Moulding Foundation donates £3.5m to fund construction of Embassy Village

A £3.5m donation from The Moulding Foundation will pay for the construction of the Embassy Village in Manchester.

The Moulding Foundation was established in 2020 by Matthew Moulding, founder of Manchester-based online retailer giant THG, and his wife. It aims to tackle some of the social inequalities that exist in the North of England and beyond, that prevent people and communities from achieving their full potential.

Manchester-based charity, Embassy, first launched the scheme in February, 2021. It envisions a pioneering new safe and secure community for the city’s homeless and vulnerable men, providing 40 purpose-built homes as part of the transformation of a derelict site below the railway arches between the Bridgewater Canal and River Irwell, into a housing-led community.

Plans include a village hall, lots of green space, mini allotments to grow vegetables and a multi-use sports area.

The Embassy Village will help Manchester’s most vulnerable men get off the street and reintegrate back into society by putting high quality housing and wrap around support at the heart of the solution. The village hall will become a community hub with residents receiving one-to-one training and mentoring to help equip them with a range of life skills, including shopping, budgeting and cooking, as well as support to help get them into full-time employment.

Embassy has worked with regeneration business and landowner Peel L&P, Capital&Centric and a pro bono team across the Manchester business community to develop the village and secure planning approval from Manchester City Council in July last year.

Jodie Moulding, founder and trustee chair of the Moulding Foundation, said: “We are hugely proud to be supporting Embassy Village with this incredible project, helping to reduce homelessness in Greater Manchester.

“The village will be transformational – in addition to safe housing, it will give residents the life skills, community support and access to the resources needed to lead thriving and healthy lives.”

Sid Williams, of Embassy, said: “To receive this extremely generous donation from The Moulding Foundation is just incredible and puts us in a position to get the village built sooner than we had expected.

“The latest government figures show that Manchester has the second highest number of people sleeping rough in England. This project is critical in helping us transform the way homelessness is tackled in our city, providing a long term and sustainable solution.”

The donation from the Moulding Foundation will fund the construction of the project, which will start later this year and is expected to complete in 2023.

The Embassy charity launched in 2019 with a re-purposed luxury tour bus to provide shelter and support to vulnerable adults which was forced to close by COVID social distancing.

Since the pandemic began, Embassy has operated as a housing provider rather than a shelter.

The self-contained site will be staffed by Embassy’s dedicated team and aims to help residents move on to private sector rental, with full time employment and vastly improved confidence and life skills, helping to ease the burden on social housing.

Last week, Matthew Moulding gifted almost £821,000-worth of shares in THG to his friends.