks, start work on conversion in late summer, and welcome the first residents into East Street Mews in 2019.

Gavin Bridge, director of developers Cubex who are responsible for the new quarter at Finzels Reach, explained how the project came about: “Living and working in Bristol, we are only too well aware of growing homelessness in the city and wanted to do something about it. It seemed to us that the best way to contribute would be to use our own expertise, along with the skills of many of the companies we’ve worked with, to put the East Street Mews project together.

“We’ve been astonished by the enthusiasm and commitment of the team, who are bringing the same professionalism to this project as they would to any other, to create high quality homes that we can all be proud of and that will make a real difference to a group of people who have their futures in front of them.”

When complete, the apartments will be offered at rental levels set according to the amount young homeless people can afford to pay.
David Walton, housing director of DHI said: “This project is enabling us to address the huge need for high quality and truly affordable homes for young people in Bristol. There is a great need for stepping stone or ‘move on’ accommodation for young people living in hostels or at risk of homelessness, so this is an important project to prevent youth homelessness and help young people turn their lives around.”

Alice Lamb, director of fundraising and partnerships from LandAid, said: “East Street Mews is an excellent example of how by bringing together the property industry, local authorities and front line charities, we can make a huge impact to the lives of those who need it most. LandAid hopes that East Street Mews will be the first of many a similar project, not just in the South West but across the UK.”

Chris Bowie-Hill, Technical Director in Hydrock’s Building Performance Engineering team, and a key member of the Finzels Reach development team, said: “We are delighted to give our support to our customer Cubex and work with the rest of the project team, to help make the vision for this building a reality. When we were first approached about being involved, we didn’t hesitate to commit – we are very proud to be a Bristol-based business and to have been involved in so many projects that have enhanced the overall public realm of this city, that this opportunity to give something back, that will have a positive impact on these young people, was an easy decision to take.”

Companies or individuals interested in getting involved in helping with East Street Mews can find out more on the project website www.eaststreetmews.co.uk or they can contact Eleanor Lynch, development manager at eleanor@eaststreetmews.co.uk.

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